GameStop has gone a long time controlling the used games market, probably too long. Thankfully, a juggernaut is preparing to wage war.
Walmart has announced that it will be offering customers store credit for used games starting on March 26th. The announcement says the following:
Starting Wednesday, March 26, the more than 110 million gamers across the country will be able to trade in their video games and apply the value immediately towards the purchase of anything sold at Walmart and Sam’s Club, both in stores and online. The traded-in games will then be sent to be refurbished and made available for purchase in like-new condition starting this summer. This is a new category for us and something our customers have been asking for.
GameStop has made a killing from used games, owing $2.4 billion in sales during the 2013 fiscal year. To put that in perspective, that’s more than a quarter of its revenue stream. To say that GameStop executives consider used game sales an important part of the company would be an understatement.
The market has gone a long time without any proper competition. Walmart can be a serious player with its traffic, giving sellers a chance to turn their used games into store credit for more than one store (Walmart and Sam’s Club).
Now that Best Buy, GameStop, and Walmart are competing for your used games, the days of being offered $20 for a one-week old game may soon be over.