With the economy seemingly in the toilet, budgets may be tighter for families this year going into the holiday season. I think with the downturn in the economy, more gamers may be looking to purchase used games, instead of new games. I've bought used games. I've traded games for store credit, and the games I traded, were then sold as used. Even right now, I'm a member at Goozex.com, where you "trade" used games with other gamers.
Many people have lost their job in the last year, and some are still uncertain if they'll be employed tomorrow, or even next week. The video game industry hasn't been immune to the lay offs, and it's seen increasing numbers this year, of publishers/developers laying staff off, some going bankrupt, and even the doors closing to development studios.
Here are a few links discussing lay offs/studio closures:
This year, seeing lists of studio closures and reports of employees being laid off, a question crossed my mind, "What if gamers didn't purchase used games on current generation consoles, if the games were still being published? Would the development studios still close or the lay offs still be necessary?"
I don't think the answer is a simple, but I believe there's at least one legitimate argument against buying used games that are actually being published:
1) If you buy used games, the developers/publishers don't make money on them.
When I go to a coffee shop, I don't ask if I can buy a "used" bagel or "used" cup of coffee. Why should I do the same with my games? From a developers perspective, I wonder if they think that me buying a used game is like me using the developer for work(sometimes years of work), and not paying them a single dime for any of the work they did. I know I want to be payed for the work I do, so why shouldn't a developer or publisher? If you work for 40 hours in the week, then your boss tells you, "Thanks for the work, but I'm going pay somebody else for the 40 hours of work you already did." That wouldn't make any sense to us.
Isn't that scenario, just like us going to GameStop, only we are the boss(as the consumer) telling the developers, "Thanks for your years of work, but I'm buying it used and paying GameStop for all the labor you did, you won't make a dime."
I think it's an interesting thought, and one that we maybe don't think often about.
The next time you have a used game in your hand, think, "Is it possible that it might be leading to the next layoff or studio closure?"
What do you think about this topic? Do you think the purchase of used games is good or bad for the video game industry? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!