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GameStop looking to resell digital games
GameStop looking to resell digital games
July 27, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

July 27, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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    27 comments
More: Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing



Major retailer GameStop has been a leading proponent of the used game business for quite some time, and now the company's trying to find a way to move that practice online so it can resell games purchased via digital platforms.

In a recent interview with Gamespot, company CEO Paul Raines said the firm has already begun researching a number of ways to make used digital game sales a reality.

"There are some technologies out there in Europe, and weve looked at a couple that are involved. Were interested; its not a meaningful business yet. Right now were not seeing that as a huge market, but I think were on the leading edge," Raines said.

The very concept of reselling digital games is without a doubt a bit unconventional, but it just might be within the realm of possibility. Earlier this month, a European court declared that used software sales are, in fact, protected by law.

If it all pans out, this market could prove a huge boon for GameStop, as used sales are an essential pillar to the company's business. During its 2011 fiscal year, for instance, used game products brought in $2.6 billion in sales, making up 27 percent of the company's overall revenue.


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Comments


Galaxy 613
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The problem is, how do you get people to stop using the game after they resold it? This practically means DRM is a must have, because even if you force someone to uninstall it, they might've copied it somewhere else...

Duvelle Jones
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That would be my concern, something like this begs for a DRM solution on the internet. Maybe down to protocol level, which is disturbing.

Christopher Furniss
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How... wait... what?

Joe McGinn
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It will never happen. Gamestop is basically stealing money from every game developer/publisher right now. And in the digital age, they are a completely uncessesary evil. What is an online sore? Software. So they are stealing money from software developers who had no choice when they still needed bricks and mortar, and are asking those developers to volunteer to continue being stolen from, but in the digital age offering nothing the developers can't provide themselves. Which is why EA has their own store. You think you're ever going to be able to buy an EA game in Gamestop Online? Not bloody likely.

Jonathan Jennings
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...re-sell digital games? .............i am so very very confused

Matt Robb
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For those that feel confused, you're reselling your license to the software. That said, this will only work in closed systems where the software is dependent on a server somewhere. Of course, any software it won't work with is software that's easily pirated anyways, so...

John Ardussi
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The question is - How is a used digital game different than a new game? The answer is that it is identical. So why should they get to sell the same game to people and pay no royalties to the original creator?

Brian Tsukerman
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Considering the judgement made earlier this month in Europe that allowed the resale of digital games, it's about time that GameStop pounced on the opportunity.

All it really requires is a means of tracking and transferring the keys so people who resold the game can't continue playing with their old key. Even so, whose responsibility would it be to do so? Developers? Retailers? Publishers?

Duvelle Jones
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Keep in mind that would only apply to any member states of the EU and even then only if ratified with each state. The UK would have to come to the same conclusion within it's court system, not being a member of the EU. The US would have to do the same for obvious reasons.

This will only be the beginning.

Joe McGinn
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Also, that judgement *allows* it, but does not require it ... there's nothing in it can force Apple to add a resell capability to iTunes. And there never will be, Apple and every other digital store would rightly fight this to the death.

Brandon Sheffield
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Gamestop is certainly looking to be the villain of the piece.

Jeremy Alessi
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I'm not an advocate of this concept. I think it made sense for physical goods, but for digital this is all wrong.

Duong Nguyen
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The bit's they are used you see.. who wants used bits.. that's atleast a 50% discount.

David Klingler
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A used digital game is equal to a new digital game because it's just files. If they're reselling an account for a game, that might be different, as that might include earned items in the game while also possibly excluding certain things in the game that can't be done/used more than once. At the very least, the publisher or marketplace that sells a game can just change their terms so that you cannot resell your digital copy or your account (which is already in place in some cases). I don't see this working out for Gamestop at all. I know about the ruling in Europe about legalization of the reselling of digital games, but there are plenty of ways for publishers and marketplaces to get around that with their own policies even if it is considered legal.

Ian Fisch
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If your digital downloads are tied to your xbox live account or steam account, how could this possibly work?

Microsoft, Sony, etc would have to allow Gamestop to do this, but why would they?

If a used digital game market gives Sony or MS an edge in system sales, they could just set up their own digital used markets. Why should gamestop get a cut?

Timothy Ryan
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They're just evil and stupid. Stupid, because it's a violation of the EULA people agree to when purchasing / downloading the game. Evil, because they are HURTING the game developers. None of that money goes back to the publisher or developer.

Eric Schwarz
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Considering that many EULAs aren't even valid in the countries games are sold in, and in fact actively ignore or contradict rights and freedoms protected by law, yet still serve as the basis for publishers justifying policy worldwide... I have trouble believing GameStop give a care in the world about EULAs.

Mark Ludlow
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The good side to this is that it might convince publishers to drop their AAA digital title prices to something below physical retail prices to compete. However, there are all sorts of negative consequences to this that far outweigh the benefits.

Ian Uniacke
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That's just the race to the bottom. Publishers drop their prices, gamestop drop their prices further. All that can lead to is developers getting no money.

Jeffrey Williams
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I think this is just an extremely short sighted reaction to the court case.

It's easy to resell a physical disc to and from GameStop, but selling digital copies of a game, there would need to be some form of system or you'll be force to drag your console with you to a GameStop.

Digital Games are already cheap and convenient enough to purchase digital games, I don't think GameStop being the middle man will help them.

Jane Castle
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I don't understand, how is this possible? Are they planning on coming out with a competing service to Steam? Otherwise how would the competing services allow this? Do they have some sneaky way to bypass Steam? Inquiring minds want to know. :)

Bryan Ferris
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I don't see how this can work. Not because I don't see how the concept of reselling digital games can work (I'm confident they could find a way), but I don't see how it could be supported by the market. Since you don't have to produce any disks or use any shelf space to sell more 'new' copies of the game, online vendors can simply drop the prices after the game has been out for a period of time, making them cost no more than the used games.

Honestly, I hope Game Stop succeeds and this does happen.

Danny Bernal
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LOL

It's one thing to hold a company liable to not using sold software licenses. Its an entirely different beast to expect the mass of users this is aimed at to comply with the idea...

The only way I see used sales working out is if the entire software industry begins to shift towards software as a service... oh crap...

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_as_a_service )

Chris Dickerson
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I would like to sell GameStop some used Taco Bell.

Cody Scott
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I understand the re-sell of physical copies, I get that but the resell of a digital good? how do you resell that at a lower price? there is no wear and tear, there is no damage to the packaging. I dont see them getting too far with this.

David Gonzales
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i hope gamestop dies they do nothing but screw over developers and costumers

Adam Moore
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I wonder how they'll spin this one to be "good for developers".

I also wonder how they'll handle the Gaikai/Sony combo and the OnLive/Ouya combo.


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