Used vs. New: Why is this an Issue for Gaming?

There has been a lot of debate lately over the issue of the used game market. More and more retailers talk about plans to jump on the bandwagon, while game developers and publishers develop subscriptions and premium content to lure gamers back into the market for new copies of their games. With all this buzz and tension over the issue, has anyone stopped to ask why this is happening to video games? Movie directors don't have to worry about Netflix or Blockbuster driving them out of business. Authors don't have to worry about libraries or thrift stores cutting into their earnings. Why are game developers struggling against the sale of their own used products, and what does it mean about the industry as a whole and it's future?

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Cevapi883024d ago

i wonder where all these game developers get the data from to claim that used game sales are hurting their because your game sold well below 1 million copies and that was your supposed target, you automatically go to used game sales...funny how no one mentions the quality, length, features and overall fun factor of the game....its never the devs fault for making a mediocre game, so when someone is being smart with their money, its supposed to be frowned upon because people are using their brains??....i really find this argument of used vs new getting old

Darkstorn3024d ago (Edited 3024d ago )

The video game industry is driven by creativity. It's important to give developers their due, even if publishers suck up more than their share of new game sales (at least it's better than giving 100% of the money to Gamestop).

Cars and textbooks will be produced no matter how many copies are bought, but it's not the same with video games. We must support the industry we love, and used games are an obstacle to supporting our favorite developers.

P.S. this is a purely economic issue. The reason gameplay is not being mentioned is because it is not relevant.

Cevapi883024d ago

i have no problem supporting devs who make great games....i always buy games that im excited for brand new....its just that whenever this issue comes up....its always used game sales that is the problem...its like the whole issue of violent video games turn kids into murderers/monsters....give me a never falls on the devs hands when a game doesnt with the immense amount of sequels we are getting, its rare to get games that innovate to the point of it becoming an industry standard where devs draw inspiration from such games...

I_find_it_funny3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

If you buy a game day one and bring it back after a week, how much discount you get off next day one puchase?

OooSheeet3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

"The reason gameplay is not being mentioned is because it is not relevant" What are you smoking? If the gameplay was any good the game wouldn't have been traded in would it?

Dev's are just like anyone else; poor preformance deserves poor reward. They are not a special case!

Plus when you add the paid for DLC that most games get, Dev's are being paid twice for the same DLC on a 2nd hand game aren't they?

logikil3022d ago


If you bought DLC for a game are you more or less likely to trade it in? I would say less likely because the minute you do that electronic good that you just purchased becomes worthless. So I'm not sure your argument holds.

Baka-akaB3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

claims ? it's hardly a claim when you can provides actual and practical examples .

I know at least 6 recent cases , one of them basically confessed by a local franchised store , of a game being released before street dates .

For what purposes ? So they'd would more quickly get traded back by ome clients , and resold used right alongside the new game's official release , with much more profit from the used copy .

Among those cases i've seen some already struggling titles lose sales to the same used copies .

That's one of the numerous examples of how the used game market can hurt

jadenkorri3022d ago

dont they deserve their money when their movie is presold by blockbuster or another company... What about that old car that you sold to that person on ebay, don't ford or whom ever deserve some of that money. Game companies want some of this money cause, yes Eb/Gamestop is making billions on it, but its no different than selling something you bought on ebay. Darkstorn, I'm sorry but your comment is the most ridiculous comment I've read. Cars and textbooks are no different than a game sold, selling a car preowned is disrupting sales of a new car, just the same as a preowned game sold disrupts the sale of a new game. And texts books suffer the same fate, goto college/university and you'll find out quite quickly what teachers recommend, which was buy the book from last years students, if the text book wasn't updated. As much as I agree to the point that these developers deserve the money, but, they don't deserve the money that someone else took the time to resell.

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Donny3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

nobody wins unless everybody wins. but i personally am not going out of my way to pay double for a game.

NastyLeftHook3022d ago

its double sided, but i agree, if i can get a game half off, why not?

PAPERCHASER03963022d ago

Developers have to realize that 65.00 is a lot for some people so therefore more content is needed within a game meaning longevity and value which will make a person hold onto a game longer therefore hurting used sales. I remember going to the arcade dropping quarter after quarter and leaving with nothing to show but my initials.... But that was the greatest thing about a game and being a gamer

logikil3022d ago

Removing any of the arguments about the developers or lack of creativity and sticking straight with the economics, the authors 3rd or so paragraph nailed it. Video games have a very different shelf existence than books movies and music. Much as people lament the piracy of movies and music, those artists and studios make the majority of their money on concert and theatre ticket sales. So even if the movies are rented or the music is pirated there is still a huge revenue stream going to the people who get the money. Music and Movie studios even make money when songs go to radio and television because those avenues need to buy rights to play those items. Also, when buying new, movies and music are nowhere near aas expensive as games. You can go into a store like Best Buy and pick up a movie or cd without much thought because the impact on your wallet isn't near as great. So there are a number of ways for music and video to make money well throughout their life, that worrying about used sales is not a particular issue.

But, when you move to games you have a very different economic ecosystem. You can only play a game on its release and that is straight to retail so there is no non-ownership method of investing yourself into a game. Also, a game is usually only going to be profitable in the first few months of release when it is priced between the 49.99 and 59.99 range. Then you have cost to contend with. Games are not cheap. Purchasing them is an expensive proposition and not just an impulse buy most times. Therefore to buy something new a person tends to be much more methodical about buying and deals become a bigger focus. Rentals probably aren't a major issue because I would contend that publishers make deals with the rental companies to ensure that they get a decent return on the sales of the games to those companies. But used is the only other real way to experience a game beyond new and rental. The used ecosystem doesn't return anything to the games industry, not dime one. So yes, I can easily see why they are concerned about it as well they should be.

Now we can get back into creativity and laying things a little more closely at the feet of the industry. I could easily be argued that if gamers felt they got more value out a game than we tend to with most releases, then we would be more apt to lay dollars down on new releases. Or perhaps games could be priced according to playtime and replayability. For instance, if a game is say 10-15+hours and is replayable beyond that then that would determine some monetary value for the consumer, similar to how some movies when released cost 10 dollars vs 15 due to whether the movie is more high profile, etc. Unfortunately that doesn't happen. While there are the occasional bargain priced games, most all new releases, regardless of how crappy they are, are priced at the 50-60 dollar range. At least now games tend to be offering up a little more incentive to buy new. Giving DLC to those who buy new is a great idea. Alan Wake and ME2 I think are great examples of this. I do, however, think that EA is going the wrong route. You don't incentivize new purchases by holding a standard component of a game hostage. You give people a little more. There is no value in buying an EA game new with their new strategy other than to ensure that you have a complete game.

logikil3022d ago

Anyway my post was way more longwinded than I planned. The main point is don't be so quick to jump on the game industry for worrying about used game sales. There is apt reason for them to be concerned. On the flip side, the games industry needs to give us better reason to support them with our wallets. It can't simply be that you hurt our wallets when you don't. On a side note, I don't buy used games. For 1, I consider myself a collector. I am the same with games, music, and movies. 2, I don't buy used to show support for the industry. Those developers, artists, musicians, etc deserve my support when they churn out a game I really want to play.

SweetIvy3022d ago

I agree with your analysis, movie/music and the games markets are very different ones.

They have different audiences (the movie/music ones being much larger and varied than the games one although the Wii expanded it but it's certainly not Wii developers that will struggle) and much different ways to make revenues.

People can state developers are just "greedy" but it's happened and more than a few times that a studio had to close due to financial issues for a bad performing game, of course quality does make the difference often but the point is margins are slim and if something doesn't go as planned you may just have to look for a new job.

I agree though that if some lower-cost production had a lower starting point people would frown less.

Here GameStop's standard price for new games is 69.99€ which is very high, no wonder some people pay up to 50€ for a used game.
After all if Gamestop has flourished so much it means that used games ARE that much of a big deal :).

ChickeyCantor3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

The target is to return a least profit.
But they are still missing money if one buys a second handed copy.

A business is still a business.

Im not on anyones side btw XD.

NeoBasch3022d ago (Edited 3022d ago )

Wow, I'm not buying that at all. Most gamers who buy used will purchase games regardless of quality just because its cheaper. Sure, developers are expected to make amazing games, but it doesn't help when they're budgets are being cut because their last game didn't sell as well. They see not a single dime from any of GameStop's used game sales. Games like Tales of Vesperia need those pennies. Are you going to argue that Tales wasn't that great either? The Tales Studio is facing bankruptcy. I'm not saying eliminating used game sales would help, but it would be nice if the developers saw some of that green.

Think of Heavy Rain. Had there not been an audience Quantic Dream was trying to reach, they would need to look to these sales. Either that, or Horizon might end up as something totally different.

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RedDragan3022d ago

No. Developers don't need the money, they are just trying to capalise on the situation.

It is one thing going up against a small company Gamestop, it is a totally different kettle of fish going up against the likes Asda or Tesco who let's be honest, will get into the second hand market and there is no chance in hell they will let Dev's take some of the cash frrom that.

For our American cousins, Asda and Tesco are the Walmart of UK. You know Activision will never be able to bully them into getting a share of the 2nd hand market.

logikil3022d ago

I'll give you a couple reasons why that argument doesn't work.

1. Development dollars. When a developer comes up with a game, most assets are only really useful for that game. While they may get an engine that is reusable, most everything else is a one shot deal unless the company is able to release a sequel. This is not true with cars. Development in cars is useful across the entire product line so less in much more out.

2. When you buy a car how long do you use it for? Not usually just a month. You purchase a car to use for a long time. So more often than not, with the exception of fleet cars, those vehicles have been purchased new and driven for a while. Games can end up on the used market within days of release. So the publishers and developers are going to lose out on a sale opportunity much faster.

3. Even if a car is sold used, there is still a massive revenue stream into the car industry. Parts, maintenance, etc.

So the comparison of used cars to used games simply doesn't fly.

RedDragan3020d ago

Your sales contract with the Developer ends after your bought the product brand new. The Devs have no intitlement to anything after that.

End of discussion.

Tony-Red-Grave3022d ago


AssassinHD3022d ago

That does not make any sense.

Magnus3022d ago

Developers make the game and sell it at new price I buy the game the game is mine to do with as I please. Why should they profit from it again when I trade it it for another new title. If it weren't for the used game industry pirated games would go through the roof. Used games work to an advantage if a new title sucks big time and I am curiose about it why watse the 70 bucks on the title when I can pick it up used for half the price. If anything the used games help the new titles I know people who trade their games in and use the credits to preorder a newer title.

OSU_Gamer3022d ago

Its a problem because the developers tell us it is.

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