Publishers don't see a dime from secondhand sales, which gives angry gamers a way to play without supporting anti-consumer practices.
For most of the last decade, I refused to buy used games as a matter of principle. These days, I actively seek them out. But it's still a matter of principle.
In the last few years, as connected consoles and always-on Internet have tilted the balance of control away from the consumer, I've seen publishers try a variety of tactics to thwart used game sales. Ironically, it's these exact tactics that have pushed me to buying used games. I'd be more conflicted about that decision if it weren't for the near-daily reminders as to why I made it in the first place.
This week the reminders come courtesy of Rockstar Games and DICE. In the former case, Rockstar announced its DLC season pass for Max Payne 3, a collection of map packs and multiplayer modes that will be doled out between the game's launch this month and the end of the year. Not to dismiss the game's new features offhand, but when a single-player series returns with multiplayer modes it never featured before, there's a perception--fair or not--that the online component was instituted for reasons financial rather than creative. Multiplayer modes--especially ones with character progression, unlockable perks, and a steady stream of new maps and content--give gamers a reason to keep playing a game instead of trading it in. And when you sell eager gamers on a DLC pass, you're essentially ensuring they won't sell that game back until the last of the content they paid for is released many months later, which is great for publishers because GameStop can't sell used games if it never gets them from customers in the first place.
Publishers try a variety of tactics to thwart used game sales. Ironically, it's these exact tactics that have pushed me to buying used games.
So Max Payne 3's Rockstar Pass is available for preorder right now for $30 (yes, preorder DLC, which is a silly enough concept on its own that it deserves a stand-alone editorial devoted to mocking it), because the mind-set of the games-as-a-service industry is to charge your most devoted fans the most money. Why not get them to drop $90 on a game that isn't out yet and essentially commit to not trading it in for seven months (at which point it will have been rendered irrelevant by a budget-priced Ultimate Edition that actually includes the complete game)? Never mind that it speaks to a lack of respect for your most loyal customers, or that it erodes hard-earned good will with every gamer who gets sick of the game before that final content drop.
As for the reminder from DICE, that came from comments Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach made to CVG. Bach explained how the industry-wide push for online games was intentionally designed to combat used game sales, and said it's one of the reasons so many online shooters have the same formula. However, he also pointed to the possibility of next-gen consoles blocking used game sales as a good thing for consumers. "In theory," Bach argues, the elimination of the secondhand market could empower struggling companies to break the existing formulas, try making new IP and more varied types of games. In practice, I argue, that's complete bull.
If the used game market went away tomorrow, console publishers would keep resorting to these practices because they've worked.
Picture a console generation without used games. It would look a little bit like the PC market right now. Now look at how console publishers treat the PC market. Beyond massively multiplayer online games and free-to-play experiments, they mostly produce the same games as they do in the console space, but often with the added ignominy of releasing the PC versions later (by two weeks, in the case of Max Payne 3) and saddled with digital-rights management (like Battlefield 3's Origin requirement) due to piracy fears. And it's not like the PC games today skip all this DLC rigmarole because there's no used game market to thwart; both Max Payne 3 and Battlefield 3 on PC are selling the same staggered assortment of content as their console counterparts. If the used game market went away tomorrow, console publishers would keep resorting to these practices because they've worked, and innovation will still only be pursued when it's driven by a business model. Now that we've shown these companies that we're gullible enough to put up with this nonsense, they aren't going to cram that toothpaste back into the tube out of the goodness of their hearts.
Now I don't doubt that the used market costs developers money. I'm not going to argue that trade-in money going toward more purchases somehow completely offsets the impact of secondhand sales. I understand the frustration of a studio that makes a dynamite single-player game seeing players treat it like a glorified rental, plowing through the content on launch day and trading it in before the end of the weekend. I can see the frustration associated with creating a game to be art and having it consumed and discarded as a commercial product. But even in light of all that, this doesn't seem to be a make-or-break issue for developers. When studios go under, I've heard developers chalk it up to piracy. I've heard them complain about publishers screwing them over and pulling out of projects. I have yet to hear a developer blame the failure of the company on used game sales.
Once upon a time, I saw buying new as a way to support developers and vote with my wallet. I knew that developers didn't see a dime of my money when I purchased a secondhand game, and I had no particular love for GameStop and its business practices, so buying new was the way to go. I looked at it as just doing my part to make sure publishers knew that pursuing quality above all else was a viable business model in the gaming industry. I still make a point to buy new games and keep them, but only when I feel the business model is one that treats me as a respected customer instead of an adversary who must be tricked into not trading it in. The big difference is that now when I see the latter, I will go out of my way to buy that game used and trade it back in once I'm done with it. It might be petty, and it might be spiteful, but it's still principled.
Alright, is anyone else getting angry at being called consumers?
I'm a CUSTOMER!
The difference between a customer and a consumer is that you treat a customer with respect while being a consumer implies being a "mindless eater."
I don't see where principle is involved in buying, or not, used games. I got my first taste of throttling used games a while back when I bought a used PC copy of half-life on EBay. I got my first exposure to STEAM and found out that I couldn't play the game because it was "registered" to another user. The guy had to lend me his username and password so I could play. I can sell used books or used movies or used CDs without a problem. Just what's so different with a game. What argument can be made that the gaming industry is so special? This is akin to the argument that taxing the wealthy discourages them from investing and creating jobs. Frankly, I like single play and I'm not going to spend sixty plus bucks for eight hours of game play.
@slfite Well, if no one is willing to spend $60 for 8 hours of game play, say good bye to videogames. There will be NO more videogames to play.
For my money (literally and figuratively) used is the only real way to go, or at the very least, trading only makes sense. There are very few games that I want to keep for more than my first play-through. Part of this is that I'm much busier now than when I was 16, and part of it is that most games just don't warrant being kept forever.
Games I love, like Portal 2, are bought new and never traded in, because I respect the hell out of Valve and want to play that game over and over and over. CODMOD3? No respect, didn't feel the desire to keep it. Fiscally, it just makes sense to me.
Well if they are losing money in the secondary market then maybe they should get into it as not only a income stream but a value stream as well. Thats their own fault and ego costing them money. There are WAY too many developers selling a product then moving on. They drop the crap in your lap for you to deal with after they got your money. At least Dice is trying to support their product although they messed up more than they fixed in BF3.
not to mention that, as a whole, games' quality has steadily dropped over the past 10 years, thanks to monopolization of the industry. companies like EA have destroyed many a franchise. i would not mind paying high prices for the games with high re-play value. look at Fallout 2. released in '98 i have replayed the game a dozen times, year after year, or Diablo 2, or Half-Life. those games were and still are rock solid. the golden age of gaming has probably gone on stand-by.
How about the prototype is the intellectual property and the mass produced model is the disc we all buy. Makes the comparison easier to understand for those ninja developers posting in defense of their greed.
@Kryptonbornson The "used car" comparison is completely irrelevant because of the separation of material property and "intellectual property. When you bu a car, you own the car. When you buy a game you own the disc. It's the material object that you purchase. You don't, however, own the information written on it. Without the information on the disk you essentially have a blank disk, being that the data on the disc is what's of value.
Honestly, after much consideration, if you DO compare used games to used cars. One car equals one driver. If the driver sells his car and buys a new one, that's a plus for him and the dealership. Him buying a new car is good for the manufacturer, so the manufacturer has incentive to sell a new car including not making cars last as long. You don't want someone to sell a game, either make it worth it for them to keep it or make it attractive to buy a new one every year. Publishers really aren't making it attractive to buy new. I've actively avoided buying Saint's Row 3 purely because I heard of their long-term DLC plan. Maybe it is just add-on content, but it feels like the game isn't complete. Maybe it feels like they should just allow you to mod. There are certain games that feel like expansion packs or DLC is made for--just using an example--a game like Halo 2 (even though I don't like it) where you were allowed to play different races and you would like the story more fleshed out or a Warhammer 40k type game that already has rich lore and a full campaign, but you'd like additional campaigns or playable races. Max Payne is a single campaign game that shouldn't have multiplayer tacked on. We like Max, but it's not like the character isn't so generic that if they couldn't string his story along further, they could just make another character or world just like the other one ala Zelda (even though they claim it's in the same universe).
Or you could do what I do and wait for the inevitable price drops, the half price DLC sales or the "ultimate" edition. Instead of buying used (which usually only saves a few dollars against the full price, sometimes not even that if you are watching for sales) if more people avoided buying at release and used the publishers would get the message that their marketing tactics weren't working. As long as gamers continue to line up to pay full price at launch for games and DLC we'll continue to get what we deserve.
That's exactly what I do. The only 'used' games I've bought over the years have been those that were 'out of print' and no longer available new. When it comes to new releases, if I don't agree with the price being asked, I simply wait for the price to drop. As for DLC, I've now got into the habit of waiting for the inevitable 'GOTY' edition with all of it included.
If a game comes with restrictive DRM (on PC), I either buy the console version, or don't buy it at all. It really is that simple for me.
Like I said, if you don't want to pay $60 then don't. You don't have to buy a game as soon as its released. If you don't want to pay $9 for a movie ticket then wait until it comes to another more reasonable format. If you don't want to pay $400 for an iPhone 4s then wait until a price drop. Its not the cost that is the problem. It's the ethics behind punishing the consumer for the existence of a retailer like GameStop that is the problems. I don't "side" with publishers, as they represent the commercial side of gaming, but your expectations need to remain reasonable. You're not "entitled" to the product. If gamers decide to be more conservative with their purchase decisions as a result of not having the option to trade-in or rent then these publishers are only taking an already competitive industry and making it even more competitive. It's not as cut-and-dry as "4 trade-ins = 4 lost profits" as these publishers woudl like to have us believe. It's also not as cut-and-dry as making games that people "want to keep". Whether or not something is "worth keeping" is entirely subjective. There is no universal formula.
This may be a first, but I largely agree with you. :P People need to shop 'smarter'.
Friends, with all due respect 60 dlls is something you pay for a god pair of jeans, a watch, a good colony or something like that, It's just not worthy of a videogame, if they would feel the genuine need of eliminating the used game market or the piracy the would start by setting the correct price for the products they offer. Le me tell you something it's not until they just charge you a monthly fee like netflix or crunchyroll that they will disable the piracy, until then NOTHING will prevent the user from looking for "alternatives" :-/
I wouldn't pay $60 for a pair of jeans. I'm not complaining about the price and concept of a pair of overpriced jeans simply because I can choose not to buy them. Someone that feels they need them for whatever reason has every right to purchase them for $60.. I don't pay $60 for games either, being that on a long enough timeline I'll probably find it for a third of that price. Publishers can only charge what people are willing to pay, and as long as people are waiting in line to buy a $60 game, thats what publishers are going to charge. Once sales decline the price of he game lowers because selling the game for any amount is better than not selling it at all. When you have the type of attitude that you NEED to have something then you pay what you have to pay. Video game publishers didn't invent this concept. If you're like me, and don't have to play the latest and greatest then paying $60 for a game is never a problem despite the fact that I always have more games than I have time for.
@suture Saying that people "don't want to give that company a dime" is more or less saying that people want to play games for free. Obviously. The main reason people buy used games is because they are cheaper. Most people don't give a crap about how their purchase affects a companies profit margin. Why should they? Would consumers pay MORE for the same product just to undermine the publisher? Probably not. Today's games aren't worth $60? Maybe not, but I remember a time when SNES / Genesis carts retailed around the same price. A moderately skilled gamer could blaze through most games in a few hours unless the difficulty was unrelenting and/or the game was poorly designed. By the hour I guess you could say they are less cost effective since length seems to be the determining factor of a games value, though I disagree. The truth is that the overall quality of games has gotten better and they have gotten much longer offering more content than ever before. We don't necessarily have the gems of the early to mid 90s, but overall there are far less junk games, and more games worth owning. If you don't think a game is worth $60 then don't buy it. Most games don't stay $60 for more than a few months. You don't have to play games the day they come out. I don't. There are plenty of older titles to keep me busy until my game of choice comes into a reasonable range. I don't like the idea of paying more for games and having less control as a consumer, but it gets to a point where the exaggerated expectations of gamers is almost as bad as the greed of publishers. Actually, it's not nearly as bad, but you get the point.
Show me a game worth keeping and I have no reason to trade it in. For example, I've played Borderlands more times than I can count and I will NEVER trade it in. I'm sure everyone has that game that is forever in their collection. From that standpoint, its tough to buy games new when you RARELY find a game like developers put the time and effort in to to make it that good. Why do you think sites like this are popular? people want to see how good these games are before buying them! If a developer thinks I should buy a game new that was rated a 4/10 on every online game rating site, they are dreaming. Two things sell new games: Quality and Marketing...unfortunately, the latter can sometimes deceive gamers regarding the former.
@cody20 For every guy like you that held on to Borderlands there was someone else trading it in. It is all subjective. You can find any game used regardless of the quality.
@lance_7 I understand that all games will end up in the "used" section regardless of quality, but the first week or month that the game comes out should be where developers are trying to make their money, not years later. A higher quality game (should) result in a much higher level of new game sales...that was the point I was trying to make
Yes, I agree that perceived 'quality' is in the eye of the beholder. And no one can know if they will truly like a game until they've played it - or at least a part of it.
This is why I would like to see more developers releasing demos.
It may cost them money to produce, and they may lose some sales as a result - but at the end of the day, it might, just might, alleviate the problem of so many games being traded in and sold second-hand because the gamer didn't like the game, or at least didn't think it worth keeping.
There are a number of games in my collection that I bought on the strength of the demo. There are some games not in my collection because playing the demo was enough to convince me that the game was not for me.
I do not feel there is anything wrong with buying used games. I refuse to pay full price for a game with only 10 hours of gameplay. If I can beat a game in as little as 2 sittings whats the point. For the games that I truly support and I feel are excellent games I have no problem paying full price. Its when you give me some "POS" game you have obviously made simply for monetary gain I will attempt to stick it to you everytime.
Why dont you guarantee the cost of new games would go down if used games will go away. Stop having us pay $100 to get a new game. I hate DLC.
We bag your groceries, we mill your lumber, we flip your burgers, we deliver your mail, we mow your lawns and paint your houses, we fabricate your motorbikes and work on your cars, we change your oil and fill your gas tanks, and we are very, VERY angry gamers!
How about we skip "local game store name here" and I buy right from the dev for $39.99
Lets cut the middle man right out.
@100proofsoco I see where u r coming from. But have u ever noticed wen they release a full game for download from the store a few months after the disc release, u can find the disc price cheaper in places like amazon etc. so I believe Devs just want to b greedy. I think all disc releases shud have an install option....
I can see your point, but you have to remember that digital and physical sales work differently. A retailer selling a boxed copy is free to reduce the price of a game because they've already bought it from the publisher, and are free to set the price at whatever they want. It doesn't affect the publisher, who already made their money selling to the retailer.
A digital distributor, on the other hand, just has a file on their hard drive that is downloaded each time it is sold - so they can't reduce the price to the end consumer without first negotiating with the publisher, because they haven't bought 'X' number of units of the game themselves. The publisher sets the price.
But yes, I agree that it doesn't make a great deal of sense when the disk copy is a lot cheaper than the digital copy of a game.
I like how the companies that plan on making consoles that lock out used think that's going to solve their problems. It's not like consoles have never been hacked or modded before right...?
I predict a large underground market of "cracked" consoles in the future if they go through with these plans.
Please game devs, don't underestimate us. We give you our money because we still like you... for the time being. Don't try to take us on. You will lose every time. Remember what happened to Sony...
Great article. I mostly buy used whenever its A) Ridiculously cheaper B) When its a title I'm unsure about or C) Older games. I don't think used sales are as hurtful as piracy is to the industry but I know it has some impact. Quite honestly I view games like books/movies/art /ect the creators want their work to be appreciate and loved so whenever I truly enjoy I try to remember to buy future releases new or something from the same creator as long as its something I'm interested in, as a way of showing my support.. However it is f@#!@ annoying when I see a game I purchased a couple of weeks ago go down considerably in price. That's when I'm motivate even less to purchase games new. In the end its case by case kind of thing, some games deserve support some don't. I have to look out for what's best for me economically otherwise who is going to?
The gaming industry is the one to blame. Until they start treating us like human beings instead of walking money bags, I will continue to buy used games. Some of the games aren't even worth $60, but we have to pay more than that just to get the complete game. They can go to hell. Except for CD Projekt RED. <3
I'm so happy u have wrote this article as I'm so frustred with the games industry recently. Uv pointed out everything wrong with wot they r doing. I'm a big time gamer going all the way back to the Atari. Iv just heard a rumor that the ps4 will have registered games so u can't trade them in like u described. Im a big fan of the playstation but there 2 things that wud kill it for me. 1. Have to pay to play online. 2. Killing the used games market. The games industry have brought this on themselves by releasing half finished games and then squeezing our wallets for the full game. I no longer preorder games cos I expect a complete edition. Iv been waiting for a mortal kombat complete edition n guess wot, u can now buy one for £18. Iv been a Lovefilm member for years as I go thru games in a day r 2. I have high expectation of certain games n I'm easily disappointed. Soul Caliber 5 for example. Graphically it's unbeatable. But where's the game guys. There an arcade mode with no endings, there an half assed story mode u can finish in a few hours n the rest is not worth mentioning. Does anyone remember Soul edge/blade, there was a full motion video ending for every fighter. None of this pencil shading still picture crap. Sorry, I'm going more frustrated thinking about it. Moving on, a lot of game come with VIP codes now which I don't really mind that much. I don't blame the industry for trying to get a little something from used games but the trader annoy me on this subject as most don't point out the VIP code on a used game. & In most cases a used game title maybe sold £5 cheaper than a brand new title of the same game, in the long run costing u £3 more after paying £8 for a VIP code. Pros of used games are, there Eco friendly not that I'm fused about that. But the biggest issue is not everyone can afford titles on release. games are getting more n more expensive. I know there costing more to make but come on, games sales are beating the movie & music sales combined. Piracy only happens cos game prices r too high for some people n some smart ass finds away around protection. I earn a gud wage n I take pride of my orginal DVDs n games. If a game is great enough I will buy it again n again for every new gen console, Resident evil for example. Tips for game makers; don't make a single player (play once) game. Racing game need to b 2 player offline as well as online. Worry more about things like the IPad as there games start from free n gives us the quick fix we desire. Which I guess is affecting console game sales. Lower game prices. Make a game & give us FREE DLC Gives use full limited access b4 needing to use the VIP code, if u really think u have a great game then put ur money where ur month is. If its a flop, then u wa wrong. Tips for gamers; Join Lovefilm, I pay £11 per month for four games. That's 1 week per game. Comment on this as a protest/noteifacation That we won't put up with this crap for much longer. Iv rushed this n Im I hav more to say but I must go. Sorry for the spelling. & thanx for reading. Shaun (NoFate)
The quality of videogames is quite low, and it doesn't justify their high price.
Buying used game isn't only a matter of principle, it is about paying the right price for the quality you get.
@Dade_1981 Then your issue isn't that used games should exist but that games should cost less. I agree. Get rid of the used games and charge less for new ones.
I mean as in tacking on additional costs to access certain content. We're more or less moving towards a scenario where $60 is just the base cost of the game. They hold this new-game exclusive content over our heads to make used games less appealing. You're paying less money for less game. Now you can no longer be comfortable with the purchase of a Used game for fear of not being able to access all of the content without paying more for it in the end.
The consumers are only buying a product. They aren't taking money out of Publisher's pockets. If anything GameStop is the culprit for this alleged "crime". Before making a more direct move that could jeopardize their relationship with GameStop they'd rather pick the pockets of the consumer for their "lost profits" in an attempt to phase out the concept of trade-ins and buying used.
We might be in for a surprise next generation.
This article is quite good, and very interesting. The only thing I react to here, as I did in the editorial about the ME3 endings, are the statement that games are 'art'. Games are not art, or you couldn't quantify them.
'I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can't dance to it!' to quote.
"Want to play Max Payne 3 but feel like Rockstar's taking you for a sucker? Buy it used." - Quote of the day!
Most games these days are not worth 60$
Publishers are over charging for a mediocre, at best, product. The games that are actually good are hard to find on used shelves, and, for a good reason. If publishers would increase the quality of the game, or lower the price, I would buy new more often.
Looking at older games, and I don't think it's simply nostalgia, they were real quality, engaging stories, diverse characters, and gave a sense of accomplishment. I think publishers, and developers alike, have lost sight of what many of us are looking for when we purchase a game. Just make the games better, use creativity, and stop doing "What works"
Good games sell, bad games get recycled.
Sorry I think you geting nostalgia in my peanut butter, not all games going back to the ataria/intellivision had all the things you mention. For every game that stood out, a honker when into the slush pile. Remember the tank combat game vs Pacman?
Isn't it kind of ironic that the publishers making some serious AAA single-player games aren't crying about used games hindering their potential profits? To be honest, most of the games I own wouldn't be worth the $3 to $5 GameStop would give me for them. The premise that at one point in my life-time I may want to play the game again makes it at least worth $3 - $5.
The only reason I buy used is for the obvious reason that they are cheaper. If they were the same price I would have no reason not to purchase them NEW. Very seldom do I ever put out $60 for a game. I don't NEED to play games the day they come out. To be honest, I'd rather publishers just block used games then hold "pre-paid DLC" and "Online Passes" over our heads. At least we'd know what we were paying for.
At one point I did feel that it might even be necessary to block used games altogether if it would give publishers more incentive to put out a more diverse assortment of titles. This issue has since blown up to a point where those who speak on behalf of publishers come off as being coy or deceptive in trying to oversimplify factors of availability and distribution in terms of sales and profits. You can't overlook the fact that when Gamestop offers extra store credit for used games towards the purchase of a NEW game that this equates to lost profits when the person not having enough store credit to even buy the NEW game would essentially equate to lost profits in a more direct manor.
The bottom line is that they can't undermine the used-game market without first undermining the consumer. We just have to hope that there is always at least one publisher that doesn't conform to such questionable marketing schemes. If not, "questionable marketing schemes" could possible turn to "industry standards".
"To be honest, I'd rather publishers just block used games then hold "pre-paid DLC" and "Online Passes" over our heads"
I'm not sure what you mean by this. How is any of this being "held over our heads"? If you don't want the DLC or don't want to play online, don't pay for it or wait for a complete edition at a lower price. While it's true that some games are built around the concept of multiplayer competitive play, such as one-on-one fighters and military shooters, with most games you can simply ignore that the DLC even exists if purchasing it bothers you, and not all games are built around online multiplayer. I don't even have a gold membership and there are still far more quality single player games than I have time or money for as is. Enslaved from last year is a great game that was all but ignored and was available new for about $20 within a few months. Rage is a darn good single-player FPS that can be had new for about $30 currently, probably less.
If you do want all that extra content, you can wait for the almost inevitable complete (or special or GOTY, or whatever) edition will be coming out later that includes the DLC in the package to begin with, as I've mentioned below with Arkham City, LA Noire, and Mortal Kombat. You get all the content, fully patched, and generally at a greatly reduced price.
Other than with games built around online multiplayer that might not have an active community after a year or so, the only advantage to buying new early on is that you don't have to wait, and that's a financial choice the consumer makes in weighing the value of having it now against what else she could be buying.
The answer to things like online passes and trickled out DLC is not to buy it until it's available at a price or in a form you deem appropriate. As a consumer, I see such practices as things that promote my waiting and buying used rather than their intended purpose. I'm not sure whether the gaming community as a whole feels the same. I really don't get paying $60 day one for something I know I can get at half that price in six months. I can buy games from last year now and play them while I wait for whatever is coming out now, and get rewarded for doing so with lower prices, more content, and a fully patched product.
To use the car analogy, by waiting, it's like getting a car that has been upgraded several times and discounted at the same time.
I'm a borderline libertarian myself. I guess I just went a little overboard since I see so many people attacking political parties with little to evidence and by referencing statements or actions done by one individual that don't represent the group in general. Ultimately though, I don't trust any political party or figure, which is why I'm borderline libertarian.
Also, I can see a lot of what you're saying and I can agree with some of it. In truth I've never really cared about the used market, unless it's on a system 10 yrs old or more, I don't buy used games and, unless I really didn't like the game, I almost never sell them. I still have my NES and MasterSystem games and consoles. The main thing that worries me, is if they try to use a consoles ability to block used games to block rentals. I don't really have a lot of money and appreciate the ability to try a game before I commit money to it. Truthfully, I've pirated more than a few PC games over the years, but I've purchased a new copy, if I could find a new copy, of every single one that I've enjoyed. I'm really just kinda worried that some game companies might see a sales loss because people don't know if they have a good game or not, and instead of trying to give people the option to try their game, they might just try to do even more to stop piracy or used sales, and end up digging themselves even deeper.
Also, thank you for being a reasonable person. I normally don't post very much because most of the people I respond to or who respond to me just resort to name calling and insults. I commend you for your civility.
Yuck. New comment system is a huge fail. No dislike button = no way of properly gauging response. 40 people may like a comment that 1000 people dislike while 50 people may like a comment with few dissenters - new system says both comments are more or less equal in support. Bad system.
It's pretty asinine to compare the used games market to the used car market. This would imply that you have no concept of "intellectual property". For whatever reason that always comes up in a typical anti-used games discussion. Anyway...
It actually seems very intuitive for a publisher to "schedule" dlc for a title in order to persuade gamers to hold on to the game. What's counter-intuitive is a consumer paying for multiplayer DLC that hasn't been released for a game that they don't know will even be relevant by the end of the scheduled DLC cycle.
I can honestly say that myself, as well as a few of my other gamer friends, prefer not to play competitively online. As a gaming enthusiast, I try to experience as many games as I possibly can. This means that I simply don't have hours to sink into a multi-player shooter to learn every inch of the maps, earn all weapons upgrades, and learn the latest cheap techniques to rack up the kill streaks in order to be competitive in the multi-player arena. My used copy of CoD will likely end up back on the shelf it came from.
Publisher's idealism aside, it just isn't very reasonable to consider that a consumer will hold on to every game they purchase. Exploiting the consumer with pre-paid DLC and "online-passes" is only a temporary and ethically questionable solution to whatever problem these publishers are having in regard to profits.
I do it for one reason, it's cheaper for me to buy an older game at a lower price, if it's a new game then I'll buy it new but if it's old then the used section I'll go to.