The Money Making Game #7: GameStop Goes Digital

We certainly have no problem getting caught up in the fun of playing games, but the people who create them have their pocketbooks to worry about, too. In this column, finance expert and GameSpy contributor Chris Morris guides you through the tricky corridors the gaming industry’s financial side, touching on big-time business decisions and how they matter to the common gamer.

The king of the brick-and-mortar gaming world is finally embracing the digital. GameStop’s recent purchases of the Impulse digital distribution service and Spawn Labs streaming service won’t solve all of its problems, but it sets a course for the company as it prepares for the coming transition — and it gives investors some much needed clarity into GameStop management’s long-term thinking.

These days, GameStop sees annual digital revenues of $290 million from video games. As it expands, though, it expects those numbers to hit $1.5 billion by the end of 2014. “Our customers are beginning to consume games in a hybrid manner, both physical and digital, so we are becoming a hybrid company to meet their needs,” says Tony Bartel, president of GameStop. “Both of these programs are designed to sell more of the games we sell today.”

Read more at GameSpy

Interview: Why Stardock Sold To GameStop

Stardock’s recent sale of its Impulse digital distribution service to GameStop is in the history books now, but the retailer was hardly the only bidder for the service.

Brad Wardell, CEO of Stardock, says there were conversations with dozens of companies – with roughly a half-dozen of those presenting term sheets – before Stardock made its final decision. And even then, it took a lot of convincing on GameStop’s part.

Read more at Gamasutra

GameStop Maps Out Digital Plans

GameStop might be the retail sales leader when it comes to video games, but the company’s lack of a strong digital arm has always worried analysts.

The announcement, then, that the company has purchased Impulse, a digital distribution service, as well as game streaming service Spawn Labs, is being met with cheers. And GameStop’s prediction that it will see digital revenues hit $1.5 billion by 2014 is receiving an even warmer reception.

Read more at CNBC.com

Interview: Tony Bartel On GameStop’s New Digital Strategy

Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris talks with GameStop president Tony Bartel about its recent acquisitions and the company’s potential plans to build its own tablet computer.

After running relatively quiet on the digital front for a long period, GameStop came out with both guns blazing last week.

The surprise purchases of Stardock’s Impulse digital distribution service and streaming technology firm Spawn Labs put the company in direct competition with Steam and OnLive. And it’s just getting started.

Read more at Gamasutra