Bargains Are for Cheaters

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Casimir_Effect:

TL-DR version: You don't need to get the game on day 1 when it costs an arm & a leg.

Sorry if anyone feels insulted by anything in there, it's just a question baffled me for a while.

For me it comes down to a question of voting for good content with my wallet. Sequel and future original games are green lit largely on the initial sales of a game. Yes, I could save myself a few dollars by waiting a bit, but if everyone does this for the games I like, then I'll stop seeing the content I want to see in games.

I realize not everyone has the money to do this, I respect that. But I do, and I use my purchasing power in the market place to send a small message to the publishers...I like this, please make more.

I think everything boils down to pricing the product, actually. Economics is somewhat simple and it goes like this: (reduced product cost) * (significantly increased sales) + (increased global market availability)^2 = (holy shit! is that 120 mil $ extra profit?!).

If publishers would reduce the exorbitant prices of the games a lot more people would buy new games and support the developers. This way the customers are bled dry for the sake of publisher's greed. You know, we're all talk when it comes to developers and how they need to make a living, but when it comes to greedy and completely needless publishers that still refuse to adapt to digital distribution we're all silent. How come Dragon Age: Origins is 50% more expensive on Steam than in my local game store?

Krakyn:

Breaker deGodot:

Zerbye:
You know the real cheaters? Those damn gamers who borrow stuff from the library! Both developers and Gamestop don't get a dime from them. Play all you like for free? Libraries are a threat to game developers, book sellers, the movie industry, and record labels! Burn 'em down!

Sorry for the hyperbole, but really. Why do you think no one raises a stink about free media from libraries?

You know, that's an interesting point. I've never heard anyone complain about this.

You know why? Because it's ridiculous. That's why.

In all earnestness, why is it ridiculous? I can get access to games legally without paying the developers a cent from used game sales and the library. What makes one ridiculous and the other not? Aside from making the developers look really bad, that is.

Gaming has really dug itself into a corner here. Since games can cost as much as 100 mil $ to make, they have to charge 60 $ for it.

I don't know why, but I perceive another videogame crash somewhere in the future, and games will need to have tighter budgets and less focus on graphics. The casual gaming market would thrive in that sort of environment, and that's not a bad thing.

aldowyn:
My question: WHY don't console games get marked down? (Note: PC games most definitely do. You can get Fallout 3, plus all expansions, for like $30.) If we can answer this, we might be able to solve the problem- and I would have a lot more games, and the developers would have sold a bunch of those copies they inevitably have just lying around.

My thought on this is that the PS3/XBox 360 base units really haven't changed their hardware all that much (or at all) since their release a few years back. Therefore the graphics have, for a lack of a better term, stagnated in comparison to the PC market. PC games have a more rapid shelf-life in comparison to the console game market so they need to drop their prices quicker for the developers to get their 'fair-share' of the cash. To compensate for this though, they started the nickel and diming for DLC since the resale market for PC games died 5 -10 years ago once they started linking games to user accounts.

Whee first post on the escapist boards

There's a simple solution. Charge less for games.

Charge less in online stores - where, lets face it, the unit price isn't zero but sure as heck doesn't show up on a balance sheet - where the number of people in the distribution channel is reduced and so even if the user pays less dollars for the game you make more profit.

And charge less for real games.

As Shamus says, if a game is 60 bucks new and 15 bucks used, it's a pretty easy decision.

What if it is 30 bucks new? Obviously their are points in the supply/demand curve where reducing price is madness. This may or may not be one of them. But there is a point at which used games stores can't sell a product for little enough to be worth it for people to (a) sell their games to them and (b) buy them from said stores.

But, games companies, like movie companies, are busy fighting wars they lost a decade ago and failing to learn from the music industry. So one day some company full of jerkwads (we call them apple during the daylight hours) will come up with igames and suddenly own the industry.

Oh wait, it exists and is called steam. Use steam, idiots. Make stuff on steam cheap enough that getting on pants to buy a physical copy is too damn hard to be bothered with. (Pants are hard, man!). If I don't have a physical copy, i can't sell it on, and so you should give me a damn discount!

I have to strongly agree with this article, and honestly, it's one of the better ideas I've seen to deal with the issue of the used game market. But then, I personally think a few more gamers like me would help balance out that world as well.

My mentality when it comes to game ownership is this; once I own it, I may loan it to a friend or bring it to someone's house to play or whatnot, but I will never, EVER sell it. It goes into the collection, into the collection it stays. Doesn't matter if it's an old copy of Legend of Zelda, a used copy of Okami, or even total crap-burgers like the YuYu Hakusho fighting game or Haze. Once I own it, guys like GameStop never see it again.

I know a lot of folks who support their gaming purely through trade-ins. One old college friend games at least as much as I do, and his actual permanent game library consists of three titles. He, ironically, is what folks like THQ and EA worry most about; the rapid cycling gamer who buys used, plays once, and sells used with strong turn-around.

Buying used can be a problem, if that becomes the pure mode of operation. After all, someone who gets into the used cycle, essentially paying for used games with used games, really is no longer a customer. They barely even count as part of the secondary market, since they're financing new gaming, chiefly, with the sale of other games and not with cash.

Now, what I find interesting is that I've yet to see a strategy, beyond DLCs of course, that is geared towards preventing that cycling behavior in the consumers. Which makes a certain level of perverse sense. After all, multiplayer relies on online servers which could be dropped at any time at the studio's whim or if the studio should collapse. Ergo, multiplayer games have less value now then they did in the LAN-party days, where the host server in effect was one of the gamers in question. This means games with a strong multiplayer side are, by their nature, purely transient games now. Look to Halo 2 for a clear example; how much did the cost of that game, new or used, drop to globally after its servers went down? The intrinsic value of keeping a game seems in decline; no wonder gamers gravitate towards the used side. For some, it's the only way to get anything back from many titles.

I know I'm a bit of a modern anomoly for actually keeping a probably-unhealthily large game library, but the fact is, those quotes about how one used game could result in ten or twenty or a hundred (cripes, would such a disc even be playable anymore?) gamers using it drops dead once the game comes to someone like me. Because good or bad, win, lose, or draw, those games don't re-enter the marketplace. Period. Maybe companies like THQ would do well to find ways to convince more gamers to keep older titles rather than reselling them, thus breaking the used game cycle they loathe and fear.

Oh let's not forget the clearance bin.

Since it's 20 bucks (since the store selling marks the price since they bought it whole sale and gamer devs already have their cut)

Is that hurting the developer? If you make 5 million games sell those games to stores. And 4 million sell, and the other 1 million are sold in clearance bins...

The game devs still get their cut...

sorry don't see the problem... as well sure the game dev will package the same game 6 month later in a collectors set, a greatest hit set...and make another cash in later. New or used, once they sell to the retail chain...they got their pay.

Jaeger_CDN:

aldowyn:
My question: WHY don't console games get marked down? (Note: PC games most definitely do. You can get Fallout 3, plus all expansions, for like $30.) If we can answer this, we might be able to solve the problem- and I would have a lot more games, and the developers would have sold a bunch of those copies they inevitably have just lying around.

My thought on this is that the PS3/XBox 360 base units really haven't changed their hardware all that much (or at all) since their release a few years back. Therefore the graphics have, for a lack of a better term, stagnated in comparison to the PC market. PC games have a more rapid shelf-life in comparison to the console game market so they need to drop their prices quicker for the developers to get their 'fair-share' of the cash. To compensate for this though, they started the nickel and diming for DLC since the resale market for PC games died 5 -10 years ago once they started linking games to user accounts.

Whee first post on the escapist boards

Cough...World of Warcraft....Cough

"Publishers would rather make nothing than let me have it for $10 a few years after release."
Reminds me how Psychonauts went on sale on Steam for $2 and earned Double Fine more money then some AAA games on steam that month. Because for $2 a lot of people instantly bought it.

DLC is a valid strategy though. For example, I've bought Dragon Age Origing for PS3 new, but pretty cheap, on sale. However later I've bought all DLC and Awakening from PS store. It seems to me that most publishers will go for DLC primarily.

I bought Legendary used for 29 bucks. I could have bought it new months before. You wanna know why I waited for so long. Simple because I didn't feel it was worth the 69 bucks they were asking for it. Hell I was waiting for it to drop to $20 because that is the value I assigned it.

Now when you can justify charging me 69 bucks for Halo 3 or COD 4. And in the same breath expect me to pay 69 bucks for Deadly Premonition or Terminator Salvation or Legendary then we can actually begin this discussion. As long as you insist are charging me a flat rate no matter the quality then I will be forced to assign my own value to the game. Since you are being greedy and not doing exactly that (with a few exceptions that do charge less than average) you made your bed as far as I am concerned.

Wow, I did not think selling bananer ads to game companies would have such a strong effect on Penny Arcade.

About time somebody else said all this. And very well said too!

The self-entitled whining of the games industry is not only absurd, it's just not practical. If you want more customers and more money, offer more value.

Either that, or fight an uphill battle, investing millions into lobbying against pirates, used games, new protection services and trying to inconvenience your paying customers. That'll do it too, right?

Catalyst6:

Krakyn:

Hicerion:

Krakyn:
...

...

I imagine you don't understand what it's like to not have much of a budget. If there's no used game market, those people who bought the game used likely can't afford the game new, so it goes from Gamestop making money and the company losing none, to Gamestop not making money and the company losing none. The developer/publisher can't make hypothetical profits. If you take money from a publisher or they have to do a mass recall or something, sure, they lost money. But if their product just doesn't sell new copies, that's not a loss, that's a neutrality.
...

You have to factor in the "hypothetical profts", however. That's the entire principle of opportunity cost: yes, you might have made five bucks, but if you had done something different then you could have made ten. Thus, you lost five bucks. While that's not the exactly the same principle that's in play in the games market, it's the same idea.

While you are correct that it's the base principle, the opportunity cost is only valid if there are solid numbers involved, like costs and results. How much the company would've made without the existence of the used game market is hypothetical and imaginary, and I would even say arbitrary. Because the consumers of used games face a price threshold, the imaginary profits that the developers/publishers like you to think they would make is invalid.

sigh its either the used gamy market or Piracy that game developers use as a scape goat whne they wither dont do well or do less well then they wanted. Its gotten to the point where i laugh every time another one comes out and insults its cunsumer base just to make a point.

Pretty much what I've been saying all along. The issue isn't really about GameStop's parasitic business practices, it's about game companies allowing them to operate that way by not intelligently pricing their products. If games had a more intelligent approach to pricing in the first place, Gamers wouldn't be shoved into buying used copies as the only way to get some sort of deal and GameStop wouldn't make anywhere near as much money off of selling used copies for only $5 or $10 less than a new copy because gamers wouldn't pay that knowing a real price cut was eminent.

As far as MW2 and other similar titles (like pretty much all Nintendo brand titles) goes, however, I think that's something of a sticky point because I would imagine people are still buying the games for that much. A real price cut on those titles beyond maybe $10 or $15 off might generate a few extra sales but if they're selling full price copies then I can see why they wouldn't lower the price. My concern is when I go into a store and I see the same copy of the same game sitting on a shelf for months for the same price it had at launch. Those are the particular titles that I think would benefit most from an intelligent pricing scheme.

One error in the column is the statement that people who buy used copies of the Project $10 style games have to buy the P$10 content. They don't. That's a choice the buyer has to make and it's the trade off for buying used instead of new. I, for instance, played a used copy of ME2 and did not pay for the P$10 content. I loved the game and had a complete and full experience. The same would be the case if I bought a used game that needed P$10 to unlock the online modes. If I had no intent to play online anyway, I could choose to not pay the extra fee and would still have a full and complete experience. At this point, and certainly it may change, but right now there is NO necessity to buy P$10 content.

Finally, kudos for mentioning the one aspect that so many people seem to "forget." The game revenue model IS NOT the same as the revenue models for other entertainment media. You can't compare how a game generates it's revenue to how movies, music, books, etc. generate their revenue. Movies, music, books, etc. all have various points of entry and various revenue streams that hit all sorts of demographics. Games, not including DLC as it requires an initial purchase anyway, have only one source of revenue, that being a new copy sale. Also, with that single point, games have a much higher buy in price than any other type of entertainment media. There are no grounds for a direct comparison.

I was under the impression that like any creative media, the original artists (in this case, the developers) are only entitled to something miniscule like 5% of game sales, and most of their revenue comes from direct cash advances from the publishers. The bulk of the money from game sales goes to publishers, hence, they, not developers, are the ones complaining about being hurt by used game sales. And to them I say cry me a river.

Shamanic Rhythm:
I was under the impression that like any creative media, the original artists (in this case, the developers) are only entitled to something miniscule like 5% of game sales, and most of their revenue comes from direct cash advances from the publishers. The bulk of the money from game sales goes to publishers, hence, they, not developers, are the ones complaining about being hurt by used game sales. And to them I say cry me a river.

While it may be true that publishers take more than their fair share of income on a title, the publishers do still need income to pay developers to make more games.

Damn straight. I hated being guilted by developers just for being a smart shopper. I'm not pirating the damn game. I'm still putting good money down to play it. Gamestop is, meanwhile, making a killing, and you're blaming the people who would pay your price if you just made it a few dollars cheaper?

spencer91:
Damn straight. I hated being guilted by developers just for being a smart shopper. I'm not pirating the damn game. I'm still putting good money down to play it. Gamestop is, meanwhile, making a killing, and you're blaming the people who would pay your price if you just made it a few dollars cheaper?

The only publishers that have been lowering their older games prices are the ones that have released "Essentials collections". I have then Resident Evil and Devil May Cry ones.

A. The Project Ten Dollar punishes Gamestop, albeit in a roundabout, delayed fashion. By removing value from used games, publishers/developers can succeed (in the long run) in lowering gamers perceived value of used games, which will lower the price point that the market will bear for used games. Long-term, if it is widely enough accepted, and consistently enforced, they'll succeed in reducing Gamestop et al.'s margins on used games, while extracting at least a portion of that money for themselves (obviously not everyone still buying used will be interested in paying for whatever lost functionality there may be). I think the biggest loser in the Project Ten Dollar scheme is the renter (or the library loaner); they're already interested in the lowest investment way to enjoy a game, and having to pay 10 dollars to get to the full thing (which is typically a far larger investment than the rental itself) just means they're likely to be completely locked out of that content.

B. While games don't have the up-front low-cost one-time option like movies, I feel like they DO have price reductions over time. There are exceptions, like Modern Warfare, but they are exceptions. Most other games, 1-2 years later, while still incredibly relevant and enjoyable gaming experiences, tend to be 50-75% cheaper (new) than they were at release. $20 is the sweet spot, as far as I'm concerned, and I don't buy used. While it's worth arguing that the individual exceptions would be better off if they followed a faster discount model, and that the market as a whole could do with accelerating their discounting given the relatively short hype window and lack of secondary release window (like movies do with "Now available on DVD" ads), the idea that the games industry does NOT engage in this kind of practice is blatantly false. And, as many people have pointed out, the PC market for digital distribution has been engaged in an accelerated form of this practice for quite some time (and my Steam library is chock full because of it).

Wakefield:
I've raged about game prices too, Why can I still find Halo 3 for 50 bucks? The game is 3 years old. I'll repeat this for emphasis THREE years old.

Ummm... I can also find just about every game ever, still being sold for its MSRP, by shady dealers on Amazon. But the highest asking price for a product is not reflective of the market. Halo 3 is $30 or less, on average, and if you had access to the right Target, $7.48. Cheapassgamer.com ftw.

C. Just have to throw in that I find Gamestop's argument for how used game sales actually help absolutely hilarious. They say that people trade in old games to purchase new games, and therefore the used games sales boosts new games sales. This argument is so incredibly myopic (by viewing that sale of used games TO gamestop and the subsequent new game purchase independently from the cashflow represented by the sale by gamestop of the used game TO other gamers), I can't help but laugh.

spencer91:
Damn straight. I hated being guilted by developers just for being a smart shopper. I'm not pirating the damn game. I'm still putting good money down to play it. Gamestop is, meanwhile, making a killing, and you're blaming the people who would pay your price if you just made it a few dollars cheaper?

Somehow I find it hard to believe that, if the release price were the same as the current used game price, you would be perfectly happy to buy the game new. You obviously wouldn't find the exact same discount equally worthwhile in purchasing the used copy, at the newly discounted price off of the lower retail price. I.E. $60 new, $50 used "Oh, heavens, if only the new copy were $50, I would buy it instead!". Bam. $50 new, $42 used. You're telling me you wouldn't still buy used? Moving the price point down increases the market size (by making the cheapest point of entry even cheaper), but it doesn't change the value proposition of new vs. used, and it doesn't change Gamestop's business model.

As per usual a good article.

I had my hackles up when I went in, but Shamus makes some good points.

And just to nitpick:
Amazon buys and sells used games too, probably a good percentage of what Gamestop does. Just saying.

It would seem that a lot of gamers grew up and got their dream jobs working as devs because there are so many posting comments; I remember back in 95 playing Doom, being a game developer was like being Aquaman or something... They simply didn't exist.

Blake Carper:

Casimir_Effect:

TL-DR version: You don't need to get the game on day 1 when it costs an arm & a leg.

Sorry if anyone feels insulted by anything in there, it's just a question baffled me for a while.

For me it comes down to a question of voting for good content with my wallet. Sequel and future original games are green lit largely on the initial sales of a game. Yes, I could save myself a few dollars by waiting a bit, but if everyone does this for the games I like, then I'll stop seeing the content I want to see in games.

I realize not everyone has the money to do this, I respect that. But I do, and I use my purchasing power in the market place to send a small message to the publishers...I like this, please make more.

Okay, I can definitely see your point and do agree with it. But I would also say that, in the long run, it would be worth harming the industry for a game generation or two. Where it is right now isn't a good place. I don't fully understand why game developement costs have exploded so much recently. Sure, for games with the scope of GTA 4 is makes some sense, as creating something that large is a massive undertaking. But for MW2, which lasts all of 5 hours to finish, uses an upgraded form of the previous engine, and had a solid multiplayer infrastructure in place, how does developement cost that many million dollars (over $100million wasn't it?). And why can the smaller studios always do far more with an amount of money than the larger ones? The only answer I can think of is that developers fill with hubris as soon as they have a successful game and then start wasting money all over the place.

The systemic problem seems to be that the biggest AAA companies have to have this insanely fast sequel turnaround. If the game doesn't sell well straight away, the publisher counts it as a fail and shelves the brand (eg. Alpha Protocol). But the games which aren't hyped to hell and back, and are still big name games, they seem to get more of a chance. Their sales are usually taken over a far longer time resulting in a sequel being greenlit further down the road (like The Witcher).

Perhaps my error is seeing this as too much of a pc gamer. We don't get the massive games as much now, and are (for better of worse) harder to please in many ways. So publishers realise that they have to evaluate a games performance over a suitably long time, allowing for word of mouth, reviews or curiosity to bring them sales. Here I would reference games such as Sins of a Solar Empire, Torchlight and Mount & Blade. These are not big expensive games. There is still a risk attached, but this is alleviated by the developer continually supporting the game thus endearing it more to the people who play. And if the first game of a series is treated this way by its creators, then I think people are more willing to pump a higher price into the second one. I may well pick up The Witcher 2 when it's new (allowing the typical 1 month buffer to allow them to patch any problems, of course) because I want to support CD Projekt. The way they kept patching The Witcher and then did the whole Enhanced Edition for it, releasing that content to people who owned it originally for free, was what more companies should do.

Catalyst6:
Both are being implemented, although the former is being pushed hard by GameStop, a fact that I can't understand. Why would developers agree to give special prizes to people who bought the game from the leeches at GameStop? It seems silly.

It's simple, because Gamestop sells new games too. Lots and lots of new games, much more new games than used games; it's just that the margin is much higher for used games. For all the "leech"-ing that Gamestop does, it is not entirely a negative force on the industry.

What I don't understand is why publishers are trying to guilt-trip people into not buying used. If they're not customers, everything should be done to try and make them customers - isn't that the point of marketing? Saying, "We don't care about you because you're not our customer" is the opposite of what they should be doing.

Of course this is a reasonable solution, but its wee bit too close to "caring for the consumer" for certain industrially sociopathic CEO's, isn't it? it might seem weak...

Hicerion:

Krakyn:
If I don't buy a new game off of a Gamestop shelf, the developer loses nothing. Gamestop already paid the developer for the game in order to put it on the shelves. Half of the argument is invalid from the get-go.

The point is that with used games, via one purchase over the life of that particular disc via used game sales, it could have 2-5 owners. So while there are 2-5 people who'd like to play the game, only one copy is ever actually sold by the store/publisher. Publishers want to make it so each of those 2-5 people each buy a copy of the game.

Also, as for the argument that gamestop bought the game from the publisher already. If gamestop sells all the new copies it has, it will order more, bringing even more money to the publisher.

That argument is invalid. The problem is Hicerion makes a not only invalid, but completely impossible assumption: that for every game, everyone who seeks to play it would buy it at the publisher's price. Shamus just finished saying that full price is unacceptable for many games and literally millions of people agree -- else rental wouldn't be such a big part of our culture. In effect, this assumption allows the publisher to blame the consumer for the publisher's incompetent marketing scheme. It would be like Toyota saying it was the drivers' damn fault that Toyota couldn't make cars that could stop accelerating after the gas pedal was released.

Every person playing the game is NOT, and I can't believe this still needs to be said, NOT a potential sale. This is because:

a) Many, many games suck ass and are played in order to discover whether or not they suck ass.
b) Many games market themselves poorly -- and it's no coincidence that many of these poorly-marketed games suck ass. Corporations play bait-and-switch and deceptive games with customers in every field; it would be incredible if video games were an exception. What is the consumer response? Rental and used sales.
c) Many games aren't worth buying even if they aren't failures. As has already been noted, many games aren't worth the initial price but are worth a markdown price.
d) Because of the inane pricing scheme, old games aren't carried by major retailors, with rare exception.
e) Many gamers don't have a lot of money and the current prices are extroardinary considering the game content.

What each of these elements have in common is that they are the exclusive purview of the publisher to manipulate, but this entire "used/rent = piracy" insult is a pathetic and cowardly retreat from that fact. Customers have no ability to directly control how games are advertised to themselves or their pricing schemes, but customers are to blame for publisher failures in those areas. Goodness, this sounds a lot like the resentment towards customers displayed in the DRM issue. Why, it's almost as if there is a common theme here. . .

Breaker deGodot:

Zerbye:
You know the real cheaters? Those damn gamers who borrow stuff from the library! . . . Why do you think no one raises a stink about free media from libraries?

You know, that's an interesting point. I've never heard anyone complain about this.

Actually, there are people who do complain about libraries. No, seriously. I remember a library going up in TX once got some richer residents pissed off (their perspective: "if you want books, you could just buy books"). Again, there are people more than selfish enough, and more than arrogant enough, to manifest this as a legitimate political perspective.

Forgot one point I wanted to make: the comments from THQ which sparked all of this were overly bitter and combative. And, the overall sentiment that the used market is persona non grata to the developers and publishers is silly. Just because you missed a gamer with the original purchase, there is still value to be extracted: subscriptions, DLC, licensed products outside of the game, and assuming you can please them enough to get them hooked on your brand (or your studio), a possible original retail purchase of the sequel and any other spin-offs. Just because someone can't necessarily afford to buy new today, doesn't mean it isn't worth turning them into a lifetime customer.

Geoffrey42:
A. The Project Ten Dollar punishes Gamestop, albeit in a roundabout, delayed fashion. By removing value from used games, publishers/developers can succeed (in the long run) in lowering gamers perceived value of used games, which will lower the price point that the market will bear for used games. Long-term, if it is widely enough accepted, and consistently enforced, they'll succeed in reducing Gamestop et al.'s margins on used games, while extracting at least a portion of that money for themselves (obviously not everyone still buying used will be interested in paying for whatever lost functionality there may be). I think the biggest loser in the Project Ten Dollar scheme is the renter (or the library loaner); they're already interested in the lowest investment way to enjoy a game, and having to pay 10 dollars to get to the full thing (which is typically a far larger investment than the rental itself) just means they're likely to be completely locked out of that content.

B. While games don't have the up-front low-cost one-time option like movies, I feel like they DO have price reductions over time. There are exceptions, like Modern Warfare, but they are exceptions. Most other games, 1-2 years later, while still incredibly relevant and enjoyable gaming experiences, tend to be 50-75% cheaper (new) than they were at release. $20 is the sweet spot, as far as I'm concerned, and I don't buy used. While it's worth arguing that the individual exceptions would be better off if they followed a faster discount model, and that the market as a whole could do with accelerating their discounting given the relatively short hype window and lack of secondary release window (like movies do with "Now available on DVD" ads), the idea that the games industry does NOT engage in this kind of practice is blatantly false. And, as many people have pointed out, the PC market for digital distribution has been engaged in an accelerated form of this practice for quite some time (and my Steam library is chock full because of it).

Wakefield:
I've raged about game prices too, Why can I still find Halo 3 for 50 bucks? The game is 3 years old. I'll repeat this for emphasis THREE years old.

Ummm... I can also find just about every game ever, still being sold for its MSRP, by shady dealers on Amazon. But the highest asking price for a product is not reflective of the market. Halo 3 is $30 or less, on average, and if you had access to the right Target, $7.48. Cheapassgamer.com ftw.

C. Just have to throw in that I find Gamestop's argument for how used game sales actually help absolutely hilarious. They say that people trade in old games to purchase new games, and therefore the used games sales boosts new games sales. This argument is so incredibly myopic (by viewing that sale of used games TO gamestop and the subsequent new game purchase independently from the cashflow represented by the sale by gamestop of the used game TO other gamers), I can't help but laugh.

spencer91:
Damn straight. I hated being guilted by developers just for being a smart shopper. I'm not pirating the damn game. I'm still putting good money down to play it. Gamestop is, meanwhile, making a killing, and you're blaming the people who would pay your price if you just made it a few dollars cheaper?

Somehow I find it hard to believe that, if the release price were the same as the current used game price, you would be perfectly happy to buy the game new. You obviously wouldn't find the exact same discount equally worthwhile in purchasing the used copy, at the newly discounted price off of the lower retail price. I.E. $60 new, $50 used "Oh, heavens, if only the new copy were $50, I would buy it instead!". Bam. $50 new, $42 used. You're telling me you wouldn't still buy used? Moving the price point down increases the market size (by making the cheapest point of entry even cheaper), but it doesn't change the value proposition of new vs. used, and it doesn't change Gamestop's business model.

This assumes that there is no absolutely reasonable price point, that there is no price where gamers will say "Oh, that's not too expensive, and the (new unit) box comes with shiny stuff!"

My question is, if publishers are upset that the used games market is making money, why don't they themselves get into the used games market. Set up a program so that a game player can send in a game back to the publisher and get a 10% coupon off on their next purchase on that publishers game, or 500 Microsoft points card or something. Then take the game and disc give a light buffing and repackage it, put a guaranteed new-used game sticker on it, and send it back to the retailers for 20 dollars off. On a standard $60 dollar game they've just sold it twice for $94 dollars, $100 if the game player is like me and loses the coupon, yes its not the $120 they could have gotten but its better than only $60, and $45 in Gamestops pocket.

oranger:

Geoffrey42:

spencer91:
Damn straight. I hated being guilted by developers just for being a smart shopper. I'm not pirating the damn game. I'm still putting good money down to play it. Gamestop is, meanwhile, making a killing, and you're blaming the people who would pay your price if you just made it a few dollars cheaper?

Somehow I find it hard to believe that, if the release price were the same as the current used game price, you would be perfectly happy to buy the game new. You obviously wouldn't find the exact same discount equally worthwhile in purchasing the used copy, at the newly discounted price off of the lower retail price. I.E. $60 new, $50 used "Oh, heavens, if only the new copy were $50, I would buy it instead!". Bam. $50 new, $42 used. You're telling me you wouldn't still buy used? Moving the price point down increases the market size (by making the cheapest point of entry even cheaper), but it doesn't change the value proposition of new vs. used, and it doesn't change Gamestop's business model.

This assumes that there is no absolutely reasonable price point, that there is no price where gamers will say "Oh, that's not too expensive, and the (new unit) box comes with shiny stuff!"

Actually, I was assuming that the possible range for reasonable launch game prices would still be in the ballpark of current prices (i.e. assuming that retail AAA releases will never be $15 2010 A.D. dollars), and that the remaining leeway between ~$5 (the used game seller's apparent tolerant point for value of game I no longer care about) and the resulting retail price was still sufficient for Gamestop to offer a discount equivalent to the value of "shiny stuff" found in the new version and still operate a profitable margin.

The point you're describing is not an "absolutely reasonable price point"; dollar value "absolute"s in an economic sense are silly. It's "price point at which the used game seller can no longer profitably provide a sufficient discount to entice the customer to forgo the shiny stuff". My assumption is that no such cross section exists within the current ballpark of pricing and margins.

Shamus Young:
Or you can just keep whining for gamers to pay extra in a bad economy when a cheaper alternative is readily available, while at the same time haranguing them with DRM and micro-transactions. I'm sure you can re-shape the long-understood consumer behavior of the average human being if you can just make them feel guilty enough.

Damn fucking skippy.

Anyone who is works for a publisher of any kind of media who does things like whine about the secondary market should be fired immediately, their homes taken away from them, and they should be forced to scrounge for food from a garbage can.

Anyone in any kind of business who thinks that guilt is a valid marketing tool should no longer be in business. It is not your customers' fault you are terrible at business, boys. Now grow up or get out.

Mark my words, if they manage to shut down the secondary market, by whatever means, then they will be cutting off their own legs and scrotums to scratch their ears. What this will do is cause fewer people to even bother purchasing game consoles in the first place because all the games will be full price and therefore too expensive. If they do this, then it is possible there will be another video game crash like in 1984. Then they will really have something to whine about as they sift through the contents of the dumpster behind a Chinese restaurant.

Is there a word for intelligent sounding troll?

Question: Why is this always hyped as the DEVELOPER getting screwed out of cash, poor guy who slaved and bled over the game ... the likes of Kotick and his cronies havent seemed to have done badly for themselves ? You would imagine used sales would of made them equally poor as the poor developer, yeah ?

Lets be honest, the developer gets a fraction of the profits the publisher and its board gets, the majority of the dough goes to the suits end of, and THEY want even 'moar' thats why its a big deal.
Quit the bleeding heart routine, the suits want more and its a lot harder to 'market' rich suits losing cash than it is to portray the developers.

This is reality, the dev team get shafted by the publishers, a large portion of the team get laid off till the next contract / develeopment and the suits pick up the lions share... because they 'invested' in the developement.
Honestly the suit inflated the costs of develpment with costly over the top marketing, with too many managers ruling thier little domains, with insisting on using star quality resources whereas in house would of done equally well...

... I mean do we really give a toss that the actor in Star Wars voiced the NPC at winterdark and bought your rotten rats testicles ?

I dont buy used games as I dont have a console and PC used games market doesnt exist really... but I am sick of all this exposure to the evils of used games stealing cash out of the poor developers wallet, nearly as bad a piracy... bull fucking shit.

StriderShinryu:

Shamanic Rhythm:
I was under the impression that like any creative media, the original artists (in this case, the developers) are only entitled to something miniscule like 5% of game sales, and most of their revenue comes from direct cash advances from the publishers. The bulk of the money from game sales goes to publishers, hence, they, not developers, are the ones complaining about being hurt by used game sales. And to them I say cry me a river.

While it may be true that publishers take more than their fair share of income on a title, the publishers do still need income to pay developers to make more games.

I could wave my magic wand and wipe out the used game market, and I guarantee that publishers would not stop short-changing game developers: nor would they cease to look for any opportunity to cut their expenditure on development. I see this whole used-game fiasco for what it is: a bunch of developers attempting to find another way to increase their profits. If they had their way, you wouldn't even be able to lend games.

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