GameStop banking on resurgent PC games market

Digital distribution will help reinstall PC as one of the dominant platforms for core games, according to GameStop.

The firm has invested heavily in download and streaming technologies in the last year as audiences get a better handle on digital gaming.

And speaking to MCV, digital distribution boss Steve Nix says that attitudes are changing both inside and outside the industry towards making PC more prominent after years of being written off as a ‘dying’ category.

At one point PC games were the largest sector of games for GameStop. But in the years since we saw that physical PC games were a smaller portion of retail sales,” he told MCV.

The customer experience for gamers when buying boxed PC products wasn’t great. It was that which started impacting physical box sales more than anything else.But at the same time, there was digital distributors getting some traction and that was a better customer experience – they could go to a site, download games automatically, load it to the machine in the background, then go and play.”

He added: GameStop thought PC was a declining category until publishers started speaking about the numbers more openly, and it turns out that PC gaming is a large and vibrant market and actually growing pretty substantially online. So GameStop has made the decision to engage heavily with PC gaming again.

The interesting change is that when we talk to publishers, there’s a marked change in attitude. It used to be just ‘What are you doing on the Xbox or PS3?’ And the PC was just an afterthought. But today the industry is asking what it can do to talk to gamers about the PC version as early as possible and make it successful on equal footing to the console versions.”

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