Saving money? – “Not on our watch!”

I’ve often stated that pre-owned titles (either movies or games) have been a regular purchase of mine.  I have had difficulty seeing the argument of “games are too expensive” (in respect of defending piracy) when in fact there are a wealth of titles which can be bought at low prices pre-owned.  There have been many titles (both in the game and movie genre) that I didn’t think were worth the price at the time of release, so I simply waited and picked up a good deal on a pre-owned title.

With that in mind though, it appears certain developers for Sony’s platforms are not so hot on the idea.  With the justification of piracy removed for charging high prices for products, it now seems that online gamers who buy a pre-owned title may have to register it for play and ergo incur an extra cost.

The pro/anti piracy argument seems to bounce off itself since those who support file sharing often say that prices are too high, whilst the companies themselves say the prices are high because of file sharing.  So is this the answer?

In respect of Mass Effect 2 and Bad Company 2, it is being reported over at Slashdot that

anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online.

and that will certainly not do anything to bring sympathy to the damaging issues of piracy.  Consumers these days are more fussy about spending money and rightfully so (times are still difficult), the industry has a tough job convincing people that file sharing/piracy are wrong and ideas that prevent consumers from saving money is not going to help that cause.

Looking at the other side of the coin though, you can see why a software house and indeed Sony might want to remove the pre-owned culture.  After the initial sale, are they going to make any money from the title as its subsequently sold on? – It seems we find ourselves in a position of (to coin an old WWE phrase) “the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object”.

Until an agreement/concession is found between the software houses/file sharers we will continue to see high prices being justified by one group and the right to share data being championed by the other whilst in the meantime “the person in the middle” who doesn’t believe in sharing copyrighted material will suffer.

This Xmas I wanted COD2.  I saw no point in getting it brand new so it was bought by my wife at Game pre-owned.  Is this new scheme the beginning of the end for the pre-owned title?

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Um, who plays games anymore anyway? Most people I know have stopped, except for casual stuff like Solitaire. Oh, there is a small percentage of hard core gamers, but the interest in games that existed twenty years ago has evaporated. Only Nintendo and Apple seem to have any idea of how to attract new gamers, the big ‘game’ companies appear to be committing suicide.

  2. openbytes says:

    I must admit to being partial to COD2 on PS3..but thats certainly the first game in a long while Ive looked at properly. That being said the games market, I would argue, is massive and apparently revenues (in the case of COD and GTA) can outdo Hollywood…that being said, in respect of PC gaming the “hardcore” element is certainly true and as the software houses are finding out (with piracy) the consoles are far more a desirable platform to develop for….as is the end user experience and “piug in and play” ethos of a console.

    Regards
    Goblin

  3. Chips B Malroy says:

    At one time I too was a Gamer. Before I moved years ago, I had all these games, so I took some to the local store that sold used software. But still I had more than 13 boxes of games to get rid of when the time came. Sure, towards the last I only bought a few new games, as I found out one thing, most games had almost no re playability. So they were a waste of money. The boxes looked flashy, and the stories exciting. Best to download a demo version first if they have one.

    I kept my Sid Meir’s games, and Tomb Raider ones. But the rest, I have not missed. Most people are or become causal gamers, such is the problem for MS. In fact, MS in its greed, just cut Alan Wake pc game and made it XBOX360 only. Alan Wake is the latest in the Martian Memorandum series, if I am not mistaken. Why MS cut the PC Version, to promote the 360, or more likely to cut expenses. But one thing seems likely, it is a statement in fact, that the Vista/Seven platform is failing as a gaming platform. I suggest that Linux as a gaming platform, is gaining somewhat, while windows, is in decline as a game platform.

    Of course, as people get grayer, they tend to not search out the newer games as much. Then there is the recession putting a hit on games.

    Second hand games, and all software for that matter, companies have tried to control the sales of. Take MS for example and the many cases where they caused Ebay to pull auctions offline of perfectly legal Windows and Office.

  4. I think that Direct X isn’t helping. Version incompatibility means that games designed for Vista and/or Seven won’t work on XP, which is still the most used version of Windows. So if you program to take advantage of the latest Direct X features, you are cutting out a huge portion of the marketplace.

    Smart ISP’s use Open GL, which isn’t OS specific.

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