Used game sales remain a huge part of the video game business, while digital media continues its rise.

According to a new report from market analysis firm NewZoo (as reported by Gamasutra ), pre-owned and digital content makes up a total of 35% of all console game spending in the US. That's a significant ratio.

Nearly one quarter of all US console gaming dollars (23%) go toward used games, while 12% is used for digital content. Unsurprisingly, both ratios are lower in Europe, where 20% of console game spending is comprised of pre-owned titles, and 9% is saved for downloadable content. If you include console and PC, 85% of gamers said they sometimes buy used titles, and 25% told NewZoo they actually spent the majority of their cash on pre-owned games.

We still have a ways to go before we enter the realm of digital domination, though. Only a little over half (54%) of the estimated 36 million US console owners have purchased digital content. Those who did download extra stuff spent an average of $49/year on the digital offerings, bringing in $960 million for 2011 thus far. Yeah, times are changing rapidly but it'll be some time before we wave bye-bye to physical media.

As for used games, the move by major publishers (EA, THQ, Sony, etc.) to institute some form of Online Pass may have a negative impact on pre-owned sales in the future. That remains to be seen.

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PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

I am responsible for 0% of those numbers. I never buy digital or used.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

There's good digital stuff though.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

You're missing out or maybe just insanely wealthy.

VampDeLeon
VampDeLeon
9 years ago

Not even music?

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

well i dont buy used games very often or really at all in the past few years. a deal is a deal and i have bought a few games from gamefly.

digital on the other hand i buy a lot more. smaller games or when i see a good deal. i bought the baconing and infamous festival of blood and dont regret either. in 2010 when i got my taxes back i maxed out the wallet on the psn ($150) and it took me the whole year to spend it. this year i have spent far less but i want to say it was more than $49.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Festival of Blood is great, it's like it's the same game but the new story alters the way you play it so much. I love stakin' those hidden vamps and snacking on people.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

So, could everyone that's ripped myself or Underdog a new one over our statements about the size if the used game business and how many gaming dollars is siphons away from publishers and developers please form an orderly line to apologize…

Oh, wait, you won't believe these numbers either. Never mind, business as usual, go on with your denial.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Rigamarole, when I buy used games it's because I would never pay full price for them so it's not a lost sale.

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

I rarely buy digital, but I do buy an occasional game on OnLive when they have their super-special game deals.
I picked up Red faction:Armageddon for only $5, and I just got Fear-3 for only $1.

But I'll still pick both of them up in disc versions later on too, for my collections.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 11/7/2011 9:51:22 PM

SubjectiveTruth
SubjectiveTruth
9 years ago

Today I tried taking my rental copy of Uncharted 3 online. I was surprised to see that I was expected to drop 10 bucks…Honestly the U3 campaign wasn't good enough to convince me to buy my own copy, I have 1 and 2 which I bought on launch day and I didn't ever end up playing either enough to warrant the 70 bucks spent. So I was more cautious and rented…If the multiplayer was great I may have bought the game but I couldn't try it out.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

wow on everything you just said…

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

Why did it cost you $70?

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
9 years ago

You sound like a xbot fanboy to me cause that was the dumbest $*** I heard this year.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

I guess he meant 70 for both titles, in total.
Cool nick btw, "SubjectiveTruth".

raptassassin
raptassassin
9 years ago

I'm no bland sony fanboy i am just a gamer. and I see what SubjectiveTruth is saying $70.00 dollars sixty for the game and ten dollars for the pass since rented it either from a rental company or a friend who aready used the pass first .

-fanboys worst thing in gaming period-

SubjectiveTruth
SubjectiveTruth
9 years ago

I should've been clearer with what I said. I love the Uncharted titles, bought 1 and 2 on launch day. Each game cost me 59.99 plus 13% tax. (59.99 X 1.13 = 67.78) I played the campaign on each which was a good 15 hours each I think. Drakes fortune did not have multiplayer and so it has been sitting on the counter ever since. I played UC2 a little extra when I had my playstation at my girlfriends house who has broadband.

As far as I am into UC3, it's great. I just don't see myself paying 67$ for it unless I knew the multiplayer is great because I am not one to replay single player campaigns. I really enjoy the stories of games so once I know the story a lot of the reason to play is gone.

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

13% tax ? Got damn man… where do you live ? Thats 1.12 for a Mcdonalds mcdouble !!! How am I supposed to get fat on that ? That would definently make me think about buying a game. Still will buy uncharted though. Just have to play U2 first.

P.S. you misrepresented how the tax is figured. It's 59.99 time 0.13 to get you 7.80 tax.

Darwin1967
Darwin1967
9 years ago

I would say I buy 98% of my games through gamefly. Some titles I like to have for day 1 purchase, but for the most part, I can get those same games day one through GF. GF delivered UC3 the 1st day it was out, that was AWESOME! I can't beat the discount combined with my gf rewards and the fact that within about a months time after release the games begin to drop in price dramatically. The nice thing is, if I get the game play it and end up hating it, I just mail it back. I will be buying AC: Revelations through GF and will probably spend about 40.00 total on a brand new game. The developers may hate it….but as a consumer, I call rent then buy smart.

SubjectiveTruth
SubjectiveTruth
9 years ago

Here in Canada we have Gameaccess. I've been a member for 12 months now so I get 20%off all used games and free shipping.

These services really are the best option when you work for 12 bucks an hour!

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I'm surprised the numbers are that low actually.

LimitedVertigo
LimitedVertigo
9 years ago

They didn't use Bikersaint in the poll.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

hahaha

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

LV,
Ha, nice one!

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

23% for used games is actually lower than i expected it would be. this always seems to be a touchy subject when we start talking about an online pass system and used game sales. i can live with an online pass if there is a mp mode. what i don't like is when we see an online pass system sneaks its way into sp games. i really dislike it when part of single player game is locked out with a code.

mass effect 2 did this in the worse way. unless you had that code you could not access the comic. plus you missed out the add on missions that were already on the disc. we are talking about many hours gameplay being missed out on. the code served as a key for the bonus missions. plus once you redeemed your code you had to go online and download the cerebus pack which included the comic and various armour and weapon upgrades. you had to have an ea account as well. what really made me angry was the cerebus network was down for four freaking days so i was unable to redeem my code!!!

not big deal i thought to myself. i can live without the comic for now and i will unlock the bonus content later such as the lair of the shadow broker. nope that did not work either. i had to restart my game once i redeemed my code if i wanted to play those bonus missions. mass effect 2 was a major pain in the a$$ to get up and running. there was a half hour hd install as well. very pc like. i get why there is a hd install, but what i don't understand is why the comic and armor/weapons upgrades had to be downloaded. there is plenty of room for it on a blu ray disc just another hoop to jump through. what made it more sad is that it punished legitamate first day buyers of the game becuase the cerebus network was down. all ea really said at first is we are very sorry for the inconvience. to be fair they did give me a $20 code i could use on the ps store when i called on day 3 to complain.

batman ac had issues with redeeming codes as well. there is another game that's sneaking in an online pass into a sp game. that was another mess as well. rage had it's sewers locked out and that was a sp game. i don't like this trend of seeing parts of games locked out by codes. plus, i think of the people who are not connected to the internet. approximately 20% of ps3s are not hooked up to the internet. it's really not fair to them when we are talking about a sp game.

i saw an article on cvg where the developers obsidian(fallout new vegas) said they are not fans of an online pass system and they thought it was a "gimmicky" way of trying combat used game sales. they are big believers in dlc and map packs. they think that is better way of keeping games on the shelves and in gamer's minds. they also thought was a better way to treat consumers. that was refreshing to hear.

i want to be clear. i do not have a problem with an online pass for online games. please keep them away from sp only games though. if they are going to toss in some kind of code for a sp game then please make damn sure the redemption process goes smoothly. no more batam/mass effect 2 debacles please. i might not have so much resentment towards these codes if i had not been stung in rear when attempting redeem a couple of them. i also worry we are heading down the road of pc gaming. part of the appeal of consoles if their ease of use. i know redeeming a code is usually a pretty simple task but ea and warner bros showed that it can sometimes way more difficult than need be.

very sorry for my long post. lawless and beamboom rubbed off on me in the quit complaining about sp campigns in shooters thread. 🙂 i'm only joking guys. i really enjoyed reading your comments on that thread. great job.


Last edited by Excelsior1 on 11/8/2011 1:07:25 AM

Cpt_Geez
Cpt_Geez
9 years ago

I buy a used game every now and then but it's rare. If I want a game I usually get it on day 1.

___________
___________
9 years ago

ive never understood the point of buying used games.
99% of the time there only 10 bucks cheaper IF that!
and 99% of the time there missing content you would get if you bought it new so its almost cheaper to spend the extra 10 at least that way you get the content.
not to mention every used game ive bought i had to take back and get a refund, it was so scratched my ps3 refused to read it!
pretty much the same thing for digital, its just not worth it.
or if there talking plainly DLC i rarely buy it because 99% of the time its MP orientated.

Ray186
Ray186
9 years ago

Scratched PS3 disc?

___________
___________
9 years ago

yup.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

You probably went to Gamestop, I get my used games off Ebay and always save at least 20 bucks, often more. If you try to buy a used game within a month of release then yeah it isn't worth saving ten bucks. It's damn hard to scratch up a blu ray disc and most people take decent care of them anyway.

raptassassin
raptassassin
9 years ago

"Stop Complaining About Used Game Gamers"

That should be the title of your next feature Ben. I'm sick of the high and mighty gamers who complain about about us used game gamers. "Well i buy my game new every week" well lessen up pal some of us gamers ain't as rich you guys and able to buy the newest and hots game of the week. and some of us don't have time sit and play and beat a new in one set-in.

I brought Batman: AC day one new and i'm only 6% complete. Were most of you i bet got it 100% and all DLC complete within two or three days and want a had and traded-in. I enjoy my games and don't blow through them in two days.

Ya i have a massive backlog of either incomplete games or haven't even started games but i don't care it keeps me busy even through the summer gaming "lull" that you high and mighty gamers invinted. Sorry i spouted off like that but i had to get off chest.

oh and another thing you high and mighty gamers wanna stop used games sales it easy don't trade in your games keep them. [/Rant]


Last edited by raptassassin on 11/8/2011 8:21:55 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I might steal that.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Dude, if you're so strapped for cash that the $5-$10 difference between a new game and a used game matters that much, you might want to re-evaluate your gaming purchases vs other things.

And before you blast me for being high and mighty or rich, I'm most certainly not rich. I've been poor, very poor and extremely poor (as in well below the poverty line) in my life time, so please don't lecture me about not being able to afford buying new. It's a choice. If you choose to spend money on games instead of something else, you have discretionary spending power. If on the other hand the $5-$10 difference in the price of a game matters that much to you, it's not really discretionary spending anymore in which case why are you buying games instead of more important things.

raptassassin
raptassassin
9 years ago

LOL world go right a head

jimmyhandsome
jimmyhandsome
9 years ago

More important things like what? Food and water?

Most of the used game market appears to be younger people (college and HS kids), in which case any savings does matter. Videogames are extremely popular for this age group, but its also an expensive hobby. Not hard to see why people take advantage of trading in and buying used.

fendo
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9 years ago

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Gordo
Gordo
9 years ago

Difficult…

I bought Dead Island, played it for 30 hours, traded it in for $44 (Australian) and picked up Uncharted 3 for $74 new day one.

JB HiFi here gives you MW3 free if you trade in Dead Island. (I think I got the better deal).

Ok used game sales may harm the market but I wouldn't have got Uncharted 3 otherwise so the money seems to swill around the same pot. I might buy 5 new and 10 used games a year but this would probably go down to 3 games a year if there wasn't a used game market.

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

Wow. So after all the game pass debates we find only 23% of money spent on games is for used games ??? This definently proves the point against game passes. It just shows how much the gaming industry has turned into a money grab. With companies doing the game pass and Activision and Ubisoft doing annual versions of thier money makers Im now woried about this industry.

Gone almost are the inovators, the David Cages and (insert MSG creator here,forgot his damn name…) Now its just gonna be the same game with new stories (very similar to EA's Madden franchise.) We shall still buy the games but only through loyalty to the storylines and characters. Similar to the way network TV has become.

So sad..

Ray186
Ray186
9 years ago

Kojima

wackazoa
wackazoa
9 years ago

Thanks