My question is... is the gaming industry even in dire straits right now? I mean, they seem to be doing pretty damn good. I'll tell you, a majority of the trade-in games I see are not new games at all. For example, we've maybe gotten 2 copies of Gears of War 3 in since it was released. We got maybe 5 copies in of Dead Island. Madden 12... only like 3 copies. We're not seeing new games because who the fuck is going to buy a game for 60 bucks and then trade it in for less than half of what they paid right away? Almost all of our business is in games that are 3 years old or older. Actually, a lot of what sells almost immediately is N64 first party titles and systems. Our copy of Gears of War 3 has been sitting on our shelf for a couple of weeks. N64 systems and first party games, however, almost always go the same day (most of the time, same hour) they come in. Smash Bros. for the N64 is our most requested game by far. SNESs.... we sell those before they're even put in the display case most of the time.
My point is, I don't see how used game stores cut into the profits of new game sales so much that they NEED to do things like force us to pay for online passes or have a download codes for game companies to survive. Those things are only in place so they can squeeze every little bit of profit out of the consumer and it's so offensive because it's so blatant. Really, I usually buy on average three new games a year within the first week they're released. This year, I bought Portal 2, Deus Ex, Duke Nukem, Mass Effect 2 (PS3), Bulletstorm, and I'm going to buy the special edition of Uncharted 3 with all the little doodads... so I bought six brand new 60+ dollar games this year because I'm actually making real money for the first time in my life and I went a little overboard. Now add in all the download content I've bought and bam... I've spent a shitload. I consider myself to be an average consumer in terms of video games as well. In total, if you don't count retro games, I've bought at least 10 games brand new so far this year and like I said, six of those were at their highest price point. I know people who buy way more than I do in terms of video games. I refuse to believe that used game stores really hurt the industry bad enough that they need to put in measures like access codes.
The video game industry is an $18 billion dollar industry. The average game by the average developer makes between $10 million to $50 million for it's entire production run and games are relatively cheap to create. Some games are blockbusters. GTA IV made $310 million on it's first day. Here, check out this quote from an article about investment and stock trading on seekingalpha.com:
In 2007, the industry sold 267.8 million games. That's 540 games sold every minute.
That is new games.... not used, not retro. Brand new games... and the article goes on to state that the industry doubled that number in 2008. I think the industry is doing pretty damn well and all this talk about them losing profits and needing to lay off workers and needing to curb used game sales is all complete bullshit. The video game industry is one of the most healthy and stable industries out there today.