Thursday, January 26, 2012

The problems with restricting the use of used games

We just keep getting hit with used games issues.  Anyway, according to this Kotaku article there may be some sort of anti used game software on the system.  Which leads to three main problems.

1) Sharing  One huge problem of this is the inability to share games between family members, friends, etc.  If I want to show off a game, it has to be on MY system.  I can't just bring a game over to someone's house and show it there.  A family member can't pass a game along because they grew out of "Viva Pinata" or whatever.  It restricts the ability to share games, and therefore future profits.  My family bought our N64 (And the Banjo games) because my brother played them with a friend.  Interactions like this usually build future buys down the line.  Playing that game has lead to some of my favorite gaming memories and this blog.  This is especially true for digital releases.  I can't send my copies of Trine to my friends. 

2) When games cease to be published.  The World Ends With You is a fantastic game. It's has an amazing story and localization.  The art is gorgeous. The battle system is beyond compare.  It is also no longer published.  If you want to get a game now, you have to buy it used.  No, none of the later profits go back to the company, but with anti used game software, no one can try the game later. Final Fantasy VI has been out of date even longer.  I got my copy on ebay. I love it to death, and I would not know how wonderful it is and how amazing Cyan is without being able to play a game used.

3) No real copies.  One of the big debates in PC gaming now is DRM.  The end result though for the more intense DRM is even if you buy a physical copy of a PC game you only own the license. If you can not check into certain servers, the game will refuse to play since it can't say the copy is legit.  This really punishes the users rather then the pirates (If the servers are down on the company side or the internet is out, you can't play your own, legal, copy)  Of course people turn to pirates then, they bought the game, they want to freaking play it. 

If this rumor is true, it restricts player interactions and possible future sales.  Yes, they get more money NOW but it lowers likabiliity down the road and future sales.  How many fans do companies have now because someone decided to give their friend a copy of their game, or they bought a game cheap off of ebay?  

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