Bottom line: GameStop has a lot riding on the new concept, which it says it will pilot in a “select [undisclosed] market” at an unspecified time. The company’s stock has been sliding south for roughly half a decade and with a value of just under $5 per share, there isn’t much leeway left.

GameStop on Monday announced a strategic partnership with global design firm R/GA in a bid to reaffirm its place in video game culture.

GameStop said it is piloting streamlined physical store concepts that’ll present ways for gamers to try new titles before buying them. Stores will also have a unique layout and purpose that appeal to gamers such as areas for competitive homegrown e-Leagues and others that specialize in retro hardware and software. The company said it wants to help people search for experiences in gaming beyond the console.

ThinkGeek earlier this year shut down its online presence, consolidating with its parent company to bring its products to local GameStop stores.

According to research led by GameStop and R/GA, video games are no longer just a form of entertainment but rather, a “fundamental part of the fabric of a modern customer’s life.” While it may be true that gaming has never been as big as it is today, the industry has also never had to deal with the struggles that modern retailers face.

Much like streaming did to the video store rental industry, digital downloads have reshaped the traditional video game store landscape. People simply aren’t buying physical games like they once did, instead electing for the convenience afforded by over-the-Internet downloads.

Masthead credit: GameStop store in Rome, Italy by Emilio100