Posts by Kyle Orland

Used Games vs. New Games: How They Interact

Used Games vs. New Games: How They Interact

Here at Game Theory, we’ve already discussed the topic of used games and their effect on the industry several times. But with a recent Penny Arcade cartoon and news post bringing the issue to the forefront of discussion yet again, we felt it was worth exploring some of the misconceptions about the market effects of used game sales. Wednesday’s Penny Arcade comic refers to the used game market as “a kind of parallel economy.” This implies...

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Why Aren’t Console Piracy Rates Higher?

Why Aren’t Console Piracy Rates Higher?

In recent years, there has been no shortage of game developers leaving PC exclusivity behind because of the threat of piracy. It’s not hard to see why, with overall PC game piracy rates north of 70% according to some estimates (and running even higher for some individual games), making it hard for even the biggest games to make money on the platform. Consider that Modern Warfare 2 was both the best-selling game of 2009 on consoles (pushing 11.86 million units...

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How $2 Games Can Still Be a Bad Value

How $2 Games Can Still Be a Bad Value

Much has been made of the “race to the bottom” pricing on the iPhone App Store, which makes it hard to sell a successful app for more than a dollar or two. But I didn’t really realize how pervasive this problem was until I downloaded The Incident, a simple survival-platformer game that involves dodging and climbing heaps of junk falling from the sky. While I enjoyed the old-school graphics and sound effects, I found the gameplay to be a little...

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How Long Should Video Games Be?

How Long Should Video Games Be?

How long should a video game be, exactly? It’s an endlessly-debated topic that got more attention recently when dozens of game developers weighed in with their thoughts. The consensus opinion seems to be that dozens of hours of gameplay are not, in and of themselves, a requirement for a good game, and thus one deserving of your money. Many developers argued that shorter and smaller games like Braid, Portal and Limbo prove you can offer a wholly satisfying...

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