Their latest post backs THQ's assertion that used game sales 'cheat' developers out of their rightful cashpile.
Quote by PA's Tycho:I honestly can't figure out how buying a used game was any better than piracy
That's so wrongheaded I have a hard time being coherent with my reply. I wrote a quick note to PA that talked briefly about my own experiences running an independent game store, but I think Techdirt summarizes the issue better than my emotional wailing:
Quote by Techdirt:This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the law, basic economics and the customers THQ is failing to serve. On the law, Ledesma and others should familiarize themselves with the First Sale doctrine before making silly statements. On economics, repeated studies have shown that a healthy secondary market for products actually significantly helps the primary market. If you take more than a second and a half to think about it, it's easy to understand why. If there's a healthy secondary market for products, it reduces the risk for the buyers in the primary market. That is, if they buy the product and don't like it, they know they'll be able to resell it and recoup some of their losses. That makes it effectively cheaper for them to buy the primary product, increasing the number of sales. On top of that, the secondary market also helps in markets like video games in acting as a good way to segment the market, and get new buyers into a game or series of games. I'm sure many of the folks who are now buyers in the primary market, at one time purchased an earlier game in a series used. How is it that so many video gaming execs have so much trouble recognizing these basic concepts?
For what it's worth, here's what I told PA:
I am a former retailer, I ran a nicely successful independent shop in Canada for four years. For us, there's simply no way to stay in business selling new games. On big releases our wholesale cost was more than EB's retail. Used games were our lifeline, it's how we kept the doors open.
There are many good reasons to support used games, here are only two:
- retro titles. How else will you find an old game? I'm not happy being at the mercy of a publisher's desire to sell me what I want, the way I want it. If the publisher doesn't want to re-release a game, you either pirate it (emulate) or find a used copy. Could you imagine if every SNES game was a dead cart 'cause the phone number to call to re-activate its features no longer exists? Dreamcast games have this problem, with servers that no longer exist. EA shuts down their game servers very early. How long do you think THQ will be selling these activations?
- cost. People buying new games factor in the fact they can sell it when they buy the game. In Australia $120 is fucking robbery for a new game, but when I'm forced to buy a domestic release I do so knowing I'll get a large chunk of that back.
Used sales have always existed for everything. Cars, toys, tools, books, games, furniture, everything. That DRM gives the ability to control used sales does not mean it's a good idea. What if your xbox breaks? What if you have two machines in the house? What if THQ's server forgets that you're a legitimate user? The potential problems with this are insane. It's akin to digital books and DRM'd media: The only people who suffer are legitimate customers. Used game buyers will simply learn to pirate instead of buying at all, and then both THQ -AND- the gamestores suffer. THQ may be padding their own bottom line but they're screwing a lot of other people.
This is nothing more than a money grab by greedy, ignorant people.