The Price of Gaming in North America

I have nothing negative to say about used game sales. The way I see it, the devs and publishers already made their money on that copy of the game. The original buyer no longer had a use for the game, so they try to get some money out of it. You want to play the game, so you buy it off the seller, taking the risk of it being scratched and unplayable.
 
As an environmentalist, you would see the benefit of recycling games in such a way. Especially in the case where it's an older game that's out of print. However, newer games are constantly being pressed and yet they riddle game shelves with excess copies that no one will ever buy.  Unless the publishers are offsetting carbon emissions from the whole disc creation/packaging/shipping I can't justify this overproduction in any way. I understand these companies want to make money, however, they need to take a look at Chrysler.

 
I grew up in a Canadian city based around the production of everything automotive. Motors, Bumpers, Windshields, Transmissions, and the Vehicles themselves. It was our biggest industry, and one of the only ones (outside of liquor production). There was a Chrysler minivan plant in the heart of the city, and they produced a lot of minivans each year. They were making minivans based off of demand created by the people buying minivans.
 
The problem?  

 How much is too much?
 How much is too much?
All year 'round you could drive by the plant via the expressway and peer into their miles and miles of parking space, and always choked full of vans. The problem was they were producing too many vans and weren't selling enough of them. This was an issue. Why waste the resources to build these things in excess if nobody is buying them? 

Most people that would need a minivan didn't because they already bought one a year or two before. It's not a question of whether they bought it from the dealership or from a used car lot. A brand new minivan can simply be too much money for a working class family, which is who the vehicle is targeted at. So what better way to save money then to buy the minivan used?
 
Fast-forward 15 years later (2007-2008) and look at the situation that Chrysler is in now. Financial disparity! Prior to the financial crisis, the entire North American auto industry was overproducing by approximately 40%. That's just ridiculous! You could argue that the people who were buying used vans, and other vehicles, were the reason that Chrysler is in this situation... OR you could argue that it's their own stupid fault for overproducing for years and years.
 
The logic of the last paragraph makes no sense at all. But when applied to video games, it's completely acceptable. What I mean is people deeming it wrong or un-supportive of the industry when gamers buy games used. This is completely ludicrous. It seems highly unreasonable that something that is so cheaply made should cost $60 (talking about the discs here). A lot of people refuse to put that much money down for a game. They will wait for it to drop in price, find it used, or both. Or maybe they just can't afford $60 for every game that comes along, popular or not. They have to spend wisely.
 
But what happens to all the new copies of games that don't sell, and especially the games that don't sell well? Their either discarded or the price is dropped. And if they still don't sell at those prices? They drop some more.  Seems that companies can afford to sell these games at a lower price... no?  

What if all brand new games cost $40? Would they not sell more copies of all of their games? And would that not surpass the earned money of the same game that sold less, but sold at $60? I think it's highly likely to be more successful at $40. This isn't just about every big title that comes out. I think a lot more titles that aren't as appealing to people, for one reason or another, might do better too. And we are all more likely to spend $40 than $60 on those games.

 Claptrap! How could you?
 Claptrap! How could you?
Look at Borderlands. Certain retailers were selling it at $40 on release day. I actually got extremely lucky when I purchased it. I picked up two copies (one for @Melvargh). These were 2 of the last copies of Borderlands in the city. The game was selling like mad! Everyone was buying it! People that weren't going to bother touching it bought it.. I told them how much it was going to be and they were on board too.

What I'm getting at is that more people could afford more blockbuster titles, and would be interested in more titles that come along unsuspectingly. Isn't that what this is about at the end of the day? Being able to play the new games along side everyone else, most importantly your friends? Being excited about DLC? ($15 for a little content is overpriced too).

So no, I don't look down at people for buying used games. Hell, I do it too. These people show more patience than a lot of other people, waiting for a game to be in a more comfortable price range. Allowing them to decide what the game is worth to them. It's their money and they have to spend it as wisely as possible. Just like the publisher has to be smart with their money.

In conclusion I think publishers and developers could be pleasing more gamers AND making more money by selling their games, and DLC, for a more reasonable price. Yet, they instead charge as much as they can get away with for a single title, or piece of downloadable content and unknowingly suffer for it.
22 Comments