HMV is serious about upping its game when it comes to games. In the past nine months it has launched new Gaming Zones and LAN sections in its flagship stores. Now it’s taking another big step and introducing a pre-owned game service.
It’s a pretty daring move because publishers tend to frown on the idea of retailers peddling soiled second hand copies of their titles instead of the shiny new plastic-wrapped version. Presumably publishers don’t get any money from second had sales either. Furthermore, the competing GAME and Gamestation group has been operating a trade-in service for a very long time.
Nevertheless, pre-owned games are a major factor in where people choose to shop for games. “We recognise that pre-owned is important for some consumers, though not necessarily the most dominant factor for them, while it’s clearly also a key element to the business model of some games specialists,” HMV’s head of games, Tim Ellis, told GamesIndustry.biz.
To be honest, I think HMV is still underestimating the importance of the pre-owned games service. As someone who buys a lot of games, I frequently have to trade in old titles to afford the cost of a brand new game. Therefore, when I’m heading out to buy a game, retailers that don’t offer a trade-in are just invisible to me because I can’t use their service.
And on the occasions when I don’t have anything to trade in, I’m not going to drag my arse all the way down to the shops; I’ll use a mail order service.
Now that GAME and Gamestation have become one giant highstreet ruling monstrosity, the prospect of an equally big retailer putting pressure on the trade-in market is only a good thing for UK consumers.
HMV will be trialling its pre-owned games service in the coming months before a final decision is made on whether to pursue it.
HMV (via GamesIndustry.biz)