Used video games have been around since the early â€™80s. But they werenâ€™t a problem in the eyes of developers until the middle of the decade, at which point game sales werenâ€™t growing as fast as they used to.
Rather than blame the safe creative bets, bloated budgets, and $10 HD surcharge (yes, many games carry an MSRP of $60 these days) for the decline, developers set their sights on used game sales. â€œWhen the gameâ€™s bought used we get cheated,â€ echoed one senior official this week, the latest in a long line of whining.
In light of complaints, some game makers are including single use â€œunlock codesâ€ in factory sealed games, which they have every right to do. Dumb, but legal.
Still, imagine if other tangible goods started stripping features at resale. For example, â€œUnless you buy this house new, weâ€™ll section off a part of the home behind a cement wall.â€ Or, â€œTo see the end of this DVD, youâ€™ll need to enter your single use unlock code.â€ Or, â€œPower steering wonâ€™t work in this car unless purchased new.â€
Is that what game-makers are really after? Is that serving the customer and engendering them to your brand? Do video games really expect immunity from the resale of packaged goods, even though thatâ€™s the right they transfer to consumers when selling merchandise? Because if so, thatâ€™s incredibly backwards. Unrealistic. Hypocritical. Ignorant.
Obviously the industry is still run by insecure nerds.â€”Smooth Harold