Shares of GameStop have surged more than 30% Thursday afternoon on a multiyear partnership with Microsoft in which the video game retail giant will utilize the tech company's cloud solutions in order to create the “ultimate gaming destination.”
Prior to the announcement, GameStop stock had temporarily halted trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Microsoft, the creator of the Xbox gaming console, will leverage GameStop's retail stores to offer an expanded variety of product offerings including Xbox All Access, which will provide an Xbox console and 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to players with no upfront cost.
Meanwhile, GameStop will now be able to utilize Microsoft's cloud-based business applications and customer data platform, Dynamic 365, to gain insight about customer preferences and purchasing history, real time information on product availability, subscriptions, pricing, and promotions in order to provide a personalized in-store customer experience.
In addition, GameStop's retail associates will now be equipped with Microsoft Surface devices to allow the company's employees to meet the needs of customers faster and more efficiently. GameStop's more than 30,000 store associates will also gain access to enhanced productivity and collaboration tools through Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams.
The move comes ahead of the official launch of Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S, which began preorders on Sept. 22 and is set to debut on Nov. 10 in 36 countries.
The Xbox Series X and Series S will be priced at $499 and $299 respectively.
The partnership will likely give Microsoft's Xbox a competitive advantage in the brick-and-mortar retail space over Sony's PlayStation 5 console, which is set to debut on Nov. 12 in the U.S., Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea before being unveiled to the rest of the world on Nov. 19.