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GameStop Interested in Digital Resales

GameSpot has an interesting quote from GameStop CEO Paul Raines, who describes their interest in getting into the (currently nonexistent) market for selling pre-owned digital content. "Its very interesting," he said. "There are some technologies out there in Europe, and weve looked at a couple that are involved. Were interested; its not a meaningful business yet. Right now were not seeing that as a huge market, but I think were on the leading edge. There are a few companies, a few start-ups, out there that weve talked to that are doing this."

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35. Re: GameStop Interested in Digital Resales Jul 27, 2012, 08:55 Eirikrautha
TheEmissary wrote on Jul 27, 2012, 00:28:
Eirikrautha wrote on Jul 26, 2012, 22:32:
TheEmissary wrote on Jul 26, 2012, 20:58:
Only problem with this is that a digital product doesn't degrade like a physical product does. You can't treat it the same because of that very reason. There would be no difference between a new copy and used copy at that point.

I would rather see some one develop a rental system for PC games than reintroducing a used or second hand market.

You are wrong about the degradation aspect of this. A car might gain mileage, but software gains obsolescence! Are you honestly going to tell me that WordPerfect 3.0 still has the same value today as it did when it was released? Or Call of Duty 1?

The reality is that software degrades just like every other product, only, since it is not physical, the degradation is not based on its structure. It degrades because technology advances, and last year's software is not as capable as this year's. Likewise, this year's computers can do more (and leverage more software) than last year's. That is why people upgrade in the first place.

Only someone with no understanding of economics and technology could assert that NHL 98 hasn't degraded in it's desirability and value since it was released. Yeah, that's why everyone still plays it instead of lining up for the newest release from EA every year </sarcasm>... Wall

If the software is still being sold new it isn't obsolete as far the distributor and publisher is concerned. You might have point if and only if the software was out of print/distribution.

The point I am trying to make is that reselling a "used" digital copy is going to have no appreciable difference to new copy. Especially If it is a game that is say a day or a month old as the demand is still every high. All it is going to do is funnel money that would have went to the developer straight to a company that is going to recycle a license key about a hundred times.

The response to this is probably going to be pretty nasty more day-0 DLC, more season multiplayer packs, and or DRM schemes that prevent it. Possibly some other games switching to freemium model.

Actually, my point stands pretty well even without the title being out-of-print. Otherwise, Steam wouldn't be able to have a summer sale... I mean, if the games' value hadn't dropped because they have been out for 5-6 months, how can you justify selling them for 50-75% off?

The second part of your argument I agree with (in principle). This IS going to cannibalize "first sales" during the first few months of release. That's when the disparity between new and used is the smallest. So what? Publishers have already started to use always-online, day one DLC, etc., without even having this bugaboo be a reality! They don't need an excuse to monetize! They are just going to have to change their income stream to take this into account.

The fact is that major game publishers will have to adapt. Tough. When you look at all the hate directed at the MPAA and the RIAA on the intertubes, it seems a little ironic to criticize the rise of game-trading, you know? Will this impact the cost and availability of AAA blockbusters with $150 million budgets? Of course. But that's already a dying model... the patient just doesn't want to accept it yet.

A smart publisher would start to offer its own used-game trading, letting you trade back your license-key and reselling the key for less. They have the best system to do so... they control the keys and software. But that adds uncertainty, which the investors at EActiSoft do not want. So they are going to keep milking a dying cow (in the hopes that they can buy enough politicians to make their business model the law... even though that won't work, either).

Gaming is changing. You either adapt, or you die. Darwin must be appeased...
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