October 17, 2011

Big game companies fight back against used game sales

Its no secret that game devel­op­ers and pub­lish­ers are and have been quite dis­pleased with the used game mar­ket for some time. Every per­son that waits to buy a game used to save a few bucks reaps the ben­e­fits the devel­op­er worked hard to cre­ate with­out actu­al­ly sup­port­ing that devel­op­er, and also the pub­lish­er that spent hun­dreds of thou­sands to mil­lions to mar­ket and sell the game also lose out on a sale. To com­bat this trend the gam­ing indus­try has begun to charge for online mul­ti­play­er access for those who have bought used games. Bat­tle­field 3 and Mass Effect 3 are the talk of the town right where this method of cost recu­per­a­tion is tak­ing place, how­ev­er there is a line up of games that will receive this treat­ment such as Sony’s Resis­tance 3,I would how­ev­er expect this to work its way into all future releas­es at some point. If you intend to wait a cou­ple weeks till some­one has trad­ed their new copy of BF3 or ME3 just to save $5-$10 or sim­ply because you dis­like the cor­po­rate name attached to it you will be sore­ly dis­ap­point­ed when you attempt to play online. These games will come with a code for online access and unless the pre­vi­ous game own­er did­nt use this code you will be forced to buy a new code which can range from rough­ly $5-$10, which will make your wait for a used copy entire­ly point­less. Unless you want to wait about a year for the games price to drop sig­nif­i­cant­ly you may as well just buy a brand new copy of the game.

I fore­see much angry out­cry’s from the gam­ing com­mu­ni­ty, specif­i­cal­ly the con­sole com­mu­ni­ty (its damn near impos­si­ble to trade a PC game any­more). This is some­thing that high­ly  both­ered me when I heard about its con­cept a while back and even more so now that its being used, and being first imple­ment­ed by EA of all peo­ple, this wont help EA’s rep with the gam­ing com­mu­ni­ty (for­tu­nate­ly for them they own a huge mar­ket share of the best devs/studios). How­ev­er, it may seem to many that this is just anoth­er ploy to get our mon­ey, I mean I already paid $50-$55 for the game why should I pay anoth­er $10 sim­ply because its used? I know it seems like a greed thing, and maybe to an extent it is, but the truth is game devel­op­ment costs mon­ey, and more to the point serv­er main­te­nance and game patch­es cost mon­ey. Once the game is sold thats it, there is no more rev­enue from that copy yet that gamer will con­tin­ue to reap the ben­e­fits of online play and patch sup­port. So as much as I may hate to admit it, charg­ing for an online access code for used games may be a nec­es­sary evil. If we wish to con­tin­ue to see top qual­i­ty titles released by top notch devs and stu­dios then this may very well be some­thing we as gamers are going to have to accept.
What are your thoughts on this, agree it may be nec­es­sary for qual­i­ty devel­op­ment? feel its a greedy tac­tic to dig deep­er into our wal­lets? let us know!

1 comment

  1. IronJade - October 17, 2011 3:25 pm

    What is the true % that the devs and pub­lish­ers make off of a sold title to begin with is where I would start. What is the prof­it mar­gin set for new title pur­chas­es? Does it not off­set some­what the used sale pur­chas­es? If the game is done well enough then used game pur­chas­es of the title should not affect their mar­gins. If they release a crap game and a ton of peo­ple turn in back in to get some­thing else, then I believe they get what they deserve.
    Big cor­po­ra­tions tell us that they make a min­i­mal mar­gin of prof­it yet they own many small com­pa­nies that they use to devel­op titles as well as the rev­enue to spurt out mil­lions of dol­lars on ad space. I think they are doing fine and this is becom­ing a greed issue, nowhere is this greater seen than in Activi­sion. They release the same game 3 times with lit­tle tweaks and make a sub­stan­tial amount of mon­ey off of it each time.


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