Depending on who you talk to, GameStop is either the best or worst thing to ever happen to gaming. GameStop's CEO has a different take on the matter by saying the "hardcore gamers love GameStop."
Residents of the United States typically think of GameStop when they think of a retail games store. There are some others to be sure, but GameStop has more than 4,000 stores in the US alone. Recently GameStop has expanded into the digital market, but its used games business is the one that undoubtedly makes the most money.
GameSpot recently talked with the CEO of GameStop, Paul Raines, and while the interview is rather lengthy, there are some interesting tidbits to take from it. For starters, GameStop's CEO believes "hardcore gamers" love the company based on a few facts. Its PowerUp Rewards program has 18 million memberships, which represents between 35 and 40 percent of all video game business in the country. Raines says GameStop's position with consumers is far stronger than any of its competitors, despite the apparent hate on various gaming websites.
"Hardcore gamers love GameStop. We measure customer service a hundred different ways. Remember, we have the PowerUp Rewards community, with a membership around 18 million, and they represent 35-40 percent of all video game consumption in the United States. They’re not the most active bloggers, maybe (laughs), but our position with consumers is very, very strong. Far stronger than any of our competitors, so we feel really good about that. We’re always trying to do better and resolve issues, but I think the pre-owned business is a very important business to people. You try to take it away and you see what people do. Our customers tell us that every day. The lifestyle of the gamer requires pre-owned business, because I’m buying a lot of new titles, I have to have a place to dispose of them so I can go and buy more new titles. That’s absolutely what we’re trying to do."
Raines says the lifestyle of a gamer is dependent on pre-owned games since old ones can be traded in for new ones, but that really only applies to console gamers. PC gamers have been left on the wayside in that regard thanks to DRM, although hopefully that will one day change.