GameStop Shares Tumble After EA Access Announcement
Retailer's shares down more than 5 percent, but analysts say it's too early to know if the service will have any kind of real impact on GameStop's business.
GameStop shares fell today by more than 5 percent following Electronic Arts' announcement of a special service for Xbox One that could have negative implications for the retailer's business. As you can see in the chart below, GameStop shares began to fall immediately after the announcement of EA Access.
EA Access hurts GameStop, at least in theory, because it incentivizes digital spending. However, GameStop will sell EA Access subscription cards in its stores, and the retailer has already proven that the proliferation of digital gaming is not really the thorn in its side that some make it out to be.
The stock market is inherently volatile and dramatic fluctuation in share value is no strange thing for GameStop. After Sony announced its own streaming service, PlayStation Now, back in January, GameStop shares tumbled, but later rebounded.
Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird, says in a note to investors today that EA Access isn't likely to disrupt GameStop's business in any meaningful way. "While new subscription programs have the potential to disrupt/disintermediate the retail channel, there is little evidence to date to support that similar programs have taken the retailer's market share," he said.
Meanwhile, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia says it's too early to tell if EA Access will be troublesome to GameStop. "In the current form, we don't think it's that disruptive to GameStop," Bhatia said.
We have reached out to a GameStop representative for comment and will update this post with anything we hear back.
EA Access has been immediately compared to Netflix, in that you will pay a fee ($5/month or $30/year) for access to a library of games, which you then have unlimited access to. Also included with your membership are discounts on digital content and the ability to play upcoming games five days before anyone else. A beta for EA Access is available now for select Xbox One owners, while a wider rollout is expected to happen soon. The first four games included with EA Access are Battlefield 4, Madden NFL 25, FIFA 14, and Peggle 2.