Games as a Service is something that works out great for a publisher if implemented well. Fortnite is currently the most popular game on the marketplace and it is essentially a Games as a Service release that is entirely free-to-play with incrementally updates that add more content. There are also plenty of cosmetics available to purchase in the form of skins and texture packs for the player, but it is mostly unrelated to the enjoyment of the game.
GameStop seems to favor this new game design with an approach over incremental updates, citing their growing sales of digital currency and accessories and attributing them to the focus on multiplayer games like Fortnite.
This was shared by Eric Bright, vice president of Merchandising at GameStop, in an interview with GameIndustry.
“We’re seeing huge increases in our traffic for headsets and controllers and digital, as people are coming in and purchasing digital subscription cards, digital currency, so they can go home and play Fortnite,” he says, adding that bricks-and-mortar stores benefit more from games-as-a-service titles than you might think.
“We do about a billion dollars in sales of digital – that’s consumers who are opting to come to a physical location to pick up digital currency. Either they’re an [underage] customer or a customer who doesn’t like utilising their credit card, but they’re coming in because what they see is that in order to buy their digital goods they’re using either cash or trade to make that purchase. So that’s an absolutely re-occurring and growing revenue stream that we’re seeing. And while there they’re picking up an extra controller, they’re picking up a headset, they’re picking up accessories that go along with it.”
Speaking of games that are expected to do well, Eric Bright lists Red Dead Redemption 2 as the top game for 2018. He also praises the performance for games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which seems to be doing well despite the lack of a proper single-player mode.