Are used games killing the industry or saving it?

Rumors beginning last week about all things Xbox 720 (?) have provoked a flurry of speculation and statements about the industry’s stance on used games. Bitmob has a great essay up challenging the assumption that used games are actually costing publishers and developers as much as they claim:

I can categorically prove that pre-owned games actually boost developers’ incomes. I would never have paid full price for Mass Effect. I knew nothing about it at its release; I was abroad and missed the launch PR drive, and it simply didn’t appear on my radar. A friend tried to convince me to buy it, so I purchased a pre-owned copy at a reduced price.

I became hooked on what is still one of my favorite games of all time. It lead me to buy the second game at launch and my pre-order for the third instalment of the series sits in the system of my local retailer. Bioware didn’t lose £20 by my pre-owned purchase; it gained £90. Pre-owned games aren’t killing the industry; they supplement and boost it.

Plans for next-gen consoles have been pushed back in recent weeks, suggesting we won’t see anything new from Sony or Microsoft until some time in 2013 at the earliest. Hopefully by then gamers and publishers will have figured out how to get along.

Yannick LeJacq

[via Bitmob]