Tuesday, July 26, 2016

When Will Game Stop...Stop?

My kids wanted to go to Game Stop tonight so we loaded up the Pontiac and headed south. And as I walked through the doors I wondered just how long Game Stop will be Game Stop. Don't get me wrong--it's a great store. If you want a game, there's a good chance they got it. At least, that's been my experience.

If you're unfamiliar with the company, Game Stop is known for selling, for the most part, video games. They have knick-knacks and foo-bahs too. But their bread & butter are the games. I don't know business. I don't know how successful the company's been or what their five, ten, even twenty year projection are. The organization may be in great shape--the best shape, in fact. They may be so stable that they're buying up other companies (which, they have--they bought Simply Mac...).

But if we go back in time about ten to fifteen years, there was another company that seemed destined to be in business forever. Anyone remember Blockbuster Video? I'll bet MBA programs teach on the fall of Blockbuster. I'm sure the information's out there to find out why exactly the huge organization fell.

So why wonder if Game Stop will follow the Blockbuster business model? I don't know--just a thought. But the other day I was in a thrift store and I noticed they had a very nice DVD selection, and not just those movies nobody wants. Some were very good, even kids shows. I asked myself, "Self, why are there so many good DVDs still available at this thrift store?"

It's because the home movie market in changing. People are watching more on-line and streaming shows. And then there's the cloud services. I haven't done the research, but I think that's what's happening. Will this happen to the gaming industry? Will we need places like Game Stop in the future? Maybe in ten or fifteen years we'll either still be going into a store to buy new and used video games (as well as knick-knacks and foo-bahs...) or we'll have pieces of plastic with the names of stores on them reminding us of the times we got in our cars, walked through the doors, and browsed the merchandise. Time will tell.

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