Um, no? @ 06:51 pm
I disagree with this, and I seldom find myself in complete disagreement with Penny Arcade. Penny Arcade is stating that anyone who buys a game used isn't a customer of the game company. Not for that particular purchase, I will grant.
However, I consider myself to be a customer of EA Games (for example), even though I buy about 40% of the EA products I own used.
While I might not buy a particular title new, they are impacting me *as a customer* insomuch as I may choose not to buy future releases if they are particularly rude to the secondary market. If you really think resale is no better than theft, you should switch to digital distribution and be done with it. (Duh!)
A lot of the comments are about financial reality, the impact to game companies... has it occurred to anyone that when I buy a used game during a dry patch, I'm using it to decide if I want to buy new games from that company once I have the means? New games run $40-$60... that's a lot to spend even if you CAN get a satisfaction return. That's a tank of gas and a few days of groceries. In the same way that libraries haven't put book stores out of business, the used game market isn't necessarily about buying new versus used. It's buying used versus buying AT ALL.
Second, buying used implies that the game was already purchased new one time. It isn't the same as, say, piracy, where one purchase could equal a few thousand freeloaders. I'm not freeloading when I buy a used game any more than I put Gap out of business when I shop at a consignment store.
Do I think game companies deserve recompense? Absolutely. Do I believe the used game market is crippling them? Um, no. If I can dig up the correct url I will link to one of the most eloquent blogs I've ever read on art and money. In short, you "deserve" to be paid for the product of your artistic labor insomuch as you are commissioned to a specific purpose. If you make something independent of an established desire by other human beings, you take the risk on yourself. If your primary market is drying up, but the secondary market is strong, it means the people who will buy your product won't pay as much as you've been pricing it for... not that they are criminals. This is basic economics.