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Used games: should we feel bad about buying them?

Lord JezoLord Jezo Registered User regular
edited April 2008 in Games and Technology
When it comes to games, PC, console, whatever, should we feel bad if we buy them used? The publishers get nothing and the only people that profit are the stores selling them, or if they are private sales then the individual who sells them.

When it comes to games that did not sell very well when they were new, games that most people over looked, should people not buy them used? The devs get no support, the numbers don't go up, and the view of success is not raised, everyone buys the used copies and they get nothing.

Should we buy new when possible and then just not get games until the new price comes down to something affordable instead of trying to save money and get used?

--

I ask because I want to get some stuff off Steam but the prices are a tad higher than getting used off Ebay or whatever, should I feel bad about skipping a "new" Steam copy, which is a sale for the publisher and a mark in their book, and not get the used ones which someone already bought?

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    ChanceChance Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Cheaper is better for me, the consumer. Maybe not in the long-run-see-the-whole-picture way, but in the end cheaper = win. That's the whole story.

    Basically if it's not an Atlus release I won't be able to find in two months, I ain't payin' full price. Well... maybe for GTA 4 too.

    Chance on
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    UncleSporkyUncleSporky Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Game companies certainly aren't helping any with the discussion I see bandied about.

    Who was it I heard talking about disks being licensed to the original owner only and it being illegal/impossible to run software on another system? Was it Sony? Screw that. If I can sell a car I can sell a game.

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    SilentCoconutSilentCoconut Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yeah, you should feel bad about buying them. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, though. If a game isn't worth full price to you, then better you buy it used (or rent it) then not play it at all. At the same time, if you can pay $5-10 extra and see that your cash goes to the publisher, then why not?

    SilentCoconut on
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    EndaroEndaro Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    For me, it depends on the game and who made it. If its a trashy game that I'm getting for quick kicks, I don't mind used. Doubly so if I don't hold the developers or publishers in high regard. If it's a high quality game that I value and cherish, or if I value and cherish the publisher/developer of said game, I always buy new. I've always viewed it as kind of a sign of respect to the game. It costs more, but I'm always happier with the decision.

    Besides, used games are always in poorer quality and I like knowing no one has used my game before me.

    Endaro on
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    WitchsightWitchsight Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I am a hunter / gatherer. Buying anything new isnt fun in my eyes... its only worth getting if i can get lucky enough to catch a used gem in the wild.

    The money i save is off the hook.

    Witchsight on
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    Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    While I feel that companies like EB/Gamestop are having a negative effect on the gaming industry by pushing used game sales, I also believe that the sale and purchase of used merchandise is an important consumer right.

    [Edit] Here's how I apply this ethic. There will be times when I know I can get a used game for $5 less at EB than I could new from Steam, but I'll buy the game off steam because I feel like that I'm positively influencing the game developers and publishers by voting with my wallet. That said, if there's a large price margin between the used/new prices, or I can't even find the game new, then I'll pinch my pennies and go for the cheaper alternative. I also try to buy used games from local mom/pop video game stores, instead of EB, to try to stimulate the local market.

    To sum it up, I buy new when I can afford to and I avoid EB/Gamestop like the plague.

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Blizzard and Atlus will easily get my money for games new.
    And first party nintendo stuff

    Hell, sometimes a couple times (D2)

    but i don't mind used games.

    redfenix on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    If publishers made a more concerted effort to give games a longer shelf life and lower prices, I might start feeling bad for them for losing a small percentage of their sales to used sales. But they don't do that so whatever.

    YodaTuna on
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    While I feel that companies like EB-Gamestop are having a negative effect on the gaming industry by pushing used game sales, I also believe that the sale and purchase of used merchandise is an important consumer right.

    ebay

    redfenix on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    No you should not feel bad about it.

    LewieP on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Endaro wrote: »
    Besides, used games are always in poorer quality and I like knowing no one has used my game before me.

    Man I can't count the number of games I've bought in like new condition game as a used game 10 - 15 bucks less than a new one.

    YodaTuna on
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    solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.

    solsovly on
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    SwashbucklerXXSwashbucklerXX Swashbucklin' Canuck Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I pay what a game is worth to me. I'm happy to pay full price for games I know I'm going to love, but most games aren't worth $60-$70 to me. I'm patient enough to wait for the price to come down, but barring that I'll buy used. I'd prefer to buy a new game a year or two after it comes out at a lower price, which is what I generally do for PC games. The console market doesn't seem to work that way, though. Either the price never goes down or the games just disappear, so I buy used.

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    BlackDoveBlackDove Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The whole "You are killing the industry because you're not giving me money" is a myth perpetrated by losers.

    Look at any of the successful companies making a good chunk-a-change on either very good games or on proper chokehold on the market for the genre.

    Bioware doesn't need any excuses like "OMG WHAR MONAYS?!" because they make good shit that gets around which creates demand and more and more copies are needed to be produced to satisfy it. Their game is played, sold, they win, gamers win if the game is good, all around greatness (no matter how you obtain it).

    I loved the recent game company whose name I don't even remember, the CEO saying how piracy on the PC is responsible for them shutting down.

    It's like "bitch, nobody wants to play your goddamn games, that's the reason you're going out of business".

    Now, one could say there are exceptions. Like Psychonauts. But again, I doubt piracy and used purchases had anything to do with the game tanking. It's a great game, just doesn't appeal to a wide audience. And so sales suffer.

    BlackDove on
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    Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    redfenix wrote: »
    While I feel that companies like EB-Gamestop are having a negative effect on the gaming industry by pushing used game sales, I also believe that the sale and purchase of used merchandise is an important consumer right.

    ebay

    I'm not sure I understand. You're saying that eBay has a negative impact on the VG industry, or that eBay is a venue where I can exorcise my right to buy/sell used property? Both would be true, I guess.

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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    h8b1llg8tsh8b1llg8ts Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I have to admit on living on used games. If a game is so-so or a franchise has losts it's way I will turn to that used game when it goes for less then $20.

    I would have to say 85% of my modern gaming library is used. If not more.

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    Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    No... no you shouldn't. Is this really up for debate?

    Mace1370 on
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    taliosfalcontaliosfalcon Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    solsovly wrote: »
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.
    exactly what I clicked on the thread to say, buying used games is fine. Supporting gamestop, well thats an entirely different can of worms

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    JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    No we should not. That was easy.

    JihadJesus on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    At Uni, I used to love browsing the shelves of pre-owned games to try and pick up a bargain, although this was largely games that had been out for a while and were considerably cheaper. When you get the likes of a new release being £40 and pre-owned being £35, screw that, it's no difference.
    Now that I've got money coming in and I'm not on as tight a budget, I like to buy new wherever possible to feel like I'm supporting the industry in some way.

    darleysam on
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    BarcardiBarcardi All the Wizards Under A Rock: AfganistanRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Ever since these past 3 years or so when all of these 60$+ games that are really only 5 hours long i cant say i give two shits about buying used. In fact i am about a year behind the "development cycle" just so i can buy all the best games for 20$.

    Barcardi on
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    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The reason I HATE buying used games is because they always slap that USED!!!!!one!!! sticker on the front, sides, and on the instruction manual (dramatization). It's incredibly annoying to not be able to see the title of the game from the side because someone at GS decided to put the USED sticker on the corner.

    urahonky on
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    Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    BlackDove wrote: »
    The whole "You are killing the industry because you're not giving me money" is a myth perpetrated by losers.

    Man, you're gonna need to back that up with numbers. Piracy is a big deal, and while buying/selling used games isn't illegal, ignoring its effects on the industry would be unwise. Just imagine how Free Radical would've felt if EB had actually gone through with their Haze deal.

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I will add this though -

    I prefer to buy new, and would be more inclined to wait for a price drop of the new version than buy used.

    LewieP on
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    Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Even if used games were killing the industry (and they're not) you can't prevent people and businesses from reselling merchandise that they own, so what's the point?

    Mace1370 on
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    slacktronslacktron Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I am a cheap bastard, so know where I'm coming from when I say you shouldn't feel a shred of guilt. Not even a little. Used games are fine.

    If the game had released at the price you're seeing it used, you would have bought it, right? But you couldn't afford it at its release price, so you had to wait. All that time you were in danger of spoilers possibly ruining the game for you. You could not participate in discussions that were fresh and new as a wave of gamers were experiencing the game for the first time.

    That's the price you paid by not buying new. If that doesn't mean a hill of beans to you, by all means, get it used.

    The only caveat I would add is that you should ensure you get value for your money. Buying off of eBay may be cheaper, but if the disk is scratched or unusable, even a benevolent seller will charge you shipping fees and time to return it. Plus, odds are you'll need the disk in your drive in order to play. Steam solves both of those problems, and in my opinion is worth the extra $5 overhead.

    Not because of any new/used principle, but simply because it adds value.

    slacktron on
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    KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    BlackDove wrote: »
    The whole "You are killing the industry because you're not giving me money" is a myth perpetrated by losers.

    Man, you're gonna need to back that up with numbers. Piracy is a big deal, and while buying/selling used games isn't illegal, ignoring its effects on the industry would be unwise. Just imagine how Free Radical would've felt if EB had actually gone through with their Haze deal.

    Did you see the Press release that the head of Stardock gave?

    Hell even if you didn't, look at fucking Stardock. Do they have anything in place to prevent piracy of their games? Fuck no. Do they release on consoles because "PC GAMING IS DYING BECAUSE OF USED/PIRATED GAMES"? No. Do they still sell like crazy and make enough money to continue to be a PC-only company? Fuck yeah.

    It hurts the industry, but if a company goes out of business chances are it's not because of teh pirates, it's because no one fucking wanted to buy their game.

    Khavall on
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    Nitsuj82Nitsuj82 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Barcardi wrote: »
    Ever since these past 3 years or so when all of these 60$+ games that are really only 5 hours long i cant say i give two shits about buying used. In fact i am about a year behind the "development cycle" just so i can buy all the best games for 20$.

    +2

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    chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    BlackDove wrote: »
    The whole "You are killing the industry because you're not giving me money" is a myth perpetrated by losers.

    Man, you're gonna need to back that up with numbers. Piracy is a big deal, and while buying/selling used games isn't illegal, ignoring its effects on the industry would be unwise. Just imagine how Free Radical would've felt if EB had actually gone through with their Haze deal.

    Did you see the Press release that the head of Stardock gave?

    Hell even if you didn't, look at fucking Stardock. Do they have anything in place to prevent piracy of their games? Fuck no. Do they release on consoles because "PC GAMING IS DYING BECAUSE OF USED/PIRATED GAMES"? No. Do they still sell like crazy and make enough money to continue to be a PC-only company? Fuck yeah.

    It hurts the industry, but if a company goes out of business chances are it's not because of teh pirates, it's because no one fucking wanted to buy their game.

    [Devil's advocate]Perhaps part of the Stardock issue is that they make games that aren't very high on a pirates list, anyway. Download a copy of shooter #23? Sure! Of space RTS? Probably not. [/devil's advocate]

    chamberlain on
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    Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Khavall wrote: »
    BlackDove wrote: »
    The whole "You are killing the industry because you're not giving me money" is a myth perpetrated by losers.

    Man, you're gonna need to back that up with numbers. Piracy is a big deal, and while buying/selling used games isn't illegal, ignoring its effects on the industry would be unwise. Just imagine how Free Radical would've felt if EB had actually gone through with their Haze deal.

    Did you see the Press release that the head of Stardock gave?

    Hell even if you didn't, look at fucking Stardock. Do they have anything in place to prevent piracy of their games? Fuck no. Do they release on consoles because "PC GAMING IS DYING BECAUSE OF USED/PIRATED GAMES"? No. Do they still sell like crazy and make enough money to continue to be a PC-only company? Fuck yeah.

    It hurts the industry, but if a company goes out of business chances are it's not because of teh pirates, it's because no one fucking wanted to buy their game.

    Hey now, I'm not saying that the piracy/used games combination is "teh dooming" the industry. Far from it. I'm just saying that the issue is usually more complicated than "You suck, so you're going out of business."

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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    FalloutFallout GIRL'S DAY WAS PRETTY GOOD WHILE THEY LASTEDRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I do not feel bad about getting video games at low prices.

    Fallout on
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    SlicerSlicer Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    solsovly wrote: »
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.
    exactly what I clicked on the thread to say, buying used games is fine. Supporting gamestop, well thats an entirely different can of worms

    How so? Buying a used game from some Mom & Pop video game store has the same effect towards the industry as buying a used game from Gamestop.

    Slicer on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I usually don't care one way or another. In general I tend to buy my games new, especially if I want to get my hands on a decent map / manual / whatever. Trade ins have usually been treated like crap, and often have ripped up covers and manuals and stuff. And the discs look as if they were attacked by a rottweiler for 20 minutes before being dragged back to the owner so that they could give it a few fingerprint autographs on the work.

    I guess that means that in general if it's a game I'm not too interested in keeping I don't mind going 2nd hand. Usually games drop in price quite quickly anyway, so I'm finding this less of an issue these days as it is, ESPECIALLY now that I do a lot of my buying on Steam.

    But on moral grounds? Hah, no. Right of re-sale is fundamental, I don't care what the devs say. It's one of the things that initially kept me away from Steam as well to begin with. But I guess I see Steam as more providing a service than an individual product, in the sense of easy accessibility wherever you want it without needing the disc, un-intrusive upgrades, Community etc. etc. And Valve actually treat the customer as if they're paying for a licence to play the game by not demanding stupid stuff like one download only or other stupid crap you see other companies try to enforce.

    tl;dr : If I avoid 2nd hand games, it sure as heck isn't because I "feel bad" about it. There's nothing to feel bad about, and if a company feels that they can't make money where right of re-sale is a fundamental part of the market then they should change their business model.

    Authors deal with libraries and 2nd hand bookstores. DVD sales have a MUCH more prevalent 2nd hand market. I can't say I see either of those disappearing any time soon either.

    subedii on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I will also add this -

    Just because we as individuals have no need to feel bad about buying used games does not mean that there are no problems with video games retail industries, and it does not mean that there is nothing that we can do to improve the situation for gamers and developers.

    LewieP on
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    darleysamdarleysam On my way to UKRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Slicer wrote: »
    solsovly wrote: »
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.
    exactly what I clicked on the thread to say, buying used games is fine. Supporting gamestop, well thats an entirely different can of worms

    How so? Buying a used game from some Mom & Pop video game store has the same effect towards the industry as buying a used game from Gamestop.

    That's why they're talking about supporting Gamestop. If you're buying it from them, thy get your money. If you buy it from Mom & Pop, Gamestop don't get your money.

    darleysam on
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    Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Slicer wrote: »
    solsovly wrote: »
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.
    exactly what I clicked on the thread to say, buying used games is fine. Supporting gamestop, well thats an entirely different can of worms

    How so? Buying a used game from some Mom & Pop video game store has the same effect towards the industry as buying a used game from Gamestop.

    That depends if you count the brick/mortar distribution model as being part of The Industry. Supporting retailers other than EB/Gamestop means a more diverse market, which benefits everybody.

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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    Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    darleysam wrote: »
    Slicer wrote: »
    solsovly wrote: »
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.
    exactly what I clicked on the thread to say, buying used games is fine. Supporting gamestop, well thats an entirely different can of worms

    How so? Buying a used game from some Mom & Pop video game store has the same effect towards the industry as buying a used game from Gamestop.

    That's why they're talking about supporting Gamestop. If you're buying it from them, thy get your money. If you buy it from Mom & Pop, Gamestop don't get your money.

    That wasn't really his point.

    In any case, I honestly don't see why so many people consider Gamestop to be teh evil. Do they charge ridiculous amounts for used games? Sure. Don't buy from them if you hate it so much.

    Mace1370 on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    I will also add this -

    Just because we as individuals have no need to feel bad about buying used games does not mean that there are no problems with video games retail industries, and it does not mean that there is nothing that we can do to improve the situation for gamers and developers.

    The line I have to draw though is when devs start piping up about how the 2nd hand industry is killing them when books and DVD's have the same issue, if not worse. I mean, what the heck is a library except a government sanctioned organisation where you can make personal use of copyrighted works of art for free? How on EARTH did J K Rowling survive?

    EDIT: I won't deny that it helps to purchase from a more direct route. But ultimately I don't feel they have any right to complain about this. This is not breaking the law or somehow playing against the rules. Yes 3rd party distributors make all the profit from a 2nd hand purchase. But honestly, if a title is selling well, I have a hard enough time finding it in the 2nd hand section as it is most of the time because people are buying the copies. And if they aren't willing to spend the extra cash at that stage to purchase an unopened copy due to lack of availability, then I don't feel anything else will either.

    subedii on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    I will also add this -

    Just because we as individuals have no need to feel bad about buying used games does not mean that there are no problems with video games retail industries, and it does not mean that there is nothing that we can do to improve the situation for gamers and developers.

    The line I have to draw though is when devs start piping up about how the 2nd hand industry is killing them when books and DVD's have the same issue, if not worse. I mean, what the heck is a library except a government sanctioned organisation where you can make personal use of copyrighted works of art for free? How on EARTH did J K Rowling survive?

    Authors get paid to have their books in the library system.

    Æthelred on
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    Drunk_caterpillarDrunk_caterpillar Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Mace1370 wrote: »
    That wasn't really his point.

    In any case, I honestly don't see why so many people consider Gamestop to be teh evil. Do they charge ridiculous amounts for used games? Sure. Don't buy from them if you hate it so much.

    Well, I mean, you kind of answered your own question there. To elaborate though, people usually take umbrage with EB/Gamestop because of:
    - Emphasis on pre-orders
    - Emphasis on strategy guides
    - Emphasis on used sales over new sales
    - Near monopoly on the market
    - Game-gutting policy
    - Customer service
    - Stocking policy re: non-mainstream games

    At least, that's how I understand it anyway.

    Drunk_caterpillar on
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