Codemasters: Pre-owned games could lead to piracy

Many inane things have been said by publishers and developers about pre-owned games, but Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens has, quite possibly, made the most ridiculous argument yet — stating that secondhand games pave the way for piracy because of reasons.

“Pre-owned isn’t actually new — in 1981 there was Buy and Try, and that type of stuff,” says the Codies overlord. “The difference was that it wasn’t a significant percentage of the market, and it was never promoted as aggressively through the retail community as it is today.

“You could argue for the retailer in that context, but also what it’s done is kill things like subsequent exploitation in platinum and classics … and it expands the potential for piracy by default. They would argue that prices would suggest otherwise – I would say not, because by the time you get down through the food chain, a thing gets more and more ripped off.”

Cousens does suggest that retailers and publishers find a middle ground, which is reasonable, but his unjustified assertion that pre-owned could create more piracy reeks of the kind of scaremongering tactics found on wartime propaganda posters. Pre-owned games are to publishers was communism was to America in the sixties. 

Codemasters’ Rod Cousens []

Jim Sterling