Isn’t it time for digital trade-ins to become a reality

Darryl Linington from ITF Gaming writes: Video games have come a long way since way back in the day. We have experienced games that came on floppy drives cartridges, disks and now digital platforms. While owning an array of disk-based games is great for collecting, trading-in or selling… the truth of the matter is digital games don’t offer anyone an opportunity to actually sell or do trade-ins online.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
ZodTheRipper1602d ago (Edited 1602d ago )

I would certainly welcome it ...let me trade for example my digital copy of Lego Marvel in for 50% of it's price. Of course I'll lose access to the game but the money will be available on my PSN account for another digital purchase. You can bet your horse that I will buy much much more games from PSN if that becomes reality.

ITFGaming1602d ago

I'd do the same. Been dying to get Infamous: Second Son, but yeah if I could trade-in my digital games I could get it today.

TFJWM1602d ago

Umm why would they pay you 50% back so you can not play a game. If they wanted to do that they can just sell the game half off from the start. Its not like they can get any profit from giving you money to not play a game.

UnwanteDreamz1602d ago (Edited 1602d ago )

My thought is this, you don't own those games you buy digitally. You have them on your system but they are just 1s and 0s. No company is going to give you money for that. Gamestop makes money on trade ins. How do you resell a digital game? When you buy a digital game you are basically buying a license to use the software. Software companies do trade ups not trade ins.

aksmashh1602d ago

They would be making a profit because it would be a credit on the psn or live store!

Which would keep the money with Sony/Microsoft instead of selling there hard copies privately and using the money for something else!

Deadpoolio1601d ago

@UnwanteDreamz: Do you even know what the hell your talking about? When you buy a physical copy of a game you DO NOT own the game, you again own a license to use that software. You get a free disc and box with that license...So it's the same damn thing. You have no more ownership with physical been that way since the 80s

rainslacker1601d ago


Who would be making that profit? Sony will give you 50% of your trade in, you buy a $60 game for $30, most of that $60 purchase goes to the publisher. Sounds like Sony would be losing a lot of money unless it was on their own titles.

Sad truth is with digital, the publishers don't care one iota if you play that game again once purchasing it. The only reason some are upset about retail trade ins is that that they claim it cannibalize sales of the same game new. Digital doesn't have that problem, and license sales are not supply constrained like retail copies are.

justSumDood1601d ago

I refuse to submit to a digital only future UNTIL the problem of restricted ownership is addressed.
Allow me to sell my copy as I see fit or I'll continue with physical copies until I have NO OTHER CHOICE.

@aksmashh Agree. And why others can't grasp the simple concept is truly baffling.

The idea of being given credit for software (in terms of a trade-in) certainly has basis.

In this scenario, the company isn't giving you actual money, only credit (to be used towards ANOTHER purchase.) The "real" money (such as it is) is still in their books and resides with them in their bank accounts (or more likely, invested in the markets.)

The company has at no point given up any money, and since you will use that credit towards purchasing another product (read: Secondary Sales, and something you might not have done if you hadn't had the credit) it's win-win for them.
Buying with credit they've given you really amounts to nothing more than them offering the software to you at a discounted or sale price, something which is commonplace.

Seems like simple economics and a viable solution from which everyone benefits.

TFJWM1601d ago

@justSumDood Sure some credit is fine but if they are giving you 50% back they are never making money. You buy one game at 60 trade it in for a 30 credit, buy the next game at 60 and trade it in for 30 credit or even 25. It makes no sense at all. Credit IS REAL MONEY you aren't paying, you are paying 30 or 35 for every game at that point. Once again with a digital copy they are paying you to NOT PLAY THE GAME. Why would they ever do that? Might as well just sell the game from the start minus whatever you think they should pay you to trade it in...

jb1rd901601d ago

idiots... frist off they would be buying that pacific game serial back.... then resell that serial for a increase of price which would be a profit to them and only them.... much like game stop. so lets say 3 people trade in bf4 for 25$. sony now owns 3 serials and resells them for 40$. sony would make 15 $ off that trad in. they can only sell 3 used serials tho bc only 3 people traded in bf4 (DURRRRRR). in short they can buy the right for the game u own and resell it for a profit. i have no idea of why alot people cant understand how that works. really makes me question alot of people...

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1601d ago
Bigpappy1602d ago (Edited 1602d ago )

Yes please. I think the hold up is backlash from the Gamestops of the world, and the controversy over DRM.

Developers could make a little something if a transaction fee is imposed when ever money is involved... i.e. a 2% transaction fee on all
Resells or a flat $2 fee.

License should
Be sold and traded among uses, not bought back by M$ or Sony. They would just provide the infrastructure to facilitate the transaction. Intact they could allow retailers to also setup their own digital resale hubs.

rainslacker1601d ago

Why would GameStop or any other company have anything to do with digital resale in the way you are talking about. Maybe to act as an intermediary, which I'm sure they'd be happy to take cut of the profits for.

If publishers, or console manufacturers wanted this, they can offer it already. The DRM reversals didn't really affect digital products one bit.

Otherwise, allow users to sell their digital licence and MS/Sony get nothing from it. Exactly like it is with retail purchases.

Bigpappy1601d ago (Edited 1601d ago )

First off, your assertion that M$ and Sony would setup and manage a system that allows you to resell digital product and they or publisher get none of it, is pure fantasy. Right now when you take hard copies to Gamestop and get your 5 or 10 bucks, they handle the resale and make 100 to 200% profit. Why do you care who gets a piece if you are getting your fair share.

M$ already said this is something they would like to find a way to implement. If they do, you will soon see others follow because there is money to be made while at the same time appeasing the customer.

Allowing retailers in the resale business, would allow for more bargain shopping.

I thing the only direct transactions we might see are even trades (I give you COD, you give me Battle Field). Anything involving money, publishers are going to want a piece.

KonsoruMasuta1602d ago

You're literally living in a dream world if you think you're getting 50% for a digital copy of your games.

ZodTheRipper1602d ago

You should literally get some glasses if you didn't see the word EXAMPLE.

Chidori1602d ago

Surely was a foolish example. Your head must really be in the clouds to even bring up a proposal like that.

grailly1602d ago

I don't know... That would severely hurt services like PS+. nobody would want to give a game out on PS+ as then they'll get thousands of trade ins of said game in exchange.

I could work if you can only trade in 1-3 month old games I guess

Darrius Cole1601d ago

(I'll just repost my response to article here.)

Never Happen.

Allowing the consumers to trade digital games will reduce the number of units (licenses sold) needed to service the same population by at least two-thirds OVERNIGHT. It's the worst idea ever, from the point of view of anyone who wants to see more AAA games made and sold.

It could only do two things. 1) cut half of game companies from the industry in 2 - 3 years. and 2) Flood the industry with cheap $5 games while forcing all but a handful of the big-budget $60 titles out.

You sound like a young guy, go you remember what Napster did to record sales? Well this would be worse for the game industry. People don't have an instinct to make amd play video games like people have an instinct for music. All people try to sing and dance from little babies up and demand music. The demand for video games has a much lower floor than music.

rainslacker1601d ago

Exactly. Give people an easy outlet to trade in their digital games, and new buyers are going to go to those "trade-in" games first as they're going to be cheaper. There is absolutely no depreciation with a digital game, and you get the exact same product "used" with a digital purchase, so what publisher in their right mind would want people to bypass the new sale without a second thought?

Mr_Writer851601d ago (Edited 1601d ago )


50% of the price, or 50% of the price you paid?

What if (for example) you bought Lego Marvel for half price in a sale, I don't think it would be fair that you would get the same discount as those who paid full price.

However getting 50% of the half price would be fair.

Or over time the % you can get back would lower, along with any price drops.

So early adaptors get a bigger discount then those who waited for a sale.


Plus games wouldn't count as you don't buy them, you are paying for a service that lets you plays games you don't actually buy any of those games.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 1601d ago
THC CELL1602d ago

developers wont make money off that so why bother lol
putting something back that they have unlimited.

wont work.

HexxedAvenger1602d ago

They don't get money from used games either. Or am I wrong? Lol

Ilovetheps41602d ago

If there is a sequel to the used game, then they may indirectly receive money from used games.

KonsoruMasuta1602d ago

No, you're right. That's why stores like GameStop market used games so much. GameStop doesn't have to give any of the profits to developers and publishers if a used game is sold.

This is one of the reason for the rampant abuse of DLC, On lines passes, and preorder exclusively.


Agreed! I don't understand how this is beneficial to the publisher/developer, it only benefits the person trading in the game.

Yukicore1602d ago (Edited 1602d ago )

This would create a very addicting business to players, they buy a lot of games, then dump em to get some of the price back and purchase more.

Now majority of players just choose 1 game of 3 and sticks with it, or buys greater number of used copies of the games. This way the player who does this could sell that 1 game, buy the 2nd one, and after that maybe even consider buying the 3rd, and the money goes to the publishers/developers rather than the used game seller/s.

I've looked at it only as an idea, I haven't really looked into numbers and benefits.

Darrius Cole1601d ago

Like Cell said it won't work. It will shrink the industry TREMENDOUSLY in a very short time.


What you are describing it the players spending less money on video games without actually reducing the amount of games that they play. That equals the AAA game industry shrinking.

That's why this will never happen. And if too many people start asking for it the publishers are going cut down on the digital downloads.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1601d ago
bjmartynhak1602d ago

It's time indeed. Time for online rentals too.

OhMyGandhi1601d ago

I've been wanting for online rentals to be a reality for an incredibly long time.

HexxedAvenger1602d ago

That would actually be awesome. That means no dealing with GameStop that's for sure.

Ilovetheps41602d ago

I just don't understand why they would ever do this. What reason does a developer have to buy back a digital game? They aren't actually reselling a license to another customer. I don't see where the profit is in "used" digital games. That's all that companies care about is profit and I just don't see it here.

gamerz1601d ago

They make more money since you'll probably will more games and newer games are worth more.

For example, I buy lots of games on release day only because I can re-sell them for $15-20 less than I paid two weeks later. There's no way I could afford to buy so many games without that option.

With used games I get to support lots of different developers, buy many more games than I would have otherwise, and try out many games that are iffy, that I wouldn't have so it supports smaller and independent developers.

I don't see how people don't see this. People think if you ban used games and sales will stay the same as they are today. No way, they will drop dramatically.

rainslacker1601d ago

In the scenario of digital games the money isn't real though. It's all virtual currency. Unless the buyer of the "used" game is buying directly from the original owner. Even then though, the person buying used is getting the exact same product as it was new, so they would have more incentive to buy a game used than new, thus cannibalizing sales. In some ways, it's actually much worse than what GameStop is doing. The only viable way to make it possibly work is if there is a trade in fee like MS was proposing. However, initial reports made it seem that MS would benefit most from that scheme and not the publishers or devs.

With trading in to GameStop, it is as you say. You can buy more games, but those games are brought with real money, either funded by you, or through GS, so the publisher gets their money either way. What publishers don't like is that they seem to think that more people are buying the used game than are buying the copy new, which affects their revenues.