M&E Daily

Wal-Mart Selling Pre-Owned Games Online

Wal-Mart is the latest retailer to seek a cut of the used videogame market, offering pre-owned titles for as much as 30% off their original price at an online storefront.

The retailer’s quiet launch of a pre-owned videogames page follows a spring 2009 test of physical kiosks where customers could reportedly exchange used games for store credit.

GameStop continues to dominate the pre-owned business. But retailers including Amazon.com, Best Buy, and most recently Toys ‘R’ Us have all launched videogame trade-in programs this year.

Roughly one out of every three videogames that consumers purchase is used (36%), according to a May 2009 study by Nielsen Games. Publishers and retailers debate the effects of the pre-owned market: while publishers argue that used games cannibalize sales, retailers maintain that trade-ins drive purchases of both new-release discs and downloadable content.

Last month, Marc Mondhaschen, Game Crazy’s Director of Used Games, told IGN that trade-in credits represented a full 20% of one vendor’s sales at the retailer during a recent four-week period.