Reggie Fils-Aimé, the former President of Nintendo of America and an iconic piece of the Iwata era of Nintendo, has joined the board of directors of the struggling video game retailer GameStop. The announcement was made on Monday via a news release on the company’s website. The news follows a huge decline in the stock value of the company.
Because of the rise in popularity of digital games, as well as the widespread popularity of Amazon and its next-day delivery service through Amazon Prime, the company has been navigating troubled waters for some time. In January it revealed that the sales for its most recent quarter were down 25% on the previous year, and the previous year’s numbers were down significantly compared to the year before that. Executives claim the low sales are the result of a drop in hardware sales, which it claims is common in the lead up to a new generation of hardware. Both Sony and Microsoft are launching their next-generation systems later this year, and the company believes sales will increase as a result. While this may be true, the reality is that GameStop has been struggling for many years, mainly down to its inability to adapt to market changes. The company has always made most of its profit from the sale of used games, but with fewer and fewer people buying physical media those sales have started drying up. This is something which has been happening for the many years.
The announcement that Fils-Aimé will be joining the company has come as a shock to many. He left his role at Nintendo through retirement, so his appointment at GameStop seems odd. Maybe the company thinks his previous experience in the industry will help steer them through its troubles? Only time will tell.
Last September GameStop announced it was closing hundreds of stores in an attempt to cut costs. Up to 200 stores will close, from nearly 6000 worldwide, although we expect many more will follow.