The second-hand games market is actually beneficial for the industry, according to GameStop CEO Paul Raines, who once again touts the importance of the retailer’s used games strategy.
Second-hand games are one of the biggest “problems” for publishers and developers, as all the profits usually go to retailers like GameStop and not to the people who actually made the game.
While the strategy no doubt has distinct advantages for the customer, many developers have resorted to imposing serious limitations on used copies of a game through methods like an Online Pass that forces those with second-hand versions of a game to buy a $10/€10 key in order to access the multiplayer mode.
This is unfortunate, according to GameStop CEO Paul Raines, who told Gamasutra
that, in the end, the used games business is good for the industry.
"We are not ashamed of the pre-owned business and in fact we believe that it's good for the industry," he said. "The knowledge of how this model helps drive sales really resides at the publisher level. We have not been successful in communicating to developers how this business really helps. We're really not cannibalizing new game sales. That's a common misconception."
According to Raines, regular customers tend to keep new copies of a game for at least six weeks before deciding to trade them in and get store credit in the process. Meanwhile, those with less resources can experience games and try out different things without making too big of an investment.
"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. A lot of our consumers tell us that the pre-owned business has allowed them to learn more about video gaming. There's a disconnect between a lot of the blogosphere and what consumers tell us."
Even if GameStop tries to paint its business in a pretty picture, many publishers and developers still complain of the used gaming sector and hope that systems
against this will be implemented in next-generation consoles