Today GameStop confirmed that rumors of it doing the right thing by Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3 users were indeed accurate. The company is boosting the value of games its users trade-in across the board.
GameStop announced some serious updates to its trade-in program late yesterday. Starting on August 18th, these changes are designed to address the valid concerns of users who have considered trading in their old games to GameStop and felt cheated, or those who’ve considered trading in their games and electronics but quickly became confused by the sheer number of different values the gaming retailer threw at them.
Going forward, users who consider trading in their games at GameStop will find that there are just four different values for that game. Those price points include one for those who want to trade in their games for in-store credit, another who wants to trade in a game for cash instead, and two others for users who have a membership to GameStop’s PowerUp Rewards program.
The company is now boasting about there being around 100 different games that users can trade-in and get at least $20. In its press release, GameStop also points out that games that would have fetched just $16 in trade-in value before you net users as much as $22 today – with a PowerUp Rewards membership of course.
The changes GameStop is making might sound basic, but you have to compare them to the chaos that was GameStop’s trade-in program before to appreciate their simplicity. GameStop has allowed users to trade in games for some time, but it’s never been a straight forward experience. Many games had as around 10 different values because of random deals and trade-in value boosts.
Even with these new changes though, game trade-ins at GameStop remain a bit opaque. Unlike Amazon and Best Buy, GameStop still doesn’t post a complete list of how much users get when they trade in different games. The company also doesn’t allow users to actually trade-in their games online – something that Amazon users can do by just logging in, printing a label and mailing off their old titles.
A recent report indicated that many of GameStop’s customers don’t actually trade in their games. This revamped program is clearly an attempt to make video game trade-ins more people friendly for users who haven’t yet been convinced to participate. That GameStop delivers a better trade-in experience for users is key because the video game retailer has never faced more competition than it does today.
Amazon has sold and allowed users to trade in used games for years. Wal-Mart, one of the world’s largest retailers – broke into the business last year, putting GameStop’s used game sales in jeopardy. GameStop is also under threat from the rise of digital games. With the Xbox One and PS4 Microsoft now requires game makers to release a digital version of their game on the same day they are available on a disc. This allows users to purchase the game directly from the console’s own stores instead of heading to a retail location.
The PS4 now has a pre-order system that allows users to download digital games and get some extras so that they’re ready to go on release night. That kills the need for gamers to wait outside in the heat or cold weather for a plastic disc that they’ll need to install on their console anyway. Really, trade ins are the only weapon GameStop has at its disposal. Used games can’t be resold since there’s no physical disc. On the other hand, both Microsoft and Sony allow users to login with their accounts on other people’s consoles and play their games. The Xbox One even lets users who have two Xbox One’s play the same game at the same time, even though they’ve only purchased it once.