secondh.jpg The UK Guardian, which also runs the excellent Guardian Gamesblog, has posted an article on the boom in secondhand video game sales, subtitled: "The market for 'pre-owned' games is thriving, but publishers warn that cut-price sales put the development of innovative genres at risk."

Particularly interesting is a statement by a Sony spokesperson, commenting: "We recognise the secondhand games market is part of the revenue mix, for retailers at least... However, if it continues to grow, it could potentially starve us of the funds necessary for research and development, and therefore, developers will be less willing to take a risk on new and genre-diversifying titles. It's this creative diversity that makes the games industry so popular, and without sustained funding from new software sales, this could be at risk."

So... should secondhand games be a furtive, underground act instead of the overt profit machine it is for even U.S. outfits like GameStop right now? Why is the secondhand video game market so much bigger than music and movie markets? And will anyone try to crack down, as has happened in Japan - even though secondhand titles are 30% of the market there, according to comments from Capcom's Kenzo Tsujimoto at GDC 2005?