Over the past few days/weeks/months there has been a lot said on the issue of used games, trade-ins, online passes and whether or not these online passes are fair or worthwhile. Jim Sterling told gamers to "have some self-respect" and deny developers the satisfaction of making you pay to play online when you buy a used game by basically not doing so. Conrad Zimmerman claimed that for gamers who prefer to immerse themselves in a single player campaign, the prediction that used games will become cheaper as a result of online passes was good news.
The way I see it is that online passes are firstly cheapening online gaming by spelling out to gamers: “THERE IS AN ONLINE FEATURE THAT WE’VE TACT ON TO THIS GAME, BUT IT’S NOT ESSENTIAL TO ENJOY THE GAME.” There is also the wonderful feeling that as a used game buyer you are hated by the developer. You’re not in the club. Not only does page 8 of your booklet have some mashed potato stuck to it from the original owner’s toddler, there is also the fact that we don’t want to give you the entire game – the complete package we lovingly put together – because we hate your guts right now and your name’s not on the list because DON’T DESERVE IT YOU CHEAPSKATE FUCKO.
Developers are acting like some stuck up twat that hangs around with the popular kids and who will only talk to the geeky, bespectacled (less rich) classmate if he or she hands over their freshly made lunch every day. And even then, they won’t exactly respect them like a human being. You see, like Conrad Zimmerman, I am a fan of single-player games far more than I am of online multiplayer ones. Yet, I fear his feelings on the matter could well be wrong, simply because online passes will only become more and more prevalent, resulting in pretty much every game having an online function, just so the developer has the chance to make an extra bit of money from second hand sales. This will ultimately lead to less attention being paid to the single player campaigns I so blood-thirstily crave.
This has got me asking myself how much developers like EA have made from the selling of online passes. How many times has that copy of Dead Space 2 been traded in and re-sold and how many of these owners have bought the online pass? Four, five or maybe even six times… who knows? Therefore, there is a potential for EA to have made a great deal of cash from the sale of just one disc, but they’ll of course pass the measure off as trying to “protect” itself from the sordid world of trade-ins. Moreover, if you spent money on an online pass for Dead Space 2, you’ll probably feel ripped off now. It’s a good example of a great game with a multiplayer function stuck on for no good reason.
All my gaming life I have myself relied on trade-ins to maintain a healthy flow of video games in my life. Having realized a long time ago that I’d need food and drink to survive, I thought it best to not spend every penny I had on games. The amount of games I have played that I wouldn’t otherwise have touched is pretty hard to figure out. But it’s a lot. Jak & Daxter is an example of a series that I became engrossed with a long time ago after a chance encounter in the used game section. Since then I have gone back for more from – you guessed it – the BRAND-SPANKING-NEW-IN-THE-FUCKING-CLUB section. Where’s my medal?
Developers need to wake up and realise that they actually have these stores to thank
for keeping them afloat all these years. So many titles aren’t worth full price it is unreal. But by giving more and more people the chance to play your game – people who often rightly wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole at full price or buy it knowing they didn’t have the chance to trade it in a week later – you are opening up doors you wouldn’t otherwise have. Trading games is also catalyst for gaming, giving gamers the impetus to play through a game so he or she can trade it for another rather than let it sit and collect dust like the pile of shit it probably is. If a new game I want is on the horizon, I find myself making time to complete a game I own so I can think about trading it for my next fix. It’s a cycle of love that seperates it from the used clothes, cars and movies of this world and is putting into the industry as much as it is taking out and has been doing so since the mid-90s as far as I can tell.
I for one would have given up gaming a long time ago had it not been trade-ins.
SO DEVELOPERS: GO FUCK YOURSELVES IF YOU THINK YOU CAN RIP THE PISS OUT OF GAMERS, THE PEOPLE WHO MADE YOU IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU STUCK UP, SPOILT PRICKS. YOU CAN ALL BARELY STRING ONE OR TWO GOOD GAMES A YEAR TOGETHER BETWEEN YOU ANYWAY.