News: Publishers to Profit from Explicit Drawing Inside Used Wii Video Game?

Publishers to Profit from Explicit Drawing Inside Used Wii Video Game?

The used video game market represents a huge portion of retail game sales. It's the only avenue in which most people can afford to buy AAA games. But game publishers aren't exactly big fans of used game sales, since they only benefit from gamers buying new ones. GameStop and Best Buy are huge corporate interests, so EA and the rest of the big publishers out there have not been able to push them around on the issue of used game sales... so far.

Last weekend, a mother of two from the aptly named city of Cumming, Georgia may have become the greatest champion of the publishers' cause yet. She didn't deliver a firebrand speech or bring any kind of lawsuit... at least not yet. But what she did do was purchase the wrong used game. Specifically, a preowned copy of Mario & Sonic at the Winter Olympics for the Nintendo Wii, which happened to have some *ahem* inappropriate cartoons doodled inside from the previous owner.

Good wholesome fun with video game heroes? Or cartoon porn distribution service?

Judging by the quality of the drawings shown in the WSB-TV news clip, this was likely the work of some local trollish teenagers. Surprisingly, the mother has not expressed any interest in suing GameStop, but she did say that from now on she will only buy new games to avoid confronting a similar situation in the future.

Publishers to Profit from Explicit Drawing Inside Used Wii Video Game?

Not the reaction you expected? Me neither.

There are many, many lawsuits filed over much sillier things. She could argue that GameStop should have looked at the inside of the case and found the drawings or that they were peddling pornography, which could possibly get a jury on her side. Instead, she's using her moment in the spotlight to talk about purchasing new games only.

Which is why this story, if it's true as reported, is great news for AAA game publishers. If parents are scared that their young children will find pictures of penises and other human anatomy inside their used games, more of them will buy new, paying higher prices and funneling more money into the hands of publishers.

But it's unclear yet as to whether this story has legs or is even real. Either way, it's a useful lens for looking at the problem that used games pose for game retailers and publishers. Both are being forced to fight harder than ever to stay alive in the face of recession, an uprising of indie games, and digital distribution, all of which can cut into their profits. The battle over precious new game dollars will probably only get more intense as those conditions intensify.

Photo by Gamekyo

9 Comments

I still don't see much of a problem in buying used games...

Nor do I. It's pretty much the only way I buy boxed games.

Plus its much cheaper. The game industries just want you to spend money on their products, not resold ones

The problem with re-selling second hand titles has actually become far worse than piracy. The game retailers may sell the same disc several times and THEY reap all the rewards. Meanwhile the actual GAMES COMPANIES that are slaving away to make these titles don't see anything for it. Sure their game might be selling well in stores, but just how much are they really seeing in return?! I know of several local games companies in my area that have closed their doors due to this problem. If you want to continue playing quality games in the future then start putting money into the pockets of those who CREATE them, not the ones who merely sell them

Well, once the game company has made their first sale, they no longer own the actual game itself. It's up to the consumer who bought and owns the game to decide what they want to do with it. If the consumer wants to sell it back to the store, that's their prerogative. Game publishers have gotten creative by charging for additional maps, additional gameplay, etc; I don't think they're hurting as much as you think they are.

one could argue that those original works of art that she found in the case could have cost her more , after all they are works of art and she got more then she paid for.

I think it's a scam. Usually the used game retailers check the disk and case for damage.

and this is why the world hates america

Adding to all the advantages already, i like to think of it as having also an environmental impact. I used to store all my stuff in the basement because i told my self "I'll play this again sometime" which i almost never did. From now on i sell most of the games which don't really have replay value as soon as possible, to get rid of future junk rotting in the basement. This way it still fullfils it's purpose (kinda like a toy story approach ;-)) and maybe a little plastic is saved from going to waste.

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