Game developers and publishers might be feeling the economic crunch but retailer GameStop announced today that it enjoyed its eighth straight year of grow in 2008.
GameStop's total sales for the 2008 fiscal year, which ended January 31 2009, reached $8.8 billion, the company said in a statement, a like-for-like increase of 12.3 percent over the previous year. Net earnings increased by over 38 percent to hit $398.3 million. Total sales in the fourth quarter of the fiscal also jumped dramatically, up 21.9 percent to $3.5 billion, with quarterly net earnings of $232.3 million.
"In spite of the current worldwide retail environment, GameStop's financial performance is being driven by delivering to consumers what they want: stores in a wide range of locations, knowledgeable associates and most importantly, options that provide value," CEO Daniel DeMatteo stated. "Our affinity with consumers, combined with our solid business model, prudent financial management practices, expansive brand presence and strategic merchandising, allowed us to achieve a record eighth straight year of sales and earnings growth."
"Looking at 2009, we are confident in our ability to increase sales and earnings, generate significant cash, advance market share, and maintain a financially sound balance sheet," he continued. "We have positioned GameStop to offer video game consumers worldwide the best values for gaming."
But whether GameStop will be able to continue to put up impressive numbers is the subject of same debate. Videogaming continues to grow in popularity but so do digital distribution networks like Steam and Direct2Drive. Many game publishers are also anxious to bring a halt to used game sales, which is responsible for a significant portion of GameStop's revenue. Most observers agree that the videogame retail sector will face serious challenges in the very near future and GameStop will have to adapt to that changing landscape or risk a slide into irrelevance.