GameStop Blames Someone New For Plummeting Sales
GameStop is blaming a lack of new games and platform exclusivity for its dropping sales.
GameStop is blaming hardware manufacturers and gaming publishers for poor sales, with the company in serious trouble once again after it was saved by memes in 2021. As reported by Kotaku, GameStop had a profitable 2022, but the sales were still below expectations, particularly in the North American market. Its financial report for 2022, which was submitted to investors, outlines a significant hurdle that GameStop and other gaming retailers face: lack of good games and platform exclusivity.
As stated in the company’s report, retailers depend on hardware manufacturers and game developers, and publishers to deliver video games and hardware to consumers in sufficient quantities to meet the demand. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in recent years, partly due to the pandemic, which resulted in massive gaming delays and chip shortages. The latter subsequently caused the disruption in PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X supplies and had a part to play in exorbitant GPU price increases that happened over the past two or three years.
GameStop’s report also states that there simply aren’t as many good titles releasing nowadays—something we agree with—correlating the short supply of entertainment software with the lack of hardware and how the two have affected sales. This is pretty reasonable from the company’s standpoint. The lack of good titles in particular, considering that companies such as Square Enix usually make a mediocre live service game with a high-profile title sticker, which dies within two years of its release—yes, we’re referring to Marvel’s Avengers.
GameStop also added that recent acquisitions of gaming companies by console manufacturers also play a crucial role. Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard is the first that comes to mind, especially with Starfield being an Xbox exclusive, but Sony has a much “richer” history of exclusivity compared to Xbox and any of its subsidiaries. GameStop believes that this consolidation could also lead to fewer titles being manufactured, which, paired with more expensive games, would ultimately result in port sales.
However, those situations only harm retailers and not online customers.
It’s worth noting that GameStop’s profitability is a technical victory; following an orchestrated short squeeze that increased the company’s stock value by over 6900% (yes, that’s right), the company continued to struggle on other fronts. This includes the ever-increasing employee frustration and store closures due to the digitalization of the gaming industry since most gamers now buy their games and gaming hardware in a true gamer-like fashion: online and with home delivery.
Unfortunately, GameStop’s report sounds like a deathbed confession, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Retailers all around are having a hard time keeping up with services such as Xbox Game Pass and other digital gaming deals. Additionally, there really aren’t that many new AAA gaming titles that are also worthwhile and not complete junk, which ultimately proves the point they’re trying to make. This all sounds so early-2000’s when we really had approximately two or three AAA releases that were actually good—so good that they’re worthwhile even now, some 20 years later.