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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"Our industry is going to fall apart," Volition Developer on Used Games Market

If Durall gets his way, used games will be
a thing of the past.
If you ask Volition developer Jameson Durall what he thinks about the used games market, he'll tell you that he's none too pleased with it. In a recent developer blog post at AltDevBlog, Durall expressed his feelings in a post titled "I Feel Used."

Taken from Durall's blog post, "In the end, I fully believe that we have to do something about these issues or our industry is going to fall apart," he said. "People often don't understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don't seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing."

Say WHAT? Dude, most of the gaming demographic is old enough to know that buying new doesn't put any money into the maker's pocket, so please don't insult our intelligence. Most people don't like it when you mistake them for clueless morons. Oh and in case he forgot, selling things used is a perfectly legit business. We've got eBay, Amazon, used car lots and tons of other stuff. The used racket has been legal for eons. When we buy used, we aren't stealing JACK.

Durall is hard at work on some project that we don't divulge the details about that will combat used game sales. He's also in full support of the rumor that Microsoft's next system won't play used games, saying it would be "a fantastic change for our business," when in reality, it would cripple the industry, eliminating buyer options.

This thing may not play used games at all.
Oh, dear...
Look, developers, we know you put a lot of work into your games and don't think that we don't appreciate that. Believe me, we know you work hard. Well, guess what? So do we. We work long, hard hours so we can have the money to play your products. But when you come out whining so often like children because you don't see every nickle and dime, you make it really hard to sympathize with you. That and you want to weed out the middle man entirely so you, the company that made the game are the only option we have to obtain it.

Tell me, Mr. Durall, why is the game industry so special? Tell me why you seemingly have to have every drop of cash we've got to offer for your games? I don't mean to call you a money hound, but that's kinda what you and sound like when you call us pirates and want to eradicate our buying options. Used gaming outlets have been around for a long time and yet the industry still stands. I don't see it toppling anytime soon.

As for Microsoft's next system not playing used games? That could very well be one of the dumbest ideas to ever come from the mind of someone working in this business and believe me, there have been a plethora of stupid ideas in gaming. Not being able to play used games would be more damaging to Microsoft and developers/publishers than anyone else. Why? Do you know how many gamers could easily decide to give these companies the finger by simply boycotting their product? If Microsoft does go this route, they'll just make it that much easier for Sony and Nintendo to clean house in the next generation of consoles. God help the company that puts an exclusive out for Microsoft's next system or anything for that matter.

When we buy a game it's ours. We can do whatever we want with it. We can burn, break it, throw it away or trade it in. It's our choice. Just like we have a choice between a new or used game. Now not everyone feels that $50-60 for a new game is a good deal. Would you feel that your purchase of $60 for a game you breezed through in 6 hours was worth it? Some might say yes, but on the flip side, you'll have those that felt the game's short length didn't warrant so much dough. At times it doesn't even come down to length but the quality of the game itself. I've read posts from gamers that thought a game with gameplay far longer than 6 hours wasn't worth the $60 they spent.

Mr. Durall, have you ever bought anything used? I'm sure you have. Let's apply your way of thinking to every other business out there. No more used anything. Think about how that would turn out. What's that? You don't have the money for a new car? Can't afford to buy all those new movies? That's a shame. If only there was, I don't know, a used market for these things. There is? Whew! That's a relief. Good thing we're not living in Durall's screwed up fantasy world.

I support developers/publishers all the time. When I bought my Wii in 2010, in just one day alone, I gave Nintendo over $300. Heck, I even bought Rayman Origins new, one of the most slept on games of 2011. But I don't always have the funds to shell out for a new game. And what happens when buying a game new is no longer an option? Companies stop manufacturing games over a certain period of time, especially those that are older or performed poorly at retail. If there's no used market, how will we acquire those games?

I love the gaming industry, I really do. Yet out of all the multi-million dollar business, it's the only one that kicks it's toys like a spoiled infant brat that can't have it's way because a used market exists.

Source: GameSpot


dste said...

And breathe... ;-)

The 2nd hand market has been around since the 8bit days and most likely before that (in gaming). People were selling on NES/SMS games, copying and swapping Spectrum/Amstrad/Amiga/Commodore games and it's been the same ever since.

Yes, developers don't get any money from 2nd hand games but they will lose a lot more if they destroy that market. EA are big on whinging about it but they will be the first to moan when less copies of Fifa are sold as people cannot part-exchange last years copy against this years.

This could turn into a lengthy reply but it's late over here so I'll finish with this next paragraph.

The thing that gets me is when games are discontinued or sold in low numbers. How are you supposed to play these games if you don't manage to buy them at full whack at release. That will have a negative effect as it will mean that people are less likely to try out new IP's in case it's really bad and they cannot sell it on.

Reggie White Jr. said...


I meant to mention that in my post, new games that get released in low quantities. These are the hardest games to get. Even come across used copies can be tough.