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!


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    • Cactus - February 19, 2014 12:47 pm

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  2. 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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