GameStop executive Mike Mauler says the success of "Project Ten Dollar" style programs are helping publishers see the pre-owned videogame market as a way to "fuel the sale of new games."
Pre-owned game sales has long been a bone of contention between game publishers, who see no income from the used game market, and retailers, who see painfully thin margins on new game sales. Some publishers, like EA and Ubisoft, have had varying degrees of success monetizing the market by charging pre-owned buyers for content that's included with new copies of games but Mauler, the the executive vice-president of GameStop International, says the more important outcome of those efforts is that publishers are finally starting to see used games as a way to drive new sales.
"There has been a shift in the way publishers see used. More and more they see it as a way to fuel the sale of new games. It's a way for that person to trade in a couple of used games for a new FIFA or Call of Duty," he told MCV. "If you think about some of the sequels - who needs seven years of a franchise on your shelf? But if you can trade them in, or trade in hardware for a new console when it comes out, it's a win for everyone."
Mauler said the trend toward charging pre-owned buyers extra for bonus DLC or online play hasn't had any negative impact on GameStop's sales, making it an ideal target for future digital sales. "DLC is the big opportunity for used product - so if someone buys a used FIFA game they want the DLC with it," he said. "That's an opportunity to sell more digital content."