Earlier this month, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that software downloads can be resold. Perhaps in response to that ruling, it seems retailer GameStop is looking into reselling downloadable games. GameStop CEO Paul Raines told gaming site GameSpot that the vendor is talking to a few companies about the prospect but declined to provide further details.
Reselling physical copies of used games is big business for GameStop, which raked in over $2.6 billion in 2011 from used game sales alone. The retailer's revenue from used game sales has increased steadily since 2002, when it brought in just under $300 million. Interestingly, though, used game sales haven't become a substantially larger portion of GameStop's business. In 2002, used sales made up 22% of the company's revenues. That number climbed to only 27% in 2011, suggesting that the percentage of folks buying used games may be increasing at an only modest pace.
Obviously, neither game publishers nor developers are keen on used sales. They don't get a cut of the action, and in recent years, they've been more vocal in their opposition of the practice. The hype seems a little overblown in light of GameStop's revenue numbers, though.