There’s been a lot of talk recently about used games, about loaning games, renting games, borrowing games, trading games – the whole second hand game market has been up for scrutiny. You’ve had Microsoft looking to kill it then backpedaling, you’ve had developers discussing aggressive GameStop tactics, reams and reams of comments on our Facebook page and a look at the environmental impact of any sort of crackdown. Gamers have of course, fallen on the side of “don’t mess with our used games,” whilst developers often come down hard on the industry, especially Gamestop. One argument they often use though, is that games could and would be cheaper if we killed used gaming, but we’ve not heard much from publishers in this matter.
It’s a shame too, as during the whole back and forth mob riot that was the XBONE controversy, if EA, Square Enix, Activision or any of the other giants had come out and said, “we know you like used games, but if you run with us on this, we’ll drop prices by a third,” it would have made a big difference.
According to the Wired report on used gaming, that’s the sort of price drop we’d need to see to make a difference – and we’d deserve it too, as many new game buyers are only able to do so because they topped up their personal funds with a trip to CEX or GAME to trade in something they’d finished playing.
I think it’s likely that there’s a reason none of the publishers announced price drops with the next-gen: because none of them would have done it. When was the last time in any industry, let alone the AAA gaming one, that you heard a company voluntarily cut into its profits for the benefit of the consumer?
This is something that publishers should think about doing though, especially those considering putting measures in place on the publisher controlled DRM landscape of the PS4. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d rather they didn’t put any restrictions on anyone’s gaming. I’m a GoG and Humble Bundle fanboy through and through, but if any publisher is reading this and is thinking of using online passes or always-on checks for their next-gen console games, how about a price cut?
If those publishers are so sure that by cutting out used game sales they’d make much more money, how about you announce your intention to pass the savings on to us? It would certainly go a long way to ingratiating you with an increasingly disillusioned and distanced public.
KitGuru Says: So what do you guys think? If it came down to used games being ended and there’s the chance for publishers to save themselves and us a bit of money, which out of them all might make the jump? Paradox might. Perhaps. But I can’t see any of the giants doing it, can you?