Discovering new XBLA/PSN games as hard as on App Store

Gamestop wants to cross-promote titles with smaller developers

GameStop believes that discovering new games and digital content on the home consoles is just as hard as finding entertainment on Apple's notoriously difficult to navigate App Store.

Speaking at the London Games Conference last night, Chris Petrovic, head of the retailers digital business, said that GameStop wants to help market and sell digital games by smaller developers just as much as it does triple-A console and PC games.

"One of the key points that can't be underestimated is the increasing challenge of discovery," he said. "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. 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.

"Discovery, 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.

"Somebody like us, where we have users coming in wanting to buy the disc, we can scan that disc and tell them the five or ten pieces of add-on content available. Or even better, we can work with publishers who are producing PSN or XBLA games and have a section in our store to highlight those - that's a win for everybody.

"It's helps discovery, it helps with monetisation at the point of purchase and consumers are getting what they want when they want it. The proliferation of digital will just lead to challenges in the marketing side," he added.

GameStop has more influence with consumers, said Petrovic, and more marketing opportunities than developers, who struggle to advertise their product in a crowded market.

"We've had the 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.

"That's opened our eyes to think about creative ways to be that marketing partner apart from just marketing triple-A titles. To be able to serve well that long tail of game developers that have just as good quality games but don't have $50 million to spend on marketing. And coming up with creative ways to leverage our relationship with the consumer and our physical space to be able to give prominence to those games,"said Petrovic.

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Latest comments (3)

Wesley Williams Quality Assurance 11 years ago
This sounds like desperation to me. Digital downloads will replace bricks and mortar, if not in the next generation, then the one that follows. GameStop and other retailers are going to slowly become less relevant to console owners.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Wesley Williams on 5th November 2010 11:12am

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 11 years ago
I agree Wesley that this is probably GameStop trying to get a foot in the door ahead of the inevitability of games software no longer needing shops, but then at the same time if promotional areas were set up in shops and some space was given little indie titles like, say, Critter Crunch or Super Meat Boy, it would be a great thing. Provided the area for downloadable content wasn't then take over by the presence of Call of Duty DLC or extra car packs for GT5, or whatever - which I could very well see happening.
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Eliot Lloyd Studying Computer Games Design and Production, Northumbria University11 years ago
Saying that games will be downloaded is all well and good, but I don't know a single person who would rather download a game than buy a hard copy. The only reason people use steam is because PC games are incredibly unrepresented in stores and it's nearly impossible to find specific games unless they're really big.
The PSPGo is a testament to how little people want to download all their games.
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