GameStop has taken plenty of flack from all angles, particularly over their sales of used games. Developers have claimed that this does massive damage to their industry, vulturing in on their profits. But in a recent interview with Gamasutra, GameStop executives came out to defend themselves, saying that they are benefiting the industry with their used game sales.
The arguments portrayed are nothing new, though to hear them out of the mouth of GameStop CEO Paul Reines shows that the company is starting to take the accusations seriously. According to him, 70% of trade-in credit is used directly to purchase new games, a sales figure equaling around $1.8 billion. He counters the idea that Gamestop kills new game sales by saying:
“…We’re really not cannibalizing new game sales. That’s a common misconception. So my answer to developers is that we are driving growth in a category that needs to grow. We think there’s a real lack of awareness as far as how it’s good for the industry. The transparency you’re seeing from us is because we want people to know about it, helping people understand what we’re trying to do for the industry.”
He also says that used games help to increase gamers’ knowledge of games and gives them the opportunity to play games they might not at full retail. Even with personal grievances against Gamestop, I can’t deny that I’ve picked up quite a few titles used that I wouldn’t have grabbed at $50 or $60, and some of them have been real gems (Vanquish, anyone?).
Sure, the argument between developers and retailers is going to continue, but I don’t know who will end up the “winner.” Let’s just hope that we, the consumer, don’t end up the loser.