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As store closures mount up, is there hope left for physical games outlets?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - As store closures mount up, is there hope left for physical games outlets?

Low digital ratio on the Switch might be their saving grace :P

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Ya know people always blame digital games for the decline of game stores, but I'd argue that them being shit is just as much, if not more, the reason for their decline. Especially relevant when Game is used as one of the examples. They used to be good, but have gotten progressively more shitty over the years. In store sales declined at the same time. I don't think that's just a coincidence.

Shadow1980 said:
CaptainExplosion said:

Couldn't GameStop/EB Games just ramp up the gaming-related merch? Doesn't that bring in a lot of people?

Most of the floor space I've seen in the GameStops around here is dedicated to merch now. And apparently it sells decently. I could see GameStop permanently becoming sort of a generic "geek store" to compensate for the lost sales volume of used software (which is their primary source of profit).

Well they are branching out further than that, even selling the likes of Transformers, My Little Ponies and non-gaming board games.



Some days I just blow up.

You reap what you sow. Gamestop insisted on price gouging customers for used games and being generally predatory with no effort put forth to convince customers that Gamestop is the place to buy. So now that their primary source of income is dwindling, they will have to find a new way to appeal to customers.

Farsala said:
You reap what you sow. Gamestop insisted on price gouging customers for used games and being generally predatory with no effort put forth to convince customers that Gamestop is the place to buy. So now that their primary source of income is dwindling, they will have to find a new way to appeal to customers.

You mean besides not being douches to their customers?



Some days I just blow up.

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The only way retail stores survive is if they switch their main revenue streams from physical products to something more experience based.

E-sports, competitions, retro events, dev talks/signings, lock-ins etc. All with snacks and drinks. They might still sell physical games and merchandise, but the only way they stay afloat and possibly thrive is if they find other ways to bring in money and customers.

Going for experience as opposed to purely product based is pretty much the only way anything on the High Streets is going to survive.

Scoobes said:
The only way retail stores survive is if they switch their main revenue streams from physical products to something more experience based.

E-sports, competitions, retro events, dev talks/signings, lock-ins etc. All with snacks and drinks. They might still sell physical games and merchandise, but the only way they stay afloat and possibly thrive is if they find other ways to bring in money and customers.

Going for experience as opposed to purely product based is pretty much the only way anything on the High Streets is going to survive.

That actually sounds like it would work. :)



Some days I just blow up.

Farsala said:
Gamestop insisted on price gouging customers for used games

I've never understood the outrage over this. Every place that deals in used media does this. Getting a pittance for your used goods has always been the norm for everything, not just video games. It's the cost of dealing with a middle man. They have to resell that used merchandise for a profit, and in Gamestop's case the fact that new video games are a relatively low-margin product means that it makes sense that GameStop isn't paying you $45 for the $60 game you just bought. You want a good return on your used wares? Then take the effort to sell it to the new end-user yourself.



The_Liquid_Laser said:
Not sure how quickly game shops will disappear, if ever. All I know is that if they do, then it is basically the end of the game industry. Expect another crash like the one in '83 if they manage to eliminate the physical shops. The current model very much relies on having enough physical media so that shops will sell hardware too.

What kind of I'll informed statement is this?!? How does the brick and mortar bring any value to the game industry if any thing it make the cost of game higher and cut in developers profit. If these store shut down there are plenty of avenues to sell the hardware, groceries outlet, Big retailers (Costco,Walmart,Target), pharmacies & this little known online retailer called Amazon.

Just look at today announcement from Epic games, This will increase the revenues for developers and lower the amount of games that must be sold in order to turn a profit. This should increase the amount of developers that can make a niche game for smaller audiences and without having to worry if the game will make or break them.

Last edited by yvanjean - 4 days ago

Tommy Jean, CPA, CGA

The_Liquid_Laser said:
Not sure how quickly game shops will disappear, if ever. All I know is that if they do, then it is basically the end of the game industry. Expect another crash like the one in '83 if they manage to eliminate the physical shops. The current model very much relies on having enough physical media so that shops will sell hardware too.

The crash of 83 was largely brought about by the overabundance of low quality games and hardware rapidly eroding consumer confidence.   If the consumer increasingly chooses digital over physical, then you won't see the critical reason for the failure 35 years ago.   In fact, the industry today seems almost immune to the primary causes of the 1983 crash since storefronts - especially Steam, but also the consoles - are littered with low quality crap.  The gold can still shine through, however.  Though, perhaps you could consider the Fallout 76 disaster to be a rough equivalent to the Atari 2600 Pac Man port fiasco.  The consumer loses confidence when even trusted and popular names release horribly awful products.  

And, much as I despise it, an all-digital era is coming.  PC gaming is practically all digital already, and with Microsoft about to offer a disc-less option, I think there is a real chance they choose to go all digital for the XBox gen 4.  It'll be only a matter of time until Sony (PS6?) and Nintendo (Switch successor) follow.  The latter two perhaps only staying physical longer because of their strong positions in Japan. 

There's just too much pure profit for the devs and the console makers in the digital landscape for them not to be pushing hard for it.  Especially since first sale doctrine goes out the window.