The thread title is the title of the Jim Sterling Distructiod "article" here. Sterling is never one to shy away from taking shots but he isn't always wrong either.
his article references this original article from Gameindustry.biz yesterday
Regarding both articles...
The used game market doesn't necessarily have to kill the "tail" of a game if the developer actually makes a game that people keep or extend their lives with good use of DLC. The used market is exponentially worse for developer/publisher profits and life length on bad games, and less so for the very high quality ones. At least that is how it seems to me. Not all games, and actually VERY few, have had a tail similar to the likes Diablo 2, Warcraft, or Half Life so it is hard to use them as a reference for what the extended life on a game should be. Those games have a tail a decade long because they are superb products that stand the test of time for customers, it also helps that they were PC based games where the used market is completely muted compared to consoles. The average game produced now (or even when those were released) is/was far from that.
I started buying, trading and selling used games on my C64 and Amiga at a local shop ages ago, the used market is hardly a new invention in the gaming landscape. It is certainly more readily accessible now and more prevalent but the insinuation that this never happened before isn't accurate. I really feel that game companies should adjust to the marketplace instead of trying to force it to come back to their way of thinking. Markets evolve, companies that want to do business in those markets must as well if they want to survive and be profitable. The industry itself won't die, only the production models it no longer supports and the companies that can't get away from them will.
Make games with good value, make them replayable, make the campaign long, make the multiplayer engaging, have a good DLC schedule (in time and monetary value) that extends the life of your game, focus back to PC, go digital, go episodic. All of those things can combat used sales.
If used games are the huge issue developers need to take it to the publishers and have them stop giving Gamestop preferential treatment and bonus items. Yet that won't happen because they still feed the industry TONS of money in firsthand sales and the publishers deem the early run sales they give to be worth more than the used sales they take from the overall life sales of a game. Developers have put themselves into positions where they are now beholden to publishers if they want to continue to make high budget long dev cycle games (that they think they need to make to be successful). Sometimes when you tie yourself to a rock because of the wind you are going to have to try to swim with it later. I think some companies (SK included) would be much better served in backtracking and rebuilding their structure and direction to better work within the current marketplace than staying stagnant in this publisher profit driven model until they completely fail.
As it stands now the Gamestops of the world are being catered to by the very people who complain about them "killing the industry" because noone is really taking an actual stand or organizing against it on the developer end. Publishers and corporations are the force driving this industry and used game market to where it is now, not consumers. Customers just aren't going to organize to fight for developers as a whole on their own, they are focused on getting the best value for their dollar as they always have been. Even on a per customer basis it is hard for customers to take a stand when the devs asking for support are barely taking advantage to the methods right in front of them to fight used game sales themselves, and therefore are feeding into the problems they so readily complain about.