In a quick-and-dirty interview with IndustryGamers, GameStop President Tony Bartel confidently proclaims that the world's largest games retailer has a huge advantage over streaming game services such as OnLive and Gaikai. When asked the question "How do you see cloud gaming evolving as a business model?," Bartel responds by saying that their advantage is knowledge of what customers are buying in advance:
"I think you’re going to see a lot of models being tested. I think you’re going to see people trying to sell full games for streaming in the cloud. I think you’re going to see people having monthly subscription models to pay for gaming in the cloud. I think you’re going to have people put together a micro-rental model where you have 'X' dollars per hour to play these games. But at this point the only one of those that has truly been tested is the DLC model.
We have an advantage over our competition because we know who has reserved a game for the big launches."
Bartel goes on to say that one of the highest growth categories – according to his company's research and knowledge in the space – is downloadable content for games:
"Based on market research that we’ve done, we believe one of the highest growth categories in all of digital is the sale of DLC. You still have a $50 billion console industry out there, and now you have this great DLC market where you have downloaded content directly to the console. And these gamers are used to paying for games. Rather than look to conjecture about the future, I would start with let’s talk about what’s working today, and that definitely is working. We see that growing from a $3 billion global category today to a $6.4 billion category by 2014. That’s a 24% per annum growth rate."
You can read the entire thing here – assuming that you are interested in what the future of cloud-based gaming might look like from GameStop's perspective.