So! As you may recall, I screamed like a girl about preordering last week, and mentioned that I wanted to talk about used game sales too. My opinion about preorders, I feel, is pretty hard to disagree with- I mean, you can, but it seems the general consensus. My opinion about used game sales is a little less widely accepted. Those with other perspectives, feel free to comment! Input is valued.
So, used game sales. Before I get too crazy, let's just look at the straight facts. When you buy a used game, the people who made that game get no money. None. The only person who makes a profit is the game store- the middle man. With games that have already made a huge profit- Greatest Hits/Platnium Hits/Player's Choice/What-Fuckin'-Ever titles, this isn't such a big deal. And some games are out of print- they can't be found new, at least not without paying collector prices, and those just aren't worth it. You may ask yourself, well, how much do used game sales affect the industry, really? Well, let's look at some examples.
Crackdown was a badass Xbox 360 exclusive, a truly awesome open-world title. And fortunately, at this year's E3 they announced a sequel to the game. Yay! I mean, they'd be crazy not to, given what a success the game was, right? Wrong. Crackdown was a high-budget next-gen title, and it sold 1.5 million new copies. In the words of the developers... "we pretty much only managed to break even." That's over the whole life of the game until now. For comparison, Halo 3 sold over 8 million copies in four months. And it wasn't even as good (if you ask me). But if you add in Crackdown's used game sales? Then that's a total (used + new) of 3 million copies. That's right... effectively, the devs only got 30 dollars per sale, instead of 60. And that's not even true, of course, because of that money, the developer's cut is much, much smaller than that.
Another good example: Dead Space, a survival horror shooter that was applauded both as an action title and as an original intellectual property. It was also one of the first examples of what some are calling the "new" EA- that is, an EA willing to try new things and advance the industry rather than just soullessly take advantage of consumers. It was risky to make a new IP at a time like that, when they could just as easily pump out two generic titles. So how much of a profit did they make from it all? They were in exactly the same situation- 1.5 million new, 1.5 million used. And that's across three platforms, mind you- it wasn't a platform exclusive.
So really, if you try to argue that used game sales don't affect/harm the industry, it's pretty easy to see that you're just wrong. But here's what gets me- yes, I understand that you save a few bucks, yes, I know that it's a good tool for those who don't want to go through the trouble of proper resale. But come on- you're cheating yourselves! You're trading in something for 25 dollars for them to immediately turn around and sell for 55! That is thirty dollars, straight in the trash. Wasted. You're paying Gamestop to have more patience than you, and they're happy to do it. You could sell that game on Amazon, Ebay, or some other online site for 50 bucks, easy. Hell, if you're trading in a title that just came out (who the hell trades in Street Fighter IV on the same day it comes out? I swear to God, I saw it happen.), you could just stand outside the store for ten minutes and offer your copy to someone that was about to enter the store!
Laziness is the only excuse, and it's a terrible, terrible excuse. Come on, you guys. We can do better.