Retailers in the UK have seen a significant increase in used game sales and trade-ins since GAME closed up 277 of its shops.
“The indies have a fantastic chance to win back customers,” said Complete Epos Solutions’ Chris Ratcliff. “A slimmed down GAME is welcome as it leaves some space for the indies to fill. And pre-owned will always be important to games retailers as it is the only way to actually make money.
“An old boxed game will always have a used value – whether it’s £1 to over £100 for PSone’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.”
Some stores, such as Eclipse Home Entertainment, have even had to limit the amount of used games it buys from customers, while supermarket chains such as TESCO, still aren’t doing so well in the pre-owned market. Argos tried, but the program didn’t meet expectations.
“Frankly, I don’t think the multiples have the infrastructure to do particularly well with pre-owned,” said Konami UK GM Pete Stone. “If anyone is likely to benefit with pre-owned from GAME’s [store closures], it will probably be indies.”
Most companies feel the demand for used games will grow, especially given the “economic outlook,” said HMV’s Ewan Pinder, whose comment mirrored that of Blockbuster UK commercial director Gerry Butler.
“Trade-in helps the sale of new product, because not everyone can afford £40 for each new video game,” he said.