Thursday, November 20, 2008

More On A Sticky Situation

Victor Godinez, who writes on videogame and tech issues for the Dallas Morning News, sends this along:
Saw your posts today on used games, and thought you might like to see some actual research that GameStop has done on this topic:
--Just 3% to 4% of used games purchased are games that have been released in the last 90 days. So while Epic and other publishers fume about gamers buying used copies of GoW2 on the day of release, that’s not what’s happening, by and large. The used games that are being sold are largely the older titles that have already gone through 98% of their lifetime sales.

--80% of people who trade in a game turn around and use that money/credit to buy a new game. So the used game market is directly fueling the new game market.

--When gamers buy a new game, they, on average, expect their game to retain about $20 in trade-in value when they get tired of it and decide to sell it. So they’re willing to put up with the $60 price because they know that they’ll recoup about one-third of that cost when they sell it in a few months.

I was talking to GameStop’s CEO, Dan DeMatteo, about this (and other stuff) this afternoon after they announced their quarterly earnings, and he was surprisingly vehement about this topic. He seemed pretty frustrated about the growing rumblings from developers about used games, and it sounds like GameStop is going to embark on an effort after the holidays to explain to game makers why the used market is good for them.

DeMatteo also said, per your readers, that gamers will be righteously pissed (not his words, but definitely his sentiment) if publishers decide to undermine the used games market.

I’m actually going to be writing a larger story for Saturday on the overall state of the video game market right now, and I’ll probably include some of this, in case any of your readers are interested.

Victor's an excellent writer, so the article on Saturday will definitely be worth reading.

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