Quite the little dust up today about comments made by GameStop’s executive vice president Michael Mauler to Edge Magazine regarding the “damage” that used game sales has on the industry.
Mauler (that name is perfect, by the way) tried his best to defend the practice of selling used games a week after release, saving gamers a few bucks while allowing GameStop to double dip.
“We the industry have done it to ourselves,” Mauler says of the second hand market. “We take all the great releases and put them all in a two-month period. “If you’re an FPS fan, you look at all the games that are coming out this fall, and you’d have to be pretty wealthy to buy all of them. There are going to be people who buy Battlefield 3, and they’re not going to have €60 for at least another month or two…they’re all coming out so close together.”
Mauler also claims that second hand sales in fact help the industry because it keeps gamers interested in yearly franchises (like sports games).
“I can understand the feelings [but] we’ve sat down with developers and publishers and really gone through the data,” Mauler told the magazine’s website. “I personally think there’s a lot of benefit to the publisher. “A great example is sequels, where there’s a large percentage of people who are just not going to spend $60 every single year without being able to do something. They’ll look at their shelf and see ten FIFAs, Pro Evos or Maddens.“
Of course, this has nothing to do with GameStop simply making a killing selling used games at a small discount a week (sometimes less) after release and then banking all the cash and slipping past the publisher, waving at them like Albert Ganz in 48 Hours as he flees via the subway.
I really don’t mind GameStop selling these games used and making money. It’s legal and is working.
Just don’t play me by coming up with altruistic reasons why you are doing it as if somehow this practice helps the industry in any other way, from GameStop’s point of view, other than pocketbook lining.
In the immortal words of Fletcher in the classic film The Outlaw Josey Wales: There’s another old saying, Senator: Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.
Our friends over at Game Politics have some ready made quotes from those on the other side of the issue to Mr. Mauler that are wroth reading.
My favorite: Chris Taylor – Gas Powered Games:
“Well, it’s all going to be moot in the coming years, so we can analyze this all day long, but it doesn’t matter. I agree with the comments about being offered used, when you walked into the store to buy new… that’s where Gamestop’s arguments fall down. Take that sales pitch out of the equation, and they’ll gain some ground with me.”