GameStop refuses to fade into the oblivion. The retailer has kept busy with a series of acquisitions (it just bought out game streaming tech company Spawn Labs, and last year picked up social gaming developer Kongregate) hinting it has plans for online, app-like game distribution. Earlier this week company president Tony Bartel revealed to Gamasutra these tablet-focused plans, saying “If we can work with our partners and the OEMs, and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a Bluetooth controller, then there’s no need to go out and develop our own. But if we can’t find one that’s great for gaming, then we will create our own.”
Bold words, we know. But it just shows how serious GameStop is about making the transition to mobile gaming. Tablets and smartphones are quickly becoming the first choice for gamers of varying interest levels and skill. While this might just mean more people who wouldn’t usually give Mortal Kombat a spin are, GameStop wants – and likely needs – a piece of this growing market.
Don’t worry too much, though, the company isn’t forsaking its more traditional gamers. It isn’t bulldozing its physical stores anytime soon, and used game and trade-in service aren’t being eliminated. Instead, Gamestop’s looking to become something of a hybrid, appealing to the latest craze of mobile gaming and also providing for its console and PC gamers.
But GameStop is definitely embracing some change, and announced it has even opened its own Facebook store where you can buy games, peruse game trailers, find ratings or stores, and of course – like and share certain games or gaming accessories with your Facebook friends. As for more practical purposes, the page will also allow for pre-order, which gives you the option of delivery or in-store pickup. Better yet, your Facebook loyality to GameStop is rewarded with the ability to earn points for purchases on the platform. It’s a major step into the e-commerce world, and one that gels well with its future tablet plans.