Report: GameStop Fighting Walmart's Used Games Business With Extra Store Credit

March 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A source close to the situation (who asked not to be named because they were not authorized to talk about the matter) has informed us that GameStop is in a battle at locations around the country that are in a general proximity to Walmart. Walmart launched its video game trade-in program today, offering consumers the ability to trade in their old video game software for in-store credit.

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Walmart Gets Into The Used Games Business

March 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Walmart announced this week that it is getting into the used games business. Beginning March 26, customers can trade in their video games and apply the value of those items immediately towards the purchase of anything sold at Walmart and Sam's Club, both in stores and online.

Those trade-in games will be refurbished and made available for purchase in like-new condition starting this summer. Walmart says that this new category of merchandise is new ground for the company but it decided to give it a shot because customers have been asking for it.

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Poll: The Perils of Buying a 3DS at Walmart

December 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this week we reported on a Virginia man who bought a 3DS from his local Walmart for his eight-year-old son. To his surprise, when his son and other children decided to look at some fresh photos they'd just snapped with the 3DS' camera on Christmas day, they discovered some rather naughty adult images.

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3DS Purchased for 8-Year-Old Offers an Adult Surprise

December 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Imagine buying your child a 3DS for Christmas and finding pornography on it... That's what happened to one parent, according to WAVY News 10. On Christmas morning Tom Mayhew's 8-year-old son decided to snap some pictures with his new 3DS. When he went to go look at the photos he'd taken he found a dozen pornographic images saved on the system.

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Reader Details Wal-Mart Black Friday Game Sale Discrepancies

November 23, 2012 -

A regular GamePolitics reader (who has asked to remain anonymous) points out that something is a little screwy with Wal-Mart's prices listed in its ads and how they ring up at the cash register. His tale begins with this leaked Black Friday flyer at theblackfriday.com, which shows select video games with price points set at $10, $15,and $25.

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Walmart No Longer Selling Kindle Fire

September 21, 2012 -

Walmart will no longer carry Amazon's Kindle Fire in its retail stores. The retailer joins Target, who gave up on the Android-based device in May of this year. Walmart is still selling Barnes & Noble’s Nook as well as some other e-reader devices. Some think this move is in response to its own plans to launch its own e-commerce strategy, which it has apparently been working on for awhile. In other words, Amazon.com is a direct competitor and Walmart doesn't want a device tied to a competing e-commerce destination.

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Report: Time Running out for GAME Even as Potential Buyers Show Interest

March 14, 2012 -

Time is running out for UK retailer GAME if you believe this story from MCV, but several companies have quietly approached the troubled retailer about an acquisition according to another MCV report. One of those potential suitors is rumored to be Walmart, which has about 9,000 retail stores nationwide. Why a general goods retailer would want to buy a specialty retailer like games is beyond me.

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NPD Announces Agreement with Walmart for Sales Data

February 3, 2012 -

Walmart has finally decided that it will share its video game software and hardware sales data with research firm NPD Group. The firm had been hampered by not having sales data from Walmart and instead had to estimate weekly and monthly figures related to the retailer. NPD today confirmed that it has reached an agreement with Walmart to receive and analyze its point-of-sale information from it retail stores and Walmart.com.

The agreement also covers many other industries that NPD tracks, including Entertainment, Apparel, Home, Hardlines, and Toys.

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OOPS! Walmart Xbox 360 Price Cut a 'Mistake'

August 29, 2011 -

A Walmart flyer showing the Xbox 360 4GB Kinect bundle with a price tag of $249 ($50 off its current price) was a typo, according to the retailer. The circular pegged that sale for the week of August 28. While Walmart claims the price cut was an error, the retailer said that it would honor the price anyway until Monday, September 5 - or while supplies last. It will not, however, accept rainchecks for the console at that price.

Last week Microsoft responded to the sale with the following statement:

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Walmart Will Now Provide Sales Data to Research Firms

July 23, 2011 -

It only took them a decade to come around. Walmart has decided to begin providing its U.S. sales data to outside parties, including research firms we care about such as Nielsen and NPD Group. All this is according to a report in Advertising Age.

For the last 10 years, NPD has been unable to provide data for retail game sales at Walmart and its Sam's Club stores, leaving a gaping hole in the numbers that firms such as NPD provides. With access to the Walmart and Sam's Club data, NPD could provide a more detailed picture of how video games are performing at retail in the U.S.

Nielsen has said that it will start providing Walmart and Sam's Club data to its clients in "a few months." NPD has not commented officially on this story.

Source: Gamasutra


Who is Greener, Activision or EA?

October 19, 2010 -

Newsweek has released its annual list of how the top 500 largest publicly traded companies in America rank in terms being environmentally friendly.

Electronic Arts clocked in at number 378 on this year’s Green List (it was number 381 last year), while Activision Blizzard took 391st on the list, improving from last year’s ranking of 416.

On the retail side, Office Depot grabbed the highest Green ranking, coming in at number 18 overall, followed by Wal-Mart (#51), Target (#61), Best Buy (#86), Amazon.com (#162) and GameStop (#318).

Dell came in first overall on the list, with Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Johnson & Johnson and Intel rounding out the top 5.

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Left Behind Details Upcoming Games

June 15, 2010 -

Christian game developer Left Behind Games has released details on its lineup of PC titles for the rest of the year, including a pair of games that will pit users against the forces of the Antichrist.

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Wal-Mart Expanding Christian Games Sales

April 12, 2010 -

A pilot test that saw approximately 100 Wal-Mart stores in Texas sell Christian-themed videogames from Left Behind Games went well enough that the world’s largest retailer is expanding the program.

Left Behind Games CEO Troy Lyndon announced the expansion in a letter to shareholders, which website Stockmarketquarterly noticed as part of an SEC filing. The news was announced in letter form at Wal-Mart’s request. Left Behind Games will now be added to “a limited number of Walmart stores covering a broad area of states.”

Lyndon wrote that Wal-Mart expanded the trial in order to see sales results “without the promotional campaign that was undertaken by LFBG in Texas.”

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Not Many Christian Games Left Behind in Wal-Mart

November 5, 2009 -

Left Behind Games, which last month announced a pilot release of its Christian-themed games in 100 Texas Wal-Mart stores, reports brisk sales of their offerings in the Lone Star state.

Stating in a bit of PR that the experiment is “progressing beyond the company’s original expectations,” a company representative claimed that about 25% of their inventory has been sold in the two weeks since the pilot started, which is operating in Houston and Dallas area stores.

CEO Try Lyndon said:

At the rate Wal-Mart inventory is moving, they will be out of games before Christmas, unless they reorder. With seven weeks remaining, and accelerated sales expected as we near the holidays, we believe test results will be favorable leading to a broader national market for Christian based PC games.

In an effort to boost sales, Left Behind Games is sending mailers to areas surrounding Wal-Mart stores that stock their games, offering to send a second free game to anyone purchasing a Left Behind title from the world’s largest retailer.

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Newsweek Green List Includes Game Companies

October 20, 2009 -

A handful of game companies and retailers are listed within Newsweek’s Green Rankings list, which rates the Top 500 environmental companies in America.

While the list, with 500 entries, is hardly exclusive, each entrant was awarded an overall hard numeric score. The company that fared the best overall? Hewlett-Packard with a Green Score of 100, followed by Dell in second with a 98.87.

In the gaming (and related) business sector, Microsoft came in at #31 with a score of 83.79, followed by retailers Wal-Mart (#59) with a score of 80.38 and Best Buy (#61) with a score of 80.33. GameStop clocked in at #228, with a score of 71.37, with Electronic Arts (#381) and Activision Blizzard (#416) following. EA and Activision Blizzard had scores of 65.58 and 63.80 respectively.

Image via otherpower.com

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Christian Games Hit Texas Wal-Marts

October 12, 2009 -

Left Behind Games Inc., a publisher of Christian-themed videogames, has secured a pilot release of its titles in 100 Wal-Mart stores in the Houston and Dallas areas.

Three games will be sold as part of a test to determine the viability of selling the titles in additional Wal-Mart locations. Left Behind Games, also known as Inspired Media Entertainment, believes that Texas is ripe for its offerings, noting that there are over 23,000 churches in Texas, with over 5.0 million Evangelical Protestants and more than 1.7 million Mainline Protestants.

CEO Troy Lyndon has high hopes for the Christian game market:

The US market for Christian video games could reach $648 Million within the next five years based upon just 3% of video game sales being in the Christian segment.

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PC Version of Manhunt 2 May Carry an AO Rating, But How Will It Get Sold?

August 26, 2009 -

As noted by Joystiq, the ESRB is currently listing the upcoming PC version of Manhunt 2 with an Adults Only (AO) rating.

GamePolitics readers will likely recall that the console versions of Manhunt 2 generated a major controversy in the summer of 2007 when the game was banned in Britain and tagged with an AO here in the States. Rockstar subsequently released a toned-down version that earned an M (17+) rating for the U.S. market.

That was a critical milestone, because the Big Three console makers won't license AO-rated games for their systems, which makes it tough for a publisher to earn a return on its investment. That's why you don't see any AO-rated console games. While the open architecture of the PC negates licensing concerns, an AO-rated Manhunt 2 would still get thumbs-down from major retailers like GameStop and Wal-Mart.

That means that Rockstar is either planning a digital distribution campaign for Manhunt 2 or that it will edit the PC version - as it did with the console editions - to earn an M from the ESRB. Of course, there is a third scenario: Rockstar could ship an M-rated version to retailers while distributing an AO-rated version online.

We wonder how Valve might react to handling an AO game if its Steam service, which currently distributes Rockstar's GTA IV online, is under consideration as a potential digital distribution source for Manhunt 2.

Sustainability on the Menu at Greener Gaming Gathering

May 27, 2009 -

While most of the video game world's attention next week will be focused on the Los Angeles Convention Center and the glitz surrounding E3, a small group of industry professionals will meet to tackle environmental concerns.

On Monday the Greener Gaming Gathering, billed as a "video game sustainability luncheon" will take place in Burbank. The event is sponsored by AGI Polymatrix, which manufactures media packaging and is being held in association with game retailers trade group the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Speakers at the invitation-only event will include Wal-Mart's senior buyer for video game software, Darin Dickson. Cody Sisco from Business for Social Responsibility will make a presentation and an expert panel will discuss sustainability issues related to replication, packaging and transportation of video games.

GP: It's encouraging to see the video game industry thinking proactively on environmental issues.

Fun Facts From EA's Annual Report

May 22, 2009 -

The annual report of game publishing giant Electronic Arts landed in GP's inbox this morning. Typically, reading through these things is a surefire remedy for insomnia, but EA's contains a few tidbits worth mentioning.

1.) EA's failed bid to gobble up Take-Two cost the company $21 million:

As a result of the terminated discussions [with T2], we recognized $21 million in related costs consisting of legal, banking and other consulting fees...

2.) EA uses DRM (you knew that) and is watching for piracy online:

We typically distribute our PC products using copy protection technology, digital rights management technology or other technological protection measures to prevent piracy... We are actively engaged in enforcement and other activities to protect against unauthorized copying and piracy, including monitoring online channels for distribution of pirated copies, and participating in various industry-wide enforcement initiatives, education programs and legislative activity around the world.

3.) Only 3% of EA employees are unionized, and they all work for DICE:

As of March 31, 2009, we had approximately 9,100 regular, full-time employees, of whom over 5,100 were outside the United States... Approximately 3 percent of our employees, all of whom work for DICE, our Swedish development studio, are represented by a union, guild or other collective bargaining organization.

4.) GameStop and Wal-Mart are EA's biggest customers; each accounts for 14% of EA sales:

Worldwide, we had direct sales to two customers, GameStop Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which each represented approximately 14 percent of total net revenue for the fiscal year... the concentration of our sales in one, or a few, large customers could lead to a short-term disruption in our sales if one or more of these customers significantly reduced their purchases or ceased to carry our products...

5.) EA worries about game content legislation and its potential effect on sales:

Legislation is continually being introduced in the United States... for the establishment of government mandated rating requirements or restrictions on distribution of entertainment software based on content... Other countries have adopted or are considering laws regulating or mandating ratings requirements...  Adoption of government ratings system or restrictions... could harm our business by limiting the products we are able to offer to our customers...

6.) EA worries about falling victim to a Hot Coffee incident but has taken steps to prevent it from happening:

If one or more of our titles were found to contain hidden, objectionable content, our business could suffer... Retailers have on occasion reacted to the discovery of such hidden content by removing these games from their shelves, refusing to sell them, and demanding that their publishers accept them as product returns.

We have implemented preventative measures designed to reduce the possibility of hidden, objectionable content from appearing in the video games we publish. Nonetheless, these preventative measures are subject to human error, circumvention, overriding, and reasonable resource constraints.

Wal-Mart's Game Trade Kiosks Actually Belong to e-Play

May 20, 2009 -

On Monday the gaming press, including GamePolitics, was abuzz with news that Wal-Mart had apparently entered the used game business in direct competition with category leader GameStop.

However, Ars Technica's Ben Kuchera dug deeper into the story and reports that the game trade machines currently located at dozens of Wal-Marts in the Northeast actually belong to Ohio-based e-Play. Although it's not stated, one would assume there is some type of financial arrangement between the companies. e-Play CEO Alan Rudy told Ars Techica:

Walmart is providing vestibule space to e-Play at 77 of its Northeast region stores. Some stores have Video Game Buy Back only kiosks and some kiosks are full-functioning, but e-Play manages all aspects of kiosk operations for both types. While we have over 200 other retail locations, this is currently a pilot program with Walmart, but we are optimistic of its success and future expansion.

Rudy believes e-Play is well-positioned against newcomer to the used game trade, Amazon.com:

The e-Play trade method does not involve printing shipping labels or waiting on snail mail to deliver your games or to return your Amazon gift card. Soon, e-Play will also post their buy-back pricing online so customers can preview this information before going to a kiosk.

Check out the Ars piece for some fascinating details on how e-Play machines keep traders honest.

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Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
TheSmokeyhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/22/call-of-duty-swatting-hoax_n_5195659.html?utm_hp_ref=canada&ir=Canada CoD loser calls SWAT on person who beat him04/23/2014 - 7:13am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/xbox-one-reaches-japan-on-september-4/ Just give it up, Microsoft. You're NEVER going to be big in Japan, especially now that the notoriously clunky in Japan Kinect is MANDATORY.04/23/2014 - 7:10am
Cheater87Has this been posted yet? http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Lord+Spencer/ssv-saudi-arabia-bans-bravely-default-because-it-promotes-pedophilia--272016.phtml04/22/2014 - 9:31pm
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133898-Fatal-Frame-V-Coming-Exclusively-to-Wii-U04/22/2014 - 8:50pm
Matthew Wilsonit is a game worth playing if you have a pc/360/ps304/20/2014 - 9:34pm
MaskedPixelantehttps://twitter.com/IGLevine/status/457552538343325696 The Lutece Twins show up in some of the most unlikely of places.04/20/2014 - 2:44pm
 

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