The business of used games continues to be a major talking point at this juncture, especially with rumors of next-gen consoles possibly blocking used titles from playing. The latest comment comes from Battlefield 3 developer EA DICE, where interim CEO Patrick Bach says that ultimately the goal is to create a benefit to consumers, rather than try to take away experiences.
"Yeah, I heard about that. I think that can be a win and a loss," Bach said to CVG in reaction to the rumored anti-used technology in the upcoming consoles. "I think it's a loss if it only means that you will be able to get fewer games for the same money. But in theory you could see it the other way, because a lot of companies making games today are struggling based on second-hand sales."
Overall, Bach believes that there will ultimately be more money spent by core gamers, but that kind of money is still being spent for the value offered, rather than by necessity. Essentially, Bach argues that the removal of the secondary market would give more developers an opportunity to sell their products.
"So if you think that there are too few new IPs on the market, no one can take that risk if their game is at risk of being resold too many times. Therefore you see a lot of online games being the most popular. You mentioned that you feel like a lot of [online shooters] have the same formula and this is one of the reasons, which most people seem to not realize."
"So on the positive side you could see more games being created because of this, and also more new IPs, because there'd be a bigger market for games that don't have for instance multiplayer," Bach continued. "There could be awesome single player-only games, which you can't really do these days because people just pirate them, which is sad."
In the end, Bach believes that blocking used games on next-gen could actually be good for consumers. "From a gamer perspective, if you want to buy as many games as possible then this could be a problem, but if you want more diverse games then it's a more positive thing than negative. The only thing I know is that people are not doing it to be evil and stupid, it's about trying to create some benefits for consumers."
The debate rages on of course, with developers trending more towards embracing the idea of killing the used games market. Despite this, GameStop and other retailers have insisted that their business only promotes the industry.