Supermarket chain Asda has announced today that it is to begin selling second-hand video games in-store. The service, called “Buy, Play, Trade”, has been trialled in 5 locations, and has been so successful that it’s now to be rolled out to 235 of Asda’s 377 UK stores.
Asda already has a stock of thousands of games, after running a 3-day promotion offering customers the change to buy Fifa 11 on Xbox 360 or PS3 for 97p: a saving of £29 off their sticker price. Andrew Thompson, Asda’s head of games, said that the company will “also offer market leading trade in promotions to coincide with new release launches”. Customers will be able to trade in old games for new ones, or for money off future game purchases or other products in store.
Tesco has been trialling a similar scheme, which it has said will roll out in the majority of its Extra stores next month.
The UK second hand games industry is reckoned to be worth around £500 million a year, but until now has been dominated by specialist retailers like Game, Gamestation and HMV – and of course, online sellers through marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
It remains to be seen whether gamers will prefer to swap their old titles for groceries, or whether they’ll stick with eBaying for cash. Any game sellers care to comment?