DEC. 14, 2010 • GameStop has jumped into the publishing of F2P social network games. Working with Jolt Online Gaming, GameStop announced the launch of Utopia Kingdoms on Facebook. The game has similarities to games from Blizzard’s Warcraft series. GameStop sees its arrival on Facebook as a great example of how to provide its customers with online games they can play anytime, anywhere and on any device.
Impact: GameStop is the leading brick and mortar retailer of video games in the U.S. However, the company is very aware that online usage and digital distribution will continue to take an increasing share of total industry sales. Therefore, GameStop is taking steps to get involved in the online game world. In July 2010, GameStop bought Kongregate, a company that specialized in distributing tens of thousands of Flash based online games. Facebook and social networks are best seen as another method of distribution. Seen in that light, Utopia Kingdoms can be a way for GameStop to better understand how Facebook could work as a distribution platform.