GameStop Corp. (more known simply as GameStop) is an American video game, consumer electronics, and wireless services retailer. The company is headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, United States, a suburb of Dallas, and operates 7,267 retail stores throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. The company's retail stores primarily operate under the GameStop, EB Games, ThinkGeek and Micromania brands.
Power to the Players
Number of locations
|7,276 outlets (2018)|
Shane Kim May 31 2018
|Revenue||US$9.225 billion (2017)|
|US$135.6 million (2017)|
|US$34.7 million (2017)|
|Total assets||US$5.042 billion (2017)|
|Total equity||US$2.215 billion (2017)|
Number of employees
25-45,000 part-time (2018)
|Parent||NeoStar Retail Group (1994-1996)|
Babbage's Etc. (1996-1999)
Barnes & Noble (1999-2004)
|Divisions||Video Game Brands|
EB Games Australia
Zing Pop Culture
GameStop traces its roots to Babbage's, a Tucson, Arizona-based software retailer founded in 1984 by former Harvard Business School classmates James McCurry and Gary M. Kusin. The company was named after Charles Babbage and opened its first store in Dallas's North Park Center with the help of Ross Perot, an early investor in the company. The company quickly began to focus on video game sales for the then-dominant Atari 2600. Babbage's began selling Nintendo games in 1987. The company went public in 1988. By 1991, video games accounted for two-thirds of Babbage's sales.
Babbage's merged with Software Etc., an Edina, Minnesota-based retailer that specialized in personal computing software, to create NeoStar Retail Group in 1994. The merger was structured as a stock swap, where shareholders of Babbage's and Software Etc. received shares of NeoStar, a newly formed holding company. Babbage's and Software Etc. continued to operate as independent subsidiaries of NeoStar and retained their respective senior management teams. Babbage's founder and chairman James McCurry became chairman of NeoStar, while Babbage's president Gary Kusin and Software Etc. president Daniel DeMatteo retained their respective titles. Software Etc. chairman Leonard Riggio became chairman of NeoStar's executive committee.
Gary Kusin resigned as president of Babbage's in February 1995 to start a cosmetics company. Daniel DeMatteo, formerly president of Software Etc., assumed Kusin's duties and was promoted to president and chief operating officer of NeoStar. NeoStar chairman James McCurry was also appointed to the newly created position of NeoStar CEO. The company relocated from its headquarters in Dallas to Grapevine later that year.
NeoStar merged its Babbage's and Software Etc. units into a single organization in May 1996 amid declining sales. Company president Daniel DeMatteo also resigned, and NeoStar chairman and CEO James McCurry assumed the title of president. In September of that year, after NeoStar was unable to secure the credit necessary to purchase inventory necessary for the holiday season, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. With the filing, NeoStar board member Thomas G. Plaskett became chairman and James McCurry remained company chief executive and president.
The leadership changes were not enough and in November 1996 the assets of NeoStar were purchased for $58.5 million by Leonard Riggio, a founder of Software Etc. and chairman and principal stockholder of Barnes & Noble. Electronics Boutique had also bid to purchase NeoStar, but the judge presiding over NeoStar's bankruptcy accepted Riggio's bid because it kept open 108 stores more than Electronics Boutique's bid would have. Approximately 200 retail stores were not included in the transaction and were subsequently closed.
Following his purchase of NeoStar's assets, Leonard Riggio dissolved the holding company and created a new holding company named Babbage's Etc. He appointed Richard "Dick" Fontaine, previously Software Etc.'s chief executive during its expansion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as Babbage Etc.'s chief executive. Daniel DeMatteo, previously the president of both Software Etc. and NeoStar, became company president and COO. Three years later, in 1999, Babbage's Etc. launched its GameStop brand with 30 stores located in strip malls. The company also launched gamestop.com, a website that allowed consumers to purchase video games online. GameStop.com was promoted in Babbage's and Software Etc. stores.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers purchased Babbage's Etc. in October 1999 for $215 million. Because Babbage's Etc. was principally owned by Leonard Riggio, who was also Barnes & Noble's chairman and principal shareholder, a special committee of independent directors of Barnes & Noble Booksellers evaluated and signed-off on the deal. A few months later, in May 2000, Barnes & Noble acquired Funco, an Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based video game retailer, for $160 million. Babbage's Etc., which had been previously operating as a direct subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, became a wholly owned subsidiary of Funco. With its acquisition of Funco, Barnes & Noble also acquired Game Informer, a video game magazine that was first published in 1991. Funco was renamed GameStop, Inc. in December 2000 in anticipation of holding an initial public offering for the company.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers took GameStop public with a February 2002 initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. GameStop was listed under the ticker symbol GME. Barnes & Noble retained control over the newly public company with 67% of outstanding shares and 95% of voting shares. Barnes & Noble retained control over GameStop until October 2004, when it distributed its 59% stake in GameStop to stakeholders of Barnes & Noble, making it an independent company.
GameStop acquired EB Games (formerly Electronics Boutique) in 2005 for $1.44 billion. The acquisition expanded GameStop's operations into Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Two years later, in 2007, GameStop acquired Rhino Video Games from Blockbuster for an undisclosed amount. Rhino Video Games operated 70 video game stores throughout the Southeastern United States.
GameStop purchased Free Record Shop's Norwegian stores in April 2008. The company acquired 49 stores and converted them into video game shops. Daniel DeMatteo replaced Richard Fontaine as GameStop CEO in August 2008. DeMatteo had served as company COO since 1996. Fontaine, who had been GameStop chairman and CEO since 1996, remained the company's chairman. J. Paul Raines, formerly executive vice president of Home Depot, became company COO in September. GameStop acquired Micromania, a French video-game retailer, in October 2008 for $700 million. GameStop, which had previously owned no stores in France, now had 332 French video-game stores. It also acquired a majority stake in Jolt Online Gaming, an Irish browser-based game studio, in November 2009. Jolt closed in 2012.
J. Paul Raines became GameStop CEO in June 2010. He replaced Daniel DeMatteo who was named executive chairman of the company. While serving as CEO in 2012, GameStop's digital revenue grew from $190 million in 2011 to more than $600 million in 2012.
GameStop acquired Spawn Labs and Impulse in separate transactions during 2011. Spawn Labs was a developer of technology that allowed users to play video games that were run remotely on machines in data centers rather than their personal computer or console. Impulse was a digital distribution and multiplayer gaming platform. GameStop closed Spawn Labs in 2014.
GameStop purchased BuyMyTronics, a Denver, Colorado-based online market place for consumer electronics, in 2012. Later that year, it acquired a minority interest in Simply Mac, a Utah-based authorized Apple reseller. GameStop acquired the remaining 50.1% interest in Simply Mac in November 2013. GameStop also acquired Spring Mobile, a Salt Lake City, Utah-based retailer of AT&T-branded wireless services, in November 2013. They obtained 163 RadioShack locations as of February 26, 2015, as well. All GameStop stores have been closed down in Puerto Rico at the end of March 2016, citing increased rates of government taxes. On August 3, 2016, it acquired 507 AT&T store chains in plans to diversify into new businesses and less dependant on the video game market.
The market for physical game media has been in a state of decline since online services such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam have taken foothold, and GameStop, whose business was long rooted in new and pre-owned software, has begun feeling the effects of the changing market. In 2017, GameStop reported a 16.4% drop in sales for the 2016 holiday season, but expressed optimism in its non-physical gaming businesses. Reasons cited for the decline in sales included industry weakness, promotional pricing pressure, lower in-store traffic, and a near-monopolization of the physical games industry leading to customer dissatisfaction.
Shares of GameStop stock fell 16% throughout 2016. On February 28, 2017, shares dropped an additional 8% following Microsoft's announcement of its Xbox Game Pass service. Following these reports, GameStop announced it would close over 150 stores in 2017 and expand its nongaming business. On the same day, however, GameStop said it planned to open 65 new Technology Brand stores and 35 Collectibles stores due to a 44% and 28% increase in sales, respectively. GameStop expects a continued drop in operating income between 3% and 10% in 2017.
Paul Raines notified GameStop of his resignation on January 31, 2018. Raines had been on medical leave since November 2017. He had a medical reoccurrence of a brain tumor, and later died on March 4, 2018. DeMatteo, GameStop's executive chairman stepped in as interim chief executive officer. On February 6, 2018 the company announced Michael K. Mauler as the new CEO and new member of the board of directors. On May 11, 2018, Mauler resigned due to "personal reasons" and chairman Dan DeMatteo was named interim CEO. Mauler did not take any severance package or separation benefits. On May 31, 2018, GameStop named Shane Kim as interim CEO.
In late June 2018, GameStop confirmed talks of a possible sale, with Sycamore Partners, a private equity firm in New York, the most likely buyer, with a target deal expected by February 2019. However, on January 29, 2019, GameStop reported it had stopped looking for a buyer for the company, due to a "lack of available financing on terms that would be commercially acceptable to a prospective acquirer", and was looking for other actions to help re-establish its financial ground. Shares dropped 27% to a 14-year low immediately following this announcement.
GameStop is divided into two operating segments: Video Game Brands and Technology Brands. The Technology Brands segment was created during the fourth quarter of 2013, and houses the companies Simply Mac, Spring Mobile, and Cricket Wireless. As of April 2014, the Technology Brands segment included 218 retail outlets. GameStop's Video Game Brands segment includes the company's other businesses such as video game and consumer electronics retail shops; Kongregate, a digital video game distribution site; and buymytronics.com, a consumer electronics marketplace. Pre-owned and value video games accounted for 47% of GameStop's gross revenue for the fiscal year ending February 2014.
Game Informer is a magazine owned by GameStop, Inc. and primarily sold through subscriptions which can be purchased at GameStop locations. Purchasing a subscription to the magazine also gets the subscriber the PowerUp Rewards Pro card, a premium version of GameStop's loyalty card. This increases all store-credit trade values by 10%, discounts all used accessories and games by 10%, gives new PowerUp members a coupon for "Buy 2 Get 1 Free" on pre-owned games and accessories, enters them twice for the Epic Rewards Giveaway for each purchase, gives the cardholder opportunities to gain points with their purchases, and redeem them for rewards and gains them access to special content on the Game Informer website.
GameStop PC Downloads, formerly called Impulse, is a digital distribution service run and operated by GameStop. Originally known as Impulse when owned by Stardock, it was sold to GameStop in 2011 and rebranded as GameStop PC Downloads, with the Impulse client renamed as the GameStop App. Under the ownership of GameStop, the service has had a redesign and sells games that use other platforms such as Steam while also selling games that use its own proprietary DRM solution Impulse:Reactor.
GameStop sells games that are traded in for store credit. This practice has come under fire from game publishers and developers as they make no money from the transaction.
GameStop TV is the in-store television network run internally by GameStop, with non-endemic sales in partnership with Playwire Media, Inc. GameStop TV features programming designed to speak to the consumers shopping in GameStop stores. Each month brings content segments about upcoming video game releases, exclusive developer interviews, product demonstrations and more.
Game publishers have begun to obtain more pre-orders by including exclusive in-game or physical bonuses, available only if the player pre-ordered the game. Bonuses typically include extras such as exclusive characters, weapons, and maps. For example, GameStop included an additional avatar costume for Call of Duty: Black Ops when it was released in November 2010, and a pictorial Art-Folio for Metroid: Other M. Soundtracks, artbooks, plushies, figurines, posters, and T-shirts have also been special bonuses.
GameStop founded MovieStop in 2004 as a standalone store that focused on new and used movies. More than 40 locations were opened, which typically adjoined or were adjacent to GameStop locations. GameStop spun off MovieStop to private owners in 2012. In November 2014, Draw Another Circle LLC, a company controlled by merchandising executive Joel Weinshanker that also owns Hastings Entertainment, purchased MovieStop.
In October 2012 at Grapevine Mills in Dallas, GameStop introduced a new store concept known as GameStop Kids. The brand focus on children's products, and carried only games rated "Everyone" by the ESRB, along with merchandise of popular franchises aimed towards the demographic. The locations opened in 80 malls as pop-up stores for the holiday shopping season.
In January 2016, GameStop announced a partnership it had made with Insomniac Games with their 2016 title Song of the Deep. GameStop executive Mark Stanley said the concept was to help the chain have more direct communication with players, and would expect to expand out to other similar distribution deals with other developers if this one succeeds. Subsequently, in April 2016, GameStop announced that it was formally creating the GameTrust Games publishing division within the company to serve as a publisher for mid-sized developers. In addition to Insomniac Games, GameTrust Games is working with Ready At Dawn, Tequila Works, and Frozenbyte to prepare more titles to be published by the end of 2016.
In October 2012, GameStop acquired a 49.9% minority equity ownership interest in the Salt Lake City-based Apple authorized reseller and repairer Simply Mac. Simply Mac was founded in Salt Lake City in 2006. GameStop acquired the remaining 50.1% that it did not own in November 2013. GameStop tried to target areas for potential new Simply Mac locations in slight smaller markets that did not have an existing Apple Store within a reasonable driving distance.
In January 2017, GameStop closed a large number of Simply Mac locations. The chain had as many as 70 locations at the time of the announcement. After the closings, a few recently vacated Simply Mac locations were replaced by sister company ThinkGeek.
The company has a policy where some copies of newly released games are opened and the game discs stored behind the counter so the cases can be put on display. Purchasers of the game receive a factory-sealed copy unless the opened copy is the last copy of the game in stock, where they'll receive the opened copy sold at regular price.
GameStop's check-out policy allows employees "to check out one item of store merchandise for personal use for up to four days", with the intent being to allow the employee to evaluate the game and learn about its content. This check out policy applies to new as well as used merchandise, which has been a hotly contested practice among the community.
GameStop came under fire from critics when customers discovered that content had been removed from the original packaging of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. GameStop had instructed employees to remove coupons for a free copy of Deus Ex: Human Revolution on OnLive, a cloud gaming service. GameStop stated that the coupon promoted a competitor of its subsidiaries, Spawn Labs and Impulse, which it had acquired in April 2011. Later, GameStop entirely removed the PC version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution from its stores. Square Enix, the publisher of Deus Ex, said that it "respects the right of GameStop to have final say over the contents of products it sells and to adjust them where they see fit in accordance with their policies".
GameStop has been criticized by game developers and publishers for the retailing of used game titles. By reselling used copies at a small discount on the same shelf space as new copies of the game, it is argued that GameStop is taking profits directly from organizations such as developers and publishers which are solely dependent on their intellectual property for revenue. In effect, this means that companies such as GameStop can resell used copies of a game within days of the title's release and keep all of the profit, thereby cutting directly into the critical initial sales which would otherwise go to publishers and developers. It has been suggested by industry insiders that this directly results in increases to the retail cost of new games.
It was revealed in early August 2014 that GameStop was required by the Philadelphia Police to provide fingerprint identifications when customers traded in games at Philadelphia GameStop locations. The policy had been in place since early July of that year and did not apply to the suburban areas of Philadelphia. This caused some heavy criticism from video gamers living in the affected area. Philadelphia Police asserted that the fingerprint identification would help track thieves. By August 4, 2014, the policy had been reversed in all Philadelphia-area GameStop stores.
In February 2017, it was revealed that GameStop enforced, on all of its retail employees, a program known as Circle of Life. The policy itself was made to ensure that each employee would allot a certain percentage of their sales to pre-orders, rewards cards, used games, or have a customer trade in a game. Upon revelation of the policy, many GameStop employees including current and former, brought up their stories of how the policy has led to them lying to customers. Many more claim that the policy had led to poor working conditions and emotional distress. Later into the month, GameStop reformed the program to solely focus on the store as a whole instead of the previous individual employee basis, though still maintaining a heavy emphasis on the individuals performance to maintain strong store metrics.
In the video game industry, digital distribution is the process of delivering video game content as digital information, without the exchange or purchase of new physical media. This process has existed since the early 1980s, but it was only with network advancements in bandwidth capabilities in the early 2000s that digital distribution became more prominent as a method of selling games. Currently, the process is dominated by online distribution over broadband internet.
To facilitate the sale of games, various video game publishers and console manufacturers have created their own platforms for digital distribution. These platforms, such as Steam, Origin, and Xbox Live Marketplace, provide centralized services to purchase and download digital content for either specific video game consoles or PCs. Some platforms may also serve as digital rights management systems, limiting the use of purchased items to one account.
Digital distribution of video games is becoming increasingly common, with major publishers and retailers paying more attention to digital sales, including Steam, PlayStation Store, Amazon.com, GAME, GameStop, and others. According to study conducted by SuperData Research, the volume of digital distribution of video games worldwide was $6.2 billion per month in February 2016, and reached $7.7 billion per month in April 2017.EB Games
EB Games (formerly known as Electronics Boutique and EB World) is an American computer and video games retailer. First established as an American company in 1977 by James Kim with a single electronics-focused location in the King of Prussia mall near Philadelphia, the company has grown into an international corporation. EB Games's parent corporation, GameStop, has its headquarters in Grapevine, Texas, a suburb of Dallas. When Electronics Boutique was an independent company, its headquarters was in West Goshen Township, Pennsylvania, near West Chester.The EB Games brand still operates in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Gamestop also operates certain stores under the EBX brand.Florin Towne Centre
Florin Towne Centre is an outdoor shopping center in the unincorporated area of Parkway-South Sacramento near Sacramento, California, United States. It opened in 2008 on the site of the old Florin Mall, which closed and was demolished in 2006. The 484,500 square feet (45,010 m2) center is anchored by Sears, 24 Hour Fitness and Walmart Supercenter. Sears is the only remnant and remaining anchor from the former Florin Mall.
Mervyn's opened on March 6, 2008 and was the first store to open at Florin Towne Centre. The store was shuttered in February 2009 and is currently vacant. Walmart opened on June 17, 2009, replacing a former store 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the west (the old store re-opened six years later as Walmart's Neighborhood Market format in 2015, occupying only half of the old store's original footprint). PetSmart opened on November 12, 2011 in a building adjacent to the former Mervyn's that was originally intended for Old Navy, but never opened. Other retailers include Eyeglass World, GameStop, GNC, Mattress Firm, Starbucks, and Verizon Wireless.
On October 15, 2018, it was announced that Sears would be closing as part of a plan to close 142 stores nationwide.GMR (magazine)
GMR was a monthly magazine on video games that was published by Ziff-Davis — the publisher of such magazines as PC Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, and Computer Gaming World (later Games for Windows: The Official Magazine). GMR was launched in February 2003, being sold in only the Electronics Boutique (EB) chain of video game stores. The magazine was unusual among multiconsole magazines in that it covered PC as well as console games, as well as its minimalistic cover art, and, in its last few months, its shift in focus toward promotion of less mainstream titles. It lasted exactly two years, as the 25th and last issue (which was only sent to subscribers) was the February 2005 edition (though prints were limited and not even all subscribers received the final issue).
As the magazine was funded by Electronics Boutique, the magazine stopped circulation when Gamestop merged with EB Games, as Gamestop already had its own magazine, Game Informer. The fates of its entire staff remain unknown, although James "Milkman" Mielke and Andrew "Skip" Pfister have transferred to the 1Up.com Network online.
Shortly after the release of the PS2 game Monster Hunter, an online-only Event Quest was released which allowed players to obtain the "GMR Chrome Heart," a weapon prominently featuring an embossed GMR logo.Game Informer
Game Informer (GI) is an American monthly video game magazine featuring articles, news, strategy, and reviews of video games and associated consoles. It debuted in August 1991 when FuncoLand started publishing a six-page magazine. The publication is owned and published by GameStop Corp., the parent company of the video game retailer of the same name, who bought FuncoLand in 2000. Due to this, a large amount of promotion is done in-store, which has contributed to the success of the magazine; it is now the 4th most popular magazine by copies circulated. Game Informer has since become an important part of GameStop's customer loyalty program, PowerUp Rewards, which offers subscribers access to special content on the official website.Geeknet
Geeknet, Inc. is a Fairfax County, Virginia–based company that owns the online retailer ThinkGeek and is a subsidiary of GameStop. The company was formerly known as VA Research, VA Linux Systems, VA Software, and SourceForge, Inc.. It was founded in 1993 and was formerly headquartered in Mountain View, California.Impulse (software)
Impulse was a digital distribution and multiplayer platform. Originally developed by Stardock to succeed Stardock Central, it was purchased by GameStop in March 2011, and was subsequently rebranded as GameStop PC Downloads, with the client being renamed GameStop App. The client was discontinued in April 2014.
Impulse facilitated the purchase, download and updating of software. The platform also provided blogging, friends-list, chat, game matchmaking, achievements and ranking to certain games.Kongregate
Kongregate is an American mobile, PC, and Console publisher and web gaming portal. The website features over 110,000 online games and 30+ mobile games available to the public. In 2010, it was purchased by Gamestop Corporation and was then acquired by Modern Times Group MT AB in 2017.
The portfolio focuses on mid-core games spanning a wide range of genres. Kongregate is the home for several idle/clicker games, including Adventure Capitalist, Crusaders of the Lost Idols, and Anti-Idle: The Game.
NASCAR '15 is a NASCAR video game, the fourth installment in the NASCAR The Game series and an update to the preceding NASCAR '14. Developed by Eutechnyx, and published by new NASCAR video game licensee Dusenberry Martin Racing, it is available on the seventh generation PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles as well as Microsoft Windows. Physical copies of the console version are available at GameStop stores (EB Games in Canada), with digital downloads available on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Steam is selling the game for Windows PC.Song of the Deep
Song of the Deep is a metroidvania video game developed by Insomniac Games and published by GameTrust Games. In the game, the player controls Merryn, a young girl who crafts a makeshift submarine to search for her father who went missing while fishing. The game was released in July 2016 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The retail chain GameStop published the game, under the brand of GameTrust Games, the chain's first foray into such distribution.Stardock
Stardock Corporation is a software development company founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1993 as Stardock Systems. Stardock initially developed for the OS/2 platform, but was forced to switch to Microsoft Windows due to the collapse of the OS/2 software market between 1997 and 1998. The company is best known for computer programs that allow a user to modify or extend a graphical user interface as well as personal computer games, particularly strategy games such as the Galactic Civilizations series, Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress, and Ashes of the Singularity.
Stardock created and maintains WinCustomize, a graphical user interface customization community, and developed the Impulse content delivery system before its sale to GameStop. Many of the skins and themes featured on its site are for software that is part of their Object Desktop windows desktop suite. They are based in Plymouth, Michigan.Stardock Central
Stardock Central was a software content delivery and digital rights management system used by Stardock customers to access components of the Object Desktop, TotalGaming.net and ThinkDesk product lines, as well as products under the WinCustomize brand.
Introduced in 2001 to access games on TotalGaming.net (then known as the Drengin Network), Stardock Central was later expanded to cover all Stardock products, replacing Component Manager (1999).
As of 2010, Stardock Central had been phased out in favour of its successor, Impulse. However, in March 2011 Impulse was sold to GameStop and Stardock soon reopened their own online store. As of April 2012, the Stardock Central software has been revived and released as a Beta to once again provide a proprietary platform for Stardock's digital product downloads.ThinkGeek
ThinkGeek is an American retailer that caters to computer enthusiasts and "geek culture". Described as a "Sharper Image for sysadmins", their merchandise, has also been likened to "toys for adults, novelties designed to appeal to both your inner child and your inner grad student." These include clothing, electronic and scientific gadgets, unusual computer peripherals, office toys, pet toys, child toys, and caffeinated drinks and candy. ThinkGeek was founded in 1999, is based in Fairfax, Virginia, and is owned by Geeknet, a unit of GameStop.Westfield Galleria at Roseville
Westfield Galleria at Roseville (formerly called Galleria at Roseville) is an upscale shopping mall in Roseville, California, United States. Owned by the Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, it is located at the corner of Galleria Boulevard and Roseville Parkway near the junction of State Route 65 and Interstate 80.