GameStop Buys Flash Game Portal Kongregate

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GameStop Buys Flash Game Portal Kongregate

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Brick-and-mortar kingpin GameStop has taken a decidedly non-brick-and-mortar turn with the purchase of online social gaming mecca Kongregate.

When you think of GameStop, you think of a massive chain of videogame retail stores across North America - the sort of place one would, say, have a midnight launch for a popular game. You don't think of addictive tower defense Flash games like Don't Touch My Gems.

And yet: GameStop has announced plans to buy online game hub Kongregate, host of a bajillion tiny timewasters. Kongregate, which allows game creators to publish their games and even monetize them through microtransactions, says that it services 10 million unique users per month.

"Combining Kongregate's expansive catalogue of games with our well known consumer brand, powerful marketing and strong customer relationships, means that even more gamers will be able to enjoy their games anytime, anywhere and on any device," said GameStop president Tony Bartel.

It's an interesting move for the retail giant, which has previously admitted to being worried about the rise of digital distribution. One could see this as GameStop trying to hedge its bets in an increasingly digital age - or, at the very least, to plant the suggestion in the minds of Kongregate users to go pick up a game at an old-fashioned retail outlet every now and then.

GameStop wouldn't have bought Kongregate if the site weren't profitable, but how the Flash-game portal will figure into the retailer's larger plans remains to be seen.

(GamaSutra)

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Leave Kongregate alone! That's a nice site. I just hope they don't faff about with anything.

Love Kongregate, as a poor gamer it is my only source of entertainment and its never done me wrong. Please don't screw up my entertainment GameStop.

Very interesting to see it broaden it's horizons like that. Let's just hope that they don't destroy Kongregate in hopes of assimilating it in to GameStop.

Smart business move. most likely a terrible injustice to gamers.

I can see them start charging for free games sadly :(

sentient_afterbirth:
Love Kongregate, as a poor gamer it is my only source of entertainment and its never done me wrong. Please don't screw up my entertainment GameStop.

im poor too :(

i really hope hey dont change kong, i love the site and i love the games

Gamestop is "old-fashioned"?!?! That's the only place I buy games from!!!

I'm amused to see Sushi Cat from Armor Games as the picture. Interesting to see how this turns out.

sentient_afterbirth:
Love Kongregate, as a poor gamer it is my only source of entertainment and its never done me wrong. Please don't screw up my entertainment GameStop.

I'm going to start calling it Gamestopregate, in order to reserve the dignity of the former site for when GS inevitably screws us over.

One more site I won't visit anymore. *sighs*

At least most of the good games on Kongregate are hosted elsewhere on the web.

"Strong customer relationships", pfft, my ass. All of your customers really don't like you, especially when you start to charge people to use the site, which we ALL know you are going to do.

sentient_afterbirth:
Love Kongregate, as a poor gamer it is my only source of entertainment and its never done me wrong. Please don't screw up my entertainment GameStop.

agreed! leave it alone, even though i rarelly go on it anymore.

Dammit, I spent so much quality time at kongregate.

I'm expecting the entire site to be skinned in GameStop ads by... let's say... next week.

Damnit Gamestop, why you gotta buy everything I love? You took EB and Babbages and Funcoland and GameCrazy and VG Cavern away from me, now Kongregate...

Crap...

Kongregate is awesome. A great site, huge collection of games, with constant new achievements. Heck, they even have their own CCG. They are one of the nicer places on the internet.

I don't see how this can improve the site. Also, as soon as read this article, the word "monetize" started ringing in the back of my head, with chills running down my spine...

But Kongregate doesn't sell used games for a lot more they they're worth. What do they want with a site that lets us play games for free...
Wait, I just answered my own question. Some of the games on Kongregate are very fun, and free, and there's a lot of them.
Killing off any competition they can.

It could be good (granted I am taking the devil's advocate position) because the web hosting is a lot of money, and Kongregate was starting to lose out. If they are smart (and they are the only real game store that didn't lose money these past few years) they wouldn't change anything but add a few more giveaways like they have been doing only on a larger scale.

Beat the Prince of Persia flash game and enter to win one of five retail copies at your local GameStop.

That and Kongai might actually finish and leave the beta after the few years it has been there.

This worries me. Kongregate is great the way it is... As others have said, I sure hope they don't mess it up.

It appears that the deal is done and dusted. While it's a smart move by GameStop, I can't help but feel slightly worried, since when websites get aquired by big companies, they usually start pissing people off (which I presume explains why Newgrounds is doing so well). Hopefully the changes won't ruin the site.

Nooo I loved the site!

hrmmm figures when I just start on it again it gets bought out, I really hope they dont fuck it up, oh well if they do, we still have newgrounds

John Funk:

When you think of GameStop, you think of a massive chain of videogame retail stores across North America

They've quite a sizeable presence in Ireland too.

Anyway, whats with the immediate "ZOMGZORS never gonna goes there agian!!!"? It's not it's going to completely change overnight, if it all. I, for one, welcome our new GameStop overlords. Is it really that much different from EA buying Pogo?

This can't be good. It simply can't. Look, i've only left my computer for two hours - couldn't the world NOT screw something up for those mere two hours? Looks like the answer is no.

Delusibeta:
It appears that the deal is done and dusted. While it's a smart move by GameStop, I can't help but feel slightly worried, since when websites get aquired by big companies, they usually start pissing people off (which I presume explains why Newgrounds is doing so well). Hopefully the changes won't ruin the site.

Huh. After seeing him explain it, it doesn't seem so bad. Maybe it won't be that bad after all.

This means a lot of things methinks.

And methinks that they aren't good things. Fuck.

Please, let this not ruin Kongregate!

I know someone who works on Kongregate. I hope she doesn't lose her job.

Nuuuu, not Kongregate! Back to Newgrounds I go...

Oh good fucking Gods, why?

Not only are they gonna fuck up my pre-orders, but their gonna fuck up my flash games too.

Also, how the hell do people buy these damn websites? Do they get consent from the owner or what?

Oh well... At least there's Newgrounds.

I wanna see how this turns out. I assume that GS won't change anything about Kongregate except who gets the money that's transacted.

AkJay:
"Strong customer relationships", pfft, my ass. All of your customers really don't like you, especially when you start to charge people to use the site, which we ALL know you are going to do.

Yeah, most Gamestop employee's are irritating and always trying to sell you something that you don't want or even care about. I have a feeling they won't charge everyone to use Kongregate but rather create a "premium account" type of bullshit and only let those people play the good games. F Gamestop!

Well, as my UK friends might say, Bollocks!

Not really looking forward to the Gamestop-centric ads and backdrops that I'm sure will take up residence at Kong. I'm also not really wanting my information being owned by Gamestop either.. I get enough useless emails on "..the latest blockbuster by the guys that used to have lunch with the guys that had girls that cheated on them with the guys that said they worked on a Call of Duty".

Guess it's time to find another place for Flash.

- Tir

Edit: Bah, unable to simple delete my account and personal information from Kongregate. Anyone with a lead on that information, by chance?

I got a bad feeling about this...I cant say im too best impresseed

I love how everyone already assumes the worst. "Oh no, big company bought out a website I like. They must be trying to destroy it. I'm never going there again." Really people, give it a little time. Companies buy websites all the time. It doesn't mean the site is suddenly going to go pay for crap games. Most likely, the only immediate change will be more GameStop ads. Give it some time before going all "end of the world".

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