This morning GameStop Corp announced a Multiyear partnership deal with Microsoft Corp. in hopes of advancing its strategy to expand its physical and digital video game offerings, as well as enhance the Company’s retail technology infrastructure.
A full rundown can be found on the company's website here, however here is a few key talking points
GameStop will begin using Dynamics 365 to standardize it's back-end and in-store solutions, which will ideally optimize not only the experience for sale associates, but consumers as well.
Associates will be given Microsoft Surface Pros to transform the in-store experience and provide more up to date information and services to consumers.
Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams will be provided to all retail locations to provide better management tools for GameStop team members.
GameStop will provide key Microsoft products beginning with The Xbox All Access program, as well as widening their Xbox portfolio.
The blogpost with the announcements goes into much higher detail, but these are the key takeaways from their bulletins. The blogpost also had direct quotes from George Sherman (GameStop CEO), Matt Renner (President of US Enterprise Commercial for Microsoft), Phil Spencer (Executive Vice President of Gaming for Microsoft) and Jim Bell (GameStop’s Chief Financial Officer).
Phil Spencer's quote reads, “For many years GameStop has been a strong go-to-market partner for our gaming products, and we are excited about continuing and evolving that relationship for the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. GameStop’s extensive store base, focus on digital transformation in an omni-channel environment and expert gamer associates remain an important part of our gaming ecosystem, and we’re pleased to elevate our partnership.”
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the closure of all of it's retail locations minus 3 key based locations. The news seemed odd considering Microsoft still planned on releasing the Surface Duo, Surface Pro 3, and Xbox Series X|S this year, but with the recent partnership with GameStop as a physical retail store, Microsoft appears to have offset their locations using GameStop.
GameStop still plans on selling hardware and software for both Nintendo and Sony products, as well as other video game merchandise thanks to their ownership of ThinkGeek. If anything, this expansion and partnership with Microsoft gives not only Xbox, but Microsoft phones and tablets a bigger storefront than the previous Microsoft retail locations as GameStop has more locations and name recognition.
Throughout the past few years, tales of GameStop's demise has been writing on the walls, something everyone from not only the games media side, but games consumer side have agreed on. As GameStop continued to struggle, they tried to adapt and change their business models to try and turn things around. This Partnership with Microsoft will not only cement GameStop's continued existence for the foreseeable future, but may be the turning point in saving the company as a whole. Only time will tell of course, but for more on Microsoft and GameStop, be sure to check back at My Xbox And Me.