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GameStop nudges into new markets with Spring Mobile acquisition
GameStop nudges into new markets with Spring Mobile acquisition
November 21, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

As revealed this morning in its quarterly earnings call with investors, games retail giant GameStop has acquired the AT&T wireless retailer Spring Mobile for an undisclosed sum.

The wireless retail chain operates around 150 locations across the United States and employs about 650 people. It acquired A-Link Wireless this past September, which will also become part of GameStop's purchase. Similar to how its recent acquisition of Apple retailer Simply Mac is intended to bring GameStop closer to the Macintosh market, the Spring Mobile acquisition represents GameStop's intention to invest further into the smartphone and tablet space.

"This acquisition provides GameStop an entry into the $170 billion wireless market with one of the nation's fastest-growing operators... while adding significant executive talent in the mobile field to the GameStop team," stated company CEO Paul Raines, who added that further details on the acquisition would become available in the next calendar year.

As we reported this morning, GameStop has enjoyed a considerable resurgence in the last three months, going from significant losses to a modest net profit year-over-year. This resurgence, together with promising early retail performance for Sony's and Microsoft's next-generation hardware, positions GameStop to make similar acquisitions like Spring Mobile and Simply Mac going forward.

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Michael Joseph
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Read a blurb predicting global mobile gaming revenue to increase from 13B to $22B by 2015.

I'm not going to say that this won't happen... but I have to say, mobile gaming is apparently being played by a phantom audience because I never see these creatures playing games in the habitats you'd expect to find them... at bus stops, on the bus, in waiting rooms. They must all be playing them in class and on the job instead of learning/working! :)

Perhaps it's a case of my expectation of seeing people "everywhere" playing games far exceeds what is actually necessary to generate $13B a year.

Some stats from

"There are 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, estimates The International Telecommunication Union (February 2013). That is equivalent to 96 percent of the world population (7.1 billion according to the ITU). And is a huge increase from 6.0 billion mobile subscribers in 2011 and 5.4 billion in 2010."

96%? Really?! I would've guessed something like 65% world wide tops. A fair percentage of elderly and little kids don't have cell phone plans. But if these numbers are correct there's not a lot of upside remaining.

Global mobile service operator revenues appears to be something like $500 billion per year.

Saw another stat somewhere that 13% of movie goers in the US/Canada account for 57% of revenues. I suspect mobile gaming is similar.