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Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-01-08 15:16:55
Having seen how much sweat and tears developers put into making games, I fully understand their frustration at the massive used games industry. However, the mentality that all of those used game sales are taking money out of their pockets is too simple. It's like when publishers claim to have lost X amount of dollars to piracy; would all of those pirates have actually purchased a legitimate copy otherwise?
I've often derided GameStop as a glorified pawn shop, but (until digital distribution becomes the norm) they do provide an important function for the industry. I'm certain that there's a large segment of the populace that simply doesn't buy new games at all, and if faced with the proposition of being forced to buy new games, would drift away from gaming entirely. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you've got the hardcore gamer who jumps on every big new release, and trades in his "old games" to partially subsidize every new game purchase. Game companies' stock prices rise and fall based on those critical launch sales figures.
So now we've got Sony who just patented this technology to bind game discs to specific user accounts. This would stop the use of used games cold, and ensure that Sony, publishers, and developers see a taste of every game sold. The problem is that this would likely generate massive hostility and ill will, and reduce overall game sales. At least I think that's what would happen. We'll find out this coming fall if Sony has the heuvos to implement it in the PlayStation 4.