Just as I was getting to like EA again it seems that they’re still the money grabbing, Fagan-Shylock, penny pinchers that they’ve always been.
What are they planning on doing now? Charging people who have the audacity to purchase one their games second hand, and then have the front to actually want to play the whole game! As it stands, game companies only get a cut when a game is purchased new…… just like every other industry.
When a game or other item is sold second hand then the vendor keeps the profit – if there is any. This is an “issue” that has been considered by most industries for a long time, but in general the second hand market has not really been a cash cow worth the hassle of milking.
However, as the popularity of video games increases the greedy green eye has swivelled its unerring gaze in the direction of the second hand games market.
Apparently EA is planning to charge second hand owners roughly $10 (which will most likely miraculously translate into £10 here in the UK) to play their sports titles online. To be honest – this isn’t an issue for me as I don’t play sports titles, just as I don’t play Guitar Hero – I’d rather do the real thing. But where one company leads, all are bound to follow.
So logically, EA will first start with sports titles, and then move on to their other genres while the other publishing companies look on thinking: “Well, if it works for them….”. I can see this being the beginning of the end for the second hand games market (and after the paltry amount I got for my games recently it may not be a bad thing) – but it’s another step in removing control and choice from the consumer.
As we move towards the electronic market place, the second hand market becomes more and more marginalised. You won’t get any bargain bucket wonder finds any more because every purchase you make will be full price and permanent (and don’t kid yourself that prices will come down due to lower production costs – have you seen the price of e-books?). If you don’t like a game – tough. You won’t be able to return it, sell it on, or trade it in, your only option will be to delete it – is that value for money?
Let’s hope that book publishers don’t get a similar idea otherwise we may find ourselves being blinded by spring loaded hot pokers if we don’t pay the publishers extra within fourteen days of buying a second hand book.
Peas and loaves.
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