Gamestop: Used Games Are Still Important

Sony shot down the Gamestop premonition that the PS4 wouldn’t play used games.  In fact, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida all but said that consumers would still want physical copies of games and that they were important to the industry market.  Gamestop President Tony Bartel told Forbes magazine that used games are an important part in the gaming market and that it brings in more than $700 million each year.  Recent surveys of gaming consumers showed that about 60% of them would not buy a next-gen system if it couldn’t play used games.

Gamestop’s bread and butter is used games and is what helps them rake in over a quarter of their revenue.  Those survey results show that business can still thrive after the release of the PS4 and XBox 720.  According to an article from Joystiq, back in 2009 about 75% of trade-in credit applied directly to the purchase of a new game.  Bartel, in the article for Forbes, made sure to mention that 70% of all games traded in went toward new games and hardware each year which is more than $1 billion total trade value.

While the focus is mainly on used console games, one would wonder where that leaves used PC games.  Well, because of enforcement of copyright and copy protection, Gamestop will not buy used PC games.  That’s where Valve’s Steam service steps in to help PC players.  The Steam service, which streams PC games and even some console to PC ports, sells something called a Steam Wallet which is like a re-loadable gift card.  Selling used console games and hardware benefits the PC owner, because they get an extra 30% value that they can put into their Steam Wallet to buy games on Steam.  So, its almost a win-win situation.  On his blog on GameInformer, Saint explains the whole trade in situation and how it benefits the PC player.  Saint said,

“But with this, you’re telling me I can trade in my used Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo games…AND get it on a Steam Wallet card that I can take home and use to buy games for my PC via Steam…AND get an extra 30% in doing so?

Tell me GameStop isn’t genius. That is brilliant. And that, my friends and fellow gamers…is why I say GameStop is clever.”

This once again proves that the business of buying and selling used games completely comes full circle and benefits gamers of all types.  Do you think GameStop is clever and just ripping people off or do you think they really do play an important role in the gaming business?