Defeating Used Games: Why Incentives to Discourage Pre-Owned Gaming Are Awful

Do you buy your games second-hand? Then you are a complete cheapskate and the scum of the gaming industry. You’re worse than any pirate sailing the high seas of warez. Or at least, that’s what publishers want us to think. Whether you have the right to sell your purchased products is irrelevant: selling used games damages the games industry. When a new game is traded in or sold to a game store, that money is then kept by the retailer rather than reaching the hands of the hardworking developer who spent blood, sweat, and tears on creating their pride and joy. The same game could be bought and sold numerous times, and it can be argued that those purchases are a potential sale that has been stolen from the game companies themselves.

Indeed, you don’t hear the music or film industry complaining about their second-hand losses, but does creating an album or a movie compare to the amount of money and effort spent developing a Triple-A game title? As always, the consumer decides whether a game is worth its $50 price tag and often chooses a pre-owned price instead.


Rubbish Incentives for New Purchases

Game companies already utilize many methods to gain extra cash after releasing their games in downloadable content (DLC), and there are now incentives to buy new. Pre-order bonuses seem popular now with many games, including codes for additional DLC or specific in-game bonuses. We’ll look at some of the rubbish incentives publishers offer to encourage new purchases and what alternatives would be more welcome.

Exclusive DLC & Pre-Order Bonuses: Gamers aren’t new to the idea of receiving bonuses within collectors editions and the like, but more recently, we’ve seen a lot of extra freebies within new games or as part of pre-ordering a title. Most of this is in-game DLC, such as new weapons and armor, new maps, or other cosmetic additions that don’t add much to the game. Most of this stuff you could probably live without. For example, I don’t need the Blood Dragon Armor in Dragon Age Origins, and I can live without a tattoo set in Fable 3; thank you very much. I would go as far as to say that DLC armor is one of the most pointless examples of a DLC incentive ever. Although perhaps not as empty as the Horse Armor from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Roberto Brock
the authorRoberto Brock
Snowboarder, traveler, DJ, Swiss design-head and HTML & CSS lover. Doing at the nexus of art and purpose to develop visual solutions that inform and persuade. I'm a designer and this is my work. Introvert. Coffee evangelist. Web buff. Extreme twitter advocate. Avid reader. Troublemaker.