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EA complains about second-hand games, tries to curb them

2008-08-28 16:39:01·  2 minute read   ·  Jim Sterling@JimSterling
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Developers love to complain about second-hand games, even though used goods are a part of almost every single industry in the world, and Electronic Arts is far from the exception. Stating that the used game market is a "critical situation," that it plans to tackle digitally.

"I'd actually make the point that for us second-hand sales is a very critical situation, because people are selling multiple times intellectual property," explained EA's European senior VP  Jens Uwe Intat. "What we're trying to do is build business models that are more and more online-supported with additional services and additional content that you get online. So people will see the value in not just getting that physical disc to play at home alone, but actually playing those games online and paying for them."

Intat also attempted to explain why used games are more of a problem than other used goods by suggesting that digital information doesn't deteriorate: "In our understanding of the business model we are actually giving away the rights to play, and if you just pass it on, pass it on, pass it on, that is not comparable to second-hand sales in the normal physical goods area where you have physical wear-out - second-hand cars, second-hand clothes, second-hand books ... they're all physically wearing out, so you have an inferior quality product."

Except of course, that's bollocks. Of all the used games I've ever bought, I can't remember a single disc being in pristine condition. The physical method of storing a game does deteriorate, just like his used book example. It's high time these companies stopped acting like they're the special case and suck it up. Used goods are a part of business in all sectors. The games industry is not a special little buttercup that is exempt from this. Still, EA offering more value for the disc (if it's not Namco-Bandai's idea of "value") is a good call. At least they're not just whining about it.


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