The Backwards Way The Industry Looks at Used/Rented/Borrowed/Pirated Games

This fox isn't evil. It's just doing what it needs to do.

This fox isn’t evil. It’s just doing what it’ supposed to do.

Look at this fox for a moment. Imagine that the rabbit in its mouth is the very last member of a specific rabbit species. The fox has just hunted this particular family of rabbits to extinction, without any help from humans. But does that make the fox evil? Of course not. The fox is doing what it’s supposed to do: find creatures smaller than itself and eat them. The rabbit, for its part, failed to evolve to outrun or outbreed this predation, and therefore was not fit to survive. There is nothing moral or amoral about it. It simply is.

The biggest mistake the industry has, collectively, made with regards to used games is to treat it as a moral dilemma. Gamers are failing to support us. Retailers are stabbing us in the back. Pirates and Gamefly are destroying our profits. We rant and rave in interviews and on Twitter. We decry the wickedness of anyone who does not purchase a new copy on day one, and rail against a vast conspiracy eroding our bottom line. How dare they, these people who call themselves our fans, not support us with their money. The unbelievable gaul of these corporate leaches that have spawned whole new industries, like malignant tumors, on the back of our hard work and have cut us out of the profits. Don’t they understand what they are doing to us? Continue reading

It Doesn’t Matter If There Will “Always Be A Market” For Consoles

The Sigmoid Curve is a great representation for the flow of change, critical mass, and tipping points. Taken from Wikipedia.

The Sigmoid Curve is a great representation for the flow of change, critical mass, and tipping points. Taken from Wikipedia.

A frequent argument that this next generation of consoles will not, in fact, be the last is that there will always be a market for consoles. That is, there will always be gamers willing to pay for consoles and console games, that this market will never go away, and, thus, consoles will keep coming out. Let’s assume for a minute that this is true. The fact that there are people who are willing to pay for a next generation Xbox or PlayStation does not guarantee that a new console will be developed. It doesn’t matter that a market exists. There is probably still a market for Betamax. It doesn’t meant Sony’s going to start building and distributing the things again.

A console essentially boils down to a movement, and movements equate to change. One of the hardest things to achieve in life is systemic change, and most attempts fail. A change initiative is typically represented as an s-curve like the one above. It’s hard to change social norms. It’s hard for fashion novelties to become trends. It’s hard for viruses to become epidemics. It’s a question of inertia and at the start of a movement it always works against you.

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