Let’s Hope Other Industries Don’t Copy Ban of Used Games Model

used games

Banning the sale of used games has been a hot topic as of late. Although nothing has been officially announced yet, many people (including myself) think that this might be true as each day passes by. My main concern is if this trend might even be implemented on other industries as well.

Let’s just say that the PS4 and Xbox 720 do indeed ban the sale of used games. Gamers will no longer be able to lend copies of games to their friends, rent games from rental stores or sell the game once they get bored of it. The game you “purchased” will be attached to your console forever.

Imagine if gamers don’t care about this and still buy the PS4 and Xbox 720 anyway. Both Microsoft and Sony will be very happy and will earn millions of dollars in the process. Not only will this be a “win” for gaming developers and publishers, but other industries that sell goods might think this is a successful thing to do as well.

As of now, there’s no talk about the music or movie industries banning the second hand sales of CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays. But if the ban of used games becomes successful for the video game industry, this doesn’t stop other industries from copying this “evil” business model as well.

It will be a sad and greedy place if the whole world decides to ban the sale of second hand goods of any kind. Not everyone is rich enough to buy everything “new” all of the time. Imagine if car companies ban the sale of used cars? How many people won’t be able to drive since they have to buy a new car? What if mobile phone manufacturers ban the sale of used phones? What will happen to all of the people that bought the original iPhone and have since upgraded to a newer model? They’ll just have to put the old iPhone in the bin since they cannot sell or lend the phone to anyone else. It will be stink if mobile phones could only be used by one sim card in a lifetime…

This is exactly what will happen to unwanted games purchased for the PS4 and Xbox 720. Games that are no longer played or wanted will end up with the dump truck as they’re worthless without the original console they’ve been played on. If you want to sell a PS4 or Xbox 720 on eBay in the future, you’ll have to sell your entire games library with it too. People will no longer be able to find a cheap console to buy online since prices will be inflated with the number of games that are attached to it.

What makes the video game industry think they can get away with something like this? Sure music artists have lost a ton of sales from CDs, but they earn lots of money by touring around the world selling concert tickets. The movie industry has suffered from piracy over the years, but movie studios still earn money by selling their films to TV stations and legit internet streaming channels like Netflix etc. Not to mention films like The Avengers and Avatar prove that movie goers are still willing to watch movies in the cinema if they’re good enough.

What game publishers and developers need to do is find a more innovative way to earn more revenue that isn’t a burden to the consumer’s wallet. The whole world is still feeling the effects of a recession. Do they think people have enough disposable income to purchase new games all of the time? Video gaming is an expensive hobby as it is, and they’re about to make it even more expensive by banning used games.

It’s highly unlikely the price of new games will drop either. It’s doubtful Activision or Rockstar will drop the price of a new Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto game if they can still manage to sell over 20 million copies for $60 each. Also, Take Two mentioned the cost for developing games will increase for this new generation of gaming. Let’s hope they don’t do the opposite thing and increase the price of games because of this!

We should all pray that this is just a rumor and used games are not gone forever. Because if it happens and it’s successful, video games might not be the only industry banning the sale of second hand items…

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Damian Antony Seeto


Game reviewer from New Zealand

2 Comments

  1. KingOfArcadia
    February 8, 2013, 11:51 AM

    You know, I’m not sure how if they can really implement this or not. I know that there’s a law in the EU that says that consumers have the right to resell videogames – even digitially-downloaded games. There’s a current lawsuit against Valve in Germany because games bought through Steam have no method to resell them. Maybe Sony & Microsoft could ban used games in other parts of the world outside the EU, but then what? Do they a). not sell the consoles at all in the EU?, or b). create two versions of their next consoles – one for EU, and one for the rest of the world? I also suspect that if Sony & Microsoft attempts this in North America, they’ll be heading for a lawsuit.

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  2. Damian Antony Seeto
    February 9, 2013, 1:18 AM

    Yea, I know nothing about the laws in NZ, but I’m sure going to find out all I can if this goes through.

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