Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Gaming: Buying Used Games is NOT Evil

I don't know how many of you follow the online comic strip, Penny Arcade, or keep your ear to the ground for the latest game-industry gossip.  For all I know, the only people who follow my blog are cooks and knitters who find my gaming posts boring.  But as a knitter, cook, and gamer, I follow all these things with more than a little interest.  So bear with me.  Gaming is making an appearance...

Today's Penny Arcade strip and news article tackles the subject of buying used games, and dissects a statement made by THQ's creative director Cory Ledesma.  Apparently, everyone I've listed above thinks that buying a used game somehow cheats everyone involved.  Since a good portion of my blog deals with how to tighten up your budget for something as necessary as FOOD, you can imagine how I feel about spending the full price for a game.

Here's the thing... buying a used game, no matter if it's from a chain store like Game Stop, eBay, or Gamefly, is not the act of someone trying to actively cheat the system.  There's piracy for that sort of thing.  Buying a game used is like two kids going to the corner store and pooling their money to buy a game.  You pay half, your buddy pays half, and you both get to play.  In the used game market, these two "buddies" never meet each other, but the principal is the same.  They're splitting the cost to buy a game that might otherwise never get purchased because the parties involved couldn't afford it any other way.

Yes.  Might never get purchased... that's what I said. 

If the consumer goes into a store to buy a game, which do you think he or she will buy... one they can get a portion of the value back on when they've completed it, or another game at the same, ridiculously high price that they'll have to throw away when they have no use for it any more?  And the person who buys all of their games used?  They'll never want to pay that ridiculously high MSRP either.  So that's one copy of the game that never gets purchased, and two consumers who will never experience your product.  They'll never rent it from Gamefly, because the game has been crippled for that market too.

So basically, Mr. Ledesma, when you snub the portion of the gaming community that buys used games, you're basically saying "If you can't afford our game at full price, I have no interest in having you as a customer".  And that basically tells me you're no better than those snooty shopgirls on Rodeo drive in "Pretty Woman".

Big mistake.  Huge.  I'm off to go shopping now...

1 comment:

  1. Grrrr...

    As a casual gamer with a nice little DS collection, this burns me. Almost all of my games are hidden object or puzzlers and 90% I've either traded or purchased used from Gamestop.

    There's no way I'm paying the MSRP, of sometimes $40, to play the newest Professor Layton that is literally going to take me a year to finish. I'm a VERY casual gamer, I pick up the DS, play a crossword puzzle and that's it for months!

    How am I cheating the system by buying a used game? Is it cheating if I borrow a game from the original purchaser? Is it cheating if I trade it? What if I get a game from a friend then I just give them a random $15 to be "nice".

    It's just ridiculous. These companies are trying to milk every penny from consumers when they should just factor in that there's a used gaming market and get over themeselves. Focus on Gamestop, who's already raking gamers over the coals by paying a pittance for trade-ins only to sell it for double, sometimes triple the amount you get in Gamestop credit (and many times without the original box and booklet!!!!).

    There is a market for those who want to pay full price for a game. My brother would never wait until a used Madden (whatever year), or NBA 2(whatever), comes out. He's going to be there on Day One. Heck, I've bought a few games on the release date myself, but this whole notion that the used game market somehow cheats the companies is asinine and doesn't reflect the reality of the average consumer's wallet.

    Now, if you want to offer incentives to purchasing a fresh-off-the-press game say, a plushee toy or some stickers fine, but we know what this is going to lead up to, having to purchase the shrink wrapped, new game just to be able to play the darn thing!!!

    I'll go back to board games before I do that.