Retailer GameStop is to back publisher plans to charge for online play in used games.
Speaking to investors after recent results, Paul Raines, chief operating officer at GameStop, said the retailer is looking forward to the launch of EA’s Online Pass – which charges used game buyers a one off fee of $10 to gain access to the games online functions.
“We support the creation of added downloadable content for popular franchises, as we see that as extending the life of titles and broadening the base of game players,” he said.
“We do not anticipate an impact to our used margins due to this program. The amount of used game buyers currently playing online is low, and as it grows, our proprietary models will manage trade and sale pricing to reach margin goals.”
CEO Dan DeMatteo added that the chain can help educate consumers that downloadable content exists for their games.
“There have been some questions concerning… user-only content and the effect on our used business,” he said.
“We have not seen an impact thus far and, as a matter of fact, we will turn this into a positive with our ability to sell DLC through our investments made in technology to market and sell this content in our stores.”
Furthermore, the retailer is set to help promote DLC in a new partnership with Microsoft, which it hopes will bring such content to users’ attention.
“These stores will merchandise a limited amount of DLC and promote that digital content to consumers. Consumers will pay for the content with any form of tender including trade credits,” detailed Raines.
“This process will eliminate a lot of the friction of searching and discovering content online and will bring the power of buy, sell, trade to the digital sale. The test will expand the SKU count each month through the summer, going live to our entire US store base in the fall.”
EA was first to trial charging used game buyers for online access, however others are now following, with THQ charging a fee for online play in UFC 2010 and Sony also charging for online access to Modnation Racers on PSP.