Out with the Used, In with the New Game Sales

The video game news junket has been going on quite a bit lately regarding the future of used game sales, thanks to both Sony’s and Microsoft’s mentions of the possibility that games could be linked to the consoles on which they were originally registered or some similar scheme. Game players do not like having their toys limited or taken away. To some, this is an affront to the hobby.

What no one is mentioning but should is that this is a great idea!

This isn’t me subscribing to the believe that used game sales damage the industry. If I believed nonsense like that, I’d also believe the nonsense about illegal downloads affecting entertainment sales. Those kinds of thoughts are the end result of poor analysis and obvious greed. My belief that quashing game resale is due to my being a longtime video game enthusiast and consumer.

Game resales are a safety net for gamers who like to impulse buy the newest titles. If it doesn’t hold their attention, they can head to the nearest GameStop (a horrible store that treats its employees poorly) and trade it in for another game or two. Not only does the publisher of the new title get a sale, but the customer is not stuck with a bad game. Without the safety net, though, gamers will have to be more cautious with each purchase. The end result will be fewer new games sold. Is $60 worth the risk of a bad game that one can no longer offload?

And that’s it. After a year of fewer overall sales, the publishers will have to reevaluate their approach to game production and sales. On the production end, they will probably look to spend less on the production of a game. One would hope that they would look at the qualities of a good game versus the quantities of processing and various shades of brown. On the end of sales, they would have to consider a new price point for new releases. This should have been considered when the economy tanked…but the gaming industry is often arrogant.

If this scenario were to play out, the sticking point to it would be that the industry was drastically changed by an event it caused.

Unfortunately, we know that in the end both Microsoft and Sony will not follow through with the idea of locking out used games, but one can dream.

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About Gospel X

I am a major mediaphile as well as a social researcher. My ultimate belief is that the media can be used to teach children prosocial behaviors and teach adults how to access paradigms. And I think that Mega Man is an amazing example of proteanism. Add me on Google : https://plus.google.com/u/0/113795848855477334599

Posted on June 10, 2013, in video games and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I’ll admit I just saw annoyance with the fact that they will charge at least $60 per game and the idea that if I own something I should have the right to do with it as I choose (within reason), even though I haven’t gone the resell route since Nintendo and Funcoland which cheated me so bad I guess I never saw that as an option again. I did also see the fact that at that price with this set up I wouldn’t even bother getting the system which would set me back a few hundred at the least and it’s restrictions.

    But you’re right, if they hold to this policy it’s going to force a restructure of the industry of their own doing. I think games at $30 may be more reasonable if they are going to force the game to forever be associated with you, but I don’t know how much it costs to break even in the industry these days.

  2. Now that I think about it, there is more they can do to address this. The first is to really review games to ensure they all deliver a quality experience. They can make it so that all future DLC is free to legitimate purchasers of their products. I hate that they have become so hooked on nickel and dimeing consumers by making them pay more to add to games as if it isn’t a significant investment to get the game to begin with.

    • DLC is an optional payment, and I am OK with that. The problems with DLC are when they are actually already included on the disc the consumer has already purchased or when a significant part of the main game is missing without the DLC. Otherwise, if they are small, optional items, their existence isn’t bad. For example, how hurt am I by the fact that I don’t have access to silly outfits in Super Street Fighter IV without spending some extra money? Not very.

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