Despite the debate about the used games market and the digital only future of video game distribution the leader of GameStop believes that his company is still needed.
Speaking to Vox Games, Paul Raines, who is the chief executive officer at GameStop
, has said, “Platform owners could have cut us off a long time ago, but what happens is that GameStop has a relationship with the customer deep and sticky enough that it isn’t in their best interests to do so.”
The leader of the biggest specialist video game retail chain added that his company helps Sony and Microsoft to add to their own bottom lines and that it would be difficult for any of the publisher to cut GameStop out of the current retail chain.
On the threat that the rise of digital distribution poses to the GameStop business model, he said, “Everyone thinks consumers are binary, all physical or all digital, but most are hybrids. You can’t be in the business of trying to protect yourself only through technology, you’ve got to make less friction for the consumer.”
At the moment GameStop has entered the digital distribution space, after buying up Impulse from Stardock, and the company also has long-term plans linked to streaming.
Spawn Labs is developing a system that would allow GameStop to offer something similar to OnLive and the service is expected to enter a private beta stage later during 2012, with a number of data centers already being set up across the United States.
A recent rumor suggested that the next home console from Microsoft will no longer allow gamers to play used titles
The secondary market has also been blamed by both developers and publisher for limiting the amount of resources that they have available to create new titles.
All major publishers have introduced systems designed to combat used game sales, but their effectiveness is not proven.