Walmart Now Selling Used Games?
Just a few years ago gamers could only buy and sell used games at Gamestop, and it seemed like nowhere else. They bring in over an amazing $2 billion a year in revenue from used game sales – it’s big business! Recently gamers are finding more and more places that offer this service, including Amazon.com with store-wide trade-in credit, and Best Buy; Toys ‘R Us beginning trial programs. There are also several game swapping sites cropping up, including Switch Games and Goozex, which allow players to trade games (and game systems), sometimes for free.
So now Wal-mart has installed automated used game kiosks in 80 stores, and while they apparently have a few bugs to work out, they could become rather popular. This begs the question – is this better or worse for gamers?
Generally having more choices is a good thing for game buyers. Sites that offer trade-in or buying programs on old games give value back for the purchased game, and when they resell the games they are sometimes at a substantially lower price.
So how could this be a bad thing? Well, game publishers complain that they don’t get a cut of anything but the initial sale, and if this causes problems for them it could theoretically result in less games made for the gamers. It seems unlikely that any of the big boys like Activision or EA will be going out of business due to used game sales cutting into their revenues.
There do not seem to be a lot of negatives to these programs – gamers can get their hands on wanted games at a lower cost. What do you guys think?