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Question regarding buying used PC games

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August 7, 2008 4:26:39 AM

I'll be getting my gaming PC going soon and I have several games on "to-buy" list. I'm considering purchasing several of these games used from ebay to save money.

Here's my question: if I buy a game used, will it be limited in any way (registration, cd-key, etc..)? Any things I need to know about buying used PC games? If it helps, some of the games I'm looking at are Oblivion, The Orange Box, Counterstrike, Civ 4, Age of Empires 3, Sim City.

I'd appreciate any info or advice on this. Thanks

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August 7, 2008 4:37:24 AM

I wouldn't buy any multi-player game used, as the cd key could still be in use. Don't buy any used Valve game either (orange box) as they are definitely tied to a user account. Oblivion is a good one to buy used, as well as AoE 3 and Sim City.

I'd also avoid buying Bioshock used as the key is limited to so many installs (or something like that).
August 7, 2008 7:40:29 AM

basically unless its a really old game don't buy it second hand for the PC. The Majority of PC games have some sort of protection that stop more than one installation, and its too easy for the person selling it to keep it installed.
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August 7, 2008 9:51:32 AM

usually anything with an account cant be re used like guild wars, world of warcraft etc so you would have to buy an accoutn as well. generally i buy pc games new and console new/second hand
August 7, 2008 11:57:06 AM

I wouldn't buy any of those games - they'll pretty much all be protected in some way. Especailly the orange box, which is linked to an account on steam.
August 7, 2008 1:35:17 PM

I'd say the only ones to avoid are The Orange Box, Counterstrike and any MMOs you were considering. I buy used PC games all the time off ebay and never have any problems but games that tie into authentication accounts - like MMOs or some Steam games could be problematic.
August 7, 2008 1:46:00 PM

I would recommend almost never buying used PC games, with the exception of maybe buying directly from somebody you know. Either the game will have copy right protection which could cause you issues or if it doesn't it's likely the original owner has made a copy so you're essentially buying pirated software. Also a lot of older PC games go way down in price and can be easily had through direct download after a while. I'll actually let out a dirty little secret of mine; That if a game is no longer available via retail purchase, I'm more likely to download a pirated copy.
August 7, 2008 3:07:50 PM

purplerat said:
I would recommend almost never buying used PC games, with the exception of maybe buying directly from somebody you know. Either the game will have copy right protection which could cause you issues or if it doesn't it's likely the original owner has made a copy so you're essentially buying pirated software.


Uh, no, if you buy software and get the original disk, box, manuals, etc, you are explicitly NOT buying pirated software in any way, shape, or form.

If somebody made their own backup first, they're the one doing wrong, but the buyer? Not in any way.
August 7, 2008 3:57:20 PM

I've made some great ebay purchases of older used games (Chronicles of Riddick, and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast come to mind). Like others have said, many newer games you should be wary of, as they may have some form of copy protection, etc.

What game(s) are you considering?
August 7, 2008 4:45:15 PM

Quote:
Uh, no, if you buy software and get the original disk, box, manuals, etc, you are explicitly NOT buying pirated software in any way, shape, or form.

If somebody made their own backup first, they're the one doing wrong, but the buyer? Not in any way.


Yeah, what I said wasn't exactly what I meant. What I'm saying is for a game like Oblivion, which is easily copied, I personally wouldn't buy a used copy. If somebody did I'm not really accusing them of any wrong doing, but the net end result would be the same as if you pirated the game and saved yourself the money. That's just part of the reasoning I use for not buying used PC games. I'm not saying everybody else should live by that, just my opinion.
August 7, 2008 5:13:57 PM

purplerat said:
I would recommend almost never buying used PC games, with the exception of maybe buying directly from somebody you know. Either the game will have copy right protection which could cause you issues or if it doesn't it's likely the original owner has made a copy so you're essentially buying pirated software. Also a lot of older PC games go way down in price and can be easily had through direct download after a while. I'll actually let out a dirty little secret of mine; That if a game is no longer available via retail purchase, I'm more likely to download a pirated copy.


My Ebay experience is a variation of this where the seller always sells me the pirated copy with a professional-looking label on the disc. This is why I'm no longer interested in any auction that doesn't include the original box and manual.
August 7, 2008 9:53:24 PM

check out amazon.com
they usually have a lot of the "older" games for pretty decent prices and they're new, they're just overstock
August 7, 2008 10:29:46 PM

I've ordered a ton of games from gogamer.com the past 6 months or so and have never been disappointed. I would recommend checking it out.

btw - it's a shame the used PC game market has come to this. It should be no problem whatsoever to buy a used game if that's the route you choose to take (online games excluded of course).
August 8, 2008 8:05:00 PM

Wow. that's a lot of info and suggestions, thanks everyone.

So here's what I've determined about my shortlist:

The Orange Box: Buy New (connected to steam account)
Counterstrike: Buy New (steam account)
Bioshock: Buy Used (no longer on limited activation)
AoE 3: Buy Used
Civilization 4: Buy Used?
Any Sim City game: Buy Used
Oblivion: Buy Used

Right? And is there any need to worry about buying a game used that requires a CD-Key that isn't provided?
August 8, 2008 8:22:10 PM

Well kind of. Without the CD key you can't install it. You can always search online for a serial but that is kind of risky.
August 23, 2008 9:19:11 PM

yes you can generate it or find it online but cant multi play i would afljfpirate klasdjid game ldjslsdkj fr ee lkadj'
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