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Best Buy and Walmart's Used Game Kiosk Supplier e-Play Suspends Operations

by Alice O'Connor, Feb 02, 2010 7:43am PST

US retailers includng Best Buy and Walmart are to halt tests of automated kiosks that bought used games after their supplier e-Play closed up shop, Industry Gamers reports.

e-Play kiosks allowed shoppers to trade in Wii, Xbox or PlayStation games for credit--on a gift card in the case of Best Buy while Walmart paid directly onto a credit card. The self-service kiosks also rented video games and movies.

e-Play's website simply states that "e-Play, LLC has suspended operations. Thank you to all our customers. For more information call 1-866-602-6014." Shacknews was greeted by an automated message explaining how to return games and inviting us to leave a message when we gave the number a ring on the old blower.

Walmart began using the kiosks with a pilot scheme of seventy-seven stores in May, 2009, prompting the industry's most prolific talking head Michael Pachter to scoff "Even if this takes off, it's not going to make much of a dent in the used market... I don't see it being a big deal." Best Buy followed in June with a scheme starting in two stores.

Several publishers have publicly criticised used game sales. Packing 'free' downloadable content with new copies is becoming an increasingly popular method of discouraging them, with recent releases Forza 3 and the EA-published Mass Effect 2, The Saboteur and Dragon Age: Origins all containing single-use DLC codes.




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