Provided it works, a pre-owned game is the same thing as a new game. As in, it's the same game. So why do people still prefer new games, when used ones are cheaper?

Research company Cowen and Company decided to go and find out, asking 1,300 people (of which 1,001 were gamers) what their motivations were in order to break down purchasing decisions into cold, hard statistics.

Unsurprisingly, one of the most common reasons people opted for new games over used ones (with 54 percent of respondents choosing this as a motivator) was the fact they simply wanted a fresh copy, one without fingerprints or scratches on the disc or a busted cover.

Another popular response was "timeliness", 49 percent of gamers wanting a game on the day it came out, not a day later down the line when people start trading it in.

Other motivators were "I want to access bonus content" (26 percent) and "I want to get a collector's edition of the game" (20 percent).


Interestingly, though, 70 percent of respondents — the biggest result by far — said they'll buy a game new if they "plan on playing it for a long time". Cowen's Doug Creutz explains this seemingly bizarre behaviour, saying "We suspect there is a behavioral psychology factor at work, where gamers have an easier time justifying the higher price of a new game if they expect to get more use/value out of it, even though the utility of new vs. used on that basis isn't any different".

Survey: What Makes Players Choose New Games Instead Of Used? [Gamasutra]