The largest multichannel video game retailer in the world could one day help develop the same games they sell.
Video game industry analyst Colin Sebastian revealed in a note to investors that GameStop met with investment company R.W Baird to discuss creating a future in game development by the retailer to offer exclusive pre-order content in physical and digital video games.
“(GameStop) indicated that software publishers are more enthusiastic about partnering with it,” Sebastian wrote. “For example, by offering exclusive content on each major game release, and longer term, future models may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay.”
This announcement follows the reveal of a “GameStop Technology Institute,” an alliance between IBM and Texas A&M’s business school to create new ways consumer experiences.
While representatives from GameStop are not disclosing how the retailer looks to be involved in exclusive digital and physical content, they already offer small add-ons such as maps and weapons with their pre-orders, leaving room for speculation that future GameStop developed projects could produce substantial parts of a game’s plot.
This, combined with a used-games and membership rewards program, is helping the retailer post strong profit numbers.
Even with their healthy economic performance, Gamestop’s move towards development could be a defense against digital video game sales. According to multinational professional services network PricewaterhouseCoopers, this year’s global physical sales of video games are still expected to be $7 billion dollars shorter than the figure recorded in 2009.
The network also expects global digital sales of console games and add-on content to likely surpass $7 billion dollars this year with a faster growth in sales than physical copy games.
GameStop’s curiosity in video game development already includes concern. Some worry that the retailer’s ability to produce exclusive content may eventually no longer become exclusive to GameStop, resulting in a variety of gamers having different experiences depending on where they pre-ordered the game.
These varying experiences could potentially divide gamers from sharing similar moments and cloud accurate reviews.