GameStop VP: Used Game Sales Benefit the Whole Industry

by William D'Angelo, posted on 23 August 2011 / 4,269 Views

In an interview with Edge, GameStop executive vice-president, Mike Mauler, claims that used game sales benefits the publisher. He tells Edge that "we've sat down with developers and publishers and really gone through the data. I personally think there's a lot of benefit to the publisher."

Mauler gives an example that when it comes to sequels there is a good amount of consumers that are not going to shell out $60 every single year. He says, "being able to take the older [version] and do something with it in order to buy the next version is really important to consumers. That drives new sales quite a bit."

Mauler also talks about how some publishers are adding online passes to games, that can only be used once. Therefore when a person buys the game used, they will have to pay an extra fee in order to play the game online. However Mauler points out that only 15 to 20 percent of consumers who buy used games play the game online, but they are more likely to buy DLC.

He also says that the industry is to blame. "We take all the great releases and put them all in a two-month period." This is his fairest point as it can get expensive to buy a new game almost every week during the holiday season. There is a link between the packed release schedule and the importance for the consumers to save money, especially in the current economy.


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20 Comments

Hephaestos (on 23 August 2011)

GS profit on used games = money that the devs don't see... unlike piracy, this is money actually spent on games.


theshonen8899 (on 23 August 2011)

Yes but this is no different from any industry, whether it be for used books, used DVDs, or used cars. When you buy a used copy of a video game, then that's one less used copy floating around. There can only be so many used games before someone has to go out and buy a new copy. This also helps keep the industry on it's toes, because if a used copy exists, someone, somewhere didn't care enough to keep it. The more used copies a game has, the less compelling it is, otherwise the owner would have kept it to replay it someday.


  • +3
SuperAnthony64 (on 23 August 2011)

Used game sales could lead to DLC purchase that the dev sees.


  • 0
Mobyduck (on 23 August 2011)

Which would then lead developers to focus more on DLCs instead of the game itself, leaving out content of the initial purchase, as a way to force people to buy the DLC.


  • +2
usrevenge (on 23 August 2011)

which is why, DLC for the most part should be free. instead of "pay more to get little" it should be, hey u know ur still playing here is some free maps, keep playing our games are a great value, dont return it.


  • +2
Ail (on 23 August 2011)

I think that by the way the guy overstate the impact the trade-in on new games purchases as gamestop reward program is heavily geared toward used games sales ( they want you to trade in games and buy used games with the trade in money...)


Ail (on 23 August 2011)

The dude made more profit last quarter out of used games than new sales, he's not going to shoot himself in the foot and say it's bad...


BenVTrigger (on 23 August 2011)

Lol I had to come in here. And I know I'm gonna get trashed on in here because everyone knows I work for Gamestop but he's right. They are beneficial to the industry I think the average gamer really doesn't realize how many people play and try out franchises they never would have been able to unless there was cheap used games. It grows the fanbase guys, if Sony, MS, Nintendo and the rest really hated us and used game sales why do we have such a fantastic partnership with nearly every developer and hardware manufacturer in the industry.


SONYisBP (on 23 August 2011)

It comes down to who has to bend over the furthest. The consumer or developer.


theprof00 (on 23 August 2011)

things are going to change one day.


nanarchy (on 24 August 2011)

If gamestop is all about doing stuff that's good for the industry why don't they start cutting in the developers on a percentage of their used game sales? Seriously the only people that benefit from this practise in the longrun is gamestop, Games are hideously expensive to make and this practise reduces funds for developers and consequently reduces game quality and or game availability.


fedfed (on 24 August 2011)

Add your comment...Adding... ebay can sell only what is out of producrtion like old console of games you cannot find elsewhere. maybe a year time limite will be a better solution!


fedfed (on 24 August 2011)

I think used game should not be allowed on ebay are way so cheap and fake and they will kill the market. Cheap consoles and cheap games on ebay are not good!


SuperAnthony64 (on 23 August 2011)

I'm waiting for a code you have to buy that unlocks 2 player mode every time a new friend comes over to play a game with you. Cause you know that friend didnt pay for that game and the devs want that money too. Thank you sheep who support project 10 dollar games and DD. Once physical media is gone its gone for good and you will never again own anything you buy.


Kai Master (on 23 August 2011)

game sellers get more money on used games than on new games, GS won't ever say they are against used games... this article is non sense.


mjk45 (on 23 August 2011)

if it's catering to people who can't afford new is the case how come when I take a new game up to the counter the first thing they do is to see if they have a used copy and why is the trade in price so low and the sale price so high, it's all about margin plus there is no separation between used and new, you don't see used cars in the new car sales room and new car sales staff trying to get you into the used car even though you came to buy a new one.


Kai Master (on 23 August 2011)

that's just a fantastic comment that diserve +10.


  • 0
zuvuyeay (on 23 August 2011)

shops push used consoles and games over new a fair bit,but they would wouldn't they,its up to the consumer in the end and devs/pubs will have to concentrate on dlc and online passes


ampharos (on 23 August 2011)

If it's beneficial to the game industry, share your revenue from used sales with the developers. It's only fair, especially when you only charge $5-10 less than new sales. As an aspiring developer/employer, I thank God for online services like Steam. And I hope the online market takes shape like the App Store or iTunes so I can avoid retailers more and more. (And I say this as a former GameStop employee. VERY subversive business model.)


SuperAnthony64 (on 23 August 2011)

Yea thank GOD DD steals your money that you will never again see. Lets keep screwing the customers with DD and having nothing to combat those sales. Devs who think DD is the future are the ones who will create another video game crash.


  • -1
non-gravity (on 23 August 2011)

"This is his fairest point as it can get expensive to buy a new game almost every week during the holiday season." This always sounds to me as if it's not worth getting a game if you haven't bought it at release. Noone forbids you to play games during the summer drought that released in the holidays.


MARCUSDJACKSON (on 23 August 2011)

some of it makes since, but used sales only benefit gamestop.


SuperAnthony64 (on 23 August 2011)

People arent allowed to make money? Used car salesmen make money off of chevy, ford etc and they dont see money. So the way you think you shouldnt play any 2 player games cause that second player hasnt bought the game yet.


  • 0
Ngentot (on 25 August 2011)

Read this article in conjunction with the Robin Kaminsky article - which states that 37% of Activision's last quarter revenue came from digital content - thanks to DLC from games like WoW and Black Ops. At least some of this revenue wouldn't have been generated if their wasn't for a 2nd hand games market. Now consider the 2nd hand game consumer who's now downloaded all of the 4 Black Ops DLC - that works out to be $60 for 4 packs. Activision is still getting their fair share of revenue. At least the industry isn't plagued with piracy like the music industry and possibly the movie industry which don't benefit from add-on downloadable content.


Dogswithguns (on 24 August 2011)

I just don't like Gamestop... I realize that they're ruining the gaming industries. the developers deserve to earn their hardwork for the sales, but they did not get the most out of it. each side should make percents out of each sale.. I really hope things change, it's not right Gamestop milking it all.


demonfox13 (on 23 August 2011)

What a prick this guy is. Seriously the greed knows no bounds. Thankfully I buy my games new (exception is Resistance 1 since I could not find it new in recent months). I do hope a company that shares some used game profits with devs comes along.


SuperAnthony64 (on 23 August 2011)

When you buy a house do you go and pay the current owner AND the original owner money? When you buy a used car do you pay the current owner AND the manufacturer money? When you buy food at the grocery store do you pay the grocery store AND the farmer who farmed the chickens?


  • +1
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