GameStop: We're Interested in Selling Secondhand Digital Download Video Games

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News Posted: Sat, Jul 28 2012 7:16 PM
GameStop makes a killing selling used videogames, but what happens to that business model when digital distribution platforms run physical media out of town? That's not anything to worry about today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but at some point, GameStop will have to deal with the direction the games industry is headed, and it may already have a solution.

GameStop CEO Paul Raines recently brought up the possibility of reselling used digital downloads. The idea is that GameStop could buy back your digital copy of any given game and then reissue the key to someone else. Obviously there are plenty of challenges involved, most of which relate to piracy, but GameStop sounds determined to figure it out.

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"There are some technologies out there in Europe, and we've looked at a couple that are involved," Raines recently told reporters. "We're interested; it's not a meaningful business yet."

Be that as it may, Raines said GameStop has engaged in dialog with a handful of startups about secondhand digital sales, but declined to say which ones for fear of "our competitors rushing in."
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This really sounds fun. I can't stop thinking about Neal Stephenson, though--and all the IP issues. Publishers and entertainment industry groups love to delineate their positions through lawsuits, when they can't get legislators to do their bidding. Good luck GameStop!

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Inspector replied on Sat, Jul 28 2012 10:03 PM

How are they going to reissue keys? People know how to write things down...

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They would have to work together with steam, etc to deactivate the keys and I can tell you that steam is going to tell them to buzz right off. hey would rather do it themselves, but why would they? No quality loss and sell it cheaper as pre-owned? Maybe their own download service (who did they buy again) will allow them to do that, but people will have to be dumb and most pc gamers arent.

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who even goes to gamestop

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sackyhack replied on Sun, Jul 29 2012 2:52 PM

If they figure this out, I might cheer gamestop for a change. My Steam library is littered with games that I really enjoyed when I got them, but haven't touched in a LONG time and have no motivation revisit after beating (I'm looking at you Darksiders and Assassins Creed 2). Read a while ago that steam was looking into game trading, but nothing's materialized yet. Even if Gamestop fails, the interest they generate might help drive Valve, Origin, etc., to come up with their own solution.

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sareen replied on Fri, Aug 3 2012 3:01 AM

i also Like to play games.

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