Imaginary Games Out Now?
Highlights of Videogame Cultures 3

Fighting Used Game Sales is Suicide

Slashdot ran a piece under the heading Sony Introduces 'PSN Pass' To Fight Used Game Sales. This is an old bitch of mine, but it is counter-productive for publishers and platform holders to "fight" used game sales since used game sales drive sales of new product.

What Sony and others occasionally seem to forget is that young players, those who actually have the time to play a lot of games, generally don't have a lot of disposable income. The only reason they can afford to buy the hot new game that comes out is by liquidating a large quantity of their videogame collection in order to muster the purchase price. Thus while older geeks may be sitting on a videogame library that fills their appartment, younger gamers don't have this luxury - they must sell their old games to buy new ones, and thus never maintain a very large library.

Its not unreasonable for publishers to want to encourage the purchase of new product, but it is utterly self defeating to attempt to block the sale of used games. (The Japanese publishers were paticularly guilty of this about ten years ago). If the industry manages to disincentivise buying used games too much, they will feel a hit on sales of new products because the available income for buying new games will be reduced - and if this happens, they will only have themselves to blame.


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