Why Gamers Like Buying Games New instead of Used

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Used game sales are certainly profitable, at a time when new game sales are on the decline. Blame the economic downturn, global warming or evil cats hell bent on enslaving humanity, but there’s certainly an increase in frugality amongst gamers.

Despite the fact that (barring EA and THQ sports games) pre-owned games are the same as new ones, only cheaper, many gamers still prefer buying new. Why is that? Analyst group Cowen and Company sought to find out, so they ran a survey – asking people why they bought games new instead of second hand.

Of the 1300 (of which 1001 were gamers) people polled, an unsurprising 54% stated that they just wanted the game new; untainted ,complete with packaging, sans fingerprints or potential scratches. As many of you are gamers, you’re acquainted with the delight of unwrapping a brand new game and huffing its “brand-new” smell.

49 percent cited timeliness as their purchasing factor. They’re the impatient sort who want the game on release date, not later when people start trading in. 26 percent chose "I want access to bonus content,” with 20 percent buying new for the collectors or limited editions. Unfortunately for developers only 16 percent said they bought new because "I want to support the economics of the game industry’.

"If they plan on playing it for a long time" was the reason 70 percent of respondents said they’d buy new – which explains why multiplayer-centric games regularly make the best seller lists. "We suspect there is a behavioral psychology factor at work, where gamers have an easier time justifying the higher price of a new game if they expect to get more use/value out of it, even though the utility of new vs. used on that basis isn’t any different," says Creutz.

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So those of you who buy games new instead of picking them up later for cheaper…why do YOU do it? Me? I’m a video game addict. I have a horrible habit of buying games new unwrapping them..and then letting them join the other games on my ever-expanding pile of shame; the myriad of games I’ve yet to complete.

Source : Gamasutra

Last Updated: November 26, 2010

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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