Second hand console games find a new home in Hanchu

One of the problems that plagued the growth of console gaming business in India has been the steep cost at which consoles and the games are available in the country. Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One, both are currently available for Rs Rs 36,000 and Rs 32,990 respectively, with additional bundle of games. The story does not end here, the games which are compatible with the consoles don’t come cheap and range anywhere between Rs 1,999 and Rs 4,500, making one think twice before making that impulsive purchase for just entertainment purposes. But game rentals and used games have been an essential part in building the console ecosystem in India as well as all over the world, encouraging new players to explore the gaming world with  second hand games that are available at a substantially lower cost as compared to then when they were first sold. Not only does this host an opportunity for new gamers but also provides someone to make quick money by selling old games to make way for the new ones. Currently, India has a number of physical and online stores which offer second hand games but here everything is controlled by the middleman, either a shop owner or the website who procure the games from the seller and sell it at a higher price point, making even the second hand games a tad bit more dearer for gamers. One eager gamer/developer Puneet Badrinath wants to disrupt the second hand console game market with his newly designed app that allows users to buy games without shelling that extra buck. Hanchu (which means Share in Kannada), is an app for the gamers, by the gamers where in they can buy/sell them and keep on gaming with not much to spend. Talking to Puneet, we at got to know more about Hanchu in detail. As per Puneet , “Hanchu was developed with a sole purpose of buying and selling second hand games without much hassle of searching around in town for the favourite game you want to play. With consoles being expensive, we want the games to be easy on the pocket so that more people can play games.” Designed by five people, the app is currently live on the Google Play Store and it has games across all the major consoles available be it Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo. The console variety ranges from old school PS2, Xbox 360 to new ones like Wii U, Xbox One and PS4.Additionally it also has games for handheld consoles like PSP and Nintendo 3DS. One of the advantages of Hanchu is that the seller decides the price of the game as to what he/she thinks is right for the game. But if the game is not being sold and there is a same game priced lower and is selling, then Puneet says they recommend lowering the price of the game, but it is completely up to the seller to reduce his margins if he decides to do so. Hanchu_4 Puneet also ensures that the games being sold on the platform are genuine and nobody is selling fraudulent/ pirated copies. “We work on a business model where once the game is being sold on the market place, a pick up is sent to the seller and is couriered to the buyer. The buyer has a 48 hour window wherein he can verify that the game ordered is functioning properly. If not, he can complain in those 48 hours and we will refund the money back to him and penalise the seller for the damaged disc. In case no complaint is received in that window period, we consider that as a working game and we wire the money to the seller. But it is not always the sellers fault. Sometimes the buyer too is guilty of sending back a working disc and in that situation, Hanchu penalises the buyer of the logistic charge and refunds just a part of the money to them,” adds Puneet. Hanchu just takes a part from each game being sold or bought on the platform making the transactions transparent and a gamer friendly market. From what we witnessed in the app, games like Assassin’s Creed Syndicate which is available for Rs 2,999 and Rise of the Tomb Raider for Rs 3,300, a tad bit cheaper from the online stores which currently sell these games for Rs 3,400 and Rs 4,699 respectively. Puneet says, “The idea is that once you’ve bought the game for a said price, you play it and sell it again on Hanchu, thus making the cost of game a mere Rs 200 to Rs 300.” Currently the app has around 60 games of which a majority are for Sony consoles, and Xbox games too are catching up fast. Puneet says that Hanchu is currently only looking at perfecting the model of selling games wherein gamers engage and there is a lot more gaming happening on the console front, with games being bought which are again being resold on Hanchu, keeping the cycle going. But once the app has sizeable numbers and transactions, Puneet wants to expand and experiment with the idea of rentals, selling of digital games and even second hand consoles. With expansion on mind, Puneet is looking at hiring new people and raising funds wherein he can refine Hanchu, adding much more than just console games and widening the app focus too. “Once we get the base right, we want to get in touch with hardware manufacturers and digital game platforms to let Hanchu sell second hand digital games, where one can just sell the game codes. Also, we want the Indie developers too to explore the platform to sell their new games and reach out to our audience as well,” ends Puneet.