Several months ago I wrote a blog expressing my discontent with the current state of Goozex. The videogame trading community served me well for years. But recently the bottom has fallen out. The bubble has burst. The market has taken a turn, rather decidedly, for the worse.
Currently there are 740 trades going on. In years passed that figure would have been several times that number. A remnant of those better times is the tagline "Thousands of games available," displayed prominently on the splash page. That was very true once upon a time. Now it's an ironic symbol showing how far the website has fallen since the its launched six years ago.
What's the problem? Well, that's simple. Nobody is trading. But why is that, exactly? The rise of digital? Is it GameFly? Should we blame GameStop? Or has Electronic Arts killed the trading scene with its Online passes? I'm sure it's all of those things and more. Regardless, things have been going poorly as of late.
And the problem has snowballed. Trades are increasingly harder to come by. As they become more rare, the community becomes increasingly reticent to invest in the market. How does one invest exactly? Well you drop a game into the stream of commerce. For that you receive points that can be used to effectively purchase games from other traders. The big issue is that pretty much everyone has wallets bursting at the seams but there's nobody stocking the shelves.
It's a lack of faith, really. Nobody wants to sink more costs into a venture that isn't likely to net them any profits. Now this hasn't happened overnight. There's a gradual curve going on here. The good times led to greed. Greed led to skepticism. And since then we've experienced fear, panic and despondency.
After I expressed my fears here back in July, I decided to purchase a few tokens to see if I could something out of this sinking ship before it's totally submerged. Goozex gets a $1 or $2 cut for every trade that goes on, so I had to kick in a few extra bucks in addition to the currency I've acquired from putting games into the pool over the years. And it hasn't turned out well.
Despite widening my net of games I'm possibly interested in acquiring I've yet to get so much as a nibble. A quick glance at the forums there will tell you that pretty much everyone is doing the same. Once upon a time we could be selective. We could pick and choose what we received. But now there's an ever expanding penumbra. Do I really want this? Not really. Oh well. Why not? Click.
Today I checked the nets once again. Empty. Time to get a little more broad. A little more desperate. The water is almost neck high. This might not be the treasure I was looking for, but hey it's something I guess.