Even with the industry transitioning to digital over retail, GameStop is reporting some positive numbers when it comes to people purchasing digital content in stores, with President Tony Bartel telling GamesBeat, “Most of our digital revenue comes from our brick-and-mortar stores. The console digital is predominantly things like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Nintendo eShop cards. Then there’s downloadable content, which is fast-growing in the console digital.”
Highlighting Ubisoft’s recent Q1 financial results (which includes digital sales up 149%), Bartel talked about how “over 70% of the season passes for Ubisoft’s games in Q1 were sold through physical retailers,” adding, “We believe that we nearly corner that market as far as digital downloads.”
Giving us some more numbers, Bartel revealed 30% of people who bought Watch Dogs at GameStop also purchased the Season Pass in store – Ubisoft says the Season Pass attach rate overall was 14% – and more than 60% of payments for digital content are not with credit cards, but cash, credit, and more.
So, how much does GameStop make on digital downloads and cash cards? Well, about the same as physical games, actually:
The way we’ve always articulated it is that [margins on DLC is] software-like. They’re very close to what we make on software. In some cases they’re a little less or a little more, but the other nice thing is that we carry no inventory, obviously.
Bartel finished up by saying, “We don’t talk about defending against digital distribution. We talk about driving digital distribution. We’re on offense when it comes to digital.”