GameStop: PC Game Retail Sales, Variety Decreasing

By Nick Breckon, Sep 18, 2008 7:49pm PDT Retailer GameStop has announced that its sales of retail PC games has declined compared to the previous year, according to Gamasutra.

While GameStop senior vice president Bob McKenzie noted that the decline was expected, the low number of new PC titles released this year apparently caught the company by surprise.

"The number of new titles we have on PC is down probably more than what I had anticipated it would be down," said McKenzie. "But I don't see that as a threat or a signaling. We're not backing away from it at all."

McKenzie still characterized the PC market as "very alive," and revealed that the company is experimenting with better ways to present PC games in its stores.

"We've taken a lot of the PC games where we kind of had them on a gondola, from a space perspective," he said. "But we've just realized, this is too important of a category, so we've put a lot of them up on the wall again where there's stronger representation in our stores."

As far as digital distribution, McKenzie did not comment on whether services like Steam are directly cutting into its share of the PC market, instead stressing that GameStop also offers digital downloads of many PC titles.

"[Digital distribution] is growing, but we're also growing with it," he added. "We offer digital downloads on PC, especially, through, we see that continuing to be a market that will continue to grow, obviously."

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38 Threads | 122 Comments*

  • So I got Crysis from Target last year (also got a nifty promotion where I paid $.99 for an "Art CD" and the "Amphibious APC Multiplayer Unlock" and got a $5-off coupon for Crysis itself... xD) and Crysis: Warhead from Steam this year... The only games I got this year "at retail" was when I worked at EA QA over the summer where I got Mass Effect PC, C&C The First Decade, and BF2142 (primarily for the First Strike Mod) for the greatly reduced price that EA employees can get those for (but only via boxed distro). Otherwise, Sins of a Solar Empire, TrackMania Nations Forever, bunches of older titles that Steam has had on sale (Prey for $5, Far Cry for $5, IL2 Sturmovik 1946, etc...)... Oh, right, and Devil May Cry 4 I also got at Target for lack of a good way to get it via digital distro.

    Pretty much, if there's a viable digital way of legally procuring a PC game (aka, not EA Downloader b/c of the horrific terms that come along w/that), I'll go with that.

  • Yeah PC Game sales are decreasing because you're decreasing support for them dumbass.

    Seriously every time I go in there the PC Game section is smaller. First it was a wall, then it was half a wall, then a double sided shelf along the wall, then single sided. Then only one freestanding shelf - single sided....eventually they placed PC Games on the poles that support the ceiling. I went in there to pick up Warhammer and the PC Game section has degraded into the CORNER. They have it in the corner, 1 foot by 1 foot in the corner.

    No fucking way? PC Game sales are decreasing?

  • The EB Games in Canada are a lot better at displaying the PC titles than GameStop in the US... They actually have them on shelves like the console games, rather than shoved into this awful little... Cart? Display? Box? I have no idea what to call it. It's about the same size as the thing where they put the pre-order boxes.

    Though, every time I've gone to an EB recently (and haven't been going to purchase a specific game), I've come back disappointed, as the selection isn't that great, and when there actually is something that catches my eye, I think "Hmmm, I think it's cheaper on Steam, plus I don't have to put the DVD in the drive each time I play". I usually get my retail stuff from Future Shop/Best Buy, as they'll sometimes have a "$5 off on the first two days" deal.

  • It's kind of funny that after years of pushing the PC platform to the back of their retail stores they are starting to perk up and pay more attention to it. My feeling is that If it appears that Gamestop has lost the PC platform to digital distribution for AAA titles it will be a big wake up call to their investors and share holders that consoles are heading towards the same distribution model for it's AAA titles.

    We're already seeing a little bit of this in the current generation of consoles (mostly on PS3 with games like Warhawk, Wipeout, and GT4), but I think next gen we'll see the consoles move to a position where titles will be sold digitally and in stores on the same day, and possibly PC being exclusive to digital distribution.

    GS sees this happening as well, but doesn't want to face the music till they figure out what they want to do with all the real estate they own across the country.