GameStop Still Wants to Sell Secondhand Digital Games

"I think as the marketplace grows, it's certainly something that we're interested in and we'll continue to look at."


In July 2012, GameStop CEO Paul Raines revealed that his company was interested in applying its famous "buy, sell, trade" model to digital content. The retailer has even engaged in conversations with some European startups to use their technology for such a system. Three years later, GameStop remains interested in such a move, though there are some roadblocks currently in the way.

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"It's still an opportunity that's out there," GameStop merchandising director Eric Bright told GameSpot during a meeting at E3 last month.

Among the reasons why GameStop hasn't made any moves just yet, according to Bright, is that "digital penetration is still at its infancy overall" across the video game industry. But one day in the future, you might be able to buy "used" digital games from GameStop.

"I think as the marketplace grows, it's certainly something that we're interested in and we'll continue to look at," Bright explained.

Selling secondhand digital content is already commonplace in some PC games. But on consoles, digital content is often licensed to one profile, and then it cannot be transferred. But it appears GameStop is intent on changing this, even if it takes a while.

According to previous comments from GameStop executive vice president Mike Hogan, such a system would require a partnership between retailers like GameStop and publishers. Last year, Hogan said GameStop was already having conversations with platform-holders like Microsoft and Sony to determine how they can work together for a used sales model for downloadable games.

While Sony hasn't weighed in on the matter, senior Xbox director Albert Penello said in September 2013 that support for trading, loaning, and reselling of digital Xbox One games will come sometime down the road. "I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the [Xbox One] experience," Penello said at the time.

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