Games retail behemoth GameStop stirred the waters this week when an investor note from R.W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian revealed the company was considering funding game development in trade for exclusive content through its retail ecosystem. The presumption by the company’s critics: giant corporate retailers shouldn’t muck about in artistic mediums.
GameStop has nearly 6,500 stores worldwide, making it one of the largest retailers on the planet by any measure. And in recent years, as digital sales have grown, it’s been a target for critics who view its brick-and-mortar buy-sell model as terminal at some point. You can’t trade in content you don’t physically own, after all, and at some point (though some of this is up in the air, legally speaking) all we’re likely to “own” are 1’s and 0’s stored on a platter or integrated circuit.
I spoke with GameStop CEO Paul Raines by phone on Tuesday…
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