EA Continues To Piss Off Lots Of Customers By Trying To Block Used Market With Single Use Codes
from the such-anger dept
Late last night, people started submitting variations on this story about how EA is expanding its controversial program to use one-time use codes on EA Sports Games, which basically let purchasers access more aspects of a game, but only with the purchase of an additional $10 or $15 code. The only real reason for this is to hold back the used video game market — something that the video game maker has been bitching about for ages, saying totally nonsensical things, such as claiming that used video games defraud the industry and are bad for consumers.
Of course, the actual research suggests exactly the opposite. A robust secondary or “used” product market actually helps boost the original market in a variety of ways. First, it creates some product segmentation, allowing those who wouldn’t necessarily buy the product at the higher price to get into the market. Second, it actually makes the original game more valuable, because buyers know they can turn around and sell it and get some of their money back at a later date. Taking that option out of the market actually hurts the demand in the primary market.
But, an even bigger issue is just how much people absolutely hate annoyances like this. I wasn’t going to post the story originally, because it’s just a continuation of EA’s program. But people have been submitting it non-stop all morning — and every single one of them is expressing serious anger about this decision on EA’s part. Compare that to the widespread love and admiration from people buying the Humble Indie Bundle of video games, where the developers specifically decided to focus on rewarding customers, rather than punishing people for doing stuff they didn’t like. Now, obviously, EA is much bigger than a bunch of indie developers, and perhaps they feel they can get away with obnoxious practices because they’re so big, but it’s a strategy that is likely to backfire in the long run. Pissing off your biggest fans and customers is not a long-term strategy for success.