Even with Pokémon Go taking over the digital world of mobile gaming, physical retailer GameStop is still seeing the benefits.
GameStop is seeing brisk sales at its stores that are near important locations in the top-grossing Pokémon Go iOS and Android game, chief executive officer Paul Raines said today during an interview with CNBC. The corporation runs the largest game-focused retail chain in the world, and it has a majority share when it comes to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 console sales in the United States. But even as gamers are downloading more of their content from digital stores, GameStop is putting itself in the middle of that business. Pokémon Go, which is generating millions of dollars every day from the $36.9 billion mobile-gaming market, is the latest example of how GameStop is keeping itself relevant.
“We surveyed our stores, and we had 462 stores — just this pass weekend — that are PokéStops or gyms. So we did some family events and our sales were up 100 percent in those stores,” said Raines. “Of course, our Pokémon merchandise is up significantly across the board. We’re very happy to see all this excitement around Pokémon for what is traditionally a slower time of the year for gaming.”
The GameStop executive went on to say that many people already associate his stores with the Pokémon brand. While GameStop is not officially sponsoring Pokémon Go yet, its stores are still seeing the benefit.
“We’re the largest distributor of Pokémon video games and collectibles in the world,” said Raines. “We’re launching, in November, Pokémon Sun and Moon [for the 3DS], so yeah — we’re very much in the game and taking advantage of it.”
Raines went on to say that Pokémon is still bigger than Pokémon Go even if it doesn’t seem like it at the moment.
“You might ask why we aren’t in the mobile game, but this was a very secretive launch,” he said. “And we think any investment in Pokémon is an investment in that brand, which is good for us.”