Legendary games developer Warren Spector has shared his thoughts on the used games debacle, aligning himself with gamers, noting that the reason why people buy used games is because the new ones are too expensive. He also said that the used games market is the conduit through which newcomers join the medium who otherwise wouldn’t look twice because of the high prices of games.
Speaking to Forbes, Spector made clear is stance:
Hey, if we didn’t overcharge for our product — guess what — people wouldn’t have to buy used games. The game industry is always talking about how we’re bigger than movies, and in terms of revenue we probably are, but good God, I don’t know this for sure but I would bet a lot of money that more people saw Up in its opening weekend than played Call of Duty. And the reason our games generate so much revenue is because we’re stupid enough to charge $60 for a box or $50 for a download or something. You need used games because most people can’t afford those prices. They’d just buy fewer games and play fewer games, and the fact that there are more people playing Call of Duty and Halo and Deus Ex and whatever through used games — come on, it’s not hurting us.
Spector added that used games are great PR because they actually build the gaming audience:
Used games allow more people, specifically younger people, to become game fans because of the lower price point. It keeps some brick and mortar businesses in business, which is a good thing. And the reason it’s so pervasive is because we overcharge. To be frank, every other medium allows it. You can buy a used book. You can buy a used movie. You can buy a used CD. Why the hell are we different? I have got no problem with used games. I’ve bought plenty of used games. Whatever.
The used games debate has become the central point of a new controversy that’s stymied Microsoft’s Xbox One, as the console won’t allow you to loan or gift your games to your friends more than once. After that initial exchange, the disc becomes useless – meaning only the friend you loaned of gifted the game will be able to play it. PS4 imposes no such restrictions.
The console also requires an internet connection every 24 hrs to play games, a requirement Microsoft says is necessary because Xbox One was built for the future.