With the ever-growing importance of the digital market in the gaming industry, GameStop has been seen as less and less relevant going forward by analysts and investors in the past couple of years, as its shares tumbled down.
The company needed something big to turn the tide and today, it made an announcement that could certainly fit the bill: a multi-year partnership with Microsoft to expand physical and digital game offerings as well as enhancing GameStop's infrastructure when it comes to technology.
Essentially, the company's business operations will now take place on Microsoft's cloud through Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Teams, while associates will be equipped with Microsoft Surface hardware, too.
On the gaming front, GameStop stores will now sell the Xbox All Access subscription service and will therefore benefit alongside Microsoft from the 'customer acquisition and lifetime revenue of each gamer brought into the Xbox ecosystem'.
The press release includes prepared statements from four of the companies' chief executives, including Phil Spencer from Microsoft's gaming side.
George Sherman, GameStop’s Chief Executive Officer:
This is an exciting day at GameStop as we announce the advancement of an important partnership that capitalizes on the power of our operating platform and significant market share in gaming to accelerate our digital transformation; drive incremental revenue streams; and over time, further monetize the digital world of gaming. Since joining the Company last April, we have been on a mission to evolve our strategy to take advantage of our undisputed leadership position in gaming. Clearly, GameStop is a top destination for an entire spectrum of gaming products, and we are excited about the opportunity to leverage our capabilities in support of the launch of the next generation of gaming consoles and expand our reach and connection to the worldwide gamer community through this partnership.
Jim Bell, GameStop’s Chief Financial Officer:
We believe Microsoft’s integrated retail technology platform will enable the continued development of our frictionless omni-channel digital environment, providing customers with an exceptional cross-channel experience for all things video gaming. By standardizing on Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, all accessed with Microsoft Surface devices at our fingertips, we will be able to create a better connection with our associates and provide them with powerful new tools to deliver rich engaging experiences to our customers while significantly enhancing our cross-channel view of inventory ensuring the most efficient delivery of products to our customers.
Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Gaming:
For many years GameStop has been a strong go-to-market partner for our gaming products, and we are excited about continuing and evolving that relationship for the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. GameStop’s extensive store base, focus on digital transformation in an omni-channel environment and expert gamer associates remain an important part of our gaming ecosystem, and we’re pleased to elevate our partnership.
Matt Renner, Microsoft's President of US Enterprise Commercial:
GameStop has become a popular destination for gamers to find their favorite video games, hardware and accessories, socialize with others in the community, try out new games, and get educated on the latest tips and trends. By harnessing the power of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, GameStop will be able to modernize its technology infrastructure and support store associates and fans in new and exciting ways. This partnership also provides GameStop with advanced retail management technologies that will drive operational efficiencies throughout its omni-channel platform.