Mark Rein: Sour Grapes about Second Hand Games


Mark Rein is the vice-president of Epic Games, and he seems to have some issues with a free world.

He thinks that if you walk into EB games and buy a used game by Epic, EB should share the revenue with Epic. This is so absurd on so many levels I don’t know where to begin. If you sold your buddy your car, do you want to send some of the proceeds to the car manufacturer? Or if a dealer sells a used car, should they?

What a minute, you say, that’s different. Games are more intellectual property than anything else, you might say. Well, then, okay. What about books? They’re intellectual property that’s very similar to video games. There’s a thriving used book market. Should publishers get paid every time one of them gets resold? I’ve heard such complaints from authors. They want a piece of that pie too, but I don’t think that’ll happen. Which makes me wonder about Epic. If Epic gets a piece of resold game revenue, does that mean they’ll give the game authors additional money as well?

I don’t think so.

C&VG – INTERVIEW: MARK REIN


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Jordan on September 26th, 2005

    I actually feel for Mark Rein and the videogame industry! Its tough enough surviving on sales, but as renting and trading become more popular, its becoming much more of a risk to invest big money and expect a return.

    In a perfect world, the videogame makers would be able to control how consumers use its products and the consumer can either go “ok” or “screw you”. But like music and movies, people expect ALOT more for ALOT less. This is not such a bad thing but it could really cripple the game industry.

  2. #2 by Henning on September 26th, 2005 [ 0 Points ]

    “In a perfect world, the videogame makers would be able to control how consumers use its products…”

    I don’t agree. Once I buy something, it’s mine. Why should anyone else get to say what I do with my own property? As long as I don’t make copies and give them away, I can do what I want. And if that includes selling what I own, I should have that right too.

    In a world where people fight for their rights all the time, successfully in many countries, I find it disturbing that only in the music, game, and movie business are consumers’ rights being taken away.

    If video game companies want to sell more software, how about they try making their games affordable? I love games, but I can’t afford to buy new ones. So I wait for them to drop in price or buy used. If Epic pines for some of that used revenue, they should have made it easier to buy in the first place.

  3. #3 by Jonathan on September 26th, 2005

    “In a perfect world, the videogame makers would be able to control how consumers use its products and the consumer can either go “ok” or “screw you”. But like music and movies, people expect ALOT more for ALOT less. This is not such a bad thing but it could really cripple the game industry.”

    I think the exact opposite is true. The whole purpose of copyright is “to promote science and the useful arts” as Jefferson said it. If media companies were able to get away with this fair use would be history.

    The point of fair use is that I can buy a product use it, sell it or destroy it without having to pay for it again. This isn’t even copying the game and selling it which would be a violation of the media companies rights.

    This would have the same outcome as the record producers suing radio stations at the start of the radio age. They received payments for their song being paid but the song writers didn’t get paid from the rotation.

    They can produce cheaper games if they made more of their code reusuable and released more low cost games to go along with big expensive gambles. The Sims shows a lot of money can be made from a simple inexpensive game.

  4. #4 by Henning on September 26th, 2005 [ 0 Points ]

    Jonathan: good points, I can’t really add anything about most of it.

    One small point, though about code reuse. It is a commonly held belief that code reuse can help decrease the costs of a game. But at this point, I think that very little additional code can be reused for cost savings. Every program/game is different, and the things that are shared have already been factored out into libraries a long time ago.


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