There is a battle raging in the land of consumer freedom. This battle is most recently fueled by the revelation that Microsoft’s next console, the XBox One, will be regulating the sale of used games. Now, two new challengers have entered the fray to be the last word in this epic battle. We have Shigeru Miyamoto, game designer extraordinaire for Nintendo, and Cliff “Cliffy B” Bleszinski formerly of Epic Games, knocking out their opposing views of how used games effect the industry.
First, Cliffy B lays it straight for all us used games supporters:
You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing. The numbers do NOT work people.
Those of you telling me ‘then just lower game budgets’ do understand how silly you sound, right?
That’s right folks. Because game publishers spend hundreds of millions of dollars to develop and market their games, we the consumers must be the ones to sacrifice. Because publishers do not know how to manage their budgets properly, we must forgo whatever investment we make in the games we buy in order to prop up a dying AAA industry. Does Cliffy B realize how silly he sounds? Perhaps Miyamoto can put him into his place.
By creating the games that we create and selling those games, it enables us to then create new versions of those games.
In fact, from our perspective you want to create a game that people will want to keep and keep playing for a long time. That’s the approach that we always take and that’s the best way to avoid used games.
Oooh! Where did that come from? Miyamoto came out with an epic left hook across Cliffy B’s jaw and knocked him flat. Just take a look at these Amazon searches for the Gears of War series and the New Super Mario series. Do you notice the trend? Just look at it. New Super Mario Bros for the Wii, released in 2009, is selling for roughly the same amount as the just released this year Gears of War: Judgement. For a more apt comparison, look at Gears of War 3, released in 2011, selling for less than $6. Ouch Miyamoto. You knocked the wind out of him.
But that is the truth people. It doesn’t matter how much money you pour into game development. The truth of the matter is that if people love your games, those games will stay in demand for long after they are released. With such high demand, you will not just sell more copies, but you will also make a lot more money. That idea seems to have escaped Cliffy B. We the consumers are not the ones who need to compromise. It is the developer. They need to create games with long lasting appeal if they want to counteract the effects of used games. And to do that, they do not need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars. To do so is absolutely ridiculous.
But that is not all. Used games are a valuable part of the currency we game consumers have to spend on new games as they come out. Few gamers have the resources to spend only cash on new games on a regular basis. The rest of us have to make sacrifices somewhere. Whether that sacrifice is time, as in waiting for a price drop to purchase, or if it is sacrificing other games in our collection, the truth is, money is not the only currency we spend. Removing one of those currencies will not result in more spending on new games. It will reduce it. If used games are taken off the market as a currency, what are the chances that game publishers will leave the time factor alone? They probably won’t. Most likely, new games will hold their higher price tags for much longer than they do currently.
So, Cliffy B, I hope you learned a valuable lesson from the lumps you receive.