Ever since the revelation of the Xbox One and its system of password-based game sharing has been revealed to the public, Microsoft has been combating outrage on behalf of gamers who find themselves interested in buying the console but frustrated with a blatant assault on the used video game market.
Only time will tell if Microsoft’s recent address to the public at video game press convention E3 will curb their newfound ire amongst their consumer base, but such outrage could have been easily avoided had they merely left the issue of buying used products untouched.
The video game industry’s bad habit of making a scapegoat of used games sales has been something of a prevalent problem in recent history that could be solved if they took a cue from other industries and left resale alone. Even with the rising production cost of video games, this should not be a problem big enough to warrant risking such a backlash.
Video game resale rose as a response to rising video game prices and has helped the industry through exposure of the medium as a hobby and a passion to people with the inability to buy everything new. The more exposure people have to an industry, the higher its sales become as the video game industry seems to be relatively unaware of the fact that just because people can wait, doesn’t mean they want to.
The combat of used game sales in a way that won’t cheat the customer will only happen with the rise of convenient incentives to buy games new. Services such as Steam have caused the reduction of full price games thanks to the elimination of distribution costs by making games available for download. Even day one downloadable content, as sketchy as the practice may seem, is a more viable means of rivaling used game sales than simply rejecting them through the hardware.
If people weren’t allowed to play used DVDs, films wouldn’t be able to circulate amongst the people and rise in popularity, which would destroy the concept of cult followings and dedicated fan bases. If books weren’t allowed to circulate beyond the initial buyer, the spread of knowledge that has become the foundation of society would be just shy of impossible. Video games should not get a pass on this.
Jordan Wright is a reporter and film critic currently studying news and editorial journalism as a senior at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He hopes to write professionally on the video game and film industry.