GameStop was a really interesting strategy project. After 10 years of believing that the PC gaming market was decreasing year over year, GameStop realized that the market had shifted in its delivery expectations. It was thought that the PC gaming market was decreasing in size, but after a competitive analysis was performed, it was discovered that the market had actually grown, and grown significantly.
The problem for GameStop was the distribution method for PC games was changing. Computer gaming had started to move to a digital only model, bypassing the physical media format and thus the retail chains. This meant that users no longer needed discs or cartridges to play games, and could download the game directly to their computer through copyright protected clients. This caused GameStop to miss out on more and more of that part of the video game market. An early market leader in this space was Steam, who is still the standard in the space to this day.
As buying Steam was seen as too costly of an investment for GameStop, they opted to buy Impulse, which like Steam, had its own digital download platform service, and existing relationships with publishers and game studio’s.
I worked on various aspects of integrating their newly acquired digital download solutions platform into their eCommerce service offerings. I started by focusing on their daily deal section and worked with the GameStop employees who negotiated the deals. Together we put the data first and determined they types of games and offering types that did the best on the daily deal section of the website. From there we put together a methodology for negotiating deal prices based on many data points, as well as developing a predictive model for how many licenses GameStop would be able to sell of any one game within a 24 hour period at the set deal price.
Our next project was to focus on the future of the digital download industry and develop a strategy for moving forward. Unfortunately it was decided that GameStop was too far behind the industry trend, as Steam was already working on proprietary hardware and operating systems to serve customers their gaming inventory, directly in their homes, without a middle man. Impulse was later decommissioned, and many of the digital downloads that GameStop now offers are game licenses which can be redeemed on Steam.