There’s been a lot of huff in the enthusiast press recently about used game sales, how the industry hates them, and how the “working man” hates the industry for hating them.
The argument FOR them usually goes something like this:
If I sell my car the manufacturer doesn’t get a cut.
If I sell my book the writer doesn’t get a cut.
So why if I sell my game should the publisher get a cut?
Here’s the thing. I don’t think that the industry should get a cut if you sell your game, and I think that people have EVERY right to sell their games. It’s a great value for the consumer.
What I take issue with is the business model behind selling used games at the moment. There are stores (lets just say their name rhymes with “NamesMop”) that buy back used games at a loss to the seller and then sell them for $2-$5 off the MSRP. Then they stock fewer new copies of those same games so that they sell out very quickly — often barely enough to cover their pre-orders.
So then, when Johnny consumer comes in and asks for his copy of Mario Party 50 or some shit, they say “Oh, sorry — we’re all out. But we do have these delightful USED copies!”
Then Johnny consumer says “Oh, okay. I don’t really want to drive to another store, so I’ll buy your used game even though I wanted a new one.” And buys it (along with being pressured to pre-order 5 other games and buying a replacement plan on the used one).
Honestly, I don’t see how any of that is giving any value to the consumer, do you?
If someone doesn’t want a $60 game wants it at $58, for whatever reason, then fine — buy the used one with my blessings. What bugs the fuck out of me is that these stores are manipulating consumers to get them to buy copies of the games that mean the people who gave up their lives to make it get absolutely nothing.
And as the stores’ profit margins skyrocket, people wonder why the industry wants to cut them out of the loop?