Despite Publishers’ Complaints, They Benefit from Used Game Sales

We often hear publishers bemoan the fact that they don’t see any revenue from used game sales. But is that really true?

In a recent interview with IGN, Game Crazy’s Director of Used Games Marc Mondhaschen says that publishers are reaping benefits from game trade-ins, albeit indirectly:

We did a study not too long ago for a very large vendor who we managed to figure out for them 20 percent of their sales inside the first 28 days were paid for with trade dollars. So you got 20 points of their sales that wouldn’t happen unless we had a trade business going. And that’s specialty retail. Game specialty retail is maybe a third of the channel, 35 percent of the channel. So you got 10 percent of your sales that wouldn’t happen unless somebody was out there trading games with your customers.

And if you didn’t have specialty retail it would be pretty hard to sell innovation into the channel at all. I mean, Wal-Mart doesn’t really buy Katamari Damacy. So, in order to innovate, in order to grow innovation in the business you need a specialty games retailer that actually knows something about videogames. And in order to have them, they need the margins through used games…

Mondhaschen explains that while publishers don’t typically see any money from used game sales, they do benefit in other ways:

When The Lost and Damned came out we started selling a whole lot more Grand Theft Auto 4, both on the new side and on the used side. Which, then, sort of funds people’s ability to go play L&D again…

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Senior Correspondent Andrew Eisen

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