Used Game Sales -- Tempest Cartridge in a Teapot

Subject: Editorial, General Tech | April 2, 2012 - 02:39 AM |
Tagged: used sales

I start to wonder how people got so successful at business with such a short-sighted mindset.

When I arrived home tonight I cautiously browsed the tech news as I often do. Many complain about April Fools being difficult for journalists due to the plausibility of certain pranks conflicting with the fact checking process. In my travels I came across an editorial from Don Reisinger about the ethics of used game sales. While it is marginally possible to have been an early joke, the sentiments contained in the post are too common in the industry.

Piracy and used game sales are sore spots for an industry of companies who believe you either make a sale or you lose a sale. The truth of the matter is that you should be thankful that your product was not flat-out ignored and attempt to derive as much value from that relationship as possible.

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First they came for my used copy of Mechwarrior 3...

Used game sales have been mostly extinct on the PC platform since the wonderful invention of recorded product keys. Users have flocked to the consoles to retain the second sale and have often berated the PC platform for it. As consoles move closer and closer to denying used sales I wonder where they will flock to next. Perhaps maybe they should instead demand that the publisher accept used sales?

For a publisher, a used game sold is a new user of your product. Your retail partner gained extra revenue and brought users closer to your other products which might be first-sale. The user might purchase DLC, sequels, spin-offs, sister-titles, expansion packs, merchandise, and franchise tie-ins as a result of that used game. The user will probably end up playing more video games altogether than they otherwise would. Do you really wish to give up all of that value by indulging in how you feel ripped off by your own paying customers? Also, what about the first sale customer who sold their game to make up the used sale?

They are your customers -- and they are always right. Shut up and take my money when you can.


Source: Slashgear

April 2, 2012 | 03:34 AM - Posted by ET3D (not verified)

I wholeheartedly agree. The money customers get from selling old games usually goes directly to buying new ones, so by disallowing sales publishers are just shooting themselves in the foot.

April 2, 2012 | 05:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The day used games sales go away will be the day I get a mod chip put in my console. Havent pirated a game since PS1 days, but that will change in a heart beat. I buy 80% of my games new, but like to pick up old PS3 titles at gamestop for $10-15.

They just get greedier as the days go by, $15 DCL are you kidding me?

Im talking to you Call of Duty!!

April 2, 2012 | 06:55 AM - Posted by Branthog

People try to make the argument more drawn out than it is. The fact is that there is nothing "wrong" with used games whatsoever. If one posits that there is, then they must also agree with buying used CDs, DVDs, books, text books, clothing, furniture, automobiles, appliances, and even homes as being "wrong". In every instance where you are buying something that is not new, you are depriving the original creator and distributor of that item the income they "deserve" for it.

Further, these "Project Ten Dollar" attempts that companies like EA are doing are offensive money-grabbing attempts. Their logic is often "well, if you sell the game used, we still have to maintain the servers for people to play on, but that new person that has your old game isn't paying!". Well, why should they? I had a copy of a game and it came with the right to play it online. If I sell the game to someone else, now I am no longer playing it; they are. So the number of people playing using some online service is still the same number (and has already been paid for upon original purchase). Not to mention the whole point of most games on consoles not having any "servers", because they are hosted by one of the consoles playing the game at the moment.

It's funny how we rail against the MPAA and RIAA, but then when the videogame industry is trying to stick it to us in the same "you are all criminals and you have no right to use your purchased goods how you wish" mentality, we roll over collectively and say "oh, you poor developers and publishers!".

April 2, 2012 | 08:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The problem is not used game sales per se, and it's certainly not the 12 month old games selling second hand for $10-$15. It's that the main game retailers actively push used sales so much to the detriment of new game sales.

I have often gone into a store, ready to buy a new copy of a game, only to have the retailer suggest 3 or 4 times that I should get the used version for a paltry $5 difference.

Ford never does that with used vs new cars.

April 3, 2012 | 02:08 AM - Posted by Wolvenmoon (not verified)

Used game sales + rentals are really the only price advantages consoles have...

April 4, 2012 | 10:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous Coward (not verified)

First they tried to convince everyone (lawmakers, customers, non-customers) that piracy is the same thing as theft. Now they're trying to convince everyone that used game sales are the same thing as theft.

Question: How far will the intellectual property "owners" go in attempting to radically alter the legal, moral, and cultural consensus in order to (in their opinion) maximize their profits?

Answer: As far as we'll let them.

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