Gamestop chie financial advisor Rob Lloyd is on record saying that 60% of gamers would not buy a new console if that console blocked the use of used games, Eddie Makuch for Gamespot writes on Feb. 11.
Both Sony and Microsoft have thrown around rumors that this is their plan, to create a requirement with their consoles that games can only be played on that specific console by entering an activation code; once that code is used, the game is linked forever to that console and cannot be played by others.
But majority of gamers would not buy these new consoles if this were the case, said Rob Lloyd during a Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference on Feb. 12, where he rose to the defense of used games.
"It's really only about 4 percent of our used game sales are games that were games released in the last 60 days," Lloyd said. "So it does not have a big impact on the sale of new product. So that's why publishers understand how important the preowned business is to them. Sony has said publicly that they don't intend to block used games in their next console. Microsoft has refused to or has not commented on the rumors that have hit the marketplace."
Gamestop has also conducted tests as to research as to “anticipated consumer buying behavior,” and with this knowledge he said: “Consumers want the ability to play preowned games; they want portability in their games; they want to play physical games. And to not have those things would be a substantial reason for them to not purchase a new console."
Nonetheless, Lloyd said that if the new consoles do block used games, Gamestop will still carry them, and will adapt to whatever the market becomes. “We'll be able to sell the new consoles that come from Microsoft and Sony regardless of what features they have or what they do or don't allow…We'll adapt to what it does to the preowned business. And one of the ways we'll do that is through a continued healthy preowned business for today's generation of consoles."
So Sony has said no to the rumor, and Microsoft has yet to answer. If the answer has been around, why hasn’t it been answered or approved before? The answer is twofold, as Lloyd describes at length. In a nutshell, he says that developers do not like used games because they are not part of the revenue chain; they don’t get any money from a pre-owned game. Publishers get caught in the middle, understanding the desire and need for used games, but also understanding the “loss” of money.
“And so, I think that as the console makers balance those needs, they consider, 'Is this an appropriate thing to do? Would we make more money by doing this in the future?' I think what customers have told them at this point is they view it as a very unfriendly thing to do,” Lloyd concludes.
For more information, check out Eddie Makuch’s article on Gamespot.