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GameStop isn't worried about Online Pass


EA and THQ are looking to slow used game sales with the EA Sports Online Pass and THQ's unnamed, similar program for UFC Undisputed 2010 -- codes included with new copies to unlock online play and other features, forcing buyers of used games to pay extra for that access. GameStop, the company who would stand to lose the most from this, doesn't seem upset at all. For one thing, CEO Dan DeMatteo offered a supportive quote in EA's announcement of Online Pass.

COO J. Paul Raines explained why GameStop isn't worried about the Online Pass program in an investor conference call. "We support the creation of added downloadable content for popular franchises," he said, "as we see that as extending the life of titles and broadening the base of game players." He went on to explain that the proportion of used game buyers playing games online is low, and that "as it grows, our proprietary models will manage trade and sale pricing to reach margin goals." In other words, if used game sales drop, so will the prices.

Raines then compared the Online Pass program to another recent high-profile download, the Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package, which "ave us an opportunity to promote DLC in-store on a popular franchise, and we are pleased with the results." Raines said that GameStop leads in market share on DLC cards, and experienced increased demand for points cards during the Stimulus Package launch. Basically, as long as people don't figure out that they can buy DLC and points from home more easily than from GameStop, the retailer's business is secure.

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