Used market debate is 'double-edged sword' - EA

EA's Blake Jorgensen acknowledges the 'benefits' of the used games business

The used games market can be "critical" to major retail outlets, and good retail health is important to the games industry as a whole.


So said EA CFO Blake Jorgensen, who acknowledged the 'benefits' of the used games business at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco today.

"It's one of these classic double-edged swords," he said, reports Gamasutra. "In one way the used game business has been critical for the health of the retail channel, and having a healthy retail channel is an important thing for us."

Jorgensen said that the industry "will probably never be 100 percent digital" do to "bandwidths constraints" and the limitations of in-home storage, pointing to the continued importance of high street retail channels.

"Would we like to sell everything at full price and not have a used game market? Sure," he added, "But I think the used game market's a little like any other kind of market where it creates liquidity. The fact is, that liquidity benefits us in some fashion. So if someone goes in and trades in a game, there's a good chance they're going to buy another one of our games. And so if there's a liquid market, I think that that's not a bad thing at all."

A recent Edge report claimed that Microsoft's next Xbox will require an internet connection to function, and will block the use of second-hand games - a move which US retailer GameStop has condemned.

"I can't really comment on where the next generation boxes are going to be relative to used games," said Jorgensen during the Q&A. "I will say that the trend in the business is to have that always-on connectivity and connect with a customer, and to the extent that the software identifies a certain customer is going to create some issues going down the road in the used game market."