Every few months or so we see yet another story of a video game developer or publisher hating on the used games market, claiming that it’s totally killing video games. Of course, the actual video game market is thriving, but facts aren’t that important. Furthermore, as we’ve been pointing out for many years, studies have shown that a thriving used market helps the primary market, because buyers know they may be able to resell products in the future, and possibly make back a portion of the money in question.
Still, it doesn’t stop game developers from insisting that the sky is falling and the world is ending because of used video game sales (thanks to Silence8 for being the first of many with that link):
Game designer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored antipiracy features in the next-gen PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango. “The real cost of used games is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer,” Browne writes. “The real cost of used games is the death of single player gaming.”
The HotHardware post on this does a nice job debunking the claims, though it seems that earlier comments from the same site, noting that used game sales don’t appear to be economically different than used books, should have ended this debate long ago. If video gamers are struggling to compete with the used market, they only have themselves to blame. Unless they want to overturn the first sale doctrine, they’re just going t have to suck it up and learn to live with it. The idea that there’s less creativity in the video game space because some people buy used games is simply ridiculous and not supported by any facts. If some publishers/developers are struggling to make money, then they need to work on problems with their own business model, rather than lashing out at the used market.