According to new figures released by industry analysts Wedbush Morgan more than 100 million used games may be trading hands every year in the US alone. To put that figure in perspective, that means that at least one third of annual games sales in America are made of used games sales.
Interestingly though, while most publishers are of the opinion that used games sales are damaging the industry and taking potential profits away from publishers and developers (as the profit on used games sales goes only to the retailer) Wedbush Morgan reckons that used game sales are actually good for the industry as a whole. In fact, the research suggests that used games sales actually encourage gamers to buy more new games.
"The vast majority of used games are not traded in until the original new game purchaser has finished playing - more than two months after a new game is released - typically well beyond the window for a full retail priced new game sale,
" analyst Michael Pachter said in a report (via GI.biz
Wedbush Morgan instead believes that trading in used games allows more customers with limited disposal income a chance to buy new games, benefiting the industry as a whole. Simply put; if you don't want to pay £45 for a brand new game you might sell some old games to reduce the cost a little and used the extra money to buy new games.
"If trade-ins occur at GameStop, they should position the trade-in customer to buy more new games than he/she would otherwise normally purchase...We think that used game trade-ins fuel incremental sales of over six per cent of total new game sales, suggesting that the cannibalisation from the used game 'push' is more than offset by the benefit from used game currency,
" the report finished.
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