If you purchase your video games from local retailers you’ve no doubt gone through the inconvenience of trying to track down a store associate to release your selection from its display cabinet prison. Or perhaps you’ve dealt with GameStop’s annoying habit of opening games and storing the discs behind the counter.
Hey, it’s an imperfect world where people steal stuff so it’s understandable why retailers take measures like this. But what if there was a better way?
The Entertainment Merchants Association, a trade association which represents a large segment of North American video game and DVD retailers, thinks it may have a solution which could save the retail industry billions by reducing costs, curbing theft and potentially making the purchasing experience more pleasant for the consumer.
The EMA’s solution is “benefit denial” technology that would disable movies and video games until unlocked at the point of sale – sort of like gift cards which have no value until activated by a sales clerk. EMA president Bo Andersen commented on the plan:
It is intuitive that, if we can utilize emerging technology to reduce the shrink in the DVD, Blu-ray discs, and video game categories and eliminate barriers erected to deter shoplifting, consumers will have easier access to the products, additional retail channels will carry these products, and costs will be eliminated from the supply chain.
Baring obstacles such as a lack of accepted standards for such an activation system, the need for staff training, and the cost of implementation, the EMA believes such a solution could debut in late 2010.
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Correspondent Andrew Eisen…