Yes, nothing is ever free. There's always a "kickback" somewhere in the money trail. Nobody is saying they wouldn't save money if they cut out Gamestop.
It depends on what you think is the better advertising vehicle. Publishers don't pay gamestop to push the games because it doesn't work.
You have to take away all the hatred all of us has for gamestop. The proof is in the pudding and gamestop is very good at what it does, which is push games towards soccer moms and non-dealhunters.
If it was easy to cut out the middle man, don't you think it would have been done already?
I'm not arguing that in a perfect world for them, publishers would be able to market directly to consumers and deliver goods directly to them. I'm just saying Gamestop holds significant influence right now in the distribution channel. To which that dude dothog said something along the lines that no retailers have influence on an industry. Which is clearly not true because of one answer: walmart.
And in the video game industry, it's gamestop. It was actually his ridiculously flippant remark about how gamestop has about as much influence as cinnabon that started this whole argument. (And of course he's not around anymore cause he's wrong.) If gamestop didn't have influence, the publishers wouldn't be in such a rush to kill them.
To quote Reggie Jackson, they don't boo nobodies.
I don't hate GameStop. They didn't invent co-op advertising. They're just the current kings of it in the console gaming industry.
But then, I didn't hate Blockbuster either. But if you asked me in 2002 whether there would still be a Blockbuster store on every other block in Southern CA in ten years, I'd have told you then they would be all gone or nearly so. Today, they're nearly all gone. Their core business stopped making sense for too much of the market.
GameStop has an absurd density in my region. Two of them are across the street from each other, with one inside a large shopping mall while the other is outdoor storefront a few doors down from a Target. Another is just a few miles south on the nearby freeway. Another still somewhat farther to the north. Extending out farther to the San Fernando Valley, they aren't as common as Blockbusters were upon a time but the volume of stores is absurd. It will only take a slight downturn to cause a bunch of stores to be shut down and I expect to see it within three years.
It is little different in most major metro areas. I recall a mall near the convention center in San Diego with multiple GameStops, one on each floor. (A lot of those are holdovers from when the malls had a Software, Etc. and an Electronic Boutique before one ate the other.)
They pay GameStop because GameStop demands it. This is something big retailers have been doing for decades for many kinds of products. Back in the 80s when I worked in a computer store we had to sell some major items for cost to compete. But the big companies like Epson offered 'spiffs' to make it worth pushing their product. It essentially meant I was getting my commission from Epson instead of my employer. It also meant that Epson was the best damn printer in the world.
When small computer dealers largely died off, the Epsons of the industry were perfectly happy to work through big online companies like Amazon. It was more cost effective and they moved more product than they ever did through the small shops.
No, it isn't easy to cut out the middle-man. It wasn't even a possibility until a few years ago. The word 'disintermediation' was big during the dot.bomb bubble but like a lot of things was highly premature. It was accurate but failed to consider how long some things take. Broadband internet service needed to reach a certain percentage of consumers. Done. Consumers needed to be made conceptually aware of downloading as a sales channel for software. Done. Many such platforms are now thriving.
Their focus on used game sales makes the relationship with GameStop a love-hate problem. The co-op demands is another issue but the general public has little awareness of that. Ultimately, though, it is about efficiency. A pure download platform offers levels of efficiency for Apple and Amazon that the console makers have long lusted after. This is something they were going to do even if there were no used game sales.
GameStop knows where things are headed. They negotiate the shortest leases they can for their storefronts. They have plans well in place for reducing the store density as retail sales dry up and ultimately withdrawing from less profitable regions altogether as the business winds down.http://www.reuters.c...E8320U320120403
They won't come out and say, yeah, this is a dying business but it doesn't take much effort to read between the lines. They suck out as much money as they can before it's time to go looking for new prospects.
If I thought I needed to get out in the sunshine I'd play Boktai.