Ceasefire on Q4 price wars…

Anger over trade-ins is on the rise again, as retailers turn to pre-owned to drive sales this Christmas.

The expected price war over Call of Duty: Black Ops did not materialise this week, and instead High Street stores were encouraging consumers to trade games in to get the FPS for as little as 99p.

Senior publishing execs have told MCV that they are frustrated” to see games just a few weeks old offered as makeweights” to help customers afford a rival title, effectively removing their games from homes.

Major retailers took to the national press this week to promote second-hand offers, including deals from Asda, Blockbuster, Tesco, GAME, HMV and Best Buy. Similar activity was planned around the launch of EA’s football hit, FIFA 11.

It’s a far cry from last year, when the likes of Sainsbury’s sold Activision mega-seller Modern Warfare 2 for around 25.

Despite the grumbles, some industry execs accept that retail’s activity is for the greater good of the boxed games business.

I am sure it is a reflection of business performance and strategic objectives,” said Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens.

I am also sure they will want a healthy box goods business and their actions will be directed at growing that, improving margins, extending the lifecycle and working with their suppliers.

So, their effectiveness will be measured in that context.”

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