We don’t always agree with famed God of War designer David Jaffe, but the guy is never boring.
And so it is with Jaffe’s just-posted video rant on the merits of used game sales. While Jaffe acknowledges the game consumer’s right to take advantage of the best deal, he lost us by saying that the consumer has no place in the larger debate over used games:
Whenever this [used game] stuff comes up gamers get excited and upset. Developers get upset… there’s all this kind of tension on the internet between developers and gamers and publishers…
The customer’s always right, and look… if there’s somebody out selling them legally a game for $5 whether it’s a used copy or whatever, go for it. Get the best deal you can get. It’s not your job to look out for the developer or the publisher or anybody except yourself…
The issue really has to do with publishers and developers and retail. I don’t mean this in a mean way, like it’s none of the consumers business. But literally, it’s none of the consumer’s business. It should not affect the consumer at all. All the consumer should worry about is. "Can I get the best deal possible…?"
GP: But, David, if you take away the used game option, how can the consumer save a buck in an industry where new product prices are de facto fixed? How can the consumer get any value out a disappointing $60 game without the option to trade it in?
Have you ever seen a young mom walk into GameStop with a little kid who is clutching maybe five bucks? It’s a huge treat for a child like that to pick up a used GBA cartridge or two. The game may be old, but it’s a brand-new experience to him. Who’s to say that kid’s only option is to buy a new game? At $19.99, maybe that new GBA game doesn’t get purchased. Maybe that kid never really gets into gaming.
And, hey, while I love your work and your willingness to engage, I find your "the consumer has no say in the matter" view to be rather arrogant – even if you are just verbalizing what a lot of industry insiders are thinking.
The gamer, though, is the most important person in this equation. Publishers, retailers, developers come and go. We’re currently waving goodbye to Midway. Circuit City is in the rear view, and yet gaming carries on. If consumers ever decide to move on to something else, however, it’s over.