Digital is here, and digital is growing, but there is no scenario where disc-based video games will disappear from the market, according to GameStop.
Disc-based games will be around forever,” CEO Paul Raines told Forbes. The market has seen physical music sales down 50 per cent from its peak and physical movie sales down 60 per cent from its peak, but even in a doomsday scenario, disc-based games will be around for a long time.
I see a complimentary business where we sell discs plus download like the current console mode. Virtual reality games will also likely follow this model.”
Not everyone is convinced by the argument, however. Former Sony and Microsoft man Phil Harrison described the sentiment on Twitter as a delusional, self-serving load of tosh”.
Indeed, SuperData Research CEO Joost van Dreunen believes that GameStop must shortly begin on a restructuring program involving the closure of stores.
As we reach the zenith of the current console cycle, we anticipate GameStop to start reducing its retail footprint next year,” van Dreunen predicted. It knows it has to do something, and so far it only seems capable of delaying the inevitable. Just as Radio Shack or Blockbuster.”
CEO Raines, however, sees nothing but opportunities in the changing market ahead of us.
Augmented reality is working in our Austin stores,” Raines added. People are purchasing items off game trailers we beam to their phones. We measure this conversion rate by store through traffic counters… AR stores are converting at a much higher rate, which makes sense, because it's putting more content in consumers' hands.
If you look at how we worked with the console makers with our Power Up Rewards data and our customers' buying habits, we're doing the same thing with our VR partners. Analysts believe there could be 10m VR users by the end of 2016, and there are hardware forecasts of $30bn by 2020. We're going to be the destination for VR.”