Posted 01 September 2010 - 03:00 PM
Digital Distribution doesn't work because Publishers overcharge for it, constantly. Look at Civilization Revolution, it costs $15 used at Amazon, $19 new at Amazon, and $29 for the digital version on Games on Demand. $10 MORE despite no manufacturing expenses. Publishers are Publishers, I wouldn't call them good retailers, and taking the competition of actual retailers from the equation will see games MORE overpriced than they are now. Mark my words.
As for the difference between used and Piracy, it's this. Used is singular. You can buy A used game, you can make a THOUSAND copies of a game. If Wombat buys a game, and I purchase it after him, there's still only one game. If Wombat uploads a game, and I download it, that game is still there for a million other people to download after me. To not see that simple equation makes the Penny Arcade guys seem awfully ignorant.
A single used game floating in the market is always traded for a value, whether it be a trade in for a store credit, or money that Gamestop uses to purchase an inventory of new games. A pirated game is always distributed freely, it never feeds back into any section of the industry, whether it be developers or game retailers.
There are also a hundred other variables to go along with destroying the used market. What happens to all the "used" games people don't want if they can't resell? They'd go in the garbage. More waste for the planet, but better for Publisher's bottom line. What about the employees of Gamestop? What about the Mom and Pop local stores? They get laid off and go out of business, but better for Publisher's bottom line. At some point, the big picture has to outweigh corporate greed.
As for the way to make up the money from Used games, Capcom just did it. $5 dollars for a full on game, with its own demo, that people can enjoy EARLY to help offset the cost of development. Improved DLC that isn't just Weapons/Skins or an extra mission with no narrative. Brand loyalty, not "fuck you if we don't get your money." Better business sense, not just "release any garbage we can for $60.00, and hope we make money." Honestly, do the math, how many games are released each year by Publishers, and how many are quality games worth the $60.00 price tag?
Sorry for the rant.