GamesBeat

Who needs Good Old Games? GameStop’s new business is rare physical games

Above: GameStop worked with Nintendo to reprint Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii.

Image Credit: Nintendo

Some older games are so popular that GameStop can’t keep them in stock even with its second-hand business. The retailer now has a plan to serve consumers those products.

One of the biggest game retailers in the world has an idea for a new game category that is a hybrid of its new and used offerings. GameStop will start selling discount-priced older games that it gets from publishers. It will approach game makers with data about the best-selling used games that it can’t keep on store shelves. The retailer will then either purchase the remaining stock of a particular title, or it will work with the publisher to reprint older games. GameStop notes that its profit margins on these titles is higher than new games and slightly less than used.

This won’t just enable GameStop to generate revenue from older games, but publishers will also see more cash from their older properties.

“There’s a value buyer that comes back into GameStop at the start of a generation, and we want to serve them better than ever,” GameStop chief executive Paul Raines said in a conference call with investors.

The executive explained that these technically new, discounted titles will sit on the pre-owned shelf because “that is where gamers go to find value.”

“The way to think about it, these games don’t really need to be promoted differently than pre-owned games,” he said. “We’re gonna meet unmet demand. There are games that are just not available in some stores.”

In 2013, GameStop worked with Nintendo to reprint Xenoblade Chronicles and Metroid Prime Trilogy for the Wii. The retailer found that gamers were snatching up these titles as soon as they went on the used shelf. While this was an experiment with reprinting old games, GameStop did not discount Xenoblade Chronicles initially. It instead priced that role-playing game at $90. It did eventually lower the price to $40, the same price it gave Metroid Prime Trilogy.

“Used games is a supply-constrained business,” GameStop president Tony Bartel said. “We can see there is significant user demand, and now we can do something about that.”

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More information:

GameStop Corp., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Grapevine, Texas, is the world's largest multichannel video game retailer. GameStop's retail network and family of brands include 6,544 company-operated stores in 15 co... read more »

Tony D. Bartel is President of GameStop, a role he has held since June 2010. He served as the Executive Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing. Prior to that, Mr. Bartel was the Senior Vice President of International Finance,... read more »

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