GameStop Buys Pre-Owned Website Kongregate

If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete.

“GameStop Announces Agreement to Acquire Kongregate Inc.” [via]


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  1. MamaBug says:


    I loved Kongregate…..great place for beta games, lots of new stuff….Game Stop’ll kill it.

    • xjeyne says:

      People said the same thing about EA taking over Bioware, and since then Bioware has been doing better than ever and now has the funding for great advertising through EA.

      I know a lot of people see GameStop as an evil corporation but just give them a chance. They might surprise you. (And you’d probably be surprised at the corporations that are already related to GameStop.)

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:


        Or how about when Activision bought Blizzard and Blizzard stopped making good games.

        Well, granted, Blizzard only makes three games: Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablocraft. But still, they’re really good. And as far as I can tell after day one, Starcraft 2 is really really good.

        Also, BioWare is my temple. I love their games. LOVE THEM.

      • Coyote says:

        Bioware was a game company, something EA had some experience with. This is a free mostly community driven site and neither of those things have ever been used in a sentence with Gamestop before.

        However if they give me say a 1/20 trade off on in store credit for my already massive points total I’ll shut up.

        • Mr. S says:

          According to the announcement on Kongregate ( ), there will be no immediate changes, nor will the site diverge from what it is.

          It could be argued that, given GS’s inexperience in this field and Kongregate’s success, GS would not be heavy handed in dealing with the site, relying on the mindshare within Kongregate.

  2. KTrenholm says:

    “Preorder Tower Defense at gamestop and get this super special overpowered cannon in multiplayer.

    Power to the players.”

    It’s going to happen you just wait.

  3. danmac says:

    What a confusing headline…it implies that Kongregate sells pre-owned games, which it doesn’t. It’s also redundant; if they’re buying the website, it’s obviously pre-owned.

    • tape says:

      it’s not confusing if you understand humor or GameStop.

      • danmac says:

        Oh…now I understand…I suppose the site normally sells new for $59.99, but Gamestop would be happy to sell it back to us used for $54.99.

  4. milty456 says:

    Game Stop sucks…they are going to ruin a great site.

  5. MustWarnOthers says:

    Perhaps Gamestop feels a bit slighted by the Worst Company in America 2010 results?

    Maybe they are looking to ruin a well run website. What other motivation could Gamestop possibly have for purchasing Kongregate? They are a corporation and their only motive is profit, can’t wait to see what the outcome is.

    • mac-phisto says:

      “What other motivation could Gamestop possibly have for purchasing Kongregate?”

      a 10-million line marketing list comprised entirely of the type of people you want to market to is what comes to my mind.

      i suppose they could’ve gone after some of the bigger game-related internet fish like gametrailers, 1up or gamespot, but i imagine viacom, hearst & cbs (the owners of those sites, respectively) wanted a helluvalot more than the handful of angel investors that funded kongregate.

  6. Dapper Dan says:

    Even if they put more advertising on it, Kongregate will still have the same great games. The only downfall I see is if they start charging for memberships.

  7. Burzmali says:

    As long as they keep paying the top game makers each month and the “pre-order the next big game to get a super item in this flash game” stuff isn’t out of control, then I don’t think this will be too bad. I will be turning my adblocker on for the site if the ads get too crazy.

  8. Anonymously says:

    Looking at Kongregrate objectively, it’s basically a set of advertisements for crappy browser-based MMOs. Even though I hate MMOs, and I hate how prevalent they are on the site, I still love Kongregate. I have a feeling that GameStop will take the site from borderline annoying to “I’m never coming back” annoying.

    • mikeP says:

      You are probably right. It seems like half their challenges and badges nowdays are for these crap MMOs that I avoid like the plague.

      Pretty soon it will just be a dumping ground for MMOs, cuz clearly we don’t have enough ‘free’ MMOs that charge an arm and a leg to be able to do anything in the game…

  9. WordTipping says:

    I’m not worried about GameStop killing Kongregate so much as I don’t want to support Gamestop.

  10. SteveZim1017 says:

    most of the ads on Kongregate are already for pre-ordering games. now they will just be gamestop exclusive.

    can’t wait for the fallout new vegas pre-order ads to come back to the site, slowing it to a crawl again…

  11. OnePumpChump says:


  12. stormbird says:

    I love that site. I get addicted to one game for a month or two and then find another one to get addicted to. Right now, it’s Bloons Tower Defense 3. GameStop will f it up, I am sure. (five paragraph rant about charging just five dollars less for a used game goes here)

  13. Velifer says:

    New Badge: Corporate Sellout!
    Cash in on your success.

    New Badge: Shaft your Users!
    Sellout to the Worst Company in America.

  14. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Pay close attention to the words… “no immediate changes” That’s corporate speak for “Smack you upside the head when you ain’t looking.” Believe me, I’ve been through these kind of things before and it never stays the same. We’ll back around this dead horse in a few months talking about how GameStop is changing things for the worse.

  15. UltimateOutsider says:

    Worry not, Kongregate fans, GameStop is merely expanding the scope of their business. I expect them to move toward a Gametap-style model, where they offer online free or for-pay games (they already have digital downloads for some titles). Any smart media vendor of any kind is looking at moving away from brick-and-mortar distribution. Kongregate also gives them a sort of gaming community, which they have not had until now; up to this point, they’ve just been a store.

    • Nekoincardine says:

      I’m not willing to bank on Gamestop CHANGING models – it is still highly reliant on what it knows, which is retail.

      However, Gamestop is trying to expand its market well beyond where it was in various ways. Choosing to buy a group who have proven their competency instead of founding one themselves has been a multi-part pattern recently – they’ve also been commissioning free-to-plays from Jolt Online Gaming (remember Legends of Zork? That was Gamestop). Kongregate is, in this line, a sensible pick – able to truly profit off of truly free, while providing incentives to get Tips into play.

      The best things Gamestop can do with the site, IMO, are going to be very subtle. First, keep the marketing similar to what’s already been going. Second, as the CEO of Kong already confirmed, integrate, but only where it makes sense (PowerUp Rewards points for Kong points seems reasonable – and Tips, the Kongregate pay currency, as a PowerUp Reward option just makes sense). One example might be to merge the credit-card handling together, simply because it’d lower the rate lost to the credit card company.

      Finally? Just Let Greg Do What He Already Does. Greg seems convinced that Gamestop is savvy to the site’s nature – for one, he reports directly to Gamestop’s CEO. If the company avoids controlling with a heavy hand and instead truly helps the site (rare but not impossible in these sorts of buyout), they could have a nice revenue stream in place that also serves as a MASSIVE boost to their advertising sales team (which is actually where a LOT of GameStop’s true profits come from – they make more off of the ads in-store than off new sales in that store).

      Oh, and make sure the ads are bandwidth-efficient and don’t crash the homepage like the Fallout New Vegas one did. I’m still not sure how that happened, they’ve done frontpage-theming ones before no problem…

  16. pantherx says:

    As a Kongregate player (Level 26!) and a Gamestop user… if I can get points towards purchases, etc by doing nothing different than what I already do, I’m in.

    Gamestop sucks, yes… but it’s pretty much the only show in town if you want to trade in games. Or just be able to pick up a game in less than a minute… you know, if there isn’t a line.