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GameStop to educate consumers on digital content

By N. Evan Van Zelfden

Fri 29 Jan 2010 9:40am GMT / 4:40am EST / 1:40am PST

J Paul Raines believes downloadable add-ons are a "good thing"

US specialist retail giant, GameStop, is planning to educate its customers on the benefits of digital downloads for the games it sells, with COO J Paul Raines believing that DLC is "a good thing".

Speaking on a panel about the future of digital distribution at SMU's Game Business Law conference, Raines stressed that while developers and publishers may take a dim view of his company - labelling the $9 billion-a-year group as a 'behemoth' - GameStop was itself concerned by giant retailers like Wal-Mart in the United States, or a dozen game-selling firms in Europe.

"The only way a company like ours survives is being dedicated to the category," he explained, before detailing his views on DLC. "Downloadable content is a good thing because it enhances and extends games."

He added that the biggest challenge for the downloadable market was that it was small, and that he believed consumers experienced too much friction around trying to access the material - which is where GameStop could help.

"That business could grow medium double digits today," he affirmed. "Customer acquisition continues to be a huge part of the spend in this business."

Meanwhile with the retailer set to release its financial results in the near future, Raines had a counter to some of the negative expectation around the company's performance.

"Rumours of our demise have been greatly exaggerated," he said. "We'll release financials in a few weeks, so you'll see if we're still in business."

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