Video Game Companies Still Bitching About Used Game Sales

from the give-it-up dept

This has been discussed before, but apparently one of the big topics at E3 last week was video game publishers again being upset about the fact that they don't get a cut of used game sales. What they never seem to mention, however, is that there's simply no reason for them to get a cut of those sales. When you sell your house, do you get a cut of every sale after that? When you sell a book do you get a cut of every sale after that? Of course not. And for a very good reason. Studies have shown that an active used goods market increases the value of a product. This makes sense. If I know I can resell this widget for $10, I'm more willing to pay $20 for it in the first place. But rather than focus on ways to make it worthwhile for people to buy new video games, the execs want to sit around, complain and scheme for ways to wipe out the used video game market... or at least get a cut of any sale. Once again, we're seeing companies with a sense of entitlement to something they have no rights over.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 9:35am

    "scheme for ways to wipe out the used video game market... or at least get a cut of any sale"

    That's it exactly. I call it the Microsoft mentality. Microsoft sees someone making a ton of money. E.g., Google monetizing search. Instead of concentrating on Microsoft's own profits on Office and Windows, it has to try and either beat Google or destroy the market so no one makes money.

    I swear this mentality must be taught in MBA programs, because it's a relatively new mental condition/impairment.

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Their response

    "the execs want to sit around, complain and scheme for ways to wipe out the used video game market... or at least get a cut of any sale"

    But we MADE the game. Well...not we, but our employees. Well...not our employees, since we're just the publisher, but the developers we partner with. Well, actually, they sub-contracted out some of the animation and development, but still....FEED ME!!!!

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Kazi, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re: Their response

    Dark Helmet - you forgot the most important detail!

    All those people sign off their rights to the product most likely! Wooooooooooooooops.

    It's still wrong though.

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    neona, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:03am

    but...

    It's just a harmless pyramid scheme..

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    PeterG, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    This one shows the bankruptcy of their position.

    When they first started bitching about this a few years ago a lightbulb lit up as to what scum they really were. One article even made it clear that the reason for the most egregious copy protection was to attack the resale market. Net connected install counters didn't stop the "pirates" for a minute, but who will buy a used game with a net connected install limit.

    This isn't war against "pirates", it is a war against the decent paying customer just looking for value and some salvage if the game doesn't work out.

    I joined the "Spore" download spite fest as a result of these type of actions.

    I know point out to everyone that they have choice to say right back at you to these but wipes.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Matt, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    it's Just pathetic when exec's are looking for a cut at a yard sale.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:18am

    I think what all of these folks need to realize is that WE DON'T NEED TO DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. They run their business in much the same manner as the oil companies, but they forget that oil is essential to daily life, whereas their products ARE NOT!! I don't really play video games so I could not boycott, but I know that I successfully managed to stop giving any of my money to the RIAA after I got a warning letter from them (without illegal downloading even!!) by simply looking at the label on the back of the CD before I buy it. I have found that not only is there a great deal of music from non-RIAA labels, but it is of consistently higher quality. There is not really such an alternative to video games, but if they piss off their customers enough, people will simply stop playing altogether.

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    RD, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Tough t*tties

    Right of first sale. Its the law. End of story.

    GD greedy scumbags.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:23am

    I think what all of these folks need to realize is that WE DON'T NEED TO DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. They run their business in much the same manner as the oil companies, but they forget that oil is essential to daily life, whereas their products ARE NOT!! I don't really play video games so I could not boycott, but I know that I successfully managed to stop giving any of my money to the RIAA after I got a warning letter from them (without illegal downloading even!!) by simply looking at the label on the back of the CD before I buy it. I have found that not only is there a great deal of music from non-RIAA labels, but it is of consistently higher quality. There is not really such an alternative to video games, but if they piss off their customers enough, people will simply stop playing altogether.

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    PC Gamer, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:24am

    Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    I'm a keen PC gamer and have lots of the latest titles and believe it or not, I actually buy them - don't look so shocked!

    However, I boycott all games with activation requirements, SecuROM or any similar DRM shit.

    All my games are now on Steam, because it's account-based, which gives me great freedom to backup and install the game anywhere I want.

    Of course, the big downside is that it removes your right to re-sell the game - and I've got some duffers I'd like to get rid of. Yet despite this, the Steam platform is very successful and still no-one seems to have mounted a legal challenge to this unreasonable restriction. I believe it should be illegal.

    This flies in the face of Mike's argument that second hand sales help to stimulate original sales and I'd like to see him address this point.

    Can you?

    Therefore, it looks like if the greedy game company execs could actually prevent second-hand sales, that they really could have their cake and eat it.

    For those that are unfamiliar with Steam, here's the website: www.steampowered.com

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Rob, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:25am

    Re: Tough t*tties

    Yeah and then there is that... you know you are being greedy when you are looking to screw over the customer and the law is on THEIR side in this corporate-dominated society. Seriously.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    The study for used books isn't exactly appropriate, because it works best on a site like amazon where the new and used prices are shown side by side, making it easy to compare. The video game "resale" market often happens in different parts of a physical store, rather than online.

    I don't think the video game companies have a right to ask for part of the resale, unless of course the original owner has cloned himself a copy first.

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re: Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    Steam reduces the value of a game by eliminating the resale, but increases the value by providing backup/reinstall and location independant services you mention. It's just a tradeoff.

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    Paul Brinker (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Time for a 3rd party keyserver

    How about the other end GIVE ME A DAMM KEY SERVER :)

    We need a 3rd party to come into being thats a keyserver business, A host, broker, trusted seller etc for CD keys so that you can sell your game when your done with it. To make it even better make a deal with people like Blizzard so that when a key is sold, the old one is deactivated and a new one is issued.

    Now here is something the big players might like so thay can get a cut of the used market and best of all it wont violate first sale doctern as you can aways directly sell your existing key.

    Idealy the key is your "licence" to the software now a days, the plastic disk the game comes on is more or less worthless. This solution should even work with online only stuff like Stardock.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Rick, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Re:

    That's about the most idiotic thing I have ever read.

    What Microsoft does is simply competition when they try to beat Google. It's what any company should be doing - increasing their own market share, or they will die. Competition is a good thing.

    There is always a way to do it right too, without using monopoly power, as they were scolded for in the past - in regards to Netscape.

    I don't see Microsoft charging when people sell their PCs with Windows installed on it, do you?

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:46am

    Re: Re:

    That's about the most idiotic thing I have ever read.

    What Microsoft does is simply competition when they try to beat Google. It's what any company should be doing - increasing their own market share, or they will die. Competition is a good thing.


    Microsoft is a SOFTWARE company. They should concentrate on writing, and fixing their software rather than trying to corner the market on everything computer related.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    team reduces the value of a game by eliminating the resale, but increases the value by providing backup/reinstall and location independant services you mention. It's just a tradeoff.

    Until such time as Valve goes out of business or gets bought by a larger company who decide that they no longer want to support all the older games that are Steam-Crippled. At which time you're SOL.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:50am

    It's not quite that simple. It's not Craigslist or eBay or private sales/trades the industry cares about. In that case the person selling their game is at least getting a fair price for it, and hey, they might use that money to buy another game.

    The problem is with companies like Gamestop who have developed a sort of parasitic relationship with publishers. Gamestop wants to order enough new copies of a game to satisfy preorders and then exclusively push used games. And why not? It's pure profit, they pay relatively nothing for trade ins. It's not just big mean executives who are upset too, the people who work on the games don't like it either.

    The same thing could happen with DVDs and music (not cars and houses though, that's kind of a stupid analogy) but there are other factors that prevent it. Lower cost is probably a big one. It's a lot more appealing to just keep a DVD you've seen a few times on the chance you might watch it again then to trade it in when you'd probably get like 5 dollars. Music is something you tend to keep listening to for longer too. Both are a lot easier to rip before returning them too which is a potential legal mess that most retailers would probably rather avoid.

    The industry, I think, is more interested in exploring solutions that aren't as hamfisted as demanding money from resales though. Digital distribution, content updates, subscription models, etc.

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    imfaral (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:53am

    Re: Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    Steam does require activation requirements. That is why you have to install the Steam client to play a game. You also don't need steam to back up and restore your games. You can use the disk or the downloaded file. Steam is so "successful" mainly due to the games (Half-Life, Counter Strike etc) not to the fact that you can install your games anywhere you want, (which you can do without steam).

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    CStrube (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:54am

    Re: Tough t*tties

    All that means is that they (the game companies) haven't *ahem* contributed *ahem* enough campaign contributions yet to the right congress critters to remove that pesky First Sale Doctrine.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    CrashCat, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 10:58am

    Oddly enough, programs like Steam have already found a nice way around this. They routinely put up old games for bargain bin prices and make plenty of sales. If console publishers had been a little more proactive about adopting downloadable games they'd be enjoying this kind of revenue already. As it is we're only just finally hearing about some former disc games being released as downloads, and the prices still won't compete with a used disc off eBay or Half.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Dan, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:12am

    Some game companies DO try to add extra value to new games, giving the customer incentive to buy new rather than used. The most recent example was probably Epic when they released GoW2; purchasing a new copy got you a couple free maps via download token. Buy it used, no token, and you have to cough up like 10$ if you want the extra maps. Now, this isn't much of an incentive, but some companies have the right idea. As DLC becomes more popular, I think it would be very interesting to see things like "buy this game new, get 20$ worth of our DLC free". That would encourage people to buy new over used for sure.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    CDWatters, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:14am

    COMPETE!

    If the game companies really want a slice of the used pie (even to eliminate it) then COMPETE! Give the consumer a decent price on trade-in. Got Madden 09? Get $10 (or whatever the prevailing value) off Madden '10 when you send in the disk for the upgrade. Then they can shred all of the discs sent to them to get them out of the used market.

     

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

  24.  
    identicon
    Jesse Smith, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:25am

    The real problem

    The real problem with used game sales are not with old games, but titles released in the past 3-4 months. Publishers need to know how many units are sold so they can make good business decisions on future titles. If all of the sales are used, the publisher may stop making a brand which is actually successful.

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Their response

    Yes, but it's the mentality I'm attacking.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Osno, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Steam should let you "return" a game, giving you store credit for deactivating it. It would be pretty cool, and absolute added value... and it will probably get you paying more for a new game than your return value.

    And BTW, mention to those same execs that they can get money on your used game sale but they have to give residuals to the devs and you'll instantly kill all this idiocy.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    Um, last time I went into GameStop to check the trade value of a game, no one held a gun to my head and forced me to accept the deal. They gave me a low offer (with a little higher if I used it for trade). I said no, listed the game on Craigslist and sold it for what I wanted. GameStop is no different than a pawn shop, used car lot, used instrument shop, college bookstore, or any other business that buys used items at a low price to resell for a profit. To some, the convenience is worth getting less money. To others, it's not. To say that GameStop is parasitic because they make a profit (how dare they!?) and dare to sell used games for a good margin is ridiculous and ignorant.

     

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

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    Re: The real problem - #24

    Huh?

    "Publishers need to know how many units are sold..."
    Shouldn't they be keeping track of those figures? You know, just in case they want to make good business decisions?

    "If all of the sales are used..."
    Doens't this push the concept into the chicken-or-egg-first category? If all the sales are from re-sold titles, where did the titles being re-sold come from?

    Or did you mean that game publishers aren't able to discern the difference between new sales and re-sales of a 3-4 month old release?

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Danny, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 11:49am

    Re:

    Yes extras that are packed in with games can bring in big money. Look at games that when pre-ordered (meaning only new copies) come with a cloth map, dog tags, soundtrack, strat guide, etc... They sell well if for no other reason than people wanting them so they can sell them on ebay years down the road for mad money. Even though they are out of business now Working Designs was good for this (even though I opened it and played it I still have all the extras that came with the PSOne release of the Arc the Lad Collection (1-3 plus some battle monster side game).

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 12:09pm

    Once again this post shows Mike linking to other opinion pieces on Techdirt as if they were fact.

    supposition on top of supposition. House of theoretical cards.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    batch, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 12:35pm

    Just keep buying the games on a physical medium, not digital download.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    DanC (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    Once again this post shows Mike linking to other opinion pieces on Techdirt as if they were fact.

    The reason for this has already been explained, and more than once. Additionally, the first linked article isn't on Techdirt, so you're not even being accurate in your complaint.

    Come up with something else to whine about.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    "we're seeing companies with a sense of entitlement to something they have no rights over."

    No surprising, as this is not actually a technology or business issue.

    Each day people seem to have a more and more pronounced sense that the universe owes them just for being alive. and it just keeps getting worse.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Tester @ Dev Company, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 12:55pm

    Missing the Point...

    You guys also don't understand that we (the dev company) get money and bonus' from sales, which help us keep staff and fund future projects...

    So, in the first 1-4 months of a game's release, it is highly important for us, not necessarily the execs...

    You cannot use the same argument about used cars, houses, etc... These are all things that you own over a longer period of time... Devs make their money on sales and having Gamestop reselling games during their release time hurts us, and thats it....

    I'm all for the second hand reselling of older games, but with the newer titles, it hurts the dev company first...

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    The gaming industry will die if we let this second-hand piracy go on! We need something like the RIAA for video games!

    Sorry, but that last reminded me of a parallel argument I've heard somewhere.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Emilio, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:07pm

    Of course, these days you never actually buy a game... You merely license the opportunity to temporarily install it on one computer... That license never includes the right of transfer to a second individual (ie, 'selling it used'.) Anyone who installs it on their computer is liable for the full license fee to the publisher, regardless of how they obtained a copy.

    You wanna fix this problem? Convince your Congressman to forgo all that Lobbying Campaign Cash and criminalize such shrink-wrap software licensing schemes. Good luck!

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Judsonian, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:09pm

    solution to the problem

    Why not just develope games that have excellent replayability and release add-on packs (updates) that present additioanl revenue streams. Relic has done pretty well with the COH and Dawn of War series. You buy they game and either tire of it or buy the next release. If you tire of it you have the option to sell it to the next patron and they buy the add-on.
    Most games have limited replayability and just simply get old. By adding content as "releases" and "add-ons' the companies can enjoy a longer product life cycle while retaining customers.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    suckerpunch-tm, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Missing the Point...

    I couldn't care less who it "hurts". Maybe creating a business model that doesn't "hurt" so bad, how is that for starters.
    If the Dev Company can't think of ways to keep their consumer interested for more than 3 or 4 months, then maybe the Dev Company is only doing a mediocre job in the first place?
    Resorting to actions that are anti-consumer (limiting re-sells) I am afraid will garner you no sympathy. The foundation of capitalism relies on the principal of items having a value, and that value being able to be cashed in by the owner of the item.

    The dumb thing the game companies did was not realizing the resell market themselves and swooping in to gobble it up before GameStop set up their own business model first.

    Sour grapes, baby.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Missing the Point...

    Make the game more worth buying and the 'problem' will go away. The additives others have mentioned work nicely.
    Also, if you drop the price faster you will get more sales.
    Want to know how to get more first sales and remove the used sales easier, just drop the price to what the used ones are going for. (I know that results in a price war, but that is competition)
    Price is a huge point for more people than you guys ever seem willing to admit.
    I don't think I bought a single PS2 game for over 20$ except GTA Vice City. The rest I just waited. At least there the prices dropped decently fast. Compare that to the 360 where the prices take forever to drop down to 20.
    Faced between the older games new at 20 or used at 10, I always just go new, because I like new (just not for high prices).

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Albert Nonymouse, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Used goods are valuable to whom?

    "Studies have shown that an active used goods market increases the value of a product"

    Ah. The statement quoted above seems to be missing an important element - the subject and recipient of the value of the product. An active used goods market increases the value for who? Understand this and you understand the source of the dispute.

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    Britton Bush (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:30pm

    give the video game companies a break

    Mike makes some good points, but video games cannot be compared to other used items such as a house or a book. Those items are worth less used because of physical wear and tear. The physical value of the video game is almost worthless. As long as the game works it has almost the exact same value of a new version of the game, therefore it is semi legit for the video game companies to get a share of the used game sale. The consumer of the used game is getting almost the excact same consumer benefit as the benefit the owner who bought the game new got.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Missing the Point...

    No, you're missing the point. Nobody owes you (the dev company) a living. We (everyone else) were not parties to the agreement between the dev company and the publishers/investors/distributors/retailers et. al. That agreement is a business decision that is your responsibility to ensure is acceptable and equitable. Once you produce the good and it is sold, you have no further claim on it. That is the way the world has worked for the entire history of mankind.

    Don't misunderstand - we (everyone else) would like good dev companies to be successful so they can continue to "dev", but it is your job to figure out how to make the "dev" process work, not ours. Make a good product that people want to buy, and we (everyone else) will buy it. If nobody is buying your product, I guarantee that the availability of used games is not the reason.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:39pm

    Re: give the video game companies a break

    Nonsense.

     

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

  44.  
    icon
    DanC (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: give the video game companies a break

    video games cannot be compared to other used items such as a house or a book. Those items are worth less used because of physical wear and tear.

    You don't honestly believe wear and tear are the only factors in determining the value of a house or a book, do you?

    As long as the game works it has almost the exact same value of a new version of the game, therefore it is semi legit for the video game companies to get a share of the used game sale.

    Your statement is incorrect on two levels. First, the value of a game changes over time, just like other products. New games typically run around $60, and will be reduced in price over the shelf life of the game as time passes.

    Secondly, you haven't actually bothered to state why the video game companies deserve a cut of used sales. Even if your statements were accurate, it doesn't justify cutting them into a portion of the used sales. If the video game companies want to discourage used game sales, they should provide a reason for consumers to do so.

     

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

  45.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    Absolutely true. That's one of the reasons why I personally do not own any Steam games. I will occaisionally play games that are ten or 15 years old. It's bad enough having to use Google and GameFAQs to find the manual-lookup DRM codes. I don't want to have to try to find a hacked Steam-free executable just to play Portal in the year 2020.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    vastrightwing, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    GM could lear a lesson

    This could save GM!

    Don't sell cars.. lease them! All of them. All the time. Never let anyone own the car. Lock your customers into long term leases, force them to service the car with monthly service fees on top of the lease. Require each driver to be biometrically recored with the car and force customers to pay if they also want to drive that car.

    I see a totally new economy: a license economy. No one will own anything anymore.

    Where do I sign up?

     

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

  47.  
    identicon
    Emilio, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    I repeat: You never actually BUY a game. You pay money to LICENSE the right to install it on one computer... See #36 above...

     

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

  48.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    Re:

    That's right. I've never had to download a cracked .exe for Settlers of Catan or had to authenticate my d20. That's my idea of a physical medium. Of course, you can pirate that too, but it's not as much fun playing Risk with stacks of Starbursts on a hand drawn map...

     

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

  49.  
    icon
    DanC (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    We heard you the first time - but the majority of used game sales aren't for PC games, they're for consoles. Gamespot doesn't even bother with used PC games anymore because of all the BS the game companies have instituted to kill resales (and encourage piracy).

    Trying to push the same idiotic legalese on console games would create a much bigger backlash, and would most likely result in quite a few class action lawsuits against the companies.

     

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

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    "Devs make their money on sales and having Gamestop reselling games during their release time hurts us, and thats it...."

    ..and so because it 'hurts' your wallet it should be illegal??

    Grow up, the world owes you nothing. The world is full of people who are hurt by others in their industry finding a way to make money too. Someone invented the car and made lots of stable maintainers find other ways to make themselves valuable. Someone invented the backhoe and made lots of men with shovels find other ways to make themselves valuable. Someone invented the calculator and made accountants find other ways to make themselves valuable.

    Someone invented the used car lot, and new car manufacturers and retailers had to come up with ways to make their vehicles not only more desirable than a used one, but also hold their value longer so less of them ended up as used right away.

    And despite your claim it is not just the cost or length of time you would use a product. As the same holds true for movie sales, music sales, etc.

    Go find a way to make your product worth enough that consumers do not want to go off and re-sell the product "during their release time". Don't blame the consumers because your game is only desirable for a short time and thus so easy to want to get rid of right away.

    You can see this works if you watch the used sales. It was much harder to find a used copy of Dead Rising or GTA4 for quite a while after the release time due to those games having both long original play value and decent replay value.

     

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

  51.  
    icon
    Britton Bush (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: give the video game companies a break

    A used item has less value because isn't as reliable, doesn't work as good and/or doesn't have all of the features as the new item might have. If you can put a video game in a counsle and it works ... then it is basically just as good as a new version as a the game. I understand a new sealed game loses value after a certain amount of time, so the companies lower the retail price this in turn decreases the value of the used game. When a video game company designs a video game almost all of there costs go into the programming, and marketing. So little cost goes into manufacturing, pakaging and the physical cd. So when a consumer buys a used video game (If the game works) they are buying it for the programming and actual game play, not the physical container and cd. If a used game works it has almost the same value as that game in a sealed package at gamestop. So with that being said because a used game that works has almost the same value of the same sealed game at gamestop the video game companies should recieve some of the revenue of selling that game. The consumer of the used game recieves the same benefit as a consumer who bought that game new. If a used video game has the same conusmer benefit as a that same game newley sealed then the video game companies should recieve some revenue for that used game because both customers (new and used) recieve virtually the same benefit.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:54pm

    "If a used video game has the same conusmer benefit as a that same game newley sealed then the video game companies should recieve some revenue for that used game because both customers (new and used) recieve virtually the same benefit."

    By this logic, if any pre-owned item ever sells for a price near that of the original price the original manufacturer should get a cut of the sale.

    So when I sell my all original but used 67 Dodge Charger for more than the original sale price Dodge should get a cut? When my Dad sells one of his used 50 yr old stamps should the USPS get a cut of the sale? When I sell one of my still new in the box original Sheridan PGP paintball guns for Way more then original cost, should sheridan get a cut? Maybe these companies should get even more of a % of the sale price since the items would sell for Way more than the original price.

    Completely absurd idea. The resale cost of the item is in no way a reasonable excuse to give money from a re-sale to a company.

    They are selling a retail product, just like a car, a phone, a book, a music CD, a shirt, or anything else. They sell the product and that is it, from there they are, and should be, out of the equation completely. The fact that their chosen line of products to manufacture has a lower final total profit margin is their choice.

    Just because the guy selling handmade birdhouses down the street makes more of a profit % per item than the guy down the street making handmade chairs does not mean the chair guy is entitled to a cut when I re-sell my chair. He chose his product and thus the benefits and hardships that come with it.

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: give the video game companies a break

    "So with that being said because a used game that works has almost the same value of the same sealed game at gamestop the video game companies should recieve some of the revenue of selling that game."

    They did...when the first customer bought. They sold one copy and were paid for it. The first customer chose to transfer ownership of that copy to someone else and recoup (some) of the cost. The new owner now has the copy, and the original owner does not. If the original owner decides in say, a year or so, that he wants to play the game again, he has to buy it. So, one new product sale = one copy in circulation, for which the developer has been paid. If they are not adding any additional copies to the marketplace, why the hell should they get paid again?

    "If a used video game has the same conusmer benefit as a that same game newley sealed then the video game companies should recieve some revenue for that used game because both customers (new and used) recieve virtually the same benefit."

    So, I buy a broken camera, refurbish it with brand-new parts to brand-new condition, and sell it with a warranty equal to the original manufacturers. Or, maybe I have a table that I use every day, but I take good care of it, maintain the finish, etc, so that it looks like new when I decide to sell it. Now, should I have to pay royalties to the original manufacturer just because the buyer gets (nearly) the same experience that I did?

    "...video games cannot be compared to other used items such as a house or a book. Those items are worth less used because of physical wear and tear."

    Funny you should choose a book for comparison, because a book's value is not at all determined by wear and tear. After all, it is the content and/or collector value, not the paper, that people are paying for. Heck, a dog-eared first printing is worth much more than a mass-market edition in perfect condition. And what if I treat the book carefully and resell it in like-new condition? Should I then have to pay royalties, but not if I beat it up? A house built by Frank Lloyd Wright will be worth a fortune, even if it is neglected and falling down. At least try to have a friggin' clue what you're talking about.

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Dirk Belligerent, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    As avid a PC gamer I am, I find that console games have become a far better value proposition because you can buy them used at a huge discount and then turn around and sell them when you're done with them. PC games are "you bought it, it's yours...FOREVER!!!" deal and it's no deal at all.

    What I don't understand is why Steam doesn't permit resale of content through their system since it's just a matter of transferring OptimusPrime69's license key to "Bald Space Marine Movie Tie-In Game May 2007" to TehReelNeyo. They could even offer a PayPal-type payment setup where they take a cut of whatever it sells for. Gamers aren't stuck with old games; people get deals; Steam gets a taste; everyone wins and is happy.

    Which is exactly why it'll never happen.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    CrushU, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 3:42pm

    Very Simple

    Getting a cut of used sales is selling the same item twice. Gamestop (and pawn shops) actually do sell the same item more than once, which is why there is ire directed at them.

    The simple solution is for the game companies to open up their own chains and allow customers to resell games to them. These publisher-owned chains would even cut out the middle man and so could easily undercut Gamestop and the other video game sellers. They could easily make money off resales just as Gamestop does.

    Hey, wow, that was actually a pretty good idea... There's gotta be a reason they've not thought of this yet. Brand-name penetration?

     

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

  56.  
    icon
    DanC (profile), Jun 10th, 2009 @ 4:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: give the video game companies a break

    So with that being said because a used game that works has almost the same value of the same sealed game at gamestop the video game companies should recieve some of the revenue of selling that game. The consumer of the used game recieves the same benefit as a consumer who bought that game new. If a used video game has the same conusmer benefit as a that same game newley sealed then the video game companies should recieve some revenue for that used game because both customers (new and used) recieve virtually the same benefit.

    Again, you're not presenting any logic or evidence that the video game companies deserve a cut of the secondary market. I understand what you're saying, but it doesn't support the point you're trying to make.

    You say that the consumer of a used game receives the same benefit that a consumer that bought the game brand new receives (which isn't necessarily true). What you don't provide is any logical reason why that should translate into the video game companies getting a cut of the resale. The game was purchased; after the initial sale, the video game company has no right to that copy anymore, and thus no valid claim to a stake of the resale.

    Many companies, including Gamestop, try to increase the sales of new games via pre-ordering incentives, thus increasing the value of the new game for some consumers. Another aspect of value that you're missing is time - there are plenty of people out there that don't want to wait for the secondary market. Being the one the first people to play a game is an additional value to those consumers. So the benefit of a used game vs. a new game is not necessarily the same.

    In any case, whether the used game provides the same value/benefit as a new game is irrelevant. The video game companies have already been compensated for the copies entering the secondary market. Since they've already been paid, they have no standing to demand money from transactions they have no part in.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    PC Gamer, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 4:07pm

    Re: Re: Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    Agreed. I don't like the restriction, but it works well enough for me. I'd still like to see Mike answer this one, though.

     

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

  58.  
    identicon
    PC Gamer, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 4:09pm

    Re: Re: Shooting themselves in the foot. Again

    "You also don't need steam to back up and restore your games."

    Yes you do. Do you even use it? You need the Steam client running when you run steambackup.exe

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    LaFade, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 6:44pm

    Re:

    I've never seen an ad for a video game begging me to LICENSE YOUR COPY OF TEAM FORTRESS 2 TODAY!, or LICENSES FOR RED FACTION: GUERILLA ON SALE NOW!, have you? No. They beg me to buy a copy of the game. So who's lying to me?

    I buy a physical copy I can then sell it or give it away or put it through a shredder WITH IMPUGNITY as stated in US copyright law. Producer got paid, he should be happy with that. I'm not about to pay him over and over for the same code or license if I don't have it in my possession anymore because I flung it out a window after purchase and someone picked it up off the sidewalk, sorry.

    Like the music industry and iTunes, Gamestop has swiped a lucrative 2nd hand market out from under game publishers because pubs chose not to offer that service to customers. Although Stardock is making a play for it:

    http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2009/03/stardock-unveil/

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    PinballLes, Jun 10th, 2009 @ 8:24pm

    How about game developers / publishers stop releasing shithouse games

    I only sell a game if it is a shit house game. If developers and publishers stop pumping out half arsed, buggy or just generally crap games then maybe less people would be trying to sell them second hand. If you have a good game, generally you want to keep it.

    If you look through the second hand games at any retailer the majority of the stock is the same crappy ten games. Very rarely is actually a good game that you'd want to pay money for in there.

     

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

  61.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 12:41am

    Re: Used goods are valuable to whom?

    "An active used goods market increases the value for who?"

    The end customer. Making it more likely that they will buy the initial product at the demanded retail price in the first place.

    You seem to imply that making a product more attractive to a customer is bad for the people selling it. You seem to have missed the point on this one.

    Perhaps you're implying that the game company will sell more $50 games if no $20 used copies are likely to be available. If so, please understand the stupidity of what you and the game companies are trying to say. It's actually more likely that less $50 games will be sold, as there's no way for a customer to recoup some of that cost by selling on to a person who could not afford full price.

     

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

  62.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:01am

    Re: Re:

    You are missing the point. Just because the ads say "buy", that doesn't mean you are actually buying a copy in the eyes of the publisher. Try reading an EULA some time to find out what they're actually selling you.

    "I buy a physical copy I can then sell it or give it away or put it through a shredder WITH IMPUGNITY as stated in US copyright law."

    Yes you can. They can also change the game remotely at any time, shut off access if they think it's been installed on too many PCs and refuse online play or updates as per their EULAs, which you agree to when you install the game.

    "I'm not about to pay him over and over for the same code or license if I don't have it in my possession anymore because I flung it out a window after purchase and someone picked it up off the sidewalk, sorry."

    Try asking a publisher for the licence code or a new CD for free so that you can install it again after you've done that. Don't hold your breath, especially if someone else has possession of your old code and are playing online.

    "Producer got paid, he should be happy with that."

    Yes, they SHOULD. The entire point of these complaints is that they aren't, and they're trying to restrict your rights over complaints of "piracy".

     

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

  63.  
    icon
    Azrael (profile), Jun 11th, 2009 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re:

    Please read more carefully their EULA for OEM soft.

     

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

  64.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    Perhaps if the publishers and MS would give retailers a margin big enough to make a profit things would be better. As it is now retailers make almost no money off of new game sales due to the Cartel-like behavior of the publishing industry. Same goes for the hardware. Used games are the only way they stay in business along with peripheral services.

     

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

  65.  
    identicon
    Lucretious, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 10:07am

    Re: Missing the Point...

    then tell your publisher and MS to give retailers bigger cut of new game profits. As it is now they make less than a dollar for every new game sale. Stop blaming the consumer for wanting to save a few bucks. Games are ridiculously overpriced as it is.

     

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

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2009 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Try reading an EULA some time to find out what they're actually selling you."

    Try reading one BEFORE you buy the thing, you mean? When's the last time you were able to do that w/digital content on physical media? Have they a giant tome of EULAe for all the software for sale at Gamestop or Walmart available to purchasers? A computer terminal for looking up such things prior to purchase? Are 10 year olds going to intently pore over the EULA for their copy of Barbie Loves Horses?

    Is an agreement valid if one party has to pay to read it? C'mon.

    "They can also change the game remotely at any time, shut off access if they think it's been installed on too many PCs and refuse online play or updates as per their EULAs, which you agree to when you install the game."

    If I paid, I get to use it, EULA not withstanding. EULAe are not licenses to remotely steal a product back from a consumer who has paid the asked price for use of the thing, especially when the terms in such an agreement are not made clear prior to purchase, nor are the methods of remotely monitoring someone's private property for adherence to that agreement. And some wonder why people seek out cracked executable files to run their purchased software, sheesh.

    "Try asking a publisher for the licence code or a new CD for free so that you can install it again after you've done that. Don't hold your breath, especially if someone else has possession of your old code and are playing online."

    I've thrown it out a window, why would I do that? I obviously didn't care for the product. You seem to be presuming something here, like I would feel entitled to another code for something I don't have anymore.

    Just because I take issue with how games are represented when sold, publishers wanting to get paid repeatedly for the same single product, and the questionable validity of EULAe only presented after purchase doesn't mean I expect to be able to use the software after I've flung it away.

    I flung it away because I DON'T want to use it. We're not all 'pirates', yanno. As someone who always buys, I very much resent that attitude from anyone or any company. I don't buy anything from sellers with attitudes like that. I give my cash to those more worthy and customer friendly, who are happy they sold me one copy/license for the price they wanted.

    "Yes, they SHOULD [be happy with one time sales]. The entire point of these complaints is that they aren't, and they're trying to restrict your rights over complaints of "piracy"."

    So now we agree? Okey doke.

     

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

  67.  
    identicon
    gfhgfh, Jul 20th, 2009 @ 12:12am

    So what if they made it. They sold it to their distributors for a profit. That is their thing. The distributors sell it to the customers for a profit. The customers enjoy it and sell it themselves through companies like ebay (who make a profit) or the dumb ones sell it to the distributors again for much lesser amounts (in turn giving more profit for them)


    It is just like having a rebate or something- which gives the customer the free capital to buy again keeping the ever consuming world spinning.


    If the video game makers want a cut of used game profits they should stop distribution through retail by selling it directly to the customers online or invest a large amount of capital selling it themselves. Better yet buy enough stocks in the companies that retail it and deal in used. Bam theres you cut ass wipes.

    Although why are you bitching your distributors are BOUND to you the maker so you tell them to drop the used games dealing or lose their supply/ rate hike and they must comply to your greedy ego. But in doing so you will only be helping ebay and hurting them.

    Don't give a damn honestly fair is fair and these types of pricks always think they deserve a bigger slice of pie.

     

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

  68.  
    icon
    LyvingLyfe_Gaming (profile), Sep 1st, 2009 @ 11:22am

    Used Video Game Market

    Hey All,

    I know that I am new to the site...Yippee!!!!!

    But, I am not new to gaming and I am definitely not new to capitalizing on selling my games for a profit. I think the thing that gets me about this entire gaming industry is the amount of money that is made off of all of us when we purchase, and even more when we sell our used games...they hike the prices up even more...EB is notorious for doing this.

    I have found a few sites online, away from ebay, that allow you to sell your used video games or even new video games online and they seem cool because you can actually make money for your games that you don't want anymore. Now that is a better way for me to get something more back from the games that I have loved to play. I get more than a smile and the enjoyment when playing the game, I get a few bucks in my pocket!!!

    If any of you have any other sites that I can check out, please let me know!!! A couple sites that I have found is naxdax.com and another is dawdle. Looking for more and will update you when I get them!!

    Until... I will be LyvingLyfe_Gaming!

     

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

  69.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 19th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Maybe just maybe the Gamestops wouldn't push used so damn much if given a fair cut of the original sale to begin with. They make next to no profit off of new sales even though they are required to place and establish marketing for various products in favor of the developer. Developers need to increase their original gameplay and replay value to sustain new sales over the initial 4 month release period. None of this patched trash or inferior product like Madden series for example. You do this by spending less on marketing and more on development. Hire an experienced and well versed executive team to hit the perfect balance of Advertising, Product Development, and Word of Mouth like a real business model instead of begging for scraps. Maybe then I won't be so willing to toss your pathetic excuse for a game so soon. Remember the glory days of Original Metroid and Zelda games for nintendo where it took forever to comeplete yet had the crappiest graphics but amazing GAMEPLAY! Keyword being GAMEPLAY. It only makes sense to improve this aspect because the longer the consumer is too busy playing yours they are not playing your competitions.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This