There’s an increasing debate over the quantifiable harm – if any – that the pre-owned game market places on the video game industry. Many publishers and distributors equate it with devil worship, engaging in child pornography, low-alcohol beer and making country music; the most evil of evils. Some, like Lionhead, even believe that used game sales are worse than piracy.
UK videogame retailer GAME believes otherwise, and says distributors are (very) slowly warming to the idea that used games might actually be good for the industry. "I think, through conversations with developers and platform owners, that there is a growing realisation that a healthy pre-owned marketplace is good for the whole industry," said GAME CEO Ian Shepherd. "It has made the mint marketplace more affordable and has kept people in that marketplace.
"There has been endless debate over pre-owned versus mint, but my view is that a healthy pre-owned and trade-in marketplace — which we are largely the people who are involved in driving — is good for the whole industry."
Many publishers have employed a slightly dodgy means of ensuring new game sales over pre-owned, by including a single-use code to enable multiplayer or grant access to bonus features; a code that a second hand buyer would have to purchase in addition to the game, negating the cost-benefit of buying used. Others, more sensibly, have included free content as an incentive to those who pre-order.
Is the used game industry that harmful? I’d say no; the number of brand new games I’ve bought using in-store credit from selling my unwanted games is staggering. Those games then get played by somebody who might otherwise have not bothered, increasing brand awareness and potential new sales of similar games.
Source : MCV
Last Updated: May 24, 2011