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Watch out, GameStop: Walmart gets into used-games business

Walmart will start accepting video game trade-ins from its customers on March 26 at 3,100 stores across the US.


Walmart is planning to make a splash in the used-games business, the company announced on Tuesday.

Starting March 26, consumers can walk into more than 3,100 Walmart stores across the US and trade in games from the latest consoles, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U. Customers will receive eGift cards for the value of their trade-in which can be used to purchase of anything sold at Walmart and Sam's Club, both in stores and online. Walmart said customers will be able to purchase "Certified Pre-Owned" games in stores and online starting this summer.

The company joins GameStop and Best Buy, among others, offering trade-ins for video games.

Video game trade-in programs are extremely controversial. As Walmart points out, the US market for used games has hit $2 billion annually. However, game developers and publishers have railed against its growth, saying that it's effectively taking cash from their pockets.

When used games are sold back to retailers, game companies don't get a cut of the action. When they're sold at a profit, they're also left out. The games industry has lobbied for changes to that practice, but so far, those efforts have not proven fruitful.