"This concept has been done before, it was called _______."
(fill in the blank with The Running Man, Battle Royale, Lord of the Flies, etc.)
Everything has been done before. Every story idea you have, someone else had it first. Before you feel too depressed, the silver lining is any story idea depends on what we do with it.
Suzanne Collins took her concept of a dystopian society (again, not a new idea) and featured teens who are forced to fight for their lives. With that generic description, I can mention half a dozen other books with the same concept in the current YA market. The difference is how the story is told.
I have respect for the author's ability show the horrors of war through her characters. Some scenes are violent, but they aren't gory. Much of the violence is implied. It's the perfect type of book for a discussion group, for a parent to read along with their kid, or an adult like me to get a fresh take on a concept that yes, I have heard before.
Some of the snippy comments I'm sure are a result of hype; no question this is the most heavily marketed film of the year so far, and will probably remain one of the top highest marketing budgets, including The Avengers and Christopher Nolan's last Batman installment, and Breaking Dawn part Deux: the Cash Cow. Yes, the media has been saturated with Hunger Games. It doesn't mean it's not a credible story, even if the story has been told before.