Microsoft and GameStop are strengthening their relationship, and they're sealing the deal with the closest thing to a blood pact for two separate corporations: revenue shares.
GameStop first announced a "multi-year strategic partnership" with Microsoft last week, emphasizing how store employees would use Microsoft Surface devices and how Microsoft services would now power its backend. It also explained how GameStop would sell Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S through Microsoft's Xbox All Access program, and that both GameStop and Microsoft will benefit from "the lifetime revenue value" of gamers who buy into the Xbox ecosystem.
That sounds big, right? That's all the press release had to say about the detail, so Ars Technica interviewed a couple analysts who had spoken with GameStop senior management to confirm what exactly it means.
"The way it's going to work is for every Microsoft Xbox console that GameStop sells going forward, GameStop will get some percentage of the revenue from every digital full game download, DLC, microtransaction, and any subscriptions as well," Loop Capital analyst Anthony Chukumba explained.
The remaining question there is how big of a revenue share GameStop will pick up from the Xbox consoles it sells - and whether it truly is all consoles or just deals associated with All Access. That could spell the difference between this being a nice bonus in return for using more Microsoft products on its business side, or an all-new business approach for an age of ever-growing game downloads. Neither GameStop nor Microsoft are willing to share that detail so far.
It's worth pointing out again that these are secondhand reports from independent analysts rather than official word from the companies in question. Microsoft has declined requests for comment on the topic, so it may be all we have until GameStop decides to share more information for itself.
See what else the future holds for Microsoft with our guide to upcoming Xbox Series X games.