Case closed on the used game issue.
Frankly, thanks to the First-sale doctrine, the case was closed on this issue on day one and is only being kept alive by a bunch of silver spooned products of upper-middle class indulgence (remember when we had a middle class) whose biggest struggle in life was getting up at 6am to catch the school bus after playing Nintendo till 5am.
The First-sale doctrine states that the copyright holder’s right to control the change of ownership of a particular copy ends once ownership of that copy has passed to someone else, as long as the copy itself is not an infringing copy. Meaning, as long as you didn’t bootleg the f—ing thing, if you bought it, YOU OWN IT. Software publishers have long resisted this doctrine with the basic claim in their EULA (End User License Agreements) that their software is licensed and not sold. EVERYONE wants a Free Market until the rules go against them then they want to change the rules in their favor. God bless Americorp, eh?
Do the descendents of Édouard Manet make anything off his paintings when they are resold for millions? Funny how that works.
Most gamers just want to play games and they want to play a lot of games.
Regardless of the legalities, the one thing these greedy, short-sighted software engineers utterly fail to recognize is that the sale of used games is what drives the purchase of new games.
Since the early 90′s the gaming industry has had a complete and total disrespect for the gaming community and often treats their paying customers like the step-child no one wants. No other industry could treat its customer base so appallingly and remain in business. The gaming industry is thriving right now. THRIVING. They won’t be standing in bread lines anytime soon. Even so, Volition design director Jameson Durall believes that “people are really hurting him when they purchase a used game.” Well Mr. Durall, I’d trade your hurt in this economy for mine in a heartbeat.
I’m a collector, the only time I ever sold anything I collected was when I was homeless and hungry. I sold my entire VHS Britcom collection (amongst other things) for next to nothing. I had to eat. But under normal, non-extenuating circumstances I would never sell my old games. Thanks to the economy I am making less now than what I did in the early 90′s and I have the every-day bills (rent, gas and electric) of someone living in 2012. Because we cancelled cable the moment the signal went digital I can buy an Xbox Live subscription (when it’s on sale) and 2 or 3 new games a year (if I’m lucky.) In order to enjoy my gaming hobby I have to make budget choices. My wife and I rarely eat out and when we do we have a coupon. We buy used movies or use Red Box over going to the theater. We walk to the supermarket. I’m not whining or complaining about my situation. I’ve been homeless before, I’m truly happy to be fed and have a warm place to sleep. Being able to game is a blessing for me, one that I am veraciously grateful for. I just want to illustrate that my reality and the reality of people that make money off my reality are obviously disparate realities. I wouldn’t wish what I went through in life on anyone, but maybe these game developers need to be humbled a bit.
Most gamers just want to play games and they want to play a lot of games. There are many others like me (on a strict budget) and they are only able to fuel their gaming addictions by playing new games quickly, reselling them at a decent price and throwing another $20-$30 dollars on top of it to purchase another new game. These people are one unfortunate incident from sacrificing the latest and greatest from their lives entirely.
These crony-capitalists need to start focusing on the profits they are making rather than the profits they believe they should be making.
The gaming industry is under the impression that digital distribution will be their saving grace to all these “lost” profits. I got news for them, unless they reduce the price of a new game to about $30, digital distribution will be their downfall. These crony-capitalists need to start focusing on the profits they are making rather than the profits they believe they should be making.
Let me tell you a little parable about Atlanta. Atlanta hosted the Olympics in 1996. It was all the rage at the time. The city planners and marketers had huge plans to elevate the city to world wide upper-crust status (with 500 cheerleaders and 30 pickup trucks.) They started building like mad (everything except for sidewalks, they didn’t start building sidewalks till 2005.) Apartment complexes went up in months (and burned down in seconds.) 500k houses popped up everywhere (when most people were making under 50k and hadn’t had a decent raise in years.) The NEWS media told the residents of Atlanta it would be a fantastic idea for everyone to take a vacation or just stay home during the Olympics to make room for the visiting European delegations and help keep traffic bearable. They raised the price of a can of Coke to $6 and charged admission to shopping malls.
The one thing the feckless leadership of Atlanta was far too dense to realize is that Europeans, the type that travel across the world to events like the Olympics and World Cup, aren’t f—ing stupid enough to pay $6 for a can of Coke, never mind admission to a shopping mall. Honestly, what can you expect from people that name every other street Peachtree something? So, two weeks into the Olympics, the media once again took to the airwaves and begged the residents of Atlanta to go out and enjoy the festivities because the locals here ARE stupid enough to pay $6 for a Coke and admission to a shopping mall.
Atlanta was focused on the profits it thought it was entitled to instead of the profits it could realistically get and thus the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics went down in history as merely being “exceptional” instead of “the best Olympics ever.”