The idea of pre-owned digital games has been flying around for a while, and retailer GameStop still hopes to one day get the idea off the ground.
"It’s still an opportunity that’s out there," GameStop merchandising director Eric Bright told GameSpot during a meeting at E3 last month. "I think as the marketplace grows, it’s certainly something that we’re interested in and we’ll continue to look at.”
When pressed on why nothing has yet come to fruition Bright said that "digital penetration is still at its infancy overall". There’s also the fact that any such model would require the permission and cooperation of platform holders and publishers – something that perhaps seems unlikely, what with the general scepticism many have toward pre-owned.
In 2012 the EU Courts appeared to give the legal nod to the sale of pre-owned digital titles, but this has yet to materialise to any meaningful degree in the real world. Steam has also enjoyed some legal success in resisting such moves.
Retailers like GMG do offer a digital PC game trade-in scheme, but it is currently limited to the small catalogue of titles supplied by its Playfire client and bears little resemblance to the ideas originally presented in 2010. Indeed, the links to game trade-ins on its website don’t even appear to be working anymore.