As we approach a future less dependent on physical media, GameStop
is looking to better streamline its approach to hocking digital wares
in-store. Speaking with Ars Technica
, GameStop's senior vice president and general manager of digital business, Shawn Freeman, said that while the company is doing a good job of selling Microsoft Points cards
-- on par with and, according to him, sometimes exceeding the number purchase through consoles -- and other vouchers for digital goods, it's looking to cut some of the "friction" out of the experience.
Instead of buying a card and going home to input a long code, the company ultimately wishes to tie your console's online account with a separate GameStop ID. "Ultimately, we want to reduce even more of that friction, so when you buy that map pack in our store, we're going to be able to associate your Xbox profile with your GameStop profile, and then automatically push that to your download queue." And it's not just a pipedream: GameStop is apparently actively working to ensure its customers will have this option in the future.
But what about the console makers, who make a portion of their profits from the purchase of virtual goods or currency? According to Freeman, this plan won't hurt their bottom line. "Our view is that when you look at all the different ways people buy content digitally, that experience and that discovery experience is key to realize that opportunity...if we do a good job, that's going to continue to bring value to our publishers and our platform partners, because we're going to continue to drive more sales for them."