GAME to stop trade-ins, further impact physical games market

Major UK retailer GAME will reportedly stop allowing physical game trade-ins starting next month, a move that will have a trickle-down effect on gaming.

1 minute & 22 seconds read time

UK retailer GAME will reportedly stop allowing physical video game trade-ins starting next month.

GAME to stop trade-ins, further impact physical games market 1

GAME, one of the most popular gaming retailers in the United Kingdom, plans to cancel its trade-in program at physical locations. Sources tell Eurogamer's Tom Phillips that GAME will stop trade-ins of physical boxed video games at all locations starting in February 2024.

There is no change to GAME's trade-in policy at the time of publication.

It's unclear whether or not the retailer will shift towards a DTC (direct-to-consumer) model for trade-ins. Best Buy, for example, allows consumers to make trade-ins without visiting a store, offering paid shipping and digital store credit vouchers in exchange for unwanted tech.

CEX, on the other hand, may still offer physical game trade-ins for some time.

The move clearly punctuates a growing consumer trend towards digital. The video games market has been skewing towards digital for many years, and now a significant portion of video game software sales are made digitally via storefronts like the PS Store, Xbox Store, Nintendo eShop, and Steam.

While used game sales are typically lower in price, games go on sale regularly enough on digital storefronts that consumers may be less likely to buy resold titles, instead opting for digital releases that often require downloads anyway.

Retail has been negatively impacted by digital consumer trends. Best Buy is removing all physical DVDs, Blu-rays, and 4K UHD discs from its shelves as the retailer moves even closer to e-commerce.

Reports indicate that Best Buy and Target will stop selling physical Xbox games on store shelves, potentially at the behest of Microsoft, who wants to achieve market dominance by 2030 with digital at the forefront.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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