GameStop posted its new earnings report Thursday, and though it’s been through down times before, things have never been so bad as to force the shuttering of over 100 stores. New software sales were down 19.3 percent in the fourth quarter, and new hardware sales were also down 29.1 percent — and we’re talking about the quarter that introduced the PS4 Pro.
Pundits have been predicting the inevitable demise of GameStop for some time, but they haven’t gone down for the count yet. The closures are a drop in the bucket for a company that boasts over 7,500 locations in 14 countries — this amounts to around a 2 to 3 percent loss for them. But one has to wonder if it’s not a sign of worse things to come.
The growing number of consumers buying games digitally has likely contributed to the slump, and so have the disappointing reviews for some recent titles, but there’s also the GameStop Itself factor. The shady and anti-consumer business decisions GameStop has been involved in over the past few years have given the store a lot of negative publicity, most recently the “Circle of Life” debacle that revealed how desperate they are to sell used copies over new ones. Personally, I don’t feel right about shopping there anymore and only buy games from them as a last resort. I imagine I’m not alone.
While GameStop is closing some of its flagship-name stores, it will be opening new stores that serve a different purpose. They announced 35 new stores for the purpose of selling “collectibles” and 65 new ones dedicated to “technology brands” (these are branded mobile phone stores that GameStop’s company just happens to license).
Now let’s get to the actual games. There will be plenty to keep Switch players busy through the remainder of the year, and some excellent stuff is now confirmed for 2022. Like a fully 3D Kirby, Splatoon 3 and the finally confirmed release window for Bayonetta 3! Castlevania Advance Collection
There are usually potion shops in RPGs where you can buy bottled spells for both offensive and defensive purposes, but what’s it like on the other end of the counter? In the new game Potion Craft from publisher tinyBuild and developer NicePlay, you can take up the practice of magic
World War Z is coming back…kind of. It’s largely the same game, but it’s headed to a new platform (Nintendo Switch) with the Deluxe Edition that will contain all the content previously released on PS4 and XBox One. So finally, Switch can stand equally with its contemporaries, right? I hope
Passing the Turing Test is the ultimate goal of robot builders: that is, creating an AI so advanced that an actual human cannot tell the difference. But what if, as a consequence, you could be a robot and not realize it? That’s the question indie developers Metagalaxy Panda are dramatizing