Gamestop Shares Drop 6.5% As News Of Sony’s Pre-Owned Patent Hits Stock

Yesterday’s discovery of Sony’s anti-second hand games patent appears to have reached a wider audience, with shares in Gamestop dropping 6.5% yesterday as the news started to spread around the internet.

Gamestop do a huge amount of business with pre-owned games, and whilst nobody really expects Sony to actually make use of the patent (which is only filed, not granted, as far as we can tell) it’s telling just how quickly these things can have an effect.


Shares fell by $1.57 to $24.09.

The patent, which suggested an alternative way to lock down a copy of game to a single user account via RF tags, would have serious repercussions in the rental and second hand game markets. However, like region locking and countless years of discussion on the topic, these things may never really happen across the board with Sony.

Indeed, SCEA’s own Jack Tretton said he was against the blocking of used games, although hinted that Sony Japan may well feel differently. The patent was filed by SCEJ.

It’s likely that, if this does appear in the PS4, it’ll be on an individual basis, with some publishers able to opt-in with certain games, rather than being a widespread platform-level thing. You can also assume that Sony won’t do much unless Microsoft do the same.

“Sony would be materially hurt if its console blocked used games and competitor consoles from Microsoft and Nintendo did not,” said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities, who says the reaction to the patent was “overblown”.

What do you think?



  1. It may have been overblown and I can’t see Sony implementing this as it would be suicide but the share drop should serve as a warning that the market will not react kindly if this actually happens. These shares dropped on news of a patent. Imagine how much they would drop if it Sony announced they were going to do this.

  2. I think its a patent and people love to make a bit of money from rumours.

  3. As most people said yesterday, if either Sony or Microsoft decide to scrap the idea of pre-owned gaming they are going to lose a lot of buyers. I get that the industry is haemorrhaging money at the moment but punishing the consumers who just want to enjoy their hobby isn’t really the way to go about sorting the problem.

  4. You’d be mad to be the only one releasing a console block second hand games. In Japan they may get away with it with the Xbox being so ignored but Nintendo haven’t gone down that route. There are still questions about whether this would even be legal in certain territories.

    Some of the technology could be useful for things other than blocking used games but the reaction to patent application has been completely over the top.

  5. hopefully sony are looking at the reaction to this patent and realise how bad an idea it would actually be to put it into practice.

  6. Yesterday on 99% of online gaming sites went like this –
    ‘BAD/Negative'(YAWN) PS4 News
    ‘GOOD'(surprise, surprise) Next Xbox News
    it seemed :-/
    I guess this is the start of the bad PS4 press then for 2013, what a surprise!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! LoL:D
    + “the reaction to the patent was “overblown”.” Hmm, !!EVERYTHING!! that SONY do is!!! :-/ I really do despise internet gaming sites i really do(they are the worse thing about this Gen & mainly it’s the idiots who comment on them & they ‘THINK’ they know it all, F-IN LoL!!!) I visit them(i.e so-called gaming sites) to find ‘normal’ News that is worth wasting my time on but keep seeing Negative PlayStation News every week :-/ Oh well. If a ‘WAR’ is coming i will defend the PS4 just like i did with the PS3;) (even if that means me having to go on that dreadful site again….OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!) :D

    • Ok you need to go away, calm down and the re post this in a way that is readable

      • Shouldn’t that just read;

        “Ok you need to go away.”

  7. I think this is exactly what Sony was hoping for. This stock price drop is a temporary thing. It might even have a little something to do with the fact the holiday sales rush is over with, but if it gets contributed to Sony’s patent its a win for Sony. Gamestop knows how important used game sales are, its probably the reason most game stores can afford to stay in business. Having the stock price drop could be an incentive for some negotiations for gamestop and Sony to strike a deal that benefits all parties. IMO this tag lock is Sony’s atomic bomb, its lets stores know that at any time Sony could kill the entire used game market, but without retail game stores the only place to buy Sony stuff would be from the Sony website, because the retail stores could just refuse to sell Sony products. Wich would damn Sony for using it.
    IMO we’ll see more online or locked content for next gen games until the digital game becomes mainstream to where a physical copy is no longer wanted. Theres no need to tag lock a disc because eventually the disc is going bye-bye. Publishers would be better off just waiting it out and except that their sales numbers could always be higher.

  8. Can’t see Sony utilising this if the patent is granted. Sony would be shooting themselves in the foot if they did…….although knowing Sony, anything could happen.

  9. This is more of a patent hoarding I should imagine.

    This only really benefits Game Publishers, Console makers however need to sell systems and that means making everyone happy – Retail/customers etc.

    Chance of this being implemented (at least day 1 is less than 5% i’d say). A stat I made up just like analysts :D

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