img src=";loc=300;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=[group]" border="0" width="160" height="600"> The inner ramblings of a videogamer: EA & Microsoft's attack on the second hand games market

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

EA & Microsoft's attack on the second hand games market

So, MS's depressingly underwhelming new console reveal has come and gone and we have now been introduced to their next gen console known as the "Xbox One" (I assume in an attempt to mess with numerical categorisation) anyway, there's really nothing more about the reveal I can say that hasn't already been said, so I'll get straight to the point.

Recently it has been rumoured or announced depending on the source we're going by, that in order to play second hand (or used games) on the newly announced "Xbox One" you will be required to pay a "mandatory fee" which will give you "permission" to play a second hand game... now if you're not frothing at the mouth with disgust by this news you really should be.

My concern here is that how can a Video game store continue to sell second hand games at a profit when consumers know that in order to play those games they will have to pay another fee? most people purchase second hand due to not being able to afford a new copy, but this new "fee" could potentially jack the total price up to above the price of a new game, given that possibility the price for used games would have to be slashed to such an extent these stores who survive soley off of second hand game sales would be forced to close, and I for one do not wish to see that happen.

Despite what you may think second hand game stores are necessary, they are a great place to find titles that may not be available new and allow many gamers to continue enjoying their hobby at a reduced cost, it has also been argued that if someone enjoyed a used game they very well may go on to purchase its sequel new, you may argue that companies do not receive revenue from the sale of a "used" game, but the game in question would have been new at some point so all a consumer who purchases it is doing is "recycling" it's the same as when you sell an item on eBay, you gain profit from the sale but the original creator gets nothing other than what you spent on buying the item in the 1st place, nobody seems to cry foul when this happens so why are games treated so differently? Personally I feel gamers and publishers are to blame, we are all made to believe that a game needs to sell over 2 million units to be considered a success so we want everyone to buy a game new in order for publishers to green light it for the devs to continue developing the next game in a franchise we enjoy, this all boils down to the insane amount of cash that is thrown into developing and marketing a game, if publishers used some self restraint and reduced the cost of development there wouldn't be so much need to expect unrealistic sales figures.

I'll admit it, a number of times I have insinuated or more accurately out right accused publishers in the games industry for attempting to indirectly kill off the used game market, I still stand by my previous statements but I think this time I have all the evidence I could ever need.

Like I said previously, any game that is second hand was once new at some point so the revenue from the sale of that game would have already gone to the publisher, right? OK, now look I understand that publishers wish to make profit off of the sales of their games but is forcing people to pay a fee to use a second hand game they most likely already payed for "used" actually the best way to go about it? well yes, if you're a greedy, money hungry company void of morels and integrity, so naturally MS and EA are leading the way on this one.

I believe as consumers we must not allow this to happen, do we not already offer enough of our hard earned cash away to these companies, if $60 games, endless DLC and online passes do not generate enough revenue to keep the likes of MS, EA (and any other pub/dev that may intend to follow suite) happy and content then nothing will, if we do allow companies to demand payment for an item we already legally purchased/own then we have lost and may as well cut out the middle man and offer up our bank accounts to them.

I may be going a little overboard here but that's only because I am very passionate about gaming, I want pubs and devs to get the cash they deserve but not if it means over stepping their boundaries and potentially forcing consumers to pay for a product that they by all rights already own.

As always thanks for reading, please feel free to comment and let me know exactly how you feel about the "mandatory fee" or anything else I mentioned above.

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