It has recently been confirmed that over the next few months, GAME will no longer be accepting trade-ins on pre-owned games. The popular UK gaming retail chain, which is owned by Frasers Group, has just announced that it will be discontinuing its trade-in, pre-owned, and Game Elite programs shortly.
You will still be able to purchase pre-owned games in stores across the UK until stocks run out, but once they do, you will no longer be able to buy or sell used games after that. GAME Elite, the rewards membership that gives members 10% back on everything they buy or sell, is expected to still operate up until the end of summer.
Starting February 16, 2024 all GAME locations across country will no longer accept game trade-ins and will hope to sell off what’s left of its supply of pre-owned games soon after that. This might mean some upcoming discounts and additional deals on GAME’s pre-owned titles, in an effort to shift the used merchandise, but this has yet to be confirmed.
With the retail gaming industry in decline, and more and more gamers now buying their games online digitally instead, GAME executives believe that shifts are now necessary. It will be an uphill battle to bridge this now ever-growing gap between the digital and physical video game spaces, but it is a battle that GAME is willing to fight.
GAME has defiantly stated publicly that it is willing to be the last man standing in selling physical video games if need be. With that said, the company is confident that it can stand strong and even bring in new customers moving forward, getting them off online retail platforms in favor of the physical experience.
With an emphasis on physical merchandise, GAME sees its place in the market going forward as something akin to the vinyl record store. In recent years, vintage vinyl stores have exploded in popularity, and this proves that there is still a strong market for and place in the hearts of customers for physical products.
Packaged goods such as vinyl records or video games can even be viewed as art – as well as pieces of history – with items such as collector’s editions selling for hundreds of dollars to the right buyer. Despite this optimistic and romantic outlook, GAME is realistic in its expectations and understands that the overall industry of ‘physical’ video games is in decline.
Ultimately, the fate of GAME and similar stores will be dictated by powers mostly outside its control. With that being said it would be a real shame if, in the future, you could no longer buy physical video games and could only obtain them online digitally.