If Used Games Are A Thing Of The Past, Build Me A Time Machine ASAP!
The video game industry as a whole is one of the largest forms of consumed entertainment in the world. Each individual gamer purchases four or more video games every year, each game priced at the same $60. Seven out of ten gamers will also purchase downloadable content, or buy a few items from an in-game microtransaction store. The most bought downloadable content package belongs to the Call Of Duty franchise, where over 85% of all COD owners have purchased two or more downloadable content packs. Each individual pack is priced at $14.99 USD, and four packs are released per game iteration, making the total value of an individual COD game to be $120 USD.
What does that all mean?
With the popularity of downloadable content and in-game micro-purchases, the industry will attempt to take advantage of this growing trend. It’s plausible for the next generation of video game consoles, namely the PlayStation and Xbox, to completely rely on premium downloadable content and services as their primary form of revenue. The problem is, a large number of used video games currently exist on open market, with stores such as GameStop specializing in the sale of used platforms and video games titles.
The sale of used video games does not directly benefit the game publishers or developers, as they see no revenue from the sales. So, rather than to complain about their lack of an extra yacht, they’ve come up with the plan to ‘lock’ a video game to a certain online account, essentially eliminating the used game market entirely. You would be unable to share or sell your video game to a friend, as that friend would then have to purchase a license key to use said game on his game console.
Is this truly how the future of gaming will operate? Well, chances are, the answer to that question is: kinda.
The video game industry has one goal, and that is to make as much money as they possibly can. To ‘milk’ franchises until consumers realize the game is playing them, and move on to something new. This is how both the music and movie industries operate as well, with constant sequels and reused melodies until consumers are bored and tired. Money is the key motivator in nearly all entertainment industries, and even though I absolutely despise the act of greed, the greed of both Sony and Microsoft may actually be our miniature salvation.
Ever since the first rumor of the next generation preventing used games from being played sprang to the digital web, gamers everywhere went into a near frenzy of rage and annoyance. Some gamers have even threatened to avoid the next generation of gaming consoles if used games ceased to function. These are some pretty stern words, and words that both Sony and Microsoft are surely well aware of. Although there is still a chance that some form of used game restrictions are to be active in the next generation, it is very unlikely that both companies will completely enforce a platform where only unused games can be played. Doing so would be a near suicide for the game industry as a whole, and both Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation may fail to grasp the same amount of market share both brands have been spoiled with in the past.
When it comes down to making money, you must listen to the reactions of the consumers who buy your products. Poor reactions and widespread negativity tends to result in fewer total sales, which in itself relates to less money. So although the rumor that both next generation video game consoles will be unable to play used video games may not be true, some form of virtual restrictions are likely to be applied in a much smaller and far less noticeable scale.
To think, if not for the gamers reacting in such a hostile way to the rumor, we might have actually said goodbye to the used video game market for good.
Thank God some sheep have brains, or else we’d all be living in a cage of marketing madness and corrupted beliefs. Oh, wait…