Pre-owned game sales grew faster than new titles over Christmas, says data specialist Kantar Worldpanel.
Sales of second-hand games were up 4.9 per cent over Q4, while the mint games market rose by just 1.2 per cent year-on-year.
In total, more than 79m was generated from pre-owned game sales for the year ending February 16th 2014.
The firm added that 31 per cent of UK gamers bought a second-hand title over the last year. The average selling price for a used game was 10.61.
Historically, publishers have been unhappy with the pre-owned market as they do not receive any revenue from the sales. And the popularity of used games has been credited as a big reason for the drop-off in back catalogue sales.
Yet retailers have long argued that trading-in games helps facilitate new sales. And Kantar’s consumer insight manager Jules Williams says digital offers a huge advantage to publishers in this area, too.
Publishers can, and should, defend themselves by developing robust DLC plans for new release titles,” he said. Over a quarter of pre-owned shoppers have spent money on digital games over the past year and have, on average, purchased them three and a half times per year. Publishers win out on titles with DLC, and the digital direction of the market isn’t slowing down.
Full digital games sales now account for over ten per cent of spend in the video game market – already more than pre-owned sales.