Monday, 16 April 2012

EB Games

There is nothing a publisher like EA hates more than used game sales. It means they don't get a penny for when they release rushed, idiotic, childish, pandering bullshit. It means they resort to backhanded business practices(usually by chopping up a game's content and selling it back to you, like a ransom note that comes with your son's finger). And most of all, it means John Riccitiello has to wait a little while before buying another solid-gold yacht he paid for by closing a development studio.

Because of this, I no longer see used-game sales as the industry-destroying problem it's made out to be. As Chris Kohler pointed out, it seems more like a scape-goat for business execs who don't want to try very hard. There's only so long you can release garbage for ridiculous prices, in a recession, before people start going to pawn-shops. If publishers aren't willing to make games for less(or at least just not waste millions of dollars into rendering James Vega's ass-cheeks), and as long as they keep trying to lock out customers who aren't Scrooge McDuck, places like EB Games are just going to keep eating into their profits. They have no one but themselves to blame for not properly adapting to the demands of their customers.

One would think the best way to combat this would be to not buy anymore EA products. Or Activision, or Capcom, Square-Enix, BioWare, etc. Any corporation that handles customer relations the way Jodie Foster was handled on that pinball machine in "The Accused".

But I think I have a better idea. It's just in the testing phase right now, but tell me if you think this makes sense:

For companies I like, I'll buy games new. 
For companies I don't like, I'll buy games used.

Granted, you won't always tell if a game is good or bad before you buy it. So there's still that risk involved. But if I respect a company, I'll support them with my wallet. And if I don't respect a company, I'll let EB Games take my money instead. Money that could have been Activision's, or Capcom's. Even if the game defies my expectations.

See, they don't care if they don't get my money. But they do care if Gamestop gets my money. That's a bigger blow to their pride than piracy. So that's the message I'll send through my purchasing decisions. I'm willing to reward people who've earned my trust, even for a game I end up disliking. But I am not willing to reward contempt for your customers.

That is why I bought Xenoblade Chronicles new, and Mass Effect 3... USED. 

Not pictured: Madden 2012

The people whose corporate behaviour I admire earn my support(and dollars), and the people I despise get the two-for-one special. And to top it all off, the register clerk at EB Games was a cool gal who had some bitchin' tattoos.

So, seems like a victory-condition, doesn't it? As such, I retain the right to feel pretty good about myself for the next 5 minutes. By then I'll probably realize I'm going to have to go through the ending of Mass Effect 3, and OH GOD WHATHAVEIDONE-



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