Used Games – What are they good for?

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Are used games hurting the game industry? This is the question that will always be asked. Some will argue the developers should get every dollar well others would say forget about their wallets I’m worried about mine. Well both are right, one is better than the other for the industry.

I’m on the side of pro-used games but why?

Used games are a necessity for the industry. Let me tell you how this works. I used to be a car salesman. When you sell cars, both new and used, they teach you the basics of the industry. One of the things you learn is never to let any customer walk away from the lot. What happens when that person leaves is a simple stat, only 1 out of 10 people who walk off the lot without buying a car will ever return. That’s 90% of people who never come back. If you walk off the lot they never expect to see you again. So what does this mean for the gaming industry? Back when the PlayStation Vita was first released I remember reading a quote from Sony somewhere stating that they need to get games out to keep consumers playing. The biggest problem with having no games out for your console or handheld is the longer a person puts down the controller the less likely they are to pick it back up. Putting down the controller is comparable to walking off the lot. This is why the Xbox One wants to be the center piece of your living room. If you keep the Xbox One on all day you are more prone to buying the different services Microsoft offers you.

What about when you go to a sporting event and you see scalpers selling tickets? Those tickets are being sold second hand and cheaper than the ticket office prices. As these scalpers are technically taking money from the owners of the team, nobody ever complains about them. Owners are well aware of these people but the owners don’t care. When someone buys these scalped tickets they still enter the event and they will spend more money on drinks and food then they would on the tickets themselves. Let’s apply this to games. Most of the games sales will happen in the first 2 weeks after the game is released. Many people who do not buy these games within that first 2 week period will more than likely pass on the game. I would suggest used games will allow people to buy and play the game which they would skip otherwise. If these people buy the game used there is always the chance they will buy any DLC the developer puts out. Without getting these people in the door they are missing out on more sales than they would if they only sold new games.

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Why does it seem only gamers are concerned with the used market?

Going to a second hand store you can buy anything used from power tools, movies and electronics. None of these industries are out to fight the used market. It’s called “Free Enterprise”. No one can restrict anyone from selling a physical object and no one fights it. Yes PC games have keycodes but you can still sell the game to anyone you want. Taking the game online to get registered is not of your concern but you can do it. I have bought plenty of used PC games without the intent of taking the game online. Anyone who argues that PC has no used game market is full of themselves. To some extend the used market will always exist. Here is the point, the branding of a used product does matter. If someone buys a used DVD player and they like it they will seek out that brand again. Even tho the company didn’t get the money from this used sale they also know its about marketing. If it wasn’t about marketing then the company logo wouldn’t be on the front.

Looking at the music industry it’s so easy to download free music from websites or apps but yet the music industry has had a booming of late. Sales are up and the music industry is probably the healthiest it has been in the past decade. So why are gamers so worried about their favorite developers? Look if you like something you need to support it but don’t push anyone else to do so. Every time you push someone else to buy new you push them farther from doing so. Look at it like this, when someone sells a game (lets say they bought it new); money is exchanged from one hand to another. With that money that person goes out and buys another new game and goes out to sell that one as well. This is a healthy cycle any company wants.

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The biggest argument I could bring to the table is the reason a used market exists in the first place; because there is demand. As long as the demand is there the gaming industry is relevant. Going back to the Video Game Crash there was no demand. The industry was on the brink of destruction but then Nintendo came and created demand again (for consoles). Why did Bioware change the ending to Mass Effect 3? Demand. Why did Nintendo drop the price of the 3DS? Demand or should I say No Demand (at the price).

Games, new or used, are the kindle that keeps the fire going.

Voice your opinions in the comments below.
Remember, saying “I only buy new anyway” is not an opinion it is a cop out, you mind as well say “No Comment”.

About

With the fire in his belly, Alexander Rubio solely created Kicks For Games to express his opinions about the video game world. His love of movies and sports lead him to expand the site to other industries. He can be contacted directly by email at AlexanderRubio@kicksforgames.com or at Twitter using @Kick_in_ur_Face.

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