Discoverability issue not unique to Appleâ??s online shop, says GameSpot exec

LGC 2010: â??PSN/XBLA shops as crowded as App Storeâ??

App Store devs routinely claim that Apple’s great games ocean is difficult to be discovered in, yet a GameStop exec believes the PlayStation and Xbox’s digital platforms provide the same difficulties.

Chris Petrovic, head of GameStop’s digital business, said that the issue of discoverability “cannot be underestimated”.

“If you start off with presumptions on the percentage of consoles that are connected, are they as high as everybody would want them to be? No,” he said.

“The percentage of people that have purchased for their console games downloadable content for XBLA or PSN games is very low. It’s barely above ten per cent.”

Speaking as part of a lively speaker session at the London Games Conference, Petrovic said that “much like in the Apple App Store, is as bad – if not worse – in the console environment because you’ve got such a limited form factor to work with.”

Petrovic equated publishing on the PlayStation and Xbox digital stores as a hit-and-miss affair.

“We’ve had anecdotes up and down from XBLA and PSN developers who get that sacred shelf space of promotion, that front button, and their revenue goes through the roof for one or two weeks that they’re in rotation, but as soon as they get off that it plummets.

"They don’t have the wherewithal because they’re really small shops, to be able to put marketing dollars towards many other channels,” he added.

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