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More change at Gamestop? Reuters reports possible private equity buyout

Gamestop has had a pretty rough year but their may be a chink of light in the form of new owners for the US games retailer. With Reuters reporting that private equity firms have shown an interest in buying the company.

That caused shares of the company to lift by as much as 11 per cent – although that has to be put in perspective of 32 per cent fall the company has suffered over the last 12 months alone. Bringing its market cap to around $1.42bn.

The company’s troubles are the usual, much discussed, issues. A shift to digital stores, competition from online retailers, Amazon in particular, and now an increasing move to subscription services from the big publishers and platform holders. 

Frankly it won’t be easy to engineer a reversal in the company’s fortunes. Though it’s not impossible if the company took step like GAME in the UK to diversify into events and esports, and make its stores more than simply retailers. 

The news comes just weeks after Michael Mauler, the Gamestop CEO quit the post ‘for personal reasons’ after just three months in the role. Shane Kim, former GM of Microsoft  Game Studios (as it was then called) and seven-year board member of Gamestop, is the current interim CEO.

Hopefully the new investment comes with a new impetus for the company and that it finds a way to continue to thrive in what is a challenging sector. The games industry as a whole rightly sees digital as the future, but there’s still a huge amount of physical sales, and the presence of high-street stores is still key in getting hardware into consumer’s hands – launching a new console without specialist retail isn’t a scenario that any sane platform holder would relish. 

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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