During a recent meeting with investment company RW Baird, GameStop specified it new ambition to seek out games during early development and pay for exclusive content to be made specifically to encourage customers to pre-order games from their store.
Now form a business stand point, I can see how GameStop will want to make money this way and it could be quite profitable and encourage pre-orders and such, if they don’t push it too far. From a customer’s perspective, it’s quite irritating. We already have console exclusives. Sure timed exclusives are not too bad due to the eventual availability valid to all platforms. But permanent, that’s unfair, and still it’s been done many times. I do not want to miss out on specific content due to my choice in console. Now it will be from which store I purchase form???
A trend could take shape from this greedy act and this could be hazardous to the industry. I personally already dislike exclusive content for competitive approach, but I can see why it is done, and it does work. You can’t blame GameStop for wanting to take a crack at this strategy, but it could go one of two ways; demand for GameStop exclusives (depending on rates) or uproar for unfair store specific levels etc…
Also, how would this benefit console exclusives? Would it be suspended to make room for store specified investment opportunities? Then how would competition reflect on game prices?
If this does become a reality and GameStop does receive exclusive content, then we may see a trend from other suppliers who will want a piece of the action. Image if there were several different copies of a new game, with store exclusives, and then add different exclusive content paid for by Microsoft & Sony. It would cause so much confusion and create more of an uproar for unobtainable content (unless you buy multiple copies of a single game). Also take into consideration extra content that would need to be added to development time; either extending the development time or reducing the actual time spent on the main development cycle.
This is of course my speculation on this and nothing has been set in stone. Let’s hope this does not cause later increase in price to regain money from investment for exclusivity. The last thing we want is prices to rise.