Pre-owned market is “defrauding the industry”

Thursday, 30th October 2008 15:44 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Frontier boss David Braben has stepped up his campaign against secondhand games sales, telling Eurogamer at Game City in Nottingham that retailers are essentially fiddling the trade.

“The shops are not giving us a way of distinguishing between pre-owned and new,” he said. “So the shops are essentially defrauding the industry.”

Braben added: “We’ve got a lot of retailers eating our lunch and refusing to sell full-priced games.

“I’ve been in a shop where I’ve tried to buy a copy of a relatively recent game, and I’ve taken an empty box off the shelf and they’ve given me a pre-owned copy. That, I think, is disgraceful.

“Not holding stock of new games, substituting them with pre-owned games at the same or much the same price… That is really destroying the shelf-life of our games.”

There’s more through there. None of it’s pretty.



  1. pjmaybe

    After that GAME / Sainsburys 360 buy-up thing, I’m going to side with DB on this. The preowned market needs a serious shakeup.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Tonka


    #2 6 years ago
  3. Blerk

    David really needs to change the record. You’re pissed. We get it. Really.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Rhythm

    Agreed, Peej. That was an absolute scandal

    #4 6 years ago
  5. patlike

    All that’ll happen is that people will games you can’t – or don’t want to – resell. It’s not illegal to sell a secondhand product, and that won’t change.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. that_happy_cat

    Not to mention stores selling new product as pre-owned… oh yes. Sorry Mr Tax Man, no revenue for you!

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Axle

    I’ve bought games from retailers that are ‘new’ (i.e. full price), but I’m given a box that doesn’t have the MS seal on it and has a well-thumbed through manual.

    This contravenes UK law on Trades Description (something that is used cannot be sold ‘as new’) and it’s a fucking disgrace. I thought it was just me, but after reading this I won’t buy a new game unless it’s properly sealed.

    Imagine if you bought an unsealed copy from Amazon or Play, would it still be perceived as ‘new’? No, you would think that someone had been playing it before it got sent to you.

    It’s simply not on.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. pjmaybe

    As mentioned on EG. What is it with some people and what they do to their games? Why does most preowned look like it was tucked down the front of a hardened street-drinker’s gusset for a fortnight before it was traded in?

    #8 6 years ago
  9. that_happy_cat


    Retailers are happier selling a pre-owned game than they are a new one as there’s more profit in it for them. The bigger scandal therefore is when they take a new game, open it, and sell it as pre-owned.

    THing is though, really you can’t blame them. It’s a great way to make money and the industry probably has grown as a result of the ease of trading games. Can you imagine what the car industry would be like if nobody was allowed to trade in second hand cars officially?

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Axle


    That’s what I’m talking about. Blockbuster pull this shit all the time, selling a game ‘as new’ that has been opened. As someone has rightly pointed out, there’s no VAT on it either, so that’s defrauding the treasury too.

    I can understand trade-in’s; I have no problem with that, but why should I buy something that puports to be ne, but is transcated as ‘used’.

    Although the games industry has grown as a result of the trade-in market, you can’t tell me it’s grown becasue of retailers ripping off consumers and the governemnt for their own bottom line on new games. I’m going to buy the game anyway, so the price is immaterial UNTIL one realises that they’re making more money than they should on the transaction. That doesn’t benefit anyone except the oppotunistic, profiteering retailer.

    #10 6 years ago
  11. David

    @Pjmaybe: I can’t understand that either people seem to treat their dvd’s like toilet paper. I always take great care of my discs. The only time they ever get scratch is if I accidentally drop it.

    Thank god for Gamestations disc cleaning service :). I bought a pre-owned copy of mass effect off ebay it had a big scratch on it popped down to GS 30 seconds fixed.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. MesserWolf

    edit , I misread the news :D

    #12 6 years ago
  13. scuz

    if EVER got handed a second hand copy of a game when wanting a new one, i’d be PISSED.

    i’d definitely kick up a fuss.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. onyxbox

    Games need to be about £25 new, people will probably hang onto them for that price.

    #14 6 years ago

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