Walmart is looking to stomp on competitor GameStop by kicking off a game trade-in program on March 26. Later this year the retailing giant will start selling pre-owned games.
GameStop's long-running program of accepting trade-in games for cash or in-store credit will be replicated by the nation's largest retail chain. Walmart and Sam's Club will allow customers to trade in games for Sony PlayStation3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 and immediately apply that value to any new purchase both in store or online, the company said.
"Gaming continues to be an important business for us and we're actively taking aim at the $2 billion pre-owned video game opportunity," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S. "When we disrupt markets and compete, our customer wins. They'll save money on video games and have the flexibility to spend it however they want."
Those interested in trading in their games will bring them to the store's electronics' department with the original case. An associate will then scan the game's bar code and evaluate the overall condition of the game. The customer will then be offered a trade-in value that can be accepted or denied. If accepted, the amount immediately becomes available to the customer for use in a future purchase.
Walmart said trade-in prices will range up to $35 per game. The program only includes games, not the hardware.
This program, obviously, will lead to Walmart starting to sell certified pre-owned video games later this year. These will be sold both online and in store. The company promises that these used games will be refurbished and in "like new" condition.
"While new releases will remain the focus of our gaming business, we're glad to give our customers the option to buy pre-owned games," added Mac Naughton.
Walmart already accepts trade-ins for tablets and smartphones.
The importance of the gaming market was clearly made yesterday as the research firm GFK Chart Trak reported that Titanfall from Electronic Arts landed in the top spot on the UK gaming charts. In addition, GFK credited the game with a 96 percent increase in UK Xbox One sales. Of these purchases, 70 percent took place through the TitanFall/Xbox One bundle that was offered.