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Crytek Director Wasn't "Serious" About Hating Used Games

Rasmus Hojengaard's words created quite a stir for Crytek

By Ben Harrison on 5/2/2012
The used games market has been a key issue in determining what goes into the next generation of gaming consoles. GameStop and the occasional "mom 'n' pop" local gaming stores had long been the only retailers in town that allowed trade-ins, but given just how successful the used game market has become, places like Best Buy and even Amazon.com have started receiving used titles. From a gamer's point of view, buying used makes perfect sense: same game, cheaper price. However, developer's don't see much from used titles, so many ideas have been circulating about how to curb the used game market.

One prominent idea was that once a game is played once in a next-gen console, that game's ID is "stored" to the console and can't be played by another console. Upon hearing this, Crytek's director of creative development, Rasmus Hojengaard, said this: "From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome. It's weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn't work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well."

Obviously, there has been a bit of backlash towards Crytek for the remarks. I doubt many gamers would disagree that they would rather see their money go towards GameStop or Best Buy instead of the developers of their favorite games, but completely locking down games to one console isn't a likely answer. In a rebuttal, Hojengaard said, "My comment made in the interview released on the 24th of April, touching upon 'blocking sales of used games', was not intended to be taken seriously nor representative of the opinion of Crytek."

Clearly, the used games market is a problem for developers. However, a key feature of capitalism is pricing goods based on the market, and there was a market for used games. Hojengaard is completely right about the used game market not being good "from a business perspective," just how it's not really fair to blame the gamers for buying used games in a free market, so punishing gamers as a result only hurts the fanbase. A middle-ground solution for both gamers and developers definitely needs to be found, and until a happy medium can be reached, this debate will probably carry on for years to come. Or until the next console generation, at least.
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