Wednesday, July 15, 2009

CrispyGamer Discussing Used Games

Crispy Gamer is having a series of articles right now where they discuss used games and why it's good for developers and publishers alike.  They start off all right, explaining supply and demand and saying that the publisher is basically assigning an arbitrary number to the value of the game and assuming that the median of gamers will pay that amount.  It then goes off the rails.  Basically, they're saying, "Look, if you as a developer want three different people to buy their game for $60 apiece, then go ahead and charge $180 because only one person will pay it and WTF am I really trying to say I am so high on shrooms right now my hands are so HUGE."

Look, I have a better way to explain it from a personal anecdote.  I didn't want to play Super Mario Galaxy because Sunshine sucked so bad that I never thought I could enjoy another Mario game.  Reviews for Galaxy were good, so I took a chance on a used copy that I got on eBay for $40.  It was one of the best games I'd ever played, and when the sequel comes out next year I'm going to buy it on day one.  If my only option for Galaxy would have been the full $50, I probably wouldn't have picked it up and would never be willing to get any new Mario games.  QED.

Most publishers also don't realize the necessity of dropping their prices sooner rather than later.  Am I going to pay full price for a game that's six months old?  No.  Absolutely not.  No one will.  The price on every other piece of electronics goes down appreciably and rapidly.  iPhones now cause $99.  HDTVs cost $600.  It's a fact of life, and one that most people in the electronics field know.  However, most publishers still keep charging full price long after it's a good idea to do so.  They're shooting themselves in the foot over and over and blaming the gamers for not paying for the bullets.

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