Best Buy to sell used games in all US stores

E3 2010: Retailer announces nationwide buyback program launching in late summer; gamers to get gift cards in exchange for pre-played titles.

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With the gaming industry's focus squarely on the biggest titles of tomorrow during this week's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Best Buy wants gamers to think about the games of yesterday. The electronics chain has announced that it will begin buying and selling used games in all of its stores nationwide beginning late this summer.

Give me your tired, your used, your beaten games yearning to breathe free.
Give me your tired, your used, your beaten games yearning to breathe free.

While some Best Buy stores will have dedicated trade-in desks, most locations will handle game buybacks at the customer service desk. Customers will receive their compensation in the form of a gift card good for anything in the store, and any used games purchased will be covered by the store's return policy.

Best Buy already offers a buyback program through its Web site that allows gamers to look up the trade-in "estimates" of all their games and systems. When the in-store program launches, gamers will be able to use the Web site so they know how much to expect from their titles before they head to the store.

To date, the used game market has been dominated by specialty retailer GameStop, but there are more companies looking to undercut the chain's business all the time. Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, and Amazon have all gotten into the used buyback business to varying degrees, and even game publishers are looking for a piece of the pie.

Electronic Arts recently introduced its Online Pass program, which requires second-hand purchasers of games to pay $10 to activate functions like online multiplayer. During an investor conference call earlier this week, Activision announced its own intentions to get into the used gaming business by collaborating with secondhand sellers. The publisher believes participating in the used market could bolster its own revenues by as much as $500 million.

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