Attack of the Fanboy

Used Games on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 will keep the video game industry alive

by William Schwartz


The used game market has been a hot topic over the last few years. Developers and publishers have moved to online pass schemes that attempt to recoup some money from gamers who choose to purchase their games on the cheap. There has even been talk of next generation hardware like the Xbox 720 or PlayStation 4 eliminating the used game market completely, though not everyone is buying it. Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities has been one of the critics of this rumor.

This weekend, Pachter elaborated on this viewpoint in his “Pach-Attack” web series.

“I think the industry will disintegrate; I think there will be no more video games if next-gen consoles don’t support used games,” a pretty strong stance from the analyst. “Why would the next-gen consoles not support used games? Sony doesn’t sell that much software; maybe 10% of sales are Sony products. Everything else, the other 90%, is third-party. Sony isn’t going to help its overall sales that much – let’s go with 1%, 2%,” he continued.

Pachter also believes that if either Sony or Microsoft did decide to tackle used-games with disc protection or other measures, it would give an advantage to the one who did not, and he doesn’t think either Microsoft or Sony are “stupid enough” to do that.

“Because most people don’t finish new games in a week. Most people take thrtee weeks to a month to finish games. Not everybody buys a game the first day. You probably don’t get that many games traded in; in reality about 40% of games get traded back in.”

By Pachter’s numbers, the reality of the used games market and their effects on the bottom-line of game publishers is minimal, compared to the damage that eliminating them completely brings.

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