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Question of the Week: Do Games Industry Professionals Buy Their Games New or Used?
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Question of the Week: Do Games Industry Professionals Buy Their Games New or Used?

October 20, 2006 Article Start Previous Page 3 of 5 Next

I love buying used games because I get more bang for my buck. I always feel like I get a great value and even if the game isn’t great I like the fact that I was able to try something new without having to gamble $50+ dollars. I honestly feel that the $50+ price tag for games is absolute robbery and only serves to shrink our market. Instead of focusing on making a profit through volume selling which has the added benefits of opening up the market and introducing new users, we are focusing on trying to make a profit through selling for a premium. It’s a bad business model, unfair to our consumers, and is what keeps interactive gaming from becoming even more mass market. Used game retailers are providing a service to the gaming community and I hope they continue to provide that service until the industry changes its flawed business model.

Fred Gonzalez, Alien Crusade Interactive

I occasionally buy used titles, but only when I cannot find them new anymore. This happens with great titles that I somehow missed at the time of release. Otherwise I purchase new because I want the developers to see some result for the effort they put forth. I am very concerned about the financial implications of the used market, especially when retailers seem so zealous to encourage this used market. EB/GS often promote used versions of games even when the game is still relatively new, which takes money away from developers in the important initial release stage of the product. This lowers our numbers, making it much more difficult to take risks on innovative titles that may not push thousands upon thousands of copies within a single week (before anyone has a chance to trade used copies in). For a long time I have felt that we should find some sort of middle ground with these retailers. Perhaps a moratorium on the sale of used copies of a title within the first month of its release. Or there could be some sort of profit sharing between the retailers and the publishers of the used titles being moved. I realize that this is a free market and they are permitted to do what they are currently doing, but I feel they should make some sort of concession to use purely in the interest of encouraging creativity and growth within the industry.


While I don't buy used games (I like pristine manuals and complete box contents), the used game market should stimulate some new game buying. If gamers know they can sell their used games later, they're more likely to buy the new games in the first place. So while some gamers are buying exclusively used games (and thus not directly funding the publisher), the existence of that used game market does create some new game buys. An in-depth study would be needed to determine the overall impact of the used game market, but that impact clearly does not have exclusively negative aspects.


If a game is recently released, then I will buy a new copy. If it is an old game, then I will either buy it new or used - depends on the price difference. I am concerned about people buying used copies of recent releases as this does take away money that would go into recouping the cost of developing the game - maybe some sort of revenue percentage of a used game should go to the publisher? Or perhaps games should just be cheaper.


Personally, I prefer to buy games new when I can. If I am buying a used game, chances are that I couldn't find a new copy outside of eBay for a reasonable price. Rarely is the price difference between new and used copies of games large enough to sway me from buying the shiny new copy for a miniscule premium over the old, scratched used copy. Still, I am glad that there is a fairly strong used games market. How else would I be able to buy and play those classic gems in collection if they are no longer in print and available new? Now with digital delivery services, it will be kind of hard to create a used game market... unless you create a new account for each game you purchase and then just resell the account when the game is no longer wanted, but there's probably some little clause in the EULA about reselling accounts. I would like to see more revenues go towards those in the game dev business, but I don't think trying to remove the used games and rental markets is the best way to go about it, especially if you want people to still even think about buying your games. One possible way would be to make good games instead of wondering why everyone is trading in a copy of the X game and/or looking for a cheaper used copy.


I purchase used games, because most games have no added incentive to purchase new. Unfortunately, I would prefer to buy them new, largely because I'm unsatisfied with the retailers that are intended to be "specialty" video game stores, who supplement the majority of their inventory with used copies. However, I seriously question the difference in sales between the smaller retails that carry large stocks of Used games, and the huge retailers.

Mason Dunleavy

I have no problem buying used console games, but it depends on the prices and the publisher involved. If the new game is only $5-10 more I will certainly get the new game 100% of the time. If a game is $50 new and $25 used, I will get the used copy, though I feel it's Gamestop's obligation not to cannibalize their own industry by undercutting new game prices all the time just to make a buck. The decision also heavily depends on the publisher as well, and if I feel they are bettering the game industry. I'm still steamed about the NFL deal, so I only buy used games if I buy them at all. Although used games take a chunk out the developers profits, I'd be infinitely more concerned over services like Gamefly. If this service catches on and becomes mainstream, a single copy of a game will reach 100's of households, cutting out the developers as well as Gamestop.

Josh Graham, Visual Concepts

Used if possible, new ones if I think it's really worth it. Forking over upwards of $80 canadian for a single game is a HUGE risk nowadays...mainly because it seems that a lot of developers/publishers are simply trying to "reinvent the wheel" in stead of taking a risk to put out something new and unique (the "Oh, look, *ANOTHER* half-life clone. Whuptidoo."). No, I'll pass on a game that looks cool from the pics, but gets negative reviews from Joe/Jane Average gamer (I don't put a lot of stock into the 'professional' reviewers more that to get an overall view...for the specifics, I'll go to those actually playing the game; blogs, forums, etc.).


Wow, I'm definitely torn on this issue. As a consumer, I will buy a used product without even thinking twice about it. From the game developer perspective, I can definitely see where that might sting. Perhaps this lends viability to the digital delivery mechanism, whereby there aren't any *used* titles :-P

Joel Martinez

Personally, I always buy my games new. It's just a preference; there are no economic implications involved. As for the question of whether or not used game sales have a serious impact of the industry, well...obviously, it isn't enough to cripple any developers I've heard of. If game companies want to recover the extra revenue, then they need to make new copies of the game more appealing. Simple extras like a soundtrack CD, keychain, or poster would cost little extra to the company, and would not likely make it through one or more ownerships. Having extras like these not only makes the product more desirable to new buyers, but also offers the game an edge over competition.

Joseph Falcone, Sleek Media

Yes I buy used games from time to time older titles primarily. You have to ask though who is making out in this situation, the individual selling the game is making very little, and so what are the incentives for trading in a game(s). For instance a game that retails for 49.95 can be traded in at perhaps a used bookstore and the individual is paid $10.00 and then the game is resold for 19.95. So what is the motivation to sell, or perhaps you trade three games in for one new game. I guess the question should be what is the incentive to sell, since everyone looses except for the reseller and secondary buyer. Just some things to ponder.

Rick Binkley, Jewelry TV

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