GameStop is selling digital-only consoles from both Xbox and Sony this year, including the PS5 Digital Edition and Xbox Series S. That seems like handing your executioner the gun when so much of your business is based on selling used games, but an apparent agreement to split digital revenue between Microsoft and GameStop could explain the retailer’s willingness to support the systems alongside the disc-based Xbox Series X and standard PS5.
The investment advising firm DOMO Capital Management shared on Twitter that GameStop will receive a share of digital revenue for any Xbox system purchased at one of its stores or online. This includes game downloads and other digital content.
Game industry analyst Michael Pachter doesn’t expect it to have a substantial impact on GameStop’s heath, saying the company would likely get around 10% of digital revenue in these cases. An Xbox All Access subscription, for example, lasts 24 months at $35 per month on Xbox Series X, but this split would only give GameStop about $84 in total over that period. This is speculative, and doesn’t necessarily represent the actual revenue split.
The revenue split is part of a multi-year agreement between GameStop and Microsoft that will also bring tools like Surface notebooks and Microsoft Teams to its stores.
It makes particular sense for GameStop to partner with Microsoft over Sony, as Xbox Game Pass’s popularity means digital gaming will likely huge on Xbox Series X and S. All first-party Xbox games come to the service on launch day and are included as part of the $15 monthly fee. This will extend to all upcoming Bethesda games, as well, now that Microsoft has purchased the publisher.
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