In-Store DLC Sells Like Crazy at GameStop

In-Store DLC Sells Like Crazy at GameStop

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Downloadable content becomes a major push for videogame retailers.

If you've ventured into your local GameStop recently, you've probably noticed the sizable section of the store now devoted to virtual goods. The paid DLC shelves look just like any other, with faux retail boxes that you can take to the counter and purchase. Of course, when you swipe your credit card, you're given a code rather than a game case, but that doesn't seem to matter to many customers, as the retailer now boasts DLC attach rates of up to 50%.

If this revelation strikes you as particularly odd, it's totally understandable. After all, downloadable content - by definition - was designed to be purchased online, without any interaction with a brick-and-mortar store. However, in speaking with GamesBeat, GameStop's director of retail digital distribution, Brad Schliesser, claims that as publishers push day-one DLC more and more, it becomes easier and easier to sell it in stores.

"When we first started [selling DLC] in 2010, we had less than a 2 percent attach rate for DLC to a physical game. That started changing in holiday 2011, and what changed is publishers decided to start marketing digital content to customers when the game released rather than waiting three, six, or 12 months afterward," he notes.

Schliesser goes on to reveal that Mass Effect 3 DLC was a particularly hot seller, with half of the customers who purchased the game in-store also picking up the $10 DLC voucher in the same transaction. Schliesser attributes some of the growing attach rate of in-store DLC purchases to knowledgeable employees promoting the add-on content that some gamers may not know exists.

"The most important thing that we found is the associates in the store drive the business. They understand what content is. It's easy for them to sell content to a customer when that customer is buying a copy of the game," Schliesser explains. "DLC for us attaches better to a physical game than any other accessory or add-on that we have in our company - whether it's a headset, a controller, or strategy guide - because it's so easy for the consumer to understand what it is they're getting. From very early on, we understood that we had to do a good job of not only educating the consumer but also educating the person behind the counter."

Source: VentureBeat

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cool DLC at GameStop. GameStop offers a 7-day return on new products, so I...

Wait a minute

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Yeah, I have a bad feeling that this is going to turn really ugly really fast. Gamestop and DLC, two things on this website that get flamed a lot (the second one for understandable reasons, but I'm completely lost on the first one) yeah, this is going to end badly.

So much for that extra development time >(
Selling DLC with the game it's for?
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I'm not sure what to think it terms of opinion, but haven't other brick and Mortar's been doing this for a while?

erttheking:


Yeah, I have a bad feeling that this is going to turn really ugly really fast. Gamestop and DLC, two things on this website that get flamed a lot (the second one for understandable reasons, but I'm completely lost on the first one) yeah, this is going to end badly.

the anger at gamestop is usually in response to how many publishers will say that "the used game market is killing our business, and making it more difficult to justify new IPs, or continuing this one."

when in fact this is counter intuitive because if it were true then these publishers would start blacklisting GameStop, but they haven't because GameStop also does very good business on the new market as they do on the Used market. in fact the Used market for GameStop only account for 50-60% of profits, but when consider that the Used market for GameStop is almost pure profit it is not unlikely that those numbers might be low, and by nature that still means that 40-50% of their business profit is still new products which considering that MSRP usually carries a 100% markup from cost it the numbers still are not as amazing as these "injured" publishers make it out to be.

gardian06:

erttheking:


Yeah, I have a bad feeling that this is going to turn really ugly really fast. Gamestop and DLC, two things on this website that get flamed a lot (the second one for understandable reasons, but I'm completely lost on the first one) yeah, this is going to end badly.

the anger at gamestop is usually in response to how many publishers will say that "the used game market is killing our business, and making it more difficult to justify new IPs, or continuing this one."

when in fact this is counter intuitive because if it were true then these publishers would start blacklisting GameStop, but they haven't because GameStop also does very good business on the new market as they do on the Used market. in fact the Used market for GameStop only account for 50-60% of profits, but when consider that the Used market for GameStop is almost pure profit it is not unlikely that those numbers might be low, and by nature that still means that 40-50% of their business profit is still new products which considering that MSRP usually carries a 100% markup from cost it the numbers still are not as amazing as these "injured" publishers make it out to be.

Hm, thank you for the information. I personally can't help but raise an eyebrow and shake my head at the hatred of used games when a recent poll said that half of the people on this website think that piracy is ok.

So GameStop is adapting to a market that is less conducive to secondhand sales. Ok, fair enough.
Buying codes of optional DLC in a store. Seems reasonable.

Never understood the GameStop hate. Between PSN, XBL, & the slew of online distribution options for the PC, why are they still catching so much flack? Rarely does one see this reaction to any other used market. Why isn't Redbox blamed for destroying the DVD industry? Or Half Priced Books for the novel publishers?
& DLC is entirely optional. If a game doesn't stand up on its own without DLC, don't buy the game. If you already spent $60 on the game, it sounds like it'd be really nice if there was a place you could trade it in! Granted, GameStop could do better on the trade-in value of games that are more than a week old (other outlets frequently offer better rates). I rarely ever trade in a game I enjoyed; it sits on my shelf as a reminder of the joy & accomplishment I felt playing & beating it, but let me tell you this, I was glad to have a store willing to give me money for my copy of Dead Island after it thoroughly disappointed me.

Before anyone calls me a fanboy, I almost never shop at GameStop these days. I'm an indie PC & retro kinda guy. I'm just pointing out some things I've noticed in the community as of late

This is how I bought Minecraft for the 360. My mother still has access to my debit card so that she can add money to my account, but she also gets angry when I spend even ten dollars on games. Solution: withdraw cash and go to GameStop to pick up some Microsoft points or a Steam gift card. Interesting note: when I went to get Minecraft I brought the box up to the front and paid for it, got the code, yadda yadda. Turns out the code was actually for the equivalent value of Microsoft points rather than just a straight download so I still had to go to the XBLA store. I am not sure if all the DLC is like this or just specifically Minecraft. Would make more sense to have it all just be Microsoft points though.

It would be cooler if publishers started to sell the actual content on disc for people that dont have their consoles connected to the internet. Buying a code from a store just seems dumb, its seems that its just for people that are afraid that the interwebs will eat their credit card or something. Isnt that what the points that are sold on stores used for?

Careful there. On-disk DLC is an even greater flame magnet that plain'ol regular DLC. Which I do understand. Paying to unlock content of code already in my posession does feel a bit extortionist. Smooth sailing to you!

shiajun:
Careful there. On-disk DLC is an even greater flame magnet that plain'ol regular DLC. Which I do understand. Paying to unlock content of code already in my posession does feel a bit extortionist. Smooth sailing to you!

Given the shitstorm that blew up in Capcom's face earlier this year over SFxT, id say anyone attempting it again will get whats coming to them.

gigastar:

shiajun:
Careful there. On-disk DLC is an even greater flame magnet that plain'ol regular DLC. Which I do understand. Paying to unlock content of code already in my posession does feel a bit extortionist. Smooth sailing to you!

Given the shitstorm that blew up in Capcom's face earlier this year over SFxT, id say anyone attempting it again will get whats coming to them.

Yeah, they pulled a lot of jerk moves on that one, but it's really not too shocking that it was Capcom that did it. Plus, I wasn't as upset about the DLC thing as much as I was that the game was terrible, and I feel that it may jeopardize Namco making the (what I imagine will be) far superior Tekken X Street-a Fytar.

Someone should inform GameStop that "would you like fries with that" has been a thing for decades now.

Fappy:
Someone should inform GameStop that "would you like fries with that" has been a thing for decades now.

For reals, right? Like now they're all innovators of market techniques. Listen to these hypocrites, all of a sudden praising the guy behind the counter who actually knows what he's talking about when they've been firing these guys for YEARS because they couldn't sell enough magazine subscriptions.

does buy MS points cards count because I've done that before at Gamestop I even bought a used copy of fall out 3 DLC and installed to my hard drive and sold it back within 7 days.

MikeWehner:
From very early on, we understood that we had to do a good job of not only educating the consumer but also educating the person behind the counter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeducation

- A euphemism for Brainwashing, efforts aimed at instilling certain beliefs in people against their will
- Reeducation camp, the name given to the prison camps operated by the government of Vietnam following the end of the Vietnam War
- Re-education through labor, the name given to a system of administrative detentions in the People's Republic of China
- Reeducation camps (Kyohwaso in Korean), the name given to prison labor camps in North Korea

About sums it up and expresses my feelings towards this at the same time.

Dexter111:

MikeWehner:
From very early on, we understood that we had to do a good job of not only educating the consumer but also educating the person behind the counter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reeducation

- A euphemism for Brainwashing, efforts aimed at instilling certain beliefs in people against their will
- Reeducation camp, the name given to the prison camps operated by the government of Vietnam following the end of the Vietnam War
- Re-education through labor, the name given to a system of administrative detentions in the People's Republic of China
- Reeducation camps (Kyohwaso in Korean), the name given to prison labor camps in North Korea

About sums it up and expresses my feelings towards this at the same time.

Yeah no offense, but I kinda have to define another word that I believe describes your post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole

I mean comparing DLC to prison camps in North Korea...really man? Really?

Perhaps it helps that having a physical box makes the DLC more "real" to people? Speaking personally, I have a hard time picturing things if I can't actually hold them, which is the main reason why I prefer cash to credit/debit.

i'm of the opinion that buying it instore is mostly popular due to people being afraid of buying things online

also, people aren't dumb and they know what the other "attachments" are about, but strategy guides have been obsolete since the internet thought "hey, let's talk about video games"

Yeeeep, inb4 hate for GameStop and the trade in system.

By the way, I find it neat that you can trade in your crappy games to buy DLC

Salad Is Murder:

Fappy:
Someone should inform GameStop that "would you like fries with that" has been a thing for decades now.

For reals, right? Like now they're all innovators of market techniques. Listen to these hypocrites, all of a sudden praising the guy behind the counter who actually knows what he's talking about when they've been firing these guys for YEARS because they couldn't sell enough magazine subscriptions.

Thank you. You just described my every day job.

I consider myself a great employee; excellent customer service, I like to help kids as much as lost parents, I keep my store organized...and yet, I barely get 5 hours per week because I don't sell shit because sales is the last thing I care about my job.
It's great to work at Gamestop. But it sucks ball to work FOR Gamestop.

isnt the whole point of DLC is that you dont have to go to store to get it?
whats the point of buying it at gamestop? seriuosly?

As someone who actually worked (past tense) for gamestop, I can tell you a few things. One, there's some really shady stuff that goes on between regional and store managers, up to us actually being asked to lie to customers about whether or not we have something in stock. This sort of tactic is used to artificially boost sales numbers at certain times to make the managers look good. The degree to which we were expected to interact with customers bordered on harassment. About half of the "refurbished" used games aren't actually refurbished. You see, when a game disk gets sold back to gamestop that is damaged or scratched, it's supposed to be sent to a facility that fixes it up. The thing is, this gets that game labeled as shrink, which is the equivalent of theft. As a result, managers who don't want their stores to look bad (something that disqualifies them from bonuses and promotions) will simply put the damaged disks back into cases and put them on sale.

The complaints with gamestop aren't limited to these sleazy in store actions, but can also be justified looking at their overall business strategy. Their goal is to sell games used, because when they do, all profits go to them. The way they do this, however, is detrimental to developers and gamers alike. They brow beat customers to return new games literally hours after they purchase them (don't give them your cell number if you can avoid it, I now get at least one text every time I buy a game new less than 24 hours later asking if I want to return it). They want the games back so soon so that they can cash in on the biggest portion of sales for a new game, within the first two weeks. Sounds good for the customer, right? Wrong. They usually knock off 5 dollars from the price, but neglect to tell you that many new games will be missing content if you buy them used, sometime even leaving stickers on games advertising said content. A friend of mine, working at a different gamestop actually told me he'd been lectured for informing a customer about this situation, which caused that customer to buy a new game instead.

There's a erroneous assumption that developer fears about used games are invalid because of similar situations in the film and book industries. The thing is, developers aren't concerned with the sales a year or so down the line when you clear out a part of your library to get some new games, they are concerned with the fact that some games are literally loosing up to 30 percent of their sales to used games. That's a massive hit. This isn't entirely responsible for, but is certainly involved in creating the incredibly tense and financially tight games industry that results in a lack originality and risk taking for fear of losing what little profitability games still retain.

Final point. The reason a lot of people hate gamestop is despite their "Power to the Player" facade, they don't give a damn about their customers, only their bottom line. Considering how much (deserved) flak EA and Activision take for this mentality, it surprises me that so many escapists are willing to give gamestop a free pass.

 

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