Analaysts predict no block for used games from publishers
Let that sentence of the title sink in.
Analysts predict that Publishers will not block the sale of used games on next generation consoles (we don`t know yet the plans of Sony, but they might do something similar).
So if they are right publishers will not block the sale of used games. So why is the option implemented to block the sale of used games in the first place? The predictions of the analysts don`t make sense because apparently the publishers have been lobbying to have those features present. Publishers wouldn`t lobby for this if they had no intentions of using it.
It also begs to question how much money they usually loose with second hand sales. In the past we know the music industry was lobbying extremely strong against piracy because they lost a huge amount of money because of it and claimed it would kill the industry. That`s at least the stance of music publishers that was never proven because after Napster got shut down they didn`t improve. Sure piracy is bad and it will cost sales there is no doubt about that, but did it cost them as much as they claimed? It`s fairly easy to pirate movies if you want to, shortly after the movie hits the cinemas and you can buy DVDs and Blu Rays used and share them with others. The movie industry seems to be doing fine with all the piracy going on.
The used games market certainly can have a negative impact on sales, but it also encourages people to buy new games. People are more likely to buy games that are less known if they know that they can just trade it back in if they don`t like it. They know they can take any of their games and trade them in to buy new games. Now you might have certain games that can be traded in and some that can`t. what if publishers decide to have the high ranked AAA games not blocked, but all other games they make blocked? I see little reason for companies like Activision to block used games for games like CoD, because if you go into a store you won`t see many used copies of the latest CoD. You might think badly about CoD, but clearly for the people that buy the game it has enough value to keep it.
On the other hand you have games like walking Dead that had really bad reviews after the game was released. So what if those games are blocked? People would be stuck with a bad game and no option to get any of their money back, they will be more cautious on what games they buy in the future. And they might not be able to get the next CoD game because they can`t trade in other games.
If publishers will use the option to block used games and how, is still a big question mark at this point. It`s one that shouldn`t be there at all. The feature shouldn`t be present on consoles, at least not with how things are at the moment. With the current retail prize for games this is not a feature I want on a console. PC has steam and it`s DRM, but at least the games are a lot cheaper and often sales on Steam. The problem is if they reduce the prize of retail games either the retailer, publisher or console manufacturer or even all three need to take cuts in how much they earn with every game.
No matter from what point of view I look at blocking used games and DRM on consoles, there is no scenario where I can see anybody making more money at the moment with that.
That leaves the worst case scenario open, the feature to block used games is implemented but not used by anybody. People are going to buy the consoles and are happy, until everybody decides to change their stance once people brought the consoles. At that point if you abandon the console you will have lost a lot of money and it`s unlikely that a huge amount of people will just stop playing on it in a few years.
There would have been a better and easier solution to all of that. Have a code like the online pass for the full game instead of only online. Publishers can decide if they want to have a fee for used games this way or not, people can trade in games, you need only to be connected to register the game, no need to sit through the installation of the game, get a second code like a guest pass with the game so you can borrow it to a friend. You wouldn`t need to connect every 24 hours, you could continue playing if you don`t have internet for that time in case your ISP has a big problem, you are going somewhere, you just relocated or if the servers are down.
Instead we get a very convoluted system from Microsoft that nobody understands right now because there are many things that need clarification. And in the event that MS faces a succefful hacker attack, like Sony did, the servers will be down and you won`t be able to play, but hey you can still watch TV, DVD and Blu Rays on it. Yay