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Here we go! Let’s talk used games

Alright so this is the first post in my new blog. I’m gonna be talking about gaming related topics here and just share some of my thoughts with you guys. So lets get right to it! Used games!

So there’s been some buzz about used games lately. David Braben of Frontier Development recently said that pre-owned games are “Killing single-player games”in an interview on Gamasutra. Denis Dyack took to the stage next and declared that used games are “Cannibalizing the industry!” in this article . The problem as these guys see it, is that the resale of games means that the only revenue the developers get is from the initial release. Most sales 2-3 months after release tend to be of used copies, which don’t benefit the developers financially. I agree with the last part, but that’s all I agree with them on.

If we consider the statement regarding single-player games, we can see that the industry has indeed shifted towards multi-player games in the recent years. Even single-player games are expected to have some sort of multi-player mode attached to justify the price tag upon release. This doesn’t mean that we can simply say that multi-player is what justifies the price tag. It is just a matter of player’s wanting to get their money’s worth. This can be delivered through multi-player modes, adding replay value, DLC, bigger/longer games, or simply making a game so good that you wouldn’t be able to part with it in-case you ever want to experience it’s awesomeness again.

How about a simple example! Go to your nearest retailers and see how many used copies of Skyrim you can find. I know I haven’t seen that many. Because it’s a good game! I’ve personally put at least 70 hours in it and I haven’t finished it yet. The last time I put the disc into my ps3 was about 2 months ago, but I still look over to the shelf every once in a while and think “Soon…” and I even fantasize about creating at least 2 more characters.

We could also take a look at digital distribution methods such as steam. Even discounted games on steam provide good revenue without having the player feel ripped off. According to Thomas Grip of Frictional Games (Penumbra and Amnesia) his company was kept alive for a while on sales from their own digital store and steam. Wolfire Games support themselves using pre-purchase at a reasonable price and offering buyers access to alpha builds and developer diaries.

Journey is now the fastest selling PSN game ever. Why? Great game, well priced.

Just goes to show you that people are willing to pay for games on release as long as they get their money’s worth. And we’ll keep games that are worth the money paid for them. We sell games to get some money back when the game isn’t worth it.

We’ve been trading, borrowing, buying and selling video games ever since we had them.  The game industry is obviously still here. I’m not denying that the market for used games hasn’t gotten bigger, but I do believe that the industry could evolve and maintain the balance.

Im not even going to get into the issue of the player’s rights as an owner of a game disc he/she has purchased… or maybe I should? some other time perhaps. I’m out!