Temper Tantrums as Bad PR

Recently, the proverbial fit has hit the almighty shan of the interactive media (read: video games) market due to a decision THQ made to tell purchasers of pre-owned games to go fuck themselves running. Now, I don’t bother with online gaming (I’m too much of a misanthrope to deal with even digital imaginations of people), so this doesn’t affect me in any way but the statement is rather loopy-minded and will probably hurt them and the industry through an unnecessary build-up of bad blood.

Yes, I know that publishers and creators get jack-all from a resale of a previously purchased game and I acknowledge how much that sucks. There are several incredibly cool people I know in the book publishing market who face the same situation in regards to used bookstores. They put hard work into something and get nothing back for the enjoyment they provide. But I have never heard an author or publisher in the indie market (the ones that are truly hit by this) call out for one-time use from a book purchase.

They don’t do that because the (very limited) benefit would be outweighed by a wealth of negative feeling on the part of their actual purchasers (not the ones mentioned here). People who would normally be perfectly willing to buy new would still be likely to take offense to being called thieves. Besides, they also realize that someone who bought a used copy of Cthulhu Unbound (by the fine folks at Permuted Press) and enjoyed it will be much more likely to pay full price for the new shiny Cthulhu Unbound 2.

On a side note, as evil and generally dickish as Gamestop may be, the HUGE markup they make from used sales allow them to survive with the minimal markup allowed with new sales. Otherwise, my only options would be Best Buy and Walmart, neither of which carries much beyond the latest Halo clones. Because of that, I tend to go there for new games as well. In addition, their willingness to buy games I don’t play anymore often nets me the $15 bucks extra that allows me to buy the brand-spankin new game in all its crisp and shiny glory.