The Microsoft news continues to roll in as the marathon towards the release date of the Xbox Series X draws near. In this recent announcement, the tech company is teaming up with GameStop in a strategic alliance to advance GameStop's strategic pillars and advance the company's omni-channel ecosystem. This move will possibly provide a much needed update that may help GameStop thrive in the increasingly growing digital age.
In the cosmic sense, this isn't a giant move that will convert GameStop locations into Xbox stores or anything overly transformative. The influx of Microsoft's vision intends to standardize GameStop's back-end by incorporating Dynamics 365, a cloud-based business applications platform that combines components of customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP), along with productivity applications and artificial intelligence tools.
In-store associates will also have access to Microsoft Surface devices that will aid in speeding up productivity and assisting the customer even faster. As part of this agreement, GameStop will also have Microsoft Teams staffed in their stores, which may aid in answering questions faster. Xbox's All Access will also be added, providing customers with one Xbox console and 2 years of Game Pass to players with zero upfront cost.
Despite being the biggest video game retail chain with 5,000 worldwide locations, GameStop has become a money pit in recent times, netting an operating loss of $702 million dollars in 2018. GameStop's greatest gain was their profit off of used games, but digital retail has been running circles around the necessity for physical copies. With a combination of antiquated business practices, removing perks and aspects of their PowerUp Member rewards program, questionable ownership, and poor treatment of employees over the years, they haven't been considered a destination for gamers. it had seemed like GameStop was close to death's door, perhaps this reinvention of their structure will prolong their life in the digital age.