We occasionally discuss the complaints from video game publishers and developers about how used game sales are hurting them
, and how they've been testing out countermeasures disguised as features
to compensate. Now, industry analyst Michael Patcher has released a report which attempts to quantify that damage. Patcher estimates that used game sales and trades number around 100 million each year
in the US. However, despite the immense number of transactions, he doesn't think the used game market is as detrimental to sales of new games as the publishers think. "The vast majority of used games are not traded in until the original new game purchaser has finished playing, typically well beyond the window for a full retail priced new game sale. Thus, while there may be some limited substitution of used game purchases when GameStop employees 'push' used merchandise upon consumers lined up to buy new games, the vast majority of used game purchases occur more than two months after a new game is released. ... To the extent that there is a substitution effect, we estimate that fewer than 5% of new game sales are impacted."