Jimquisition: Online Passes Are Bad For Everybody

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One thing I never understand, is that if there is so many copies of used games going around, they have already been bought once, correct? Therefore the company has their cut of the money from the lone game, and what happens to it afterwards doesn't matter.

If there are thousands of used copies of certain games on the shelves, it has already been bought thousands of times. Therefore money has gone into the publisher for the product. therefore they have got money from the game.

I may have repeated myself, but I think this point needs to be mentioned more.

Seems I'm one of the few that likes Online Passes.

Well said, Jimquisition. I agree wholeheartedly.

I hate online passes. I don't want to have to create a form of identification for every game I buy... I'd have to have hundreds of ID's that I won't even remember a week past playing the game.

It's a time-wasting unnecessary addition to an already pointless anti-piracy plan. It just makes the life for the real gamer a difficult one, when you victimize your own players. But it may cause a bit on an inconvenience for the pirates. Yeah, it will take them an entire 2 hours to probably crack the online pass problem, thus rendering the whole plan useless.

Among other issues, the online pass is bad. Truly bad. What ever happened to pick up and play? Not pick, install DRM, sign up, verify account, sign in, wait for extra downloads, play, but you are constantly being monitored. Yeah, fun.

Aura Guardian:
Seems I'm one of the few that likes Online Passes.

There could be a reason for that.

This man is a joke. He thinks that swearing and being an arse constitutes an argument. A third of his case revolved around the idea that he didn't have the patience to put in a code. "I only have one life, and you're wasting it. that's basically murder"

Another relied on the assumption that people wouldn't understand the system. He referred to gamers his own viewers, mark you, as "people who can't tell their arses form their elbows"

And there was the part where he simply dissolved into swearing with every other word. He embodies the raging nerd archetype to a T.

Honestly, I am not impressed.

MajorDolphin:

Azuaron:

MajorDolphin:
11. Sell your old games to massive used game market via Craigslist, Gamestop or any other outlet.

Oh wait, that should be banned by the UN Used Game Police.

Way to miss the entire point of everything I said.

No, I got your "make more money you bum" list. Kind of pathetic.

Yep, definitely not the point what I said. Read it again.

Zachary Amaranth:

Aura Guardian:
Seems I'm one of the few that likes Online Passes.

There could be a reason for that.

because he/she/it doesnt expect expect a publisher to support their dead weight if they choose to buy a game used then use the publishers resources?

Zom-B:
4. Whether or not my assessment is correct, we've arrived at the same conclusion: the actual publishers do not see money from my pocket. They get it from the retailer, so at no point am I a publisher's customer. We agree.

But we don't agree. The actual publishers see actual money from the pockets of actual consumers who buy new games. You're trying to say that water from the Ohio River never reaches the Atlantic Ocean because that pesky Mississippi River's gotten in the way, but you're missing the point that it's the same water.

Taking the metaphor further, the Publisher is the Atlantic Ocean. New game sales come from rivers like the Mississippi and St. Lawrence (retailers), which get their water from smaller rivers and streams (consumers). The Atlantic Ocean is receiving that water. Used game sales are the Columbia: the money goes to a different place (the Pacific, in this case) and the Publisher doesn't see any of it. Maybe, maybe it'll come back around to them through various currents or whatever, but they have no way to track or measure it.

alinos:

Azuaron:
you didn't actually read what I said:

Azuaron:
If you want to use a publisher's servers and bandwidth, they have a right to bloody charge you.

The game is a product. Online play is a service. If you want the service, you have to pay the people who are providing it, not Gamestop.

Or, in the used vehicle analogy of which people are so fond: the warranty only applies to the first owner; manufacturers provide no warranty for vehicles sold used. Why? Because they only provide a warranty to people who are actually their customers.

Oh i read what you said, but here's some question's.

If you have a concert ticket and suddenly decide your not gonna use it and give it or sell it to someone else do they need to repay for the seat because it's not the original person who bought it.

That's called scalping, and it's illegal in many states (USA).

alinos:
If you go into a restaurant with friends and don't eat or drink anything because you don't feel like it do you have to pay the restaurant a seat charge because your taking a seat from them.

Many places have a minimum purchase (usually just coffee) if you want to sit in their restaurant.

alinos:
When you buy a second hand car if it's got 6 months of registration left, because you bought this car do you need to go and get new registration to access the roads even though the car already has 6 months access(This could be different in your country, but in australia, you could sell the car 5 times in 12 months and the only person who would have to buy rego is the person who had it 12 months after the rego was initially purchased)

I actually just went through this, and it was a major pain in the ass. I had to:

1. Get insurance on the car (the car was, for a period of time, insured by both myself and the previous owner).

2. Get the title signed over.

3. Re-register the car and get new plates.

4. Get the car re-inspected.

(Massachusetts, USA)

So, yes, I did have to get it re-registered. And re-inspected. And it was double insured for a while.

alinos:
Someone has already paid the cover charge to access the content. Your merely taking their place. From a company's perspective there is no cost conveyed to them by a second hand player using the online service, than there is if the original purchaser has played consistently over the next 2 years.

If these used copies meant that the original owner and the used owner were both able to play the game at once then there would be some credibility to your statement. As it stands regardless of how people have gotten a legitimate copy of the game. The rest of it should have been budgeted for by the company.

"Cover charge" is a good way of phrasing it. Tell me, when you go into a club, you pay the cover charge, right? When you leave the club, can you slip someone in under your own cover charge? No, no you cannot. The night may only be half over, so one "body" has paid for space within the club for the entire night, but that's not how cover charges work. Each person must pay the cover separately or they can't get in.

Polarity27:

Azuaron:

The game is a product. Online play is a service. If you want the service, you have to pay the people who are providing it, not Gamestop.

Or, in the used vehicle analogy of which people are so fond: the warranty only applies to the first owner; manufacturers provide no warranty for vehicles sold used. Why? Because they only provide a warranty to people who are actually their customers.

Actually this isn't true-- or rather, it isn't completely true. Some car manufacturers do provide a warranty to used vehicles sold through their certified pre-owned program. In addition, the customers know that they're getting a car that has passed an exhaustive inspection system and that are guaranteed to have fewer than a set number of miles. I'm also thinking of a similar kind of thing where you can buy refurbished, used copies of things like smartphones for a cheaper price than brand new.

But you've hit on my point right there: manufacturers will continue providing a warranty if you buy it from their program. Gamestop is not a "certified pre-owned program" for videogames.

Good one Jim, perhaps your best one yet from my perspective.

One big problem here is that the only thing the gaming industry understands today is money. The only way to get it to change policy is to cost it money. Trying to get a boycott going against any game, especially one that is popular and making a profit is very difficult. Most gamers whine about things like online passes, but can't conceive of going without the latest online shooter that everyone else will be playing. The gaming community and it's internal peer pressure makes us very similar to a group of junkies waiting for our next fix, the dealer (the game industry) can keep taking a dump on you, and yet you come crawling back for more.

A big part of this is also that the gaming industry is catering increasingly to the lowest human denominator. The ever-popular shooters are basically Farmville for a differant crowd. One of the reasons why the gaming industry gets away with what it's doing is that most of it's current audience are sheep. Even if you get all the serious gamers to support a boycott we're outnumbered by the so called "Bros" (made fun of in various webcomics, I think it's more accurate than saying "Frat boys" which is used interchangably for reasons I won't get into). This futility incidently also means that many of the smarter gamers who WOULD boycott a product aren't going to bother because while willing to deprive themselves of something they will probably enjoy for the greater good, they recognize that no greater good is going to come of it.

It's a big issue, and one with no easy answer, simply due to the huge number of peoples whose central behavior would have to be influanced. The majority of gamers having no real knowlege of podcasts like this one, and even if they did, and agreed, nobody wants to be the one guy ostracized from their peer group for not having the newest "Call Of Duty" or whatever. Getting millions of people to do anything is ridiculously hard.

Oh and Jim, if you bother to read your responses (now that we're up to 300+ of them spread accross 11 pages I doubt it) I'm sort of wondering why you expect us to praise god for you, as you are his gift to the world he loves, when your a professed athiest who doesn't believe there is a heaven for him to get into. I guess humor doesn't need consistincy, but this didn't seem to flow well this week. :)

If a guy sells his game on eBay to another gamer for a reasonable price I'm fine with that, but when gamestop gives 5 dollars to someone for a game they put on the shelf for 40 depriving a development teams royalties for a year or so of hard work, art, creativity, and the millions invested to make it all come together it bothers me on every level.

A 10 dollar price drop doesnt make a dent in the losses the used game seller is already being gouged for, so If taking a minute to punch in a 16 digit code is what it takes to see to it that the people who make the games I like flourish, so they can make more, I'm willing to suffer.

I get that Jim is supposed to be all edgy and Devils advocate like, but none of these arguments are valid IMHO.

The Hungry Samurai:

I get that Jim is supposed to be all edgy and Devils advocate like, but none of these arguments are valid IMHO.

I don't see how this was edgy at all. Considering how well used games sell, most people must agree that buying them is alright.

Pandabearparade:

The Hungry Samurai:

I get that Jim is supposed to be all edgy and Devils advocate like, but none of these arguments are valid IMHO.

I don't see how this was edgy at all. Considering how well used games sell, most people must agree that buying them is alright.

Thats a slippery slope. Just because a number of people agree on a subject doesnt make it right. Back in 1860 slavery was widely accepted, but I am guessing you wouldnt say that was allright.

(and for those who will jump to conclusions, no I am not comparing used game sales to slavery, I am just showing how "well people support it so it must be ok" can be taken to an extreme.)

Agreed Jim.

I know the industry does tend to get ripped off by retailers in terms of how much they make from the produces, but they shouldn't make things worse for the consumers. Online Passes and First day DLC can do that, because so many things can go wrong.

Codes can be wrong, which leaves the buyer having to sometimes go through heck and back to try and get the things they paid for. And in some cases, the right codes are never recieved.

The best example I have is after getting my copy of Fable 3, I had to eventually phone the store and get they right code. This is after being given two wrong codes and I didn't even have one on release. A lot of other people went through the same thing and were peeved about it, rightly so.

Used games are a blessing for the buyers in some regards. They don't get the all DLC in some cases, but at least their not spending larges amounts of cash on games they may not like. They give us something to do with the games we no longer want and allow those who can't afford new games, which is a decent amount, to play.

Yea, retailers also rip-off the people exchanging games, but I don't know a way to change that.

ghost whistler:

Vyse86:
The reason why online passes exist in the first place is this:
When a publisher releases a game, their profit for each unit sold is about 12$ out of the 60$ the game costs. When you buy the game used however they (and the developers) get 0$ for their efforts. Considering that Gamestop sells new games for nearly as much as as they cost new they make more rofit on each used game they sell than the the people who made that game.
This is where the online pass comes in. Games cost more and more to make and with the used games market taking a ton of money from the developers, the money to make another game/sequel might not be there if the first game doesn't sell really well.

When the publisher sells the game (to the retail chain), the devs get no money.
For there to be used copies, the game has to have sold new.
If i buy an online pass on XBL the publisher doesn't get paid.
The devs have already been paid for their work, regardless how many copies are sold.
Selling on property is entierly legal.
Pissing off customers and shops is not good business sense.
Given the choice peoople will ALWAYS buy new if it's cheap enough. Therefore the issue of lost sales is non existent.

*sigh*

Ok, I was in a hurry this morning, so let me rephrase this a little. The publisher pays the developer no matter what (unless the publisher isn't also the developer, which is rare these days).

How much money does a game really generate per copy:
So let's say you buy a 60$ game made by a small developer and published by EA. The regular edition costs 60$ new. Out of those 60$, 12$ go directly to the retailer for advertising, providing shelf-space etc. (That means if you buy at Gamestop they already get 12$)

So now we have 48$ left.
Out of those, depending on the games success, about 12$ go to the console manufacturers, Sony, Nintendo and MS. (Which is also why PC games are usually around 10$ cheaper).

Now we have 36$ left.
Those go to the Publisher BUT!!! you still have to take the amount of money the game cost to make out of the equation to get the amount the publisher actually earns with each copy sold. Now calculating how much of the 36$ are profit is a bit harder to determine.

A pretty standart amount for an average Console game released for 360 and PS3 is 20.000.000$ (~100 people working on a game for 2 years with an average of 100.000$ per person working on the game per year)

If the game only sells 1.000.000 units, the development costs are 20$ for each unit sold. If they sell 10.000.000 units, it's only 2$ each unit. Let's say, the average is 10$.
That leaves us at 26$

Then there is marketing (all those trailers, media, etc). Usually the Publishers spend around 15% of what they think they will earn from the title on marketing. In our case that is about 9-10$ per unit.

That leaves us with 16-17$ per unit which is what the industry calls profit.

Now mind you that example was for a game with a fairly moderate success. How many games, especially new IPs out there sell less than 1.000.000 units and actually cause losses? Now, mind you, economists (aka the people financing every none-indie game ever made) also consider the trade-off. That means: If a game barely made any money and they know making a Modern Warfare clone would have earned them a lot more and cost them a lot less to make, what do you think they'll make next? The sequel to the new IP or the Modern Warfare knockoff?

Ok, that was a long long build up, but the point essentially is that especially when it comes to new unproven IPs that don't have a fanbase yet, it is hard to get any customers at all. Normally some people will risk buying something they don't know yet at full price, but the thing is: With used games they don't have to. So let us assume, that only half the people who would have bought the game new actually buy it new and the other half waits for the slightly cheaper used version. This sort of thing can easily kill new IPs.

Apart from all that:
Gamestop sells used games for nearly as much as the new games, especially in the first few weeks after its launch and they keep A-L-L of what it costs used as profit! They earn several times more than the people who made/published the game and not only that, the people who made the game, earn LESS because of it. Almost every used copy sold is one that could have been sold new. Even if only every second used copy sold used equaled a new purchase the amount of money Gamestop makes with this is still far bigger, than the amount the actual publishers and developers make! And a copy that was traded in once can be traded in several times again, which means gamestop earns money SEVERAL TIMES, while the publisher/developer only got money on the first sale. If they buy a game for 15$ and sell it for 40-45$ THEY MAKE 25-30$. That is more than any Megahit game makes per copy! To put it with words of Moviebob:"Gamedevelopers get screwed! No actually it's worse. Gamedevelopers get fucked! They get fucked in the ass with a radioactive chainsaw! With hepatitis"!I honestly don't get how anyone can be ok with this, even if it is more conveniant.
Seriously: You're fine with this? REALLY?

As for the "regardless of how many units were sold, the devs get the same" argument:
Not quite. Most of the time, the developers get a bonus depending on how many units were sold.
The publishers also get a big say when it comes to the next game the developers produce and its contents. If a new game earns the publisher much, chances are you will see more of it. If not, chances are you will see more of what sold well in the past (aka the more of the same).
I'm also not sure where you got the idea that the money for the online pass dosen't go to the publisher. Actually that's the most likely place it'll go (minus a small percentage taken out by MS)

About pissing off customers:
Have you noticed how most games with an online pass cost 10$ less when you buy them used? If you aren't interesed in the Multiplayer mode: Congratulations. You just saved 10$. If you are, you lost 5 MINUTES AT MAX to obtain/enter the code (most likely less)! If you are seriously complaining about the 4-5 games each year that even have a pass taking up "too much of your precious time", ... I'm currently trying to find nicer words than "retarded" since surfing around on the escapist, watching Jim's vids and reading/writing replies to my overly long comments is hardly more productive (probably even less) and you're not complaining about the time that takes either, are you?
Yeah, yeah you're doing it out of your own free will. So what? We all keep wasting tons of time with facebook, TV and THE GAMES THEMSELVES! Complaining about the short amount of time the code thing takes with that in mind is just so... I still haven't found a better word >_>

If you feel like you have to get worked up about the publisher's attitude towards the customers, rather look at the PC DRMs where they really assume you are a criminal with DRM that requieres you to be online while you play and that loses all your progress since you last saved when you lose the connection for a few seconds (thanks for that again Ubisoft >_>)

Anyway:
Moviebob (also known as the Game Overthinker) once made a video on the issue.
You can watch it here: http://gameoverthinker.blogspot.com/2010/10/episode-41-revolution.html
he says a lot of the things I said in a much better way and also backs up his arguments better than I do. He and Jim also have these little discussions here on the escapist. I'm looking forward to the next one, since the subject will propably pop up again.

Bottom Line:
You may have noticed that this is a topic near and dear to my heart from the length of this comment. That is because I really believe that this is a very important matter and that it will greatly affect the future of gaming (unless the next console generation will actually be Download only systems but I think we are still 1 generation away from that)
Seriously, face it! Used games may be conveniant for the customers (us), and I can understand where you guys are comming from, but used games really started to hurt the industry ever since they became as big as they are now, and in the long run it's us this will hurt the most.

TL;DR-Version:
(Please at least watch this video if you didn't bother with my post)
http://gameoverthinker.blogspot.com/2010/10/episode-41-revolution.html

FelixG:

Thats a slippery slope. Just because a number of people agree on a subject doesnt make it right. Back in 1860 slavery was widely accepted, but I am guessing you wouldnt say that was allright.

I didn't say that the fact that most people agree with him makes him right, I said that since most people agree with him it isn't an edgy stance to take.

If it weren't for that whole 'retailers getting a cut of the profit from used games' problem, I'd probably be completely on board with doing away with online passes.

But here's the reality of it, I 'really' do not mind having to put up with that system. Why? Because I buy 'roughly' 4-6 games a year at best and one, MAYBE two of those games have multiplayer and there's a 50/50 chance that game in question will require an online pass.

As for the single player games that have 'online passes'... I'm sorry but I see no problem with this. It's optional side content that the player is not required to download. Is Black Emporium handy for Dragon Age II players? Shit yeah, BUT IT'S NOT A GAME CHANGER. YES there's a potion that lets you reset your stats but hey, if you care about it that much, you'll quit your bitching and enter the code.

I just, I can't get behind online passes being a horrible thing. I don't think they're that bad. I play almost every game that comes out that I can... Because I have Gamefly. That's how 'I' save money in the long run and avoid having to destroy my personal income.

Is that a plug? No, it's an honest to god statement. I get around paying out the ass for playing video games by using gamefly to play shit. I don't think I've missed out on anything by renting say, Catherine from Gamefly versus someone who BOUGHT the game.

FelixG:

Pandabearparade:

The Hungry Samurai:

I get that Jim is supposed to be all edgy and Devils advocate like, but none of these arguments are valid IMHO.

I don't see how this was edgy at all. Considering how well used games sell, most people must agree that buying them is alright.

Thats a slippery slope. Just because a number of people agree on a subject doesnt make it right. Back in 1860 slavery was widely accepted, but I am guessing you wouldnt say that was allright.

(and for those who will jump to conclusions, no I am not comparing used game sales to slavery, I am just showing how "well people support it so it must be ok" can be taken to an extreme.)

So both of you would never buy a used movie, book or cd as well correct?

One of the big arguments used by publishers for online pass is it costs them more money due to more people using their servers without giving them money, but the total of users do not change with second hand sales.

JasonEllis66:

FelixG:

Pandabearparade:

I don't see how this was edgy at all. Considering how well used games sell, most people must agree that buying them is alright.

Thats a slippery slope. Just because a number of people agree on a subject doesnt make it right. Back in 1860 slavery was widely accepted, but I am guessing you wouldnt say that was allright.

(and for those who will jump to conclusions, no I am not comparing used game sales to slavery, I am just showing how "well people support it so it must be ok" can be taken to an extreme.)

So both of you would never buy a used movie, book or cd as well correct?

One of the big arguments used by publishers for online pass is it costs them more money due to more people using their servers without giving them money, but the total of users do not change with second hand sales.

This is false. Their servers have to be used to store your game information. Just because you sell your copy of call of duty doesnt mean all of your user data, saved equipment and what not, is suddenly deleted. They dont know you sold the game, and there is no doubt that if someone sold the game then bought it again would bitch up a storm if all their data was deleted while they didnt have the game.

And no, when I buy something I buy it new. Im not one of those folk who take pride in shorting people who make the things I enjoy.

BrotherRool:

All the wikipedia articles I could find also mentioned 20% royalties being the standard, but I couldn't find any citations

That's still pretty poor.

With new publishing models like (but not limited to) XBLA, Steam and iOS the developers get 70%-to-100% of royalties - BEFORE profit - just from the raw revenue.

And with the minecraft-model it is possible to find the funding through the alpha-and-beta stages with limited access for much reduced price.

The necessity of big publishers like Activision made sense in the days of boxed copy and retail market, but now they are little more than a pushy bank manager. All they do is bankroll their development process and like a pushy-old-fashioned bank-manager tell the artists how to do their job, what they can spend the money on and so forth.

The best publishers are those that are more like rich indie developers, like Bethesda and Valve.

Publishers' days are numbered. At the very least, they are put in a vulnerable position by how redundant they are, they now have to offer much more and can demand much less.

Car companies, Book publishers, Movie companies, and Game publishers:

One these four use less resources than three of the others, charge on average twice as much for their product, and suffer from less "used" sales.

Now I'm going to let you guess which one is also bitching about "used sales" and forcing paying customers to prove their purchase every time they want to use the product they paid for.

Here's a hint: it starts with "Game".

Treblaine:

The best publishers are those that are more like rich indie developers, like Bethesda and Valve.

Publishers' days are numbered. At the very least, they are put in a vulnerable position by how redundant they are, they now have to offer much more and can demand much less.

The problem is that the publishers own too many IPs and game developers. They can afford to keep themselves relevant and have a stranglehold on a number of the games people are interested in See: X-com and Syndicate.

FelixG:

JasonEllis66:

FelixG:

Thats a slippery slope. Just because a number of people agree on a subject doesnt make it right. Back in 1860 slavery was widely accepted, but I am guessing you wouldnt say that was allright.

(and for those who will jump to conclusions, no I am not comparing used game sales to slavery, I am just showing how "well people support it so it must be ok" can be taken to an extreme.)

So both of you would never buy a used movie, book or cd as well correct?

One of the big arguments used by publishers for online pass is it costs them more money due to more people using their servers without giving them money, but the total of users do not change with second hand sales.

This is false. Their servers have to be used to store your game information. Just because you sell your copy of call of duty doesnt mean all of your user data, saved equipment and what not, is suddenly deleted. They dont know you sold the game, and there is no doubt that if someone sold the game then bought it again would bitch up a storm if all their data was deleted while they didnt have the game.

And no, when I buy something I buy it new. Im not one of those folk who take pride in shorting people who make the things I enjoy.

Fair enough on the data storage, I was thinking more in terms of bandwidth (as data storage is comparably pennies on the dollar).

I don't think that many people take pride in buying used, its a matter of what you can afford and the people selling them are selling their personal property, which was originally purchased from the creator. I don't understand how many people villianize people who buy used games, but will buy a used car or other item - millions of dollars went into development on those projects as well and their gross margin is tight as well. Personally I usually wait until games get to bargain prices except for a few items a year, but that is a personal preference due to possible mistreatment of the game discs and case.

JasonEllis66:

FelixG:

JasonEllis66:

So both of you would never buy a used movie, book or cd as well correct?

One of the big arguments used by publishers for online pass is it costs them more money due to more people using their servers without giving them money, but the total of users do not change with second hand sales.

This is false. Their servers have to be used to store your game information. Just because you sell your copy of call of duty doesnt mean all of your user data, saved equipment and what not, is suddenly deleted. They dont know you sold the game, and there is no doubt that if someone sold the game then bought it again would bitch up a storm if all their data was deleted while they didnt have the game.

And no, when I buy something I buy it new. Im not one of those folk who take pride in shorting people who make the things I enjoy.

Fair enough on the data storage, I was thinking more in terms of bandwidth (as data storage is comparably pennies on the dollar).

I don't think that many people take pride in buying used, its a matter of what you can afford and the people selling them are selling their personal property, which was originally purchased from the creator. I don't understand how many people villianize people who buy used games, but will buy a used car or other item - millions of dollars went into development on those projects as well and their gross margin is tight as well. Personally I usually wait until games get to bargain prices except for a few items a year, but that is a personal preference due to possible mistreatment of the game discs and case.

Storage is pennies on the dollar, but this likely also has to do with server longevity. If people bought the game and played multiplayer for say, two years then lost interest. They could likely turn the servers off after say 4 years due to the lack of players. With used games running around that could suddenly turn into 10 years without them seeing any new income.

With the online pass they can further support the people who buy the game at a used price who would enjoy the servers staying open longer. I would propose to people: Which would you prefer, buying the game and finding out all the servers are closed because it was a loosing money proposition, or paying ten dollars and helping to keep those servers you want to enjoy open? EDIT: because I know someone pages down the forum will pick out my numbers to try to call my argument BS, I will say now that my numbers are made up as I have no empirical evidence and that they are speculation.

And on the people with pride issues: I have seen a half dozen people in this very thread exclaim that they are proud that they could find a "deal" and save 5 dollars by buying a used copy from gamestop instead of buying a new copy citing "consumer economics" as they reasoning. Thus why I take pride in buying all new copies of my products as opposed to buying used items.

FelixG:

JasonEllis66:

One of the big arguments used by publishers for online pass is it costs them more money due to more people using their servers without giving them money, but the total of users do not change with second hand sales.

This is false. Their servers have to be used to store your game information.

Yeah, all 50 Kilobytes of it. What a monumental amount of data.[/sarc]

Seriously, data storage like that is cheap as chips, the stats that need to be tracked are minuscule small data sets compared to the data that most servers have to handle.

Did you ever pay for youtube? Have you ANY IDEA how many thousands of terabytes of data that service has to not just store, but also stream in real time completely unpredictably without a hitch... globally!!?!??

I know unlocking the Grenade launcher in black ops may seem like a big thing but beyond that being just a video game render, all the details to render that are stored on your DVD/blu-ray. All that the online servers have to keep track of is a '0' turns into a '1'.

This storage is the cheapest part of game development/maintenance costs. In fact companies are more likely to actively pay money to track stats about you that you DO NOT want them to keep. Like what websites you have visited, as when, what friends you have on facebook, where you live, even social security number, etc.

Treblaine:

FelixG:

JasonEllis66:

One of the big arguments used by publishers for online pass is it costs them more money due to more people using their servers without giving them money, but the total of users do not change with second hand sales.

This is false. Their servers have to be used to store your game information.

Yeah, all 50 Kilobytes of it. What a monumental amount of data.[/sarc]

Seriously, data storage like that is cheap as chips, the stats that need to be tracked are minuscule small data sets compared to the data that most servers have to handle.

Did you ever pay for youtube? Have you ANY IDEA how many thousands of terabytes of data that service has to not just store, but also stream in real time completely unpredictably without a hitch... globally!!?!??

I know unlocking the Grenade launcher in black ops may seem like a big thing but beyond that being just a video game render, all the details to render that are stored on your DVD/blu-ray. All that the online servers have to keep track of is a '0' turns into a '1'.

This storage is the cheapest part of game development/maintenance costs. In fact companies are more likely to actively pay money to track stats about you that you DO NOT want them to keep. Like what websites you have visited, as when, what friends you have on facebook, where you live, even social security number, etc.

I admitted it was cheap in the post above yours, and gave another likely reason for it. But even if its small, its there none the less.

And um...you know youtube has ads now right? That you have to watch...that they get payed for? I just want to make sure you know they get payed for those.

RedEyesBlackGamer:
I love how people are trying to paint poor people as inconsiderate, greedy consumers who want to actively screw over developers. The Republican Party would be proud.
I buy new most of the time. If I like a game enough, it goes in my collection, otherwise it gets traded in to fuel further purchases. Someone explain to me what exactly is wrong with what I'm doing?

There is nothing wrong with what you are doing and people like you help poorer gamers play more games. I never trade my games in but I do buy used sometimes, I am just lucky there are people willing to part with their games so I can buy used.

This guilt trip the industry has been throwing on gamers is bad and will eventually come back to bite them in the ass.

JasonEllis66:

Fair enough on the data storage, I was thinking more in terms of bandwidth (as data storage is comparably pennies on the dollar).

It's not "fair enough". It's not even pennies on the dollar, it's fractions of pennies. It is hard to comprehend the scale of money they get compared to the minuscule amount of stats data they have to track.

FelixG:

Storage is pennies on the dollar, but this likely also has to do with server longevity. If people bought the game and played multiplayer for say, two years then lost interest. They could likely turn the servers off after say 4 years due to the lack of players. With used games running around that could suddenly turn into 10 years without them seeing any new income.

Yeah, except on consoles (where resale is the problem) THEY DO NOT USER PROPER SERVERS!!!

You know who actually has to foot the bill of the "servers": YOU!

When you bought your Xbox 360 (or PS3) and kept it fed with power and paid for the internet, YOU host the games, or if not you, then some other schmuck who bought the game and played it online. This is called "Client-side hosting" as opposed to the gold standard of PC gaming: "servers-side hosting" which IS expensive yet Unreal Tournament servers are still running after 12 years.

The publishers are CHEAP on consoles! What do you think matchmaking is? Matching SKILL!!?!? HA!
Nope, that process is searching for the best group of players to SHARE a connection, and here is the crazy thing, you don't even need a server to do this. This is almost ALL done on the client side, client side being the stuff that the customer has in their house; their xbox, their electricity, their internet connection.

The ONLY cost is one server per country (or even per continent) checking in every now and again to update the stats and authenticate. It's nothing but a glorified bean-counter. It's a horrifically basic way of gaming online what we knew was inferior to Dedicated Servers since the days of Doom on DOS. But it is more than cheap: it is FREE!

With the online pass they can further support the people who buy the game at a used price who would enjoy the servers staying open longer. I would propose to people: Which would you prefer, buying the game and finding out all the servers are closed because it was a loosing money proposition, or paying ten dollars and helping to keep those servers you want to enjoy open? EDIT: because I know someone pages down the forum will pick out my numbers to try to call my argument BS, I will say now that my numbers are made up as I have no empirical evidence and that they are speculation.

There is no excuse, hear me NO EXCUSE! for the publishers to ever "shut down" the severs, as long as just 1000 people are still playing the game then they can find each other on the internet and decide who has the best connection to play host.

Publishers can't "pull the plug", this network isn't on life support. They have to actively KILL the network by denying authentication to ALLOW games to match together. They have to load the gun, put it to the animal's head and pull the trigger. BUT, all the publisher would have to do to make the network perpetual is contact someone in the community and say "we're done, can just one out of 50'000 of you run a single server for the good of thousands?"

By the way, this server that does NOTHING but keep track of stats: it's no harder to run that a fan website. This is what we are quibbling over, a few dollars per year for thousands or even millions of people to play online together.

Halo 2 was shut down not because the servers were too expensive - there were no servers - but because of network incompatibility with the direction Xbox Live was heading. Particularly on the number of friends in the friendslist. This is no excuse, they could have patched the game but they refused to.

By the way, the multiplayer of halo 2 on PC is still going strong. It uses fan-run Dedicated-servers.

I really need to reiterate quite how cheap the console client-hosted model is. Quibbling over that amount of money is even more petty than quibbling over the number of pages in the manual! oooooh, laminated paper is so expensive... those poor publishers[/sarc]

kiri2tsubasa:
How is it that someone like me who makes $6.00 per hour can still buy new games (in almost all cases they are day 1 releases) and collectors editions of various games (most recent collectors editions were Disgaea 4 and Space Marine). Do you want to know the last time I bought a used game. I have no clue, maybe last generation or the one before.

$6 an hour, 40 hours a week, $240 GROSS. Say 10% income tax (and that's generous) and you are left with $216. $216 * 4 = $864 per month. That's only $164 more than my rent for a two bedroom apartment. Don't you have a car payment, insurance, gas, groceries, electricity, etc..?

Not buying it unless you have no rent/house payment, no car and are on food stamps.

Flame shield up... Why should publishers pay to host servers so someone that hasn't paid them for their game can get to play it online for free?

Essentially it's like downloading from your neighbors internet connection and saying "What? You weren't using it"

I think Online Passes are good for the industry as it encourages people to purchase games new.

Buying pre-owned / second hand games only puts money in the retailers hands. This of course helps to keep said store open but the publishers and devs see none of this money and end up providing a service to someone that has contributed nothing to them.

I Don't get this show, I've tried watching a few but the dude gets on my nerves.

I must be missing something and won't bother in future.

EDIT: IF / WHEN.... Publishers start charging for online passes for new games.... then my opinion will change (I don't play MMOs)

Treblaine:

Halo 2 was shut down not because the servers were too expensive - there were no servers - but because of network incompatibility with the direction Xbox Live was heading. Particularly on the number of friends in the friendslist. This is no excuse, they could have patched the game but they refused to.

By the way, the multiplayer of halo 2 on PC is still going strong. It uses fan-run Dedicated-servers.

I really need to reiterate quite how cheap the console client-hosted model is. Quibbling over that amount of money is even more petty than quibbling over the number of pages in the manual! oooooh, laminated paper is so expensive... those poor publishers[/sarc]

Hm ok, I dont actually have actual stats on how much it costs to run these servers, I dont work for any of the publishers or microsoft.

But then again, if they are so cheep to run, why doesnt gamestop pick up the servers when the devs or what have you grow tired/incapable of hosting them? They dont they support their loyal used game customer base?

And another question... Why should the publishers/devs support those who are not their customers? People are quite fond of using other industries as an example, so lets say used cars. If you buy a used car and it didnt come with something that was supposed to come with the car, would you expect the people who made the car originally to provide that bit, or the people who sold you the car? You could probobly pay the original makers for the bit though, like online pass.

EDIT:

Rancid0ffspring:
Flame shield up... Why should publishers pay to host servers so someone that hasn't paid them for their game can get to play it online for free?

Holy shit, its impressive that I got ninjad so late in the thread!

So according to publishers who use online passes, the market value for online multiplayer is $10 per player, not $10 per copy of the game?

I guess that means that if I never use the multiplayer, I should be paying $10 less or that I should get a $10 rebate after purchase right? Right?

Wicky_42:

PunkRex:
Here in Enland we userly pay 45-60 for a brand spanking new game... which is about $60-$70 dollars... bad timez... I havnt bout a new AAA game in about a year, I mainly only play XBox live arcade now... to be honest, its been really fun... except for Clash of Heros, YOU JUST GOT 5 LINKS IN A ROW RANDOMLY?! BOLLOX!!!

Good God man, where do you shop?! Quick tip: go to Amazon.co.uk and buy new titles for 25-35. Heck, even Steam is cheaper than your rates, and if you pre-order a title you're very excited about you can save yourself 10% or more, without waiting for months in the hope of a sale or price reduction. Smart shopping, what-ho!

... can't tell if Amazon employee...

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