GameStop to Expand In-Store DLC Sales

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Retailer GameStop will be expanding its sales of downloadable content add-ons through its retail stores later this year, the company has confirmed--an initiative that will kick off in thirty-five locations through a "limited catalog" this spring and then expand to encompass more content and GameStop locations nationwide by the fall.

"We've had to create proprietary point of sale technology in partnership with Microsoft to be able to show that DLC catalog at retail," company COO J. Paul Raines explained during a conference call with investors, as transcribed by Joystiq. "We're also working on merchandising and marketing the DLC content in our stores. So this is something that we feel like the industry is moving our way, and our investments are starting to really be timely and publishers see us as the destination for sale of DLC in stores."

Currently, GameStop and several other retailers offer an extremely limited selection of downloadable content by way of publisher-made token cards, which contain codes for the content--such as Fallout 3's later add-ons--and are sometimes packaged in a traditional game case. However, this new approach sounds different and more expansive.

At the moment, the specifics are a little unclear--it's unknown if the company will be selling downloadable content for just the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3 as well, and it's unclear if buyers will receive a code to download their purchase or if the content will be added to their account and automatically downloaded upon booting the console.

Regardless, it shows GameStop is trying to keep up with the times. Across the past few years, publishers have embraced the idea of selling additional game content via download, with some even bundling such content with new copies of games as a way to help monetize second-hand sales and introduce gamers to the "ecosystem."

Certain publishers have also recently begun to restrict the online multiplayer components of their games to those that either buy them new or pay an additional fee, with GameStop having pledged to support these efforts through sales of the virtual PlayStation Store / Xbox Live currency one may need to unlock the functionality.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 20, 2010 11:53 AM

    Wait.. what? Are they talking about selling 'downloadable' content in the store?!?
    Did someone forget to tell the CEO of GameStop what DLC actually means?

    • reply
      May 20, 2010 12:00 PM

      it's already done, in a limited degree, by selling token cards with codes you enter when you get home.

      • reply
        May 20, 2010 12:02 PM

        ^This, which is basically what I think they'll be doing.

        • reply
          May 20, 2010 12:19 PM

          Well, there's also retail packages of things that were previously DLC, like the Fallout 3 DLC.

      • reply
        May 20, 2010 12:33 PM

        Yah, but... How do they make money?

        Lets take the CoD Stimulus thing for example.

        It was $15 on xbox live. MS Gets their cut, Activision gets there cut...

        Will Gamestop sell them for $15 too? How do they make money?

        I guess, maybe they've worked out an agreement with the MS or whoever the publisher is?

        • reply
          May 20, 2010 12:44 PM

          I'd presume that GameStop gets a cut and Microsoft's take is a bit lower because of that

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            May 20, 2010 2:29 PM

            Yeah, when you buy $15 in iTunes credit at Walmart, Walmart takes some of the money instead of it all going to Apple. My guess is the concept is it must be more profitable in the long run (i.e., a large number of people would never go online to buy iTunes credit for their friends but will buy a card in a store)

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        May 20, 2010 6:09 PM

        It doesnt really make sense. The whole point of DLC is to avoid having to sell things in a retail store.

        • reply
          May 20, 2010 6:22 PM

          it makes sense for those parents that walk into a retail store and see a CoD dlc card on display and
          think " oh I see little Timmy plaing cod all the time! maybe he would love to have this maptacular dlc!"

          those type of customers have no idea how to buy dlc

        • reply
          May 20, 2010 7:19 PM

          but it crosses the bridge where a lot of kids don't have credit cards or where people are afraid of putting their credit cards online