Best Buy Enters Used Game Market As Devs Rail Against It
Ledesma picked a great week to enter the fray.Yesterday, Best Buy announced that, like Gamestop, it would begin accepting used game trade-ins in exchange for Best Buy gift cards, which can be spent on anything in the store. Once the store has built up a large enough stock of used games, it will start selling them, too -- a great deal for Best Buy, since it's creating a brand new revenue stream at a comparatively small cost.
For game developers and publishers, the used game market, though perfectly legitimate, has been as big, or an even bigger problem, as piracy. Many of the innovations in the video game distribution system, including DLC and digitial distribution, were developed in part to ensure that people bought games new, rather than getting them used or copying them illegally. Developers hate when their sales are cannibalized, regardless of whether it's done legally or not.
THQ's move has produced two fairly polarized camps. On one side are the gamers who hate the $60 price point of new titles, and think that developers are already gouging them enough. On the other side, developers and gamer loyalists who point out that buying games used provides exactly zero dollars to the people who actually produced the game.
It doesn't really seem as if there's a moral imperative anywhere here. Everyone, from consumers to retailers to developers, is just looking to protect their own bottom line. I tend to think that if you have the cash to buy new, you should, to support the developers who are bringing you original entertainment experiences. What do you think? Is selling used games stealing from developers? Or do we all have the right to dispense with our old games however we choose, regardless of the effect it has on THQ's bottom line?