Martyn Sadler, founder and CEO of GameCycle, delves into his unique business model, commitment to educating the gaming community, and the significant positive impact GameCycle has achieved.
The gaming industry has undergone an extraordinary evolution over the last few decades, captivating the hearts and minds of billions around the globe. However, this surge in popularity has come at a cost, as the production and disposal of video games, consoles, and accessories have led to a worrisome surge in plastic and electronic waste.
As the founder and CEO of GameCycle, I am thrilled to be able to demonstrate an innovative solution that champions sustainable choices within the gaming community. Our mission is to curtail the environmental impact of the gaming industry, steering towards a greener gaming future.
Business model: Cycling towards sustainability
GameCycle operates as a digital marketplace, empowering gamers to trade pre-owned video games and gaming accessories with fellow enthusiasts across the United Kingdom. Our platform boasts a user-friendly interface designed to make game trading effortless and enjoyable. At its core, GameCycle embodies sustainability by offering its services for free, ensuring that eco-conscious gaming choices are accessible to all.
Although use of the platform has always been free to our members, it’s fair to say our business model has changed slightly over time. Initially, we had both a subscription and point purchasing model.
This model restricted how many items a user could list on the app. We later adapted this model to add “cash listings” and “stores”. These concepts saw the app become capable of showcasing products from independent gaming stores and allowed members to turn old gaming items into money which could, at a small fee, be removed from the GameCycle app.
Both additions were not well adopted by our members; in fact, we saw a general decrease in our usage.
Based on these metrics, and feedback we’d received on the model, we decided to strip our offering back down to what it initially intended to be.
When we relaunch the GameCycle app towards the end of 2023, our members will see a completely open and free service with unlimited listing and trading.
To ensure the continuous enhancement and relevance of the GameCycle platform, we will be retaining one revenue stream, tied to the purchase of GameCycle Points (GCP) which will support our members to get gaming goodies they want by topping up their accounts with GCP directly from GameCycle.
Members can of course accumulate GCP by listing and trading their own items, fostering a dynamic trading ecosystem. It’s the use of virtual tokens, GCP, that differentiates our marketplace from others, and serves to encourage the exchange of multiple smaller items for larger value or newer gaming gear, facilitated seamlessly through our modern user-friendly app.
Upcycling: Redefining gaming sustainability
Central to GameCycle’s sustainability mission is the concept of upcycling – breathing new life into unwanted gaming items.
Our goal is to divert used video game products from landfills to reduce the industry’s impact on the environment. As the gaming industry witnesses a shift from physical to digital, we recognise the complexity of this transition and the risks of older physical gaming items no longer having a place in some gamers’ collections.
GameCycle offers a pertinent solution, allowing members to trade their unused games, plug holes in their collections, or even rediscover retro classics. Our app acts as a reliable intermediary, ensuring both quality and security throughout the transaction process. Transparency is our cornerstone, and we encourage members to rate their trading experiences, fostering a trustworthy marketplace.
Education: Empowering through knowledge
At GameCycle, we understand the paramount importance of raising awareness about the environmental impact of electronic waste and plastic pollution. Our strategy incorporates educational initiatives across various platforms, including our blog, app, and social media.
This diverse approach combines engaging gaming content with insightful information on the perils of plastic and e-waste, highlighting the ways individuals can contribute to reducing these risks. By facilitating informed and sustainable choices, we aim to streamline the process for gamers to make greener decisions, ultimately keeping ageing gaming items away from landfill.
Impact: Pioneering change, one game at a time
Since the inception of GameCycle, our commitment to being a catalyst for a sustainable shift within the gaming industry has remained steadfast.
Our upcoming marketplace app redesign will feature integrated sustainability elements, such as “environmental impact scores” for items and a “saved from landfill” tracker.
This innovative approach not only supports our members’ choices but also promotes heightened environmental consciousness. Our social media outreach, which reaches around 3,000 followers, acts as a platform for sharing our educational message, raising awareness among gamers and motivating them to make mindful choices while indulging in their favourite pastime.
Conclusion: Leading the charge towards a greener future
Though our marketplace and social media presence might seem modest, they signify the first steps toward a sustainable gaming future.
We are driven by the conviction to challenge norms and propagate a sustainable gaming ethos that resonates with gamers across the UK. By addressing one of the nation’s fastest-growing waste sectors, we are forging a pathway that benefits our members, the industry, and the planet.
As the gaming realm continues its rapid expansion, GameCycle stands as a vital catalyst, advocating for sustainability and safeguarding our environment.
Together, we can reshape the gaming landscape, ensuring a vibrant future for both gaming enthusiasts and our planet. Through GameCycle, the joy of gaming meets the responsibility of preserving our world.