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.