Toronto, Ontario April 23, 2012— Against a background of a recent California court ruling ordering GameStop to reimburse customers for used games sold without online passes and a raging video game industry debate about the future of annual $3 billion worth of used video game sales, Waygoz.com, a hyper local social network, looks to change the retail and publishing landscape by making used video games free.
Used video games sales are a monstrous profit generator for giant retailers like GameStop, but not without controversy. GameStop is under attack by both publishers and consumers for its used game business, which constitutes about 25% of the company's sales and half of its annual profits. Game publishers denounce GameStop’s profiting at their expense, while consumers complain about the company's deceptive used game marketing practices.
A recent ruling in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (Case No. 3:10-cv-01210-TEH) requires that GameStop must now warn California consumers that certain downloadable content for used games may require an additional purchase not previously disclosed.
With rumors about whether the next Xbox and PlayStation will support used games at all, journalists, bloggers and industry executives wage a fierce war of words about the impact of the used video games sales on the future of game development. Writing for GamesIndustry International, Richard Brown (industry veteran and former THQ executive), claims “The real cost of used games has been the destruction of the mid-tier publisher and the elimination of many an independent development studio”. Frontier Developments founder David Braben opined on Gamasutra.com that used game sales were responsible for killing some games mid-development. The debate centers on whether or not a retailer, like GameStop, should profit on resale of publishers’ intellectual property.
“Used game sales and profits are the single greatest flash point within the video game industry, it’s an enormous business because gamers can’t afford the high price tags of all new games,” said Jean-Paul Rehr, Co-founder and COO of Waygoz.com. “Waygoz gets rid of the used game economic tug-of-war between retail and developers, by getting local gamers to meet up and swap games directly with one another. Using Waygoz, the consumer saves money on used games trade in losses at retail, and at the same time this frees up consumer cash for publisher new releases and downloadable content – driving more income to the publishers.”
Waygoz.com, launched in the USA and worldwide in April 2012, was founded by video game industry veterans Daniel Dadoun, Sophie Dadoun and Jean-Paul Rehr to offer gamers an alternative to trading in games at traditional retail outlets while building a social gaming network. Using Waygoz is simple: gamers sign up for a free account, build a profile that tells the community the games they own or want, browse the profiles of other members in order to find other nearby gamers who want to swap games, and then meet up to exchange games.