GameStop Interested In Re-Selling Downloaded Games
With the rise of online distribution of computer games and software in general, the market for new and used boxed retail copies is slowly drying up, which leaves companies like GameStop, who make their living selling computer games, facing going bust. So, unsurprisingly, they are interested in getting into this market, which is currently dominated by Steam and Origin. Specifically, they're interested in selling "used" copies of these games. However, Steam in particular, has disabled the ability for a customer to move their games from their own account to another account, killing the used game market with one neat chop with the axe - much to the admiration of software companies and much annoyance to their paying customers. However, with the recent ruling that downloaded software could actually be sold legally which we reported on here, GameStop is looking to get in on the act and hopefully stay afloat.
GameStop's CEO Paul Raines said, "It's very interesting. There are some technologies out there in Europe, and we've looked at a couple that are involved. We're interested".
"It's not a meaningful business yet. Right now we're not seeing that as a huge market, but I think we're on the leading edge. There are a few companies, a few startups, out there that we've talked to that are doing this." However, he didn't reveal exactly who these companies are to prevent competitors getting the jump on them, "We wouldn't want to disclose that and have our competitors rushing in."
Of course, to make this business viable, games companies will have to stop deliberately trying to cripple sales by using one time codes to access important game content stored online. They have been doing this due to a sense of entitlement that they should get a cut of every used sale, when no such entitlement exists due to the first sale doctrine. It's surprising that they've been allowed to get away with it, frankly. Also, it will be interesting to see how long it takes before consumer and corporate pressures force Steam to allow transfer of games between accounts. So far they have steadfastly refused to budge on this critical restriction.
The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled earlier this month that customers have the right to resell digitally purchased games. While the ruling is not binding, it is designed to be used for reference when such matters arise in courts in EU countries.
Posted by | Sat, Jul 28, 2012 - 08:44 PM