US: Pre-owned market worth $2bn

Games market analyst Michael Pachter has stated that the pre-owned games market in North Ameica is worth around $2bn annually, with 100m units sold in stores across the region each year.

A quick calculation will tell you that the average sale price of a pre-owned title is $20 (12). The numbers also mean that the market for second titles represents around a third of the total software market.

We think that used game sales benefit new game sales by providing currency to gamers with less disposable income, thereby enabling the purchase of additional games,” Pachter outlined.

The vast majority of used games are not traded in until the original new game purchaser has finished playing, typically well beyond the window for a full retail priced new game sale.

"Thus, while there may be some limited substitution of used game purchases when GameStop employees ‘push’ used merchandise upon consumers lined up to buy new games, the vast majority of used game purchases occur more than two months after a new game is released.

Other than the potential impact at holiday (when new game lives are extended beyond the typical two month sell-through pattern), used game sales just don’t impact new game purchases very much. To the extent that there is a substitution effect, we estimate that fewer than 5 per cent of new game sales are impacted.”

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