I’m not even going to pretend that this isn’t a single-malt diatribe.
I unequivocally hate used games.
Places like EB Games (Gamestop) are the bane of the existence of the gaming industry. I don’t know what compels people towards purchasing a used copy over the new. I suppose, in the case of a startling gap between the new and used price, I can understand it to some extent. But anyone having set foot into their retail locations knows that the price difference, is negligible at best.
I’m going to assume, going forward, anyone still reading this you’ve never bothered to google the information to find out for yourself. Here’s a fun little info-graphic I found with a quick google search. Bear in mind, it might not be a 100% accurate, but it’s more about making my overall point, than being pin-point accurate.
So, according to the fine folks at Feedvibe who took the time to (I’m assuming) research and make this handy pie chart, that’s basically your standard breakdown. I can tell you, from working retail, the amount the retailer makes it a lot smaller than depicted. Well, at least in Canada. And, at least, where I work.
Here’s how much the developers and publishers make when you pick up that 5$ off used copy of your next adventure:
Yup. I hope you knew that. But if you didn’t there it be.
So when you pick up that used game, here’s a few things to bear in mind:
1. The person who “traded” that game in, probably got a whopping 10% of the actual MRSP. Now, maybe they also bought it used, or got it on sale, beat it and flipped it. Either way, they sure didn’t see a whole lot of that money back. And that’s the vicious cycle at it’s start.
2. Used games almost always get sold back to the retailers multiple times. People don’t assign any value to a used game. It’s a commodity to be purchased, used to delight, and then thrown back onto the heap to be purchased again.
3. At this point, you’re probably asking: “But Ego, who cares? Isn’t all that matters is that I’m playing the game, and (potentially) giving free marketing by telling my friends about my experience?” Maybe you’re not saying that, but I’m going to pretend that’s what I heard. Sure. Word of mouth reviews probably sell more games that any info a retail salesperson is going to be able to do. I mean, after all, who trusts sales people? Here’s the issue: Every time that game is bought used and sold again, is money not going to the devs/publishers. So, when companies like THQ fold (maybe a poor example, but sit tight) and your favourite franchises disappear, it’s because those valued dollars used by said companies to actually be able to cover their costs and go forward into the next project simply aren’t there.
Now, I’m sure some of you are giving the same “cry me a river” looks to your screens. I hear you. Everyone is guilty of pirating something, at some point. And yea, that’s more money that developers of things we love aren’t getting. And, yea, at the end of the day, a lot of those things we love are probably still going to come out.
But it’s going to be that odd time out that something you want just won’t be there in the future, and the only people we’ll have to blame are ourselves. I know as capitalists, we all want to be the end-users-owners of the software we buy. That’s cool. That fight I get. If we pay for it, it should be ours. But that doesn’t mean we should all be blind about how this whole thing works.
I know some of you are thinking: Kickstarter. Well, there are problems there too. Another fight for another day.
Going to break my rules and throw in one more pic.
Remember: We vote with our dollar. Make your vote count.
– The Ego