Monday, January 23, 2006

On Used vs. New Video games

I buy a lot of games. Anyone that knows me knows that. For this generation alone, I have (combined) over 1,000 games spread out across my PS2, XBOX and Gamecube. Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about buying new vs. buying used. Revenue from new games go directly to the publishers and distributors, with the retailer only getting a small slice (ie: a $50 game often costs the retailer close to $45). With slim margins like these, the retailers must turn to used sales.

That is, the smaller stores do. The EBGames, Gamestop's and (if you're in Canada) Microplay chains specialize in games. Their employees (usually) know a little bit more about games and you won't feel the need to 'bother' the person behind the counter at Wal*Mart to get that new copy of Grand Theft Auto out for you. I like buying in the smaller stores and supporting jobs for independants. What keeps them going however, is used games.

So what can we do? You can be like me. I buy (upon release) the games that I *really* want to support. Like innovation in Shadow of the Colossus.... or publishers taking a chance with platform games like 'The Legend of Kay'. Don't wait for the price drops, get them at full price. Save your money for later for the games you want but don't NEED. Then buy your used copies and help out the smaller stores. It's all about spreading the wealth.

Until the industry can figure out how to sell new games for $25 like the movie industry, we're going to have this issue. Maybe we'll never get there until we settle on one standard platform. Will we ever? I think we will, but it's still a long ways off.

1 comment:

kshipper said...

Already we are seeing digital download only version of games where you never really own anything (except the rights to play)

This makes it very tough for a collector =(