EBGames isn't the only store experimenting with a new sales policy. Best Buy is currently testing a program in which used games are offered for sale. Customers can bring in their games and swap them for Best Buy store credit. Currently four stores in Illinois and California are trying this out and the game industry is none too happy about it, raising the old "first sale" issue yet again.
Mark Rein, vice president of Epic Games, creators of the "Unreal" franchise as well as the upcoming Xbox 360 game "Gears of War," has vociferously argued against retail sales of used games in the past. The expansion of a major retailer into the field, he said, is disheartening. "We pay to be in Best Buy's flyers," he said. "We pay market development funds. Publishers drive gaming traffic to these stores. To have them resell the games, with developers having no participation, that's just wrong. That's just fleecing us."
Here's my take on used games: I rarely buy them. I'm a collector of sorts in that I never give up any of my old games. I keep the packaging, I keep the manuals, and I keep the promotional materials that come inside the box. If I buy a used game I expect to get at least the box and manual along with the game. I know that sort of thing is rare which is why I don't buy many used games.
I've only bought five used games over the years: Banjo-Tooie from a Blockbuster Video ($5, including the box and manual), Wario Land 4 (which is apparently out of print), Mario Kart: Super Circuit (unavailable when I was looking for it, but new copies are popping up again), Super Mario Advance 2: Super Mario World (I was unwilling to pay full price for a game I already owned in another format) and Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island (again, I already have the Super NES version, but I wanted the six new levels and was able to work a deal).
I browse eBay and check out the used game stores from time to time. If I'm going to buy a used game without a box or manual, I will only pay $10-$15 for it. I never even consider buying used games from the likes of EBGames because I just will not pay MSRP minus 10% for just a cartridge or disc. I know that I'm picky about this and probably a little cheap, but I'm not interested in buying a used copy of something I can get a brand new one for $5 more. I'm not afraid to spend money on something I really want, and I figure that since I'm spending that money, why half-ass the purchase?