GameStop has finally given in to Valve’s digital market dominance.
As reported by Kotaku, a source inside GameStop claims that the retail chain will start selling Steam vouchers on May 15th. Also, it’s apparently “kind of a sensitive issue,” so don’t laugh or anything.
The vouchers themselves seem no different from the virtual currency cards offered for Xbox Live, PSN, etc. But there is one key difference. GameStop isn’t in direct competition with PSN or Xbox Live. It is in direct competition with Steam.
GameStop made a spirited attempt to break into the digital distribution business back in July, 2011, when it bought out Stardock’s Impulse distribution system. Impulse was never that big of a player, however, and even combined with GameStop’s existing online store, the service has failed to make a dent in the market.
The vouchers, if they’re not a hoax, seem to indicate that rather than taking a slice out of Steam’s pie, GameStop seems intent to just nibble the crust a little bit, and maybe steal the cherry.