Wednesday, August 25, 2010


"The idea that THQ is somehow "disrespecting customers" with this kind of rhetoric misunderstands the situation as completely as it is possible to do so. In a literal way, when you purchase a game used, you are not a customer of theirs. If I am purchasing games in order to reward their creators, and to ensure that more of these ingenious contraptions are produced, I honestly can't figure out how buying a used game was any better than piracy. From the the perspective of a developer, they are almost certainly synonymous."

I'm curious where that mysterious used copy of a game came from. Did GameStop take it off the shelf and slap a USED label on it and screw themselves out of ten bucks? 

Nnnnnnnno, I'm pretty sure someone bought it, traded it in, and then that copy is picked up by another customer. If it's a good game the sales numbers are still going to do well, as people won't want to get rid of their copies. Plus hell, I bought Too Human, and I fucking hated that game. I don't want to support those developers so I sold it. Why is the existence of the secondhand market such an awful thing?

Even the oft-reviled GameStop you seem to berate so often doesn't drop the price on their games for close to three months, and even then it's by like, ten bucks at most. 

By the way that's a real slick strawman there dude, bein all "Oh yeah if I am buying to support the developer/publisher, then piracy is the same as used games." That's really slick, there, instead of just calling the people who buy used thieves, you're saying they are if you support the developers. So, you know, you aren't a thief if you buy used, but you're certainly depriving the developers from their hard earned money, you awful person.

Plus, if you even look at it, how much exactly are they 'losing' in sales? Often times people pick up copies on eBay or Amazon on the cheap, months or even years later, and sometimes that's the only way they buy the game. Are they even going to buy in the first place? 

What you are saying is, if the secondhand market didn't exist, more people would have to buy new. Have to. Removal of the secondhand market results in forcing more people to purchase games for higher value if they like it or not. Call me crazy but that's a terrible idea. 

I understand that Gamestop's push of the used gaming market is good business for them but I don't understand why there's this fucking backward-ass disgust for the entire secondhand market. Cars and CDs and books and comics secondhand take money away from publishers/creators. This doesn't mean that there's any efforts to squelch it. Gaming is pretty much the first time that developers are allowed to provide incentive for buying new instead of picking up used. 

And hey don't get me wrong, Gamestop is bullshit. But what Tycho and Gabe are saying is do not ever buy used. Like, not even eBay or Amazon or your friend selling you his copy for ten bucks. You're a thief. 

How does renting fit into this diagram anyway? If I rent a copy from GameFly or Blockbuster, sometimes even buy used from GameFly's bargain bin, I'm still depriving those developers of their money. I could have bought it to play it, but I did not. I am a thief. 

Also, look at GameStop next time you're going by. I'm going to wager that 90% of their games aren't even in production anymore. Usually when I look for an old game like Okami or Shadow of the Colossus, I call up GameStop since I doubt it'd be more than twenty bucks. Most game publishers stop printing after about a year. 

As I've said before, I don't fault this incentive at all. Mass Effect 2 or Gears of War 2 had perfect responses to it, by signing you up for a free download of a pack of DLC, and I completely understand why developers do that. Tycho even said this. But you are not going to underhandedly call me a thief for buying old PS2 games. 

Don't get me wrong - when digital distribution hits the frontlines like Steam has been and I can buy my game cheap from the developer, I am all in favor of it. But until this alternative exist I don't want to be told, "You're just like a pirate" by the biggest PR name in gaming today because I notice Resident Evil 4 on the cheap.

Bonus Stage: Look at their response to the rape comic vs their response to this one and watch your head explode. Apparently the opinions of gamers are more important than the opinions of rape victims. 

Bonus Bonus Stage: What I hate the most about Gabe's response is that Tycho pretty much called every gamer in the world who buys secondhand a pirate, and Gabe stepped in to say, hey, you know, it's okay, we're allowed to disagree. The fundamental difference is that they both agree and Penny Arcade is their collective brainchild, so this whole thing - just like the rape comic - reads as them insulting you, then following up with saying it's okay that you disagree with them. It's so backhanded and insulting. 

Extra Special Bonus Stage: It's good to know that as wealthy adults who run the biggest internet-distributed comic today they feel my being broke is detrimental to the gaming industry. I should stop being so broke.

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