Are Pre-owned Games good for the industry?
Imagine this scenario; you walk into a video game store, with a limited amount of cash to spend. You come to a crossroad; do you decide to buy the game pre-owned, and save money, or get it brand spanking new, but have to spend an extra $5-10? For most of us, the answer is pretty clear. People don’t buy pre-owned games because they want to have the smell of someone else’s home imbedded in the manual; they do so because it’s bloody cheap.
However, saving money comes at a price (see what I did there?). It affects the company directly, for 100% of the profit goes to the store, not the actual developer and publisher of the game. You might argue that someone else had already purchased the game, and thus the company had already earned its profit. But in reality, the person who actually purchases the game traded it in to the store and earned some money back themselves. Now the store holds the game, and can sell it at their will, giving people the choice of buying the pre-owned versions or the new copy. Few people actually pick the latter when they can get a cheaper copy, and in all honesty why should they? Most people don’t consider the affect on a grand scale.
Directors as such David Cage have voiced their opinion against pre-owned copies of his game being sold, claiming that according to trophy profiles that millions of people had gotten their hands on Heavy Rain without actually buying the game. Granted, they could have rented the game, but the point is that somehow millions have experienced Mr. Cage’s fine work of art without returning the favour. Of course, we can’t expect everyone to buy the new copy, especially when so many have tight budgets, however some should make a personal choice to buy the game new and support the company. Speaking personally I purchased Heavy Rain new, and thus I supported Quantic Dream and Sony’s effort to bring me this fine work of entertainment. The same goes for many games that I have purchased new; I wish to support the industry and the company themselves. Granted, that doesn’t mean you need to purchase every game new, but the most part it should – at least in my view- be a personal decision. With the addition of online passes, the choice of buying pre-owned games is somewhat unsavory if wish to play online.
There is another side to the story, however. Stores need to make a profit as well; after all they provide us with the hours upon hours of browsing the shelves that we all love so much. But with prices set so high, it’s difficult to actually take in all these factors and make up your mind every time you make to purchase a game.
You might also want to consider the expense of making the game. A great deal of money goes into making these games, and in some cases a profit is exceedingly difficult to come by. In some cases, the majority doesn’t even breakeven. So in short these companies need support. They provide us with days of entertainment, and even after we finish the game and put down the controller we can spend years mulling over our pleasant experiences. Wouldn’t you say that we owe it to the developers who make such under appreciated forms of art to spend a few more bucks? After all, if we weren’t gamers, were would we all be today? It’s because of these developers and companies that we are, and thus we should show our appreciation, wouldn’t you say?