GameStop has been in a tough spot. As the digital age takes its toll, more consumers are avoiding retail stores in favor of direct downloads. In addition to having to close over 150 stores due to this problem, the chain suffered a major data breach with regards to credit card information. GameStop also lost a CEO just mere months after he accepted the role. This hasn’t been the first time that technology has ended the reign of a store chain (remember Blockbuster?), and it’s unlikely to be the last. However, all may not be lost as GameStop aims for new avenues to stay afloat — because the company is officially jumping in the esports boat full-tilt.
In true fashion of the saying, “Get with the times,” GameStop is embracing esports in the construction of a new “Performance Center” in Frisco, Texas. The company is going into business with popular esports organization Complexity Gaming in order to make this happen. The new venue will be 11,000 square feet, serving as Complexity’s new base of operations moving forward. The gaming company is partially owned by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and it will operate alongside the football team geographically.
While there has been a discussion about more pro events, the GameStop Performance Center also aims to get aspiring esports stars on board as well. It will host a public gaming area where fans can go play their favorite esports games and make connections in the esports scene. GameStop is also offering “gaming clinics” aimed at helping gamers improve their skill at popular esports games like Overwatch and Fortnite. These clinics, in combination with amateur events the Performance Center plans to host, could provide a solid base for GameStop to grow in the new direction they’re embarking on.
GameStop’s not stopping at their new super arena, either. The company is also aiming to host Overwatch parties across the United States and is teaming up with Collegiate Star League as well. They plan on hosting both on-campus and fully online tournaments across colleges. This seems to be a smart turnaround for GameStop, with the company seeing a new angle in light of their dying retail chains. This makes sense, too, with their branding. The name “GameStop” could very easily become a household name as the company where players “stop off to game” instead of a more traditional shop label. It will be interesting to see what other roads the company will go down regarding their involvement in esports.
What’re your thoughts on the new Performance Center? Will you be gaming there? Let us know!
Programmer. Writer. Digital media specialist. A competitive gamer in the sense that I’m competing with the constant urge to throw the controller across the room.