If you've spent any time shopping at Gamestop recently you'll probably have noticed the company shifting emphasis a little to put pre-owned titles more prominently on display, something they look set to expand even further with following comments from Gamestop president Paul Raines.
While many developers aren't happy with this practice as they don't get a cent from these sales, Gamestop benefits far more from selling a pre-owned game versus a new game, as their margins are significantly higher.
According to Raines, gamers immediately pump 70% of the income they receive from selling their old games into buying new games, so games companies need to see the bigger picture…
"We are not ashamed of the pre-owned business and in fact we believe that it's good for the industry," Raines began.
"We're really not cannibalizing new game sales. That's a common misconception. So my answer to developers is that we are driving growth in a category that needs to grow. We think there's a real lack of awareness as far as how it's good for the industry. The transparency you're seeing from us is because we want people to know about it, helping people understand what we're trying to do for the industry."
"We don't sell groceries. We are all about gaming. I play four hours of video games a week. Our office is filled with gamers and people who are into video games. We are authentically into gaming. This isn't a company that dabbles in it. Yeah, we have a business model, we have to make profits, but we're really into video gaming."
At the end of the day, it's demand that drives the pre-owned sector, and Raines says Gamestop will always meet that demand: "The pre-owned business is not going to go away overnight. 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?"