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To support used, or to not support used, that is the question. At least lately it is. It seems anytime someone on a gaming site wants to stir up controversial takes back and forth, this is the topic chosen, with the most recent being between the IGN Colin's, Moriarty and Campbell respectively. Now they all bring up valid points for both sides and argue them far more convincingly than I ever could, so I won't even try. What I haven't seen discussed seems to be an obvious omission of thought on the part of the developers. One that would eliminate the need for gamers to take sides either for or against them while still allowing the retailers of the world to have their cake as well. What I'm talking about is something completely different than the black and white side of the coins developers, retailers and gaming journalists have been arguing the last month. Although where I'll start is at the same place, something every company needs and wants more of, Money.
Make no mistake, money is all this is about and developers are justified in wanting all they can get. Games cost more to make now than they ever have and it will only become more expensive with the new generation on the horizon. Also, games are cheaper now than they ever have been which makes the need to make all the money they can to stay in business all the more important. Do some research and check it out, you'll be amazed at how good we have it as gamers. This all leads to where the root of the battle is between game developers and retailers. Need, greed, call it what you want, but where developers are wrong is that they want to butt in line on a business that has been around for as long as we've all been playing games and it's pissing a lot of people off. Every person has a right to buy a used game as long as they are being sold. Whether it is through retailers or on Kijiji, used games will always be sold until the entire industry goes digital. Recent attempts have been made to make it more difficult on the purchaser of a second hand game, namely in the form of online passes and I see no problem with that. Rage all you want, but I see nothing wrong with charging someone a small fee in order to use a portion of a game you didn't pay the creators for in the first place. It's actually very smart. But developers are missing the point and in turn seem blind in how to avoid this potentially ugly scenario.
The way to solve their money problem is PRICE! The reason people buy used games is because retail releases stay full value for far too long. Look on the shelves the next time you are at your local Gamestop and count to yourself, how many two year old games there are still being sold for their full value from release? No wonder people buy these games at reduced, used prices and all the while developers want to cry about not getting enough of the pie when the solution, or at least the start of it, is staring them right in the face. If developers and publishers truly want to get more of their self entitled share, they need to get ahead of the curve and be proactive in pricing their games according to demand. Every other industry does this do they not? There is no reason for a game that is six to eight months old to still be full price when it isn't selling. The responsibility is on the game publishers to look at the numbers and reduce their games accordingly. Now, you won't be eliminating used game purchases entirely because that's basically impossible and probably naive, but what you are doing is creating a better option for your prospective consumer to buy new instead. A used game that is 30$ as opposed to new at 59$ is an easy decision, but a used game at 25$ and a new game at 30$ is a little different.
Now Jason, you ask, couldn't Gamestop just keep reducing their prices to make their used games more enticing? Well they could, but at what point does reducing your margin become poor business? They'll come a point where Gamestop won't be able to reduce those games low enough and still make money, in turn, this will make their offers on trade ins lower and lower, thus reducing their used game library. The publisher only need to find that number they can live with and there has to be one because to them, it's all profit on a new game purchase when compared with nothing on a used game sale from retailers.
TLDR version: publishers need to get ahead of retailers and lower their prices quicker to make a new purchase more enticing to consumers than the used one. Because at a certain price point, Gamestop won't be able to keep up and 30 dollars for a game is better than nothing for a game for the creators, at least it should be.
I don't assume this will solve the entire industry's issues either, but you have to start somewhere and what better place to start than with what I've mentioned. That is, if they are actually hurting for money like they say they are.