The used game debate has sparked up again, this time at the behest of experienced industry professional Richard Browne.
Browne, former Eidos developer and vice president of Core Studios, published a lengthy rant on the Games Industry International website in support of rumoured anti-used game devices being developed for next generation consoles.
He says consumers are getting lower quality games because developers are forced to keep gamers hooked with DLC and updates.
"Do I really want to have to type in a token code when I buy a game? No, you’ve just added annoyance and friction to my experience. But more to the point – do I really want talented studios spending their time designing and implementing this rather than polishing the game? No, I really don’t.”
In order to keep gamers attached to their games, Browne says developers have to implement techniques to stop the "churn” of used games.
Developers are forced to create strong multi-player modes, which leaves less time to focus on compelling single player story, according to Browne.
"How do I stop churn? I implement multiplayer and attempt to keep my disc with my consumer playing online against their friends…the problem is, at what cost? Countless millions of dollars would be the answer.”
Although Browne is calling for the death of used games, it’s not really as simple as that – obviously he is looking at things from an industry perspective, through green-tinted, where’s-the-money-for-developers glasses.
And fair enough, too. People who spend their lives making a product that sells should be paid for their efforts. But although Browne argues that used games are not beneficial to customers because they limit variety and creativity, I haven’t played that many games lately that have made me think, ‘jeez, how boring, unoriginal and stereotypical’. Nor have I been paying upwards of $100 for new games.
If Microsoft and Sony decide to somehow bar used games from the next generation of consoles, how will you react? Will you shell out big money for new release games? Comment below and let us know what you think.