The GameStop business model is built on the company’s ability to sell used and, in many cases, often piss-poor condition console games. That practice is being slammed in an editorial published today by Next-Gen editor in chief Colin Campbell, who calls the process “parasitic” and writes that it costs the industry $UA 1 billion annually. It’s not necessarily a new sales trend, but one that may be changing, as digital downloads via Xbox Live Marketplace, Wii Ware, Steam and the PlayStation Store ramp up.
Campbell does his best to point out to consumers that “the real losers here are publishers, developers and the non-retail game industry eco-system” otherwise known as the “part of the business that actually generates content.” Is he calling for a ban on used games? Absolutely not, but the quickness with which games become new, then used, may have a big impact on profits going to the right people.
Personally, I haven’t bought a current generation game in used condition, largely because I avoid Gamestop stores like the plague and saving $US 5 on a gummed up disc doesn’t appeal to me. Sorry, but the place amounts to little more than a flea market to me and I’m not interested in giving the company any of my dollars.
What do you think? Is the quick turnaround and minor markdown on used games going to hurt the industry? Are high prices on console games helping to keep this industry in business?
EDITOR’S VIEW: Used Games are Damaging [Next-Gen]