Will GameStop’s digital ventures be enough to ward off online threats? (interview)

Chris Petrovic (pictured above) is the general manager of GameStop Digital Ventures. His job is to make sure that the world’s largest video game retailer crosses over into the digital era, when gamers are as likely to download a digital game to their computers or phones as they are to walk into a store and buy a disk. GameStop still has 6,614 stores and annual revenues of $49.5 billion. Within a couple of years, the company wants to grow its digital revenues to $1.5 billion a year. The retailer grew its downloadable content sales by 315 percent last year, and it has acquired digital game startups Kongregate, Spawn Labs, and Impulse. Will that be enough for the company to “cross over” to the digital age?

GamesBeat Weekly Roundup

If you follow VentureBeat but don’t regularly check our GamesBeat site, here’s a list of the best games stories we ran over the last seven days that you may have missed.

EA’s focus: Brands, platforms, and talent

Electronic Arts is a complex, multi-faceted company with $4 billion in annual revenues. But the company has simplified its strategy to focus on “brands, platforms, and talent,” according to chief executive John Riccitiello.

Valve “Steam Box” console rumor sounds like a bad idea

Valve is working on a new set-top gaming system standard based on PC architecture dubbed “Steam Box,” according to a report published by website The Verge, A standout feature is rumored to be a controller that could provide real-time biometric feedback from the player to the game. For example, a shooter would be able to adjust the intensity of the action based on the player’s pulse rate.

EA starts its own downloadable games service

Electronic Arts is diving into digital game distribution by launching a service for selling downloadable games direct to consumers. The service will be called Origin.