Atari complains about having to compete with itself

GameIndustry.biz reports that Atari is complaining about second hand sales at it’s event Atari Live in London. Their proposed solution? Add features that make it more useful to the users that rely on one sort of online social features that players would need to pay for.

It is a great idea, but the tone of the complaining seems rather childish, since it is Atari’s own fault for not keeping up with the pace of the industry. Competing with the sale of second hand items is just the cost of doing business for any type of product that has a resale value. If they don’t want customers to resell games, it is only going to force the companies like Atari to make more compelling games. Atari is perhaps one of the oldest game companies still around. It got to where it is by selling packaged goods. Upstarts have outmaneuvered by creating more innovative, compelling, and profitable games like World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero, or Rock Band.

In a way, Atari is complaining about second hand game reselling the same way it might complain about piracy. It admits that it can’t deal with it’s own externalities. At least they are not trying to outlaw game reselling which is clearly legal in the US under the First Sales Doctrine.

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