When Gamestop released their second quarter results, they noted that digital distribution and used game sales were on the rise. Apparently, according to GameStop’s executive vice president Michael Mauler in an interview with game magazine Edge, used game sales are a good thing. He believes that, not only do used game sales will benefit the consumer, but also benefit the developer and publisher. I might be wrong, but doesn’t the retailer pick up 100% of the sale of a used game?
Anyway, here is Mr Mauler’s reasoning: if gamers didn’t have the chance to actually trade in their games, there was a less chance of them of picking up a brand new game. Now, retailers do embrace a trade it policy, but you usually don’t get that much in store credit or cash unless you trade a handful of games in. I talk from experience, everyone.
Here are Mr Mauler’s words on that issue:
“I can understand the feelings [but] we’ve sat down with developers and publishers and really gone through the data. I personally think there’s a lot of benefit to the publisher. A great example is sequels, where there’s a large percentage of people who are just not going to spend $60 every single year without being able to do something. They’ll look at their shelf and see ten FIFAs, Pro Evos or Maddens.”
“Being able to take the older one and do something with it in order to buy the next version is really important to consumers. That drives new sales quite a bit.”
Mr Mauler also goes into downloadable content and online passes. He believes that the sales of downloadable content rise with a growing used market, however, completely dismisses the idea of the online pass. For those who don’t know, the online pass is a growing trend to force used game customers to pay for basic online features. It was introduced to curb the sales of used games and, as we have seen, it isn’t working.
He also bemoans the fact that the scheduling of major titles are so compact. I tend to agree with him. Why are major releases so close together? There are twelve months in a year, why do we need every big game released in two months? Anyway, here is what Mr Mauler had to say:
“We the industry have done it to ourselves. We take all the great releases and put them all in a two-month period.”
“If you’re an FPS fan, you look at all the games that are coming out this fall, and you’d have to be pretty wealthy to buy all of them. There are going to be people who buy Battlefield 3, and they’re not going to have €60 for at least another month or two…they’re all coming out so close together.”
For the full interview, follow the link. You can have your say, as well. I’m interested on what the public thinks about used game sales.