They’ll still be selling Funk POPs though (Picture: GAME)
UK retailer GAME will soon no longer allow customers to sell second-hand physical games, according to reports.
One of the most appreciated features of UK high street retailer GAME will reportedly cease to exist from next month.
The longest-running UK video game retailer will soon no longer accept trade-ins of physical games, with reports suggesting they’ll stop on February 16.
At the time of writing, GAME itself has yet to make any official announcement regarding the change.
On the retailer’s website, it states that stores still ‘accept most consoles, games, and gaming accessories’ but they ‘no longer accept retro consoles and games’ from the PlayStation 2 generation and older.
GameCentral has reached out to The Frasers Group, which owns GAME, for comment.
GAME allows customers to trade-in physical games for store credit or a gift card. This is different from fellow UK retailer CeX (the company’s main rival on the high street), which also offers cash for trade-ins.
The whole of the GAME retail chain was acquired by Frasers Group in 2019. Since then, some standalone stores have shut down while others have opened in other outlets that are owned by the same parent company, including Sports Direct and House Of Fraser.
In recent years, the retailer has strayed away from selling only games and has instead placed a larger emphasis on merchandise.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, GAME CEO Nick Arran discussed this change in approach: ‘We wanted a new proposition that attracted new customers. We now have people who come in for Transformers toys, Hot Wheels, even Barbie toys, and through our reward database and all of our social activity, we can speak to these customers.
‘We get them, and their parents, on board at an early age, and at some point they will get into gaming and we can promote that to them.
‘Our main industry is in decline so we need to plug that gap, but also for the future to bring in these new customers, and get them off of online retailers.’
It’s not a particularly surprising move and, if true, will be seen as a natural response to the rise in popularity of digital downloads.
The majority of game sales are now digital and while physical has many benefits, including the ability to sell a game on when you’re finished with it, that hasn’t stopped boxed sales from becoming a niche concern.
Unlike most problems in the games industry, it’s also not something that can be blamed on publishers or retailers. It’s purely a reaction to consumer buying habits, sadly.
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