There has been plenty of news swirling around about GameStop over the past few years, including many indications that the retail gaming store could be on its way out, as sales continue to dip and the industry shifts more and more toward digital game sales. Unfortunately, the chain didn’t exactly earn much customer respect when its corporate leaders chose to pretend that it was an essential business during the early stage of the current COVID-19 pandemic, going to great lengths in an attempt to prove that their stores deserved to remain open.
Regardless of these rumors and the company’s consistent blunders though, COVID-19 hasn’t been all bad for GameStop. As a matter of fact, as overall game sales saw a massive 63% bump during the month of March, GameStop alone saw a staggering 1500% increase in online sales between March 1st and April 10th. This marks the best totals for March since 2008’s launch of the Nintendo Wii.
Nintendo’s relaxing Animal Crossing: New Horizons was the best-selling game during the same time period, hitting a record-breaking 13 million copies to make it the biggest launch ever for the Switch, which unsurprisingly was also the best-selling console in March. In the time since, Nintendo’s newest device has seen a shortage around the world, leading desperate parents and diehard gamers to go so far as to buy them from third-party resellers at substantially higher prices than retail.
Despite this uptick in online sales, GameStop has nevertheless seen an 84% decrease in shares in the past five years, and many analysts and even employees seem to echo the sentiment that the once-unstoppable juggernaut may not be around forever. For now, however, it’s uncertain if GameStop will ultimately close its doors or find new ways to earn customer support and restore its declining popularity.