Video game publishers have been eyeing the used games market with much jealousy. While used game retailers such as GameStop walk to the bank with big profits thanks to the margin on used game sales, the only cut game publishers and developers get is from the sale of new games.
To combat this, publishers such as Electronic Arts and Sony have come up with post-point-of-sale online purchasable items that gamers are incentivized to pay for. Some feel that this sort of system diminishes the resale value of video games on the second-hand market, as a part of the game provided to the original owner is no longer useable by the next owner. Obviously, this doesn't have consumers or retailers very pleased.
"The person you're pissing off the most is the consumer," Don McCabe of Chipsworld MD told GamesIndustry.biz. "This affects [them] directly - they pay the same amount of money and yet the resale value is much reduced. From a retailer's point of view, they'll just readjust [the price] bearing in mind you have to buy the voucher."
While EA will benefit from its Project Ten Dollar sales from used buyers, retailers warn that the diminished resale value of such games might actually hurt the sale of new games.
Marc Day, CEO of SwapGame, points out that the majority of customers who trade in used games do so to help in the purchase of a new game that they could otherwise not afford.
"EA's Project Ten Dollar move is aiming to stifle pre-owned games sales, but what they don't factor in is the damage this could have for them in relation to new sales," said Day. "The move to DLC exclusive content is an interesting step, and this obviously provides the publisher with another revenue stream. This move will definitely make the game less valuable on the pre-owned market, so it will be sold cheaper, meaning customers will get less value when trading in."
What do you think of the recent moves made by game publishers to mitigate the supposed lost revenues from second-hand market sales of video games?