Going used, is it a problem or not?

Danny Bilson is the Vice President of core gaming at THQ. THQ has been around since 1989 and some of the popular franchises are Red Faction, Saints Rows and WWE Smackdown vs. Raw. In an interview Bilson was making comments about the next steps for THQ. Ever since he left EA to join THQ in 2008 the company has taken a new turn. For example, Bilson discussed that games need to made as if they were going to be a hits. When Darksiders 1 came out In January 2010, there was already a green light for Darksiders 2. The biggest thing Bilson wants to do is have a blockbuster title per quarter over the next two and half years.

I thought it was interesting listening to a business man talk about what a video game/publisher company needs to do. The most interesting thing Bilson talked about was the problems in the gaming industry. Bilson was asked, "What a big problem with the video game industry?" He responded USED GAMES. I've thought about this myself, how do companies like THQ make money on used games? After listening to Bilson interview, I found out they don't.


There are many games where players complete the campaign mode and unlocked all the features and there is nothing left to do. Why not sell that game back and get store credit or money out of it? Bilson explains that creating video games cost a lot of money and the company needs to sell a certain amount of units to profit (econ 101). Bilson's solution to "used games" was unique and creative but not complete. According to Bilson what we have to do is give premium content to the new game so that it feels like there's more value there and that the used guy can choose to spend more money to get back to premium. I like the idea, but what shocked me was the level of the problem. My friend can purchase a copy and sell it to me directly for half the price. Until people are downloading games from online completely I think this problem will slowly grow. I've been buying used games for years and I did not know the effect. I thought I was saving a few dollars for myself, but that is not the case. I think used games are great for the not so fortunate gamer, but if this problems occurs and with the way things are in our society today (recession) more and more bad games are going to be released and the gaming industry might go down.

For the full interview...


Written by Evil Ambassador Caleb King