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Power Member - Level 8
Over the last few years the topic of used games has been very... interesting. It's painfully obvious that publishers and developers aren't too fond of the used game market and season passes have made the idea of buying a used game that requires online very difficult. Not to mention that both the PlayStation 4 and the new Xbox have had more than their fair share of rumors regarding the inability to play used games.
I will admit that for the longest time I really couldn't have cared less about used games. I never really saw used games as anything more than cheaper versions of games. I made it a point to (whenever possible) buy a game new. I always thought it was much better to have a new "clean" game than a game with those damn stickers that just don't come off and have the word "used" prominently displayed (yeah I was weird about that). However I did always love seeing a cheaper version of a game that I wanted whether it was a week or a year old. As of late though, used games have become much more prominent in my gaming life.
Some of my most recent purchases had got me thinking that used games are something we cannot lose. As of late I have had a real interest in buying games that I have missed out on in the past few generations. I have scoured many retro gaming stores and have probably spent way too much money on games ranging from the Super Nintendo to the PlayStation 2. But I love experiencing these old games that I was either too young to enjoy or too oblivious to catch. However, until recently I missed something that has been around me this entire time. All these games I have been buying have been used games.
All of these gems that I have been collecting over the last few months aren't games that are still in production, they are all USED games that gamers or whoever bought and enjoyed but now they are onto something new and have sold these amazing games. So now guys like me who are looking for some retro games they missed out on or maybe just trying to go on a nostalgia trip pick up those games and experience the fun the previous owner did.
Now imagine if this is all gone.
Now let's do some hypothetical thinking. Imagine that the PlayStation 4 decides to attack the used game market and disable the ability to play used games on their console. Now let's also say that I miss out on a game like Infamous: Second Son or Watch Dogs and have an urge to play it a good few years after their releases. I'm going to assume that a good 2-3 years after the PlayStation 4 release they won't still be making new copies of the two aforementioned games I listed above. Sure I can still hope that they still have some new unsold copies at my local gaming retailer or I can do what Sony wants and buy it via the PlayStation Network. While buying a game online isn't a bad option (I do it a lot on the current consoles) but eventually that probably won't be there. Now I'm not saying that Sony is going to go under in the next decade or anything like that but I'm gonna guess that if I want to come back and play Watch Dogs in 20 years I'm guessing it's going to be hard to play a game back on the PlayStation Network.
To me, what I imagined above is absolutely terrifying. I've been lucky enough over the last few months to experience a lot of games that I missed out on but I want future generations to have this ability too. I wasn't able to experience great games like Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo or Final Fantasy 9 on the PlayStation 1 if it wasn't for being able to buy used games. It would be terrible if a new Final Fantasy came out and kids of future generations wouldn't be able to play them unless they could somehow find a new copy of the game. If I wanted a new copy of Super Mario World or Final Fantasy 9 it would probably cost a good 200 dollars (or sadly even more). Its a shame to think that a generation of kids that will miss the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 generation won't really be able to experience the games in the future due to a feud regarding used games.
Now this whole blog I have been talking about how bad it would be without used games and how they shouldn't be removed but to be fair to Sony, Microsoft and every other publisher that hates used games, I do understand where they are coming from. For anyone who doesn't know the publishers don't get a cent from used games sales and with so many game retailers trying GameStop's used game formula it is understandable for all of those big publishers to get a little mad. However, even though I understand their thinking, getting rid of used games altogether is a terrible idea. While I'm sure the next generation of consoles will sell pretty well regardless, getting rid of the used game market will hurt them greatly down the stretch. Not that I have looked into it but I'm guessing that used games sell a lot better the longer the console has been out. At first, when everything is new, the lack of used games won't really matter but as the years go on and people start missing new games it's going to become a real problem and a problem that can't be fixed with a "allow used games" switch.
Luckily I think that Sony and Microsoft will do the right thing when it comes to used games. There were already reports that Sony may be backing off the no used game policy and I have a feeling that if one of the publishers backs off there is a good chance the other would follow. But until we get the official announcement then all we can do is hope and pray that the situation I described above doesn't come to fruition. So the only thing I can say to everyone is enjoy those used games while you have them because they may become extinct one of these days.