The current year has been full of unforeseen situations not very pleasant for the video game industry. To list them all would merit a great effort, but in the case that concerns us here, GameStop is one of the most recent.
The company’s CEO, George Sherman, has been confident about the fate that the brand holds. In this regard, a conference was recently held with the financial results of the company, during which he acknowledged the difficulties they will face for the supremacy of the digital games.
I think it is fair to say that, historically, we have probably had a preference for physical games over digital games, and we have been clear in saying, internally and externally, that we are going to be agnostic and that it should be the consumer’s decision what we should sell.
Jim Bell, CFO of GameStop, said that since both the Xbox Scarlett and PlayStation 5 will have disc slots, they expect the physical sales of new generation titles to remain, although he also insists that it has been the step from one generation to another that has made the reorganization of their ranks become a more convoluted procedure.
Throughout the last year, we had endless news related to layoffs within the world of video games. Telltale Games, Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, ArenaNet. Many have been the “big brands” that, in the most recent months, have made massive cuts in personnel, which has evidenced the precarious work ecosystem that, unfortunately, the video game industry has.
However, this is a context that not only concerns developers and distributors but has also involved renowned store chains such as GameStop.
GameStop announced that they will close between 180 and 200 establishments before the end of the fiscal year.
We are on track to close between 180 and 200 stores with low performance globally before the end of this fiscal year . And while these closures were more opportunistic, we will apply a more definitive and analytical approach, including revenue levels and sales transferability, which we expect will produce a much larger number of closures in the next 12 to 24 months.
Unfortunately, the bad news for GameStop did not stop there, more than 120 workers have been laid off, including staff of the well-known American magazine Game Informer.
That is equivalent to 14% of its total staff. Seven were editors in various positions and there were also up to 19 full-time professionals dismissed.
As part of our initiative to restart GameStop to transform our business for the future and improve our financial performance, we confirm that a reduction in the workforce has been implemented, impacting more than 120 corporate staff positions, which represents an approximate of 14% of our total base of associates in our headquarters as well as in other offices.
Despite this, Sherman says that, ultimately, it is the user’s choice, and that consequently they should adapt to the tastes. In any case, they intend to make their digital products easier to acquire and more in line with what they sell at the moment.
The truth is that GameStop is still one of the most important chains of video game sales worldwide, especially if we consider its massive presence in the United States.