Companies like GameStop are a bit controversial, to say the least, when it comes to their business practices. While they do push sales of new copies of games, where they really get a good chunk of their money is from used game sales. If a customer buys a used copy of a game, usually $5 or more cheaper, GameStop gets to keep all of the profit: none of that money is ever sent to the publishers.
So, it goes without saying that GameStop encourages trade-ins. But, according to GameStop president Paul Raines, that trade-in credit that people receive isn’t going towards other used games. Instead, what happens is that about 70% of the credit is spent on new games.
And honestly, I can believe that. While I haven’t traded a game in for years (thanks in part to the fact that I’m pretty much an exclusive PC gamer) I know that there were times that I’ve traded in a bunch of older games that I was tired of in order to pick up something new. And while the next generation of consoles may have some sort of anti-used game technology built into the system, Raines makes a good point in that the pre-owned business isn’t going away anytime soon.
“No matter what happens there will be people who want a $9.99 Madden 07. They don’t have $59 to pay for the new game. We’ve got a ton of customers still playing PS2 games. I mean, where do you buy PS2 games anymore except GameStop? There’s a consumer for that.”
You gotta admit, he makes a pretty good point.