They've tried insulting pre-owned consumers, they've tried holding content ransom, and now the enemies of secondhand software are attempting a pity plea. Codemasters boss Rod Cousens has appealed to the conscience of gamers everywhere by painting a grim future for the industry if things continue as they are.
"If things don't change, if pre-owned continues to grow and tensions around it increase, we'll all suffer pain," he says. "The retailers will say they're not going to stock your product if you support online and the software creators will say: 'We're not going to give you the product if you keep doing pre-owned, we'll stick it out as an online experience.'
"But the online experience will not make up for the lost revenue retail brings in. Then retail will lose out on pre-owned stock [as there'll be no new boxed games] so there'll be pain there. At the same time, they'll be hacking and slashing prices because of the price war so margins are low - whilst the powers that be [in supermarkets] will allocate shelf space to something other than games. How f*cking clever will the industry look then?"
I've long been a supporter of the used market, and I am not swayed by Cousens' viewpoint. Publishers want to have their cake and eat it too -- charging $60 for new games while demanding that nobody waits for a cheaper alternative. Sorry, but most gamers are unable to afford such a market. Publishers have to make the first move. Moaning about a market that's evolving, while refusing to evolve with it, isn't going to work.