GAME COO Terry Scicluna has told MCV that the games industry must accept pre-owned games as ‘something customers love’.
Speaking to MCV as part of a wide-ranging interview about his plans for the firm’s GAME and Gamestation chains, Scicluna said publishers and developers scornful of trade-in offers must acknowledge the fact they keep players engaged during a recession.
He told us: “Old games as currency is something customers love – it enables us to extend the range and is something we should be proud to offer.
“People are passionate about their games and there is a real desire to get the next release – so for Resident Evil 5 there is an army of people out there who want it. But in terms of affordability of new games there are people who might struggle with that, so the opportunity to trade in your games for the latest release is a fantastic weapon for them.
“It just ticks a whole number of boxes and allows avid gamers to stay with gaming for life.”
He added: “I think the beauty of GAME and Gamestation is that a game is traded in for another game – you don’t trade it in for something else.
“I can understand why some publishers are not happy about it, but I think it is a way of keeping gamers locked in for much longer, enabling new releases to hit those volumes and also keep alive those games which might not be widely available any more.
“And in these times, if you look at the retailers doing well, they are the value retailers, those who are offering consumers great value and opportunities to get products at a reduced price. I think pre-owned also contributes to giving hardware longevity and keeping older formats in use.”
And what of publishers’ attempts to curtail pre-owned games with DLC or online-exclusive modes? “I think there is a place for both, and we offer that as part of our business too. We should give consumers what they want – and that’s a mix of all different models.”