Updated 16th October 2020 | 08:56 IST
GameStop and Microsoft did a multiyear agreement which will give Gamestop a cut of each digital purchase made on Xbox console including digital downloads of full games and DLC, in-game microtransactions, and any subscriptions (which would appear to incorporate things like Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass).
The biggest question is what proportion of a cut GameStop is getting. Neither of the 2 investors that Ars Technica sourced have any concrete answers; GameStop has not yet skilled an invitation for comment. A Microsoft PR representative tells, “We have an incentive structure with GameStop as we do with many of our partners across multiple channels,” which seems like a sort of tacit confirmation albeit it doesn’t add any detail.
THERE ARE tons OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
It’s still unclear: if the deal applies to only games or other digital content purchases (like movies, TV shows, and music).
For years video games are trending toward digital purchases, much to the dismay of shops like GameStop, which make their bread and butter selling (and reselling) physical copies of games and consoles to customers. and therefore the upcoming next-gen consoles throw that issue into further relief: both Microsoft and Sony are offering digital-only options within the sort of the Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition, which cut retailers like GameStop out of the sport purchasing loop entirely.
Cashing in on a cut of these sales could help alleviate a number of the revenue slowdown from digital-only sales, almost like the Universal / AMC deal announced earlier this year that gave stage chain of cut of Universal films that jump to digital retailers early.
That’s, of course, assuming that GameStop’s cut may be a significant chunk of money; one investor speculates that the distribution was simply a sweetener for GameStop’s agreement to use Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure and Surface tablets, instead of the core of the deal itself. Hopefully, GameStop’s next earnings report will help shed some light on the small print.