Don't copy, don't rent, don't exchange... [UPDATED]

...just buy original and new games

This seems to be the message we're being told lately by the videogame industry.

In the past, piracy was a huge problem . Now, with the latest generation of consoles, piracy has dropped down a lot (DVDs and harddisks are encrypted, boards implement anti-reverse engineering techniques...), so many companies release games first on consoles to earn maximum benefit.

So, if piracy is not the same problem as before, what is it now? the answer is simple: used games.

Most 360 games can be finished in a weekend in singleplayer, so if the replay value is low or playing them online is not funny enough, people can choose to rent them or sell to a used games shop.

And this looks "unfair" to videogame companies. Some are critizing this, others are offering one-time extras to 360 games (extra maps unlockable via serial number, for example)... but has anyone thought about what could be the reason of this "problem"?

For an average player, paying in spain 60-70 euros is quite a lot for a game whose main story lasts for 6-8 hours. If games are being sell and buyed used, that means that the market demands lower prices (so that deciding between a used and a new game becomes a harder decision).

Xbox Live Arcade games sell a lot. I have 10 games, 9 of them bought on XBLA. The system works, so why not learning from that?

I know that videogames are becoming more expensive to develop, but why have I bought Gears of War 2 for 50 euros at an online shop (shipping included) and I can't find it in Madrid for less than 65 euros?

Sometimes it looks like intermediary sellers want to take their profit too (no one wants to lose money, but a difference of 15-20 euros is a lot in a 70 euros price). So why not the companies focus on telling the sellers to take less profit to increase brand-new sales and instead blame us the players?

And still it is, but as usual, depends on who you ask. Quality games like Fallout 3 have sold millions of copys (I have it on pc instead of on the 360, for example ;)

Update: This recent article of Gamasutra talks about used games industry so well that I've updated the post linking to it. And this sentence is quite the same I was saying: "For instance, if we lower retailprices, gamers won't feel as much of a need to wait a few weeks in order to payused prices".
It's funny because now I have a Gamestop shop quite near to my house, in a street previously filled only with clothing shops.

Posted by Kartones on 2008-11-29

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