Video Game Developers Continue To Ignorantly Attack Used Game Sales

from the not-this-again dept

Every few months or so we see yet another story of a video game developer or publisher hating on the used games market, claiming that it's totally killing video games. Of course, the actual video game market is thriving, but facts aren't that important. Furthermore, as we've been pointing out for many years, studies have shown that a thriving used market helps the primary market, because buyers know they may be able to resell products in the future, and possibly make back a portion of the money in question.

Still, it doesn't stop game developers from insisting that the sky is falling and the world is ending because of used video game sales (thanks to Silence8 for being the first of many with that link):
Game designer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored antipiracy features in the next-gen PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango. "The real cost of used games is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer," Browne writes. "The real cost of used games is the death of single player gaming."
The HotHardware post on this does a nice job debunking the claims, though it seems that earlier comments from the same site, noting that used game sales don't appear to be economically different than used books, should have ended this debate long ago. If video gamers are struggling to compete with the used market, they only have themselves to blame. Unless they want to overturn the first sale doctrine, they're just going t have to suck it up and learn to live with it. The idea that there's less creativity in the video game space because some people buy used games is simply ridiculous and not supported by any facts. If some publishers/developers are struggling to make money, then they need to work on problems with their own business model, rather than lashing out at the used market.


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  1.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 10:21am

    I buy used games because...

    It allows me to buy games I might not have bought otherwise. Plus it has at least a dozen times drawn me in to the franchise and created the "need" to own the next edition. I have played Halo since the first and have bought every game since even the crap Halo Wars. (Sold that in like 2 weeks)

    So the used game market gets me to buy more than I would otherwise. Also I would be less inclined to buy if I knew that buying meant a marriage instead of relationship.

    Sure some games and franchises I am willing to get married to but most I am not.

    This is from a 40+ year old gamer. Hear my wheeze! Or lose my dollars!

     

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  2.  
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    Jay (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:06am

    Simple solution

    If the price on games is too high, why not drop the price? That should be an indicator that people are going to spend their money elsewhere if the value of the game isn't to their liking.

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:13am

    Re: Simple solution

    They think that the price has no effect therefore they think they should charge as much as they can. Because gamers only buy on hype.

     

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    Scote, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:18am

    Solution: make great games nobody would part with

    If the game makers are so hateful of the used game market then their legal and morally supportable solution is obvious, make games that people will enjoy playing so much that they will want to **keep them** and keep playing them rather than selling them off to the used game store.

    Gamemakers have only themselves to blame for the glut of used games.

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:19am

    Unfortunately, they have anti-circumvention, they don't need to overturn the first sale doctrine, they can and will just forbid people from selling used games with drm. Not that it's going to help them. Who wants to spend 60$ on a game that has a resale value of 0$?

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:21am

    Re: Simple solution

    The prices aren't too high, people are buying them. Unfortunately, what they can't seem to wrap their brains around is the reason the prices aren't too high is because people can recoup some of it by selling it used when it's not worth keeping anymore.

     

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  7.  
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    DannyB (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Let me fix that for you . . .

    Who wants to spend their parent's $60 on a game that has a resale value of $0?

     

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  8.  
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    Mesonoxian Eve (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    I've read comments and editorials online the next gen consoles are going to favor DTO content, and slowly phase out disk-based media altogether.

    If this information proves to be true, I'm done with gaming. I'm pretty sick and tired of the "Fee you to death" approach developers are taking by trying to rip every last dollar from a gamer's wallet.

    It's insulting, and since they wish to continue this path, well, I guess I'll show them what a lost sale truly looks like.

     

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  9.  
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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:26am

    Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    Well, kids want everything, but parents don't have to give it to them :) Regardless, they are obviously simply going to sell proportionally less merch and probably blame piracy for the drop in sales.

     

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    Rob, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Simple solution

    That's not entirely true. See the Steam sales where when they drop the price the sales go through the roof.

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:27am

    Its already started

    The reckoning has already started for Developers. First-purchaser codes are becoming more common (e.g., Mass Effect 3, Batman), and they are driving down the price of used games. Right off the bat, used games must be at least $15 cheaper than new games, which means GameSpot is offering even less for trade-ins. In the past, I have bought new games for $60, played them for a few weeks, then sold them for $40 (on Kijiji and sometimes GameSpot). I basically was paying $20 for a new game. I recently had to sell my Mass Effect 3 for $22 f*cking dollars. This is going to change my habits severely. I'll more likely wait until the game is 1 year old and buy it for $15 at a pawn shop. (The exact same thing happened when I got rid of Cable and got Netflix -- now I enjoy old TV shows and I barely miss not seeing the latest Mentalist or 30 Rock.)

    It makes no sense to me. I predict the video game industry will adopt first-purchaser codes en masse, and this will only accelerate their losses. In the worst case, people will migrate to computers (where they can pirate games), start gaming on different systems (like tablets), or just buy a few games a year (like the annual Call of Duty release).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Absurd.

    I don't understand all of these gaming companies whether online, software, or on a console creating fees to actually progress in their games. Now this anti-used haterade, is pissing me off. It provides the gamer with the incentive to play and to resell it. These people, who run all of these industries don't understand their profession--which is to innovate for profit.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    The supermajority of gamers are adults (82%)

    Thank you, play again.

     

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    MrWilson, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:29am

    You know what gets me to buy a game? It being available on PC and having mod options built in or at least mod-friendly design. The only games that I purchase and spend months and months playing instead of buying other games are ones that I or other creative people can mod to our hearts content. As an imaginative person, I'm never satisfied with the game developers telling me how a game should be played. Games, to me, are essentially entertainment tools. The exact use of the tool is up to the consumer, not the manufacturer.

     

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    Rob, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    I've sort of reached the conclusion you have.

    I'm not done with gaming, my next "console" will be an HTPC loaded with games from GoG, Humble Bundle and other, similar places.

     

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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Re: DRM

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    The thing with video games is that they have unlimited supply, so they can play games like this where they choke the supply at the begining and get the early adopter suckers to spend the big bucks and when they dry up, they can just release a whole ton more at a lower price, and when that dries up they can release another ton at an even lower price or make bundles or collections or whatever. The fact that people buy more when they lower the price doesn't mean the price was too high, it's just how it works when there is an unlimited supply and you have 100% control over it but there isn't unlimited demand :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Here's an idea: instead of making Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 700 or Mass Effect 335.62, why not actually make a decent game for a change?

    What to know what the real problem is? Just ask yourself this question: when was the last time anyone released a space combat game that could stand next to the old greats (like the Wing Commander series or Freespace 2) and not feel ashamed?

    The problem is that games today lack depth. Lack of depth brings about a low replay value. Low replay value means that the game will be sold as soon as people are done with it.

     

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    DMNTD, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Re: LAN

    On top of that, they deem it necessary to kill any interaction outside of their web of control. Killing the LAN feature is the worst thing to me and it really makes it easy to understand what I am not buying...ever.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:45am

    Re:

    I think you might want to try out some of the digital distribution services for the PC first. Steam, GoG's, ect offer pretty good value for the money if you avoid freemium games and console ports.

     

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  21.  
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    ShivaFang (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:46am

    Re: Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    The problem is that with increased DRM, increased piracy always follows. If secondary sales no longer exist, people will turn to piracy.

    So, yes, this will increase piracy. So the publishers see decreased sales and increased piracy, and their conclusion that piracy is the cause of the decreased sales seems obvious.

    The problem is that increased piracy is itself the symptom. The cause is the DRM, the lost sales and increased piracy is because of the DRM (which is ironic since the DRM is supposed to reduce piracy, but actually increases it)

     

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  22.  
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    ShivaFang (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    This is true of *console* gamers (which this article pertains to).

    Children nowadays are more likely to play mobile games than console games, especially those who are 13 now, since they pretty much have adapted to mobile.

     

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    Richard, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:48am

    Perhaps we should look at used cars as an analogy. What would happen if auto manufacturers refused to sell parts for or repair used cars? Or had a remote disable to shut down any auto they suspect has been resold? The demand for new cars would plunge as their resale value would be 0 the instant the purchase was completed.

    People usually roll over the trade-in value of the old car into the purchase of a new one, enabling the new purchase. Used cars, if they're any good, give the buyers a desire to eventually purchase new cars when they can afford one.

    Its so obvious that it benifits all 3 groups.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:51am

    Who needs 'depth' when you can have 'flash and bang'....

    Seriously,

    I've yet to see a space exploration game that can compete with Elite for depth of play and open ended options....

    Even the Wing Commander games replaced some of the game 'depth' with graphics and cut-scenes...

    I would love to see an open ended (aka Elite style) space exploration game that combined depth of play with today's graphic capabilities....

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    Mass Effect? theres only 3 and they have plenty of depth. What made you pick that as an example? lol

     

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    Rob, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re:

    Steam was why I went to consoles in the first place.

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    Any idiot will know if you give less value (in this case by taking away the resale value) you will get (probably proportionally, unless you are tricking people) less sales. Any claims they make about piracy being the cause will be bogus just to pass some law, not because of an actual error.

     

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  28.  
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    zegota (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    See, but Steam games are not able to be resold, meaning it's an entirely different type of marketplace.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re:

    I like the idea of steam, but there's a serious problem.

    In the old days, when you bought a game, it was yours forever.

    With Steam, the games are yours until Steam dies.

    Once it does, you entire collection is gone, unless you crack it to bypass Steam authentication - in which case, you'd be a criminal for violating anti-circumvention provisions.

    But, even if you do resolve the authentication issue, you still have the problem that some games require Steam for multiplayer matchmaking (as far as I know). Again, this could be solved by some clever hacking, but it's not a trivial problem to solve, as you would have to replicate the Steam matchmaking code.

    I want to like Steam, but I just can't. Games get too attached to it, and I don't like it because it takes too much freedom away from me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: LAN

    I thought the same thing but blizzard did a good job with StarCraft 2. Plus the mod community is large with that game. I have not felt the need to use a LAN feature since the online feature is pretty nice.

     

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    Rekrul, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:59am

    What kills modern gaming for me is the 'leash' effect. It seems that all of today's consoles are next to useless if you don't also have the online service. You can't play online, you can't download any kind of add-ons and in some cases, even the single player game is missing features unless you download them.

    It's one thing to download a patch that fixes bugs in a game, it's another thing to have to download weapons to be able to effectively finish the single-player campaign.

    Maybe I'm living in the past, but it used to be that you bought a game at the store, installed it, downloaded and installed a patch if necessary and then you were ready to play the game. If you wanted to play online multi-player, you looked for a server or connected to a free game network and found a game to join. Later, the company might offer some extra MP levels and users might make new levels or content, all available for free.

    Now, if you even buy the game in the store, after you install it and enter the serial number, it has to contact the company to get permission to let you play the game. Then it forces you to download & install the latest patch, regardless of what problems it might cause. After that, if you want to play multi-player, you have to be a subscriber to the company's service and most extra content is pay to download.

    I'll take the old days...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Used game sales do hurt developers, this is fact. And the fact is, when all games go digital distribution, used games will no longer be a problem... I expect this change in the next-gen consoles... Also, PC was ahead of the game long before consoles... :P

     

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    zegota (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re:

    That's a lovely nostalgia fallacy. There are plenty of modern games with depth, and there are plenty of horrible, shitty games made in the Days of Yore. There are also plenty of recent well-received space-sim games.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    I never played Mass Effect, but from what I've read, it's just another shooter that they've dumbed down as the game count increased (and I bet they'll be making more, as long as they keep selling and I also bet they keep finding ways to make it even dumber).

    You want depth in a shooter? Try Deus Ex. The first one that is, not the aberrations that came after it bearing the same name.

    Now that is what I mean by depth.

     

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    zegota (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    "Used game sales do hurt developers, this is fact."

    Citation needed. Every actual study I've seen of this proves the exact opposite.

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    And I don't buy games anymore if they don't have an option to resell. My time is limited. So I can only play so many games and I pick and choose those games based on the entertainment value I perceive that they will provide and my ability to get the best value for my time and money. Classic economic exercise.

    I have been a PC gamer since the days of beta testing Doom. But I prefer Xbox games because I can play and then resell them.

    Lost money.

    Also I own just 1 steam game and will never buy another.

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I don't see this as a problem, as long as the price is adjusted appropriately to account for the fact that all you are paying for is the entertainment value you get from the time spent playing the game. If I think the price is worth 4 hours (or whatever number I estimate I'll enjoy the game for) of entertainment, I have no problem buying from steam. You aren't "buying" anything though, you are just paying for access to entertainment, so it's worth a heck of a lot less than something I own and can resell or claim on my insurance :).

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:09pm

    Re:

    "Fee you to death" approach

    is not really indicative of digital download AAA games, so much as it is the freemium downloads more closely associated with portable devices.

    Most of the arguments I have read against digital distro models is fear of the vendors implementation. Not so much an actual limitation with the model itself, as Valve has proven successful many times over.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    Yes but if you are buying games at a fraction of their price their is no need for resale. You are already getting it cheaper then you would if you bought a physical copy and resold it. Hell I have plenty of games from steam that I bought for the price of a rental. Personally, 75% an already marked down price is more then enough for me to not care that I can not resell it.

     

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    Rich, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    It's also true of *PC* gamers, so what's your point?

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Bioware was easily my favorite mainstream game company. They got bought out by EA, though so who knows where they are headed.

    Mass effect is not really a shooter, it's one of those hybrid rpg/shooter type games but it has an awful lot of story to it. Mass effect 2 was much better than the first one was, I haven't tried the 3rd one, but a lot of people hated the ending for it. Regardless, they planned on making a trilogy and they did, it's not one of those endless ones like call of duty or madden :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:13pm

    Re:

    Wing Commander and Freespace2?

    I havn't seen a decent space game since Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco The Spinal Frontier.

     

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    ComputerAddict (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Re: Re:

    oops forgot to sign in.

     

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    Doug D (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    Speaking for myself: the only reason I've been willing to pay the prices I do for new games is because of my ability to re-sell them and get some of the money back.

    Now, that doesn't mean that eliminating the capability to resell would completely prevent me from ever buying games again. But, it'll dramatically reduce the amount I spend. A game that I'd have paid $60 for new under today's rules, well, publishers will be lucky to get $15 from me if it's DRMed and can't be transferred.

    Of course, they don't see this coming, and have convinced themselves that this won't happen. I suppose I must admit that it's possible I'm an outlier here, and the number of people like me are few enough to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    We'll see. And while we're waiting to see, I think I'll go amuse myself with another 99 iPhone game.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    I don't disagree with the rise of mobile gaming for young kids but that doesn't change his point. 60$ games are console/pc games which are mostly purchased by adults for adults.

    I am not sure I agree that kids are more likely to play mobile than console. Maybe if you are talking psp/ds but those are usually considered hand held consoles anyway, mobile is usually a term for phones/tablets. Even still most people play mobile games when away from home when they get home if they are gaming they usually move to a pc or console. Though I would agree that the handheld and mobile markets have a larger % of children I still doubt it is more than adults.

     

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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: I buy used games because...

    I agree. I bought Dragon Age: Origins used, and on a whim because I got it cheap. Since then, I bought every piece of DLC including Awakenings, preordered Dragon Age 2, and have money waiting for Dragon Age 3 as soon as preorders open. But that probbly never would have happened if Dragon Age had not been available used.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You hate games being on sale for 5-10$?

     

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    Machin Shin (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    Hate to break it to you but a LOT of video game sales are to people in their 20s. I have paid for a lot more games than my parents ever bought me. Why do you think there are so many mature games?

     

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    Pitabred (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:19pm

    Single player games?

    Wait... he claims that piracy is leading to the death of single-player games? Is that why Skyrim has been consistently in the top of sales charts for so long? Fastest selling title in Steam history?

    Maybe they just need to stop making shitty games and they'd sell more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

    This is the new model of gaming = fees till you give up.
    There has been a shift in business, that is they don't give a fuck about their customers they only care about how much they can get out of them. We do it too. It's like the financial sector now.

     

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    ComputerAddict (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Re:

    Don't forget having to buy products from partner's companies in order to unlock additional features. Like Buying Mountain Dew to get power ups in MW3

    Games used to be complete packages... fully tested before delivery. I think I need to go find an old Computer (Like PC DOS 7 days), Load up Death Track via 20 floppy disks and actually have fun playing a game.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Before (DRM-Digital RENTAL Media) I bought several new titles a year. Now that they are killing the market with their BS , I buy 0 new physical copies a year. I buy LEGALLY through steam for a fraction of the price knowing that I can NEVER resell the game if I am done with it or just plain don't like it. Now I will NOT pay more than $20 for any game since I KNOW that my time with it is limited and I can NOT share/resell it anytime/anywhere. So today, I complain about it much less knowing that their own stupid BS is hurting them and not really me as I pay much less a year towards my video gaming now and actually have more games to play.

    So There!

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Who needs 'depth' when you can have 'flash and bang'....

    Wow. THAT brings back some memories: playing Elite on a C64 modded with an Icebreaker cartridge...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    USED Market

    What's next? Outlawing the entire USED market industry? Cars, homes, clothes, appliances, etc? Every industry with a "used" market could put out the same "the sky is falling" cry. Where would it stop? None of those industries has a problem with the Used marketplace.

     

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    Rob, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I hate games bound to a provider unless they're $0.

     

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  56.  
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    JMG, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Mass Effect was never a "shooter." It's a hybrid RPG/shooter much like Deux Ex. The "dumbing down" IMO was making it just a little bit more of a shooter than an RPG from 1 to 2. ME1 had more character customization than ME2 IMO. Also seemed to allow for much more backtracking. ME2 improved on the shooter aspects of the game as well as the story being stronger. Regardless, the ME games are story driven unlike the Modern Warfares and the countless other FPS sequels, and both are fantastic. Don't know if you've played any other Bioware RPGs, but the ME series is a very welcome addition.

    I have not played 3 so I can't speak for it. I'll buy it when it's a $19.99 "Platinum Hit" or whatever MS calls the games like I do the majority of my XBOX games.

     

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  57.  
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    lolzzzzz, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    gog.com

    yes cause old games without DRM never sell ......
    /sarcasm

     

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  58.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Even non-steam games are heavily attached to things that will go away. Any form of DRM will make the game effectively useless in 10 years when the authentication servers are gone. There are many articles about the importance of piracy in maintaining access to old games and media.

    "Once it does, you entire collection is gone, unless you crack it to bypass Steam authentication - in which case, you'd be a criminal for violating anti-circumvention provisions."

    Just like every DRM these days.

    "you still have the problem that some games require Steam for multiplayer matchmaking (as far as I know)."

    Just like any game that doesn't allow users to host their own dedicated servers. You think your xbox games will be playable online in 5 years? A large % of steam games and all Valve games allow people to host their own servers. So it is not really a steam issue, though it is an issue with the industry and any game that does not allow this.

    Hell look at EA shutting down servers for games

     

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  59.  
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    not really, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    according to valve if steam ever went offline for good they dont see why they cant deactivate the steam drm. release a patch for games that takes it off or something i dont know. i come from the generation of insert and play and when drm was punching in numbers from a booklet.

    i miss those days...

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re:

    How many developers of 'used games' are there? I'm guessing the number is close to zero, therefor we can extrapolate that used games have 'killed' the 'used game' development market and that no developers are currently working on developing 'used games'....

    Obviously you are correct, used games have completely eliminated one class of developers....

    Wait, what's that, the developers of the 'new games' are also the developers of the 'used games'.... so who was put out of work again? Must be some middleman somewhere who isn't getting his cut and trying to frame the discussion that he's 'saving the used game developers....'

    No I'm serious, why do you ask?

     

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  61.  
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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    If you can't resell it, you don't own it.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not all steam games use steamworks DRM and are therefore not bound to them but that is not the issue I want to discuss.

    Are console games not bound to the provider? Xbox games are bound to microsoft and their continued support of a console the plays them. The could just as easily turn off their network and kill all online play, or stop making consoles making games unplayable in ~5 years when all the existing systems break down. Same for any other console. And don't tell me you think xboxs will be around in 20 years because NES still is.

    What about all the games bound to publishers? Games with any kind of authentication or cd-key or online verification? Do you avoid all games with DRM?

     

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  63.  
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    lolzzzzz, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    OH AND

    oh and most people don't upgrade every time there is a new cpu / gpu card /computer and millions have 5-7 year old pcs that still work and enjoy the older games and get them however they can....the fact is i haven't been able to play a new game in years for this very reason....too flashy pandered to high end rich users....NOW they come at we the poor?

    BITE ME ...is my response go take your crap corporate excuse for existence and jump on the space mining cameron is into....

     

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  64.  
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    Rob, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There is one and only one way I will do something like Steam.

    Don't pretend either ownership or scarcity, you're just insulting my intelligence. Make it a subscription service with full access to the catalog for a monthly fee. I don't expect the games to stay after I stop paying, so if things go away, I shrug my shoulders and move on.

     

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  65.  
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    Rob, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, I avoid all games with DRM. I've been bitten enough times. I've got games that work fine on modern systems if you crack them. Don't work at all if you don't.

    I have PSN / XBLA / Wii / GoG. I've been with GoG less than the others, yet I've purchased more there than all the others *combined*.

    Not a chance I'll do anything with Steam.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:43pm

    Re: I buy used games because...

    Same here. And every time I hear this tired old QQ'ing over used games, I care less and less about the game makers. It's very simple:

    Your games are overpriced. Yes, people will flock to buy them in the first 1-2 weeks a game is out at $60. After that, no one but the completely uninformed are paying that price. Deal with it. That's not going to change.

    Your games are so overpriced, that a whole industry has emerged, used game sales. Yes, you are the reason this industry exists. No, fucking over fans is not going to make it go away. You know what is? Fixing your prices.

    In the first 2 weeks of a game's release, have some kind of "event" which you can only get in that timeframe. Be it skins, special gear, special stages/maps/competitions, whatever. Have something to make people want to jump in at that time. After 2 weeks, drop the price of a new game from $60 to $50. Offer something significantly smaller, but something (if you were offering a special set of skins, then you only get 1 skin now). After 1-2 months, drop it to $40 and remove all special stuff offered. After 5-6 months, drop it to $30. After a year, $20. After 2 years, $10. You know what happens when you do that?

    1) Gamestop's profit on used games plummets. They can't offer used what a game is offering new, and after a short time, the price drops enough that they'd have to drop their used game prices just to keep up.

    2) Gamestop has 2 choices: offer even less than the pathetic amount they give for trade-ins or take lower profits. When they inevitably screw fans over and give less money, then they have less stock of used games and the business goes downhill a bit on that front.

    3) They actually see profits for games for a much longer period of time.

    4) If a game sells poorly at first, then when they drop the price, they have a built-in sale. "We're dropping the price of Madden Crapfest, buy now before we're out of stock of the ones with an unlockable code to break the leg of whoever we put on the cover!"




    All that said, I still think the rumors of the "no disc drive" consoles are BS. But, if game-makers are that short-sighted and keep with the same pricing models as they have for this generation, then congrats, they will have lost someone who has owned a console since 1987 and since the 16-bit era, has owned 2+ consoles every single generation. Why?

    Go look at the price of any game on XBL or PSN that's over a year old. It's tough to find historic data sometimes, but find one which came out at $15 (of course, $15 of their fun bucks). I guarantee you it's not dropped below $10 and other than an occasional sale which will get it down to $7.50, it will never get down any lower.

    Now unplug your internet connection and try to play any of the ones you've already paid for and "bought" (really, long-term rented).

    Thanks for the convenience of direct download, but I want a real market price, not BS price-fixing and I want to own what I buy, not rent.

     

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  67.  
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    Matt (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    When the day comes that a new console takes my option away of playing used games I simply wont get that console..

    I'll stick to my xbox 360 and android.

     

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  68.  
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    AdamR (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Re: Who needs 'depth' when you can have 'flash and bang'....

    Ice Breaker? For some reason i thought it was call Ice Pick?

     

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  69.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    My current "do not buy from this publisher" list:


    Electronic Arts
    Activision
    THQ
    Warner Bros. Interactive
    Ubisoft


    Am I missing anyone?

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Re: I buy used games because...

    Thank you for proving me correct.

     

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  71.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Re:

    And the fact is, when all games go digital distribution, used games will no longer be a problem


    And, I predict, the overall sales of the games will decrease. Judging by a nonscientific sampling of all of my gaming friends & acquaintances, this shift in the industry is leading directly to a decreased interest in new games in general.

     

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    khory, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    These guys are shooting them in the foot. The ability to trade in used games often is put towards the purchase of a new game. I think that without this a lot of people just won't buy at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm just confused as to how you see PSN / XBLA / any console game digital or physical as more future proof and less tied to a corporation than steam. GOG I can fully understand.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:02pm

    Godwin's cellmate.

    They can't just forbid you from reselling the game.

    There's some pretty old precedents on this matter already. Attempts to engage in price fixing or the banning of resale through "licenses" on copies of works have already been dispensed with.

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re:

    So congrats, between the two of you, you've managed to explain why PC gaming sucks (you forgot the months it takes to patch and the game after you pay them to beta test it and trying to get the game to work with your video card). I do like the part where loading a game on 20 floppy disks is a positive.

    Anyway, I have had a 360 for about 5 years and a PS3 for about 2. During that time, I've NEVER used the PS3's online capabilities and I paid for x-box live 2x, both on large sales (so it was around $30-35 for the year subscription). I'm not sure what you're looking for from a system for a single-player experience, but I've had a pretty good one myself.

     

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    JEDIDIAH, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Dust it off and play it again.

    > Are console games not bound to the provider?

    No. I can sit it on a shelf for 10 years and still use it so long as I have hardware to play it with.

    There are even retro consoles now that can play cartridges from various "nostalgia" platforms.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Godwin's cellmate.

    Not true. They can provide an activation license with a game that only works once. You put it in your xbox, enter the code and now that xbox is approved to play the game. You can resell the game, sure but the person who buys it can not play it without purchasing another code from the Dev/pub.

    Is this shortsighted and stupid? Yes of course but they will not stop them from trying it.

     

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    adamj (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    Princess Leia: The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

    Oh, game developers. Are you going to go the way of the legacy entertainment industry? Here is the thing; if someone with limited disposable income (90% of us) is given the choice to spend the $25 on a used game (and possibly purchase additional DLC for that used title) or pay full price for the title new, they will buy the used game. Now, lets take away the $25 dollar option. The gamer's options are:
    1.) Pay the full price, $60, plus on disk DLC or day 1 DLC that you purchase for extra or whatever bullshit the devs put on there.
    -or-
    2.)Pirate it (no DLC sales, no game sale).

    WWJD? Option 2. ;)

     

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  79.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:12pm

    Re:

    You forgot 3: Just buy from developers without the sense of entitlement that the anti-used game crowd suffers from.

     

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  80.  
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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Dust it off and play it again.

    That was the past. Many console games are bound now, all of them soon.

     

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  81.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If we just tweek an old quote from Winston Churchill...

    "Steam [Democracy] is the worst form of DRM [government] except for all those others that have been tried."

     

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  82.  
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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Dust it off and play it again.

    Not sure about XBox, but most of them on PS3 at least require some sort of update song and dance before they will work. I have little faith that pulling one off the shelf in 10 years and putting it in will do anything except make you frustrated as hell.

     

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    FighterFei, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    I'm going to point out that this post applies specifically to console/handheld development and does not address the new advents in the mobile gaming development explicitly because the markets for them and development costs are completely different and non-comparable.

    What you point out is, fairly enough, a reasonable portion of the problem. The business model is outdated and the businesses supporting them have yet to upgrade. But upgrading isn't quite so simple in the case of game developers.

    This is because game development depends on a variety of factors. All of which can or do severely impact the decisions behind development and I'm going to address some of the ones that I believe are fairly important. I see gamers calling out developers all the time for not developing new IPs--and what they don't realize is just how much of a risk; and how expensive; that has become.

    This can be attributed to the large shift in development in terms of multi-platform development. Yes, ten and fifteen years ago we saw multi-platform game development; but that was decidedly less common back then. Same name titles could be--and often were--quite different dependent on the platform because of the engines they were developed on. In truth, this hasn't changed at all from ten and fifteen years ago. What's changed is the way multi-platform games are developed. Back then it was fine for a title across Gameboy, SNES, and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive to be completely different from each other. But now it's become industry standard to homogenize the title(s) as much as possible. This severely complicates development because the hardware limitations of one system have to be taken into consideration when developing for another. This issue becomes most apparent when released titles on one platform suffer from fewer problems than another. For example: The PS3 version of Bayonetta suffered from noticeable framerate drops and screen tearing; it wasn't a deal-breaker, but such problems were nonexistent on the Xbox 360 version. This problem became noticeable in the previous generation, but did not move to the forefront until the current generation of gaming.

    It was a natural evolution for the business to want to spread the same title across as many platforms as possible to increase revenue streams and reach target audiences on another platform. As a point of fact, many companies enjoyed relatively substantial growth and success precisely because of it. But that same homogenization has made development more difficult as developers have to compensate for flaws in one system or another. That isn't to say it's the only reason development has become more expensive. In fact, the platforms themselves are another reason development has become more difficult and more expensive.

    To be more precise, as the hardware becomes more advanced, the difficulty and cost of development goes up. This is, in part, due to the "console war" of each generation, as the three game giants vie for the top spot and try to distinguish themselves with varying degrees of hardware advancements. The difference in tech on its own makes development harder; but the advancement itself complicates matters further as current techniques in development might not be applicable in the newer generation. It is true that hardware technology is "converging" but this is only in the sense that consoles are becoming more and more like computers with each successive generation (and computers are becoming more and more like general means of entertainment. Hmmm....). The consoles themselves are vastly different from one another in terms of hardware and software. Compare game software to the way computer software on a PC might not be compatible on a MAC and you're pretty close. The console hardware may be converging, but the console software is not. Which goes back to the multi-platform problem.

    So, difficulty and cost of development have increased. What about time? Well that one is difficult to answer, specifically because it is sometimes difficult to tell how long a title has been in development. But it only makes sense that the time it takes to develop a title has increased. You can see some of this to effect as developers are keen to recycle game engines that work as a cost or time-saving measure. Developing titles on a brand new engine is significantly more difficult and time consuming than one developed on an existing, and well established engine.

    So how does all of this relate to how used games sales hurt the industry? I'm about to get to that. But first, I have to answer what all of this has to do with the development of new IPs, since that also relates to used games sales. So the cost, time, and difficulty of development have all increased as the technology behind it has advanced. That makes new IPs significantly less attractive to an established company such as Capcom, as a brand new title might require a new engine that does not yet exist, and if you want the largest audience, it needs to go on multiple platforms. And the success of the title can make or break the franchise due to the huge moneysink that development has turned into as technology advanced. So we see companies creating new titles to an existing franchise using a pre-existing engine that works on multiple platforms. From a business perspective, it makes perfect sense to do it that way.

    So how does all of this relate to used game sales? Well first off, the company recoups its losses through software sales. The cost of development, debugging, testing, and manufacture are all recouped through game sales and that cost is substantially higher than, for example, books and clothes. Since developers don't see a dime of used game sales, that means they don't recoup their losses incurred through development. Yes, used games are sold at a marginally to substantially cheaper price; which is great for the consumer; but since developers don't see that money they may as well be pissing in the wind. Developers have to compete with a market they shouldn't have to in order to turn a profit. So avenues that remove this threat are seen as a godsend to developers.

    What this means is that there's a problem with the used games business model. From their business perspective, it makes sense to buy low and then sell for a substantially inflated price (that is still below market value) because that's how the market thrives. And that might be fine for titles that are difficult to obtain or have been out for awhile. The problem, however, is that it occurs with brand new titles as well, long before developers have a real chance of recouping their losses. In less than a week a title is bought back from a consumer for half or less than half of its market value, then placed back on the shelf in direct competition with its brand new counterpart. You see it all the time: Brand new title out for less than a week being sold used for five to ten dollars less as a used title. And customers eat it up. And the used games business thrives while the developer takes a beating on the wallet. Make no mistake: What Gamestop does, and the way they do it, is shady as hell. I can't say the same for other, similar businesses, but Gamestop itself does, in fact, compete with the developers that make it thrive.

    That being said, I support the idea of a used game market. Used games do have the added benefit of creating a marketable audience where one didn't previously exist. And it's great that the reduced prices draw potential customers into new or existing franchises. However, I do not support the current business model, which is in dire need of reformation such that developers stand a chance of regaining their losses. The ideal solution to this would be that developers see a cut of the sales within the market. But don't count on companies like Gamestop to take a cut in revenue to support the developer and don't count on the developers to be reasonable about how much they want out of each sale.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Re: Let me fix that for you . . .

    I said:
    Who wants to spend their parent's $60 on a game that has a resale value of $0?

    Then you said:
    The supermajority of gamers are adults (82%)


    Yes. We both can be right. Even about the same individual.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Dust it off and play it again.

    Multiplayer for the games will die with the network they control.

    Hopefully, you will be able to have hardware for single player games but I wouldn't be sure of it.

    I still have a working NES. A few years back I replaced a chip for 12$ that made it run like brand new. I do not have faith in the 360 lasting 10 years past that day the stop making new consoles. If there next gen doesn't have backwards compatibility I don't see 360s having the life span retro consoles do. PS3s I have a little more faith in but not much.

    Xbox is a proprietary operating system with all kinds of software and hardware locks the atari and NES designers never even considered. To make the equivalent of of those joysticks that play 50 Atari games would require an expensive license from MS or Sony if they even allow it to exist.

    So yes if you have hardware you can play the single player portion of your games. I just wouldn't be so sure you will have the hardware.

     

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  86.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

    "Browne writes. "The real cost of used games is the death of single player gaming."

    And this is why I don't buy as many games as I used to lately. And it's why over half the games on my computer I play on a regular basis are over 10 years old.

    I don't want game with DRM restrictions that force me to be online just for single player games, even for game series that multiplayer sucks on. I still have a new game I got 4 months ago from Christmas I haven't even opened yet because of that kind of DRM on it. That and the game was really buggy because they released it like 6 months too early from what I read online.

    I also don't like online games with a monthly fee for a few reasons.
    -I tend to play a game for a few weeks or months, then get tired of it for months or years. I can't do that very easily with an online game with a monthly fee. I don't even know if my saved games/characters/account is still going to be there 6 months later.
    -Most of them charge you $20 bucks or more just to buy the game in the first place, or worse yet, release expansion after expansion you have to go pay another $20+ bucks to buy in a store. This is just double or triple dipping in my book.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In all fairness GOG is better and Steam is not DRM by default. But I do really like what you did there.

     

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  88.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nerds starting making lots of money with their hobby of making games. They brought in business people to help with the stuff they didn't want to deal with. Now business people call the shots and run the companies. The publishers are in control not the nerds and the publishers just care about money not the game.

    There are some companies that rise above this but its the general trend of the industry. Kickstarter has given a lot of power back to the nerds though.

     

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  89.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    Option 4) wait till the game of the year edition is

     

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  90.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Re:

    hmmm cant use less than signs?

    that is suppose to end:
    ...is less than 10$.

     

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  91.  
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    JMG, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    They're free to provide the service that Gamestop does. I don't see anything preventing them from buying back games from consumers and reselling them as used to others. Why do they deserve a slice of the pie from a service they don't provide?

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Well the day you have been waiting for has arrived http://guysfromandromeda.com/

     

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    JMT (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    "Used game sales do hurt developers, this is fact."

    No, that is not a fact. Facts can be backed up with evidence and proof. Your claim cannot, and in fact can be refuted by some of that evidence and proof.

     

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  94.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re:

    "And, I predict, the overall sales of the games will decrease."

    I would agree the overall sales of full priced games will decrease. I would bet the amount of money spent on games will stay right where it is.

    Its the same bullshit logic as the other media industries. People only have so much money to spend on entertainment. Taking away low priced options will not increase the amount they spend. People will either play less games or buy more games after prices go down.

    I see more and more people waiting for steam sales or goty editions. A person can only get burned so many times before he stops pre-ordering and/or the release hype stops effecting them.

     

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  95.  
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    PaulT (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    All I can say here is: I bought the first 2 Assassins Creed games used, the second 2 new, the first Bioshock used, the next 2 new (Infinite is a long time coming, but it's preordered), GTA4 used, the DLC new, Mass Effect used, the second used (not got round to the 3rd yet)... I won't pay the stupid amount a new game costs on first release unless I'm sure I will get value for money.

    Once again, an industry is trying to tell me my money is no good to them. Fine, just don't feed me bullshit about piracy or try to restrict my rights as a result.

    "The real cost of used games is the death of single player gaming."

    This is perhaps the biggest pile of bullshit I've ever read, and that's saying something around these troll-infested parts.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

    Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    What JMG said above me but also most of those reasons for increasing cost of development are problems the industry has brought on itself.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: LAN

    Did you hear about the recent pro tournament where the underdog was about to win the finals but then the internet connection dropped and he got stomped in the rematch?

    http://kotaku.com/5903162/disconnect-at-the-global-starcraft-league-finals-has-fans-shouting-we- want-lan

    Blizzard does do a great job with their networking. But a lot of people all over the world do not have a reliable connection.

    Its really a form of DRM for Blizzard and it hurts customers but does not slow down or effect pirates.

     

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    sniperdoc (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Re: I buy used games because...

    So true.


    I'd also like to add that the only reason publishers and developers are crying is because of their own folly. They create games of poor quality, essentially create reprints of old material because they have poor creativity, and have extremely poor consumer relations.


    Game publishers also take less risks now, just like the movie industry has been for a while. Why develop something new when you can ride the Call of Duty 4000 train or the Silent Hunter IVXX Elite Chromium Edition (which has it's support dropped day BEFORE release).


    Creativity has gone in the dump and it is no wonder that Indy games are making a huge comeback. I get more pleasure out of playing something new and creative than a game engine that's been reused 4 billion times and just retreaded with new textures.


    Meh... now I'm ranting.

     

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    hobo, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re: Re: Simple solution

    Buying on hype is part of the equation though. You can make lots of crappy games if you hype them up and have really great pre-orders and first weeks. (Same thing happens with movies and music.) Notice how much attention is paid to opening week(end) sales of games/albums/movies. There is a reason.

    Publishers (in whatever medium) don't want the risk of long-term sales because they don't have that many good ideas. So make something formulaic, hype it to the end of the world, get your money back in the first weekend and move along to the next thing.

    Who cares if customers complain about shoddy gameplay or about the plot that falls apart 3/4 of the way through? They got their money already.

    This is how you tell your good publishers/studios from the ones out for only money. (Note the distinction, all want to make money, some care only about money.) The good ones will interact with fans, produce quality output and stand behind their products.

     

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    Fighter Fei (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    Sure. You go right ahead, open up that big, imaginary wallet of yours, and establish a brand new business to compete--directly I might add--in a well-established market against an well-established and entrenched business. You take control of a development firm and create that medium. Oh wait. That's suicide.

    To make a long story short: No. From a business perspective it makes more sense to rein in control over the market by cutting them off entirely. Or trying to cooperate with the market that's competing with them. The latter is much more preferable in both markets than the former. And is also the solution we're much more likely to see.

    Getting back tot he point at hand: Are you insane? You're trying to tell me that it makes more sense to establish a new service in direct competition with an already established and popular service than work with it to increase revenue gains. If it paid off, the gains would be incredible. But that's an incredulous gamble that no sane developer would take.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    These shitty games are the same ones that flood the used game market too. Which hurt their first month sales. Good games tend to be hard to find used for a little while. Shit games will have available used copies on day 1.

    So I think you are right. Like hollywood they want to be able to make a comfortable profit on shitty games and not have to put any effort into anything.

     

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    LazDude2012 (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Steam games

    Honestly, what I will do, because I love Steam, is I will buy a cheap used copy of a pc game and activate the CD key on Steam. I still have the resellability of a physical copy, and I can play it w/o Steam, but with all the convenience, awesomeness, and peace of mind that comes with Steam. People really shouldn't hate on Steam. It's the most inobtrusive DRM out there. It doesn't interfere in any way, and in fact helps the customer. I see it as an incentive to buy it if there's a Steam version, not "I hate Steam" It's really a feature. Plus, it still lets you play your games offline, you really only have to activate them the first time. Steam is innovative and a good product.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    I think his point was just that the devs/pubs do not deserve a cut of second hand sales because they do none of the work to sell those games and take none of the risk buying those games.

    Personally I think the best way to compete with the used market (other than killing it by giving all games 1 time online activation, which has plenty of problems) is to drop the price of "new" games quicker. The used market is a high risk market. That risk is negated because gamestop buys used games for 15-7 dollars and sells them for 45-35. If you did not allow them this kind of profit margin and added a lot more risk to the market you would shrink it and possibly kill it entirely. But selling a game at full price for 12-18 months really helps the used stores recoup losses from any unsold products.

     

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    LazDude2012 (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: All the Steam hating.

    Here it is, man. Steam games don't even need the authentication service to play. The Steam client has offline mode, which you could put it in, permanently. All you've got to do is connect it once, to unlock your games. And if Steam servers died, they have a local backup system. Steam is a FEATURE, NOT A BUG. It doesn't use DRM at all, by default. The games are very cheap, and it provides management services not just for games you buy on Steam, but for others as well. It has an in-game IM client and web browser, it has activation on the Steam network for retail games, (just type in the serial from the booklet) it is a great product, and I enjoy using it. I would much rather use Steam than pirate, and that's what I do when I have the chance. Valve is doing exactly what they have to: offer a better service than the pirates. :)

     

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    kirillian (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This^. While you might play the game for a shortened length of time, if you only spend a couple dollars on it, it doesn't hurt too much. Spending $10 on a 60 hour game like Mass Effect is worth it. I usually don't play single-player games more than once...but the cost/time spent ratio is good in my eyes. Loss of steam support in a few years? I won't be playing the game, so not worried. If I spend a lot of time playing a multiplayer game, I want a stable service that's going to be around for a long while, and I'm willing to pay for that. Either way, Steam provides a valuable service at a good price point. You don't have to like it. Enough people already do that it looks to stick around for quite some time. Steam is one of the few companies that just treat their customers so well that I just want to GIVE them my money.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is really why I am ok with it. For 5-10$ I consider the purchase a rental. I get full access, I can play it at my own pace without returning it and if in a few years it ends up disappearing oh well I got my 5$ worth.

    I am also not above downloading a crack and burning that to a dvd with compressed version of my game files to keep as a back-up. But I am upset that this is something I feel I have to do sometimes. It is sad how dependent we are on an illegal act to maintain access to important parts of gaming culture in the future.

    http://technologizer.com/2012/01/23/why-history-needs-software-piracy/

     

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    mikey4001, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    Re:

    "The only games that I purchase and spend months and months playing instead of buying other games..."

    There's your answer right there. Why would they put the effort into mod tools if the end result is that it keeps people from buying next season's mediocre crapfest? I played Battlefield 2 for about 5 years. I played Battlefield 3 for about 5 weeks. Which do you suppose they prefer? I'd bet there's at least one room full of people that wish they could go back in time and un-invent Counterstrike.

     

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    Fighter Fei (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    You're right about the added risk to a secondhand market. It's a part of the business I didn't consider much. But even assuming that risk overhead is covered by the sales themselves, it is hard to argue that Gamestop isn't competing with developers when it pops used titles back on the shelf mere hours (yes, I have seen hours) or days after a title hits the streets.

    This isn't a big problem in other markets, where overhead isn't nearly as high. But the overhead in game development in particular is extraordinarily high. And it goes up with each successive generation.

    But by dropping the price quicker, you have to sell more copies of the title to cover development overhead and eventually turn a profit. That part isn't guaranteed whether you drop the price or not and that's true for both markets. And you can expect Gamestop to undercut the new price as well. What you'd wind up with is seeing the two markets bleed themselves dry as they try to compete with one another for dominance while the consumer waited until the price couldn't go any lower before they bought it.

     

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    DCX2, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Re:

    Ditto, I don't buy games for full price anymore. The most expensive game I've purchased was probably Portal 2, and I waited until it was on sale for like $15. The typical max I will pay is about $10, but only for AAA titles like Devil May Cry 4, Resident Evil 5, Oblivion, etc.

    Once you get below $5, you're in impulse buy territory, and I've bought a bunch of indie titles at that price and I do not regret it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Re:

    " I'd bet there's at least one room full of people that wish they could go back in time and un-invent Counterstrike."

    thankfully that group isn't the makers of Counter-strike. But yes its the divide between the business people and the game people. Some people want to make a living doing what they love, hell some people do it even when they don't make a living at it. These people tend to do a great job and the few that run companies have great companies that do a great job. However this is a minority of the people in power in the industry.

     

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    crade (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:54pm

    Re: Steam games

    I'm not sure what convenience, awesomness and peace of mind you are talking about.. As I mentioned before, I don't hate steam at all, it is what it is. Steam isn't just drm, it has useful features too like anti-cheating and chat and crap. It's just a simple fact that things are worth less if you can't resell them.

     

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    mikey4001, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Publsihers do understand the value of used

    The argument made here is that used games allow for a low cost of entry into a gaming system or a franchise title. I think publishers are not only well aware of this argument, but also agree with it. When Assassin's Creed 2 was on the way, the first one was dubbed a "PS3 Classic" and sold new for $20. Same with Uncharted and Uncharted 2, Little Big Planet, etc. They established a low cost of entry to get me interested in the franchise, and it worked. I don't believe there is any question of the validity of the argument, or anyone's acceptance of it. I think it's simply a question of wanting complete market control by whatever means possible. The used games issue is a red herring.

     

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    Silence8, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    I've owned every console system since my Father bought us a Pong home game, where the only game you could play was PONG.. Atari, Nintendo, Xbox, Sony, handhelds, etc etc.. I've always been an early adopter, and I buy lots of games, both new and used.

    I will not be buying a console this next round. UNLESS, the prices on a NEW game drop significantly within' say, six months of release. With no second hand market, the sale of these games will be 100% of the money going to the publisher/studio. No bitching and crying now. Sell your 5 million copies, then that title goes in the "Greatest Hits" bin, and I'll pay no more than $15.

    It's not that I don't think they deserve my money, but if you're going to cripple my copy of a game, so I can't loan or sell it, I want it a hell of a lot cheaper. You take away first sale, you should also be willing to take money off the price.

    Everything in the world works like this, you want less features, you pay less money. Games should be no different.

    Although more and more I find myself playing on the PC, Humble Indie Bundle(s) FTW!! I look at the bundles like this. Donate $30 - $40 to a good cause (Developers & Charity) and get 4-5 games free. NO DRM, No Muss, No Fuss!!!

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Who needs 'depth' when you can have 'flash and bang'....

    You're right, they were called Ice Picks. I stand corrected :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    I agree with what you say. But I also think a large part of the cost of production these days is artificial. License fees, publishers fees, ever expending marketing budgets. Its a sign of the industry growing to big for its own good. There is also quite a bit of hollywood math in the industry these days. Publishers run the show and give devs a budget and then charge themselves for fees, or to rent a license they already own or other budget padding methods.

    There plenty of low budget and/or indie games that are technologically impressive and/or make a lot of money. Limbo, Bastion, Plants vs Zombies, Angry Birds, minecraft, terraria. Money is not required for a cutting edge or successful game.

    Not to mention if you really think activision is spending much money releasing a slightly improved version of the same game 6 times in 4 years you are a sucker.

    I think we will have to see the quality of the big name kickstarter games e.g. doublefine adventure, shadowrun returns and Wasteland 2 to really see how much of these 100 million dollar game budgets is fluff.

    Not to say they all large budgets are bullshit. GTA4 had a 100 MM budget. Surely a large chunk was marketing but tha majority probably went into developing a impressive engine and a great game. They made their money back real quick. Some studios do make impressive new engines and impressive games and spend a lot of money doing so, they tend to recoup quickly.

    However shitty games that get a large marketing budget tacked on at the end because the pubs are rushing the game to make quarterly numbers and know it won't sell after people have played it end up spending more on marketing then development and often fail to recoup.

    Also sinking tons of money into superficial and expensive aspects like graphics to try to resell a old concept or a shitty game is their own fault.

    tl:dr
    good games recoup, them spending 60 million in an attempt to sell shit does not evoke any sympathy from me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    I bought Dead Space 1 for 10 bucks used. I loved it so much that I pre-purchased the sequel for 60 bucks. It was worth every penny. That's how you compete with the used game market. Make good games that people don't want to wait to play. But if you suck at making good games I guess blaming used games sales is a lot easier than admitting that your game sucks.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    " But even assuming that risk overhead is covered by the sales themselves, it is hard to argue that Gamestop isn't competing with developers when it pops used titles back on the shelf mere hours (yes, I have seen hours) or days after a title hits the streets. "

    I forgot I wanted to mention this. Games hit the used market stronger and faster the shittier they are. Good games tend to enter the market much slower. The best way to not lose money on shitty products is to not make shitty products.

    "And you can expect Gamestop to undercut the new price as well."

    You can but you still shrink gamestop. Right now they only have to sell 1 game in every 5-6 they buy to be profitable. You bring that down to 1 in 3 or 1 in 2 and they buy less games, open less stores and have a smaller footprint in general because they can not afford to buy so many games because its just too risky.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:28pm

    Re:

    "I've owned every console system since my Father bought us a Pong home game, where the only game you could play was PONG..."

    Oh, man, you got hosed. We had one that played pong, tennis, table tennis, and racquetball.

     

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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    I have to agree with the AC above me... The deep discounts on Steam make me not care that I can't resell the game. Since I will rarely spend more than 5-10 bucks on a game, I will typically always get more time out of it than if I spent the same money on gas, food, or strippers...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    your comment made me think of a used stripper market

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:51pm

    I get all my games from open source today, to be honest I don't feel the need to buy anything anymore, and there are some beautiful games out there to be bought, but I guess I outgrown that need to have the latest, what I want know is to be able to contribute art and stories to games, just consuming it feels like I am masturbating with the other guy's dick.

    That is where open source comes in, I can enhance the game, change it and play it. Plus it is always up to date.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Re: Publsihers do understand the value of used

    I agree, this argument along with the piracy and drm arguments are really the smoke screen so big industry players can do dastardly things to keep market control.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    I appreciate this essay, but the whole way through I kept having one thought over and over...

    It sounds to me like the real problem is that game developers are developing games that are more costly than the market can support. That sounds like it's the game developer's business model that's broken, not the used game market.

    The big game development companies have become gradually worse over the past decode or so. Their demands on the consumer are so heavy now that they are losing lots of customers. Maybe that's a good business decision, maybe not, but it's a fact.

    Between the high game prices, DRM, requirements to have an internet connection (and even more egregiously, to be connected just to play the game), and this war on the used game market, the games industry is shouting loud and clear that they really hate their customers.

    I agree, the industry is straight-up broken, but I don't think the problem is quite where you say it is. I think the problem is with the games producers.

     

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    JMG, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    What AC said about the risk being undertaken by Gamestop. That's what I was hinting at.

    I don't buy used games. I have once though. I also don't pay $60 for games. I typically wait until they drop to at least $30, but usually hold off until they are in the "greatest hits" category and priced at $20.

    The one game I purchased used is Castlevania Symphony of the Night for the Playstation. I missed out on it when it was new, and the only copy I was every able to find was a used one. It was a greatest hits used one too. It was like $8. I think the greatest hits went for like $15 at the time. Hell, I purchased it a second time on XBOX Live just because my Playstation had gone teats up, and I didn't feel like bothering with an emulator.

    Besides, there'd be no used game market unless people are out buying new copies of games to begin with. I don't see there being a lack of new games out there. To me, this is more of a case that they feel they aren't making ENOUGH money on their specific games, not that they aren't making any money at all.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    Right rather than evaluate why a game really flopped the pin the blame on piracy and the used market.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: More than a little heavy-handed today, Mike...

    quit following me around repeating my points my eloquently than me :b

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    How much of this is born out of the idea that if you create something you are entitled to make money from it forever?

    We just had a story about the tour manager for The Band bitching about how one of the members recently stopped making the $150,000 - $200,000 a year he had been making. The last album according to the comments was in 1998. To expect something you made 14 years ago to continue to bring in the same money forever is insane.

    Most regular folks work, and they have to save and invest money to make sure that when they stop working they can still survive. They do not get to keep getting a paycheck for the work they did 14 years prior.

    The entire "creative" market seems to be built on the idea that because you created something that one time, you deserve to make money forever. Part of the problem is the money your making at the start is filtered through a gatekeeper, who always gets their cut (plus a little extra).

    History is littered with the Great Masters who quite often made next to nothing in their lifetimes for their work. Long after they were gone the works started to gain in value.

    Now we have lawyers arguing that the great great great grandchild of someone deserves to keep making money from that one thing. This does NOTHING to make the world a more creative place, or encourage anyone to create anything new. Your painting looks to much like this other painting, your song has 11 notes that match this other song, your book has an idea that I made up (when I ignore it having been used 100's of other times.) and I am suing.

    Your making a game, it is a piece of entertainment. You set your price to what you think you need to make, that price keeps going up. Part of the reason for that is fewer gamers are willing to purchase your brand new game for fear you shoveled it out the door with glaring bugs that you MIGHT get around to fixing. The corporate mentality of we have to meet this date no matter what is hurting your sales.

    The other prevailing mentality is each game has to be a blockbuster on its own. Few companies think of the overall sales of their product line. It is now all about getting the $60 for a copy, and then trying to get as much as you can by selling them DLC that many times is in the game, but a bit needs to be flipped to turn it on. Someone is making the decisions that we can't offer feature x unless we get paid more, and rather than raise our price we will nickel and dime them.

    Ford doesn't get a cut of someone selling a used Ford.
    GE doesn't get a cut of someone selling a used fridge.
    What makes game makers so special that they deserve a cut of a used game sale?

    A smart game maker would stop fretting about used game sales destroying their profits, and make games that are so compelling that someone who buys a used copy will be hyped to get the next installment of the franchise. They would offer inexpensive DLC addons to the older games, to hint at what is coming (and get a small cut of that sale). If you create the situation where players have to pony up $60 to get your game and they can't sell it used your game better be 100% better that what we see today.

    Your business is entertainment, and if I have to wait until I can afford your game I might forget I was interested or get something else that caught my eye when I have enough expendable income.

    Hitch your wagon the the DRM laden consoles and watch what happens. Demands that you not release it on any other platform, players unwilling to spend hundreds of dollars on equipment tat locks them in, players discovering the DRM is tied to the console not the account so when it break they are expected to repurchase all their games. Then come back complaining that console sales are dying off and your clueless as to why.

     

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    The Moondoggie, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 5:24pm

    I'm sorry, but....

    All I can hear from this Mr. Richard Browne is:

    *shrill* "Teh skai iz folling!" *shrill* "Gaems r dummd!" *shrill*

     

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    Jay (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I have PSN / XBLA / Wii / GoG.

    ... It boggles my mind how you say you don't want DRM but the PSN/XBLA/Wii are games that won't be on the next console you purchase...

     

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    ltlw0lf (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 12:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple solution

    your comment made me think of a used stripper market

    Aren't they all used anyway. Who buys a new stripper and never uses it? I mean, seriously, paint doesn't strip itself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 3:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: LAN

    ohhhhhhhh boom, pow, surprise.

     

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    Niall (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 5:23am

    Re: Re: Who needs 'depth' when you can have 'flash and bang'....

    Ooo, what did I miss out on? I only played it on the C64 as it came...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  133.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 6:54am

    Playing Devil's Advocate, this particular developer said death of "Single-Player" gaming, NOT all gaming in general.

    This is actually true.

    Just look at EA and Ubisoft for all the press releases where they confess that they added multiplayer options to all their SP games simply to keep people from selling them back to the store. (see: Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Mass Effect)

    EA has even straight up admitted to fully committing themselves to the idea that "single-player games are bad because people sell them immediately after finishing the campaign" by thinking that only being able to play SP is a punishment ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116803-EA-Makes-Nice-With-Banned-Players ).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  134.  
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    Lord Binky, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    Re: Re: I buy used games because...

    I agree with alot of what you said and the issues they have with used game sales are a symptom of their own problems but I really hate the generalization of all used game sales are bad when they only really have issue with a specific case...

    There is only one part of used game sales that is significantly changed over time, and which is what I'm assuming is the major issue with used game sales. It isn't used game sales that is hurting, it's the cut-throat sales tactics these retailers are using. The used version of a game is $3-10 dollars less than a new copy, that's perfectly legal and typical business as usual (which is profit driven decisions that employ a con artist's morality).

    It was a little different when you had more used game bins of 8+ month old games instead of used versions of game being shoved down your thoat when you even try to buy new.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  135.  
    icon
    TheBuzzSaw (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 11:16am

    Re: Solution: make great games nobody would part with

    Why convince people to keep games when we can just legislate to force them? :]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  136.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re: Re: DRM

    so so true, shared it with a fellow i know from EA (Crash007/ian tornay) he also thinks used game sales are bad and drm works.....good guy but he drank the koolaid...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  137.  
    identicon
    MrWilson, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re:

    I agree that that is their logic. They would prefer I spend shorter periods of time playing a game and move on to buying another. Unfortunately for them, that's not how I buy and if they want me to spend my money on their game instead of some other developer's mod-friendlier game, they'll make it mod-friendlier. Otherwise, if they don't want my money, that's fine with me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138.  
    icon
    AzureSky (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Godwin's cellmate.

    A good friend of mine had his 360 cook itself(rrod) when he got the replacement he discovered he couldnt play a few of his games, took him months fighting with live support to get all but 1 of them restored...they refused to fix the one because the publisher was in dispute with ms/live.....

    I dont do consoles, I will stick to the PC version, where if they try and screw me, I can just crack the damn game and workaround them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  139.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 25th, 2012 @ 7:20pm

    they seemed to survive alright back in the Megadrive / SNES and PS1 / PS2 days when they couldn't control it at all... Yet another industry that has decided that they aren't making as much profit as they would like and have decided to screw everyone to get more phat loot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  140.  
    identicon
    Loren, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Why buy video games at all then?

    Now they want to go to digital downloads only on top of all the other BS. So when xbox live or steam discontinues support I cant play at all.


    My Solution- I now buy board games. Companies like Fantasy Flight and Zman make some really fun stuff .

    1. Once I buy it I can keep it forever.
    2. I can trade or sell it any time I want.
    3. I can buy used at a game store or even a thrift store and nobody can say a thing about it.
    4. I can customize the rules any way I want, even make my own content- and nobody can stop me.

    5. They are often designed with far more depth and replayability than modern video games.

    The list of reasons goes on ad naseum. Video game developers better realize they aren't the only gaming medium out there and wake up. For around $100 each Fantasy Flight's Descent: Journeys in the Dark or the Axis and Allies series either one can keep you engrossed for years without constantly buying DLC or expansions and that's just two games. There are hundreds.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  141.  
    identicon
    Loren, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 8:15am

    For that Matter....

    I can go out and for about the same price as a console I can buy the rulebooks for a roleplaying game like Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, Hero System or any of countless others and get the same. Keep them forever or sell as I see fit, create my own content etc


    And table top Roleplaying games are DESIGNED AND INTENDED to be modified by the players. It's the whole point of the game....

    there are other kinds of games that work the way too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  142.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2012 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: I buy used games because...

    This is one of the reasons I will no longer buy consoles. Their walled gardens are as bad as Apples.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Jul 7th, 2012 @ 12:14pm

    Its rather simple in my opinion.
    Greedy or Unsustainable business models employed by corporations who hire morons to advise them why their
    "great game" isn't doing so well.
    Perhaps they should consider their "great game" is the fourth or fifth edition of basically the same thing and people are only buying it because
    1) Its familiar
    2) There is no alternative available to that gamer at the time of purchase.
    Additionally these companies could consider that backing every SOPA style bill that comes into existence doesn't get alot of fans in the gaming community.
    Who the heck wants to be told they are breaking the law if they mod a game for their own use?
    Finally game companies should be looking at the quality of their product.
    Regular crashes, in game glitches, crappy music, lighting, high end graphics requirements and boring unoriginal storylines do not make for a good game.

    If game developers want to make money they simply need to accept the majority will buy the minority will pirate and make a game that is stable, doesn't take a super computer server room to run on low and actually has a script not written by a monkey with a typewriter.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  144.  
    identicon
    Jeff, Feb 21st, 2013 @ 6:38am

    Re: Re: Simple solution

    The prices ARE too high, though this is not the case for everybody, me and many people I know find ourselves constantly waiting for prices to drop down, or waiting for the games that we want to be "used".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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