GameStop wants to get in with developers during a game's development stage, to secure exclusive gameplay for preorder customers.
Right now, preordering a game from a big-name retailer like GameStop usually comes with a few, purely cosmetic perks. Be it a physical item, or a couple of pieces of cosmetic in-game content (like skins and weapons), they are mostly incidental little bonuses. But soon, there may be entire sections of gameplay sanctioned off to those who don't preorder their games, as GameStop now wants to get involved with game developers earlier on in their development processes, in order to secure better and more substantial exclusives.
"[GameStop] indicated that software publishers are more enthusiastic about partnering with it," investment company R.W. Baird's analyst Colin Sebastian wrote in his note to investors. "For example, by offering exclusive content on each major game release, and longer term, future models may include GameStop offering exclusive gameplay."
"We are working with our [development] partners to build in a longer lead time," GameStop public-relations spokesperson Jackie Smith corroborated to Games Beat. "And we are working with them to get both physical and digital exclusives for our customers."
GameStop says that this strategy is still in the early stages, but it clearly wants to use the extensive knowledge it would gain of a game still in development to leverage better exclusives.
Its certainly not good news for gamers, that's for sure. The thought of being locked out of a substantial section of a game just because I didn't buy it from a specific retailer actually makes me feel a little ill.
Source: Games Beat