Huge Video Game Retailer Ceasing Trade-Ins Further Signifies the Death of Physical Media for the Likes of Gamestop and Game – Quick, Trade in Your Copies of Elden Ring, Hogwarts Legacy & Diablo 4 Whilst You Can

The future of physical copies of video games seems bleak.

elden ring

SUMMARY

  • GAME will soon stop taking game trade-ins.
  • Popular gaming outlets have previously thrived on exchanging/selling games.
  • The future of it all doesn't seem in favour of physical discs.
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The relevance of physical media in the age of digital games has been the topic of ongoing debates for the last many years. To further spark this, the UK’s popular retailer GAME will soon stop video game trade-ins. This is a change from how the store has been functioning for the past many years.

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Something like this isn’t just a change in business model, but also a punch at a cultural act of exchanging video games (or simply, selling them). With a big retailer officially stopping trade-ins, are we further moving into the era marked by the absence of physical discs altogether?

This change in policy represents a cultural shift in gaming

GAME UK
Stores that let customers trade in their video games have been important to the gaming culture.

GAME’s change in business model comes as news from Eurogamer; where the video game retailer spoke about these upcoming changes. From the looks of it, ever since the company’s takeover (worth £52m) in 2019, being part of the Frasers Group has drastically shifted the organization’s plans for growth. 

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Since then, multiple stores have been shut down and the company has started moving into the toy market. Cutting off something as humbling as trading physical copies represents a cultural shift in how we view physical media. Trading in titles like Elden Ring, Hogwards Legacy, or Diablo 4 for some hard cash seems to be running out. 

In case you were planning to stock up on old games and wish for a store to support your ambition for trade-ins, you might have to start putting your faith in other retail stores. Moreover, think about how you invest in digital (or physical) copies of titles going forward.

Furthermore, GAME’s official website lists how trade-ins work, and the FAQs are likely to change once trade-ins go off the grid entirely. In fact, they’ve already given out a pessimistic note about not accepting retro consoles like the PS2 and Game Boy as part of the plan. That’s a clear hint at letting go of old business philosophies.

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With GAME shifting policies, we might be heading down a rough path for physical media ownership

CEX store
A debate between preference for digital versus physical media is going to be more prevalent.

Outside GAME’s cultural phenomenon, stores like CEX and GameStop were able to build a monumental model of letting customers exchange their games for some real cash. However, the push towards digital games turns a blind eye to pre-ordering and buying physical copies of someone’s anticipated title. Players now will have to think twice before deciding where to put their money.

What may cause further worry is the actual ownership of digital entertainment. Not long ago, Sony caused a ruckus among the community when hundreds of Discovery shows were taken off PlayStation’s catalog. On the Xbox front, a user was banned for recording and uploading an intimate clip from Baldur’s Gate 3.

A bunch of more such stories and we’re looking at questioning the very ownership of one’s collection of digital media. Are the customers really the king, or it’s up to a large organization to decide the fate of it? While these may be topics that have multiple hot-takes, the reality remains; companies like GAME are starting to shift the tides of what it means to have complete ownership of a video game. 

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Written by Tanay Sharma

Articles Published: 506

Tanay wears more hats than Red Dead Redemption 2 characters. He's a musician, writer, voice-over artist and adores interactive media. His favourite games are the ones with memorable stories and characters. He's pursuing a master's degree in Behavioural Sciences. No, he won't read your mind.