“Go fuck yourselves, broke gamers.”

Well, that’s essentially what EA Sports should have said with their press release.

Anyone else paying attention to EA Sports’ decision to pair their games with a one-time online code for their titles to deter the used games buyers? Activision and THQ are said to follow this trend. I’m not much of a sports gamer, but if this picks up in speed it’s going to happen with a whole lot more titles in different genres. Not all, but a good percentage of the games in my collection I got at a pawn shop so this trend could affect me.

I don’t see why they’re getting pissed off at people who buy used games to even consider going this far. It’s not like the local pawn store or Gamestop bargain bin is taking money out of these guys pockets. The way I always understood how it worked was that the company manufactures a whole bunch of games and retail outlets pay them for the games and the outlet sells them to the customer and the customer takes it home and enjoys it. I could be wrong, but in the event that I’m right I don’t see where EA is losing any money in the used games market. And it’s not really as if they will make more money if they try to deter people from buying their products used. The only way they’d lose any money is if they were an indie developer, and lets face it, EA is way too big to be an indie developer.

EA basically saying ‘No DLC for you’ to people who buy used games would be the same thing as Doubleday Books telling someone who got a Koontz novel from Half Price Books, or a Laurell K. Hamilton novel from the library to go eat a dick. It would be the same thing if I went down to Motorama and bought a used car and the people at Ford leaving a flaming bag of dog shit on my doorstep.

A really good way to turn this around and make people more enthusiastic about buying games off of the shelves come release day would be to stop expecting us to pay sixty dollars for a title that can be beaten in less than a day. It’s become a constant trend lately for game developers to spend all of their time and resources churning out all different kind of action/adventure titles that have a total of eight hours of gameplay and then you can either dive into sub-par multiplayer or just twiddle your thumbs and hope for DLC. These titles are a dime a dozen. The Modern Warfare franchise, Halo 3: ODST, Alan Wake, Wet, Mirror’s Edge; they all might be great games. They all might be very entertaining and innovative and tell a great story or have a very immersive gameplay experience, but for a sixty dollar sticker price per disc; to me it doesn’t feel like I’m getting my money’s worth.

The games on my shelf are games that I can throw in to the xbox time and time again and not get bored, whether the title boasts hours upon hours of gameplay or if I can start over each time and not see the same thing twice. That is my own personal meter stick when I’m standing in front of the giant illuminated glass case in the walmart electronics section. That’s how I decide what games I spend my money on and which ones I just rent or borrow. Games like Red Dead Redemption, Splinter Cell: Conviction, Fable 2, Alone In The Dark, Saints Row 2, GTA4.

I can put any one of those discs in my xbox on any given day and spend the whole day playing a single game without even touching the multiplayer or DLC and have a days worth of entertainment long after I’ve gotten sixty dollars worth of enjoyment out of the game, whether I’ve hog-tied one of the saloons hookers and throw her on the railroad tracks, or run from the Stillwater Police in a high speed chase with a hostage in my vehicle, I can do that shit all day and then the next day do something completely different in the same game and still be entertained. Or I can throw a different game into the console and stalk the shadows as Sam Fisher or cover bullets in gasoline and set things on fire when I shoot them in Alone In The Dark; I can always expect something new and different every time I play one of the games in my limited collection, and that’s what makes a sixty dollar price point worth it to me. Not how much media attention a game gets before it’s launch or how many different kinds of terrorists I get to shoot in the eight hours I play Modern Warfare 2.


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