Critical Miss: #32

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#32

How are used cars like used games?

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You know I try to understand these comics, truly I try. I get the obscure references, I am up to date on video game news. And yet still I am bested. Where have I gone so wrong?

they realy should lay off the second hand market.
i think that the business model proposed a while back on here would work.

One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Irridium:
One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Maybe it's because of people freaking out over piracy. With the average consumer thinking piracy is ruining the industry (whatever industry that is) if a game developer reveals that they don't make any money from used games, it might make the consumer feel like a pirate?
I dunno really, that's just a guess.

For every game you buy used, an orphan goes without a toy. Can you live with that?
Why is Penny wearing a gas mask?

Bahahaha. I like, I like.

But yeah, bad analogy is bad.

Colonel Alzheimer's:

Irridium:
One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Maybe it's because of people freaking out over piracy. With the average consumer thinking piracy is ruining the industry (whatever industry that is) if a game developer reveals that they don't make any money from used games, it might make the consumer feel like a pirate?
I dunno really, that's just a guess.

So essentially they're making consumers feel like criminals for using their money smartly in a crappy economy?

Fuck publishers.

Blue-State:
For every game you buy used, an orphan goes without a toy. Can you live with that?
Why is Penny wearing a gas mask?

I suspect that she (or is it he?) might be crazy.

Mr Companion:
You know I try to understand these comics, truly I try. I get the obscure references, I am up to date on video game news. And yet still I am bested. Where have I gone so wrong?

She is just drawing a comparison from the used VG industry to the used car industry. The Car industry made brakes an option similiar to how EA made the UFC games multiplayer. Made me smirk. Nice job!

One request: Could we perhaps cut back on the liberal use of the black box of death by eye strain?

Otherwise, another good comic.

I think the only issue with this as an analogy is that used cars can still be bought from a licensed dealer and then the car company will get some money for it. if <insert your local game store of choice. had to pay something to the games industry when they sold a used game as well as new games then it would work then the only way to buy without a dev/publisher seein the money would be through e-bay, cex or amazon partner sales.

Also with the current state of motor companies these days they may have some argument that the used market DOES affect the comanies who create the product

Irridium:

Colonel Alzheimer's:

Irridium:
One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Maybe it's because of people freaking out over piracy. With the average consumer thinking piracy is ruining the industry (whatever industry that is) if a game developer reveals that they don't make any money from used games, it might make the consumer feel like a pirate?
I dunno really, that's just a guess.

So essentially they're making consumers feel like criminals for using their money smartly in a crappy economy?

Fuck publishers.

Yeah, it's pretty fucked up... I trade in game and buy used all the time. I'm just making good use of my money and if I'm not playing a game anymore, why the hell shold I let it sit around my basement all my life?

What I didn't get is the retarded facts about Penny and Nathan Fillion's toe nails. I mean, I'm a fan of Nathan Fillion, but reading this comic going on about his reproductive organs and pictures of him having sex with everything makes me shudder when I see him now.

Neat a gaming webcomic about used game sales, how topical.

Deofuta:

Mr Companion:
You know I try to understand these comics, truly I try. I get the obscure references, I am up to date on video game news. And yet still I am bested. Where have I gone so wrong?

She is just drawing a comparison from the used VG industry to the used car industry. The Car industry made brakes an option similiar to how EA made the UFC games multiplayer. Made me smirk. Nice job!

Actually they were poking a hole in that logic and mocking forums for refusing to listen to the flaws in it.

Look at multiplayer (not manditory for a game no matter how much you believe it is) as akin to the manufacturers waranty for a car. You buy the car used you don't get the waranty you have to pay for service to the car.

Customer: Fix my car.
Ford: What's your plate (Gets info) okay, that's going to be $500 to fix it.
Customer: But I just bought it, don't you cover it for a year?
Ford: If you bought it from us, yes. But you didn't so $500.

Bravo. And I agree with the "fuck the publishers" sentiment.

Moriarty70:
Look at multiplayer (not manditory for a game no matter how much you believe it is) as akin to the manufacturers waranty for a car. You buy the car used you don't get the waranty you have to pay for service to the car.

Customer: Fix my car.
Ford: What's your plate (Gets info) okay, that's going to be $500 to fix it.
Customer: But I just bought it, don't you cover it for a year?
Ford: If you bought it from us, yes. But you didn't so $500.

Multiplayer not mandatory?. It depends on the game. And public dedis and LAN should be mandatory too, but that's another drama.

Your conversation should go like this:

Customer: Hey, the brakes don't work. I just bought the car and they did work perfectly.
Ford: Yeah. Whenever we detect a change in ownership, the brakes stop working. That will be $500, thank you.

What's the solution?. Fuck Ford. Don't buy again from them.

The easy solution to the used game market, in my opinion, is DLCs. Keep making them and selling them. They don't transfer with the physical copy of the game, so the new owner has to purchase them for herself. The company thus makes more money. But DON'T gimp what is ON THE BOX! If it comes with the game, it comes with the game. After purchase add-ons are a different beast altogether.

I am poor. I'm not going to mince words about it. Stopping me from getting working used games won't send me to buy a bunch of new games. It will make me get more out of the games I already have and become more picky about the new games I *do* buy. How is the re-playability? Does it allow for player modding? Is it a game that I am going to blast through in a week? Or will it take me a good deal longer? Heck, really, this practice will mostly drive me towards MMOs more than anything. Cost per hour of play, MMOs are among the cheapest games out there. So, ya, you want to kill off things like single-player games? This is a *great* strategy. Otherwise...not-so-much.

paketep:

Multiplayer not mandatory?. It depends on the game. And public dedis and LAN should be mandatory too, but that's another drama.

Your conversation should go like this:

Customer: Hey, the brakes don't work. I just bought the car and they did work perfectly.
Ford: Yeah. Whenever we detect a change in ownership, the brakes stop working. That will be $500, thank you.

What's the solution?. Fuck Ford. Don't buy again from them.

Fair enough and that would be a choice to make, but I find the flaw in the brake argument as the difference between a core feature and access to service. The brake thing would work if a used game disabled the attack or jump function (both critical). Instead they make you pay for access to the online system, something that requires constant upkeep, much like a service contract for the car that includes oil changes as well as fixing broken problems.

haha usually I'm not too big on critical miss but this one gave me a good chuckle. Well done!

And yet, I somehow still support the right of a company to make money off the sale of a property who's only value does not naturally deteriorate. When I buy a used car, the price is reduced because I am getting a worse product than a new car. When I buy a used game, unless the previous owner did something terrible, I have access to the same exact content.

That said, I also support the right of people to buy and sell used games. And, if people think that saving five bucks (which is 8 1/3% discount from the new version) is worth cutting those people who assumed all the risk and slaved over the content out of the loop that's all well and good. Just don't expect me to feel betrayed on your behalf when those people you refused to send your money to treat you poorly. What reason do they have to treat you otherwise?

I only have one complaint - the text in the black boxes is too small to read comfortably. Please enbiggen!

Beyond that, I lol'd, as usual. :)

Irridium:
One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Well, if anything, I'd probably say it's because they're greedy.

Curious as to the specific intent of this strip as it appears to support whichever side of the argument the reader happens to favor. Was this done on purpose? Or are the authors picking a side? Or lucky coincidence? Reflection of the human psyche?

Score for Critical Miss.

Publishers = 0

Moriarty70:
Fair enough and that would be a choice to make, but I find the flaw in the brake argument as the difference between a core feature and access to service. The brake thing would work if a used game disabled the attack or jump function (both critical). Instead they make you pay for access to the online system, something that requires constant upkeep, much like a service contract for the car that includes oil changes as well as fixing broken problems.

Ok lets switch it up a bit, the roof isn't necessarily mandatory in a car so:

Owner: HELP! I BOUGHT THIS CONVERTIBLE AND THE ROOF WONT COME UP! THERES HEAVY RAIN MY CAR IS FLOODING AND I HAVE ELECTRONICS AND A BABY IN THE BACKSEAT!!!!
Company: Is the car new or used?
Owner: USED! YOU HAVE TO HELP MY BABY IS ABOUT TO DROWN!!!!
Company: Oh I'm sorry if you want a roof you're going to have to pay another $150 have a nice day
Owner: Wait-
Company: *hangs up*

Then the guy dies from electrocution, the end.

superbatranger:

Irridium:
One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Well, if anything, I'd probably say it's because they're greedy.

I would say it's probably because the used game market has only exploded with the release and saturation of the current console generation, it has nothing to do with greed. And while as a consumer used game sales are "cool", when you look at it as two businesses that rely on each other, it's more like highway robbery.

Name one other industry where used items do not lose any actual value and can be resold for a few dollars less (can happen multiple times) then a new copy days/weeks after release where all "buyers" experience the exact same product with no differences due to being "used". The kick here is that while movies and music would in theory operate under the same precedent, they don't. Why? There is no incentive to "sell back", they are generally cheaper, and they are often gated releases. (Movies come out in theater, then on dvd, then on cable etc...)

There is definitely a monetary issue, all that money changing hands for a game is not making it back to the developers to make more games, yet the game itself can "sell" well. Consumers then expect more games of similar quality. How do they recoup such "losses"?

I disagree with Ashley, I thought that was a very good analogy.

The point at which the analogy breaks down is when we realise that used car dealerships actually do give a proportion of their profits to the manufacturers.

But yeah, fuck publishers. Used games FTW.

Here's the main issue:

A new game comes out at $60 - Due to publisher and other agreements, the devs get maybe $5-10 of that. Which is a whole other issue, but doesn't help the rest of this.

A person buys that game, plays it in a few days, and then sells it to Usedstop for $20-$30.

This game is still new, so the store labels the now "used" game at $55. Barely undercutting the still newly released game.

A person comes into the store a week after the game has released and sees it available for $5 under everything else. Why wouldn't they buy it at the cheaper price, that's money they can spend on lunch!

Now, a few things happen:

- The developer has lost a legitimate sale from a person intending to buy the game new. This is the main concern in this whole debate. Nobody is arguing about old used games in the bulk bin for $15 each. Those are practically vaporware, and the traditional concept of "used" games. Cheap and plentiful.

- The customer gets what they think is a "new" game. It was practically full price, and had a nice little discount that offset sales tax a bit. They're going to possibly play online on dev funded/hosted (and by dev funded, I mean funded by game sales) servers. They may need to download patches. They may also be calling support numbers to ask for help from the dev funded support staff when something breaks. They are going to be wondering where the sequel is to the game in a year or so when the company doesn't make enough from sales to warrant making a sequel.

- The used game store makes a huge profit on the game sale, usually well over %100 of their ~$20 investment. It's a brilliant profit model. Nobody can blame a business for making money. That's why you are a business. It's certainly a better business then the suckers making $10 a pop on new games.

Now, the devs know this and have known this for a while. They gripe about it when people ask, because it's directly effecting their livelihood. It's REALLY HARD to get funding to make a high quality game. They live from project to project, and much too often the majority of developer teams get layed off after a project is done. Used games are completely legal though, and most rational people (including the devs) understand this. They don't have to like it, but they understand it.

People are working on other methods of dealing with this outside of outright condemning used sales. MMOs and other subscription based online games are becoming hugely popular in the eyes of investors because they get around many of these issues with used games. Things like project 10 dollar are the more obvious response. Consumer awareness would be another. DRM delivery systems like Steam seem to be the most well received. Like musicians, developers live off their fans, and they need to have people out there who want to support their dev of choice in order to get more of the good stuff.

Comparing this to other used markets is tough, most other forms of used products either have physical wear, or don't suffer from such a high percentage of immediate turnover within the first week or month of the product. Movies control the market for several months to get people to see them in theaters. Bands tour and make most of their money on concert tickets and merchandise sales like shirts/etc. Even the music CDs themselves don't suffer from the huge difference in price margins that games do. They don't have dozens-hundreds of people involved in the creative process, and they rely on high volume/low price.

Also, while this certainly effects every game developer to some extent, it hurts the smaller indie studios the most (combined with piracy). The larger studios like EA or Activision will defend their bottom line like any good company, and they are the ones who the clout to actually make changes. But the mid sized studios are the ones who can't afford the extra costs "bonus" customers bring in, and are the ones silently dying as they are double teamed by Usedstop and software pirates.

We could all play flash games that don't end up on Usedstop store shelves I guess. Pirates vs. Zombies is pretty damn fun.

Continued: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/jump/6.229882.7997189

Haha these comics always bring a smile to my face.

Mr Companion:
You know I try to understand these comics, truly I try. I get the obscure references, I am up to date on video game news. And yet still I am bested. Where have I gone so wrong?

Because you're too busy looking at appalling pornography, just like the rest of the internet =D.

Blue-State:
For every game you buy used, an orphan goes without a toy. Can you live with that?
Why is Penny wearing a gas mask?

Because she's too polite to tell Erin that she farted, and it smells dreadful.

ReaperzXIII:

Moriarty70:
Fair enough and that would be a choice to make, but I find the flaw in the brake argument as the difference between a core feature and access to service. The brake thing would work if a used game disabled the attack or jump function (both critical). Instead they make you pay for access to the online system, something that requires constant upkeep, much like a service contract for the car that includes oil changes as well as fixing broken problems.

Ok lets switch it up a bit, the roof isn't necessarily mandatory in a car so:

Owner: HELP! I BOUGHT THIS CONVERTIBLE AND THE ROOF WONT COME UP! THERES HEAVY RAIN MY CAR IS FLOODING AND I HAVE ELECTRONICS AND A BABY IN THE BACKSEAT!!!!
Company: Is the car new or used?
Owner: USED! YOU HAVE TO HELP MY BABY IS ABOUT TO DROWN!!!!
Company: Oh I'm sorry if you want a roof you're going to have to pay another $150 have a nice day
Owner: Wait-
Company: *hangs up*

Then the guy dies from electrocution, the end.

Thank you for leading me into a great long weekend. That has to be the most over the top, flawed asinine example I've ever seen.

Thank you again.

Duffy13:

superbatranger:

Irridium:
One thing that confuses me is why are they complaining about the second-hand market all of a sudden? They didn't do this shit a year ago, why now?

Well, if anything, I'd probably say it's because they're greedy.

I would say it's probably because the used game market has only exploded with the release and saturation of the current console generation, it has nothing to do with greed. And while as a consumer used game sales are "cool", when you look at it as two businesses that rely on each other, it's more like highway robbery.

Name one other industry where used items do not lose any actual value and can be resold for a few dollars less (can happen multiple times) then a new copy days/weeks after release where all "buyers" experience the exact same product with no differences due to being "used". The kick here is that while movies and music would in theory operate under the same precedent, they don't. Why? There is no incentive to "sell back", they are generally cheaper, and they are often gated releases. (Movies come out in theater, then on dvd, then on cable etc...)

There is definitely a monetary issue, all that money changing hands for a game is not making it back to the developers to make more games, yet the game itself can "sell" well. Consumers then expect more games of similar quality. How do they recoup such "losses"?

I see your point. It is wrong that developers don't see that money. But, what the publishers have to understand is that people want to save money, and get their product at the same time. Take for example, one's first car. For most people, their first car either belonged to their parents or was bought at a used car lot. They saved money, and got their car at the same time. In a way, that could apply to games. They want the game, but they want to save money. So, they buy it used. No matter how you look at it, spending 50-110 dollars(depending where you live)isn't saving money.

I honestly believe the used game market is great. It lets people get what they want without necessarily breaking their wallet. But, instead of trying to attack the consumer and used game market for "stealing", why don't the publishers and developers discuss with the used game market a way to distribute profits? For example, the used game market(places like GameStop)could give a percentage of their yearly profits to the publishers and developers. That way, they get their money and the used game market can stay.

Moriarty70:

ReaperzXIII:

Moriarty70:
Fair enough and that would be a choice to make, but I find the flaw in the brake argument as the difference between a core feature and access to service. The brake thing would work if a used game disabled the attack or jump function (both critical). Instead they make you pay for access to the online system, something that requires constant upkeep, much like a service contract for the car that includes oil changes as well as fixing broken problems.

Ok lets switch it up a bit, the roof isn't necessarily mandatory in a car so:

Owner: HELP! I BOUGHT THIS CONVERTIBLE AND THE ROOF WONT COME UP! THERES HEAVY RAIN MY CAR IS FLOODING AND I HAVE ELECTRONICS AND A BABY IN THE BACKSEAT!!!!
Company: Is the car new or used?
Owner: USED! YOU HAVE TO HELP MY BABY IS ABOUT TO DROWN!!!!
Company: Oh I'm sorry if you want a roof you're going to have to pay another $150 have a nice day
Owner: Wait-
Company: *hangs up*

Then the guy dies from electrocution, the end.

Thank you for leading me into a great long weekend. That has to be the most over the top, flawed asinine example I've ever seen.

Thank you again.

No problem I live to please, it wasn't supposed to be serious I thought you would be able to tell that from the retarded extremes I pushed the example to, chances of something like that ever happening is absurdly low.

Here's my issue. If a game is indeed USED, doesn't that imply that someone has USED it? As in, gone to a store, given the money necessary to purchase the game, then later given that game to someone else? So the game we are talking about has already been purchased, the publisher has already made money on that copy of the game. So now....what, they want to be paid twice? Don't really get it.

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