Atari: Used games are ‘extremely painful’

Atari has joined the crowd of publishers intent on demonizing used games, claiming them to be “extremely painful,” but also suggesting that it isn’t too concerned in the long-term thanks to its focus on online content.

“Second hand game sales represent consumer choice and desire,” states Atari CEO, David Gardner. “Obviously, it has economically been extremely painful for the industry… the publishers don’t benefit.

“But as games change and they become more and more network centric, the disc in the box becomes only one part of the experience. As that experience grows then it becomes not such a problem.”

I do love how he followed “consumer choice and desire” with “extremely painful.” Something tells me that the idea of customers having any sort of choice must feel like needles being dragged along a penis head to some of these publishers. Phil Harrison at least offered one of the most sensible arguments I’ve seen from an industry spokesman concerning the issue:

“There’s no doubt that second hand games sales has a macro-economic impact on the industry and a lot of people get miserable about it. But it’s no coincidence that the most valuable games, the one’s that have the most lifetime as a game experience, are the one’s that don’t get resold, that don’t get traded.”

It’s fairly simple. Create a great game, and you’ll find that consumers will consider them keepers. Make an Atari game, and you’ll find that second-hand store shelves are full to the brim.

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James Stephanie Sterling
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