GAMING BLEND

TotalBiscuit Supports Xbox One's Used Games Fee

By William Usher 2013-05-29 18:37:29 discussion comments


[Update: Sony confirms the PS4 will not use mandatory used game DRM, internet registration or fees]

So we've come to the point where people are taking sides during the uproar over consumer policies and the employment of certain intended market practices that could stamp out consumer rights in ways only George Orwell could have imagined. Well, while a lot of people are up in arms on restrictions for trading, swapping and selling games, on the side of fee implementations for used games is the Cynical Brit, YouTube star TotalBiscuit.

As the near 30 minute video above notes, there's a lot of information passed off as a way to sway opinion, much of which is inaccurate or incorrect. Unlike Microsoft, though, I'll actually try to explain why the info is inaccurate instead of leaving you hanging like a snotty booger from a kid's nose during a cold winter's day.

So first up, everyone's biggest thing about used game sales is that publishers should get a cut from the second, third, fourth, etc., sale of a used game title. Biscuit and other people within the industry argue that other media industries such as movies and music have multiple revenue outlets, where-as gaming only has first-hand new sales to contribute to revenue and thus, in their view, first sale doctrine should not apply to video games.

Time to open this lie up like a nun's robe in a film called Confession by Russ Meyers. Now take into account that many games released these days are also available digitally from the publisher or distributor. It is an outright lie to say that video games don't have alternative channels of distribution when Microsoft offers an on-demand digital store, Sony offers content through both the PlayStation Store and PlayStation Plus, and Nintendo even allows you to get past and present games from their eShop channel. New retail games are not the be all, end all of total game sales as some of these people would lead you to believe, and if publishers were so concerned with used game sales, there's nothing stopping anyone right now from discounting the games on any of the respective console's digital stores.

TotalBiscuit also points out that by eliminating used games it will bring down the price of digital games. However, this also has to be one of the most poorly researched and ill-conceived concepts that both TotalBiscuit and Ben Kuchera from Penny Arcade could come up with. Both point to Steam sales, Good Old Games and GreenManGaming.com as viable potentialities for Microsoft's own endgame market scheme. However, both keep missing vital points in this argument: Microsoft already has TWO digital stores.

When was the last time Microsoft had a publicized digital sale for their PC games? For as much as anyone is concerned, Games For Windows Live is nothing more than a glorified piece of DRM and you couldn't find one gamer out there who uses it as a viable digital marketplace. And while leading up to the reveal of the Xbox One, Microsoft had a number of deals on Xbox Live Arcade games, but has anyone actually paid attention to the prices for their on-demand marketplace for Xbox 360 games? Hey check out that fat juicy price for the digital copy of Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2. How cheap does that look?

If Microsoft's prices aren't competitive right now in the digital marketplace, where is this false, factually unsupported hope coming from that prices will drop? What would force them to compete? Comparing Microsoft's sales potentiality to the privately owned Valve -- ran by a very consumer friendly Gabe Newell who constantly finds ways to give back to the community -- is like comparing the charity work of the Kardashians to the civil rights movements of Mahatma Ghandi.

I still can't believe people are so na´ve as to the way these businesses work, but...let's move on before the very mention of Kardashian brings all our IQ down to the level of the Pro-Corporate White Knights.
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