Another day...

...another whinge about the problem with pre-owned games.

Our stance is very clear and we've bored each other (and hence 100% of the readership) silly with it but until news posts about it desist we won't desist looking on in amazement. Our problem with retailers is that they, in no way, really try to offer up the best of gaming. Older platforms vanish from shelves within weeks and new games enjoy the spotlight for a couple of weeks.

We for example are keen discerning gamers at the time of life with a little bit of disposable income yet time and time again we have to head online or buy second hand games to get the kinds of games we want to play. At all. There isn't a brand new copy sitting on a shelf with convenient distance that I'm ignoring. I prefer to buy games brand new (although not on launch day and certainly not at the ridiculous prices some games are). In most cases, these games aren't obscure or limited run games. They're fairly big releases (recent examples include Monster Hunter Tri, New Play Control Pikmin 2). If we can't get games and we're actively desperately looking, how are would-be-gamers or gamers who don't obsess about games finding the whole gaming experience? How many times do we need to say it? We can't buy the fucking games brand new and in most cases we can't even buy the fucking games direct (Capcom Store EU, Nintendo, Bandai Namco). Is that a good way to run a business?

It would be like a bookshop only stocking this week's releases and then 12000 copies of old versions of the Guinness book of records. It's insanity. Even suggesting that the latest batch of games is better than everything that went before it is insane. "Sorry, we don't stock a Tale of Two Cities or Charlotte's Web but we do have the new Jilly Cooper and Katie Price books".

Surely, publishers, retailers and developers would all benefit if games were being retailed sensibly and with a little bit of pride? Instead of game shops resembling at best a seedy pawn shop, at worst a young offenders dorm room.

At least today's whinge (from MCV) is a little more measured and Codemasters CEO Roc Cousens seems to get it although in this context its mostly about digital distribution.

Is there not a single business economist working with the games industry? It all seems to be run, as a business, by a bunch of morons so the next time yet another studio is restructured or cut I'm not going to be sad for them because this is nonsense.

Comments

Matthew said…
The problem you've described here DOES, unfortunately, happen at book retailers as well. I worked at a chain book store in Canada for six years, and we'd have instances all the time where, say, we'd get the new, Oprah-approved Cormac McCarthy book and... nothing else. So we'd have entire rows of The Road, but no Blood Meridian, no Suttree, no No Country for Old Men, even.

You're right to point it out as an especially terrible problem with videogames. It's terrible business in all cases, but people are now formulating their videogaming "identity" purely on bad (and/or heavily marketed) videogames. And from personal experience, I can say that unlike bad movies (which I often enjoy for their hilarity) or bad books, a bad videogame is a horrendous, awful experience.

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