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GameStop Stock Price Tanks After Microsoft Announces New Digital-Gaming Service (venturebeat.com) 90

After Microsoft announced Xbox Game Pass earlier this week -- a monthly service coming this spring that will give you a selection of games you can download and play on your Xbox One for $9.99 a month, GameStop's stock price dropped nearly 8 percent. The news likely worries investors who view Xbox's instant game library a potential threat to GameStop's sales. VentureBeat reports: The brick-and-mortar retailer makes quite a lot of its money from secondhand sales where it resells products that consumers have traded in. If more people are playing digital games, that takes product out of the supply chain that could end up on GameStop store shelves. Additionally, Game Pass looks like it will primarily traffic in older games that people would typically would purchase used. Older releases like Mad Max, Saints Row IV, and Halo 5 are some of the big options that Microsoft is highlighting. Of course, GameStop isn't completely removed from the digital-gaming ecosystem. The retailer sells a lot of currency cards for the Xbox Store, the PlayStation Store, the Steam PC-gaming portal, and it's possible that people who don't like using a credit card will purchase cards to buy their subscription to Game Pass through GameStop. But that will likely not make up for a dearth of used-game sales or trade-ins if a lot of people adopt a Game Pass subscription.
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GameStop Stock Price Tanks After Microsoft Announces New Digital-Gaming Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 03, 2017 @05:20AM (#53968415)

    I'm amazed that anyone cares at all about either GameStop or Microsoft's store when Steam, GoG and Humble Store are around.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      More importantly, I don't know why Gamestop's stock would tank by the announcement of yet another Me Too digital service when most digital services barely make a dent on the ecosystem compared to Steam - and steam is already around, selling some/many of the games being highlighted.

      ie: investors don't know shit about the gaming industry. This is the same type of people that made Nintendo's stock surge without first checking to see if Nintendo actually owned or will be getting the bulk of the cash from the Po

      • by stealth_finger ( 1809752 ) on Friday March 03, 2017 @06:42AM (#53968543)

        I don't know why Gamestop's stock would tank by the announcement of yet another Me Too digital service when most digital services barely make a dent on the ecosystem compared to Steam - and steam is already around, selling some/many of the games being highlighted.

        So steam is on consoles is it? And consoles aren't the last bastion of physical sales? Who is it who doesn't know shit?

        • If you define a Steambox as a console (which technically, you should, because it is), then yes, it's on a console. Not an extraordinarily popular console, but still, a console.

      • The creator of the hardware and owner of its network and marketplace can't be so easily dismissed as just another "me too digital service." They face no legitimate competition here and will make a mint.

    • I'm amazed that anyone cares at all about either GameStop or Microsoft's store when Steam, GoG and Humble Store are around.

      Not on xbox they're not.

      • Not on xbox they're not.

        I'm amazed that anyone cares about Xbox when most of the best games are ported to PC since it's little more than a re-skin and recompile, to get mediocre performance anyway. And since the current consoles are just a mediocre PC, a decent PC will run them fine anyway.

        • I'm amazed that anyone cares about Xbox when most of the best games are ported to PC since it's little more than a re-skin and recompile, to get mediocre performance anyway.

          Maybe some people would prefer to relax on a couch in front of the TV while gaming...

          • Maybe some people would prefer to relax on a couch in front of the TV while gaming...

            It's 2017. You can have that with a PC these days.

            • Yes, you can, but in practice it tends to be single "tech guys" with money to burn on tech toys that do it.

          • A HDMI cable works on the TV as well as the monitor. In fact, I wind up using my TV as a way to watch YouTube more than I do regular broadcasting.

        • I'm amazed that anyone cares about PC when most of the best supposedly "PC only" games will get ported to console. And since Windows is a mediocre OS, why not play the games on something that doesn't run Windows.

        • Not on xbox they're not.

          I'm amazed that anyone cares about Xbox when most of the best games are ported to PC since it's little more than a re-skin and recompile, to get mediocre performance anyway. And since the current consoles are just a mediocre PC, a decent PC will run them fine anyway.

          Maybe because they're cheap to buy, easy to run and just sit there and play the games without crying about drivers or some other compatibility issue you'll spend hours googling all while getting the lions share of the performance a top line pc would offer? Especially when most AAA games these days are designed for consoles and PC is lucky to get an optimised port but mostly its a shitty port. Unless you're into the indie scene or are only interested in pushing the absolute maximum amount of pixels there's r

          • Maybe because they're cheap to buy, easy to run and just sit there and play the games without crying about drivers or some other compatibility issue

            Consoles have massive updates that you have to wait for just like PCs now, Consoles have all the complexity of a PC with all kinds of free reboots and whatnot, Consoles have all the hardware complexity of a PC with an optical drive to fail, which is locked to the console to make it hard for you to repair it. Console controllers have propietary wireless interfaces, even Sony really does since they play fast and loose with bluetooth.

            • Consoles have all the complexity of a PC with all kinds of free reboots and whatnot,

              What are you talking about?

              Consoles have all the hardware complexity of a PC with an optical drive to fail, which is locked to the console to make it hard for you to repair it.

              So? PC DVD drives fail as well, besides most PC's DON'T have blu-ray drives. If they did, they could slap the PC version on a blu ray and not have to have you download 30-50 GB with their "downloader" And if a console blu-ray drive fails, send it in to Sony/Microsoft, they'll fix it. Though I haven't had a console optical drive fail since the early model PS2.

              Console controllers have propietary wireless interfaces, even Sony really does since they play fast and loose with bluetooth.

              DS3's/DS4's work just fine over Bluetooth....in Linux...including Steam. Windows user?

              • DS3's/DS4's work just fine over Bluetooth....in Linux...including Steam. Windows user?

                Yes. There are patches in BlueZ specifically for Sony controller compatibility. They support the PS3 blu-ray remote, too.

    • by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Friday March 03, 2017 @06:32AM (#53968529)
      really that is amazing news, when did steam, GoG and humble store come to Xbox, playstation and Nintendo?
    • Every time the possibility of games consoles running downloaded games comes up, a contingent on Slashdot always insists such a thing will never happen because broadband isn't available to everyone and that even if 90% of potential console users have access to broadband, the console will fail because not everyone has it.

      I've always thought that's a complete load a nonsense, but I guess, kinda sorta, we're about to find out how loyal to non-connectivity console users are. If this turns out to be a roaring

      • Umm, consoles ALREADY have (and have had for years) digital downloads, and a lot of us console players have most of their PS4/Xbox One games as digital downloads. This GamePass thing is essentially a cross between Gamefly and Playstation Now (Sony's Gaikai/Onlive derived service)

        IMHO this will go over better with the "dudebro sports and brown shooter crowd" who tend to only play those games, rather than say the generalist gamers or RPG guys.

    • by Karlt1 ( 231423 )

      Maybe because a lot of gamers don't want to deal with hassle of PCs?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    have been on the chopping block for a few years now. everything is going digital delivery and/or one-time-use serials tied to your account.

    the subscription access deals are more aimed at killing the rental market, i think, though. if it hurts used market some, that's just an added bonus for microsoft.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft pulled the rug from under the competition? Colour me surprised!

    Expect Microsoft to start doing the same thing to Windows gamers. Forced updates, UWP apps and that new "option" that disallows installing applications that don't come from the store is just the beginning. Soon, you can kiss Steam goodbye (I predict that Windows 11 Home Edition users will not be allowed to install non store or non UWP apps... you just wait and see).

    Valve and Epic Games (and everyone else with half a brain) already saw

    • Re:Expected (Score:4, Informative)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday March 03, 2017 @05:57AM (#53968483)

      Soon, you can kiss Steam goodbye (I predict that Windows 11 Home Edition users will not be allowed to install non store or non UWP apps... you just wait and see).

      The numbers don't support your argument. I'm sure all 20 owners of Windows 11 will be disappointed. Hell even Windows 10 isn't selling that well. I use Windows 7 and have NO plans to change. So uhh, I think it might be a case of the tail wagging the dog. Microsoft will code themselves right out of their own market if they do this.

      • I don't want to leave Win 7 either but if I want to keep using Windows I'll have to someday. Some day new hardware won't have drivers for 7, some day most new games won't work on 7.
        I hate Win 10 as much as anyone and I plan to only use it as a games console when I do have to use it but people can only keep using Win 7 for so long.
        • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

          some day most new games won't work on 7.

          You'd think so, but Microsoft has REALLY shitty support for developers nowadays, too. It's almost as if they're doing you a favor. Not to mention they keep obfuscating their SDK's with every new release, as well as obfuscating Visual Studio (all in the name of trying to make things simpler - they fix one thing and break 3 others). I haven't seen a great rush to supporting DirectX 11 or higher exclusively yet. Coders will code for the largest possible market and right now Windows 10 ain't it (even when Micro

    • anti trust issues will stop MS from going store only and the EU make give them some big smack down if they try to cut off steam / non store games in windows.

  • GameStop wil die (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GuB-42 ( 2483988 ) on Friday March 03, 2017 @05:40AM (#53968463)

    Brick and mortar video game shops will end up like movie rental shops. They will disappear if they still rely on video games sales as their main source of income.
    The video games industry is moving away from selling supports. In fact, most of the time, they are selling keys, the disc is just here so that you don't have to download the content, and that's only if there aren"t mandatory updates as big as the whole game.
    Publishers also do everything they can to limit the second-hand market since it doesn't make them any money. They can do it the "evil" way : making the game tied to a non-transferable online account, or the "good" way : offering massive discounts on older games, effectively undercutting the second-hand market. Often they do both.

    Brick and mortar shops may survive by focusing on hardware, merchandise, and collector items. They may also attempt to build communities (organizing events, competitions, etc...). But software alone won't cut it.

    • by zabbey ( 985424 )
      Which video rental stores didn't rely on video rentals as their main source of income?
    • They were supposed to act as demand drivers then go themselves into the hardware business itself. I was just deprived of an important collection of DS cartridges and only find out there are LESS GameStop stores around! And many less nintends after nintendo s suicide. But I only want to play nintendo (and PC) games! Those are still the best games around, but no one has noticed. The new amazon consoles are only so so and do NOT make up for a nintendo DSi at all! Donwload is great but it is better to have SOME
  • It's a very bad thing to see consoles become ever-more vertical, the reality is that Gamestop sucks. I couldn't really care if they fail because they've been screwing over customers and staff for years.
  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Friday March 03, 2017 @05:53AM (#53968479)
    Fuck retail stores. About 10 years or so ago, BEFORE services like Steam, major retailers like GameStop decided to cut down on their stock of PC games and stock many more console games. Because somehow they felt that "piracy" was going to kill PC gaming, but console games were going to be a sure thing because they're just that much harder to pirate. Well you reap what you sow. PC games are still selling strong. Steam made 3.5 billion US dollars last year, and Steam is not the only seller of PC games. And console makers are starting to clue in that they don't NEED a middle-man either. Maybe this way more money can go to the people who actually develop titles instead of useless middle men who think they get to have a say in what gets to go on the shelf. Oh yes, pay to play is alive and well in retail. If you're a little guy good fucking luck ever getting your product into a place like GameStop. And the mall owner shouldn't worry too much, I'm sure they will always find another cell phone store to plug that hole.
    • I seriously miss SoftwareEtc.

      • I seriously miss SoftwareEtc.

        They were seriously good for a mall store, weren't they? I got my Amiga 500 bundle there.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
        In a ways I do - but that's nostalgia. I miss the excitement of being young and browsing for the latest titles for my monthly computer game purchase. However I do not miss the drive to the mall, the crowded parking, the obnoxious staff, and the disappointment when they don't have that killer new game that I just had to have. Nowadays click click click and 5 minutes later I have it without ever leaving my desk, let alone my house.
    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      And the mall owner shouldn't worry too much, I'm sure they will always find another cell phone store to plug that hole.

      Mall owners are worrying too. Large retail/clothing stores like JC Penny, Macys, and Sears are closing up everywhere, and Amazon and other online retailers are taking a big bite out of the smaller stores that typically populate malls.

      • It comes and goes. Amazon is looking to get into the brick and mortar department, Wal-Mart is booming, and Target isn't doing too bad. Specialty stores will always be something that hits malls (places like Wet Seal or Hot Topic are never going away), but the big retail chains will always be in flux. I'm sure 20 years from now, the Sears Auto shop may be gone, but there will be an Amazon Auto that replaces it, offering 24/7 service, and offering specials for self-driving cars.

        • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

          It comes and goes. Amazon is looking to get into the brick and mortar department, Wal-Mart is booming, and Target isn't doing too bad.

          Target has seen dropping sales for the past 6 quarters. So they are struggling too.

          Oh, and off topic, but Slashdot, you are now serving an ad that takes you away from the comment box when you are typing. An ad is literally keeping people from participating in this site. You need to fix that. Now

  • by HalAtWork ( 926717 ) on Friday March 03, 2017 @09:09AM (#53969051)

    The MS service has a rotating list of games that only stay on for 30 days, is mostly comprised of first party games and others that are close to $10 used anyway. For RPGs, sports games, multiplayer games, fighting games, etc you're probably going to spend a lot more than 30 days with them, and on top of that you have to download these 20-50+ GB games to play them at all, which realistically limits many americans to 10 games a month if they don't do much else with their internet connection... And how are you going to play through them so quickly before they get swapped out?

    All in all it probably won't change things much for Gamestop, buying a game physically is a lot more convenient and easier to enjoy compared to this service.

  • Wasn't there a news about Twitch opening their own online game store? But it's now CLEARLY only because of Microsoft that this company tanks, eh? Well, whatever. I guess it's simply the Circle of Life that the new pushes out the old, right Gamestop?
    • No, that was about Twitch providing a "buy this game" button while you're watching the stream. That button would go to Amazon. It works the same way that the "go to game's page on PSN" works when you're watching a stream on a PS4. In fact the PS4 has had that feature since the beginning.

  • by QlooQl ( 4602035 ) on Friday March 03, 2017 @11:15AM (#53969885)
    Gamestop owns a sizable chunk of the download business (about $1 billion of digital downloads per year). They also own a chunk of Steam and benefit by selling Steam cards and digital codes and will sell the Xbox cards. I don't think the closing of stores is new, that is inevitable. Gamestop's plan to convert old stores to ThinkGeek stores is probably going to go the way of Sharper Image... The console refresh cycle is just beginning though. I know it's impossible for /. readers to comprehend, but not everyone thinks computers and digital downloads are "easy".
  • It'll be interesting to see if the release of the Nintendo Switch recovers some of this loss. I'm not into Nintendo stuff but a bunch of friends have spoken very highly of it so far (or at least the new Zelda game). I can imagine if they get a bunch of sales in the next couple weeks, they can make a song and dance about it and it might have a strong upward effect on the price.

    • by cfalcon ( 779563 )

      > It'll be interesting to see if the release of the Nintendo Switch recovers some of this loss.

      It won't. More importantly, it can't.

      This loss is based on speculation- this is about Gamestop's stock market price. It is going down because people are assuming that the company is more likely to experience hardship as a result of Microsoft's latest whatevermajig.

      The Switch, on the other hand, is a known quantity, and everyone is assuming it will sell out immediately, because Nintendo never makes enough for

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