Devs getting desperate to curb secondhand game sales

Ok, this is getting ridiculous. I love Epic games as much as anybody else, but it seems that a lot of sketchy comments leak out from those guys. In a recent interview with Game Informer, head of Epic, Mike Capps discussed the need to “make strides against the secondhand market.” Now, I understand where Mike is coming from, but only to a small degree. Here are a few more of his quotes, and then I’ll give my two cents on the matter.

I think DLC will be increasing in scope just because in the US we really need to make strides against the second-hand market[…]

The secondary market is a huge issue in the United States. Our primary retailer makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales, and so you’re starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by… if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code[…]

I’ve talked to some developers who are saying ‘If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free’. We don’t make any money when someone rents it, and we don’t make any money when someone buys it used – way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it.

Ok, I really do get why developers dislike the secondhand market. No, they don’t get a penny when Gamestop sells you a used copy of Gears of War 2 a week from now for $55.00, but when someone traded in that game, they probably put their money toward a new game purchase anyway. The used game market is giving lots of gamers extra cash to spend on new games. I know plenty of people, myself included, that need to sell off older games on Amazon, eBay, or in a Gamestop to be able to pick up new titles. If you take away the secondhand market, you probably pull millions of dollars out of the buying pool. It’s a simple concept. What do you do when you want a new car? You sell your old one. Need a new home? Well, you better sell the old one, huh? With luxury items you can’t cut off a funding stream or else the industry will bottleneck.

Sorry Epic, you’re living in a free market and you’re doing JUST FINE. Nobody feels sorry for you, and nobody should.


I agree completely and wish more people saw it the way you describe it. People don’t just sell off their games and go buy a loaf of bread. It usually enables folks to buy more games. This is why stores are so anxious to give people more “credit” than cash for games. Epic just wants a bigger piece of the pie, but I think they’re going to have a hard time tricking people into paying full price for a used game.

DRM which completely eliminates the POSSIBILITY for reselling a game seems much more likely IMO! ;P

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