We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used
Sure you do. That copy of the game came from somewhere. You want to sell games in boxes like physical goods, you should be ready to have them treated like physical goods. Toro doesn't make any money off the sale of a used lawn mower, either. That's not something that needs fixing.
I think a little bit of it is education so people realise that the reason there's no PC market right now is piracy. I mean, Crytek just put out some numbers saying the ratio was 20:1 on Crysis, for pirated to non-pirated use. So guess what? That's why there's no Gears of War 2 on PC, because there's no market, because copying killed it - and that's gruesome to a company like ours that's been in the PC market for so long.
Go tell Activision there's no PC market.
Sure, piracy is a problem, but you can pirate console games too (http://thepiratebay.org/browse/404). The barrier to entry is slightly higher, but still pretty low. The problem for Epic -- and Crytek, since both companies basically make the same game -- is that the post-apocalyptic-13-year-old-wankfest shooter has been done to death on the PC already, and that's all they know how to do.
Besides, why buy an Epic shooter when you can buy a Valve shooter? They're doing fine in the PC market, too. Of course, part of that might have to do with them actually making good games instead of just tech demos for their engine (all Unreal games basically). Kudos on making a game with an actual story for once, but "humanity's home planet gets attacked by hostile aliens and an unlikely hero must shoot his way through all of them" was more fun when it was called Quake, Duke Nukem 3D, Half-Life, or even Halo.
I think we're a long way from losing the impulse buy when you walk into the mall or the game store and decide to pick something up.
Not really. Brick and mortar game stores are painful places to go nowadays. No, I don't want to preorder title-that-isn't-coming-out-for-6-months. Everybody I know buys everything they can through Steam, and preorders their console games and everything else they can from Amazon. I don't think I even know where the nearest Gamestop is anymore. Even if I did, if I really wanted to pick up a game in person, Wal-Mart or Best Buy usually have much more stock of any games I actually want.
This guy seems to have a good grasp of the sales figures. I'm sure Gamestop does a brisk business of grandmas going to the "game store" to pick up a present, and I know the console market in general is a lot bigger than the PC market. Still, I can't imagine this guy actually plays videogames. I get the complete opposite impression when I read interviews with, say, Gabe Newell or Mike Morhaime.