all of this recent hoopla about used games killing the gaming industry is really making me yawn.
what i am really curious about is who the people that are contending this are trying to sell it to.
used products have been around since the dawn of products. while some industries can sustain a model that allows for resale of their product without a royalty coming back, other (much smaller industries) may not be able to.
first and foremost, a general principle in the marketplace is first sale doctrine. this doctrine basically limits the rights of a copyright or trademark holder and creates a secondary market for used products, rentals, libraries, etc. disc-based games fall into this category.
used game sales are no more killing the gaming industry than libraries are killing the publishing industry and used record stores are killing the record labels.
what is truly having an impact on the gaming industry and the profit margins of developers are assorted. let’s explore.
first of all, bloated budgets and poor sales of a game that was developed too quickly and is buggy at launch certainly do not help the industry. i would say this is a leading cause of a consumer reselling a product. “yeah, i played it, it was marginal, i sold it back.” word of mouth spreads like wildfire, upon hearing this, maybe it kills one potential sale. maybe it kills 20. then the developer and the publisher are at a loss and need to point the finger somewhere, and the easiest place is the used game market, because, “oh me! oh my! grrrrrahhhhh!! our games are selling and we aren’t getting any royalties”.
well, maybe someone plays that used $15 game they bought and thought it was fantastic, and research the developer and the publisher and decide by golly, i am going to go back and by their entire catalogue, past, present and future because i really loved this game; thereby landing them sales they may not have seen in the first place.
let’s keep this real people. let’s look at the bigger picture.
i am not by any means an advocate of gamestop. the profits they make on used games are probably akin to the drug trade. and, i don’t really sell games back because i don’t want to get some bullshit $3 for a game that i know they are going to flip for $15 or $20. i don’t buy used games a whole lot, because i typically am buying something i am confident in purchasing and know i will want to keep in my collection. however, when i have gone out on a limb and purchased used, it is the scenario above, i have gotten a cheap game that i fell in love with and went out and purchased other games by the same dev, new, as i generally prefer for my games to be mint.
developers need to take a step back and determine if the terms they are on with the publisher are sufficient enough to keep their business model profiting. publishers maybe need to pull their heads out of their asses and realize that the developers they are working with are MAKING their product from scratch and should perhaps put a little more thought into the contracts that they design.
lastly, let’s just take a look at the difference between the developer-friendly ps4, and the not-so-developer-friendly xbox one.
plain and simple: ps4 allows SELF-PUBLISHED games. xbox one DOES NOT.
can you really tell me as a human being, if you were putting your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into an imaginative product that you thought was worthy of a fair chance of landing in the public view that you would want some multi-billion corporation like MS telling you, sorry, but, you need a publisher to get you into our doors, and LOL! good luck finding one, my friend!
just another reason that 4 > 1.