Hello NSFW Gamer faithful, and welcome to my article. I’ll ask you to bear with me as I present an issue I’ve been turning over a lot lately. Namely, the reasons why used games can help the consumer win and shape the industry to a better standard of gaming for all.
Cliff Blezinski and our own Anystrom0 have already expressed their thoughts on the matter, and both articles are an excellent read. I highly recommend you check them out here and here, but before you do, I need to establish my platform for the opposite argument.
Now, understand I’m a big supporter of making sure the artists, programmers, marketing directors, and QA people get their dues, but I also say there are times they may not deserve it. My number one pet peeve with the interactive entertainment industry is when there’s a story of how our talented figureheads get dropped without good reason, namely Jason West and Vince Zampella and their case with Activision, and more recently Patrice Desilets and his case with Ubisoft. Immediately it makes me ask, “Well, was your dick move worth it?”
Call of Duty being the monstrous hit that it is, Activision obviously hasn’t been impeded at all, but not a red cent of my money has gone into their pockets ever since the news of how they mishandled showing the door to the two named great talents of Infinity Ward. Ubisoft seems to be pulling a similar screw job on Desilets, which, in case you aren’t familiar, they bought him, his team, and his game in the now-defunct THQ’s asset auction, subsequently fired him two months later, then suspended his game rather than cancelling it, effectively locking down the intellectual property rights so that he couldn’t touch them. To me, it sounds like the same Orwellian scheme Activision pulled only a few years ago. Why they would do this to the man who created one of their powerhouse hits (the Assassin’s Creed series) is anybody’s guess, but it’s certainly not something I’m going to tolerate or support.
In the same vein, I take great issue with the way Microsoft handled the online only situation, specifically not even altering it for our soldiers. Telling one of the brave men of our armed forces “buy a console that will be obsolete in a few years” had me practically ready to storm their headquarters with torch and pitchfork in hand. Sure, they reversed their policy, but the fact that they didn’t even devise a secondary plan for the people who protect them and make sure they have the right and freedom to be a company still rubs me the wrong way.
I should come clean that I have a bias about this one: I began working at an Army and Air Force Exchange Services store shortly before either console announcement, and if you’ve never had the opportunity to interact with a soldier as candidly as an employee-customer relationship, let me make this very simple: They deserve better. I have worked at multiple retail locations, and never have I met people who were more patient, kind, and humanly decent to the associate providing the service. For Microsoft to cut them off without a second thought shows just how much corporate greed their interest is steeped in. After their initial mishandling of the situation, I can say that I may be buying an Xbox One to cover exclusives for NSFW Gamer, but I’ll certainly be buying one used as not to feed the machine that only seems too happy to screw over the best people our nation has had the luck to find.
To put it simply, the next time you see a decision made in our industry you don’t agree with, consider your options. We as consumers have the right and power to tell companies what’s not okay, and used games put us in a unique position to still enjoy the product without benefiting the people who made those decisions in the first place. So to GameStop, eBay, and all the mom and pop stores, I say keep calm and resell on.
– Brad Cowan aka “DevilSugar”