The struggling national video game chain GameStop is trying to reinvent itself, according to a report from Forbes. It seems in a last-ditch effort to not become totally obsolete, they are now turning to esports. In order for them to do that they have enlisted the services of R/GA, a design firm. They want one type of store where local esports players would congregate and another that would house retro games and consoles.
It sounds interesting and would probably bring in some numbers, but will it be enough? Frank Hamlin, GameStop’s Chief Customer Officer, seems to be pretty optimistic about this new enterprise: “We’re on a journey to use our vast retail footprint to provide an engaging and well-thought-out experience that enhances our consumers’ gaming interests.”
The main issue GameStop and its counterpart EB Games are facing is that gamers are purchasing things mostly online. Look at Blockbuster; Netflix pretty much killed it. Yes, there is still the thrill of owning the physical copy of a game with sweet preorder bonuses, but sales are just not there. EB Games here in Canada is actually selling more collectible-themed items in most of its stores in an attempt to draw in customers. Yes, esports could be a big drawing point for GameStop if they do start their own homegrown leagues. However, there are so many other places that do that. Many local bars and even specifically set-up esports complexes are popping up everywhere. Why go to GameStop?
Not too many details are known at this time beyond what they intend to do. We just have to wait for some more information for them. I am intrigued, but it doesn’t exactly make me want to actively go there. People will check it out, but a new twist on a thing can only last so long. With that, I say good luck, GameStop.