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GameStop Boss: Disc-Based Games Are Here To Stay

Many gaming executives, including Microsoft's Robbie Bach, believe the next generation of consoles won't support physical media.

But some industry bosses believe digital and physical will continue to coexist. GameStop chief executive Paul Raines is one of those people, as he informed Fortune in a new interview.

In fact, he thinks discs will continue on forever:

"Disc-based games will be around forever. The market has seen physical music sales down 50% from its peak and physical movie sales down 60% from its peak, but even in a doomsday scenario, disc-based games will be around for a long time.

I see a complimentary business where we sell discs plus download like the current console mode. Virtual reality games will also likely follow this model."

Of course, GameStop will need to increase its digital business and they've taken strides in that direction. Thanks to the sale of DLC and download codes (among other things), the retailer has "a pretty healthy digital business," according to Raines. In fact, GameStop expects to earn over $1 billion in that area this year; in the past year, it grew 11 percent.

Well, let's hope discs stick around. Real collectors will still need them. By the way, if you need some work this holiday season, GameStop is hiring 28,000 temporary employees.

Tags: gamestop, game discs, digital media, physical game media

9/30/2015 11:17:22 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (15 posts)


Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 12:38:25 PM
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Games will not be shrinking in size anytime soon, and broadband speeds aren't fast enough. So if media companies want to stay alive, then they need to keep physical formats alive, whether they want to or not.

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Bio
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 1:01:11 PM
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The CEO of a company that is dependent on the pawn shop business model is obviously going to express confidence in the future of that model. When gaming goes 100% digital, Gamestop is done as a retailer. Almost all of their profit comes from screwing over people looking to sell their games, and then marking them back up. They will make zero dollars on selling digital downloads.

His words are about as trustworthy as EA saying their latest EA game is going to be the best EA game yet.

Last edited by Bio on 9/30/2015 1:02:11 PM

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maxpontiac
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 2:49:52 PM
Reply

That is how I see it too. Now while things can change, there are to many collector types out there who like the discs with their case.

I have Gran Turismo 1-6 on a shelf, and it's a collection I hope to continue till I am unable to play that game.

I see nothing wrong with having BOTH digital and physical forms of media.

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Bio
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 5:50:59 PM

Problems with using obsolete physical media:

Moving parts means less reliable hardware

Disc drives means more expensive hardware

Proprietary disc formats mean royalties, which means more expensive games because publishers never take the financial hit; they just pass it along.

Consumers pay the cost of physical manufacture, packaging, shipping and distribution of physical media, which keeps prices consistently and artificially higher than they should be across the board.

Physical media can be scratched, snapped, burned, or otherwise ruined by circumstance. Digital media is immortal.

Physical media is environmentally wasteful.

Physical media shot my dog.

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Cesar_ser_4
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 8:12:48 PM

You'd have to be EXTREMELY un-intelligent to scratch a BD. Videogames automatically instal on your HDD and the only spinning that happens is the one to authenticate that the game's disc is inserted. Up until now I have not seen digital games costing less than or go down in price as fast as physical.

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Bio
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 11:15:49 PM

Blu-Ray will be obsolete after this generation, and there's no guarantee any succeeding physical format will be as sturdy. That said, scratching isn't the only way to damage a disc. We've got a hurricane inbound this weekend, and if my house gets wiped out by it (highly unlikely given where I live, just as an example), on top of having to replace all my furniture and clothing and, you know, my house, I'd have to replace my game collection, comprising hundreds of games worth thousands of dollars. If it were physical.

But it's not. 99% of my game library is on Steam, which means fire, flood, tornado, shitty moving companies who lose your stuff, doesn't matter I don't have to worry about it.

As for games installing to your HDD, your HDD has moving parts, too, dude. Maybe the next gen will have SSDs like you find in gaming PCs, but realistically no, no they won't.

If you haven't seen digital games go down in price "as fast as physical" then you're simply looking in the wrong place. I got Tomb Raider and DmC Devil May Cry for $12.49 each, each less than 3 months after launch, on Steam. Most games are 50% off for weeks in the quarterly sale following their launch. Most games on Steam are only $50 on launch day compared to $60.

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Neo_Aeon666
Thursday, October 01, 2015 @ 1:08:20 AM

bleh Bio

They still pay royalties for digital media. Plus you have nothing that garanties you can still play it later.

And digital media as it is now is like some deffective baby missing an arm and leg trying to rip you off selling at the same price than physical but with none of the benefits other than you not having to move your butt to put the disc inside XD

Digital media is good for crazy sales where you pay some 50-60$ game 5$ 1 year after its release. It's not good for new releases that you are willing to fork 50-60$ over. You have no resell value and no control on it. You just shelled 60$ for some long lenght rental crap.

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 10/1/2015 1:08:40 AM

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Underdog15
Thursday, October 01, 2015 @ 7:26:17 AM

Maybe I'm just unlucky, but I've had far more issues with freezing, corrupted data, etc. with downloadable games than the physical media.

Digital being more reliable has not been my experience.

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Cesar_ser_4
Thursday, October 01, 2015 @ 1:40:24 PM

We're talking about console games Bio.

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trumpetmon65
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 5:04:16 PM
Reply

The only cds I see are tejano bands and singers.

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Underdog15
Thursday, October 01, 2015 @ 7:27:55 AM

People love buying albums still. And there's even a recent trend to want to buy vinyl, even for brand new stuff.

Your favorite artists gotta sign something, right?

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Beamboom
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 @ 8:40:13 PM
Reply

Real collectors collect collectors editions, and they won't go away anytime soon, even if what's inside eventually will be just a code for the download (since none of the gaming machines will have mechanical drives anymore).


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/30/2015 8:40:28 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Thursday, October 01, 2015 @ 1:10:41 AM
Reply

I will always support physical media for the big games I buy Day One.

Will use digital for crazy sales on older games I didn't buy at release and pay a few bucks to play :D

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Banky A
Thursday, October 01, 2015 @ 2:10:15 AM
Reply

Hey guys off topic but I thought I'd let everyone know I just won:

- Limited Edition Forza Motorsport 6 Xbox One Console Bundle
- Logitech G920 Driving Force Wheel

Check it out http://nzgamer.com/news/9454/the-winner-of-our-forza-6-xbox-one-competition-is.html

Guess I have the two big boys now. Will post again on a Sunday week in review article just in case anyone owns an Xbox One :)

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PS3_Wizard
Friday, October 02, 2015 @ 7:51:09 AM

Congratz!

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