DLC and Pre-Owned Games: Why They’re Perfect For Each Other

My thoughts on the pre owned market and how DLC works into it.

For a long while I have debated with myself over whether or not I support the pre-owned games market. I can see why people feel they should be able to sell the games they own once they are finished/bored with them and I absolutely agree that they should be able to.

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I can see why developers are pretty upset with the situation as well, however. If someone has never played (for example) GTA IV before and sees it in store, brand new for £29.99 or pre-owned for £14.99, then of course they’re going to go with the cheaper option. However they’re getting a new gaming experience without the creators seeing any money for their hundreds of hours of hard work.

For a long time, I’ve avoided buying pre-owned games, except in certain circumstances (the game no longer being sold new for example). However, I have traded in games before and sold them on eBay. I guess this makes me a bit of a hypocrite, but hey, it’s my game I can sell it if I want, right? See, what’s always bothered me about it is the retailers making a profit from the sale and not passing some of it on to the developers/publishers. They pay a fixed price for the game, they don’t have to pay any fees or royalties or anything at all (shipping cost cover, etc.). It’s one, flat price then smooth sailing to moneys-ville, population GameStop (or GAME to us Englanders).

Anyway, like I was saying, I’ve been internally debating with myself for some time now and have decided on a way to justify to myself the purchase of pre-owned games and I just felt like sharing it.

DLC is the answer. Once bought, DLC can’t be traded in or sold to anyone at all. Most games these days have DLC available for purchase. Say I was to buy, for example, Black Ops II pre-owned then go and play it. I like it so much that I decide to buy a map pack or two. Boom, Treyarch just made the money that they would have got from the sale of the game if I’d bought it brand new.

It can, of course, be argued that had I bought the game brand new they would have made the money from that sale plus the money from the map pack DLC sale. The difference in price between that particular game as brand new vs. pre-owned is insane though, depending on where you go. I was in my local CEX shop (that’s Cinematic Exchange, so STOP SNIGGERING IN THE BACK!) and saw it for £18. If I was to rush home and download the game from XBL it would set me back a wallet-busting £49.99 (at the time of writing).

To be honest, I now feel as though buying pre-owned is almost like trialling a game, and if I like it enough then I can decide to purchase some extra content for a small price and the devs will still know I appreciate them. Oh, sure Microsoft would see a portion of the money, but that’s no different from GAME taking a slice of a brand new game sale.

So there. That’s my mind made up, I am now ok with buying pre-owned games as the devs still have a chance to make the money that they would have otherwise lost.

And no, this article has nothing at all to do with the fact that I managed to get the Gears of War trilogy for less than a tenner today.

If anyone has any other opinions, or still feels that pre-owned games do more harm than good to the industry please let me know in the comments, I’m always up for discussion about it.


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Author
TDGDan
Budding writer. Used to write a while ago, wanting to get back into it