Sales of physical entertainment media have been steadily decreasing, as consumers download or stream their music, films and videogames. But videogames are fairing better with brick-and-mortar stores like Gamestop still making most of their revenue from selling new and used titles. In the case of virtual reality (VR), all software sales are digital, but Gamestop Chief Paul Raines sees the technology as big business for the company in the future.
In an interview with Fortune, Raines said: “Disc-based games will be around forever,” he says. “The market has seen physical music sales down 50% from its peak and physical movie sales down 60% from its peak, but even in a doomsday scenario, disc-based games will be around for a long time. I see a complimentary business where we sell discs plus download like the current console mode. Virtual reality games will also likely follow this model.”
And Gamestop is making deal with its hardware partners to bring VR demo units from Oculus Rift, Playstation VR and HTC Vive to bring consumers in. “If you look at how we worked with the console makers with our Power Up Rewards data and our customers’ buying habits, we’re doing the same thing with our VR partners,” Raines said.
And enticing customers into stores will be of primary importance to businesses like Gamestop, as according to SuperData Research CEO Joost van Dreunen, digital sales will account for $11.1 billion USD out of an estimated $82.5 billion USD generated globally in 2015.
VRFocus will continue to follow all the latest news and announcements on VR and report back.