Game over for GameStop? GameStop’s main revenue source is through the sale of those shiny little discs. What will happen when the developers exclusively release their games via the console’s online marketplaces? People will less likely go to a location to buy a physical item. Yes, it’s great to get the little booklet, and some of those exclusive packs have some cool swag. But we find it much more convenient to download the games, which actually also results in increased sales of add-ons for the distributors.
This leads us to our next observation. In a recent article that we read about the reported sales of the game, Crackdown (1.5 million), the developer mentions that they only broke even and in actuality sold about 2-3 million copies. What happened to the extra revenue? GameStop and other retailers made money on the used games. I believe the developers should have a cut of that money. We can argue that when you buy a car, the manufacturer does not see residuals on future sales of that car. A game is digital and remains intact, the only depreciation would be on the packaging or the disc itself.
So back to the point at hand. GameStop will eventually be in the same boat with the music business going from record, to cassette, to CD, to online download. How could GameStop reinvent itself?
- Maybe it will become an antique dealer of old games and consoles. (which is somewhat does now)
- A place that only sells the consoles, and peripherals.
- Stand alone kiosk that resells the games onto a portable storage device. The kiosk being placed strategically in malls, convenience stores, etc.
What would you do if your industry changed as fast as GameStop’s industry? Do you have a contingency plan in place that will allow you to evolve just in time to save your business? Things to ponder! Sometimes the surest things have a way to undermine themselves. Don’t grow stale with your current products or services. Observe and always look for the next frontier in your industry, or take advantage of your perfected processes and look to apply those processes in an entirely new industry. Always have a plan ready for how to reinvent yourself when and if your find yourself swimming against the current.