On March 26, you can walk into any of Walmart's over 3,100 stores across the US and trade in games for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U and other makers. It might be good for the average gamer, but it's all bad news for the gaming industry.
Walmart's foray into gaming is leaving the gaming industry shuddering. Game developers and publishers have railed against video game trade-in programs, saying that it's effectively taking cash from their pockets.
But Walmart's entry into the gaming business also poses a serious competitive threat to leading used games vendor GameStop and with many mom-and-pop game shops around the US. Big video-game publishers are also likely to complain about more lost dollars to the second-hand market.
Analysts, however, said the move could cut costs for consumers since prices will keep going up for new titles.
The used video-game market is worth $2 billion and could be even more lucrative if people would sell the more the 880 million old video games they have sitting around the house.
Walmart says it will pay more for used games (in the form of store credit) and sell them for less money than competitors. Used games will sell for an average of $35.
Customers will receive eGift cards for the value of their trade-in which can be used to purchase of anything sold at Walmart and Sam's Club, both in stores and online. Walmart said customers will be able to purchase "Certified Pre-Owned" games in stores and online starting this summer.
When used games are sold back to retailers, gaming companies don't get any money. When they're sold at a profit, gaming companies are also left out. The gaming industry has lobbied for changes to that practice, but so far, those efforts have failed.