If you buy games only to trade ’em in a few weeks later, this new company wants your business.
The Israeli startup GameLock went live today, and it’s the first game retailer to offer you the chance to lock in a trade-in price when you buy a new game. After operating in beta for a few weeks, GameLock is now open to everybody. The site enables you to buy new and used games with the trade-in price built into the upfront cost. It’s trying to position itself as an easier and more open alternative to GameStop, which is the world’s largest game-specific retailer. GameStop has a billion-dollar trade-in business, but the money it gives consumers for used games can fluctuate greatly from one day to the next. GameLock believes that customers want to know what their games are worth 30, 60, and 90 days from the purchase date.
It works like this: When you buy a game from GameLock, you get either a new or used price. Driveclub, for example, costs around $57 new. But you can pay $26.90 on the day that you buy it as long as you agree to return it before 30 days. If you decide you want to keep it, GameLock simply charges you the rest of the $57.
“When gamers buy a game at GameLock.com, they can lock-in a guaranteed future resale,” GameLock chief executive officer Andy Altschuler said. “If they choose to exercise the resale option, they simply place the game into our prepaid envelope and drop it in the mailbox. Or if they choose not to resell, they can simply keep the game, just like with a traditional purchase.”
You can read more about GameLock in our in-depth interview with Altschuler from September.
While this might not seem like a great deal for people who rent a lot of games, GameLock isn’t positioning itself as an alternative to Redbox. Instead, it wants to work with people who want to buy games outright but also want the option to return their used software.
Altschuler says that his company is also considering cutting the publishers in on the resale of games — although it still hasn’t announced any details of how that might work.