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Saturday, June 06, 2009

Video Game Industry Rant

Video game manufacturers may pressure resellers

Video game manufacturers have long tolerated the practice of retailers reselling used games without any of the secondary sales going back to publishers and developers.

But the tough economy and the increasing number of retailers in the used games business are bringing a sore subject to the fore and contributing to a migration toward more downloadable content and full digital distribution of games.

...

Video games are different from movies or CDs, which often hold more sentimental and replay value over games, which can be played through in 10 hours and then discarded. The challenge for the industry is to get consumers to buy games they'll want to hold on to.


This exposes that some people in the industry just don't get it. If you make a good game, like Bioshock, GoW, Halo, L4D, R6V, it will become a classic that people keep in their collections forever as a badge of honor. Something they come back to play with their friends over and over.

Take "Fallout 3" for example, the *used* price is still 80-90% of the full new price 3/4 of a year after its launch. This is because no one is selling their copies back, so the demand outstrips the supply by a large margin. This is because the game is a classic that the Bethesda Game Studios clearly cared a lot about when they made it.

Make throw away 3rd party Hollywood tie in titles and yes, people will treat it just like you do: Play it and sell it back like the trash it is.

This is exactly how it works in all media. People buy the latest trendy pop album, listen to it to death for a couple months, then when they find they just don't listen to it anymore because they are on to the next big thing, they take it and sell it at a used CD store for 10-20% of its cover price. This *increases* the total sales in the system, if you don't get this you need to learn some econ 101.

I'm sorry you guys seem to think you deserve more cash, but your failed understanding of the free market. Your failing business modeling is not my problem. That is your problem to figure out. And if you take a look at the companies who DO get it (lets see... Valve, anyone?) you'll see that they keep their titles alive through a constant flow of new, free updates... why would I sell my copy of the organge box when I know Valve released a new update every few months?

/rant off.

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