GameStop is thinking about selling retro game cartridges and discs on its online store. At the very first GameStop Expo in San Antonio, CEO Paul Raines explained to Polygon’s Griffin McElroy that GameStop views selling retro games as a prospect to make more money.
“We think there’s a vintage sales opportunity, so we’re accumulating some inventory. It’s a big idea, and there’s a few problems with it. The first one is sourcing the product, the condition, the refurbishment, all that stuff. But there’s a customer for it. And we’re working on some stuff we haven’t announced yet. If you go to eBay and look at all of the gaming stuff that’s on there, it’s unbelievable. Collector’s stuff. We’ve got to be in that business. We will be.”
GameStop will have to consider it’s competition, especially EBay and Amazon, where classic games sold by private sellers can be found at reasonable prices.
“Our website is becoming unbelievably rich,” Raines said. “We can’t just be trying to go head-to-head with Amazon, beating each other to death on delivery dates. We do plenty of that. But we’ve got to be a destination for gamers where, for cool stuff for gaming, you’ve got to go to GameStop.”
I do still own old consoles, and I occasionally will buy titles that I no longer have, or never played – but GameStop is coming a little late into the market of selling classic titles. Many classic titles are even available for purchase through console ports like on the PlayStation Store, or Xbox Live, and even websites like GOG.com often have sales to purchase classic games that you can play right on your pc.
There is an opportunity in the market, if GameStop approaches it the right way. Collectors, and gamers don’t want to pay exaggerated prices to play old games, unless they are a rare title that’s hard to come by. But there’s one problem GameStop has: it sells at retail pricing, and unless they can avoid selling the classic titles at retail value, they may not see nearly the amount of profit they expect from selling classic games. If they could implement auctioning, or even making the games available for purchase digitally, they could see a bigger profit. When or if GameStop does decide on selling used retro games, it is likely that it will be no different than eBay with a website where the classic titles will be available for purchase.
If GameStop does decide to sell classic games on its online store, I don’t have high hopes that the prices they will offer will match those of its competitors.