Pre-eminent U.S. physical specialty video game retailer GameStop extended its digital distribution efforts on Friday with the launch of the RealNetworks-powered GameStop Casual Digital Store
Tony Bartel, EVP of merchandising and marketing at GameStop, said the new store aims to appeal "to an ever-expanding customer demographic." Games appearing on the site currently include PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies
, and Peggle
, Gamehouse's Scrabble
, and Take-Two's Diner Dash
. Hundreds of games are available for download.
The site also features "The Casual Lounge", a community-centric, blog-type section that features the martini-swilling mascot named "Casual Guy". Currently, GameStop is selling certain casual games at 50 percent off in conjunction with the site's launch. The store is powered by RealNetworks' download technology.
GameStop, which reported $8.8 billion in sales last year, is primarily a physical retailer, but digital versions of PC games have been available on the company's website prior to the Casual Digital Store.
The company also added a functionality to its download service that allows users to pre-order select PC games, including core-focused games Dragon Age
and Red Faction: Guerrilla
GameStop has repeatedly said that it's confident that the physical retail business will make up the large majority of game sales for years to come, despite the rapid rise of digital distribution. The company lays claim to 6,200 physical stores worldwide.