Despite some recent evidence to the contrary from Blizzard, video game makers are racing to get to a future where all games are downloaded digitally as quickly as possible. Why? Because somewhere along the way publishers got it in their heads that used games are destroying the industry. Of course being able to resell things you’ve bought is a basic cornerstone of any capitalist system, and something every single other industry in history has dealt with successfully, but I guess video games are just special.
The video game industry’s big solution to the used game “problem” has been the end-user license agreement. These are the baffling walls of text you mindlessly check “agree” on before you download a game. EULAs usually state that buyers are only purchasing a license to the game they’re downloading, and thus have no right to resell it.
Well, the highest court in Europe has officially handed down a ruling of “f–k that noise”. The European Court of Justice’s ruling states the obvious — if you pay for something, you own it and can sell it to somebody else if you want, regardless of the boxes publishers make you click beforehand.
Of course this ruling only effects Europe, and reselling a digital copy of a game is, at the moment, easier said than done, but still, this is a major blow to the foundation of the digital distribution/EULA game plan. Looks like the video game industry may have to do a little self-examination instead of just coming up with schemes to chisel more money out of gamers. Darn.
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