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“Mobile and downloadable games are in many ways complementary to the experiences of the physical video game business,” Callahan said. “I like to look at these as appetizers, meals and feasts with mobile games as smaller appetizers, many downloadable games as meals, and physical games, often largest in terms of content, are feasts. There is a time and a place for all these games.”
And the passion for games also presents opportunities for retailers like Best Buy.
“This audience is so engaged,” Mikhailov said. “They want to play in tournaments. They want to learn the levels faster. It’s like the movies: Yeah, you can probably download movies and not go to the theater, but look at these opening weekends. They’re just getting bigger and bigger.”
As it turns out, Best Buy and other retailers have launched an all-out push to capitalize on this enthusiasm. Best Buy has hosted midnight launch parties where consumers can pick up the consoles they preordered over the Internet. And both Best Buy and Target both have redone their video games sections with interactive product displays.
In addition, Best Buy is hosting video game tournaments in eight cities. The winners get to play Madden NFL football on the giant Jumbotron in the Dallas Cowboys’ state-of-the-art stadium.
“Console-based games are absolutely still relevant,” Koller said.
Thomas Lee • 612-673-4113