Thursday, 9 August 2012

GameStop: People Sell Us Their Used Games to Buy New Ones

Not surprising, but it seems that it's something that needs to be said over and over again anyways.

GameStop hasn't exactly been a popular company at times, certainly when it was found they were removing the OnLive coupons from Deus Ex: Human Revolution there was a good deal of criticism from the games. Add to that the fact that the large portion of the used market that the chain participates in has made them a less than welcome presence in the eyes of a lot of game developers and publishers.

Still, GameStop thinks that in the case of the developers at least that a lot of the blame and ire is misplaced. After all, according to the numbers that they released in a recent talk with Gamasutra, "70 percent of income that gets handed over to consumers for traded goods is immediately spent on new games. That's a $1.8 billion injection into the games industry."

I have to admit that the number does seem awfully high, but I don't really doubt that a lot of the games that people trade in are for the express reason that they want to buy something new or at least more recent, so by getting rid of older stuff that they don't want to play they help chip a few dollars off the price.

Now the used game market has and continues to be contentious in a lot of ways. Developers and publishers hate it and cite it was one of the main reasons why sales for big name titles falter -- again how legitimate a claim this actually is would be highly debatable in and of itself -- and gamers have often been unhappy with sometimes really minimal returns for their trade-ins. It's not horribly uncommon for a game that you bought new for sixty dollars to only be worth a tenth of that for trade-in. I don't think that anyone expects to trade-in of a five year old game to instantly get them forty or fifty dollars (unless said game is rare or otherwise highly desirable of course) but seeing single digits is most disheartening.

Still, overall the used game market has been a boon to those that want to play more and more often. I think that although the number could use a looking over by an unbiased party, that this essentially proves that used gaming is helping the business a lot more than its hurting it.

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