We all know that buying used games and selling games to stores such as Gamestop doesn’t benefit the industry, but whether or not we continue to do so should be up to us right? David Braben of Frontier Developments, the company behind LostWinds, doesn’t seem to think so. During a speech he gave at the Develop conference at Brighton, England, he took the time to speak against the sale of used videogames that is so prominent at large retail gaming stores, in both the US and UK.
However, not only does he want to discourage this practice that costs the videogame industry money, he wants developers to take actions to prevent it. “We can make pre-owned detectable, we can put a code on the disc or the packaging…We should be doing something and it should result, in the longer term, in cheaper retail prices, which helps us all,” Braben says. We can agree everyone would like cheaper retail prices, but not at the expense of measures like this. The worst thing about digital distribution is digital rights management, and effectively making physical copies of games locked to a certain console would only be a step backwards.
Additionally, Braben said, “This is essentially rental, and it’s not tolerated by other industries”. I’m not sure which industries he’s talking about, but the resale of used media is very widespread, as seen at Blockbusters and used bookstores. Though I know the peddling of used games isn’t great for the gaming industry, there are certainly worse problems out there, such as piracy, which should be focused on first.