US games retail giant GameStop wants to exploit the crossover between ‘core’ gamers at retail and ‘casual’ gamers playing online.
The firm this week told MCV that it is following customers to the non-console areas they play games in – with the acquisition of Flash games site Kongregate on Tuesday the first step.
“We have half a billion customers coming into our stores yearly with a concerted choice to have a high-fidelity experience – but we know they are faced with more and more choices,” said GM of GameStop’s digital ventures group, Chris Petrovic.
But too much choice can overwhelm consumers, he said, and GameStop wants to show the same talents in terms of helping gamers find games online as it already has in store.
Added Petrovic: “If we can extend those touch points and extend beyond bricks and mortar stores then it is a win-win for our customers and us as they will continue to see us as a trusted destination regardless of whether it is in the physical or digital world. Kongregate is a great step in that direction.”
GameStop operates 6,500 stores across the world, predominantly in the US and Canada but also across Europe and Australia/New Zealand.
Kongregate offers Flash games to players around the world, and boasts a number of social functions plus achievements. Developers can upload their own creations and use the site to promote and distribute their games for free.
The site has millions of users globally – and GameStop sees great crossover between the two.
Adding the portal to GameStop’s business “also gives us additional insight into the burgeoning free-to-play market,” said Petrovic.
“What makes Kongregate very unique is that this audience is uniquely ‘core’ – there are real synergies with GameStop consumers. Kongregate customers are our customers. We know they like to play outside of the living room and that the free-to-play business is growing – and we’ll get more involved with that.”
Shawn Freeman, SVP of GameStop’s online business, added: “We see a large crossover in customers and what we want to do is continue to provide those same core gamers access to all the different kinds of games they are playing.”