The following is an open letter to YouTube user Boogie2988. His channel is absolutely amazing, and his opinions related to gaming are invaluable to me. He’s also well-known for his comical characters Francis and Jessie. However, this one particular video, regarding why he believes people should not buy from gaming store GameStop, I take issue with. That is what the letter is addressing:
Hey Boogie, I’m sorry, I love your videos, but I have to say I disagree with you here. I hate EB games (which is what our local equivalent of GameStop is known as), and refuse to buy from them. However second-hand games, I love, and I’ve got nothing wrong with buying them through a store. In reality, I actually don’t buy from any physical stores, because the prices in Australia are stupid ($100 or more for what would be $60 in the US: despite the exchange rate being more or less 1:1), but in principle I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. I have a friend in the UK who will buy second hand from GAME because she can get second hand games super cheap (much more than the $5 discount you talk about). If that were an option for me you bet I’d take it, and be happy for it. I don’t think that giving more money to EA or Ubisoft is an aspect that should cross my mind at all.
To take things off on a slight tangent, how about Steam? Steam is lauded for the way they revolutionised the gaming industry, and yet they’ve created a culture where many people refuse to pay full price because “it’ll be on sale in a few weeks”. One could argue that this is as big an issue as second hand games. It means people won’t pay the developers the full price of the game that they’ve worked so hard to create.
Regarding pre-orders, I personally don’t pre-order games because I prefer to wait and see what it’s like, and also wait for any day-one bugs to be ironed out. However, I don’t see anything inherently wrong with pre-ordering either. Often it enables you to get the game cheaper than it otherwise would be, and you can get cool stuff for it. I agree that taking extra gameplay features out of the main game for people who don’t pre-order is terrible, but getting the OST thrown in, or an action figure, model, map, logbook, or other physical item is totally fine. The same is true for in-game aspects that don’t affect gameplay, like custom skins or whatever. Day one DLC is shitty. Removing content for those that don’t pre-order is shitty. But pre-ordering itself, for extragame features (i.e., features outside of the game) or to get the game cheaper, is a great way to show support to devs while getting a better deal yourself, or to get a hot-button game immediately at release (if that’s what you would prefer to do) when it may be sold out otherwise.
On a similar note, what do you feel about Kickstarting games? Planetary Annihilation would almost certainly have never been made without Kickstarter, and yet Kickstarting a game is fundamentally very similar to pre-ordering the game (only without necessarily the guarantee it will end up being a real game). You’re giving the devs money well in advance of when you will be able to receive the actual game, in exchange for cheaper prices or extra stuff, and for allowing them the ability to create the game in the first place. This isn’t necessarily the same as pre-orders, but it seems a similar issue.
So while I personally follow your advice on both second hand and pre-ordered games, I don’t see why it should be a general rule. It seems unfair to expect everyone to pay full price when they can’t always afford that, and when there are perfectly viable alternatives that exist.
P.S., Boogie, you’ve got some trolls wondering around the comments of your videos, you might wanna do something about mustacheftw, in particular. He was being an awful troll in the comments of the video in question.