Someone opened a question in reddit concerning used game sales, and the usual privileged moralizing was not slow to appear in force. This whole discussion is a prime example of how people go against perfectly fine practices for no other reason than that they perceive them to be a danger to their hobby…because those providing such hobby tell them so.
It’s no secret that the video game industry simply hates the used game sales, with as much and possibly more passion than they hate piracy. That hatred is of course misguided as much as it is when focused against piracy, but you can’t honestly expect much more from brain-dead executives who think that used game resellers are ripping them off. However one would hope that actual gamers, who are the ones benefiting most from a thriving second-hand market, would be more positive.
And to an extent it is, usually the highest comments are supportive of second-hand markets, but I’m seeing more and more upvoted comments and posts, condemning used game sales. Granted, a lot of this hate goes specifically towards GameStop, which people do have significant reasons to dislike, but then again, you also get a lot of comments strongly against used game sales for no other reason than the usual “It harms the developers”. The following is an archetypical comment:
Let me preface this by saying I’m very strongly against used game selling, as the basically the entire profit made from used game sales goes to the retailer.
These two are very, very similar, and shouldn’t be treated as separately as you are treating them. The key difference between piracy and used game purchases boils down to the buyer. When someone buys the game used, they aren’t supporting the developers, however they are still paying at least something for the game.
Pirates, on the other hand pay nothing. Pirating a game is playing a game illegally. That is it. Pirates can try to justify their actions all they want, saying they are just trying the game or will buy it later. This does not change the fact that they are playing the game illegally until they pay for it. There are no exceptions, no excuses for playing without paying.
One additional point is that you are assuming that people who frown upon piracy approve of used game sales. This is very, very rarely the case. Both are detrimental and would be best eliminated, it’s just that one involves taking something for free and one involves the slightly shady business practices of some stores.
And Finally, you are neglecting the absolute most important piece of information: you are assuming all customers are aware that no profit from used game sales goes to the developers. Most people are simply casual players, and won’t give a second thought about their purchase. To them, a used game is simply a cheaper version of what they were going to buy. It doesn’t change the fact that the developer is cut out of the sale, I just want to clarify some important gaps in your initial complaint.