Industry VS Gamers: It's On Like Donkeykong

Everytime I hear or see a story that mentions how much the gaming industry wants to abandon / block preowned games from being played on the upcoming next generation systems or how they want to prevent games from even becoming pre-owned, by circuits sizzle. It just seems like the greedy are becoming greedier and nothing will stop them from attacking pre-owned games with their hate laced pitched forks,

Meanwhile the gamers are up in arms stating that if they do this or if they do that then they won’t buy their next-generation systems. Now we both know the draw of a new system will eventually outweigh consumer belief’s however it is a nice thought if gamers would actually show the gaming industry by using their (Not) wallets and not simply words. Showing Microsoft or Sony that we mean it and not purchasing their newer consoles would definitely show them that we meant business, if we actually did that.

Meanwhile it’s getting bad out there as the whole debate to eliminate pre-owned games is gathering support. For example, Crytek’s executive Rasmus Hojengaard, has gone on record stating that he thinks that stopping the pre-owned market altogether would be Awesome

A lead developer at Crytek has publicly supported the concept of console manufacturers blocking access to second-hand games.
Rasmus Hojengaard, the Swedish director of creative development at Crytek, said “from a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome” if a next-generation Nintendo, Microsoft or Sony console restricted access to games bought pre-owned.
“It’s weird that [second-hand sales] are still allowed because it doesn’t work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well,” Hojengaard (pictured) told CVG.

Sure I suppose it would be awesome for them, seeing how they can charge $50 – $60 dollars for a game that could be a AAA title or a piece of shit. And honestly, Crytek should worry about their titles instead of worrying about the entire pre-owned situation (Crysis 2 was a joke, it had to be said) and if he wants to be technical, PC gamers do have an outlet for selling pre-owned PC games. 

Though it’s not the first time we’ve heard from upper management regarding this issue. Does anyone remember back in 2010 when Activision / Blizzard head honcho, Bobby Kotick, also wanted to do away with pre-owned games?

“The best way to keep people engaged in your game experience is keep giving them more great content. As business models evolve, as the way you distribute content evolves, as the ability to do things online changes in terms of pricing or trial or sample,” he said.

“I think we’ve definitely always been out in front of the rest of our competitors. But I think you always need to be sensitive to that relationship and not crossing the line to a place where the customer feels like they have been taken advantage of.”

He does mention some key points there but he also states that they need to make sure that the customer doesn’t feel like they are being taken advantage off. This is coming from the same company that rehashes the same Call of Duty title every year and has ran a once glorious franchise into the ground.

Now I can understand where they are coming from however, what they fail to comprehend is that we gamers aren’t made out of money (Not all of us anyway). We respect a game that is well made and can demand that huge price tag, but what happens when we either fall out of love with it or we beat it and we don’t want to play it anymore? Can we just call up the company that made it and ask for a refund or request that we get another title for a cheaper price? No, hell no… we’d get laughed at or worse. So our only recourse is to sell the game, albeit for less than what we paid for, to recoup some money so that we can use that towards another game. What the heck is so wrong with that? We bought the game and they got their money, now we want to sell it and they are mad that they don’t see any proceeds from that, which again makes no sense. They essentially want us to pay them twice when they should in reality, have nothing to do with the second transaction.

If they want to kill the pre-owned market then perhaps they should really think about doing some kick backs to the customer / gamer base and do something for us. How about some type of loyalty program where if we keep a game for an x amount of time, we become eligible for a bonus (perhaps a percentage off any of their other games) or a program where they buy the games directly from us so they can turn around and sell it (but isn’t that still pre-owned?).

What I find funny about all of this is that it ultimately comes down to the all mighty dollar, right? Then why is it that most Indie games are actually doing better than most high dollar budget titles? Examples you say? Sure, I got your examples;

  • Minecraft
  • Fez
  • Legend of Grimrock
  • Limbo
  • Castle Crashers
  • Braid
  • Flower
  • Pixel Junk Shooter
  • Super Stardust
  • Super Meat Boy
  • Bastion

And that list just goes on and on.

Though ultimately the ball is in their (Companies / Developers) court and if Microsoft or Sony do as rumored then the pre-owned games market is in for a battle, one that they may not win unless we start showing the game companies we mean business by hitting them where it hurts. Our wallets or purses.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.