There’s been a lot of talk about ending the used games market lately, and rumor has it that the “next xbox” will block used games. While that’s horrible for the people that like to save 5 or 10 bucks on physical games, I think it’s great.
From the game makers’ point of view, buying a used game is exactly the same as pirating. They went through the work of making the game, and then you come into possession of the game without the game makers seeing a cent of your money. It’s even worse than piracy for them in a way; when you pirate, you may buy the game if you like it. But if you buy used, you most likely aren’t going to go buy it new no matter how great it is.
For the customer, used games are a form of deceit. Customers think they are doing the right thing by buying a game instead of pirating. The used game is right there in the store, next to the new game but costing a little less. Many people think they are supporting the game industry by buying used; but the reality is that they are only supporting the stores that sell the used games. These stores give a person $2 – $5 for a game, slap on a $45 or $55 price tag and then put it next to the $50 or $60 brand new game.
A few companies – and a lot of people – are saying blocking used games is unfair to custumers. Customers should be able make a few bucks off games they no longer want and save a few bucks on games they do want, they claim. Now it is well known that I believe customers should be able to make money off games – but not when that money is given to the customer or an outside company rather than the game companies. It’s fair for customers and game companies to compliment each other in ways that make both money. It’s not fair to take money out of the game companies’ pockets and instead put it in the customers’ (or GameStop’s).
And fairness aside, let’s look at this logically. If the game companies don’t make enough money, they can not continue to exist. If they don’t exist, their customers can not exist. No one can make or save money on good games if no one can afford to make good games.
Not that I’m claiming that used games are bringing an end to the games industry; used games have been around as long as games have been around, and the industry has survived. And things like digital distribution, dlc, microtransactions, etc. are likely to bring an end to the used games industry long before the used games industry has the chance to hurt the games industry. I’m just looking at what is fair for everyone rather than what is fair to only the customers or only the used games sellers. Imo it is fair to play a game, and if you think it is worth money, give the makers of the game some money.
If you want to save some money while still supporting games, buy digital. But buying a game that is already used when you could buy it brand new for just a few bucks more, or the same price digitally – or even less if you watched the digital sales – isn’t fair to the customer nor the game makers. And putting on blocks to prevent the lie that used games are fair is completely fair, because the customer has the option to not buy any of the products if they don’t like the blocks.