GameStop: Consumers unlikely to buy next-gen console that blocks used games

Specialty retailer says purchase intent would be "significantly diminished" if new platforms prohibited secondhand games.

Gamers would be unlikely to purchase a next-generation platform that blocks used games or limits other activities, a GameStop representative told Bloomberg.

"We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would be significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit playing pre-owned games, limit portability, or not play new physical games," GameStop vice president of public and investor relations Matt Hodges said.

Hodges' comments come after GameStop shares slid more than 6 percent yesterday following a rumor that Microsoft's Xbox 720 would block used games. This would be potentially problematic for GameStop, which generates a significant portion of its revenue from the sale of secondhand games and goods.

The analyst consensus is that future platforms from both Microsoft and Sony will not block used games. Official word is expected soon, as both companies are rumored to announce their next consoles in the coming months, with the PlayStation 4 possibly coming out of the shadows as early as this month.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

1139 comments
Fist-of-Fury360
Fist-of-Fury360

Either its a typical & moronic rumor.....or if its for real, then its a TOTAL JOKE! As if they dont make enough Billions of $ as it is! Anyway I dont really care coz I have so many awesome games in my collection of both Original Xbox games & 360, several thousand $ & hundreds of hrs of gaming in my cupboard! : ) & if its not a rumor, they've lost my $ forever!

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

"Consumers unlikely to buy next-gen console that blocks used games"

Stating the OBVIOUS isn't a headline nor should it take a "Analyst" to figure out. It's really sad I'm sitting here un-employed when this article I'm reading is showing me at least two people who shouldn't be getting a pay check right now because they're both stating common sense things any 10 year old can figure out.

Our society is getting dumber every day. Maybe I need to start calling my-self a "Analyst" so companies will pay me to tell them stuff that every single one of their customers will tell them for free. It's not a coincedence that anal is in the word analyst, because companies who pay these people to tell them common sense things are getting totally screwed!!!

dswyaed24
dswyaed24

Yeah, I think this is a complete rumor. XBOX has done somethings that would leave a bitter taste in a consumers mouth. But Im sure they would not go as far as prohibiting the use of second-hand games with its next-gen console. You would lose a good portion of customers.

ragingstorm23
ragingstorm23

I have over 140 games in my 360 collection. I have sold over 15 on Ebay. You people make me laugh. Why deal with Gamestop for used games? Its ridiculous. You can get three- four times as much for games and CASH also if you sell off CL or Ebay. Also as far as used games go I rarely buy at Gamestop. I go to Gohastings or gamefly for cheapo used games. I wil NOT buy a new console if they go this route. When they stop supporting the 360 it will the the end of my gaming life as I know it.

onionking108
onionking108

Sony will not block used games if Microsoft doesn't...and vice versa.  Personally, I highly doubt that either will even attempt such a ridiculous move.  The industry is going to have to get over the fact that people swap, sell, and play second hand games.  If they do attempt it in the future, it's going to spell disaster for these companies.  Blocking used games will not save them any money, and they just need to get over it.

jburulcich
jburulcich

Why would a next gen system even use material games (cd's)?


They should just have terabyte hard drives and ability to add more space and cloud space and all games be downloadable and/or streamed...

Gamestop will go out of business soon because technology will have to kill it. Same as Blockbuster video (I know its not fully out of business, but who wants to own one?) and Tower Records (who remembers the Wall???)

DarthaPerkinjan
DarthaPerkinjan

Say yes to used games.  Say no Gamestop's used game prices

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

Gamestop: "Our stock is falling and we don't like that.  We're not satisfied making money off the games we sell, but must take money from developers too.  Please, we're the good guys -- honest."

PlayballK
PlayballK

I think if the newest generation blocks used games sales will struggle unless the prices fall way down.  Not many people are going to continuously buy $50 - $60 games if they don't get any return on that investment.  A lot of people that I know will buy a game play through it and trade it in to Gamestop to pre-order a new game.  I for one will not buy a system that blocks used games or if the companies block re-selling games I won't buy from those companies.

jamesbond2198
jamesbond2198

I dont think Sony or microsoft would be stupid enough to block used games from their consoles

cdog21
cdog21

I'd be one of them if the next Xbox and the PS4 went ahead with this.

I didn't own a PS3 this gen because it didn't show me as much as the PS2 did. If consoles blocked used games, I'd buy a PS3 and check out its library for new gaming interests.

Stevieweiser
Stevieweiser

Maybe GameStop, maybe not. But the fact that your primary source of income is from used game sales diminishes most of the credibility in this statement and screams biased.

colakid12
colakid12

Such a restriction would DESTROY the gaming industry! Gamestop would all but go out of business, as I'm sure used games are a large chunk of their business. It would ABSOLUTELY DESTROY services like GameFly because if a single copy is designated to one system, you have destroyed rental services. It would also prohibit you from playing your copy of your game at a friends house. This is the absolute worst idea! I REFUSE to buy a console with such restriction. If Microsoft or Sony implement this idea - - ENJOY BANKRUPTCY!!

Elenthar_
Elenthar_

Buying games is the only way to thank developers for their hard work, so I will always buy my own copies anyway... But this system is stupid, because what if my console broke and I need new one? Do I need to buy all my games once again??

unscleric
unscleric

I sure as hell won't buy a console that doesn't let me rent games.

keldarironfist
keldarironfist

The industry is is going to shit. THe beginning of the end came with microsoft and there DLC push, and marketing bullshit like "core gamer" "AAA games" and "IP's". There was a time when these consoles played complete games, that didn't need patches oronline tethered login systems for validation. They just fucking worked. Each system had tons of games you could only play on that system. WTF happened.

Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

-_- says the company who is panicking and closing 500 plus stores

AceCometh
AceCometh

Of course Game Stop would say this. A great portion of their business is derived from used games.

tevic
tevic

10 years ago I would have said that if second hand was blocked, piracy would grow exponentially but now I don't know...

If you've got a hacked Xbox 720 and you play online, MS would detect it and ban you.

So I think MS and Sony don't fear piracy now the way they did 10 years ago.

But anyway I still think that blocking second hand would hurt hardware sales so much that they never will do it.

A lot of people would switch to PC and Steam. If you've got an activation key for every game, what's the point of owning a console over a PC ????

MUKUSS
MUKUSS

I still got games on my wish list from years past...guess I better get on it.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

I agree with GameStop, i know they are only saying this for money they make off everyones used games but what happens if you wanted to buy a game that was more then 1+ years old and they don't stock new copies any more? What are you going to do?  Old games will become worthless.. those chances u take on buying a new game without knowing if it will be good or not will be a lot higher because u know once its yours its useless to anyone else..

I dont like not being able to sell what i pay for. it should be yours to sell if u dont like it or need money and have to part with it. its not fair on any of us. 

Ive been gaming since i was 4 yo and im now 26. i think this may be the last gen console i  buy and i will switch full to PC after this. 

i will give the new gen consoles a go but im very disappointed with this news of locked consoles and games to one owner!

deathstream
deathstream

I wonder why Gamestop would say that?  Maybe because they will go under if they can't reap ludicrous profits off of other people's hard work?  Used game sales is the biggest scam around and will kill the industry altogether if something isn't done.

so_hai
so_hai

No team of lawyers could ever protect such a silly idea anyhow. If I buy a console and some software licensed for it's use, there's very little legal ground for the company to argue as to why it shouldn't function.

If they want to kill the 2nd hand market, they'll have to cease using physical media - but not even these copmanies are crazy enough to do that.

jaymo1978
jaymo1978

Absolutely true - and kingotnw, you're correct, they NEED to lower the cost of new copies if they plan to make this work.


I would even go so far as to say that if one company does this but the other doesn't, it will determine the winner of this console generation's "console war" in terms of sales. I used to be a PS2 gamer, but switched to Xbox for the exclusives and system power. If NeXbox blocks used, but PS4 doesn't, no question I'll switch back to Sony. I would be willing to bet others would feel the same way.

mamkem6
mamkem6

F*** compnanys which do this. Not everybody lives in rich countries. Try to buy a game when the sallary is 700 bucks and the new game cost 70-80. I'll switch to PC.

kingotnw
kingotnw

What's he going to say? He has to say this. Would it suffer a little? Sure. But nowhere near as bad as he is implying. Quite honestly, I don't even remember the last time I bought a game used. It's been years, and I have well over 150 PS3 games sitting here. Thats not even counting all the 3DS, WiiU, and Vita games I have, not to mention the 200+ games I have bought on PSN.


Quite honestly... If they did this, maybe they could bring down the cost of new games to $49.99.

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Dear Console making companies.

Block used games, you kill gaming.



I understand that it's a problem with money going to the right place. The problem there-in lies with at the retail level.

Do not punish gamers for playing games you Fn gooftards.

kathulos
kathulos

I'm torn between my hatred of DRM and my hatred of Gamestop.

netskot
netskot

i would support blocking used games (it makes complete sense to me financially) BUT you have to reduce new titles to 40 instead of 60. on top of that, pre-orders should give an even bigger incentive ($30-35$ cost of the game). 

by blocking used games and NOT reducing the cost at retail, gamers will purposely avoid buying games to force a sale when a game fails to meet expectations (see Max Payne 3).

3Dsoldier
3Dsoldier

@dswyaed24 i think you're right, from what i've been watching about the next gen xbox i'll probably be one of those to run away... and maybe get a sony

reddog00
reddog00

@onionking108 Very well said!  I came to this topic to say pretty much exactly what you just said.  If any console company undertakes this pre-owned stance I will never invest in that console EVER!!!  Don't they understand that (just guessing here) 50-75% of the money received from selling used games goes towards buying new games???  At least that is about my average after buying games for over 30 years!  C'mon wake up you CEO's!

hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

@jburulcich ... but still  I didn't like what I heard from the next Xbox.Begining to draw a cross on the word xbox.

hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

@Tremblay343 So Microsoft and developers are the "good guys'" and gamestop and gamers that buy there are the bad ones according to your statement.Lets define whats does it mean the words good and bad in first term.But at the end there are no good or bad in this case,isn't just a fairy tale  but who wins and loss more in this  planned schemes and believe me, the first two aren't going unharmed if they follow as planned,  to say at least.


cdog21
cdog21

@Tremblay343 

How are they taking money from developers? As far as the developers should be concerned, people that buy used games should be counted as customers that were never going to buy it in the first place, not as sales lost.

Tremblay343
Tremblay343

@colakid12 And then 2 months go buy, you haven't played a video game and you give in.

yamaangyal
yamaangyal

@Elenthar_ Have you never used xbox marketplace or PSN?  Or any iOS or Android device?  These all associate your purchases to your account rather than the device.  The company that DOESN'T do this, is Nintendo.  You needn't worry.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@keldarironfist In a word: Complacency. Think about how games & consoles are developed, a publisher/MS/Sony invests millions into the game/console, then puts it on the shelf hoping to recover the losses and then some.

All it would take is for gamers to stand together and say "we're not buying this crap", and guess what, unless the company adopts and bends to the gamers' demands, they're out of pocket.

But gamers will whine about anything (As has been demonstrated here), but still keep buying, so our critique carries ZERO weight.

*Edit -- My biggest /headdesk moment was when the same people who complained about CoD being just a trashy rehash every year also admitted to pre-ordering the next CoD... Such a great example.

MysteryJ0ker
MysteryJ0ker

@GH05T-666 

It'll probably transfer to exclusively online content like Steam.  Each account on XBL or PSN will have a list of games they've bought and can download whenever they'd like.

HSV002
HSV002

@deathstream Incorrect, a certain ammount of people have to buy the game new before they can sell it back to gamestop as a used game. 

What happens if you wanted to buy a game that was more then 2-3 years old and they don't stock new copies anymore? What are you going to do? I picked up Gears of war 1 the other week for 9 bucks, i would rather pay that then $49 new

OhHalono
OhHalono

@jaymo1978 I agree with most of what you said, but the problem with lowering game prices is the cost of development.  From what I understand, margins in the gaming industry are small.  You have to pay entire teams to develop a game and you also have to factor in the cost of the facilities and services used to make the game. (Software, electricity, taxes, water, production, distribution... etc)  If you lower the cost too much and a game fails miserably after investing all that money, they would have to claim bankruptcy and close the studio.  The current margins allow developers some room to fail.  

onionking108
onionking108

I would imagine you are definitely in the minority being able to afford 350+ games for one system. 

interrasteral7
interrasteral7

@kathulos 

In my opinion, I hate both DRM and those greedy b****es and b******s at Gamestop retailers and coporations.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@netskot Sounds like you are describing PC gaming. There are many places that give between 10-20% off when preordering and games regularly drop in price and go on sale.

NYJets12
NYJets12

games should be $30.00 new and no preordering or dlc, all the game should be on the disc in the 1st place.

thegroveman
thegroveman

@netskot It's more likely that it will be a "soft block" of sorts.  I see more and more content being behind a "Cerberus Network" style of activation code, so there is a "vanilla" experience but you definitely will want to buy new to have the "complete" experience.  In this way, they don't have to mess with DRM measures or always online requirements, because the base game will be trade-able but any extra content will be tied to an account.

torres_unix
torres_unix

@netskot I like that idea, have a decent sales point so that gamers are willing to compromise, otherwise it seems like a blatant attempt at milking us by offering expensive, sub-optimal products.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@cdog21 Someone who's a customer who was never going to buy it in the first place? Isn't that more commonly referred to as a thief? :P

On a more serious note, neither can you NOT count all of them as someone who wasn't going to buy it. Some people will take a $5 discount on a game if faced with 2 identical products (Half of Gamestop's PROFITS are thanks to these people - they just sold that game twice at almost retail prices).

What I hope for is that this will allow devs to create games focusing on the single-player experience without having to tack on a shitty multiplayer mode (Sacrificing SP resources in the process) in order to prevent so many used copies showing up during the launch month.

Jebril
Jebril

@yamaangyal @Elenthar_ So content would all be digital? Just cuz I own a physical copy of Dishonored doesn't mean I'm allowed to download it currently. The only way they can block used games is by going all digital, which is a bit silly with consoles I think.

onionking108
onionking108

there are morons that are trying to stop even that though...I never buy from Gamestop (i prefer ebay myself as well) but I say let the consumers decide.  If they don't like Gamestops prices on used games, shop elsewhere. 

cdog21
cdog21

@Daemoroth

"Someone who's a customer who was never going to buy it in the first place? Isn't that more commonly referred to as a thief?"

No, that is someone that was never going to BUY THE PRODUCT in the first place.

There are 100's of millions of game systems around the world. There are no where near 100's of millions of copies of a particular game sold, pirated, or stolen.