Yesterday, Mike had a bit of a swipe at the pre-owned games market, regarding it as inherently wrong and bad for all concerned. Now, I respect Mike as both a human-being and a (semi) well-rounded person, but in my opinion, he is wrong.
|As wrong as whatever the hell happened to Ellen’s mouth|
For a start, it’s not really that bad for the consumer; they get a cheaper game that they may not have bought anyway. Stores that are currently haemorrhaging money get a little boost, while developers and publishes who have DLC or online passes for their games can make some money post-purchase, while in the meantime the customer may really like the game and decide to buy sequels and other games by the publisher at full-price. Idealistic, yes, but entirely plausible.
Is this really worse for industry than piracy? The difference is negligible but leans to favour pre-owned gamers. There are pirates and there are worse pirates; ones who will pirate a game and then think it’s decent enough to buy, and ones who will just download whatever the hell they want for free. Neither is fantastic, but one is easily more defendable than the other. The same can be applied to pre-owned gamers. There are those who buy a pre-owned game and like what they see and may buy a sequel or another game from the publisher at full price in the future, while there are those that just buy pre-owned. However, the former can’t support the industry while the latter can (through aforementioned DLC and online passes). That’s the difference
Also, while I don’t really agree with trading games into chain stores for the exact reasons Mike mentions, why shouldn’t a person be allowed to sell on a game they’ve bought second hand? People sell on cars, computers and books second hand but you don’t hear Ford, Dell and Penguin moaning about lost money in the same way that most games developers do (for example Quantic Dream). The sale of that one unit has been recorded. If someone is unhappy with that one unit, does this mean they have to either keep it forever or throw £40 down the drain? It’s not illegal to buy and sell pre-owned and nor should it be.
|Truth is true|
In saying all of the above, I very rarely buy games pre-owned. I like unwrapping the cellophane of a new game, the perfect condition of the disc and supporting the developer. When I do, it’s for older games that just aren’t available new in stores, such as Dreamcast and PS2 games, which I think is as fair as you can get, really.
I do agree with Mike’s last sentiment though. The people who make and publish the game deserve the lion’s share of the money, and that’s why digital distribution is the way forward. Keeping money in the industry is important, otherwise more smaller developers will fall by the wayside. And even better to keep money away from companies that sell used games as new or take items out of sealed game boxes so you can’t have them.