While quite a few of us are ready and waiting with our debit cards on release day for certain new games to arrive, there’s also quite a large market out there for consumers who can’t afford to purchase shiny new versions of upcoming games, people who tend to be more patient and wait for either a price drop, or more likely, for a second-hand copy to pop up.
It’s this very market that has proven to be big business for retailers and sellers, and despite recent controversies surrounding access codes, new console tech that might gimp the market and pre-order bonuses, it’s not going away any time soon.
And like all businesses, there’s money to be made on both sides, with middlemen banking quite a bit of profit on the side. But what if the process was simplified, and avoided the middleman entirely?
Waygoz is the name of a new social network which deals in used games, a service which aims at encouraging gamers to play more second-hand copies of their favourite games, but without the mark up of used game retailer.
Retailers usually add a hefty mark up to games, offering sellers very little value in return, and while that’s the beauty of a capitalism market where no one is actually forced to sell their games, it’s also a practice that can actually kill the development of new games, as Frontier Developments founder David Braben said to Gamasutra.
“In some cases, it’s killed them dead”, Braben said.
I know publishers who have stopped games in development because most shops won’t reorder stock after initial release, because they rely on the churn from the resales. But it’s killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day-one sales are it, making them super high-risk.
Waygoz is aiming at changing that business model, by offering a platform where gamers don’t necessarily pay for a second hand game, but instead swop for them online, much like back in the day with what we used to do as kids with our Golden China cartridges.
“Our idea was that gamers already have great networks,” Waygoz product manager Josh Kerbel said to Mashable. “There’s no need to give money away.” The way it works is, is that gamers create an account, post which games they’re willing to swop, and create their own wish-list of what they’re looking for exactly. By asking for user zip codes, Waygoz can track the proximity of users to one another.
“We really want the users to get off the couch, get out of their house, and build friendships with other gamers,” says Kerbel. Kerbel also spoke about how he wanted gamers to be more trusting, and to foster a sense of growth in a potential community.
Waygoz originally started with a base in Toronto Canada and 1500 users, before expanding into the US markets. Users have accounts which detail their actual information, promoting transparency and apparently discouraging fraudulent activity, with members and communities being rated on their trustworthiness.
It actually sounds like a fantastic idea, and while it’s more USA than RSA right now, such a thing could work quite well here. What say you, would you rather meet up in person to swap games, than head to the shops to trade and buy for a new title?