A website called Lynx2Games.com has a new approach to buying and sharing that could help consumers avoid paying full price for video games.
When people buy a game on the site, they’re buying them in pairs — there’s a “borrower” and a “buyer” (friends can make a purchase together, or Lynx2Games can match up consumers interested in the same product). The borrower pays 25 percent and gets the game for the first three weeks, then they ship it to the buyer, who pays 75 percent and then gets to keep the game indefinitely. The average new console game costs $60, so that breaks down to $15/$45.
If you just want to play the game once, you can probably do that, and you pay less money than you would to rent (Redbox charges $2 per day, for example). And if you don’t care about getting the game right away, you can get it slightly later and slightly used for a 25 percent discount.
Lynx2Games is the latest service from startup LynxSquare. Co-founder and CEO Zul Momin says this kind of trading is happening already, when a customer buys a game then sells it back to a retailer like Game Stop when they’re finished. Usually the retailer makes most of the money on the deal (because it buys the game for a fraction of the initial cost, then sells it for near full price), with the first and second buyer only seeing small savings. Lynx2Games takes the reseller out of the equation.
LynxSquare is applying this model to several different products — the company plans to re-launch Lynx2Books, Lynx2Movies, and Lynx2Music in the six weeks. It emerged from the Austin Technology Incubator and has raised $750,000 from incubators.
It’s a cool model, but I wondered if it would become obsolete in a few years, as more and more games, books, movies, and music are consumed digitally. Momin says the secondary video game market is a $2 billion industry, so there’s no immediate threat. As for the long-term, he plans to launch a digital sharing product in 2013.