Used game sales, despised by publishers and loved by gamers

Nintendo has announced that the new Wii Speak peripheral will only work if you download the Wii Speak Channel for the Wii.  The catch:  you will need a code in order to download the channel.  The problem is that the code will not be replaced if lost OR if you purchase the device USED and the code is not with the device.  Very clever and very bad.  Nintendo is not alone in being devious about used game sales.

Games like Gears of War 2 and Rock Band 2 feature downloadable content via codes or other means that, often, cannot be redeemed more than once. That means anyone who buys the game used, cannot get the downloadable content.  Some of that content is not even available for purchase.  I think these tactics are bad and disingenuous.

I understand that the publishers THINK they are losing money due to used game sales.  I contend they are not losing money due to the used game sale itself, but they may lose money by ticking off potential customers.  I would have to think twice about giving a publisher fifty bucks for a game if I knew that I would not be able to sell it after I have finished the game due to some little catch that renders the game less desirable to someone else OR if I bought a used game that was somehow hobbled because I bought it used.  Why would I want to buy a NEW game from a particular publisher knowing they like to rip off people?  Why they cannot see this, I don’t know.

I buy tons of used games, but mainly for systems that are either not supported, like the original XBOX or is facing a lack of support like Gamecube or PS2.  I really enjoy the XBOX and have purchased several games for it that are multiplayer. So, I go to setup an XBOX Live account to play these games only to find that Microsoft no longer wants me as a games customer.  Fine.  I’ve not been a huge fan of online play anyway and I now have fifty bucks to spend on quite a few games for my XBOX, PS2 and Gamecube. 

Then there are those who simply cannot afford to spend fifty to seventy dollars for every new game that comes out.  They may be able to get one or two but may also have to wait for those games to either be lowered in price by the publisher or wait for them to go on sale at a used game store.

Yes, games cost quite a bit of money to produce and market, but charging fifty to seventy dollars for them is simply out of reach for many.  If they continue to price them this way AND get bent out of shape due to used game sales, then the industry is in trouble.  There is a reason why Gamestop sells so many first gen XBOX consoles and used PS2’s:  PRICE.  That is one reason why Wii sells as well as it does.  If the industry cannot see this, then maybe it’s time for GAME OVER to popup in their spreadsheets. 


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