Last week Walmart joined the used video game business by offering gift cards for old games. Since there are already several other major players in the biz, especially GameStop, it’s not exactly a game-changer although it’s a wiser move than Microsoft trying to strip gamers’ inalienable right to sell their own property.
It’s great that there’s another place to sell used games, but it’s not the disruption that we need and will ultimately come. Console games are still a physical object and over-priced. Ultimately, gamers are gamers, which means, they just want to play games. Gamers are not traders looking to get the best cash for their used products. Actually, it’s done out of necessity because games are so darn expensive. If we buy a game for sixty bucks, and we get thirty in return, it’s not a good investment. Even if it had a million hours of replayability, I would rather pay twenty dollars than a net thirty plus having to pay shipping or pick up at a store.
Brick and mortars are disappearing. Blockbuster, Barnes and Noble, etc. The reason that physical games still exist is because no one has disrupted the biz yet. But it’ll come. So Walmart’s “new” venture needs to be a get-cash-quick scheme, because it’ll be a short-lived one.