GameStop vice chairman and CEO Daniel A. DeMatteo has made a rare statement on the current state of the games industry, saying that new customers are more important than ever to the company's business and will dictate a number of changes to marketing and store layouts.
With new and casual gamers often far less aware of new titles than traditional players, DeMatteo has indicated that GameStop will set up two new sections in each of its stores this year, one focusing on music games such as Guitar Hero
and the other dedicated to family friendly games such as Nintendogs
and Lego Star Wars
"There is a real breadth of properties now appealing to a much broader audience than we've seen before," DeMatteo said in a New York Times interview
. "Honestly, we are having to retool the way we think of things in our stores in terms of merchandising, layout and also customer service because it is no longer only the hardcore gamer walking in who knows exactly what he wants."
In further comments DeMatteo indicated that demand for the Wii console would likely continue to outstrip supply and that the PlayStation 2 would continue to sell strongly. GameStop senior vice president for merchandising Bob McKenzie also noted that Xbox 360 sales had not been adversely affected by the widely reported hardware defects.