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post #1 of 4 Old 08-27-10, 04:41 AM Thread Starter
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4 Fallacies of the Anti-Used Game Argument

4 Fallacies of the Anti-Used Game Argument

Aug 26, 2010 - By Jared Newman

Publishers donít want you to buy used games, and neither do game developers. Thatís no surprise, but I was taken aback this week to see some game writers arguing in opposition to the used game market, one that is dominated by Gamestop and, according to the logic of those opposed, doesnít benefit publishers and developers at all.

Hogwash. Used video games may not result in direct profits for publishers, but the argument that theyíre derailing the games industry relies on several falsehoods. Here are the arguments youíre likely to hear against used games, and why theyíre bogus:

1. Video Games Donít Lose Value With Age

Really? When EA Sports stops updating the roster for Madden 10 to push people towards Madden 11, the old game has lost value. When a sequel improves upon the faults of its predecessor, the original game has lost value. If anything, video games depreciate more than movies, books and music, because they are intrinsically tied to improving technology. Old games become stale.

2. Video Games Have No Secondary Market

Compared to movies, which go from theaters to home distribution to ad-supported TV broadcasts, video gamesí only chance at generating revenue is on store shelves ó or so this false argument goes. Video games actually have a few shots at additional revenue with downloadable content, digital distribution and resale on new consoles. Case in point: NES games are no longer sold in stores, but we happily pay for them again on the Wiiís Virtual Console.

3. Used Game Buyers Freeload By Playing Online

This argument paints used game buyers as people who tax a gameís multiplayer servers without paying the toll, but it gleefully omits the fact that the toll was already paid. If I trade in a multiplayer game, I can no longer play that game online (or offline), so whoever buys that copy is no more of a burden on the publisher than if I had kept the game and continued to play. Meanwhile, publishers have an opportunity to double-dip through the aforementioned DLC, which doesnít transfer from one owner to the next.

4. People Who Buy Used Games Arenít Customers

Where is it written that someone who buys a used game never buys new? A few years ago, I rented Mass Effect through GameFly, then I bought a used copy when the price went down. When Mass Effect 2 was released, I bought it within a week of launch. For better or worse, the video games industry is built on franchises, not one-off hits. When someone buys a used game, that person becomes a potential sale for the big sequel. The challenge for publishers is in making games that are worth the day one asking price, but I understand that itís easier to just complain.

Source: GamerCrave

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-27-10, 10:01 AM
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Re: 4 Fallacies of the Anti-Used Game Argument

Everything said here is bang on the money. Pre-owned sales dont kill and industry at all and thats just a tale spun to make us feel sorry for the multimillion dollar companies who simply want to maximise every penny from a still growing industry.

I still own my bought new copy of Halo:CE, and I buy plenty of title brand new. Some genres that I'm not as into I wait, and without the pre-owned market I just wouldnt play them at all, its no skin of my nose. I really dont buy the argument of people playing online for free either. Online has always been free, so what difference does that make. Games with longevity were the cost of running servers goes beyond the original profits from the initial release of a game, have DLC to support them now, which as correctly pointed out, has the potential to actually increase DLC sales. Add to that I pay £30ish a month for the net connection, and have 2 XBL accounts totalling £80 a year, and I purchase the titles of most interest new anyway, I more than support the online industry. I also think that for the most part, people buying pre-owned dont have as much hardcore interest in said title so dont use the online that much anyway.

Many companies have gone from strength to strength over the years. The best grow while the worst die off, thats a natural cycle of life. This drive to remove pre-owned markets is nothing more to a knee jerk reaction to a global economy crises. Its time devs realised that perhaps they can no longer enjoy going for a swim in their gold coin swimming pools. Now they need to produce good products to survive. The gaming industry has come of age. You can no longer produce and sell anything, the market knows quality from mundane and will react to quality by spending. The pre-owned sector has nothing to do with company success or failure.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-27-10, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 4 Fallacies of the Anti-Used Game Argument

How many times have we covered this Dan? I think it's time for devs to realized that gamers are not going to part with their money as easily as before, especially when they roll-out titles that are not worth the $60 price tag to begin with. I know there are many games I have bought used then went on to buy the sequels new, also the countless DLC I have bought for games. What they need to do is stopping asking what can we do to destroy the use game market? and ask themselves why are gamers flocking to this market and what can we do to compete?

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-27-10, 03:17 PM
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Re: 4 Fallacies of the Anti-Used Game Argument

My mom taught me to not bite the hand that feeds you. It seems the game industry is forgetting that with this article.
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