A Strong Argument Against Used Games

YouTube gaming commentator Total Biscuit does not like used games. He's no suit defending The Man. He's a hardcore PC gamer and man of the people.

Now, he's not right about everything (to wit: he thinks we're "terrible"... yeah, ok). But he makes some great points about used games being no-good.

Got half an hour? Give his argument a listen. He's considering many points of view.

Used games might be a convenient industry scapegoat, but that doesn't mean they're not problematic. The man makes a compelling case. Feel free to disagree. There are strong arguments for and against.

The Devil's Halibut - Used Games [YouTube]


    it is easy to make an argument sound strong when you are only presenting one side of it

    I dont buy it.....

    the main thing that riks me about anti-used games is the control the publisher will excert

    I totally agree with Totalbiscuit on most points, but he just addresses buying pre-owned games. I could care less about buying/selling pre-owned games, I'd just like to be able share games between my brother, his console and mine.

      Goes to show how ignorant this guy is. I hope not all PC gamers are like him. I play on all major platforms. I know the hertache and the complications you run into when choosing to buy and play these games on PC.

      I sometimes avoid going PC [even if the game would look better] for certain games, just to avoid this nonsense.

      Last edited 30/05/13 1:26 pm

        I think most PC gamers accept that they can't share their games, but get a sizeable discount upfront. I often buy games for 360 if I think I'm likely to share it with my brother.

        Mmm, I enjoyed how you called someone out for their ignorance and instantly display your own with your next paragraph.

      Same, my biggest concern is that my family with our multiple consoles can't play the game one of us bought in the same goddamn house? Are we expected to pay for multiple copies of a single player game just so everyone can play it?

      I don't care about sharing at all. I just want an assurance that in 20 years time when I want to play my retro xbone I will be able to.

      Ok I'm probably going to cop a lot of flack on this one but... maybe look at iTunes platform for part of the answer. It allows media sharing with like 5 other devices. I share my stuff on Apple tv, PC , my Air and my gf's BookPro. Maybe you should be able to load the game up on say 5 consoles which would be more than enough for you your bro, best mates and possibly cousin. Granted this would be difficult to police and some sales would be lost. It might encourage more multiplayer gaming as two copies wouldn't have to be purchased for cooperative play. But I'm sure if somebody thought about it hard enough they might be able to come up with an amicable solution which balanced out the need of the user with the need of the corporations making the games. Again this just an idea.

    Console and pc are meant to be 2 different things.

      They are: they are different platforms.

      It's only a problem if the game has the same name but differs between platforms. They should be consistent.

    I stopped listening when the guy went on a tirade about the used games vs used cars reasoning.

    He may hate it but it is still a fair comparison. Granted, a car is essential, but it is still a used item like books etc and games should not be treated any different.

      Errrr. A car is not essential. Pretty sure humans existed before cars did. They are also a luxury.

      But his arguement that used games can easily be resurfaced isn't entirely true. I don't know any shop in my local area that offers this.

        Said the city dweller. I assure you that in many places in this country, a vehicle is essential. Yes, we existed before cars, but we also produced most of our food ourselves. Try walking to the shops in even a medium sized town.

        I do not mean to cross personal grounds, Akuma, but where are you located? The guy in the video sounds like he is located in England, the home of GAME.

        When it comes to value added services, they are plentify in other countries but seem to be a premium only feature for most Australian retailers.

        In terms of resurfacing, one used to be able to do so at EB and (if you can find one) Game Traders. Further to your claim, if the scratch is deep, resurfacing may not work if the read surface is comprised. So you have a good point there.

        Last edited 30/05/13 1:16 pm

          For the record, TB is English, but he lives in the US.

          Also, they're quite rare now, but most movie rental places used to offer resurfacing for a few dollars.

          Not agreeing or disagreeing, just offering up some more info. :D

            Not agreeing or disagreeing, just offering up some more info. :D

            No harm in that. Thanks, :-D.

        Humans existing beforehand is no argument. Humans existed long before motorized transport, computers, telephone, the internet or the printing press but all of those have become essential to modern day life

          I think you people need to figure out what essentials are....
          I live 30kms from the nearest town and cannot legally drive.
          Don't have an always on Internet connection, never had a phone.
          Saying that motorized transport, computer,telephone, Internet and printing presses are
          essential makes you sound... like a shut in who has never left the comfort of suburbia .

          Anyone who cant survive a few weeks without these items is a bit#h.

      I stopped listening when the guy went on a tirade about the used games vs used cars reasoning.

      You probably should have kept listening because he went on to explain pretty clearly that when you buy a used car there's an expectation that it has wear and tear and will not last as long as a brand new one. This is in comparison to game stores such as EB Games aggressively pushing used game sales claiming the used copies are EXACTLY the same as the brand new copies. So you do not have that same expectation of the wear and tear and the lastability.

      Last edited 30/05/13 1:26 pm

        I did listen on about the wear and tear of cars. It is still not a valid support.

          Of course it is. How isn't it valid?

          Last edited 30/05/13 3:03 pm

            The devices need to play the game are subject to wear and tear. What if the device fails and I cannot economically replace it?

            Ergo, the comparison stands.

            My only mistake is not providing this supporting fact with my claim and I apologise for that.

            Last edited 31/05/13 1:40 pm

        Yeah. What about books. The IP in a book isn't subject to wear and tear either, but no one is trying to shutdown second hand book sellers.

          He does mention the topic of books.

          Last edited 30/05/13 3:13 pm

          but the physical book is subject to wear and tear, and the second hand book sellers don't claim that a second hand book is just as good as a brand new one.

          not to mention that all the second hand book shops I have been to have really cheap books. Not like second hand games that are usually 5 bucks below full new retail price

          Granted that there is physical wear and tear on discs, but they can be improved through the resurfacing he mentions (which isnt perfect but can be quite effective)

          Last edited 30/05/13 3:28 pm

            if you are interested in reading rather than being a consumer there is no functional difference between the same edition of a new and used book. i get what you're saying, but surely in paradise a book's worth should come from its content rather than its condition... consumerism can be a bit shit

              The book's physical condition can affect its readability though. The text may be starting to fade, or there might be missing or torn pages, for example.

            The physical disc is also subject to wear and tear. For both books and games, a moderate amount of damage will have no real impact on your enjoyment of the content. Severe damage to both will render them both useless.

            I'm not sure how price is an issue. If anything, the expense of a used game is a incentive for people to purchase new.

            And resurfacing isn't some magic cure all. It can help, but so can rebinding a book. Neither are optimal.

            Last edited 30/05/13 4:11 pm

      I think an important point that he overlooks is the concept of ownership. Selling a car, book, dvd (and by extension video games) is seen as legitimate because you have legal ownership of said physical object.

      as things are going into the digital format, what we're probably getting is more a licence to play games but given we still have the expectation that becuse we paid for it, we should own it.

        So what is stopping us from selling the license on? That is what happens when you sell your used DVD, game, etc. The object is removed from your possession along with the license.

        This has always been the case with ANY software you purchase.

        You don't purchase the software itself, you purchase a license to USE that software. That's why you need to agree to the EULA whenever you install it. All software, which includes games, works that way, and always has.

        Last edited 31/05/13 10:22 am

    Farrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk this guy talks TOOOOO much! Jeeeeeeez.

    His arguement is full of false assumptions, and things that may be true in his country, but not in others.

      He does, however, use his verbiosity to the great effect of clarifying his statements and justifying his opinions, so they're not seen as completely baseless.

    Can someone give me a quick rundown? Can't watch the video at work.


      Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla Used games are bad bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla

      Pretty much sums up this video.

      YouTube gaming commentator Total Biscuit does not like used games. He’s no suit defending The Man. He’s a hardcore PC gamer and man of the people.

      Now, he’s not right about everything (to wit: he thinks we’re “terrible”… yeah, ok). But he makes some great points about used games being no-good.

      Got half an hour? Give his argument a listen. He’s considering many points of view.

      Used games might be a convenient industry scapegoat, but that doesn’t mean they’re not problematic. The man makes a compelling case. Feel free to disagree. There are strong arguments for and against.

    I've had this very discussion with a number of friends a number of times couldn't agree more

    TotalB is from the PC camp. Trying to rationalize the damage that has already been caused to PC gaming because of online-DRM and Used games.

    Give us a comparison of Piracy on console gaming as opposed to PC, try to be realistic.

    Now tell me why PC gamers aren't up in arms about this issue.

    Last edited 30/05/13 1:19 pm

      I'm still fairly new to the PC gaming scene (and even then due to download limits i've barely seen the snowflake on top of the iceberg), but look at the massive discounts you get on Steam for relatively new games (like say a few months old) and tell me you'd still want to pay for a used copy for say $10 less.

      I'd say PC gamers aren't up in arms because they're too busy lamenting their great big piles of shame

        And you think the same will happen with XBOX ONE games?

    The right to sell and trade a game is built into the price. It's right there in the $80 AUD or whatever pay for a new game. Part of what you are spending the money on is the right to sell and trade it. Games on Steam are (generally) cheaper in part because they are not selling you this right. It's simply dishonest for publishers to claim they are being cheated in some way by used games, or that used games mean creators get less money. It's just not true. They are getting the money from those games; it is coming out of the $80 spent by the first-instance purchaser. If publishers stop selling those rights, the outcome is that they will be able to charge less money for their games. To the extent that money will move it will by eliminating second-hand retailers and moving their profit to first-instance retailers (i.e. digital storefronts; i.e. Sony and Microsoft). No additional money will flow to creators. Some money will leave the ecosystem, as those who previously could afford new games but not used games will pirate instead. The pie grows smaller for everyone.

    I disagree with some of his reasoning (resurfacing Games isn't exactly a perfect service and around here I haven't even seen it advertised for years). On top of that Movies might have more revenue streams then game devs but what about TV? they go on TV, get advertising, then DVD...games have initial release (on multiple consoles usually) advertising, DLC/updates/expansions, re-releases (HD-versions...lol).

    That said I do agree that people seem to be far too worried about helping EB games/Gamestop when the developers really deserve the money instead but this isn't necessarily the best way to do fix the problem.

    I actually usually agree with this guy. This time he is just being a twit....he mentions Spotify as a revenue stream for music artists.....clearly hasn't researched that one, because the current payment per stream is $ 0.005 (€ 0.004)
    (source - https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AvsnOsOPV5nCdC1OY05TMVlFal8zcnUtVm1sUGp0N0E&usp=sharing)

    Sounds lucrative.........Yes musicians play gigs and developers can't play gigs...completely retarded point....

    I agree the used car analogy is stupid, no point addressing it at all....

    Massive number of movies are never released in cinema's.....despite his emphasis on 'people went to see it in the cinema'..........

    At this point I gave up listening, he's just being an idiot....personally I love a good rant, and love to complain but this is just a case of TB being an apologist for M$/EA...

    But really the point is that other industries have nothing to do with this argument. Activision/EA have multi-million dollar revenues, their shareholders do quite well....why should we be so concerned about their increased shareholder revenue to the point of screwing ourselves over and foregoing our rights as consumers???????

    Last edited 30/05/13 1:49 pm

    There is a finite amount of reasons for used-games being bad and it's all been argued to death.
    Every single reason simply traces back to publishers/developers wanting money for personal trade. So I'm not watching this guys video - because there's no way he's not using that as a reason.

    Well I just don't care. I don't even trade games care more about the ability to treat games as things I of value I can trade than the money in the makers pockets. If a business wants to play proxy to this trade and offer me things that other people traded then so be it.

    Also so many times they bring up how PC games can't be traded as if it's ok.
    PC gamers put up with this inability to trade just so they can play their games. If they don't then they pirate and still get to play. The way PC games function is what made used-games untenable for them: you must install a PC game to disk in order to play, so to stop people from doing that and passing it on (piracy) the makers implemented CD keys. Now trading becomes an honor system, "Did that guy keep his key when he traded?" You don't know, and business didn't know so they stopped dealing in it.
    Used games did not ruin PC games. PC games ruined used-games for PC games.

    TB has been on the PC for a long time - as have I for that matter. For us PC users, used games are not a thing anymore. They're not an issue. They stopped being an issue a long time ago. Prices have not shot-up through the roof when used games disappeared. In fact, many PC games in Australia are only 60 to 80 dollars and some a good deal less than that. No different from any store, no different from EB - in fact, sometimes a new game will be cheaper than at EB, and sometimes the prices charged for USED games at EB are less than what you'd pay online.

    I know a lot of console gamers really, really don't want to see used games go. They are cheaper, end of story. TB doesn't really appreciate that fact. I don't think he can. I can barely appreciate that fact myself - I've only ever bought one used game in my whole life. But I know a lot of console folks are afraid of what will happen.

    TB's arguments make some sense - especially his arguments against comparing used cars to used games. After all, buying a used car IS risky. There will be wear and tear. You will have to pay to get it serviced more frequently. It almost certainly won't run as well as newer cars. When you buy a used car, you are almost always going to get an inferior car with inferior performance. Serviceable, yes, but usually inferior. There is a RISK with buying used cars, which is why most buy new when they can.

    The same is not true for used games, most of the time. Used games may be scratched up, but they still have to work for them to be legally sold. And if the disc works, it will give you 100% EXACTLY the same experience as a new copy. There is no risk to buying used, at all. Therefore, it makes absolutely no sense to buy new when you can buy used. People only buy used for trinkets and some additional DLC content.

    Of course, this frightens the publishers and the developers.

    Now should people have a right to used games, regardless of everything I've just said? I'd say yes, but be aware that if the used market grows too big, there will be consequences. Games will stop making as much money, which means less money to make new games.

    Games cost money to make. They don't fall out of the sky. They aren't magicked into existence by a wizard. They cost money - and if a business wants to stay in business, it needs to make money back and usually a profit to attract future investors. That's just basic logic. Of course they want money. Of course they want profits. Games aren't made by the "Glorious State Bureau of Electronic Gaming" comrades.

    If the used game market grows too big - what will happen? You'll have less games. The used game market is only relatively harmless if it remains small. If it gets too big (and given how much EB advertise used games to me, I believe to be big) then it will start harming the people who make you your games. Do you want that? You aren't making them. They don't fall out of the sky.

    Besides, gamers have hated anything else the publisher has ever tried to get you to buy new - they tried to give you additional content for buying new. You cried foul. They tried to put in multiplayer to lengthen the time people would hold onto their product. You cried out that it was "tacked on" and "shouldn't be done"! They tried online pass and DLC content. You said you hated it.

    So this is the eventual result.

    I will not be surprised if the PS4 comes out with a similar anti-used game policy to the Xbox One. I mean, if they did, what would they have to lose? They'd get a lot of anger, sure, but they'd still get customers. I mean, where are you going to go? To the WiiU? I'd like to see that!

      The PC experience won't be repeated on consoles though, for one simple reason: the walled garden. Steam has competitors within the platform. Within their respective platforms, Sony and MS have total control of pricing.

      And yeah, I did hate all those things aimed at getting us to 'buy new'. Everyone of them was anti-consumer and resulted in a worse or fragmented product.

        Sony and Microsoft don't set the price for games on their systems, the pricing is totally, 100% the responsibility of the publisher. Unless they are first party titles of course, in which case Sony and Microsoft ARE the publisher.

        Last edited 30/05/13 3:11 pm

          They don't, but they could. Their distribution channel, their rules.

            No, they couldn't.

            If someone wants to charge $1 for a game, they can do that. If someone wants to charge $200 for a game, they can do that. The console makers don't care how much you charge, because they have already been paid by the publisher to put the game on the systems in the first place.

            Sony and Microsoft (and Nintendo) have strict technical guidelines a game must meet to be able to be published on their consoles, but apart from that they don't have much jurisdiction on anything else. The only exception I can think of is a maximum file size for DLC or patches.

            Microsoft doesn't enforce pricing of games on Windows, Apple and Google don't enforce pricing of games on iOS and Android, and the same story applies to consoles. It's totally up to the publisher to set the pricing based on how many units they can sell and what kind of money they can make from those sales.

              Thats because at the moment we have discs. Their goal right now is to become the distribution channel. Look at the prices they set for digital games and tell me that they are going to price their DLC content competitively.

                The prices that the games sell for digitally are also set by the publishers, and they set it the same as retail because they don't want to impact on physical sales (and because they make more profit on digital sales that way)

    Disagree almost completely he also shot down his own argument.

    If used console games ever get removed we will be in a position where the publishers and console makers have the power, without the used games they can price it at whatever they want. Have you ever heard of a big company lowering the price in such a situation? Hell NO, they will bend us over a barrel.

    People also aren't against DLC, they are against paying for stuff that should be on the disc. If you try and rape my wallet for an extra $10 on a download that is 200kb ( on release day) and somehow gives me a whole new character or map that's some bullshit. When you try and charge me $20-30 for a 3 maps on cod blops100 that's ridiculous. When you give meaningful content at an appropriate price like GTA of Oblivion and even Skyrim that's cool, more money for you more content for me.

    In regards to project online codes that has less to do with getting money and more to do with the fucking annoying inconvenience. IF i buy a game brand new a single player one mind you (ala ME3) and am forced to waist 20 minutes fucking around on EA servers entering a code for a mode that is god awful and i don't want while making a stupid EA account. That's a pain in my ass, console is supposed to be stick it in and play if I wanted to fuck around with game codes i'd have bought the PC copy. The actual theory behind it is fine, if I buy used i have no problem paying 5-$10 for "online activation" but if i have to buy 15-20$ of microsoft points and only spend $8 and it takes half an hour and all this other nonsense then that's a problem and its why people hated that shit.

    There is also a MASSIVE difference between PC and console, i mean seriously how many people do you know who Pirated a 360 game? I bet its 0, how many pirated a PC one? (probably every single person who has a PC at one point or another). On PC I don't need to "rent" or "Borrow" a game from a friend if im unsure about its quality i will pirate and then buy it.

    On PC my entire family can play my games, on my 360 everyone has their own accounts, their own achievements, friends. On a console its a much more personalised experience for each individual and If i buy 1 copy of a game i expect every person can play it. I damn well shouldn't have to pay an extra fee so a relative in the same house can use a game i bought unless they use my profile to do it.

    Then there is the whole can sell DLC to the same game twice. When everything goes digital it will happen anyway why push it now. The whole PC games are cheaper than console by $10 originally and steam etc makes then even cheaper. Go look at Microsoft digital offerings, 5 year old games at FULL RRP and the sales are typically a measly 10% of some other nonsense. You can not compare PC and console in such a way they are entire different eco systems.

    The Largest point of all is that STEAM does not make own or control PC gaming, it does not have a monopoly it does not have vested interests it is not trying to control every aspect. Microsoft and sony on the other hand do have the monopoly of their systems, its in their direct benefit to take control away from consumers then bend them over a barrel.

      "Have you ever heard of a big company lowering the price in such a situation?"

      Yes, all the time. The average price of a Steam game gets lower every year, and 75% off sales are a regular occurrence. When was the last time that happened in the 'free market' of console games?

        Zombie you missed the point and i can't really be bothered to explain any more than Steam is not the same as to what i was referring, which was the point. Its in steams best interest to have sales which is why THEY organise them, they push the publishers and ask to sell the games at a better rate, if it wasn't for them we would NEVER see them discounted.

        In comparison I still remember Epic was trying to give away the gears of war maps and Microsoft flat out refused and forced them to make people pay otherwise they wouldn't let them release the maps. That's the kind of shit that will happen, once the big wigs close the used games off and have everyone forced to buy new ( in a closed off ECO system) is when they will change the game. Games will not only increase with inflation they will increase in general and they will force that as far as they possibly can before they all but find the crippling point.

        It is utterly naive to think that if used games went away the console market would be like steam in terms of prices.

          You'll notice I said two things in my reply, and only one of them was about sales. The other was the average price of Steam games getting lower each year. The publishers are in sole control of the game price, not Steam.

          But don't let facts get in the way of your blinkered paranoia about the games industry or anything.

    The thing is, PCs and consoles were meant to be different from one another. And the thing is pirating games on PCs is MUCH easier than it is consoles, and it has always been this way. If pc gamers disagree with the prices of practices of the developer/publisher, then they can simply just pirate the game; whilst console gamers would wait for a price drop, not buy it, buy it USED, or borrow from a friend. This is one of the reasons why the games on pc are discounted so often and fall so much in price; and also explains why prices are higher on consoles

    So if Sony and Microsoft follow PC games and put in the same measures to prevent used games,etc then we should expect lower prices right? But does anyone really believe this will be the case? I mean, like you said, where are console gamers going to go (besides PC and Wii U)? They can't pirate the game. So publishers can keep the games at the high pricing procedures they have for consoles, whilst having the same DRM imposed like those on pc gamers.

      Thats exactly the point i was trying to convey to zombie above. There is no way in hell they will lower prices once they get their claws in.

    Used games suck for the industry, at least when it's done at the massive scale it's done today. I'm not fan of them. However I'm not going to jump on the first solution console makers and publishers found that solves all their problems, brings a few additional benefits for them but is ultimately at the expense of gamers.
    I've said before that if the used games industry is so awful that we've got to go into lockdown, why has everyone been supporting the people who made the used game market the giant, bloated mess that it is today? They did nothing but support places like EB when they were switching to the used games and pre-orders only model. When it was a matter of going up against retail chains, where publishers and Microsoft stood a chance of actually taking a hit, they didn't have the balls to force a resolution.
    Now they've got a system where gamers are the only ones losing out, it's all 'sorry, you guys are going to have to take the hit for the industry, otherwise it'll all collapse, plus it's sort of your fault anyway ya jerks so don't complain'.

    Last edited 30/05/13 3:41 pm

      I didn't realise the used games market was a 'bloated mess'
      I go to eb-games, they've got used games on the shelf for cheaps. All neatly organised by platform and genre. Where's the bloat? Where's the mess?

        I'll admit it's been a while since I've walked into an EB store, but there was a time when it was nothing more than a hastily thrown together garage sale. Fold out tables full of games that were essentially garbage (ie, three year old EA sports titles) stretched from out in the street to the back of the store.
        The bloated mess comment referred more to the business model itself. It's waaaay too big to be healthy and created a mess that everybody is now being forced to deal with.

        Sort of an odd thing to focus on in my comment though. Change that to 'the people who made the used game market so big it began to damage the industry' if you want. The basic point is that if the used game market is so destructive that it has to be stopped at all costs, then why were they supporting it back then?
        Anyone defending Microsoft's choices here by pointing out that the used game market is bad is missing the point. There are plenty of things that could be done to resolve the used game problem without taking these drastic measures. This is a very extreme response that just happens to work in favour of Microsoft and publishers at the expense of gamers. The entire used game debate is a distraction from the actual issue.

    I have friends who worked for Atari and BigAnt. Both no longer in the industry. Both who worked there butt off to get in there and kicked ass at there jobs. At one of the studios I regularly remember him saying that pay checks were delayed for week/months because the dev was not getting paid thus he couldn't get paid. I can't stress how important it is for gamers to realize that studios suffer and goto the wall regularly. See bellow


    Something needs to change and it can't just be government support. Studios and studio employees need to get PAID. If the middle man (retailer) is getting way more than there fair share they need to put into line. As far as I can see most gamers who can afford to be, are considerate they want to pay a reasonable amount for software which is developed well and gives them hours/days/months of entertainment value. They don't want to pay more than $90 for a new release and want to pay far less after a period of say 6-8 months has been on the shelves physically or virtually.

    Besides which I honestly don't believe that future gamers will have a problem with this. Looking specifically at the xbox the design of the box is very much centered about an all encompassing entertainment system. This will be the new generation used a far broader section of the population, as a internet video player, skype communication device, music streamer, etc etc it will no longer be the realm of the hardcore gamer. IMHO.

    Yeah fair enough, but I think the crux of the problem is that games cost 4X what DVD/CD's do.


    kk, let me get some popcorn and free up my night to watch this. Im hoping this is 30mins of
    qual-et-tay and not something that could be said in 3...

    I agree with his points about how the other forms of media aren't really fair comparisons.

    However, the whole "bricks and mortar stores" are the cause for it, and that its poor publishers and game developers (yes to developers, hell no publishers) totally disagreed with.

    I read the other day that most retail stores get single digit profit from games, and sometimes even game consoles, this is ontop of all of their overhead of running the business, if anything I think it's the publishers that pushed the retailers into a corner and the retailers are just doing whatever they can to survive as digital distribution becomes more widespread.

    Also, love seeing people throw the devs in with the publishers, most developers nowadays are getting just as squeezed, if not more by the fatcats in the middle.

      Exactly without used games Gamestop and EB games would have gone broke years ago, DVD and music specialality stores are virtually non existent too.

        And that's a bad thing why? Why do we need a middle-man taking a cut and adding to the price we pay without adding anything useful? When games were purely a physical product it made sense, but with digital distribution, the dedicated brick and mortar game store is a relic of the past that is no longer necessary.

    the trouble with this debate is that much of people's arguments are backed up by nothing but anecdotal evidence ("i worked at GAME in the UK")

    the debate is really just a moral one:

    - do developers DESERVE to make money on second-hand game sales?
    - do developers DESERVE to keep the same property relationship that has hitherto existed between them and their consumers?

    imo, we're having this argument because technology has changed, and it has changed the way we view intellectual property. whereas before it was manifested in cartridges and CDs that 56k connections couldn't download, the increase in internet speeds have basically transformed the status quo between developers and consumers.

    the response that developers have been making to this paradigm shift, however, is just enforcing the old mould of property rights. i think kickstarter and indiegogo and the like are the way of the future. funding will be more democratic, and therefore less exploitative for BOTH developers and consumers. instead of enormous organisations like EA and Activision calling the shots, and keeping all of the intellectual property and royalties, /the gaming community as a whole/ will be responsible for our artform, and the divide between developers and consumers might, hopefully, collapse!

    edit: i mean, look at the way shareware helped DOOM, for instance. i remember watching a video posted here on kotaku by gabe newell, and he was commenting on the 90s phenomenon that was DOOM, the most widely-used piece of PC software, even displacing windows for a time.

    i am going to go do some research and come back, maybe write a paper on this...

    Last edited 30/05/13 7:28 pm

    the debate is really just a moral one:
    - do developers DESERVE to make money on second-hand game sales?
    - do developers DESERVE to keep the same property relationship that has hitherto existed between them and their consumers?

    If the debate is really just a moral one, then the answer to both is yes.

    Developers put years of their lives into these projects, and for retailers to take advantage of a loophole (not exactly morally upstanding behaviour itself) in order to continually sell products they did not make, is morally unsound.

    Is it legal? Right now it is, yeah and I don't know if that's going to change anytime soon.

    But the law is merely a guideline for people to follow. They are a set of rules that suggest the preferred morality in a system. But the value of these laws we follow can erode through time and the progression of things like technology, that transcend what these laws were built to encapsulate in the first place, which is why laws can be changed/amended to account for new situations.

    Developers are what they are because they are gamers themselves at one point who wanted celebrate gaming by directly contributing to its future. They are the ones who build the games we love, so it is really fair that others have found a way to undermine their hard work? From a moral standpoint?

    No. Absolutely not.

    Again just for emphasis; what is legal and what is moral (or ethical) are very different things.

    Last edited 30/05/13 7:53 pm

    TotalHalibut has pretty much voiced my exact opinion on the topic.

    Furthermore, he is correct. End of story. Every single point he put forward, is true. It is bad for consumers, but EVERYTHING is bad for consumers. We are the butt of the joke, we're at the bottom of the ladder. The industry has been gutted of revenue by used game sales (for all the reasons TH mentioned.) and even with the kind of money that the retailers have made off used games (plenty) they are still going down the shitter, because they are an outdated form of retail for gaming.

    It's a shame that I won't be able to borrow my mate's games anymore... but if the MS marketplace becomes more like STEAM, then fuck it, I don't care! I'll buy the deep discounted titles if they didn't interest me enough when they were new.

    MS has already experimented with this: Remember when Max Payne 3 (among a slew of other games) was going for... like $6? What the hell, that's great! More of that please. I was going to borrow it off my mate, but hell if I can buy it for a cost that is less than a pint of beer... I'd rather just buy it. My money goes back into the industry that I want to support, which means they get more money to spend on bigger and better games!

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