Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

July 13, 2010 -

At the ongoing Develop Conference in the UK, a representative from GameStop Sweden and the CEO of a new company attempting to make games as easy to play and share online as YouTube videos got into a bit of a dustup over used games.

GamesIndustry.biz details the flare-up between GameStop’s Niall Lawlor and InstantAction chief Louis Castle. Lawlor told Castle that the used game business helps GameStop preserve its margins, but that, “We don't like being in the used business, it's very difficult to manage.”

Lawlor said that without used game sales, GameStop would not be in business.

Castle answered that selling used games would quicken the demise of brick-and-mortar stores, adding, “While you're preserving some margins, used is accelerating changes. He continued, "I can see the train wreck, it's coming. Pretty soon everyone is losing money. Used is accelerating the decline of profitability for publishers. The oxygen is being sucked out of the room.”

Castle previously labeled retail stores as a “parasite,” which “abused the industry horribly.” When asked if his new venture would kill physical store locations Castle replied, “I hope so.”

In related news, the company who supplies Gamestop, Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven and Toys “R” Us (among others) with the technology needed to manage their used games business is close to releasing an app that will let iPone users administer their own personal game inventory. Game Trading Technologies’ GameBook Mobile application will let users scan in their game inventory, locate stores and, perhaps most importantly, track the market values of games in real time to see if they are trending up or down, allowing users to make trade-in decisions accordingly.

President Todd Hays said that the app would let users, “make timely, well informed trade-in decisions for every title, system, and accessory they own.”

No release date for the app was provided.


Comments

Re: Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

Rather then comparing other mediums let's stick within games. Game rental establishments actually purchase their games and movies from a special type of seller. This gives them special licenses to rent out the movies and games. I know because I grew up in a small town with a rental shop owner and she showed me the weekly order book she received. It included other supplies (plastic cases, etc.) but also listings for new movies and games. I noted that at the time a new game for me at walmart (the only game retailor in my area) was about $50 on launch day. For her to buy a single copy of the same game for rental it was $65 to $70 because of the increased cost for the rental license. Are books the same? I don't know, but I hazard a guess it is something similar, an increased up front cost to compensate for the rental.

Re: Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

Without used games GS could not keep its B&M locations thus reducing sales of new games.....why is this so hard to understand?


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Re: Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

Yeah, and you know what else pisses me off?  Libraries.  People can just read books without compensating the publishers.

Re: Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

I was under the impression that book publishers were in fact compensated for books being used in libraries.  I'm unsure of the mechanics of it, but I would assume it's similar to the tax you pay if you want to play music at some event (weddings for example (and it costs more if you let people dance!)).

All the money from it gets stuck in some fund and distributed to the various publishers (using some arcane methodology to work out who gets how much I'm sure).
===============

Chris Kimberley

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Chris Kimberley

Re: Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

Libraries pay wholesale(possibly retail) prices for the books they lend, but do not pay anything more. So the publishers/authors do get compensated for the initial sale, but the right of First Sale allows for libraries to lend those copies without further compensation to the publisher/author.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Retailer and Tech Developer Battle Over Used Games

In soem small way they are compensated, they perchase of item being lent out and the ability for the CP owner to deny a item to be lent out.

 


I have a dream, break the chains of copy right oppression! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/cigital-disobedience/


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Let's renegotiate them.

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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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