GAME Selling Xbox Digital Content.

So, GAME has announced that they are to start selling Xbox Live digital content in store. Yes, that’s right DIGITAL content…IN STORE. Because that will work, won’t it?

I don’t think I know anyone who has gone into a video game store and purchased Microsoft points in there, I know I certainly haven’t. If I spot something on Xbox Live that I want to download and don’t have enough points in my account to buy it I top up in the comfort of my own home because isn’t that one biggest selling points of digital content – You don’t have to leave your house to purchase it?

I would have thought that the only people who will use this are parents who are buying for their children and not actual gamers themselves. Who knows? I may be completely off on this one. For Microsoft it is another place that their product can be sold.

It is interesting that GAME are going down this route though and to be honest it was only a matter of time. They have realised that they need to get in on the act of selling the digital content in order for them not to be left behind and see profits drop. More gamers are purchasing content online and could there be a time where more products are purchased directly through the consoles than physical units off a shelf? Will this work for them? I personally don’t think so, we shall wait and see.

On the back of this news though I am slightly concerned that we will start to see store space being given to rows of cards offering XBL games, add on content and clothes for your Xbox Avatars that this will mean even less exposure to games from smaller companies which at times are more innovative because they won’t be able to afford to pay for shop floor space for promotions.

So what say you? Have you ever purchased a card offline for online content? Is this a good thing or just a way of GAME to try and get profits up?

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8 comments

  1. it seems like a good idea for GAME as it enables them to churn a further income from an avenue they previously had no access too. that being said i cant see people buying them for anything other than gifts, or maybe by kids without credit/debit cards.

  2. Brilliant idea by GAME imo. why wouldn’t it work?!?

    cheap idea for them to set up. microsoft will probably give em a few quid to do it

    so, a 1-off (potentially subsidised) up-front cost, minimal or no running costs after initial set up

    GAME have to compete with online companies for game sales (both brought thru the console as you mention, but also mail order) and need to try anything in these difficult economic times to get customers into shops to impulse buy other products.
    all companies have to diversify to create new revenue streams- regardless of industry.

    with so many game add-ons these days, x-mas and b’day presents is a huge part of their market- ‘not actual gamers themselves’ makes up a huge portion of the games market, and its nice to offer these to relatives of gamers and young dont have a credit card customers

    I like GAME, I like it when they open at midnight to sell new releases, I think that selling digital content is not going to harm their brand in anyway, and will more than likely enhance it.

    and I’m sure once they have trialled it, if it isn’t working, it’ll be taken out quicker than it went it..

    1. Hi Reg, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      I would have thought that GAME would have had to pay Microsoft for the right to sell the cards, I’m not 100% sure though as i don’t work for GAME so if anyone could clear that up that would be fantastic.

      As a gamer Reg have you ever purchased Microsoft Points (if you have an Xbox) in a store or have you used Xbox.com or the console itself to purchase points? Always interesting to know.

      As you mention, they could get the Parent / Grandparent purchases and I think that would be their biggest market but can you imagine Call of Duty players going into GAME to purchase the First Strike Map pack that has just been released? Instead of downloading it directly from their console? Who knows, if it does take off for them and the birthdays/xmas present scenario becomes a big seller for them then maybe it will encourage parents to take more of an interest in what their child is doing.

      We can only wait and see what happens!

  3. hi
    I have only brought points thru my console, but i can see the point of the idea- as there are many different sorts of gamers than the hard core CoD player, who carachteristically has a debit card and the income to spend on gaming.

    point of sale displays are generally paid for, merchandised maintained and arranged by the maufacturer, not the retailer. this will likely be paid in an upfront or commission per sale basis.

    not sure game would pay a supplier as you are suggesting- especially in this scenario which is a supplementary sale.
    if it was a tried and tested money spinner then yes MS might be in the position to ask GAME for money- but it’s another form of MS marketing by spraying eggsbox logos all over a display board in a prominent position in the 100s of game stores, as well as getting ppl chatting about it.

    It isn’t like MS can auction a service like this to the highest bidders- Game, Maybe HMV and maybe Currys/pc world or argos are the only people who would offer this service.

    It would be good to see an exact price comparison because as the product is sold online which we know is the cheapest way to sell. Game cannot give the product like even a 10% price mark up, so very very minimal direct profit is available for retailers at any level on this-its all about cross sales.

    1. Sounds like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks for bringing the knowledge to the blog!

      It is great marketing for Microsoft. In between replys I spoke to someone who works for Xbox @aceybongos who confirmed that there are a lot of people buying point cards from stores and suggested that it is a great way, like you have said, for people who aren’t as clued up on XBL offerings to find out about whats on offer.

      For me writing these blogs are a great way of communicating with people who have a bit more knowledge than me and learning from them so thank you for your insight. WE shall see how much money GAME make off of this, but it’s got people talking about them, which is always a good thing!

      Feel free to check out the “Who is Joe Dale” page, and connect if you are on linked in or follow on Twitter.

  4. I don’t think this will work. Microsoft has bypassed shop retailers by offering digital content directly to the consumer. I don’t believe there is an advantage for a consumer to purchase their digital content from GAME rather than directly from Microsoft. Can you think of any?

    The proliferation of online marketplaces offering content directly to consumers is a danger to highstreet shops. As you allude to in your article, the comfort of home shopping is a great convenience.

    I also think online marketplaces are the perfect shop window for smaller games makers. Before they were at the mercy of market players, such as GAME, and may not be stocked in a particular store. Now, they are available online in a much more equitable market. Big games companies and small developers coexist in an online world. The Mac App Store and the iTunes App Store are great examples of this – success stories of smalltime developers hitting it big with Angry Birds and Cut the Rope are great advertisements for the distribution model and independent game makers’ credentials.

    Physical media is dead. Apple now distribute all their software online through the Mac App Store (more details of the change, here: http://bit.ly/hVE4XS). Others will follow. A company cannot exist selling vouchers for an online marketplace. GAME is in trouble.

  5. My younger Bro (he’s 17) has recently bought microsoft points in shop to buy the new map pack on the xbox 360. I think he went to the shop because online they give set amounts that you have to buy whereas in the shop they are more flexible. I think the map pack was 1200 points and online they only sell them in 1000s whereas at the shop you can get the right amount so don’t have to spend more than you need to. Don’t quote me on that though…

    1. Hi Wayne, thanks for joining in.

      Pretty sure online you can buy 400/800/1200 and then more after that. It’s good to know there are people put there buying points in store but do you think he would have purchased the Map Pack itself in the store? Instead of the points?

      For the younger people it may be perfect! Only GAME and Microsofts profits will tell!

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