GameStop Wants to End Digital Bundles in Its Stores

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GameStop executives plan to bring more bundles with physical games to its stores in the future.

Bundles are, understandably, one of gamers’ favorite ways of buying new hardware. Generally packaged with discounted software, they basically guarantee that you’ll have something ready to play when you get your shiny new console home. With digital games becoming more and more prominent however, it’s increasingly becoming the norm for bundles to come with download codes as opposed to a physical disc. If a recent conference call is any indicator however, this is a practice that some retailers intend to push back against.

GameStop executives, speaking in the aforementioned earnings call, have revealed the company’s intention to alter the way it sells bundles. Addressing the issue, COO Tony Bartel stated that the recent trend toward “packed in” digital titles runs contrary to GameStop’s “preference” that “we have physical discs.” Bartel would go on to say that consumers can “anticipate that at GameStop you will see more physical bundles from third parties as opposed to digital bundles.” CEO Paul Raines further commented that “consumers prefer those physical bundles” and cited the value a disc has for things like “the trade-in program at GameStop” as being one of the reasons why.

Speaking personally, I’m kind of inclined to agree. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious why GameStop’s higher-ups want physical games to be the standard for their bundles. The company makes much more money off of its trade-in program than from almost anything else. Bundles packaged with digital titles, in turn, means that customers have fewer games they can trade-in to GameStop. It’s just bad business for the company to promote them. Even if GameStop’s interest is self-motivated though, gamers technically still do get more out of disc-based bundles, so who are we to complain if that’s what the company wants to offer us. What do you guys think? Is this a silly move on GameStop’s part or are you with them in their preference for physical titles?
Source: The Street

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