Quoting from Volition, Inc. (a THQ subsidiary) developer Jameson Durall, writing in a post titled I Feel Used:
Most Game Developers will agree that the Used Games market is significantly impacting the revenue we receive. I think what most consumers don’t realize is that every time they buy a used game, there is ZERO money making it back to the Game Developers.
One of the newer ideas cropping up is including a unique code in the box that gives you access to certain parts of the game…like Co-op or multi-player. Buyers who do not purchase new, will have the opportunity to pay around $10 to get access to that part of the game just like everyone else. Some consumers complain about this method because the precedent has always been that it’s included in the price and should come with it. It did for the person who actually bought it first…so was saving that $5 at Gamestop worth it for you?
There’s another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up…it won’t play used games at all! Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first…they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them.
Big surprise! A developer is a fan of online passes and completely eliminating the ability to sell a game when you’re done playing it. Wait, that’s not surprising at all.
But that’s not the main reason I’m posting Mr. Durall’s argument here. This is the bit that really caught my attention:
People often don’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don’t seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing.
Every game I buy is NEW from Amazon.com and it arrives at my door on or close to release day, shipped free with no tax.
Wait, wait, wait.
Volition, Inc. is based in Champaign, Illinois, which is presumably where Mr. Durall lives. According to the City of Champaign, there is a total sales tax rate of 8.75% in the city. So by purchasing on Amazon and paying no tax, Mr. Durall is saving $5.25 on his video game purchases, but sending ZERO money back to the people who provide him with police, roads, schools, and other valuable public services.
I guess he just doesn’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge public services that his local government employees provide every day.
Or maybe it’s only okay for consumers to save money and “significantly impact the revenue” of certain industries, but not others. Hmm…