Video Games are NOT like other products…
Last year I bought a 2009 Audi A4. Not for the "social" status, but because I needed an AWD car to drive in the Pittsburgh winter. I probably could have splurged and got the 2012 model, but that wasn't that big of a selling point to me. In March of 2012, 2,7 million used cars were sold. (http://usedcars.about.com/od/research/a/An-Analysis-Of-March-2012-Used-Car-Sales.htm) It's safe to say that used cars sales is big business, and it's not the only one. Goodwill generated $2.69 billion in retail sales in 2010, and GameStop made $2.4 billion. I question the video game industries hate towards the used sales of consoles and games.
According to the ESRB, in 2009 the video game industry produced $10.5 billion in revenue, while GameStop was at the $2 billion range. Is this gap really close enough to have the industry threatened? I understand that when GameStop sales used games, none of the profit finds its way back to the producer, or developers. It must eat them up inside knowing that all the money GameStop makes should be in their pockets, or going towards new development, but why do they have this bitterness instead of excitement that someone is buying their game even if it's used? The fact is, that only about half of what GameStop sold in 2011 was actual profit, so why is the industry spending so much more to try and combat used game sales instead of embracing it for more gains? We really need to examine where the money goes when we purchase a game…
I work for them, who reports to them, who was hired by them.
Depending on how a company produces, develops, and sells a game, the consumer is actually paying out to more than one place. The fact is, the gaming industry NEEDS places like GameStop (Software Etc, Electronics Boutique, etc.) as this provides a central hub to sell as many of their products as possible. Places like BestBuy, Wal-Mart, or even Amazon lump all their game sales into electronics, so it's hard to pin point their impact in sales. If a company can develop a game within a subsidiary of their company, it will save more than if it were to outsource to a different company. This is the reason why you see 40 different companies, which all work for places like Sony, EA, Microsoft, etc. Of course it's logical to believe that the industry will be sour if they pay you to sell their games new, than you don't profit share when you sell them used, but did Audi see any money when I bought my car from a BMW dealership? I would venture to say…no. When something is sold used, that's how it goes. It would be quite ironic if GE showed up to your yard sale and asked for their share of that light bulb you sold with that lamp. Not only does the gaming industry lament GameStop for doing this, they are spending MILLIONS of dollars on countermeasures to shut it out completely.
Do as we say, or you cannot play!
Many may think they when they enter in their online code for their new game, it's to grant them "exclusive" content, but really it's to make sure the game you buy stays yours. Once this code is used, it cannot be used again by a different user. Would you buy a used game if have of the content was locked behind a code you couldn't have? Of course not, that's why the industry will tell you to buy the game new, so you have access to the cutting edge stuff. I believe in turn, the game companies offer places like GameStop additional codes, for a fee. What about the person who buys a game from their friend though? Why must the industry penalize consumers for doing this, just so they can bump stock options 1%.
With the talk of newer systems being in development (well it's about time!) there is discussion of making digital only games. I have seen a few articles showing a Playstation AND Xbox system that doesn't even have a disc drive at all (rumors, possibly photoshopped) meaning that they won't have any actual boxed game sales. As of June 2010, 77.3% of the US population had internet access, so would the industry really exclude the other 22.7% so they can cut out used game sales? http://www.internetworldstats.com/am/us.htm
Produce for the Consumer, not for the Profits
We all know that healthy profits = better quality games. Hopefully at some point GameStop and the gaming industry can settle this in a way that gives access to new and used games for consumers that is accepted. What will the next step be, creating a system to condemn sites such as GameFly from "renting' out games? It's bad enough that I have carpal tunnel from entering all these damn codes in, don't punish the consumer because all you care about is profits.