I would like to have a discussion about the second hand market.
Like many, when i was a teenager, used game shop were life saver for me. Could not afford breand new game or only a couple in a year, for birthday or christmas, most of my games came from those used game shop. This, and borowwing game from friend, allow me to try and play much more game that my finance could if buying new. So overall, used game market has been a godsend for my teenage years.
However, i realize that anygame i bought second hand, absolutely 0 money was send to the developer/publisher that actually make the game to start with. Those are the people i wish to reward for making game i enjoy. Instead, the money i give to speculators of the game industry, buying low, selling high, making money on the back of game developers company. Is that fair?
More importantly, i believe it is detrimental to the game industry. Because dev only make money on their initial purchase, they will come up with scheme to increase the number of initial sell like, multiplayer oriented game (COD), game lock to account (essentially PC though, Diablo, Starcraft, uplay and steamwork game), online pass (console version), it also incite those developer to shy away from creativity, to produce conventional game that sell well.
Now that i have set the background, the real post start here.
In it's life time, the game DVD may have several owner. Say that a game is seeing 3 owners (i believe this is an underestimation though), only the first purchase full price goes to the publisher, the other 2 to the used shop. So rather than making $60 on a single purchase, the publisher could make the same amount of money with 3 purchase of $20 each (minus some logistic of manufacturing and distributing). And let's be honest, at $20 the new game, second hand market are rarely lower, for newer game.
If a game sold 3 times, once new and twice used, that there would be 3 consumers willing to pay money for the game. The problem is, if you sell a game $20 instead of $60, the second hand price might drop at $10 or $15. So the solution would be to block used game. that way, no unfair concurrence. Beside that way, consumer can keep their game.
However, they are technical problem
- how to link a game to a console/account? can it be done without always online scheme?
- what if i change console because the old one stop working?
- i would prevent the possibility to lend and borrow game between friend?
- Would the game company do ther part and reduce the price of game to $20-$30 at least for AAA new release.
The system is (mostly) working on PC thanks to digital distribution. The price of gaming i general is far cheaper, numerous sales on various digital distribution plateform. I own most 2012 title i want, the only missing are AC3 and FC3, and i never paid more than $15 for any of them. Bioshock infinite, for exemple, is only 28 € on GMG. Some company does not lower their prices for their newer game (activision, EA, ubisoft). but mainly because they are greedy.
So yes, i think blocking used game would not be such a bad thing if, in counterpart, publisher accept to lower their price to at least $30 or even $20 for a brand new release.