Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming Ecosystem

February 24, 2009 -

The great debate over used game trades rages on...

Sure, GameStop execs support used game trades; it's a huge piece of their business model.

But it's especially nice to see a member of the game publishing elites step up and support the consumer's right to choose.

Along that line, gamesindustry.biz has a multi-part interview with MS exec Chris Lewis, who comments thusly on used trades:

I'm a fan of the [gaming] ecosystem overall. I can see the positive in [used game trades], because I can see that what you then get is more and more people touching, playing, experiencing a game that they may not otherwise have access to.

I think you've got to try and extract some positive from it, and that's undoubtedly a good factor - a positive swirl of ecosystem that results. Clearly it's a reality, and certain retailers are very focused and spend a lot of time on it. It's good business for them.

 

I think things like premium downloadable content, and that kind of thing, will ultimately play a part in used games - and that's not me saying that it's a great way for us to try and minimise that. I think it will be a great enhancement to the way that people experience games. If some additional content is available via the Xbox Live service, for instance, that further enriches the game experience and might encourage folks to hang on their games for a bit longer.

GP: For showing a pro-consumer attitude on used game trades, we'll toss Chris a white hat...


Comments

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming ...

Television, movies, and video games have been restricted to the 2D world for a long time, but it seems they have served their time and are being released into the 3D world. 3D movies have been constantly improving in quality for the past few years and have done so well that TV is following in those footsteps.

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming ...

They aren't evil they are just trying to make money so they can keep making games. 

With the next generation of consoles the hard drives will be huge and there are going to be even more games that are download only.  Even big budget titles will start to ditch physical media and be download only.  

I wouldn't invest in gamestop.

http://www.eliteownage.com/nice

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

Call me crazy, but I don't see him showing a pro-consumer attitude inasmuch as I see him simply refusing to go down the anti-consumer line that other developers/publishers have done.

He's still making the same statement, just from a different angle. He's not saying "Second hand trade is bad for business, but we think DLC will help put a stop to that". He's saying "Second hand trade gets our games out to more people. But we think DLC will help us get revenue from some of these extra players."

I don't have a problem with DLC. But it's a little worrisome to hear so many people in the industry suggesting that putting extra focus on DLC or online aspects will help slow down second hand trade or increase profits from it, because it's taking the focus away from actually providing a good experience and putting it squarely on revenue.

It's good he can acknowledge second hand trade isn't some demon to slay. But it represents a sector of the market that is grossly misunderstood by the industry. Some people don't buy movies. They hire them. Some people wouldn't want to buy games, but the rental system that works for movies doesn't work for games. What works is trade-ins.

 

Not everybody who plays your game wants to keep it. You can't stop that. Don't waste time, money and effort trying to.

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming ...

I was only a kid when my parents got me a second hand Atari 2600 for a cheep price.


They never got me an NES or an SNES because my mom said that it was too expencive.

Imagine all the parents looking at the game consoles these days at their full price of $250 or even at $300 and also paying $50 for just one game.

If the casual audience is going to be a good thing for the industry, the games have to be at a suitable price for them and not always the opinion of the industry.

So that is where used game sales come in handy.

TBoneTony

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

Good to see at least someone in the head of the industry knows the importance of used games.

How else would same gamers get to experience the classics, especially on systems that aren't even in production anymore.  I know someone looking up Dreamcast and PS1 games, and while some can still play PS1 games on the PS2 and some PS3s, most games aren't in production.

Though I believe my copy of Xenogears is actually new, since its made by Square-Enix and not Squaresoft.

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

That was my logic as well. If it wasn't for the used game market, many, MANY classics would vanish for good.

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

This industry just like every other industry goes through phases, when a game is new it is worth the most and it becomes cheaper as time, and interest goes by.  I think companies start getting angry at used game places more when thhey can't think of new games and start releasing the same things over and over...


Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

If publishers want more people to buy their games new, they have to give them an experience of "brand new". Provide an incentive like a little bonus content. For example Gears of War 2 has a voucher for a free map pack- those are one-use only.

GameSnooper

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

Call of Duty 4 had something very similiar for their GOTY edition, expect when I bought it new from Gamestop they didn't have the GOTY edition and I bought a regular edition instead. X.x

I remember reading somewhere that publishers were thinking of requiring users to 'buy' the ending. I hope the market isn't going down that path. I see downloadable games as experimental games such as Castle Crashers, Noby Noby and Flower.

www.katamaridemocracy.com

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

To me it's a bid like the auto industry.  Sure, cars cost a lot of money, but you don't see car makers trying to stop the used car business.  That's probably a big reason for the increase in downloadable content.  Even if someone buys the game used, they still have to pay to get the DLC, just as when you buy a used car, you still need to pay for the parts to fix it.

Re: Microsoft Exec: Used Game Trades Are Part of Gaming

You're telling me...  Toyota made a custom oil filter for the 09 Corollas...  I was pissed...

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