Used video games have become a desirable purchase for many industry fans. With prices coming in at substantially lower amounts than new alternatives, it simply makes sense to many people to buy used titles. The more you save, the more products you can buy, right?
I’ve long been one of those people that tries to take advantage of cheaper used games. To me, saving a few bucks here and there was worth it. Plus, if I had the chance to turn it back in and get some of that cash back, why not do it?
[Image credit: bochalla]
But over the last few years, my attitudes towards used games have changed dramatically. I never buy used games any longer, and I’m a firm believer that over time, they could very well become a key ingredient in hurting the industry and the quality of games we play.
Yes, I know I sound like a developer when I say this, but it’s true. Whenever a consumer goes to the store and buys a used video game, the developers and publisher don’t get a dime of that exchange. Instead, the profit is used to line the pockets of GameStop, Best Buy, and countless other retailers that are seeing the value of used titles.
Now, some might say that that’s capitalism at its best. Retailers and consumers have found a way to earn some cash, and they’re using that to their advantage. The companies that couldn’t see that coming, meanwhile, are out of luck. If only they’d been smarter, some might say, they wouldn’t have to complain.
I understand that point. And to some degree, I agree with it. The game industry could have seen used games coming and it could have capitalized on it. But it didn’t. And although its calls of foul get old, there’s nothing wrong with allowing those companies that spent time and millions of dollars on a game to at least get a piece of used sales.
The vast majority of us don’t just do work for the fun of it. We want to be compensated for it and know that we have something to show for all of our hard work. Developers and publishers get that from new game sales, but on used titles they don’t. And to me, that’s plain wrong.
So, I’ve decided that I’ll never buy another used game. And although it might not be the most popular opinion among gamers, I urge everyone else to follow my lead. Until developers can get some portion of the revenue generated from used games, I think it’s only right.
I realize that such a plan might cost you some money and you might not want to help out the huge developers that post billions of dollars in revenue each year, but remember that it’s not just them. There are countless small, independent developers out there that need the revenue stream from used games. And right now, they’re not getting it.
That’s too bad.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear