It’s been a month of half baked threats and horror gasps as the industry gossips like fishermen over the rumors that the next gen consoles will not support used video games.
Hell, even Pachter came out all Biblical damning it as EVIL.
Along comes industry veteran Richard Browne on a shiny horse to fear monger about used games, waxing eloquent about all the inherent damage these used plastic ‘terrorist-like’ devices cause to publishers and consumers alike.
Hung up to Dry
Browne belabors many points in his quest for the 'real cost of used games'
. He considers the churn of used games at retail being the reason so many 'obviously single player' titles are released with multiplayer glue- tacked on. He argues the variety of games on the market is shrinking, pointing to the big risks taken by Rockstar over Red Dead Redemption and LA Noire. He finally focuses on used games being the supreme instrument of death to mid tier publishers and independent studios.
Oh Lord, Where to Begin
Single Player Games are not dead: Anyone who wandered into STEAM and belabored this point would be quickly shown the insane amount of SP titles available, at tiered price points with spot-sales, and then summarily shown the door. Arguing multiplayer experiences for single player titles has zero interest for you is like bemoaning a dislike for mayo on French fries: There are people who relish any chance to expand their experience of a game brand, and one only has to look at Mass Effect 3's isolated MP functionality to realize this.
We have more variety than ever: Heard of Fez? How about Dear Esther? Or even The Binding of Isaac? Indie games are thriving, and not just exclusively to PC. More importantly, so what if Mr Schafer had to rock Kickstarter to get success for his project? Raising a cool 3 million shows consumer power, and more importantly the increasing irrelevance of traditional publishing. Hell, Path of Exile's success shows you don’t have to be a legendary name to get your project off the ground anymore!
Who needs Mid Tier! Sorry Mr. Browne, but I'm tired of mediocre games and false entitlement. I don’t care how much money went into a game; no one should buy anything for what was invested if the product is lame. We don’t accept that in any market, and don’t point fingers at used games when consumers becoming more discerning in their discretionary spending
You heard the economy is Toast right?: The global economy is sliding into a dumpster and our passion spends are in decline. I have no clue where your illusionary adult demographic with buying power exists, but the vast majority can’t afford to purchase every title at the current RRP’s. It's why Digital pricing tiers work so well, why new retail is falling and why consumers who own their titles exert their right to trade them in.
Mr. Browne seems to have forgotten about the invisible hand, that delicious market force produced by consumers free choice in spending. It's why we see the rise of crowdfunding and the decline of mid tier, and revealed in the success of digital price strategies and the near collapse of GAME.
Consumers are exerting pressure Mr. Browne, and the sooner your beloved triple A industry stops labeling used games as ‘The Terrorists’ in the hope of distraction and wakes up to realize they arent buying it, the better.
Douglas Stewart is a staff writer at iQU. When he is not writing, he devours books, plays an excessive amount of games, and is working on his upcoming fiction novel that (naturally) involves intersections between technology, gaming and society. Follow Douglas @TheGearCog