news\ May 30, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Pachter: 'Industry not better off without used games'

Used games

Imagine a world in which you could not play any previously owned games on your console. Given the seemingly tightening restrictions placed upon the used game market through Xbox One, and possibly the PS4, it's not too hard to envision this. A scary thought, indeed. It's well-known and well-documented (thanks to a recent #PS4NoDRM campaign) that consumers oppose any sort of DRM on used games. Yet it seems console makers and publishers don't seem to care much about what the consumer thinks -- though they say they do.

The popular argument for those in favor of a stricter used game market is that it would save jobs. The recent string of studio layoffs is no secret. It's believed that by doing away with pre-owned games, it would force people to buy new, and all that cash would go directly into the hands of the publishers and developers. As it stands now, profit from pre-owned game sales go only to the retailer. The argument against this, however, is that the credit in return for trade-ins actually does allow consumers to buy new games.

Admittedly, I don't know the answer to this problem. So GameZone has turned to someone who studies and analyzes the video game industry on a daily basis -- Mr. Michael Pachter. Cue the groans and mumbles. I get that Pachter is a controversial figure among gamers, but there's no doubt he's an expert in what he does as an industry analyst. Among the questions we asked him in an interview to be published tomorrow, was his thought on used games and if the industry would be better without them.

"No, the industry would not be better off without used games," Pachter told us. "There are a lot of people who cannot afford new games, and the used market provides access for those people.

"Similarly, the used market provides currency for people who want to buy new games at full price, and I think that the “cost” to publishers and developers from used game sales is very low," he said, when asked if the sale of used games were to blame for recent layoffs. "Used games have nothing to do with studio layoffs; rather, poor decision-making is the reason."

Check out our full interview with Michael Pachter regarding the Xbox One and PS4.

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