Video Games, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, nintendo, wii, ds, sony, microsoft, PSN, XBLA, Onlive, Playstation Vita, Wii U,
Posted by drew10 on Oct 7, 2010
Pre-owned outlets grow by a third!

Pre-owned outlets grow by a third!

Trade-ins Saint or Sinner?

 

A great deal of the games industry may frown upon shops that allow trade-ins on titles but retail is loving it! Recent data supplied by MCV suggests that pre-owned titles are now more popular than ever. According to their research there are now nearly 3000 stores across the UK offering trade-in deals as opposed to only 2000 this time last year.

With Supermarkets like Asda and Tesco and retail chains like Argos getting in on the act, it seems that trade-in has gone mainstream. This surely sounds the death-knell to the remaining independent games shops who have struggled to survive in the face of monopoly from Game Stores. With Asda offering an incredible trade-in price of 97p on FIFA 11 if  the consumer traded Halo Reach, Dead Rising 2 or F1 2010 it seems that even Game may struggle to compete.

FIFA 11 for 97p That's Asda Price!

Publishers are always trying to convince us that trade-in titles damage the industry as a whole however we are not convinced by this. Surely high prices are what set the tone for the trade-in market to be so virile. It stands to reason that as the amount of disposable income consumers have in their pockets decreases the ability to spend upwards of £45 for a game decreases. Therefore gamers cobble together their titles and recoup what little they can on their games against the latest titles. If retail prices started lower, then the need to trade would be greatly reduced.

However sales figures do not seem to be bearing out the industry claims. Year on year we see a growth in sales for the gaming industry and to suggest that trade-ins are damaging these sales simply does not equate. Every shop that stocks a game first has to purchase it therefore regardless of whether a game is purchased with cash or by trade-in the publisher will still have received the same amount of money for the title. Yes, we know they will state that if the choice of pre-owned titles was reduced more people would be forced to purchase the new games. We would suggest, and we know from just talking to gamers, that actually games sales would suffer as people would buy less titles.

A Wal-Mart trade-in machine in the US!

Another thing the industry refuses to acknowledge is that, in this time of constant sequels, if a gamer does not have the money to purchase a game when new they may still pick it up pre-owned at a later date. If the game is good enough, once the sequel is release, they are much more likely to purchase it at full price. The sequel becomes high on their priority list driving sales of the game more than perhaps had it not been available at a reduced pre-owned price.

As gaming moves towards Digital Distribution a fundamental part of our pastime will be gone forever. We suggest that part of being a gamer is entering a game shop and browsing all of the games, new and pre-owned. It is about breaking the seal on a new title and the smell of the instruction book. It is about trawling through your collection to see what you have completed and then taking them to the shop to be offered a ridiculous return on them against the latest release. It is part of the gaming experience and one which will soon be lost forever.

That said, if consumers were to see a significant reduction in prices as the need for physical media and packaging was eradicated then Digital Distribution would be welcomed with open arms. Unfortunately the DLC content and games we are already able to access via XBL and PSN does not indicate that this will be the case. Only time will tell. For now we suggest you shop around to find the best trade-in prices you can.

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