NOV. 12, 2009 • GameStop will start testing a novel variation on micro-transactions starting in 2010. The concept is to combine in-store customer service with digital ordering. If a consumer learns of a game upgrade while visiting a store, they can order the item before leaving and have the download available when they return home.
Impact: A retailer like GameStop faces a huge issue with the growth of digital distribution threatening their brick and mortar business. However, GameStop is also a great place for consumers to make impulse purchases so they could still have an opportunity to play in a world of digital distribution. However, in the long term there is a major question of whether game specialty retailers will go the way of music specialty retailers. There is nothing to prevent stores like 7-11 from offering a similar option if the concept starts to take-off.