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SCEA's Dyer: Secondhand Market 'Very Frustrating'
SCEA's Dyer: Secondhand Market 'Very Frustrating'
May 21, 2010 | By Staff

May 21, 2010 | By Staff
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As Electronic Arts and THQ make the move to get a piece of the secondhand sale market with the strategic use of one-time use downloadable content codes, a Sony Computer Entertainment America exec expressed his own reservations with the used game market.

"I have very mixed emotions about [one-time use codes in new games]," said SCEA SVP of publisher relations Rob Dyer in a new Gamasutra feature interview. Sony has yet to use these codes -- meant to coax players into buying games new -- in its own new game packaging.

"I am a big believer in encouraging the gamer to have a reason to hold onto [a game] and to continue to play, and for the publisher to be able to see something if there is a second sale," Dyer said, "because right now, for years, as a publisher, we saw nothing [from used sales]. Very frustrating."

Third-party publisher EA is spearheading a new trend in the game industry that has publishers including a one-time use code packaged in with new games. The original buyer of the new game submits this code to an online storefront like PlayStation Network or Xbox Live in exchange for downloadable content or features.

Used game buyers (assuming the original owner already used the code) will have to pay extra to gain access to this content. In the case of EA's Online Pass, used game buyers will have to pay extra for content and online multiplayer access.

THQ has adopted this method for online play with its new UFC Undisputed fighting game, and Ubisoft said it was watching EA's tactic "very carefully."

It's part of publishers' efforts to grab a piece of the substantial used game market -- a market in which game publishers do not see direct revenues, only retailers like GameStop.

"As a first party, I understand why there's a second sale, but I'm not always excited about it. Look, this has been a tough couple of years," said Dyer. "People have not been making money, and I think the used games business has been having a huge impact in that."

"I'm happy to debate merits, pros, and cons with folks at GameStop and have that discussion because again, I've sat on the other side and I've seen what can happen. People need to see a way to monetize that second sale," he said.

For more from Dyer on downloadable content, PlayStation Move and third-party software, read the full Gamasutra feature, available now.


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Comments


Ryan Miller
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Times are hard. Everyone needs to make money. But why are we punishing the poor kid that has to resort to used games in the first place? Where is he in all this?

Bryson Whiteman
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My man DJ Quik said it best:



"If it don't make dollars, it don't make sense."



I'm glad Sony's keepin it gansta.

Travis Griggs
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@Miller



imo that poor kid can wait til the price of the new or used copy drops to a price he can afford than. I just don't understand why people pay 55dollars for a used game anyway. You can't tell me that 5dollars is really a make or break for them.

Ryan Miller
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@Travis.



?



The poor kid necessarily has to wait, and now he gets an inferior/limited product to boot.



And it seems you're attached to the used game scheme from Gamestop, and one for a relatively new game at that. There are many other places to buy used games, almost all of them cheaper than Gamestop, and if you wait longer that $5 gap between new and used grows substantially, certainly enough to "make or break" the decision for them.

Mike Lopez
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In my mind Publishers should fully embrace used game sales and stop trying to slow/discourage the inevitable (insert Napster/Bitorrent analogy here). The publishers should set up a trade program so if the consumer sends in 2-3 games within 6 months of their release they get any new game free. They should also resell any *newish* used game for $30, which is the same they would get wholesale on a new game and still much less than GameStop sells them for. They could sell any older used game for $20 (again still more than the wholesale of newly packaged classic games). If the game sent in is older they can change the exchange rate (4, then 5, then 6 used games to one new or do a point credit equivalent). If a game is super old they can refuse to accept it it for trade-in credit (just like GameStop).



This system would erode sales to GameStop (less used and new sales) and cut out the other retailers like any direct sales so it is a win/win. The publishers should not be able to complain about cannibalized sales of new titles since they still get more than wholesale revenue for multiple used games that would be exchanged. That has to be a much more profitable and revenue generating approach than monitizing DLC for used games.

Fiore Iantosca
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SUCKERS buy used games from GameStop

Smart people buy used games from Amazon, Craigslist, and so many others places.



That being said, if you buy a product YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO RESELL IT! The manufacturer should not have a say!



My God this really gets me mad. If you are so angry at the second hand market, make a game WORTH keeping that way your 1st time sales remain high.



it gets me so mad. It's fair use. I buy it, I should be able resell it.

Jason Pineo
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Why *should* a publisher make money on used sales? How many other industries manage to?

c anderson
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Oh its piracy, oh its used games; how about its oh $60 is a lot of money. As much as I have mixed feelings about gamestop's business - there there are a significant number of new games that get bought because folks sell their old games.



It should be pointed out that for many new in the box PC games we have lost the right to sell games, or even return them if they don't work. Many of these publishers routinely whine about piracy, and put unwieldy DRM. Gee maybe the fact you can't dispose of a game for some return on your $40-60 is a direct cause of some piracy and certainly is a cause of bottom fishing for deals.

Jed Hubic
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Not to sound diminutive on this, but they're really just video games. If a publisher decides to implement means to deter used sales, that's their decision as they pay the developers, and they also put the game out (and increased revenues allow for more titles, and more jobs). If it bugs people that much, people don't buy the games, and revenues suffer. If they do, then it's not that big of a deal. If a "poor kid" can't afford to splurge an extra $5 for a new copy, after owning a TV, console, and possibly paying for internet, that extra $5 for a game shouldn't be his biggest issue.



Also many of these games implementing these policies are rated T or M as in rated old enough to get a job.

Adam Bishop
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I'd be curious to see the evidence that used sales actually hurt game companies. What empirical evidence is there that people buy used games *instead of* new games? Game companies may or may not be losing money, but I'd really like to see some solid evidence demonstrating what the effect is.



I've bought a number of used games (much moreso when I was in high school or college and didn't have a steady income) and I've never bought a used game instead of buying a new one. I would buy a used game either because I couldn't afford the new version or because the game was no longer being sold new. And even though Gamestop employees always ask customers if they'd rather have a used copy for a few dollars cheaper, I've never heard a single person say "Yeah, you know what, I don't really want the new copy."



I remain unconvinced that used game sales are a net loss for developers, and even if they are I remain unconvinced that they're a *big* loss.

Marcus Fish
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http://www.develop-online.net/news/34791/Pre-owned-a-bigger-probl
em-than-piracy



This is a good article to help add the industry perspective. If sales are indeed "quartered" as indicated, then this is proof positive of *big* losses...

Bob Stevens
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@Travis, it's more than a $5 savings, Gamestop has a 10% discount on all used games if you're part of their club, and you have to buy like four used games a year to make it worth the membership price.



I don't really understand why people complain about the high price of used games... Gamestop is doing us a favor by charging high prices. Lower the price and people are even less likely to buy new.

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Ryan Miller
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@Jed



"What's important to you isn't important" doesn't really constitute an argument, and you're probably in the wrong place altogether when applying that to "just video games" (and that's assuming you're not completely dismissing their genuine significance). It's rather pointless to got to a Star Trek convention and tell everyone it's "just" a TV show - you're not telling us anything everybody doesn't already know, and you're liable to be attacked by rabid nerds.



The rest of what you say just illustrates my point exactly: if you don't have money (especially money you want to give "us"), you're not important. "So don't buy the game," right, still my point: way to punish the poor kid.



And I'm still not sure why everyone is so attached to this "$5" number (unless you're referring to THQ's fee) - there are several games I NEVER would have played had I not been able to find them for under $20, and precisely for financial reasons. And yes, I'm "old enough to get a job", but having one doesn't necessarily equate to having money.



Ever read about how spending on entertainment always increases during times of depression? Yes, there are greater things to worry about, and that's precisely one of the reasons why "just video games" are so important.

Jeremy Reaban
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If you are ever "finished" with a game, then clearly it wasn't quality.



If you look back in the old days of consoles, games weren't meant to be beaten once, then thrown into the trash (or sold back to Gamestop). They provided fun for years and years and years.



PC games still often do this - continue to provide entertainment, by allowing user created content which keeps them fresh. But some just have good game designs - Diablo II, for instance, years and years after release, is still one of the most popular PC games. Heck, Nintendo games still largely do this.



Of course, then publishers complain that no one buys new games, they are too busy playing old games. That's why they now make games so short and valueless these days, to make people move on to the next one. But it's biting them back, because people are selling their old games, not just throwing them away.

J Smith
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Ryan, the price of new games comes down over time as well. If you don't want to pay more than $20 for a game, you could still play the greatest hits of 4 or 5 years ago for that price. We don't need a used market to accomplish this.

Alan Rawkins
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I feel like the real problem here isn't necessarily "used games", it's how Gamestop is using used games to severely limit the profit a game publisher can make off of a title. By rapidly replacing their stock of new games with used ones, Gamestop are limiting the amount of time a publisher can expect to make a decent profit off a game. So you end up with a publisher looking at those first 3 weeks of sales as an indicator of whether or not a game is successful, when in fact used copies of the game may continue selling for quite some time. Now if you are a publisher funding a game, and you don't get a piece of that long tail, how is that going to inform your strategy?



I think we're seeing the result here. By monetizing the muiltiplayer and DLC like this, publishers are getting some money out of their games over a longer term. This sucks for the 'poor kid', but I'd argue it's good for gamers overall as it helps publishers make money off the games that people are actually playing and enjoying, instead of the Flash-in-the-pan games that are built to sell for three weeks and that's it. Good games that people come back to or find later on continue to generate money for the original creators of the game, and that can lead to new development in the franchise, and so on.

dana mcdonald
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I find this talk of poor children not being able to afford video games amusing. For one I could bring up some "when I was your age" stories of pong and pitfall, and compare them to the thousands of games that are free to play right now. On top of that I found it amusing last year when a twelve year old relative of mine got 3 new AAA titles for christmas, and after playing on those for a few hours we introduced him to Plants VS. Zombies, and he forgot all about his $60 dollar games and spent the rest of his vacation glued to the $10 dollar game.

Sorry, I'm not crying myself to sleep about poor children's lack of access to $60 games.

Denis Nickoleff
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When I have friends over and I let them play my games, I don't owe the publisher another 45-70 dollars every time that happens, I fail to see where this logic came from that they think they should be payed for something that was already payed for.

R G
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I work for a large gaming company. Not gonna say who. But I fully endorse used games.

Mark Harris
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Buy new, jerks. :-p

[User Banned]
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This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Gareth Cox
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I'm not sure the economics are on this guys side.



A. The cost to purchase a new game is effectively lower because you can sell the game and recoup some portion of the cost.



B. The benefit of purchasing console is increased because the cost of additional content is less.



Basically I think the market for selling games would be much smaller if there was not a used game market. All that said I've made that argument around the office and nobody else buys it.

Jed Hubic
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Yo Ryan



I'm not saying "just video games" as in just simple things not to care about (we are on Gamasutra after all), but what I mean is it's a business thing. It's not about times of depression or young kids. Used game sales put more money in place's like Gamestop's pockets and less in developer's and publishers. I assume we're here because we're interested in the games industry, it's my interest that make me feel this is a smart move for the industry.



Video games aren't a charity, and they generate a lot of revenue, if people can't afford them they can't afford them, I don't pity someone who wants a Porsche but can't afford it (I'm sure there's going to be a counter argument abstracting the "poor kid" analogy even more but I could care less, it's not like it's food). For some people, it might convince them to try some cheaper titles by some smaller companies and possibly boost indie game sales.



I mean these are all my half baked opinions like everyone else. The real truth will be seeing if revenues for game companies go up and if there's more job postings on the boards or the total opposite in the negative scenario. I also think it's stupid that if I loan a game to a friend for the weekend, he has to pay $10 to play online. So there's some absolutely stupid ass things about what some companies also do, so hopefully a balance is struck.

Adam Piotuch
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I see this simply as a milestone for the transition between the Brick and Mortal strategy to digital distribution for game content. I'm already looking at online stores more than retail. I hardly even go window shopping anymore because online stores offer great deals sooner than retail outlets. Out of the last 15 games I bought, 11 are from online stores. A year ago today, I would have said 1 out of 15.

Benjamin Delacour
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The Sales Quartered link ( http://www.develop-online.net/news/34791/Pre-owned-a-bigger-probl
em-than-piracy ) referenced by Marcus Fish makes a poor conclusion right off the bat. In the four-time used sale scenario, the original buyer is using the money to buy other new games, so money from the used sells is going to new games (Gamestop, however, is probably taking a significant chunk). Money from the further down sales is going to the first used sale, etc.



Maybe one-time stuff might help individual publishers until everyone's doing it and then the industry as a whole suffers. Ha, Game Theory in action. However, I don't think digital distribution for primary console games is far away.

Ken Masters
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I agree, Christian. And really, publishers can implement all the incentives to buy new all they want, it won't stop the used game market from flourishing.

Jamie Mann
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Personally, my experience is that people who buy $60 games will also buy $30 games; people who buy $30 games will not buy $60 games....



The "Sales Quartered" article is based on the premise that each used sale is equivalent to a new sale. However, last time I checked, the value of used games declines over time! A new game may be worth $60; the first resale is worth $45, the second $30 and so on. Equally, the popularity of a title declines over time, as newer games capture gaming attention: by the time of the fourth resale, the game is likely to be a year or more old. It's the same as in the music/film industry: now that Iron Man 2 is out, who is willing to pay $20 for the DVD of Iron Man?



In the end, I can't help but feel that the games industry is in danger of killing the goose which lays the golden egg. People trade in old games to buy new games: spending $15 in cash is very different to spending $60. Without that reduction in cost as an inventive, the sales of new games is likely to actually be reduced.



(at the risk of gross oversimplification, parallels can be drawn with the recent tribulations of the car industry: the credit-crunch meant that less people had the money to buy new cars and sales dropped like a rock. The government had to subsidise the trade-in of used cars to boost the sales of new cars: without that reduction in physical cost for the buyer, the car industry would have collapsed altogether)



In truth, I can't help but feel (to use another old saying) that the games industry is fiddling while Rome burns. The real threat to the traditional games industry lies in the continued growth of the low-cost downloadable games: Apple's App Store is the greatest example, but you also have other channels such as Steam, Xbox Live, Android, Nokia, etc. As the quality and variety in these spaces grows, they'll begin to compete directly with the traditional game genres, both in terms of cost (sixty $1 games, or one $60 game?) and potentially also market trends (will gamers who grow up on casual games of short duration be interested in longer, more complex games?). Nintendo are already treating this new market sector as a threat...

Nick M
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@Dana McDonald - amen to that. Where does all this entitlement come from in people?



Folks, I'm gonna do a favour and clear things up. In the publisher's eyes the $60 dollar price is rent, not a purchase. That's what the publisher offers, and it's their legal right to do that.



The reason why it is legal, as is any other contract, is that both parties are cool with it when money changes hands. You were cool with it when you were paying, right? No? Then why did you fork over $60?



I don't buy AAA titles.



And I think that *making* a $60 game is risky and unwise. Publishers spend $XXmillion on an army of artists, and they can't charge less than $60/unit for that. But who needs that? It's like making a jewel-encrusted toilet brush.

Adam Bishop
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Is that what really publishers are offering, Nick? I'm looking at my case for Metal Gear Solid 4 right now. In small print on the back of the box it says "Software license terms available at www.konami.com and in-game. Online play requires Broadband internet connection." OK, so first of all, license terms for what? The entirety of the software? Just the online portion? The way it's phrased certainly makes it sound like the licensing is just for the online portion.



And what, exactly, are the license terms I've agreed to? Well I can apparently find out by going to konami.com, which is pretty unlikely while I'm in line at Gamestop. I went to konami.com just now. I didn't see any sort of license terms on the main page. I went to the MGS4 game page. Can't find any terms there. So where are these terms? I haven't a clue.



I can also read them *after buying the game*. Now let's think about this here, what do you think the odds are that any court is going to enforce a contract whose terms were only given to a consumer *after the sale was complete*? I think the odds are pretty low. And can I get a refund if I don't agree to the terms? Nope, because no store I know of gives refunds on open software and I doubt Konami's going to do it.



The only other possibility is that games are considered by their very nature to be "rented" rather than purchased products. OK, well then, does Gamestop advertise itself as a rental outlet? Walmart? Best Buy? Do any of these stores in any way make clear that you're making a rental from them rather than a purchase? I'm pretty sure they don't.



So what we have here is basically a license imposed unilaterally by a publisher after the fact, without the consumers' knowledge. Good luck enforcing that in a court of law.

Adam Bishop
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Sorry for the double post, but just to make clear how completely absurd and unethical this practice is, let's draw up an analogy. You go to a car dealership and buy a car. You've signed all the relevant documents, gotten insurance and new plates, etc. Everything is ready to go. You show up a few days later to pick up your car once it's been dropped off at the dealership. The dealer hands you the keys and says "Oh, by the way, we've thrown an additional contract in the glove box. You agreed to it by taking the keys out of my hands right now, and you can read it any time after you get into the car. Thanks for buying from us."



We all agree that that's both appalling and completely unenforceable, right? Ditto for games.

J Smith
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I mean, this is a really simple debate from a utilitarian perspective. Do you want more money to feed back in to the people and companies that make games, so more games get made, or do you want some of that money to feed back into companies that put boxes on shelves and run cash registers? Why in the world would anybody who cares about games want to reduce the number of paying customers and amount of revenue for the industry, thereby increasing the price of games and reducing the number and kinds of games that make economic sense to create?

Alan Rimkeit
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Mark Harris - Buy new, jerks. :-p -



Right, because everyone can afford to pay $60 a game these days. I like to buy new when the price comes down to around $30. Otherwise I am going to buy used off of EBay from other people. I also sell the games I do not want anymore on EBay and use the money to buy other games.

Justin Kwok
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I think there's a whole other side that publishers tend to forget.



Modern Warfare 2 was the largest selling one day entertainment product in history. How many of those copies were bought by trading in games? Without the used game market, people would otherwise likely not be able to afford MW2. It would have fallen far short of the current sales figure. So although they're not making money off that second sale, they're making money of the sales of new games that would otherwise not be bought had the trade in option not been available.

kspray dad
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Sony has yet to use these codes -- meant to coax players into buying games new -- in its own new game packaging.



This is incorrect...both Socom 3 for PSP and Modnation Racers for PSP have implemented such codes...



This was covered by Gamasutra in February: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27276/New_PSP_SOCOM_Requires_P
SN_Activation_For_Online_Play.php

David Serrano
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@Christian Keichel: ***Applause***

David Serrano
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"Because right now, for years, as a publisher, we saw nothing [from used sales]. Very frustrating." My god, when will these guys wake up? Publishers and developers are not entitled to profits earned from used sales.... period! They never have been, they never will be... in any country. Stop obsessing about it. End of discussion, move on.



I commented about this on the EA story and now feel the need to repeat myself. The only solution for cutting into the used game market is for the publishers to compete against GameStop through competitive pricing. This starts by ending the prefixed pricing on all new titles. Most games simply do not have the quality or quantity of content, nor the budget to justify a $60 price tag. Start pricing new games based on the value of the content. Post-release, it also means publishers must systematically lower the price of games to directly compete against used prices. GameStop is not hurting the publishers by selling used games on the market for 1 to 3 months for $50 to $55. It's very likely they don't sell many of these games. The bulk of GameStop's sales come from used games on the market for 6 months or longer which they price $20 to $40 (before trade in credits) lower than a new disk. After a game is released, the price should drop every 3 months (unless it's a best selling game). After a year on the market, the price of the average game should drop to $20 for the remainder of the shelf life.



When the publishers start competing with GameStop, they'll start cutting into their used sales. But if they continue to keep the new disk pricing inflated for months or years after release, GameStop will continue to cash in on the their greed.

Ray Evans
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This move makes sense from a publishers point of view. Budgets are not shrinking and there is a big piece of pie in the used game market. Does it mean this is the right move? It depends on the customer. They can pay the extra money showing the publishers that there is interest in this model or they can choose to purchase games from publishers that do not follow this model. Gamestop puts alot of effort into the used game market because it makes more money for their business and not the publishers.



It would be interesting to see how much publishers are losing because of the used market. If it is a small margin, then they are bruising their image for a few bucks. In my view, they are losing a hefty percentage in order to push out this model.

Christopher Plummer
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I would like to bring up that the problem is that Gamestop's practices are maliciously using great content to subsidize the rest of their inventory at the cost of the publisher. They have been able to really narrow their risk and in turn put even more on the publisher. That is why this is a big deal.



(i.e. Gamestop doesn't want you to trade-in titles they can't get $40+ for. They want you to turn in the Modern Warfares, the Halos, the GTAs, etc....)



With that said the video game industry put themselves in this mess because the industry encourages price-fixing games; the sale price depends on the actual platform and not quality.

wes bogdan
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While i don't sell my games due to paying $49-69+ and having pawnstop give me $15-30 if i'm lucky only to see it go back on sale for like new prices. I'd sooner wait for games to go greatest hits or be sold cheap like valkrie chronicles or brutal legends than buy used anything.



Yes publishers/developers should get $10 from any used sale but that shouldn't last forever it should be for the first 36 months enless it's little big planet,god of war or other series that's in demand at all times then you should get that $10 for a five year period by which time there will be a sequel/prequel/side story or new hardware,it doesn't matter if it's console or handheld or just a slim model there will be a new iteration if not a new platform.



Good luck getting pawnstop to agree though.

kspray dad
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@Wes....well for companies like EA the shut down their servers on many games after 3 years so your idea is a bit redundant with them. I'l like to see them commit to a certain shut down date for my $10...what if I buy the game used ... pay my $10 and then they shut the servers down the next month.

Terry Matthes
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"Yes publishers/developers should get $10 from any used sale" - wed bogdan



Why? They did nothing to deserve this money. The product has already been paid for. If you're not making enough money of the initial sale that's your own fault.



I think the lesson that should be learned from all of this is that gamers aren't willing to pay $60 for a game. That's why they buy used. Publisher's can't have it both ways. Either charge less initially for your games and sell more copies or keep things the same and loose money to used game sales. You could argue that this is simply what it costs to produce games of current AAA blockbuster magnitude, but that just serves to keep the market where it is and let the current problems continue.



You can't have your cake and eat it too. I think it's shameful that publisher's are trying to make money off of the used game sales.

raigan burns
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What planet are these ass-hats living in? How can they feel entitled to anything from used sales, when e.g car manufacturers don't get anything?! You can only sell a product ONCE!

Sean Maples
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In my mind the better answer to getting revenue out of used sales is to create new paid downloadable content.



Taking Modern Warfare 2 for example. If someone is bored of the game and sells it, that next owner becomes a potential customer for the $15 map packs; while the first owner was not. So used sales of MW2 can then generate extra revenue for Activision through Map Pack sales.



Though I bet a lot of execs would try and argue that without the used market they would get a lot of new sales. But I think the industry just has to throw out that idea that a used sale prevents a new sale and get used to the idea that there are people who simply will not put up $60 for a game. But if they can get that game for $30 or $40 used, and they enjoy it, they then become potential buyers of downloadable content; creating revenue for the company that was not there before.

Robert Walter
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I don't mean to suggest this is a justification, but I think publishers are doing this simply because they can—whereas manufacturers of physical goods cannot. If Chrysler could make your car's back seats magically disappear upon resale and then sell the replacements, I think they would have tried that by now.



But sooner or later, someone would challenge them ...

Neil Wood
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How much is GM losing due to the used car market. By god we wouldn't have had to bail them out if they could of just gotten a piece of every used Chevy / GM / Cadillac, etc. There is a used car market because most people don't buy new. Now if used games had a blue book value or NADA value book based on their true value and we could go and haggle on game prices some of this would be resolved. The car dealerships realize that you don't sell just one car to a customer, you sell them 5 or 6 over the years. Some game publishers get this, Blizzard being one of them that can capture games based just on the publisher name not necessarily the game itself. Quality will sell itself.

julia mchugh
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This is the best thread that I have ever seen on this site!

I buy games when I want them, sometimes full price new, sometimes years old used, from many different sources. The used game source is great for when I want to try a title that isnt of full value to me not my favorite but I'm interested. Maybe I am able to try a game I would not have bought for a certain game experience and its great not to pay full price. Its a nice-to-have I can afford it so I do it.

But as a fan of my games I pay full price when I want. The xbox downloadable content I have paid for doesnt have the value of the money I have spent in my experiences.

Gamers are still buying games and its a tough economy. I would like to think that developers are thinking of ways to keep customers, providing content for free maybe something that could keep the title in my hands, not charging me.

Alan Rimkeit
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"Robert Walter

23 May 2010 at 2:02 pm PST



I don't mean to suggest this is a justification, but I think publishers are doing this simply because they can—whereas manufacturers of physical goods cannot. If Chrysler could make your car's back seats magically disappear upon resale and then sell the replacements, I think they would have tried that by now.



But sooner or later, someone would challenge them ..."



Just as some day some will challenge the publishers who are trying this total BS. I have a feeling that they are going to keep doing this crap will they get their asses sued in court.

kspray dad
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What all of you that are comparing this too cars are missing is that online can be considered a value added feature...so just like your warranties and OnStar may be transferable to new owners...they also have a fee for doing so.

Alan Rimkeit
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@kspray dad - On-line play a value added feature? I guess that could be said of games when on-line play was new, but it has been a main stay for a couple genres of games for over a decade now. FPS and RTS being the most prevalent. I would say the days of on-line play for most games as a value added feature has passes quite a while ago. Imagine if publishers had tried to do this kind of move back in the days when Diablo first came out. What would have people said back then I wonder?

Matthieu Poujade
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I would like to suggest that all the morality-based arguments in this discussion are highly questionable. Don't get me wrong, the feeling isn't. Seeing a kid not being able to enjoy playing a video game because he or his family can't afford it is legitimately affecting our gamer's feelings.



But it is ultimately irrelevant to the discussion. I think the discussion is "should a game/software publisher benefit from second sales?" You can say "why? it's not done anywhere else?!" you can say "poor kid is poor!", you can say a bunch of things. Ultimately, when a company gets second hand games right, people will buy them, and they will make money. If publishers aren't happy with that and want a share of the cake, either they find a clever business way to do it, or they won't get that share. It's just a business mechanic. There is no regulation entity preventing the practice of reselling legal goods you buy. There is copyright, and its flaws. All the rules for that "game" to be played are set. Game may be unbalanced, but publishers chose to play it nonetheless, right?

Matthieu Poujade
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@Christian - "But the main problem is, that over the last year, the industry has built up used game sales as THE major problem beneath piracy. And that is just a disctraction from the real problems the games industry is facing today."



Exactly. Absolutely. The built up of this solution is ludicrous. IP gets created. IP gets cash in for the whole chain. If IP does not get enough cash in to justify the effort, creators and middlemen will so something else. Middlemen manage to find a business opportunity now? Good for them, but unsustainable in the long run. The problem is somewhere else.



My suggestion is to closely follow what is happening in other IP-based industries, especially those who have been impacted by copyright infringement for longer than games: movies, music. What solutions have emerged? If not solutions, what efforts? iTunes, Appstore, rent video on demand... What about books? e-books? etc. These are all inspirations. Either to build up on it or to learn from mistakes. I see a lot of people being angry at reality. I see much less people thinking about the future they can build. My humble opinion is this: sometimes people get smart, and sometimes people get left behind. We are - as people - having a hard time compensating that fact when it comes to feeding and sheltering the poor. So when it comes to video games, don't look for help, regulations, external influence, or anything of the sort. Invent tomorrow's publishing, and get tomorrow's cash in.

Mark Harris
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@ Alan - I know sarcasm doesn't come across easily over the internet, but I'm having a hard time understanding how you took my comment as serious. It was a sarcastic distillation of the mega publisher's PR points into three words, dramatic effect and all that. Was that not clear by the super hip tongue sticking out face I included afterward?





Good for you, you buy new at $30 and buy and sell used games on Ebay. You've made a personal choice that games are only worth a maximum of $30 to you and you get them by any means necessary. I have no problem with you exercising your right as a consumer in a free society, but you also have to respect the choices of publishers who think your $30 new game price point and used game dealing devalues their product and want to adjust the revenue stream. You also have to respect the developers who don't want to lose their jobs so they want industry revenue to at least break even if not increase. These practices don't really bother me because I buy new, but I understand why they would bother you and anyone else who buys used games and I don't judge you for speaking against it. No one wants to pay more money, but everyone wants the games to keep flowing, in fact they want BETTER games for less money. Truly that is a valid consumer want, but it's antithetical to a business want.



The "online pass" et al won't curb the used game market, but it may bring in some extra revenue for publishers and by extension developers (hopefully!). I wouldn't go so far as to say this is the "right" thing to do, but I get it from a business perspective and I'm fine with more money getting into the hands of game makers as opposed to game retailers. I'm sure Gamestop stockholders would disagree with me, but they have different priorities.



Good or bad (depending on your viewpoint) some publishers/developers are saying this, "We make the product, this is how we're pricing our product to increase our revenue, buy or don't buy according to your preference and economic situation." The market will bear out whether or not their tactic works.

Alan Rimkeit
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@Mark Harris - My apologies if you were being sarcastic. Many people around the internet, and here, take a statement like you made very seriously.

Mark Harris
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No worries, Alan. I know it's sometimes hard to read sarcasm and various other literary nonsense in a few words on a message board. No vocal patterns, inflection, and other clues, etc.

kspray dad
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As I pointed out earlier (and was not corrected in the article)...SONY did this before EA with SOCOM 3 for PSP.



Well...they are blazing yet another trail today as Modnation Racer's for PSP has implemented this tack today...at a price of $15!

Dude 25000
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I would have to say the gaming market especially for console games is very competitive. The mass sell of used games seems to be of a great advantage and value to the gamers who would not have the money to pay the full retail price. But i look at it this way someone has to buy them new in order for there to be used games. And if you do buy used sometimes the quality isn't that great but it is a great option. And for the most part the used games don't really short change the game publisher all that bad cause a lot of people aren't gonna wait for that used game to come around we are a impatient society these days we got to have it now! LOL ! Of course with the way the net is becoming more popular and with the rapid expansion of data lines through out the us, one day we may see the death of video game disc. Everything will be downloaded to the console by the internet who then will have the monopoly?



But in the mean time i will buy used games and new games alike.



And if you wanna save some money on games ebay is a great place and i found this other place that has free shipping and low prices and that is USEDGAMESOURCE.com.


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