“Unfortunately our crystal ball wasn’t that clear”: GameStop’s Co-Founder Admits That They Should Have Been Able To See the Writing On the Wall Regarding Digital Game Distribution (EXCLUSIVE)

Digital games obliterated many big retailers.

GameStop

SUMMARY

  • FandomWire interviewed Gary Kusin, co-founder of GameStop where he reflected upon the quick advance of technology that was hard to follow.
  • Since the beginning, GameStop has been the sales leader, selling all kinds of hardware.
  • Kusin stated that they should have been able to see technology advance earlier in order to adapt and survive.
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With the release of Steam, the PS3, and the Xbox 360 generation, digital-based games came to stay. The digital age has completely replaced the traditional physical game distribution and business model. In an interview with FandomWire, the former president of GameStop and co-founder, Gary Kusin, talks about how this major technological breakthrough was a very hard blow for the company. 

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Every couple of years, the industry makes a giant leap. The transition from hardware to digital was challenging, particularly given the rapid adaptation of people to these new game consumption methods.

Gary Kusin, Former President of Gamestop and Co-founder, Talks About How Digital Has Changed It All

Gary Kusin, former president of GameStop talks about the current state of the industry.
Gary Kusin, former president of GameStop talks about the current state of the industry.

In the 1990s, the model was simple: you had a video game console, you bought the game, and you played. With new technologies, everything changes forever. Every major gaming company’s main sales are digital games; almost 90% of players only buy digital titles.

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This was difficult for the big game retailers, who, since 2007, have not been able to sell as many physical games as in previous decades. The co-founder of GameStop, Gary Kusin, talked in an interview with FandomWire. He said,

It wouldn’t have been too much of a reach to then extrapolate that progression of technology to see that at a certain point in the future, movies will be transmitted digitally into homes and the need for a brick and mortar store will go away.

This shows how they adapted to most of the big changes in the video game industry but never saw how big digital games were going to be.

A New Era in Gaming Has Changed the Entire Consumer Model

In an interview with FandomWire Kusin talked about how digital games were a very shocking development.
In an interview with FandomWire Kusin talked about how digital games were a very shocking development.

Since the integration of digital games into the different platforms, gamers have never gone back to physical, only buying special collector editions and recently released titles. Kusin said that this was hard to predict. He added,

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Unfortunately, our crystal ball wasn’t that clear 40 years ago, but it was clear enough to see that there was a good chance that this new emerging technology could end up being bigger than the rest of them combined before it was over.

Kusin also discussed how the prices of games are increasing over time and said that only a few companies can justify those elevated prices, but not all consumers will be paying that amount of money for a title that is not worth it.

The re-sale value of titles was also GameStop’s main business. The company became a go-to place for gamers to sell all their games and buy used titles to save money.

The current state of the industry in general is really dark, with both big companies having no clue what consumers want and investing time and money in games that no user will play, only to see if the live-service aspect works.

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There is an upcoming shift that could determine the future of video games and how companies transform to be more consumer-friendly regarding the projects they make.

What are your thoughts about Kusin’s declaration? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Lucas Lapetina

Articles Published: 525

I'm a big fan of movies and videogames in general. I really love Pokémon and Godzilla. One of my favorite games is The Last of Us, Part II. A compelling and well-written story is always welcome.