March 25, 2013
Burning Debate: Next Gen and Used Games
The PS4 will not block used games. There has been a lot of speculation about the next generation of consoles and if they will indeed, block used games. Now, if you are not familiar with the debate, if you buy a used game from a retailer like Game Stop, the developer and publisher get nothing for it, the money you spend goes into Game Stop’s pocket. Games are becoming more expensive to make and market, rumor has it tomorrow’s release of Bioshock: Infinite was around 100 Million to make and 100 million to market. In theory the game would have to sell 4 million new copies to come out on top, for a game that is as deep as Bioshock, it can be kind of hard in the post Call of Duty era. Now, I am not against used games to an extent. Some times there are titles out there that leave print and the only way to obtain them is through the used market and you can typically get them on the cheap. Now Sony and Microsoft have been doing things like Games on Demand and full digital downloads of games, but the prices never reflect the current market or the age of the title. Lets look at an example, Rainbow Six: Vegas. I purchased this title with the very first 360 I bought back in 2006. On Amazon you could have the game new for $13.71 plus shipping, Game Stop has the game for $2.99 used and is with in 4 miles of my house, and Xbox Live have the game for download for $19.99. The most attractive is the $2.99 and that I can have it today. There was an article on Forbes recently, via a hint from Joe “ScrotusKilmystr”, about how the blocking of used games could alienate gamers into one console or another, or leaving for the PC. I agree, we could see a very divided console cycle if one blocks and the other doesn’t. Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network have done a lot to get games available for download but the prices are ridiculous. If they want people to shy away from used games, but don’t want to alienate them from their consoles, there needs to be Steam like sales and pricing. This goes not only for games but DLC as well. DLC prices need to age accordingly, it is absurd that I still have to pay 800 MP ($10) for a Call of Duty 2 map pack that was released back in 2006. If the game has been on the market for more than 3 years, the DLC should roll over and be free. It is content that already has had its audience, and now is taking up space on the marketplace servers waiting to rot by it’s over inflated price tag. I do want to see the developer get its due for the DLC but how many people buy DLC for a game that is over 3 years old and are willing to pay the full price for it? It will be interesting to see how, closer to their launch, the new consoles will handle this issue with Steam and the mighty deal busting PC looming over head.