GameStop reports big full-year loss, plans to evolve

GameStop has reported a loss of $673 million in the past year, only the third full-year loss the company has ever reported. This has led to a nosedive in company shares, leading some to speculate that the used games giant’s days may be numbered.

This week GameStop pulled the curtain back on its past year’s figures and, instead of excitedly proclaiming, “Ta-da!” the result was more of an, “Okay, I know, but let me explain.” The company has been floundering for years now but, while it has certainly had some tough quarters, 2018’s figures were the first time since 2012 that GameStop has reported a full-year loss. Before that, the most recent full-year loss was announced back in 2000, according to Game Industry Biz.

The used games market has been in a state of flux for a long time now, and some would argue that GameStop’s woes can be attributed to its own notorious practice of buying used games too low and then selling them too high. Matters have been made worse by the rise of online shopping, where folks can now have a brand new game delivered to their house at launch rather than putting on a pair of pants to go to GameStop. And then there is the uptick in digital game sales, negating the need to do anything outside of press a few buttons.

To counter that, GameStop has tried to diversify its offerings in recent years, offering more mobile devices and giving up an increased amount of store space to what can collectively be called “nerd swag.” All of those collectibles have actually seen a rise of about 11 percent in sales through the past year, but that was nowhere near enough to counter the money the company otherwise continues to hemorrhage.

In a statement from Rob Lloyd, the GameStop COO/CFO stated the company delivered results within its adjusted guidance range and made comments that allude to additional adjustments.

… New hardware sales for the year were in line with last year. As we think about 2019 and beyond, we recognize the challenges facing our pre-owned video game business and are prepared to address them as we continue to evolve our business model going forward.

Now for the big question, readers: Do you still shop at GameStop and, if not, what would it take to bring you back?

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Ryan has been playing games for a lifetime and enjoys writing about them. Polar bears are left-handed. Need to get in contact? Feel free to e-mail Ryan.

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