I will never forgive CNN or Clare Duffy for what that header image did to my sides.
I’m gonna have to have surgery.
GameStop shares climbed rapidly and were halted twice for volatility ahead of the closing bell Wednesday. The gaming retailer’s stock was priced at $91.71 at market close, up nearly 104% from the previous day.
Shares were halted once around 3:40pm ET after climbing nearly 74%, and again just over 10 minutes later after gaining 104%. GameStop’s trading volume was roughly three times higher the five-day average for the stock, according to data provider Refinitiv.
Less than an hour after the closing bell, the stock was on the move again — gaining nearly 90% in after-hours trading.
Having déjà vu yet? The surge comes about a month after a wild GameStop (GME) trading frenzy caused its stock to jump around 1,600% in a matter of days, though it quickly fell from highs around $350. The late January surge was fueled by individual retail investors, many from the Reddit page WallStreetBets, some of whom believed the GameStop was undervalued and others who wanted to squeeze hedge funds that had shorted the stock.
The jump in GameStop also comes a day after the company announced its chief financial officer would resign next month to help “accelerate GameStop’s transformation,” which could fuel investors who believe in the long-term value of the retailer and its ability to shift from relying on physical stores to an e-commerce sales model.
So, the short squeeze is over, but GameStop now has all of this hype.
The argument now is that it is going to rise like the phoenix from the ashes of its demise, and become an online retailer.
I have been watching this Canadian boomer who streams like 8 hours a day about stocks.
His name is Uncle Bruce. I find his personality calming.
He’s also given me some information with regards to the basic nature of the stock market, which frankly, I didn’t know very much about. But the guy just talks and talks; there is more talking than information.
He worked as a stock broker in Canada, and is now retired/a pro YouTuber. He got a ton of subscribers when the GameStop situation was at its height, as he was doing minute to minute coverage.
Further background on Uncle Bruce: Uncle Bruce is not BASED, but he is also totally non-political, which is probably the main reason I enjoy listening to him. It is very refreshing to hear someone talk without pushing politics on everything. I have never once heard him mention “racism” or “climate change,” and he tells wholesome jokes. Listening to him is like taking a time machine back to 1997. You will either like him or not, but I do want to give him a shoutout and say that if you have work like I do where you can put something benign on in the background, you might enjoy it. Either way, subscribe and give him some likes, he’s a good egg. Also Bruce, if you’re reading this, please don’t believe the lies about me as that would make me very sad. I am a very nice person and not villainous in any way whatsoever, nor am I a “neo-Nazi.” And get some crypto addresses. I have a guide that is boomer friendly.
Uncle Bruce is saying that GameStop is going to become a successful online retailer.
But here are a few issues with that:
- Steam has had a virtual monopoly on online game sales for a decade.
- GOG competes with Steam only because they are owned by CD Projekt Red, and because of a weird Polish/communist history thing, and because of the anti-DRM ideology.
- Epic is competing with Steam now, but they are doing it by spending billions of dollars to give people free games, and buying these one year exclusives on relatively niche titles (for example, Obsidian’s Outer Worlds and Julian Gollop’s Phoenix Point).
- Sony has their own online game store.
- Microsoft has their own online game store.
- Nintendo has their own online game store.
- Google Stadia now exists (that is a cloud streaming game service, where you don’t have to download the game).
Uncle Bruce is my only source for the opinion that GameStop is going to become a major online retailer, and he doesn’t talk about any of these things. I don’t think he knows about these things. I think he just knows the kids are big into the vidya.
I don’t think I’ve ever even been in a GameStop store, as I haven’t owned a console since I was a teenager living with my parents and siblings. I used to be a game pirate, and then I became a Steam cultist when games started needing constant updates. I think that GameStop primarily dealt with console gaming, for the simple reason that most PC gamers have downloaded their games for a long time. The last physical disc game I bought was StarCraft 2 in 2010 (just “Wings of Liberty” – the followups I downloaded from Blizzard.com).
I just don’t see physical game discs being a thing at all, ever again. I’m pretty sure that even in third world countries, the internet is now fast enough that you can put a download on when you go to sleep and have it completed by the time you wake up for any game. Maybe that isn’t true in like, certain parts of Africa or something. But I don’t think GameStop is going to cater to rural Africa.
I’m not really too familiar with console gaming, frankly (and I am proud of that fact). But I think part of the reason for the physical discs was that the hard drives in consoles were too small to keep a catalog of games. I think with the latest generation consoles, they have big hard drives geared towards downloading the games from the official stores of the console.
So I’m really just not seeing where GameStop fits into any of this. They can I guess sell the console systems themselves, but that’s a limited market (they only come out every five years), and it’s already on Amazon.
That said, GameStop has a lot of hype right now, and they might just be able to ride that into something. But it’s not going to be Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo giving them rights to sell digital versions of their games at a lower price. There is just no reason for them to do that.
Uncle Bruce just keeps talking about how Ryan Cohen, who founded Chewy.com (pet food store) and then sold it for billions, is now running GameStop and he’s really smart. He does seem to be pretty smart, frankly, but I’m just not able to picture where GameStop as an online retailer fits into the online video game market.
But whatever. I do hope a bunch of NEETs get rich.