Buying Used Games; a no-no?

I’ve always been a firm believer in supporting software companies by purchasing a new copy of the product they release; which is why I don’t buy “used” games, because sure, you get the game at a discount, but you’re really not supporting the software company because you’re just recycling the same game that was bought previously.

I personally rather would pay $20 more to help a small or big company stay in business and have them make more games for me to enjoy in the future.

What are everyone’s thoughts on buying used games?

Buying used games is no different than buying used music cd’s or books. Somebody already paid full price or got it on sale. With the sorry state of a lot of games on release it’s better to take a wait and see attitude or let someone else take the chance.

I agree, if a game is any good I’m happy to support the publishers with a full price purchase. Always from store with no questions asked returns for the stinkers, but they’ve got to be almost totally without merit to prompt a dumping.

I bought Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic the day it came out because I knew it was enhancing the existing game by adding more of everything and all. I trusted them and it was worth it. But that’s an exception.

I don’t usually buy used games but I’ve become more conservative about buying new games at “new release” prices; I end up regretting too many of the purchases.

For me it’s not a matter of choice. I can’t afford to pay 10-20$ more for new games, so I buy used games or wait for the game to hit the bargain bin.

Used game stores are also an excellent source of rare old games, for instance I bought the Kilrathi Saga used for 5$. A steal :)

Well, there’s a difference between waiting until the reviews to come out to see what the general consensus is on a game and then a) buying an already purchased copy, used for $25 and b) buying it new for $50.

“Well, there’s a difference between waiting until the reviews to come out to see what the general consensus is on a game and then a) buying an already purchased copy, used for $25 and b) buying it new for $50.”

Like was said before its no diffrent than buying anything else used. If you buy everything in your life at full retail price then I take my hat off to ya.

As a software developer (not games), I have no problem with someone buying used software.

a) It’s legal.
b) The fact that people can sell software used makes them more likely to buy the software new.

Especially where the software includes a nice manual, box, etc.

In a world of Internet-only distribution (no CD, no printed materials), it’s a little different, because the software doesn’t lose value when sold. I could see (a) above (legality) changing in the near future for Internet distributed software.


Agreed. If I remember right, you’re a student and I feel that financial pain, dude. I rarely buy new games anymore, although a few fanb0y or “wow that’s a great game idea” style exceptions come up.

The other nice thing is when you buy games that are say 6 months old or more, you don’t need bleeding edge $500 video cards to run them well either. :P

I’ve done a lot of used game buying. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and if you’re on a budget or want to play as many different games as possible for the same prices you’d pay for new ones, it’s most certainly a great option. Consider that $50 will often buy your two to four used games while it only buys one new one.

I support developers with my dough as much as I can. I’ve been buying mostly new release games lately because I need to get titles early so I can review them. But if that wasn’t the case, I’d probably be buying less new and more used as I did earlier this year with some exceptions.

There’s no law against buying used software so if the one on the rack that’s new costs more than the used one and the used one is in like new condition, take the used game. Which brings up a good point about used games…I only buy them if they have original packaging and instructions. No box or no book equals no sale for me.


I find that used prices aren’t necessarily that much better that discount/sale prices, where the retailer is basically subsidising the purchase. When a retailer knocks $10 of the price, they still pay the full publisher cost, no?

  • Alan

When it comes to used games, I’ll only buy out of the bargin bin. Anything under $15 (Canadian). Why spend $34.99 for a used copy of Vietcong when you can get the new one for $44.99?

If you’re worried that you’re not supporting them enough, why don’t you mail the company a check above and beyond what you pay for the game?

They do get money for used sales, indirectly; a game with a strong resale market (that game stores can make money on) means they can sell the game to the retailers for more in the first place.

I think that depends on the publisher/distributor. If you’re a Wal-Mart or EB or something like that, you’re getting pricing cuts from the publisher allowing you to make that cut. If you’re Joe Blow video games, then yeah, you’re eating it.

–Dave is the source of approximately 2/3 of my ps2 library. Don’t even get me started on how useful it is for “obsolete” consoles like my DC and PS1.

There are must-have games that I buy retail when they first hit the shelf. But they are the minority, and no less prone to being disappointments that I never play(can you hear me, Arcanum?). I’d much rather fork out 15$ to get burned rather than 50$. It’s legal, and I can’t think of a single ethical reason to dislike it unless you believe it is a consumer’s duty to subsidize the publisher irrationally.

It depends where you go, an independent games shop near where I used to work had some pretty good deals on used games, but where I live we have a shop (part of a chain) that sells nothing but used software and hardware and often their prices aren’t much cheaper than the full retail price and are sometimes more expensive when the retailers start discounting the price of older games. On the whole I tend to stick to bargain-bin/budget releases for cheap games as consumer protection laws here don’t apply to second-hand stuff and you might have problems returning a used game with a bad CD or some such.

I buy a lot of used stuff on Ebay. But, most of my games are bought new because I dont have much patience and am usually in search of a new ‘fun’ game to hold my interest for more than a couple of days.


As a developer, I appreciate people who buy new games instead of used. :D Thanks!

As a consumer, I tend to not buy used games – rather, I wait until a game is on sale unless I can’t resist purchasing it. I figure it’s good karma to support other developers by buying off the shelf anyway. :) (what’s weird, though, is that I did the same thing even when I was in college…though of course it was weighted much more towards bargain stuff)

Used music CDs are a different story, though – I’ve bought tons of 'em, though mostly from when I was in college. I figure the $0.50 the band misses from me purchasing their CD new is made up for by the concert tickets, t-shirts, and other paraphernalia I purchase.

From this we conclude that game developers should give more concerts. :twisted: