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Why Buy Used? Just Pirate…

After all, the two are the exact same thing, right? I mean, where were YOU when the rest of us were delivering our support right to the developer’s cubicles? Way to be ungrateful. Let me just say it, Gamestop is just a games pimp with a shiny storefront. Amsterdam meets America, I say.

Hat-tip Syp.

You know, I try not to get too rankled. I really do. But, honestly, if you’re going to call people who buy used games thieves, fuck you. Let’s get something straight, it’s not MY job to price these games. It’s not MY job to market them so people want to buy them at launch. You want me to buy new, give me a reason to. Make it irresistible, get me excited so that I don’t wait the MONTHS it takes for a decent price drop at Gamestop. Give me something extra for buying from you. You know, be a salesman instead of a pusher (*cough* Kotick *cough*).

I buy lots of used games and I usually do it with a couple trade-ins of my own. In the last two years, I shudder to think of how much I’ve spent at Gamestop. So, believe me when I tell you, any game worth buying new will only be $5 cheaper to buy used for the first 90+ days. After that, maybe $7. Unless your game sucks, then it will be a lot cheaper – and who wants to buy it then, anyways. I’ll almost always pay the extra five dollars if that’s the scenario. Five bucks is nothing, and the peace of mind knowing the disc will be new is worth it.

Months later, when that game is still $59.99 in the store, and $39.99 at Gamestop, most people would choose to buy used. If you’re buying new at that point you either have a very specific reason, too much money, or failed your Home Economics class in high school.

I get that used games don’t benefit the developers. Except for market penetration, word of mouth, public perception, and future sales. It’s not like anyone felt skiddish about Game 1 and actually went out to buy Game 2. It’s not like any studio ever factored in used sales to determine how well their game was received. After all, who factors in their ENTIRE audience?

I empathize with people who want to show their appreciation for a product well done. That’s great, and, you know what, I like to do that too. Developer’s work hard and deserve to be well rewarded.

But that’s not the player’s job. It shouldn’t even be most player’s consideration, frankly. We can all sit in our recliners or computer chairs preaching all day long, but not one of us is directly sending money to a developer. We send it to the retailer, who sends it to the publisher, who sends it to the studio, who sends it home. Our job is to be responsible adults and make the best decisions for ourselves.

Developer’s not getting paid isn’t Gamestop’s fault. It is 100% the publisher. If you want people to stop going to Gamestop, quit being so bull-headed with your prices. The only thing used games stores prove is that a) games are priced too high to begin with; and, b) $60 price points don’t last. If people thought buying new was a good deal, they’d do it. But it’s not, so they don’t.

If given the choice, I would buy new. I’d buy new everything if I could. But, I respond to the choices I’m given. Case and point, I bought a washer and dryer this summer. It was expensive and I had a good deal on a used set downtown. I told the guy so. They tossed in a 5-year care plan and cut $130 off the tab. Even though it was still slightly more expensive, they made it worth my while. When it comes to games, I’ll buy new when I want it early.

Call us thieves if you want, but, you know what? We’re right. It’s really that simple. In America, consumers tell businesses how much their product is worth. You don’t charge $50 for a car wash. You don’t charge $5 for a four-wheeler. Gamestop doing well only shows that players aren’t satisfied with pig-headed moneygrubbing ala Bobby Kotick.

Responding to customer feedback is one of the earliest lessons new business owners learn. What’s the game industry’s excuse?

Oh, right. Over paid CEOs. Clueless investors. Unwarranted Inflation. Inability to adapt. Resistance to Change. Blanket greed.

It’s a good thing the game’s economy is a vacuum. I shudder to think how many used products would be available if the rest of the world was such a unique snowflake.

Get real. This is not the gamer’s problem.

You know what I’d like to hear? Why do you buy used? We all know that doing so “hurts game developers,” so what is it that gets you to sleep at night? Lord knows, thoughts of a grinning Bobby Kotick floating through my head just put me right out.

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