In a rather unusual twist, digital distributor Green Man Gaming is moving into boxed game sales.
The future is digital, so they say, and that's why this Green Man Gaming thing feels kind of weird. It's the "fastest-growing digital games distributor" in Europe, and yet in a complete mirror image of Gamestop's struggle to stay relevant by moving into digital distribution and partnerships with Steam, Green Man Gaming announced today that it is branching out into boxed game sales for the PC and adding console titles to its repertoire.
It won't be putting up brick-and-mortar stores across the U.K., but beginning July 27 GMG will begin allowing customers to order boxed versions of major releases, starting with Darksiders 2 and Sleeping Dogs. Boxed game sales will initially be limited to customers in the U.K. but the company intends to roll the service out to other parts of the world in the future.
"We're already established in the digital space where the rest of the retail market is slowly turning its attention, so adding PC boxed, PS3 and Xbox 360 games gives us a much wider portfolio of key titles for our core gaming audience," said Green Man Gaming Managing Director Paul Sulyok. "With more than £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) spent annually in the U.K. alone on boxed games product, we believe there's room for an agile, ambitious E-commerce retailer like GMG to provide this service in the U.K. and beyond."
It's an unexpected but very interesting maneuver. Although the time frame is debatable, there's little question that companies like Gamestop, who rely on retail game sales, will eventually fall victim to the digital revolution. But game sellers who are already at the forefront of that revolution could very well find a useful and profitable niche serving weirdos like me who insist on having colorful pieces of shaped cardboard cluttering up rows upon rows of shelves.