If you’re a gamer and you surf the internet, chances are you’ve been targeted by a GameStop ad. They’re not the worst, but their publisher-blessed facsimiles are pretty darn close. Blaming customers weary of a console cycle that’s gone on far too long, GameStop reported a $269.7 million loss last year compared to a $339.9 profit the year before.
None of this is really a surprise as the video game industry’s fortunes have fallen this year with slumping software and hardware sales as gamers wait for the next best thing to arrive. (No, not that.) It’s ironic that GameStop would hitch their fortunes to new PlayStations and Xboxes when Sony and Microsoft will be working very hard next generation to cut retailers like GameStop out of the game sales equation entirely. Sure, they need GameStop to purchase the loss-leading hardware and profitable accessories, but those games? Those will be a lost art, especially if those rumors about the next Xbox requiring hard drive installs end up being right on the buzzer.
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