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Consoleation: Used games, the gloves are off

Peter Skerritt's picture

Used Games: The gloves are off

Some things are better left unsaid.

For example, most gaming consumers know that the industry doesn't care about them. The disconnect between the industry and the consumer has never been more evident than it's been during this console generation, as I've mentioned more than a few times before. We've known that the industry treats used game purchasers as second-class citizens—or worse—and this well-publicized "war on used games" has devolved into taking basic gameplay modes away from those looking to not pay $60 apiece for games that may or may not be worth their asking prices.

Cory Ledesma, who has been working on THQ's WWE games for years now, finally took the gloves off and said what has assuredly been on the minds of many publishers and developers since this war on used games really began in earnest—he doesn't care about used game purchasers.

Let's look at his quote, pulled from a Computerandvideogames.com article:

"I don't think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. So if used game buyers are upset they don't get the online feature set I don't really have much sympathy for them. That's a little blunt but we hope it doesn't disappoint people. We hope people understand that when the game's bought used we get cheated. I don't think anyone wants that so in order for us to make strong, high-quality WWE games we need loyal fans that are interested in purchasing the game. We want to award those fans with additional content."

Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 Screenshot

Let's break down this piece of honesty—and attempted backtracking—from Mr. Ledesma here.

Ledesma has chosen to, with this quote, be the mouthpiece of THQ—if not the industry—and say "they" don't care about used game buyers. We know that; in fact, they don't care about consumers, period. It's business. The "don't care" part has been magnified during this console generation because, for the first time in many years, the industry is not thriving and a scapegoat has to be sought. It's easy to pinpoint used games as a problem, considering that publishers and developers don't make ANY MORE money from sales of their games. Note the capitalized words here: ANY MORE. The fact is that the publisher and developer already made their money from the game when it was bought by the retailer that originally sold the game as new. Want to cite online server fees? Those were factored into the original sale; there aren't any extra people playing the game online… just different people.

After backtracking a bit by claiming that he doesn't want to disappoint people, Ledesma really lets the cat out of the bag and uses the "C" word: Cheated.

When the game's bought used, we get cheated, he says. Oh… so he doesn’t care about used game buyers, except when they buy the game used. Then he—and the industry—gets cheated. If you don't care about used game buyers, then why should they care about you when they're trying to buy a game as cheaply as possible? Sure, it's all about the bottom line for the industry, but the consumer's bottom line doesn't count for anything? Since when? Consumers have other fiscal responsibilities than gaming… that includes people who work within the industry, too. Especially when it comes to Q4 and new games swell into retailers like a software tsunami, paying $60 for each game means that you are forced to limit what you can buy. I have a sinking suspicion that not too many consumers have $200 per month to drop on new releases. Then you're either forced to play pick-and-choose or to try and buy the game you want as cheaply as possible. If cheap means that retailers are putting certain games on sale, great… but with the profit margin on new games being so thin for retailers, that rarely happens. The other options are either renting—which THQ's Online Pass program doesn't account for—or buying used, which can be significantly cheaper than $60 in certain instances.

The last part of Ledesma's quote is priceless, because he equates the Online Pass with being an "award" for "loyal fans". Not really. Considering that the online component of a game used to be an expectation and not a right—as it has apparently become—this isn't an "award" or an incentive for new purchasers. It's legalized extortion. Holding online play for ransom, especially when Xbox 360 users are already paying a fee for the ability to play online, is another stop along the industry's slippery slope of descent. Incentives are adding things to the game… like extra levels, extra characters or weapons, and other things designed to make the game more enjoyable. Locking features is punitive.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2011 Screenshot

The industry has lost sight of one major part of the used game formula. There are many consumers that trade their games in towards new games, and this happens a lot. That $60 price tag is a little more attractive if you trade games in for store credit towards new games, or if you sell games to friends or online for cash. For all of the outcry against GameStop, trading sites like Goozex and auction sites like eBay are just as involved in this issue that the Online Pass program is trying to put down. The industry, quite frankly, refuses to admit that games cost too much to sell in large and consistent quantities given the current economic climate. By holding online play for ransom, publishers are forcing trade-in and resale values down and this is counter-productive to game trades or resales in the first place: Game consumers need that buffer to be able to keep up with the latest games.

I've said this time and time again, and yet nobody listens. This is why software sales have been consistently off on a year-on-year comparison. This is why publishers are struggling to find answers and are quick to blame used games. The industry demands that consumers to foot a constantly increasing bill for entertainment and consumers have been indirectly telling the industry that they no longer have the money, by way of decreasing revenues. Rather than accept any kind of responsibility or acknowledge that there's a problem, Cory Ledesma has taken the gloves off and spoken his mind.

In response, I will assume the role of the consumer base. Here's our response to Mr. Ledesma and the rest of the industry:

"I don't think that we, as gaming consumers, really care whether the industry is upset because we're just trying to afford to buy games without having to take out a second mortgage on our homes or work a third job. So if the industry is upset that they're not getting any more money from us, then we really don't have much sympathy for them. That's a little blunt, but we hope that it doesn't disappoint anyone in the industry. We hope the industry understands that game prices need to come down and that we need better incentives in order for us to continue spending our money on a consistent basis on your products. We want to reward companies that recognize and acknowledge the issue of high prices with our loyalty."

I think that's about right.

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I think that second-class

I think that second-class citizens is awfully hyperbolic, which makes most of this hard to read.

You're also lumping the industry into one giant, faceless thing. I work on an upcoming AAA title and our biggest concern, development-side, is that we're going to disappoint our players because this is a sequel to popular IP. We want to put in everything we can that will make the game fun, interesting, somewhat innovative and still have a really solid gameplay and story foundation. We don't set prices, we don't say "Do these guns make this game worth $60", we all are gamers and face the same choices between what game to buy right away this month and what to wait to drop in price.

We don't buy used because we're having to take out a second mortgage on our homes and work a second job to keep MAKING video games, because we love the work. Nobody works in this industry to get rich.

The sense of entitlement is what bothers me. You can't afford to buy every single game that comes out this month? Neither can I. I don't know anyone who can. I don't know anyone who says that's what you're supposed to be doing. The idea that it's your god-given right to play every single video game that comes out brand new makes absolutely no sense to me. A game is coming out that you want to play? Awesome. Buy it when you can afford it. Do I wish games were cheaper? I sure do. Do I think it's insane that peoples' sense of entitlement means that millions of people will pirate the game I've spent the last 5 years working 70-80 hours a week (no overtime) and then scream about how much it sucks? Maybe it's because we couldn't afford to bring in even more people to polish it further. Maybe it's because we've lost 1/3 of our workforce to project fatigue. Maybe it's because it costs at least a million dollars to make a game today, and that's not all just going towards one person, it still barely serves to pay for the people involved.

I don't care if people buy used, but I do care when they try to justify it with ANYTHING other than "I do it because I don't want to pay full price to the people who made the game BUT I want it now, now, now." Go nuts. But you lose all right to complain about the games when studios to the left and right are closing because, go figure, people don't care where their money goes as long as they can save a dollar right now.

Quote: Game consumers need

Quote:

Game consumers need that buffer to be able to keep up with the latest games.

Had to laugh on that one.

Consumers need a meal on the table and a roof over the head, education, something useful to do, time to recharge batteries and maybe a social system would be something Americans need.
"Keep up with the latest games"... like it's a human right to have entertainment. Entertainment is luxury. If you can't afford it, bad luck. But as you were able to purchase at least the Box Arcade you at least had once 150$, which is, if you can do this once more, in my calculation about 8 older games. If you choose wise, equals 1 year of entertainment. If you don't want to pay as much as they try to charge you, wait for a price drop or just do something else. I wait (because owning someday a house is more important to me than some fun today), so i am always late to the party and so i never keep up with the latest games. I don't care for the latest games at their release dates.

The math is simple:
Publisher invests money x in the game to develop it.
He gets y by sales back and if their's a MP-Part he has to pay with that sum above mentioned x and also server costs z.
He only get's money y from original buyers. If someone's done with MP, resells it, costs z increase without the publisher getting anything for HIS work.
Then gamespot "intrudes" the formula.
The Publisher still gets his y, but Gamestop get's money y2.
So the publisher just wants y2, money for a service actually the Publisher offered.
Resale may fire original sale, certainly, but if the distributor decides to adjust this, customers have to adapt.
Better give y2 to the actual makers than to a company partaking on this business without actual work invested in the product.
Charging y2, 10$, is just fair.

If sales drop, they make less money, then the publisher might forget about what they tried to do. But as in no logic i would understand that's quite impossible because sum y2 has to go somewhere. It exists, gamestop lives great with it. With some "guidance" it has to go directly to the publishers. I can't imagine a future were this could fail.
And i am happy if the publishers, and only them, gets money for their products. Money they could reinvest in their next games (or buy themselves their next Ferrari)

You can't compare digital data, games, to other used products. Data doesn't get old. Movies and music is the same and ... on demand and subscription services are exactly the 10$-deal-/we-only-want-direct-customers-thing.

hypocracy of the highest order...

i disagree with you on every point, Peter, which means this article is stupid. (see how my logic is undeniable?)

seriously, though, i couldn't agree with you more as i've been saying the the same thing verbatim for almost a decade now.

i just wanted to also add that it's disturbingly ironic how publishers have the nerve to pretend they're not responsible for the very bane of their existence.

it is only because of their consistent negligence in ignoring the consumer (demanding lower prices on software) that have allowed companies like Gamestop to become the empires they are today.

it's not like the second-hand market happened overnight. Gamers have been pleading with the industry for years to lower prices (by buying used games and subsidizing new titles with trade-ins) and corp's like Gamestop answered the call. plain and simple.

I completely agree with this

I completely agree with this article- I havn't read any of Cory Ledesma's statement before, but this excellent piece of writing has highlighted some of the laughable stuff he has been saying.

Long time reader of the website, I rarely bother commenting, but anonymous' rant above made me feel compelled to give an opinion.

Anonymous wrote:

I think that second-class citizens is awfully hyperbolic, which makes most of this hard to read.

Really, so how would you describe the contempt that the 'suits' in the gaming industry has for your average gamer?

Anonymous wrote:

The sense of entitlement is what bothers me. You can't afford to buy every single game that comes out this month? Neither can I. I don't know anyone who can. I don't know anyone who says that's what you're supposed to be doing. The idea that it's your god-given right to play every single video game that comes out brand new makes absolutely no sense to me.

... and that statement makes absolutely no sense to me. I have not met one single other gamer who wants to pay less for each game they do buy, just so they can blow the money they save on more games that they want. People with this mentality, I would imagine, probably aquire pirated versions of games. I once had a NES emulator on my PC, and downloaded countless numbers of ROMS to play. Not because I had any desire to play any particular one, as is my reason for buying games present day, but because I was greedy, the games sounded interesting, and I could. I didn't even play most of the ROMS in the end; However, every single game in my collection, bought new or used, is most likely one I have cherished the time playing. I am not driven by greed or a self-given right to own as many games as possible; simply to occasionally play a game I really like the premise of.

Anonymous wrote:

I don't care if people buy used, but I do care when they try to justify it with ANYTHING other than "I do it because I don't want to pay full price to the people who made the game BUT I want it now, now, now." Go nuts. But you lose all right to complain about the games when studios to the left and right are closing because, go figure, people don't care where their money goes as long as they can save a dollar right now.

You clearly do care if people buy used games- you wouldn't sound half as embittered and frustrated is you didn't. Fair enough, you're opinion. But to then blame the people buying the games second hand for, in my case, not wanting to pay more than we think said games are worth is laughable. I bought Batman: Arkham Asylum and Fallout 3 brand new, because I was almost certain that they would, to me, be worth the asking price. I bought Lego Batman, Crackdown, and Far Cry 2 for significantly marked down prices, second hand, and guess what? I'd be pretty annoyed if I'd bought any of them full price, and again, I made good judgement. Why should I pay more for something than I think it is worth? If I can't find it for a target price I set, then as you suggest, I won't but it. If I can, and it's legal, then I will.

As for your "I don't want to pay full price but I want it all now, now now" comment... Well, that's kind of self defeating. If I want a game, but don't think it is worth full price, then I have to WAIT until it's at a price I'm comfortable with.

One last point, albeit one that you have no doubt heard before and dismiss as a cliche... If games were of higher quality and content than they tend to be in this day and age, (something that seems to be slowly going away, but I feel that the bulk of games don't really aim to be great in the first place), then people wouldn't be so eager to sell their games in the first place, slowing down the secondhand market. Something to think about, perhaps?

I am so tired of this perennial whine game industry whine

*re-posted from Penny Arcade forum*

Would somebody explain why games--unlike books, movies, cars, and furniture--deserve exemption from the first sale doctrine? Why do game developers and publishers deserve such protection over filmmakers, manufacturers, engineers, and millwrights? Are these developers creating morally edifying work? Are they making a product that elevates the human soul? Hell, are they even making something that most people could confidently call art?

No. They're making games. Amusing distractions. The little thing people do between sleeping and living their life when there's nothing better to do. Their product occupies the same niche as reality TV, graphic novels, and masturbation. And should be priced accordingly.

Here's a little dose of reality for all you game industry types out there: your product isn't very important. Even the hardest of your hardcore fans implicitly agree. That's why they buy used games by the ton. Your product isn't important, and you charge too much for it.

Believe it or not, I love games, and I do think they have the potential to be an artistic medium. But in a country with 9.5% unemployment and stagnant wages, charging $60 for "Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days" is a slap in the face. Hell, even in good times "Kane and Lynch 2" is a fun afternoon at best. "Mario Galaxy" is a fun weekend, and that's about it.

The vast majority of people don't even come close to beating the games they buy--let alone "mastering" them. Why is that? Why do the vast majority of people never finish games? Because they don't care. Because 99.99% of the industry's products are empty, repetitive, sophomoric, and disposable. And after they've gotten over the novelty of moving a new avatar around the screen for a few hours, most people move on to the next empty distraction.

I love games, and will continue playing them. But I'm not going to argue that 99.99% of games out there are anything other than garbage. Rockstar, Ken Levine, and Fumito Ueda aren't going to save your collective asses. If you don't want people to throw away your product, stop making trash. If trash is the only thing that sells, then price it accordingly.

Devs losing their jobs?

Tough shit. That's America 2010. We're all in the same damn boat.

Bitter about about cheapskates like me buying a used copy of your latest empty time-waster when you worked SOOO HAAARD ON IT?

Go cry to your mother.

I'm a consumer; I'm not your fucking friend, and I sure as hell don't owe you anything. I'm no more concerned with "hurting" THQ when I buy a used game than I am with "hurting" craftsman when I buy second-hand tools.

Craftsman is OK with this, so what makes THQ feel so damn entitled?

I don't get this article at

I don't get this article at all.
A company says to 'pay us (IE Buy the game new) to get this service' and this is bad? Did I miss something here or am I too logical?

The real issues

All this finger-pointing in the comments serves no purpose. Maybe we should stop thinking about this subject in a philosophical way (i.e. in terms of what is morally right or wrong, fair or unfair) and just look at the simple mechanics at play.

Sometime in the recent past, the industry entered a boom (in fact, it hasn't been what you could call an "industry" for all that long). Availability of cheap, high-quality hardware and an interest for gaming made it highly profitable to make games, and we (the gamers) were blessed with more excellent games than we had the time to play (I remember the days when the store where I bought my PC-games needed but a couple of shelves to hold *all* the games released in the last 6 months!).

Then the boom turned into a bubble, as publishers allowed game development to become an arms race. This is a constant in modern history and can be observed everywhere (Hollywood, the internet-bust, Wall Street, Transfer fees for soccer players, etc.). You have to spend more and more money just to stay at the front of the race, and somehow hope that you will get it back when your product is released - but sooner or later the cumulated expenses of the industry *will* grow beyond what can be earned (there's only so much money people will spend on games, no matter how many and how good they are).

The industry can bemoan this state of affairs all they want, and perhaps they may even hold a certain moral high ground, but they're still going to have to face up to the facts. Sure, it would be nice if the market for video games allowed hundreds of developers to exist and thrive; I love these guys (and gals) who devote so much of their time, energy and passion to making such great games. But the fact is, it doesn't. It's a shame, but there you have it. Some of the people who now work in the video game industry will sadly have to move to more mundane jobs, as the industry reaches a more natural equilibrium, or finds ways to increase productivity or open up new markets. I suggest people like Ledesma focus on this kind of task, because finger-pointing won't do anyone any good, neither them nor us.

Anonymous (the second

Anonymous (the second one)... I think the point is that games companies (or, to not risk lumping all games companies together, the publishers) have been happy to screw us gamers over for years. They are only willing to play on their own terms... they see it fair to charge £40- £45 for a new game (not sure what that is in dollars), but as soon as something threatens that, then they cry victim.

As said above, most other media have a thriving second-hand market, any idiot can see that. But for some reason, despite (what I percieve, anyway) being the worst offenders for over-charging for new products, the game industry seems to think it has the right to cry the loudest about being hard done by.

The irony is, I'm not moaning about their steps to try and stop people buying second hand; it's actually perfectly understandable. However, I am angry with the nonsense they come out with to justify the steps they are trying to take, it's all pointing fingers at the people who made them big companies in the first place. As a gamer, I feel like nothing more than a walking bank to the publishers, and if anything, the stuff this guy has been quoted saying in this article just makes me more likey to buy second-hand in the future. Well done, Cory- talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

aesquire wrote: Would

aesquire wrote:

Would somebody explain why games--unlike books, movies, cars, and furniture--deserve exemption from the first sale doctrine? Why do game developers and publishers deserve such protection over filmmakers, manufacturers, engineers, and millwrights? Are these developers creating morally edifying work? Are they making a product that elevates the human soul? Hell, are they even making something that most people could confidently call art?

A book doesn't have mp server costs. This is, so far, the only area were we see recently the publishers trying to charge you for (on consoles).
Steam is a different thing. You not even can resell the SP, you can't resell anything. If you decide to buy a game on Steam, you accept the rules this action implies. And when you buy a EA-10-dollar game you accept those rule. If you don't want to accept this, don't buy it!
A used car brings money from service parts, the older it gets the company might get even more to keep the car running. Furniture looses its color, get's scratches, some parts might break. They will never be as new as they were on day 1.
Digital data, games, never change. That's the reason why we don't see price drops in online markets that much. There are no costs for store shelf to have them on stock. Steam often tries to compete with retail and other digital distributors, but more constant prices like we see on Live and PSN will be the future.

Accept it, pay it, or don't accept it, don't buy. It's a choice, our decision. The publishers chose to try to get the money Gamestop now gets. I don't see why i should complain about this fair process. The publishers accepted that Gamestop makes money on their expenses, but when they stop to support that it's their right to do, it's their obligation as a company.

Films gets protected the same: video on demand charges you to see the film, like buying the 10$ ticket to be able to play the mp only with your account. On demand is for a one time run, here you still get endless runs.

The consumers rather directly decided how the products are. They decided that games should be "empty, repetitive, sophomoric, and disposable."

Quote:

Your product isn't important, and you charge too much for it.

Nonsense. If it would be important than it should be charged less. If it's unimportant it's unimportant that it's charged too high. There is no real need that you and everyone else has to play it.
They charge what some costumers are able to and willingly pay.
If it's not important for you why do people complain about it being too high priced? Wait until the price meets your acceptance level.
A Porsche is too high priced for me too and drinks too much gas, so i swallow that fact and buy a VW or Toyota.
If games are priced too high for you, then you buy used games. Fine. If the publisher removes some of the features for used games you have to swallow that fact and still buy the cut product or wait until the wrapped package get's cheaper, as i do.

The market works, if WE don't fuck up.

I consider myself a communist or socialist or whatever but, as we, and America in the leading role, decided to live in this system, a customer controls the market by buying or not buying, everything else is secondary, the publisher controls the same market by setting the price, creating the product and the rules with which i can enjoy it.
That's so easy it almost hurts when people don't get it. JUST SAY NO, if the product doesn't meet your needs. Complaining this and that does not work if money is concerned. Money flow can only be controlled by altering the money flow.

Is borrowing costing developers jobs?

What I find interesting about the used game debate is that it's one step shy of saying borrowing/lending games is also bad for the industry. Can you imagine what would happen if libraries started to lend out games? Would there be an outcry from the industry to deny public libraries from lending out games similar to books and movies.

Games lending in libraries

There are libraries in parts of the country already lending games. It's not widespread yet, but it has been in practice for over a year I think. I think libraries would get a pass since they are not-for-profit/municipal entities.

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

...saying borrowing/lending games is also bad for the industry.

I guess it is, or at least it makes the calculation harder.
It's basically the same as sharing a cinema experience with all your friends with a screener you made.

It's in our hands to say whether we buy only for our own fun (=steam) or we really want to share "our" games, so account binding is something we don't accept. We control if the publisher has to accept a game played by various people or not.

DLC and the success of Steam signals to me that the average customer doesn't care if he will be the only one consuming the download, if this is the only way he will get it.
Gamers are to "addicted" to refuse. If i can't buy a game for me and my friend and vice versa, we both will buy it, or not, not seems to be beyond their will.

At the end the publisher might make more money because if you don't buy together one game each you might buy two different games or something else.
The money has to go somewhere, the free time will be spent.

If a game is played by two people and only bought by one it's not "good".
If a game is played by only one and the other one buys another game or a new trouser, whatever, the money flows to a company for something. No matter if it's a service or a real product.
You only get what you pay. The math would be more simple. If our product failed it was because no one bought it, not because all played it but no one bought it.

Quote:

Can you imagine what would happen if libraries started to lend out games?

so basically what piratebay does?
That is what happens: the publishers don't know if their game sucked or just nobody wanted to pay for their fun.

crackajack

crackajack wrote:
Quote:

Can you imagine what would happen if libraries started to lend out games?

so basically what piratebay does?
That is what happens: the publishers don't know if their game sucked or just nobody wanted to pay for their fun.

I think there's a big difference between lending out legally obtained physical copies of games versus the mass distribution and continual redistribution of illegally obtained digital copies. There's also accountability with libraries.

Chi Kong Lui wrote: I think

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

I think there's a big difference between lending out legally obtained physical copies of games versus the mass distribution and continual redistribution of illegally obtained digital copies. There's also accountability with libraries.

I don't know, for the publisher it doesn't make much difference:
A customer who enjoys the work but does only pay IF he buys it afterwards.
And the if is quite big when i look at the success of Trent Reznors test balloons where customers were invited to pay as much as they want or the World of Goo tests with the same goal. Sure, they got some money, money enough to be happy as a mini-company. The average was more than 0! Hooray! But tons payed just aggravating numbers...

In an ideal world customers would know that they owe the publishers financial support to actually make good games possible. But in reality companies have to argue why they should get money for the service they offer.

Games should be considered services like a hair cut. You can't resell a hair cut, so everyone pays for his own. And everyone has a gaming experience, so i think it's fair to pay for that in the same way. Only because the past allowed to not pay or pay less than the barber actually charged, doesn't mean to me it is correct or fair to ignore the barbers sales tag and go away without leaving money for all future.

Personally i will have to play less games if not only the MP or DLC-goodies will be done in this way. We only have seen the start so far, but it will be the future. Mankind doesn't work with pay as much as you want. It's too stupid and egoistic for that concept.

I think entertainments are

I think entertainments are luxuries, not services. One can live without a copy of God of War 3. I see 2 competing needs here. The industry needs higher prices to continue going the way it HAS because they lack the ability to change their structure (top down managment with too many people doing not very much), and gamers want lower prices because they don't have as much cash as they did last year for entertainment, at the same time that their standards have gotten alot higher. They don't want to play Galaxian anymore. The obvious solution is that you make all games downloadable, and do away with software hard-manufacturing altogether, and put alot of people out of work pressing discs. I would ask, seriously, what are discs and cases and the shelves they sit on at this point but a nostalgic notional nod to to books and bookcases of years past? Haven't we outgrown them?

randomrob wrote: The

randomrob wrote:

The obvious solution is that you make all games downloadable, and do away with software hard-manufacturing altogether, and put alot of people out of work pressing discs. I would ask, seriously, what are discs and cases and the shelves they sit on at this point but a nostalgic notional nod to to books and bookcases of years past? Haven't we outgrown them?

There's an even more obvious solution. Cut down your budget a la Wii Sports.

(lol) It's frustrating for

(lol)

It's frustrating for me- I like to support companies I like, but the 60$ pricetag is getting a little old. I resell most of my games on Amazon. I don't go to Gamestop for anything. I think they practice the lowest common denominator of salesmanship I've encountered, and I chose not to endorse their business with my money.

As for me "cheating" the system by reselling a game I bought for full price, that's horsesh*t (and I would add, an out of order sentiment for a country defined by free enterprise).

The publisher made their sale FROM ME, and the other guy who's buying it from me for 45 didnt want to pay 60 to begin with, so they didn't 'lose' that sale. They never HAD that sale. I'm their market, he's not. The market does not BELONG to the seller, it belongs to the buyer. This country seems to have this weird retrograde amnesia about this concept, and an even stranger obsession with the RIGHTS of the publishers (if not the artists...).

This discussion needs to keep on going! I like it :D

Chi Kong Lui wrote: Cut

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

Cut down your budget a la Wii Sports.

Interesting project, convert Gears of war, Anno, Armed Assault gamers into simple games lovers.
You really think that would increase the net income of the whole industry or just reduce the costs and exclude an enormous amount of money from the equation?

crackajack wrote: Chi Kong

crackajack wrote:
Chi Kong Lui wrote:

Cut down your budget a la Wii Sports.

Interesting project, convert Gears of war, Anno, Armed Assault gamers into simple games lovers.
You really think that would increase the net income of the whole industry or just reduce the costs and exclude an enormous amount of money from the equation?

I'm saying if the current model doesn't work, you don't complain forces outside of your control. You change the model like Nintendo did. Perhaps all the pomp and circumstance is unnecessary to making a great game.

My Two Cents

I don't think the video game industry is actively waging war on the used games industry. The simple fact is that developers and publishers are offering more to the people who are willing to pay more. If you buy a game used why should you get the same amount of content as someone who spent more money to buy the game new? This is like saying Blu-ray discs, despite their vastly superior quality, should be the same price as standard format DVDs.

You pay more, you get more. It's quite simple.

Personally I have always been an avid used game buyer. But if there are enticing features, such as BioWare's codes for free stuff in new copies of Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, then I will pony up the cash for a new copy.

I have yet to see an instance where a used game buyer's core experience is crippled because he didn't pay full price. So you missed out on some extra features that people who earned it, by paying more than you, got to play through. Simply purchasing the game does not entitle you to the ultimate gaming experience. You have to be willing to pay a little more.

Chi Kong Lui wrote: I'm

Chi Kong Lui wrote:

I'm saying if the current model doesn't work, you don't complain forces outside of your control.

But that's what they currently, or for some years now, do?! They change the sales model. "Convert" the disc-product to a subscription how Steam calls it, what it actually always was. They gave you the license to play their IP, but this license was bound on the disc, now they change that "faux pas" to DRM.
In my ears they don't complain, they explain. They can get it again in their controls, so they do it. Music industry failed in that partly (although Apple succeeded and Napster and last.fm...), but gamers seem to never care...

Actually the only one who should be pissed is Gamestop. Their market is threatened. Consumers will still have plenty of choice if they can't get used games. Then probably later.

Just clicked on the used games section at Gamestop. Seriously, this shop seems very expensive. My average buy costs 15-20€, new. For Europes standard that's very ok. If i would buy used games it would be often half of that. Some new games were i buy them appear to be cheaper as the price tag on Gamestops pre-owned section...

A couple of thoughts

Several commenters point out that there's no "need" to buy the latest, greatest game right on release day. That's certainly true, for gamers themselves. However, the hit-driven AAA gaming industry really does need as many core players as possible to buy the hot new game when it comes out and costs $60. Of course, if that's absolutely impossible then they'd prefer for a gamer to wait 6 months and still pay something, but the media cycle for most games seems to end within a week of release, suggesting that this alternative doesn't really interest the industry. The churning of used games by core gamers pushes up money that sustains the hit machine the major publishers love so much.

This, of course, is the reason that the industry never tries to attack used game sales by making an argument from continued value. The DLC extension phenomenon comes close, but it still relies on selling the player new things, not having the player appreciate old things. If players treated good games like good books, as objects to be treasured and pulled out over and over again to be experienced repeatedly, that would certainly depress used game sales. However, to the AAA publishers this outcome is just as grim as the present used game situation, if not more so. The industry absolutely depends on games being expensive, must-have purchases that are also completely disposable and quickly forgotten. If core players started filling their time with classic games from their libraries, executives at major game publishers would start jumping out windows.

crackajack points out that games have mp server costs, but I feel this argument is specious. From the server side, a used game sale is zero sum: 1 MP user stops playing, 1 MP user starts playing. There's no additional server load in this scenario, and unless they were idiots the publishers figured the server costs into the price of the first sale. The servers are already paid for. There is, of course, the possibility that used game players will extend lifetime demand for the servers, but many publishers have already implemented a sort of planned obsolescence where servers for a particular game (say, Madden) are retired after so many years no matter what. Assuming the publishers really were prepared to support the original purchaser for as long as he wished to play the game, the used sale adds nothing to their costs.

randomrob makes a really good point about false equivalence (also relevant to the piracy debate). One used game sale is not the same as the loss of one new game sale. This is particularly true among populations (tweens, grandmas) who have limited discretionary spending money.

I would like to point out that in this regard used game sales can actually be good for the industry. By bringing the price of gaming down for entry-level gamers, they bring new consumers into the market. A positive reaction with a used game from a studio or series can and will encourage that consumer to save up for the subsequent new games from that company. Of course, the constant opening, closing, and restructuring of studios means the industry shoots itself in the foot in this regard, but what can you do?

Moreover, the sale of a used game is an ideal time to market new games and new consoles. This is a principle retailers have been aware of forever -- get the consumer in the door with the cheap stuff and then make your real money off the other things they buy at the same time. Once the consumer is in the store (or even on the website) they become a much better audience for advertising, because they're already thinking about the product. With this in mind, maybe it's a good idea for publishers to sell used games themselves.

RE:Sparky and Chi Kong

Sparky Clarkson wrote:

The churning of used games by core gamers pushes up money that sustains the hit machine the major publishers love so much.

This, of course, is the reason that the industry never tries to attack used game sales by making an argument from continued value. The DLC extension phenomenon comes close, but it still relies on selling the player new things, not having the player appreciate old things. If players treated good games like good books, as objects to be treasured and pulled out over and over again to be experienced repeatedly, that would certainly depress used game sales.

thank you x infinity.
(this might explain more than their PR peoples' approach to used game sales . . .)

Chi Kong Li wrote:

it's one step shy of saying borrowing/lending games is also bad for the industry. Can you imagine what would happen if libraries started to lend out games?

good point. Crackajack's response "games should be considered services like a hair cut . . . everyone pays for his own" ties pretty well into Sparky's comment above.

Sparky Clarkson wrote: the

Sparky Clarkson wrote:

the hit-driven AAA gaming industry really does need as many core players as possible to buy the hot new game when it comes out and costs $60.

But they would have to adjust the pricing if we all together say we can't afford it at that price. That's not the case.
They set the pricing were they make the most money. Simple law.
Price goes down very fast if sales numbers say that it doesn't work. And if this happens often, they don't make the money they beforehand invested, the investments would have to go down but prices would go down also permanently. It's not that a group, not the used buyers ones, didn't accept the 60$-tag.

They can't offer themselves a cheap version for those who want spent less money. Not if the product is actually the same and a used game is the same than a new one. So they do the MP-ticket, DLC-day-one-extras and DLC-life-extenders stuff for those who pay full and cut that from used buyers. And insanely priced CE versions for the fanatics. Fair.

Quote:

From the server side, a used game sale is zero sum: 1 MP user stops playing, 1 MP user starts playing. ... The servers are already paid for. There is, of course, the possibility that used game players will extend lifetime demand for the servers, but many publishers have already implemented a sort of planned obsolescence where servers for a particular game (say, Madden) are retired after so many years no matter what. Assuming the publishers really were prepared to support the original purchaser for as long as he wished to play the game, the used sale adds nothing to their costs.

Of course i speak only of extended lifetime of the server needed for that product.
If 1000 players buy the game and 500 stop playing after your above mentioned one week hype phase then they would be able to shut down one of the two servers or use it more probably for the next game. Costs are service technician and electricity plus server costs divided by not only one game.

Quote:

There's no additional server load in this scenario, and unless they were idiots the publishers figured the server costs into the price of the first sale.

So the 10 hour SP-fan pays for the 300 hour MW2-fan? Great...
I really hope SP and MP will become separate games in the future.
Or MP will be charged like Live already does, but per game.

Quote:

One used game sale is not the same as the loss of one new game sale.

Of course.
But they lose the money Gamestop added to the "real" price. so they lose some money.

Fight the good fight, brother!

Ya, let's stick it to those suit wearing stiffs who develop games! I only buy used games and I always do it from my local Mom and Pop places--like Gamestop and Ebay and Amazon.

So let's all only buy used games until those greedy fat cats learn to quit nickel and diming us, right?!

Wait...what? Where'd all the developers go? Oh well, at least we have a Gamestop on every corner!

It's sad to see so many gamers shun the people who've given them their hobby in favor of the vultures. Congrats!

Are you really going to

Are you really going to generalize there? Really?

I'll concede that buying used 100% of the time would be problematic for the industry. I'm not saying that doesn't happen at all, but I think that your argument here is derailed by a false generalization.

Many consumers buy new and used both. Consumers trade in or sell games that they either don't play or don't like in order to defray the asking cost of a game that, in today's economic conditions, is considered high. You win in the industry because your new games are still being bought by a reselling retailer like GameStop to be sold to their customer base. The customer wins because he or she is able to afford your game and spend less money out of pocket. The reselling retailer wins because other consumers buy decide to buy that game used in the future.

There is a middle ground here that's being largely ignored.

Yes, my post was a grand

Yes, my post was a grand example of hyperbole and generalizing, but it's all I can do to counter this silliness from the pro-used games folk.

Is there absolutely no empathy or respect left for the developer and the games they create? There is so much venom in this debate for the people who are the very reason we are even here in the first place. Some of the venom spitters are right here on this page (the person who copied that post from Penny Arcade deserves a good shakin’—they should go read what the *founders* of PA think about this issue). Shouldn’t a gamer’s allegiance be with the developer and the industry rather than its parasitic side business?

You do not support game developers when you buy a used game. Period. The used game connoisseurs can spin it however they want to help themselves sleep at night, but it's true. Even if you're selling games to buy new games, you're encouraging someone else to pass up a copy that could actually benefit a developer rather than a reseller. Used games have never been bigger and--surprise!--game development is going in the crapper and a new Gamestop gets erected every 10 seconds. Sure, that’s a simplification and there are many reasons for that, but it doesn't jive with your logic that used games somehow help the industry.

Am I 100% opposed to used games sales? No. You bought something physical and you can resell it if you wish and I can buy it if I’m feeling cheap. I'm not above it myself. But to sit and act like the used game market has no effect (or even a...sigh...positive one) is absolutely delusional. It’s not something that gamers should be so unbelievably defensive about, either. Right? It’s madness.

lol

are you implying that a company like EA deserves loyalty because they sell something? That business model died over 40 years ago. Companies are viewed by how ethically they work and treat their employees and customers on a day to day basis, just like everyone else. I don't need to love them because they do what they're supposed to. They don't own the market. You own the market, and so do I. EA exists because of us, not the other way around. There is a game industry because there is a DEMAND for one. We create demand, and we can demand change. In recession, things need to be shaken up - it's the perfect time.

"the person who copied that

"the person who copied that post from Penny Arcade deserves a good shakin’—they should go read what the *founders* of PA think about this issue"

I'm not getting involved in this debate although I fully understand both sides if the argument. I just wanted to highlight this purely because it's obvious to anyone that the guys at PA have been a mouthpiece for publishers for a good while now, heck, it's almost embarrassing to see some of the games/ideas they support these days.

Of course two guys who get to "hang out" with Bungie are going to fully say they support EA with project 10-dollar and the like; using them as support for any argument relating to this subject is a waste of everyone's time. Just thought I'd add that.

SomeGameDev wrote: So let's

SomeGameDev wrote:

So let's all only buy used games until those greedy fat cats learn to quit nickel and diming us, right?!

Here's an article on PC game piracy that somehow resonates with this debate: http://insomnia.ac/commentary/pc_game_piracy/

(Yes, I know it's from insomnia but this was a guest writer and the writer makes some very salient points on piracy which I recommend looking over even if your discussion lies completely with used game sales.)

More specifically (parentheses are my changes):

Jon R. wrote:

We’re supposed to have sympathy for them too, even though by their own arguments they deserve to die off. Piracy(used game sales) is killing the PC market, but the response to any legitimate complaint is to stop buying PC games if we don’t like it. If we act rationally and refuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater and download a game (buy a game used), we’re killing them. What would they rather have us do? “Talk with our wallets” and not play the games at all, and certainly don’t buy them. Which would also kill the industry, but that’s somehow the more moral solution. Either way the industry is BASICALLY DARING US TO KILL IT.

Most people are talking with their wallets, which is why the market is shrinking. And what message does the industry take from that? That they should do something different? Nope. The message is that they should simply move to consoles due to a shrinking market they surely can’t be responsible for. So even when we do follow the “moral” way, nothing fucking changes. So the decision, from our view, is between "No Games, Dead Industry" and "Pirate Games (buy games used), Dead Industry".

In other words, if the industry isn’t going to get the message no matter what we do and is going to die either way, why should we deny ourselves the few good games that get released? Should I feel sorry for Ken Levine not getting paid for a good game? Nope. The industry doesn’t care about fucking us over in the name of unproven piracy(used game sales) damages, so I don’t see why we should care if a few decent developers get crushed in the name of taking down an industry that could not possibly care less about doing proper business with us.

For those interested in reading the entire article, pay attention to the opening section, the section about digital distribution, and the "hardware and excuses" section.

It's incredibly easy to just substitute "buying used games" into the article whenever he talks about piracy. For some reason, this makes sense, even though buying a used game is a lot different from pirating a game. The used game buyer still takes money out of his wallet and pays for a game, while the pirate simply downloads a game without any financial cost involved. How is this equal?

(The scary part is that the article doesn't even need to be about PC games specifically -- all the points made can apply to console games as well. Take that as you will.)

This equality isn't due to piracy being the logical endpoint of buying games used. This is because the INDUSTRY defines them in the same way, highlighting a problem with how the industry treats its consumers in relation to profit margins. All the publishers see is a lost sale, and instead of trying to figure out why that sale was lost, and how to ensure a purchase in the future, the industry blames the consumer for having a moral fault that is roughly the same as BEING RATIONAL.

So then the publishers refuse to find fault in their own bloated, twisted business model and instead complain about how the consumer is killing the industry because we're all amoral, soulless assholes who only care about ourselves.

There have been arguments along the lines of "game development is a business -- making money is their priority." What boggles my mind is how eager the industry is willing to shun long-term stability (which ultimately results in larger profits) in order to maintain their shaky business model. When your development studio's future depends on a SINGLE GAME'S sales in a s SINGLE ECONOMIC WINDOW, something is wrong.

And what infuriates me even more is that the industry's representatives have the nerve to come out and appeal to our sense of sympathy. Then when we ask the the consumers ask the industry to deliver the product that was promised, excuses start falling out of people's mouths (see: the recent release of the game Elemental by Stardock).

I think the best line of the article quoted sums up the discussion nicely: "The ultimate question here — which the PC game industry avoids like the plague — is 'Look, do you want me to buy your fuckin’ game or what?'." And here is where the industry backpedal begins.

Keep in mind that all of this comes from a person that wishes (maybe masochistically) to work in the industry as a developer. I still believe in video games as a powerful entertainment force, despite the immaturity of the industry's financial model.

crackajack wrote: Games

crackajack wrote:

Games should be considered services like a hair cut. You can't resell a hair cut, so everyone pays for his own.

I disagree about the hair cut bit. A barber can't give you a hair cut unless she is physically present and performing the service. She can't wrap her labor up in a box or reproduce it or ship it through the mail because the service is the labor. Once a software developer has completed her work, though, she's done and no longer has to expend time or effort for you to "experience" her product. She can spend her time sitting on the beach, hopefully raking in the dough.

I really don't see how

I really don't see how anyone has the right to complain about this on either side of the issue, provided everyone knows what they're getting/giving.

A new game is like a new car, 0 mileage and you have the right to be pissed if anything in it doesn't work, because there's an implicit promise that it does.

A used game is like a used car, could have a thousand miles on it or a hundred thousand. The AC may or may not work. Same with the radio, the cd player, etc. But the price will reflect these facts, or it won't sell.

But as long as you know exactly what you're getting, you have no right to complain. You can choose how to spend your money! Really!

If you don't like paying $20 for a used game without a feature, then don't! If you do, then do! If you don't like paying $60 for new games, then don't! If you're worried the game won't be worth $60, research it first, like a smart person would do with a new car. Plenty of people buy cars that aren't as good as other cars at the same price, do you hear them bitching about it?

It's all governed by economics, whatever price will sell is what occurs naturally. You can choose to boycott it if you think it's unfair, and if it doesn't work that's our economic system. Just keep it out of a "professional" piece of journalism.

Now obviously there are some loopholes if you withhold information or have something close to a monopoly, but those are issues to be addressed with individual companies if/when they arise.

Short version: If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's just that simple. Any other form of complaint about pricing is ridiculous and ineffectual, and to prove it just take the current argument to any other industry and watch them laugh at you. Nobody is making you buy games!

!Crisis

I agree that there's a crisis, but it's not a used games crisis. It's a crisis of vision on Ledesma's part. He's childishly blaming customers because of his own failure to properly monetize his product. He's got what we call seller's remorse, and he's project-ing or scapegoat-ing or some other cognitively dysfunctional -ing onto his customers. Having learned this valuable lesson about the market place, he is now free to move forward and try any pricing model that suits him. He's even free to try WOW's monthly subscription model, but I'll suggest, with a condescending grin, that his product ain't addictive enough to pull that off.

For anyone who want's to defend Ledesma's position, I'll offer the following: Customers purchased exactly what Ledesma sold them at a price that he set, and as a consequence of how Ledesma positioned his product in the market place, those game owners now possess unlimited perpetual use rights. Those customers don't get a refund if they play only a little, and if they play obsessively they don't pay any more. Most importantly, those game owners are completely free to sell that product back into the market because Ledesma knowingly sold them that right. There is absolutely no moral, ethical, or legal issue to discuss here. There is, quite simply, an opportunity for Ledesma and the rest of the industry to test some alternate pricing models.

I'm going to tangent now and mention the #1 reason that I LOVE buying used games from GameStop - the 7 day no questions asked satisfaction guaranteed return policy. Have you ever bought a game that sucked? Well, GameStop has you, the customer that drives this industry, covered - at least on used games. But talk about putting us first, let's see the industry as a whole try that kind of forward thinking, customer friendly approach to business. Do you think the industry trusts its product enough to try it? Nah, me neither.

Used games

The whole used games discussion is way off the mark. The argument is that they are cheated out of their money? Are they absolutely crazy? What would the world be like if everybody that ever sold something has the right to a cut whenever that gets sold to the next person, and the next. If i'm a potato-farmer and I sell my potatos to the fry factory and they sell their fries to mac donald's, does mac donald's owe me money? Those are my fries, you know. Does that give me the right to go up to people eating fries at mac donald's and get some fries? Hey I'm no bum, I'm a farmer.. those are my potatoes!! If I am an artist and I produce a huge middlefinger-statue out of marble and sell that to mr. Ledesma because he wants to put it in his office, and then mr. Ledesma gets bored of it because yeah, it is kinda childish and simple after all and sells it to mr Kotick or something, do I get paid again? Or can I go in with a big saw and say "sure you can sell it, but not with the pinky attached! It's my statue, after all..My intellectual property!!

ludicrous!

Mr. video developer/publisher-man:
You should be glad that I buy your game second hand, because OBVIOUSLY I did not want to buy it at the full price tag. It did not have that kind of value to me and obviously it did not have that kind of value to the original buyer, because he wanted to get rid of it. Maybe it wasn't good enough, or maybe you didn't bombard me with enough advertising, or maybe you made something that I already own under another name. Maybe I'm just an opportunistic prick that knows it'll get cheaper over time and - other than the type of consumer you love and choose to brand as 'loyal fans' - I do posess the fine skill of self-control. I can wait. Whatever the reason: the games I buy second hand aren't the games I buy new. If they weren't available second hand I probably wouldn't buy them at all. Either way you are laying claim to money that you never would have made. But, if this second hand game is any good... and I got it cheap so I'm probably not as critical of any flaws as I would be at the full price.. and you put out another even better game. Then maybe I'd buy that.

And don't give arguments about false sense of entitlement on the part of gamers. It has a point, a lot of consumers are morons like that, but the argument works both ways. If you can't support your family on making games, do something else. Or don't have a family and all the commitments that come with it. The games industry has changed. You are no longer part of the IT-bubble, but we welcome you into the entertainment industry where the work is hard and the pay is shit and you're lucky to even get a change to work at all. If you don't like it, do something else. Guess what? A lot of people make music, but they don't all get to be rockstars. Most of them have to work crappy jobs they don't like, every day, for money that's always a little short.

And on another note: I can full well remember a time where I did go out and bought a lot of games, new at full price. But then gaming got all popular and every fool with some coding skills wanted to have his little piece of the cake. Result: a lot of mediocre games. And you can fool me once into believing Mafia 2 is the next GTA and get me to buy it.. but we do actually play these things, you know. And if it feels like a rip off, you're extra careful next time. There used to be a lot of iconic studios where if they would release something, i'd get it just because it had their name on it. Not because I was a "Loyal Fan", but because I could trust it to be good. Today, that number has dwindled down to only a couple and is still falling hard. It feels like a rip off. And you can get mad at all the misinformed comments on messageboards about the evils of big publishers and how Bobby Kotick is Hitler. And you can get mad at people bashing smaller studios for not matching MW2's production values. And maybe on a rational level, you're actually right in some way... but the fact is that a lot of people are dissatisfied with the state of a lot of games. They feel ripped off... now they might not be able to make well founded, rational arguments or even to remain polite about it, but the feeling is there. And if you know your marketing, you know that buying stuff is hardly ever a rational decision for people.

And even all of that ranting goes past the point of: supply and demand decide the value, basta. Maybe there are not enough gamers, but it's more likely that there are too many games out there. Because people obviously don't think a lot of games are worth their 60 dollar price tag. And you can piss and moan about how much costs you to make them, but that's fundementally your problem and you should look at the way your business is organized and keep your hands out of my pockets because I like to put rattraps in there.

An entirely unimportant personal example.

There are currently ~150 games on my shelf. About 100 of them are Xbox 360 games. Here are the games that I purchased at full original release MSRP:

Dead Rising 2
Way of the Samurai 3
Earth Defense Force 2017
Crash Time & Autobahn Polizei
Deadly Premonition (4 copies - and a 40$ copy of Red Seeds Profile is on the way)

The first two of those games were purchased because of a love for the series that grew after buying used copies of the earlier games.

Three are games whose cheap price and bold premises convinced me to give them a chance - I wasn't disappointed.

The last is, obviously, a game so good that it deserves to be played by anyone - I've already spent more money buying copies of it than I've spent on any other single game.

The point here is that I've stockpiled used games to a ridiculous extent because when you're paying between 10-20 dollars for a game, it's simply not worth the 1-5 dollars I'd get back for selling each of them back. Lower prices to begin with basically kill the used game market.

I've spent ~2000 dollars on physical video games since getting an Xbox 360. Publishers got their percentage of maybe $500 of that. Maybe I'm bad for the industry - but I've demonstrated a willingness to pay $20 dollars for games that even mildly interest me ($10 for downloadable games), so it seems like the industry could make an attempt to, at the very least, meet me halfway.

The whole point of services

IsNull wrote:

she's done and no longer has to expend time or effort for you to "experience" her product. She can spend her time sitting on the beach, hopefully raking in the dough.

Following your way of thinking no one would have to pay anything except for the disc itself after the first ever buyer payed?
But the service the programmer is delivering to you while spending his time on a beach is the same service everyone gets.

That's the whole point of services. You get it and your neighbor, your dad, your aunt and Joe in Kansas and Jane in LA. So you all pay for it? It doesn't matter that the game isn't tailor made for you all. If everyone would claim the other guy should pay it, even the first buyer could say, the used games buyer should pay and not him. Service is service. If the game allows us to resell it, fine for us, but if it doesn't, at least in parts, i don't think we have any right to complain.

im not an older gamer and

im not an older gamer and ive only just started chasing online posts about dlc and used games and stuff and its really opened my eyes to these crappy practices. i really enjoy gaming and happily pay £40 a year to microsoft to play online and in the past if i enjoyed a game i might pay for extra content, remember the first gears of war? i think it was 4 maps for 800 points and i got it as soon the content came out, was i cheated? i dont feel like it so guess not. gears one was a very good game and had a real following, the maps felt like they were made due to the success of the game (i dont know if this is true though!) but were talking about a gap between game release and dlc release of how many MONTHS? now what? day one dlc of stuff like extra hats? it speaks for itself, this shit is worthless and has no quality or staying power and most of us already know it so we dont bother with it.

so thats ok then because the more and more crap they make and ask us to pay for the less will be brought and the more people will be aware, in summary this current trend will change, mabey for the worse to start with but after that, who knows? mabey we'll see good games in their own genre's again rather than shotgun style games that try and please everyone and end up being not very good for anyone!

ps i think the site is great and im glad you guys are talking about this stuff, you got yourself a follower.

cheers!

Yay for bumpage! Obviously

Yay for bumpage!

Obviously this still hasn't been resolved though so I don't feel bad for bumping.

What has to be said (and was said only once or twice throughout this whole argument) is that yes, the sale of a used game goes to gamestop or amazon or whoever isn't the developer. However it DOES all come down to supply and demand in a ton of ways that have a lot of impact on the developer. It's how much supply and demand of the used games there are...think of it. Why do we have used games? It's because people used them and didn't like them. So over the years the SUPPLY of used games has gone up consistently. This is telling us that people are not liking games more and more and more. Of course that's not the developers fault, it's because us users have bad concepts of what a good game is or isn't and we should be faulted because our opinions are terrible ones.

The next part of the equation is demand, so what happens when I buy a new game for $60, walk out and two days later decide to sell it back to gamestop? Well they're going to sell it for $50 at the start, when Joe gamer #X walks in he's going to see the $50 game and think "well...I could buy that game which may or may not be scratched or I could go and buy the new $60 game which I know isn't scratched!" He'll get the $60 game. Lets take a similar scenario, except now me and five other people buy that new game and then sell it back to gamestop soon after. Joe game #X walks into the store and notices two things. 1) The new game for $60 is used for $30 and 2) There are 5 used copies of that brand new game. (It's $30 now because of supply and demand again, gamestop has realized that the game is NOT worth $60 and unless they drop the price of their used game, they're going to have the game just sitting there taking up space and more importantly, not making any money for their investment) Joe is going to look at that and right away realize that the game obviously isn't worth $60 and might not even be worth the $30 that gamestop is trying to sell it at. He'll either buy the used or go see a movie at the nearby cinema where he knows he at least likes the popcorn.

If games were as good as developers think they are, the used copies of the game would be non-existent for two reasons. They would have very few used games brought back to them because people ENJOY the game and want to keep playing, also people who don't have it will be gobbling them up and when they go in to buy their game and don't see any used games available, they will come to the accurate conclusion that the game IS a good game worth the $60 that the ticket says because nobody is able to keep anything in stock at a cheaper price.

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