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access_time March 18, 2014 at 2:31 PM in Culture by Charlie Grammer

Walmart decides to take part in the game trade-in business

Walmart to expand game trade-in program.

Walmart to expand game trade-in program.

If you were wanting more choices when it comes to trading in your video games, then Walmart’s recently announced plans may please you, as they are going to launch a large-scale trade-in program at 3,100 stores across America.

Unlike some stores, however, you will be able to utilize any trade-in credit for anything at all in the store. Need just a little bit more to get that big television set you’ve been wanting? You’ll be able to trade in a game to put you over the top.

The company intends to accept games for all existing platforms, although the company won’t be accepting game hardware. If you’re wondering how the prices for your games will be judged, Mac Naughton states that they will vary depending on the title’s popularity, but they estimate that the average price per game will be around $35.

Mac Naughton stated, “Ultimately, we want to pay more for games than anybody else and let [customers] pay less,” while Laura Phillips, Walmart’s senior vice president of entertainment, added that, “Our customers have been interested in used games for many years – and we’ve been working with partners to enter this business for many years. We just couldn’t find a model that worked for our customers.”

They’ve finally found a working model, as they’ll utilize CE Exchange as a database repository for the value of any games you may want to trade. The associates will simply scan the game’s code after checking for scratches and cracks and the trade-in value will be automatically entered.

Some may be wondering why the company is choosing now to expand the program that they initially launched in 2009. Mr. Naughton explains, “We think due to the size of this business and the role we can play in disrupting it, that the timing is good right now.”

He went on to brush off questions about feedback from game makers, since the publishers tend to be resistant to expanding the number of stores that will trade and sell used games (they do not receive any portion of these sales, after all), stating that the game makers are “excited” by the move. He refused to speak more on the subject, instead focusing on the appeal to consumers.

Publishers have generally been resistant to expanding the number of stores trading and selling used games, since they don’t receive a portion of those sales. Mac Naughton brushed off questions about feedback from game makers, saying they were ‘excited’ by the move, but declining to speak further for them. Instead, he chose to focus on the appeal and benefit of the program for consumers.

It should be noted that our source, GamesIndustry.biz, spoke to several developers and publishers. While none made comments on the record, they note that none of the creators are excited by this prospect, despite what Mac Naughton stated.

Could this be another reason for game companies to go purely digital? Or will HDD and bandwidth limits, along with the increasing size of games, prevent that from happening anytime soon?


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