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Miyamoto, Bleszinski weigh in on used games
Miyamoto, Bleszinski weigh in on used games
June 13, 2013 | By Kris Ligman

June 13, 2013 | By Kris Ligman
Comments
    81 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing, E3



As 2013's E3 draws to a close, two of the biggest names in development, Shigeru Miyamoto and Cliff Bleszinski, share their opinions on what used games mean for the industry.

Bleszinski dashed out his thoughts over several tweets yesterday afternoon, expressing some cynicism over whether used games are sustainable in the current market.

"You cannot have game and marketing budgets this high while also having used and rental games existing. The numbers do NOT work people," he wrote. "The visual fidelity and feature sets we expect from games now come with sky high costs. Assasins Creed (sic) games are made by thousands of devs."

"Newsflash. This is why you're seeing free to play and microtransactions everywhere. The disc based day one $60 model is crumbling," Bleszinski continued. "Those of you telling me 'then just lower game budgets' do understand how silly you sound, right?"

Meanwhile, in a recent interview with CVG, Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto offered a more optimistic counterpoint:

We're more worried about piracy and we think used games are a whole other story. In fact, from our perspective you want to create a game that people will want to keep and keep playing for a long time. That's the approach that we always take and that's the best way to avoid used games.

Two developers, two approaches to doing business. Which do you identify with?


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Comments


Tynan Sylvester
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Forget about money for a second and focus on the physical reality.

Used game trading is a massively negative-sum economic activity. All those trading shops have to be built and staffed. People have to travel there and back. People have to spend mental effort to hunt around for games at low prices in an opaque market.

Simply transmitting all the games over the Internet, with a universal and transparent pricing model, would be massively less costly in real wealth, physical resources and human time.

--

Second point is how much used games twist design goals. I don't like having to muck around with my design to make it monetizable, or freemium, or to make it into a long grind so people won't trade it in.

Freely-traded used games mean that long-grind games like WoW bring 100% of the profits to the developer (since there is no trading), while short-but-awesome games like Portal and BioShock bring only a small fraction of the profits to the developer (since huge numbers of copies will be traded around). The end result is huge economic pressure away from short, rich games towards all this other stuff.

I'd rather the only pressures game designers were worried about was making a better game.

----

Funny thing is, we've had a trade-less online distribution system for years. It's called Steam, and it works very well.

And Steam sales demonstrate quite clearly how low new (though not just-released) game prices can go in a transparent market that's not being flooded by dirty dusty scratched copies of games from a store on the corner.

There's no reason to make a console phone home every 24 hours. But I really do wish game trading would go away. I think we'd all benefit in the end.

Dane MacMahon
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I'm not a big proponent of used games, but my problem is most people link the elimination of used with systems that also kill game preservation. Every game for the Xbox One is on a countdown timer to death the minute you activate it.

I love the GOG method, which mimics the MP3 method, which kills resale but also lets you own media forever. Why consumers are not pushing harder for this outside of music is beyond me.

Jon Boon
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If digital distribution were priced according to the reality of it's costs, as well as the consumer being able to protect themselves from incompetant or lazy developers (if a game is poorly made or bug ridden), then I think it would work. Right now, being able to resell gives the consumer a little bit of protection from the "terrible games", especially in an era of $60+ games...

Stanley de Bruyn
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I got the impression that online digital distribution is growing. But with parallel market of retail in stores and online.
Lots of games of steam are also avaible retail.
So to me it seams the market is shifting to pure digital online but slowly could take many years. If online part is bigger. prices online could get lower then retail or lots of discount.

Bad games, well gamer will go for reduce the chance of misbuy. but I think a 100% guaranty is not reasonable. Read few reviews and you know a mostly enough to get a descent impression. optional try demo's. and a misbuy is reduce considerable

Jay Anne
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No, AAA games would mostly not exist on Steam if it weren't for the retail console industry right now. Most of the AAA games you play on Steam exist due to side ports games primarily developed for the larger retail channel. It's not clear that the current AAA game market can simply go digital only anytime soon. And when digital channels are the primary consumer interaction, you can bet that the way to make money will not be $59.99 content based games. Changes always have unforeseen consequences.

Also, games have always been built to exploit their distribution channels, marketing channels, and monetization methods. And they have always found ways to hurt consumers because of it. It will be no different if digital distribution becomes the primary way to get games.

Dane MacMahon
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Firstly Steam games can be sold on disc at retail. So could AAA Xbox and Playstation games if they went to a Steam-like digital model without resale. Unless you think Best Buy and Walmart would not stock Halo 6 if it tied to an account with no resale?

Secondly the Steam sales numbers for big games can often be just as impressive if not more so than a console game. I know Skyrim did amazing numbers on Steam, as one example.

Jay Anne
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Console games tied to one-time-use CD keys is the kind of thing that got so much backlash about blocking used games.

Yes, I would guess Skyrim could keep the same budget while being a PC only title. And maybe The Witcher series. But most other titles would probably have to shrink considerably if they became PC only.

Dane MacMahon
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I think the backlash would go away with the right service, marketing and most importantly exclusive game.

I think Microsoft is handling it very poorly so far, which is one reason the backlash has grown like it has. Also their other restrictions, like a 24 hour internet check Steam does not have, are just as harmful.

Jon Boon
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I also don't pay money for Steam.

Jeremiah Bond
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What really is the issue here?

*Is it this micro management need by corporate goons to control every facet of an IP?
This isn't the case as, although there are some avenues to extend the life of an IP through comics, cards, collectibles, etc.. the actual depth of a game is usually very limited in scope and limited to mindless expansions that do not support the actual growth of the product other than through gameplay modification and/or 'enhancements'

*Is there an underlying principle of financial management that makes the entire process a game in itself? There seems to be a Sudoku being played by your business administrative types to manipulate data for whatever needless reason, primarily to self promote. The world of self promotion is a huge driving factor in the realm outside of direct development.

*A grab by some superiority complex of supposed elites to 'farm' the masses? This can be highlighted in the fact that Angel investors are primarily interested in 'buying' ideas and liquidating them at every possible corner. The fact than engineers work tirelessly to invent a scheme then to have it lost in the wake of their masters is just ludicrous.

You tell me what the real issue is. If you think its the consumer then I think you are way off.

Multi-billion dollar profits do not dictate the need for corporate welfare through marginalizing.

To not be too political, there is certainly something going on beyond just 'Limits of Growth'. If it is limits of growth I can't see why one big tsunami has the power to overcome independent developers who can quite feasibly develop awesome games without huge mind boggling worthless budgets.

How much government investment is in this technology anyways. Spending our way to match economies 8 times the size of ours should be. (U.S.)

Ken Horowitz
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The problem many major publishers have is that they think that only games with "thousands of devs" and budget of millions of dollars are worth making. Then they make $60 games that are over in 8 hours (hello, GOW 3) and have no replay value. Then they hate that people trade them in.

Protip: If you don't want people to trade in your games, then make games they'll want to keep. As a consumer, it's not my problem if Capcom didn't make enough money off Resident Evil 6. If you sell 6 million copies at $60 a pop and that's not enough, then the problem is in the way you're making the game, not what the consumer does with it afterward. This whole "I need to get a piece of every transaction" attitude makes me sick. Toyota doesn't come looking for a payout when you trade in your Corolla, and MGM doesn't want to charge you for going to Redbox. It's a self-entitled attitude that faults the consumer for the developer's inability to make games that are worth keeping.

And Cliffy B, who's such a big proponent of the Xbox, should be inquiring why MS doesn't adopt Steam's model and offer more sales. Ah, that's right, because they prefer to charge full price for a digital download and then sell you an "all in one" console that isn't compatible with all those downloads. The whole disposable media mentality of the current industry is what's bringing it down, not used games.

Yong Wu
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"Second point is how much used games twist design goals. I don't like having to muck around with my design to make it monetizable, or freemium, or to make it into a long grind so people won't trade it in.

Freely-traded used games mean that long-grind games like WoW bring 100% of the profits to the developer (since there is no trading), while short-but-awesome games like Portal and BioShock bring only a small fraction of the profits to the developer (since huge numbers of copies will be traded around). The end result is huge economic pressure away from short, rich games towards all this other stuff.

I'd rather the only pressures game designers were worried about was making a better game."

@Tynan I thought 'giving' users value or attachment to your game would be considered making a better game. A better game to me is a game that is memorable and if your game is memorable then people are much less likely to want to trade it in because they will want to replay it X amount of time later to relive the memories or w/e. I don't see how making someone not want to throw away your game after finishing it once would be seen as something of a distraction from making a better game.

Christopher Enderle
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If people keep playing the same game for a long time, what will that do to sales of other new games?

Dane MacMahon
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I still think WoW's dominance in the PC space is a main reason PC sales numbers dwindled for a while.

Chris Melby
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If the newer games are worth buying, or a worthy sequel, my guess is nothing?

From my perspective, no matter how good something is, we all eventually grow tired of it and want a change. But it's always nice to be able to revisit the good ones and I personally will not buy down a path that prevents me from doing as such.

Stanley de Bruyn
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I play cod a lot online and the other games I bought don't have much time to play them. So buy less games.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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Deleted.

Dane MacMahon
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There is a response to this on Destructoid I find perfectly written. Basically: budgets are the problem, as is the assumption gamers requires massive budgets to be interested. In contrast the biggest success stories (WoW, Minecraft, even Call of Duty) do not focus on graphics.

Cliff thinks used and insane budgets don't mix, but ignores the budgets being the problem there.

Jay Anne
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Call of Duty does focus on graphics in its own way. The amount of energy that engineers and artists spend to achieve 60 FPS while still maintaining acceptable production values is massive. While Black Ops maybe isn't as visually cutting edge as Crysis 3, it's still quite up there and the 60 FPS requirement makes that incredibly expensive. Team Fortress 2 would have been a better example in your argument.

Though the overall counter-argument is that AAA console games live by different market forces, and WoW and Minecraft and Team Fortress 2 are not AAA console games. Console gamers do demand high production value.

Dane MacMahon
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What are "accetable production values" when Minecraft sells close to 20 million copies?

Jay Anne
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Minecraft and console shooters have different audiences with different reactions on production value. What is good for Minecraft is not the same as what is good for Call of Duty's audience or Gears of War's audience.

Dane MacMahon
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I think that's an assumption, and I think most people play CoD online for its framerate, mechanics, polished shooting and other such things.

I think you could enhance CoD's graphics in only the most basic of ways for Xbox One (native 1080p, AA) and sell pretty much exactly the same amount.

I think if games like Destiny and Titanfall succeed it will be because of their gameplay innovations and not their shinier graphics.

I think this has been a proven fact for a long time that people ignore. And I am not saying new hardware isn't needed, it was, but for reasons like 64 player counts and larger areas, not for higher poly counts.

Stanley de Bruyn
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There is this demanding market of realistic rendering. Instead kiddy or abstract or cell shaded.

If the market solve the used problem. Like pure digital online release only for tad lower price. Used market could be solved. might be also part of piracy.

So these high budged demanding games is more room for in the market.

And Minecraft well its counterpart would be COD. Which are huge success exceptions.

Dane MacMahon
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Of course Minecraft is an exception, but if you're examining how it appealed to consumers as much as it did then certainly pretty graphics is not a part of that formula.

I would argue CoD, despite looking a lot better than minecraft, is a similar thing. When examining how to replicate CoD's success how EA arrives at "make the game look amazing and sacrifice framerate" is beyond me. It's opposite-land.

Jay Anne
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First, you have to ask how much money it took to get CoD's graphics even to get where it is today. It's a lot of money. The art for Call of Duty Ghosts running on the Xbox 360 and PS3 will likely cost a lot of money.

Second, the situation is not "one or the other". To say that it's "all about the gameplay" is oversimplifying. You're assuming that the audience is only looking for one thing. They are looking for many things, and for many of those customers, improved visuals is one of them. Destiny and Titanfall would have a tougher time getting traction if it looked like Call of Duty 4. Yes, it could still succeed, but it would be more difficult. One of the main reasons is that this particular audience sees "improved visuals" as a general sign of product quality. When a product does not look visually improved, it's a sign that the rest of the product may not be of high quality. It's unfortunate, but it happens.

Dane MacMahon
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I guess my main question is - how do you know that?

I think pretty graphics can sell a game at certain times. Gears of War got a lot of hype early because of graphics. It's one tool for marketing and salespeople to use. However, I don't know how you can act like it's a fact we need to use that tool to sell games, even to that particular audience. It's just not backed up by sales evidence, in my opinion.

When I look at sales leaders, across the board and all genres, I do not see any evidence that the best looking games sell the best. I see a lot of evidence the best playing games do.

Jay Anne
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You're right. It's a calculated bet, with only vague qualitative data to back it up. And it's a strategy that has been losing effectiveness over the years. But that's a far cry from saying Call of Duty should just stop improving its visuals because it wouldn't matter at all. Opinion leaders for these games factor it in.

Don't think of it like "the best looking games sell the best", because that's not the logic here. Think of it more like, how much more buzz would we get for improved visuals? Or how much less buzz would we get if the visuals did not improve? How many Metacritic points would we gain for improving visuals? How many fewer copies would we sell if our sequel looks the same as the last game?

Tanisha W
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But isn't the question about sales. If you look at sales alone, you don't need the top graphics to be successful. If all you're trying to do is appeal to one niche audience whose purchases may be declining over time, that's not likely to create a sales leader.

Dane MacMahon
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Good points.

I would also say Call of Duty has to improve, as it has to look contemporary against it's peers, to some degree.

At some point it has to stop, though. At some point, if not soon then eventually, the whole thing comes crashing down because the audience isn't there to support the escalation.

Also focusing on graphics is perhaps the wrong thing to do. As pointed out in the Destructoid article I mentioned games like Witcher 2 and Metro: Last Light look amazing on much smaller budgets. At some point it's just as much the corporate bloat and culture driving up costs as it is the perfectly rendered baskets.

Jay Anne
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Yes and it seems to grow non-linearly. The more people you add, you also need to add people to manage them. The more studios you add, the more overhead goes into coordination. There's a rule of thumb that says a company gets unwieldy when it gets past a certain number. Some say 50, some say 75, some say 150. I cannot believe some of these games are built by more than 200 people.

There doesn't seem to be much talk about solutions. Maybe because there isn't one and all of the really smart people escaped in their lifeboats already.

Erin OConnor
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Minecraft sold 20 millions copies because of one very simple principle:

Great gameplay > graphics.

James Margaris
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At the risk of sounding silly "then just lower game budgets."

Marketing and development spend is largely a prisoner's dilemma. If those budgets dropped by half I find it very hard to believe that sales would drop anywhere close to the same amount.

All these games made by thousands of people are made in the same narrow set of genres attempting to sell to the same narrow set of people. Developers are spending more and more to carve up the same sized pie. Meanwhile games like Animal Crossing can sell boatloads in part because there are very few competing products and they target a different set of consumers.

I would also note that budget is the main way that games in crowded genres attempt to stand out, rather than features. It's interesting to compare something like State of Decay to the new Dead Rising 3. State of Decay has a lot of budget-related issues but stands out because of its gameplay systems. Meanwhile Dead Rising 3 puts a lot of money onscreen but seems to have actively shed any uniqueness - it's regressed to the mean in terms of features. It has to compete on apparent budget and marketing spend because it has nothing else to differentiate it.

Derek Reynolds
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"Those of you telling me 'then just lower game budgets' do understand how silly you sound, right?"

Yes, and I'm sure the people who refused to buy houses in 2006 also sounded silly to the realtors trying to sell them.

So AAA games are going to be bigger, better, larger, longer, more epic and more expensive in perpetuity? There's no ceiling to the cost, no limit to the resources, no end to the deep well of publisher money and the same audience will always be there, money in hand? If that's the game that large publishers are locked into and forced to play, used game sales are going to be the least of their worries 10 years from now.

Diego R Pons
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You nailed it.
Most players I know don't care about how expensive a game was to make, and don't care anymore for the things that add cost to a game.
Players are hungry for gameplay, not graphics - which are already good enough in the previous console generations.

Marvin Papin
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They are hungry for gameplay, but for most, graphics matters, However, next gen graphics will be largely enough i think.

Jason Withrow
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I see a sad trend on sites covering indies where the budgetary mindset sinks in. "This game would be great if it just had THIS," and when a game comes along that has that, they ask again. And again. We've been spoiled by constant technological development for a half-century and now we don't know how to stop asking!

I'm perfectly happy playing a game with simple pixel art from an art team of 1 (also the programmer), but there's always gotta be someone there who demands nothing short of gorgeous from an art team of 15 (and a programming team of 3), and everything smaller is completely unacceptable. Some of them even seem offended. I'm fine with 3D graphics at such-and-such a level but there will always be someone demanding the next. And when everyone keeps demanding one step more it eventually comes back to where we stand now. And the longer we go, the more teens grow into spending adults who grew up on later and later generations and were taught by that generation that the ones before it were junk.

Reducing budgets means convincing people to buy what many consider to be an unacceptable product. Having seen what kind of games get dumped on - gorgeous, wonderful games, aesthetically or otherwise - I have a lot of trouble even wanting to find common ground but their money still speaks. Symphony of the Night made a fair chunk of change in an era when everyone seemed to refuse less than bleeding edge ("generally hideous") 32 bit 3D... but late-period SNES games, some of the best for the system, were dumped to the curb so fast you can still smell the friction burns from Terranigma karts in some old game stores in London. If you find a way to make sure you get a good market while spending less money, give me a call, I'll be the first member of your fanclub!

(That said, a lot of publishers fall into an unrelated trap: "I want to improve my game but have no idea how to foster genuine creativity. On the other hand, I DO know how to spend more money...")

Groove Stomp
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Movies are still on bigger budgets than games, right? There's a healthy second-hand movie economy. Why can't we have the same for games?

Movies benefit from having the first run in theatres only, delaying the public release until much later. A similar step could be taken with games - letting only cyber cafes and their ilk have first access (at a larger cost) and only much later releasing to the general public.

Kujel s
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Movies have more streams of revenue, they merchendise, sell consesions, DVD sales after being in theatres, etc.

Eric Geer
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@Groove...letting only cyber cafes have access seems like an idea to fail.

I always thought the biggest fail on developer/publisher of things was the inevitable price drop--what like 3 months out.

I don't know how Microsoft treats price drops,but I know that Nintendo and Sony don't tend to do it very often. They hold a high steady price on their games for a very long time--except those that land a spot in the classics/budget category that have already sold more than enough copies.

It's a trend that I think is killing the meaning of quality software. There are people that will by at $60, but there is an even larger number that will wait 3 months until the price drops, because they know it's coming. I understand publishers want to push software, but is it worth it when you lose have the price/revenue.

Unfortunately its a trend that is here to stay, but when you have devs complaining about used game..this price drop is also part of it. Used games become worth less and less getting closer to the price drop point...Avid gamers that trade back will play a game as fast as they can to get the most money back.

Chris Melby
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I'm going to say this straight out, Cliff is a shill. This comment from him and some of his priors really label him as such. But whatever brings him the big bucks, so more power to him I guess...

If anything, this certainly reflects the quality of games when comparing what Nintendo produces and what Epic -- I know Cliff has left -- has offered in recent years. I could not finish GoW -- I found it mundane -- but I've finished and revisited most of Nintendo's games and I always buy their new offerings when I can spare the time.

Eric McVinney
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You're not the only one, really. Anything that comes out of his mouth I take with a grain of salt, and will continue to do so until he (and whoever he's with) creates a "unique" IP that would rival the longivity of a Nintendo made game.

Dave Long
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Retail games will be on the way out sooner rather than later anyways. Things like having the PS4 set up to play games after only downloading a part of it will mean it'll be quicker and easier to download then hit a shop. Once you're buying the digital version, you're outside of the whole used game story, and we can all move on. It's noteworthy that 60% of game sales on Vita are digital - give it a few years, and this fixation with the used game market will seem quite antiquarian.

Jay Anne
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Most digital distribution media have solutions for large download sizes. Movies can stream, F2P games can stream and also aren't so content based. Will most console games keep their audience when you need to download 16 gigs of data to start playing?

Jorge Luis Herrera Omonte
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If you have a good connection that might be true, but for everyone else (and i mean a lot of people) that's still unreal, I still prefer to buy in physical format because I own it, it's there and i can touch it, i know we buy many things that isn't there nowadays but most of them are really cheap. 60$US is still a lot of money to buy something we won't be able to play in 8 years, on the other hand there's additional cost on storage if you want a good library of games you'll need to buy a new hard drive. Finally just because Microsoft says it's the "future" we'll give away our right to physically own a game.

Marvin Papin
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But if we lose proximity market,
Will children keep an eye onto games ?
Will the game industry keep it's visibility ?
Will people spend that much without selling their old games ?
Will players stay on consoles ?
...

Marvin Papin
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One other thing : multiplayer games are working when games are released, but if their is not the collector aspect of buying a game new, why do people should buy a game at launch and not wait for a lower price.

On 360's live arcades, that's the point where many games are failing at.

Biz W
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it's pretty obvious that used games influence how publishers throw money around

do the people with funding think lowering dev and marketing budgets is silly? because their opinions (wallets) are what matters

i don't know how much data is public, but if you track costs and revenue I guess you could see how true the statement is

for games that are designed to be products (eg. single player stories) and not extended experiences, there's a conflict between delivering quality and getting people to hang on to their copy

does every game need DLC? multiplayer? extended length? it's developer's future decided by how it does in the first month?
because that's what we get now...

yeah, if you make an absolutely amazing game that nobody wants to let go of, you're fine
good luck with that...

the actual data shows how most people don't finish games. a lot of that is because used games create a disincentive to refining the experience and making it shorter

It'll be tragic if used games come back to the PC...
every developer/publisher will start coming up with silly ways to make people hang on to their copies, as if we don't have enough of that already

I also think people lose sight of what the used game market really does.
it doesn't affect bad games, because if nobody wants to buy a game your used copy is worth nothing
it has the biggest impact on the highly-quality short experiences (a.k.a. the ideal console games)

Joe Zachery
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This is what I noticed when it comes to Nintendo and other companies. Right now go to your local retailer, and look for any Wii game made by Nintendo. It's the same price it was when it launched. Hell even Gamestop will only charge a 5 dollar difference between a new and used copy. Nintendo never do price cuts on their software, and hardly ever have greatest hit discounted versions. I have seen Sony have a brand new game release, and within 2 to 3 months. They give it greatest hit status, and sell if for half price. The original Little Big Planet went through this life cycle. With in a matter of months Sony cut the price. So it would seem the game was a run away hit. At the time it was not, but the price cut did help it sell good for a new IP.

Not here to judge who makes better games. Still when consumers know that new game no matter how long they wait. Will never be cheaper they either buy it or not. Where with other games just wait for the discount version to come out. It will be only a matter of time. That also goes with used games. When the used discount is not worth it you will just buy new. This may also go into Nintendo games have one title a cycle. Ya their a lot of games that have Mario in the title. There are only one Mario Kart, 3D Mario, Super Smash Bros game a system. Where with others you will get 3 to 4 games from that one franchise a cycle. Which kills the valve of part 1 when part 3 is about to come out.

Jay Anne
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Blocking used games is the 3rd rail. I think Cliff is naive for hurting his own PR image to fight for a change that just is not going to happen. Either tow the popular opinion or keep quiet.

But then again, talks like these are the only way he's been able to keep his name in the news lately so maybe it works for him.

Dane MacMahon
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Considering how loved and highly regarded Steam became by consumers and the press alike I'm not sure I would call it a third-rail. You just have to sell it properly to consumers and make the right games require it. They'll accept it.

Jay Anne
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PC gamers have lived with CD-keys for a long time, so it's less foreign to them. They haven't spent the last 10 years getting used to the habit of getting money back after finishing their games. And keep in mind that there was a huge backlash when Steam was shoehorned onto Half Life 2, and it took a long time and a lot of goodwill before it became the beloved service we see today.

Dane MacMahon
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There was certainly a PC resale market for singleplayer games before Steam. It might not have been as popular as console gaming, but PC gaming never has been in any aspect, has it?

The Half Life 2 example is exactly what I meant though. You use a big hit game to get everyone to buy in. You refine the service and win people over time to stop the complaints. Eventually you find the winning formula that keeps consumers happy and your coffers stocked.

I think Microsoft are more than capable of getting the games people will compromise their principles for. The question is how good they will be at selling the service and restrictions after that. They ain't no Valve, that's for sure.

Nuttachai Tipprasert
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The only reason people doesn't care about restriction of used games on Steam because of its frequent sales seasons. Who cares about buying used games when you can get new ones cheap? Unfortunately, disc based games don't get their price dropped that often. Considering that there are so many parties taking their shares on a single disc, it's almost impossible for disc based games to compete with digital downloaded in term of pricing strategy.

And disc based games are dying breed anyway. Pulling out customer friendly stunt like Sony did is much more a clever PR strategy, IMO. On Vita, digital distribution takes 60% shares of overall software market and I believe this number will keep growing. In the end, even Sony did allow used games, it won't have that much effect on their overall performance like many people believe. This hypothesis of me can be proved easily on the day that any multi-platform blockbusters hit both systems. I personally believe that the sale figures of those games on both two consoles will almost be the same. I can even have a bold claim right here that the figure on PS4 might even be higher due to the higher install based.

wes bogdan
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If microsoft wants to check games on peoples systems- fine but do it smartly when we get dash/system updates 4 x a year as we dl and install ms would be uploading data to their servers and ANY time we dl n install : games,season passes or whatever ms can scan our games.
Put another way your sure to be done with Halo solo legendary and be done with the season pass content within the first 24 hours?!! Rather than being agressive and overbearing they can be passive and invisible by checking only when we're online anyway.

Dane MacMahon
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They made a devil's bargain to keep resale for Gamestop but also have a Steam-like method of authorization and installation. The resulting 24 hour check to avoid abuse only hurts the consumer, not Microsoft or Gamestop.

Unless of course the consumer rejects it.

wes bogdan
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But it still is stupid (24 hr check) when the season pass is supposed to add content not in the original game give it a longer tail so if I buy ANYTHING on xbl marketplace whether from smartglass apps,my console etc upon dl n install which xbl marketplace could tell xb 1 to wake up to dl n install which while not every 24 hrs would give people some of line time .

People are concerned that this time when halo servers go down as halo 2 servers did it'd take single player campain with it which has nothing to do with multiplayer.

I can see a wii u day 1 patch basiclly dump old os install new os as this contested 24 hr period is in the dna of the os if not hardwired on the chipset but a huge os dump and fresh os install should fix things.

Dane MacMahon
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People should be very concerned about servers going down and taking singleplayer with them. It WILL happen. And Microsoft will be asked about it in a softball interview they approved ahead of time and will say something like "we understand the concern and are looking into methods to allow continued access, but only 1% of gamers are playing these older titles blah blah blah."

Corporations don't care about game preservation, they care about money. This is why on PC it is the fans who keep old games running on modern systems, and it is fans who will remove the DRM someday to preserve the games. On Xbox One this won't be as easy, and consumers should be very cautious.

Erin OConnor
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What if George [Lucas] said "I am turning off Star Wars for everyone forever."

With the proper DRM he could. That's what the industry is trying to achieve, total control.

And any and all future generations would never be able to experience one of the greatest films in modern history.

Kujel s
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Some one some how will preserve the popular games weather MS likes it or not.

Yes the less popular games will likely be lost.

Mario Kummer
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You can have 60$ prices or no used game market, you can't have both ;) Steam is very successful due to the huge price drop. What the companies really want with the elimination of the used game marked is to increase the prices, and that will shrink the audience.

What I don't like about all this is that legit customers (at least the ones who finance new game purchases by reselling) are now almost treated like they are pirates. Often pirates have the better user experience anyway. And now they more and more try to fight their customers.

Michael Joseph
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"really want with the elimination of the used game marked is to increase the prices, and that will shrink the audience."


You are absolutely right. It will shrink the audience in the USA, but perhaps grow it in places like India and Russia. And prices WILL rise. Imagine if Russian customers no longer have access to pirated or used versions of games? Or maybe they are smarter than us and will just boycott the console altogether.

USA customers need to start getting used to the fact that multinational corporations are going to cater to the middle classes all over the world and if the middle class in the USA is shrinking then too bad... the middle classes are growing in other parts of the world.

Globalization is a zero sum game. Obviously only a fool would believe that outsourcing of jobs and the shipping out of knowledge and manufacturing and technology is GOOD or beneficial for the average local citizens standard of living. Sure your dollar menu cheeseburger is still there, but now you're making 20% less money than you did in real dollars 10 years ago. *Idiots. And it's the selling of idiocy that has weakened western democracies.

Things will be good for the multinational corporations who have no loyalty and who like to think of themselves as corporate Robin Hoods who (not at their own expense) take from the wealthy American or European citizen and givie to lift up the developing world.


* An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiot

Michael Joseph
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The rising trend in youth unemployment statistics in the USA and Europe is worrisome.

Mario Kummer
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I agree. I read an interesting book: "2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years".
In one of the chapter it stats that standards of living will increase for the majority of mankind but it will decrease for a minority (mostly us and europe). And that since 1945 each generation had a better start into live then their parents, but the current generation (of course in average) will not be able to get to the standard of living that their parents did.

Kenneth Poirier
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Lower the price of games to $20 or less, sell more copies to more people and there will be no need for a used games market.

Kujel s
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$40 would be more realistic but yes a lower price would discourage many used sales but not all.

Jonathan Murphy
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Confidence, and success can make you more blind to the plight of others. From someone who started the game industry back in 2002. This is what I learned. That and how to make banana bread.

Petri Lankoski
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A study using Japanese game sales data suggest that preventing used game sales will cut companies profits unless the games are cheaper, but with cheaper games and no used game sales profits goes up.

Ishihara & Ching, 2012, Dynamic Demand for New and Used Durable Goods without Physical Depreciation: The Case of Japanese Video Games, Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 2189871, http://ssrn.com/abstract=2189871 (full report available on the page).

Michael Joseph
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With existing consoles... what about shiny new consoles with shiny new graphics fidelity?

we're pretty much used to the notion of
new thing = better thing = more expensive thing

Petri Lankoski
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Willingness to pay depends on multiple variables. One variable is players' income (and that the income does not increase based on console cycles).

Dane MacMahon
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Cheaper games without used is basically the Steam model. The Steam model certainly seems to work.

The problem is that even in 2013 the publishers and platform manufacturers are way too closely tied to Gamestop and Best Buy to actually do a Steam model. This is why Sony are sticking with the old model and Microsoft have created a weird deal with their retail partners to have online account-based ownership AND resale, at the cost of hardware-based DRM.

The future is largely on PC and mobile because they are the platforms not being held back from reaching that future by old retail relationships which grow more and more irrelevant to the consumer everyday.

Daniel Backteman
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"The visual fidelity and feature sets we expect from games now come with sky high costs. Assasins Creed (sic) games are made by thousands of devs."

That's because you, you triple A developers, have been pushing graphics all these years! Are you blaming us now all of a sudden?!

You created this market.

Edit: Added last part.

Mario Kummer
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If a studio goes bankrupt because they really think that players care e.g. for the hair on the arm of the characters, nobody can help them.
I don't think that the graphics are as important as the used to be. Increase of the budgets result in less and less noticeable differences. I would suggest to just stay with Xbox360/PS3 level graphics and reduce the development budgets, it should be cheaper to develop on the better Hardware and PC/PS4/XBoxOne cross development should be a lot easier then PC/PS3/Xbox360.

Daniel Backteman
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Exactly, I agree. Though even Xbox 360/PS3 levels might be a bit much. I do not exactly know how the money:graphics quality ratio works, but studios are complaining about raising costs now as well.

The cross development should be a huge boon, especially with the Wii U and it's tablet-like gamepad.


Also I believe that immersion is stronger when you have to go the extra mile yourself mentally, and everything isn't graphically served on a silver platter. But that's probably a whole other article.

Simone Tanzi
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I'm with Miyamoto here.
If you are afraid of used games within a week from release that means you made a product that is not worth keeping for more than 7 days.
Big names in the industry are simply going in the wrong direction generation after generation.
Most AAA games lacks longevity and trades that for hyper realistic graphic and cutscenes.
What games needs and lacks is content. Content that is worth months of gaming.
I do believe, if a game loses sales because customers feel they extracted every possible bit of fun the game can provide within a single week the game deserves a cut in sales caused by used games.
You don't want to lose sales? make more playable content. Too expensive? cut into the cinematics and QTE and focus your money on the actual game.

Gil Salvado
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If Bleszinski would be right about used game sales, than this industry wouldn't exist anymore. The car industry is still alive and it ain't crumbling down due to used car sales. After all you keep a car for several years before even thinking about buying an new one, unlike video games. In my opinion subscriptions based MMO's are hurting our industry much more than used game sales.

I just hope Bleszinski runs out of his money really soon, I can't take him anymore. He's obviously having to much spare time to brabble about things that bother share holders much more than publishers.

Miyamoto - albeit Nintendo isn't developing realistic graphics - is right about this. The only way to fight it is to enhance the lifetime of a game. Since the last decade singleplayer playthrough time has decreased significantly.

Jay Anne
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Car industry makes considerable money on those used cars through aftermarket parts and repairs. Used games probably don't make as much money on DLC to justify a used market in that same way.

Dane MacMahon
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Also a used car is a lesser product than a new car. A used game offers the same exact experience.

The car/hammer/lawn chair comparison to media doesn't work, never has.

Mario Kummer
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I would argue that after some time a used game is also a "lesser product". Yes it is still the same game, but if it is true what people like Bleszinski think and user always want better graphics (which raises the production costs) then games loose its value when a new better looking game is out.
And I think here the games really vary, will a SNES Super Mario game still has some value a PS1 game that sold on good graphic might not have.

George Menhal III
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Miyamoto is correct.

If anyone needs proof, check the cost of used Nintendo games at Gamestop or on Ebay. For many of Nintendo's key franchises, the price cut for the used copy is negligible compared to the new copy. Why?

I think we all know the answer.

But you could probably buy a used copy of any Gears of War game for a few bucks. Why?

I think we all know the answer.

wes bogdan
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If anyone deserves a psn sized outage early on it's ms with xbox one and yes it would suck as I have a pre order on the system and several games but the backlash on ms would be both instant and severe

Merc Hoffner
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That is a truly horrifying concept and one that actually breaks down their entire argument about the prevalence of the net. When Apple goes down your iPhone doesn't stop working. When PSN goes down Playstations don't stop working. When a mobile network goes down not everybody's phones stop working. When an ISP goes down, not everyone's computers stop working. Those problems are annoying and problematic enough. When Xbox Live goes down (or whatever backbone network they'll call it) EVERY XBOX ONE WILL STOP WORKING. Do they have some kind of contingency for this? I can either extract usable functionality or rely on everyone else around me when any of my other connected devices cannot connect. Not so for MS.


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