Kongregate has focused on community driven games up until now, and that’s a stretch from where GameStop’s retail oriented business is coming from. Still, both parties think that the combination of the two, especially GameStop’s 10 to 15 million unique web visitors, will open up new possibilities.
“We’ve been talking for a while publicly about where we see ourselves in the future as it relates to our digital strategy,” said Chris Petrovic, GameStop’s General Manager of Digital Ventures. “They know how to bring mass amounts of community to a destination, as well as get great games from developers and monetize that. We feel we’re kindred spirits in that way, we both appeal to the core gamers primarily. This allows us to fulfill a lot of what we’ve talked about up until now — to be that leading destination across internet-connected devices.”
There are a lot of consumers, by consequence, that will have never heard of Kongregate or its business model before this move. “There’s a huge offline world of gamers who maybe haven’t been exposed [to free to play games],” says Kongregate founder Jim Greer. “I think it makes sense for us to be reaching them in the browser.”
“A few years ago, if you went to the community of console gamers and told them about Flash games, they’d be like, ‘why would I waste my time, I’m playing Call of Duty,‘ Greer added. I think that has really changed over the last two years, as we’re seeing big publishers like EA and huge companies like Bigpoint investing huge resources into the browser.”
Meanwhile, Greer insisted that it will be business as usual for Kongregate’s numerous small developers. “The popular stuff on our site . . . the majority of it continues to be from one and two-person development teams, he said. It’s going to be business as usual in terms of the way we treat [developers] in terms of transparency and access.