The New York Times' Seth Schiesel
looks at the recent poor performance of EA and the anticipated performance of other
domestic publishers. While much of the poor performance may be attributed to common culprits, like the dearth of Xbox
360 consoles and transitional difficulties, there is one other thing.
Schiesel writes, "... game publishers in the United States are still almost entirely in the same business they have been in for 20 years: selling new games at retail." Subscription-based MMOs and used-games are both profitable avenues that represent "a major challenge to the publishers' traditional business model."
Game retailers thrive on the used-games market; even big-box stores like Best Buy want to get in on the action, much to the chagrin of developers and publishers everywhere. For now, the bad blood between retailers and publishers will continue: Gamestop's most recent quarterly earnings were "eye-popping" while EA's shares are down 11 percent over the period.