According to a recent report from Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian, the firm's "industry checks" have revealed that Walmart has begun selling used games in over 500 of its stores. We decided to perform our own industry check, and the very first Walmart we called (in Tulsa, Oklahoma) was indeed stocking used games. The clerk we spoke to said that the store "just started carrying them." Further investigation revealed that used titles are also available on Walmart's website
The company revealed plans
to begin a used game program earlier this year, and Sebastian believes Walmart will "focus on the deep-value end of the market (e.g., games under $20 ASP)," potentially preventing "overlap" with used game juggernaut GameStop
. Cheaper, older games do seem to dominate Walmart's used inventory
, although we did spot Rock Band 3 for $50
. Assuming Walmart maintains this focus on cheaper games, Sebastian believes the program could "ultimately expand the market for used games."
Sebastian notes that getting into the used game business isn't easy, requiring extensive inventory tracking, refurbishment and restocking. He concludes that it's unlikely for other used game distributors to be as "tightly integrated" as GameStop. We've certainly seen big names try and fail at the used game racket before ... Walmart included