Jul 18, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

GameStop CEO Explains Retailer's Reported Venture Into Game Development

Jul 10, 2014 01:05 AM EDT

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Video game retailer GameStop is implementing some plans to keep up with the increasingly digital world of shopping.

There are almost 6,500 GameStop stores around the world according to TIME. In May, NPD Group reported that digital content purchases make up "roughly 50 percent" of gaming sales. According to Paul Raines, GameStop CEO, this does not scare the company.

"We understand digital gaming and think it's good for GameStop," he explained. "Our business in the digital side is mostly console, and most of the console business is DLC. We just had a huge launch of Watch Dogs, and about 30 percent of all copies sold had digital content attached to them. So we like the growth of digital."

The CEO thinks that GameStop can become a dominant player in the digital sales market.

"... we believe our digital market share is pretty close to our physical market share," Raines said. "... When we do a midnight launch, people come to buy digital content to go with their physical content, and it's easy to find the digital content in our stores."

A report this week from Colin Sebastian, an R.W. Baird analyst, however, suggests that GameStop is looking for new ways to make money. The analyst told VentureBeat that GameStop is considering "getting involved at the time of game development where there could be some content exclusive to [the retailer] included in the game."

"It's very early on, but I do foresee a world where we can help facilitate create great content," Raines said of Sebastian's statement. "The upside for developers will be much stronger guarantees around distribution and audience with our loyalty program and so forth."

According to Raines, GameStop has been "in exclusive content business for a while," citing special game items, levels and weapons that have previously been offered to the company's consumers and GameStop's "eight to 10" mobile games. Still, Sebastian's report has been met with backlash from those who think retailers should stay out of the process of designing video games.

"... [Y]ou won't see us involved in the creative process. That's not something we do well," Raines explained. "... So all we're talking about is extending that capital and distribution skill-set into the console publishing and development space, but I don't think that involves any creative controls or influence at all. I think we'd be foolish to tell developers how to develop games or publishers how to bring product to market."
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Follow Scharon Harding on Twitter: @ScharHar

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