No sooner had I made my post yesterday about used games and their price does a major game development company announces a new plan to cut down on used sales, or at least recoup their losses. As you might have guessed, they plan on taking that recoup right out of your wallet.
The news is that starting with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011, all EA sports games will not work online without a one time use code that will come in the box. Let that sink in for a moment. That means that if you buy any of their sports games used, you'll have no access to online play unless you pay an additional one-time fee that links itself to your online account. The cost of this fee? $10. Sure, you'll be given a 7 day trial period if you haven't played the particular game before, so rentals will still work online for the first week, but after that, you'll either need to buy new or shell out $10 to play online.
As I expected to see, forums were alive and well today, if well could be considered reacting with utter rage and anger. But you know what, I feel completely confident in saying to all: You did this to yourselves. Just yesterday I release a story about used game sales nearly equaling actual sales. I've run older articles in which I've pointed out that used games can quite easily make more money used then new, even if they sell less copies. I pointed out that yesterday's report showed that game developers were now making far less then they normally would off of their games due to used games. Yet now that EA has become the first to really step up and do something about it, gamers are acting like this is nothing more then a greedy money grab from EA to make some extra cash, not a response to gamers (greedy) grabs for extra cash.
For all the claims we make about gamers being smart, sometimes the grasp of economics leaves a little to be desired. So I'm just going to say this plain and simple for everyone out there: Used games are not only bad for business, they're choking the industry. If you want to see more of these punishments for used game sales, continue to be the lackluster consumers you currently are. If you want to actually support the games you buy, then pony up the extra $5! I know people can be suckers for sales, but it's 5 bucks! People spend more then that at McDonalds! You can afford $5 extra to actually send the company the message and support that you want their game, at least enough to let them have a little financial compensation for their efforts.
Used games have their place. While I have a strict used new game ban, I will go pick up titles that are several years old or hard to find used if I have to. But I won't buy a new game has been out for a year or two but is still selling used. I like to send the message to the developers that I enjoyed their titles and would like to purchase more of them. However, based on many of the responses I see from the online gaming community, the consuming gamers don't give jack about the developer. They just want to have their cake and eat it too. Talk about an arrogant sense of entitlement.