The videogame retailer GameStop appears to be embracing games publisher efforts to make second hand games less attractive to buyers.
Referring toin an investor conference call, CEO Dan DeMatteo said “We have not seen an impact [from Project $10] thus far and as a matter of fact, we will turn this into a positive with our ability to sell DLC through our investments made in technology to market and sell this content in our stores.”This suggests the company hopes that enough second hand buyers will be prepared to purchase the necessary online code for full access to a used game from a GameStop store.Cynical observers may wish to point out that GameStop is inevitably going to be positive about the matter when speaking to investors. However, if this is all an elaborate bluff on the part of the company it’s a fairly convincing one.Paul Raines, the chief operating officer of GameStop, also appeared unfazed by EA’s scheme, “We do not anticipate an impact to our used margins due to this program. The amount of used game buyers currently playing online is low, and as it grows, our proprietary models will manage trade and sale pricing to reach margin goals.”
It may still be all smiles at GameStop, but the loser in this process will inevitably be the consumer. In no other industry do publishers feel they are owed a slice of any ‘second sales.’ Neither books nor films offer first-time buyers crucial pages and scenes as ‘DLC’ and pretend as if this extra content is a luxury.
It looks to us as if this entire movement against second hand game sales is a concurrent attempt by publishers to charge gamers for things they would previously have received for free. Even more audacious, those same publishers are trying to suggest that this is for the benefit of consumers. It manifestly is not.
Used game sales contributed to a record first fiscal quarter for GameStop, with the retailer posting a net profit of £52.6 million GBP ($75.2 million USD.)
We’ve contacted some other used game retailers and Game Trading Technologies for further comment.