Perhaps more than any other retailer, Gamestop has serious clout when it comes to selling video games. The retail chain makes money hand over fist on game trade-ins and the resulting used game sales, and in an effort to protect that, it's made an edict that it'll only sell bundles that include a physical disc rather than a download code. In a shareholders call (PDF), chief operating officer Tony Bartel specifically cited the current Madden '16 Xbox One bundle. Rather than carrying the official deal, the company worked to offer a free physical copy of the annual football title with the purchase of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, refusing to stock the digital bundle at all.
"We expect that if a game is provided as a promotional item in a hardware bundle, GameStop will see more of these physical offers than digital pack-ins on upcoming third-party releases," Bartel said.
He continued that if Microsoft and Sony keep with the digital pack-in game trend that his stores will see more physical bundles. And considering that the most recent NPD report stated that game-and-console packages were extremely popular, with 93 percent of console sales coming in the from the deals, those bundles aren't likely to stop anytime soon.
On one hand, Gamestop's push is great because not everyone has super speedy internet and new games are averaging about 30GB each. The fact that you need to spend so much time updating a new console before you can use it (again, depending on your internet speeds) is frustrating enough as it is -- potentially waiting hours for a game to download before you can actually use the console only adds to that. But the fact is, Gamestop isn't doing this for you, it's doing this to pad the company's ample bottom line.