THE CASE FOR USED GAMES


usedgames.jpg

11.21.2008

Brandon Boyer

1 Reply

This one passed us by earlier in the week but is still worthy of note: as a number of publishers trend toward curbing used game sales by offering one-time-use download codes for certain value adds (see: the extra 20 songs included in Rock Band 2 for new purchases), Civilization and Spore designer Soren Johnson makes an equally strong case for used sales. Some salient points:

Used game sales are the primary method by which the retail games market is segmented. For quite a few gamers, especially younger ones, used games are their only option for buying games instead of renting them. Keeping these price-sensitive consumers – who will often be tomorrow’s full-price customers – in the retail system and away from piracy is a good thing all around.

[...]

Many factors come into play when a consumer decides if a specific game purchase is worth the money, and one of those factors is the perceived value from selling it back as a used game. In other words, people will pay more for a new game because they know they can get some of that money back when they trade it in at the local Gamestop. Importantly, this perceived value exists whether the consumer actually sells the game or keeps it. Wizards of the Coast has long admitted that the existence of the secondary market for Magic cards has long helped buoy the primary market because buyers perceive that the cards have monetary value.

His caveat, though, is that in order to maintain that perceived value of traditional retail games, digital download services (which it would seem we’re all growing much more comfortable with) have to lower their own prices in turn. Hit the link below for the full argument and following lengthy conversation in the comments.

DESIGNER NOTES » Blog Archive » The Case for Used Games

See more posts about:


COMMENTS

  1. “His caveat, though, is that in order to maintain that perceived value of traditional retail games, digital download services (which it would seem we’re all growing much more comfortable with) have to lower their own prices in turn.”

    I’ve always felt that way, but I have no real right to complain. I just purchased Left4Dead from Steam, and it was the same price as the retail version.

    I would think the digital download should be AT LEAST $5 to $10 cheaper than the boxed version.


Leave a Reply