How's this for a success story?
GameStop has gracefully and legitimately worked itself into the UK games trade. And that’s by closing physical stores – not opening GAME rivals or buying up Grainger as the nose-tappers would have you believe – and establishing a compelling and credible .co.uk.
Publishers, distributors and even a few rival retailers have praise for GameStop. Sure, this is a powerful global operation with billions in the bank. Of course people want to be in its good books. But I’ve even heard developers, traditionally jaded and cynical about retail in general, praise GameStop’s forward-thinking digital plan.
People genuinely do like this company’s new-found willingness to learn, grow and evolve.
And as a games industry journalist, I love the fact it’s getting out and about. International VP Mike Mauler is talking at LGC; UK & Ireland commercial director Mike Finucane has jumped at the chance to join our Retail Advisory Board. Next week, we’ve got the inside scoop with the company’s digital distribution head Steve Nix, a man who jumped ship from id Software – the cutting-edge creator of Doom and Quake – to join, of all things, a retailer.
GameStop is a switched on company, that’s the point here. Now everything it does will be scrutinised by UK contemporaries. Good. Competition is great for games; it’s intrinsic to gameplay, it’s what makes the business work. This new arrival won’t be ignored.