Blizzard Signs Digital Distribution Deal With Gamestop

During Gamestop’s financial earning call today, Gamestop’s CEO J. Paul Raines announced they have signed a digital distribution deal with Blizzard for upcoming titles. The first game to be released under this new deal will be Diablo 3 on 15 may.

Gamers can head into a Gamestop store and purchase a code which they will receive on their receipt which can the be used to download a digital copy of the game once they get home to their PC. Gamestop will also be setting up dedicated display areas for Blizzard digital products in stores.

I am not sure how this will really benefit gamers, surely you would just go online anyway and order a copy and download right away? What could happen is special DLC or other virtual items could be offered exclusively to  Gamestop for certain products to drive gamers into their stores. That is of course speculation but it would make sense.


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    40 thoughts on “Blizzard Signs Digital Distribution Deal With Gamestop

    1. “Blizzard Signs Digital Distribution Deal With Blizzard”
      They signed a digital distribution deal with themselves?

    2. Jegus why can’t they sign a deal with Steam instead? I hate GameStop’s Impulse or whatever. I’ll buy the game from Best Buy instead in protest.

      • For what it’s worth, you won’t need to keep Impulse to keep the game. I bought BF3 digitally from Gamestop and it said to download through Impulse etc. I did have to get Impulse, but took that code and plugged it into Origin and it just added it to my Origin account. Then I 86’d Impulse. I assume the code from Gamestop might go straight into your Blizzard account, but I’m not sure. They don’t offer any other Blizzard games from what I can see.
        I guess this is good for cash customers, since you can get it digitally from Blizzard themselves. Or if you have Gamestop gift cards to spend.

      • This is for the digital version. Gamestop bought out a company that does digital distribution like Steam does.

      • This helps those of us who live in europe but have family in the states. This way I can have someone in my family buy it from gamestop and send me the code. Saves me quite a bit of cash. My account auto detects region, so buying it digitally here is costs 60 euros instead of 60 dollars.

    3. It’s too early to say something about it. I am pretty sure that I wouldn’t visit off-line stores to only purchase a license of D3 in stead of a DVD package of D3.

    4. A benefit you get from Gamestop, if your a gamer, is you get Power Up Reward points for purchasing/selling games at Gamestop. Which can be used to buy other games or really cool exclusives.  I hope this answers you question Elly.

      • That means jack squat to Blizzard, though. Odds are that if there’s a sale, it’ll be on Blizzard’s end and not gamestop as well.

        I have no idea why they’d do this unless it has something to do with an unannounced game.
        It isn’t like Blizzard needs more exposure in a gaming store. Seems irrational to me.

        There’s more to it, it just hasn’t been revealed yet. 

        • The incentive may come from Gamestop rather than Blizzard. Brick retail shops are going to slowly disappear, this is a method for them to experiment with a new business model. The cost for gamestop is lower (no logistics and stock) while still using the infrastructure of a real store. I wouldn’t mind buying it from them like that.

    5. Nothing like being complete hypocrites.  I thought “Used Games” are “Of the Devil”
       (according to any large publisher) so why are they helping to support said business? 

      • because blizzard doesnt make any games that can be sold as “used”

        I dont understand what the big deal is, this is one more place to buy a game in another way for gamers, (thats how it benefits them). If I have a bunch of used games I can go in and trade it and buy it.

        Buy however you like, stop bashing gamestop for no reason.

      • Because retailer still make up the bulk of sales. You don’t want piss them off.
        Special for new customer, I’m sure everyone start off buying retail copy first.


    6. this will be more beneficial for vanity items/dlc, I sure as hell wouldnt get my CC out to get a gold mount for my wow account, but my gf/friends/family could easily buy it from gamestop. 

      what will be there in d3? dyes, pets/companion, what else will they think of. 

      • If paid vanity stuff is what Blizzard is going for with this, I doubt it’d be D3 they were thinking of.

        • Blizzard isnt the one you knew, have you played wow lately? they’ll definatly add vanity stuff to d3, why wouldnt they?

          “Gamestop will also be setting up dedicated display areas for Blizzard digital products in stores. ”

          Once you have all blizzard games (and at the pace they release hem it isnt that hard) what do you buy from a “dedicated display area”?

    7. Why would they even do this? Surely Gamestop takes a big chunk of the profit for each game they sell.

    8. Digital downloads are much more profitable than producing and shipping a tangible object. Blizzard is trying to bolster sales for digital copies of future games through gamestop, which effectively cuts production costs for pre-orders of physical copies.  Gamestop benefits by possibly drawing in new customers (people who, for some reason, buy a digital copy from them instead of directly from Blizz), who in turn, may trade in games or purchase additional merchandise, as well as sign up for their rewards program or mailing list.  Gamestop also may see a decrease in inventory costs from not having to sit on/carry additional copies of the game. Business is fun. 

      • I can see why it’s a smart move for GameStop, but I’ve got no idea why the consumer would go to GameStop to buy something they could have purchased at home… unless it is cheaper.  Otherwise, I’m just going to buy it online directly from Blizzard or pick up the physical box, no need for a middleman.  Maybe they’ve got some sort of endgame I’m just not seeing yet.

        • Read the comments Tilgare, reasons are explained.

          Oh ok, I’ll tell you – Gamestop will take cash and trade-in as payment, this is why the consumer might buy from gamestop instead of bnet. 

    9. Gamestop probably earns a commission for each digital copy they sell, which is basically the same as selling a physical copy.

    10. I am happy with these. In my country (and my european account) i can only pre- purchase at in euro, at gamestop i will preorder in dollar. 1 Euro = 1,3 USD.

      So i will get about 30% discount.  Happy. :mrgreen:

    11. Does anyone know if this will apply to Canada’s EB Games? Pretty sure they are the Canadian version of Gamestop.
      I pre-ordered from EB using credit from traded-in games; it would be great if I could do a digital download at midnight instead of having to wait til the morning when they open (and then probably wait for a line).

      • Even in the states we have EB Games (which is owned by GameStop), so I imagine so.  Sometimes those sorts of deals take time to move from country to country, although I can’t imagine too much difficulty complying with Canadian law.

    12. Digital downloads block their profits… but the greed of Gamestop is stronger!

      Full disclosure: I’m doing Gamestop in-store pickup with my DIII preorder  🙂    

    13. Digital copy from blizzard, 59.99 euros.
      Physical copy from billgames. 46 euros
      Physical copy from gameconnection. 32 euros.
      So,. eh, what? Why would I want to buy from blizzard OR gamestop for that matter?

    14. Well.. It’s not very hard to see that probably in the near future Blizz will just put some extra goodies in to the digital download and BOOOOOOM all the geeks want to get the silvery sparkling mount or gold dye for your armor or a dancing murloc. Pretty soon the 59,90 will be “totally worth it”.

      As for the reasons why Gamestop  and Blizz would do this deal about the distribution, it’s probably just as someone said already. 

      Gamestop: Saves inventory space, shipping costs, gets more used console games as trade-in’s (the biggest share of Gamestop’s profit is hands down from used games where the profit share can be as big as 80%), maybe gets a compensation from blizzard for each digital copy sale and maybe gets some extra loving for big releases, exclusive in-game items, artbooks or the sort for the upcoming games. Also a customer that comes to a physical store can always by something spontaneously.

      Blizz: Obviously gets more profit from a digital copy which doesn’t need to be shipped and packed and no middlemen taking a slice.  


    15. Absolutely, the trade-in program makes it worth it.  Considering Gamestop is doing 50% extra on trades for the next week, you could easily pay for D3 with old games.  While I’m not a huge fan of the used game market as it exists right now, I do appreciate the ability to trade in games I won’t play and actually get something for them.

    16. The day I see a fucking buy from gamestop perk for a blizzard game, is the day you all see a slough of gamestops set on fucking fire.

      1. They open products prior to selling them if they contain items they consider a threat to their sales. Google Dues Ex Gamestop.
      2. I pre-ordered Star Wars LONG before most did (June). They told me i was going to get a pre-order code in email. Didn’t get it, called, they said I had to return to the store. They couldn’t get me a code to print out in the store after returning it several times. Called again, they said to return to the store. Returned to the store once again (this is September 1st now BTW) and they state they are out of preorder keys and that no retailer has any left. I returned my game pre-order as well as the game I purchased 2 days earlier.  I went to best buy, pre-ordered Star Wars, and withing 30 seconds, my phone beeped with my pre-order code. FUCK GAMESTOP. I haven’t been back 1 time.
       3. Not to mention you can’t buy a single frigging thing there without being bombarded with 3000 questions about buying more things from pushy salesman. I don’t know about you, but I love buying games from people that resemble shady car salesman.

    18. I think the Online sales is awesome, but it makes no sense to go in, and pay the same amount for a Code as you would for a Boxed Set. Who doesn’t want the box if they are going to pay the same amount. Half the fun is opening the actual game. The only way this would make sense is if the Digital versions are cheaper.

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