US games retailer Gamestop has announced that it has entered into a multi-year partnership with Microsoft, in a deal that would allow the retailer to upgrade its stores with Microsoft’s cloud and hardware services.
Gamestop, whose shares rose by 44 per cent upon the announcement, will have its backend supported by Microsoft’s cloud-based tech Dynamics 365, and employees will be equipped with Microsoft Surface devices. In addition, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft teams will be rolled out to over 30,000 employees.
The store will also be offering Xbox All Access – the console contract scheme that provides players with an Xbox console and 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate with no upfront cost. Xbox chief Phil Spencer recently pointed to the scheme as being critical to the Series X and S’ launch in the post-pandemic world.
George Sherman, GameStop’s Chief Executive Officer, stated: “This is an exciting day at GameStop as we announce the advancement of an important partnership that capitalizes on the power of our operating platform and significant market share in gaming to accelerate our digital transformation; drive incremental revenue streams; and over time, further monetize the digital world of gaming. Since joining the Company last April, we have been on a mission to evolve our strategy to take advantage of our undisputed leadership position in gaming. Clearly, GameStop is a top destination for an entire spectrum of gaming products, and we are excited about the opportunity to leverage our capabilities in support of the launch of the next generation of gaming consoles and expand our reach and connection to the worldwide gamer community through this partnership.”
“GameStop has become a popular destination for gamers to find their favorite video games, hardware and accessories, socialize with others in the community, try out new games, and get educated on the latest tips and trends,” said Matt Renner, President, US Enterprise Commercial, Microsoft. “By harnessing the power of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, GameStop will be able to modernize its technology infrastructure and support store associates and fans in new and exciting ways. This partnership also provides GameStop with advanced retail management technologies that will drive operational efficiencies throughout its omni-channel platform.”
Phil Spencer, Microsoft, Executive Vice President of Gaming, added: “For many years GameStop has been a strong go-to-market partner for our gaming products, and we are excited about continuing and evolving that relationship for the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. GameStop’s extensive store base, focus on digital transformation in an omni-channel environment and expert gamer associates remain an important part of our gaming ecosystem, and we’re pleased to elevate our partnership.”