During today's presentations at the 18th Annual BMO Capital Markets Digital Entertainment Conference, GameStop head chairman Dan DeMatteo (alongside CEO Paul Raines, CFO Robert Lloyd, and investor relations director Matt Hodges) spoke to the future of the top video game retailer in North America. After detailing cannibalistic markets (terrifying!) and market share (isn't business about taking, not sharing?) for 25 minutes, the crew finally got to the Q & A session, where one audience member stood up and asked DeMatteo to clarify GameStop's DLC distribution agreements with Microsoft and Sony.
"I won't get into the details of the agreements, but obviously we get paid for selling the digital content. We get paid less than what we would get paid for a typical new game [retail game], because we don't have inventory carrying costs, shipping costs, etc. But needless to say, we believe it will bring operating margins similar to new games," he responded, indicating a perhaps unsurprising low return on in-store DLC sales. Still, DeMatteo sees good reason for continued sales of digital content.
"We see it as additive. It's additive for us. It's additive for Sony, for Microsoft, and it's additive to the publisher. The amount of add-on content now being developed for the big games is just phenomenal. You got a new level coming out for Halo: Reach in December, we have new Call of Duty map packs coming after launch, etc. We look at our ability to sell that to the original consumer -- given that we know who bought the original copy -- to be extremely strong," he explained, referring to his company's ability to track individual customer's purchases via the Power Up Rewards card. And in the coming years, GameStop intends on becoming a much larger player in the digital realm. We expect to have market share of DLC much like we have market share of boxed product," he assured attendees.