Jimquisition: Fighting The 'Problem' Of Used Games

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are you stupid?
or did you just awake from a 2 year coma?

what you just explained is only hair splitting
just look at how consumers view dlc
they don't see it as something "extra"
they see it as something that was taken out of the game and feel ripped off just because they paid 5 dollars less for their game
same thing with your proposed "rewards"
used buyers will complain that the game is not complete and the evil publishers have locked away content from them just because they didn't pay more for the game

also it is very subjective what is only a tiny fraction or a big part of a game that's been taken away
i couldn't care less if i wouldn't have an online mode but i would be pissed off if they were taking something out of my single player experience

taking away online modes is the only reasonable way to implement such passes
because players actively cost the publisher money when they play on their servers
it's only fair that they pay for it

M920CAIN:
This episode was stupid... seems to me like Jim was forced to make this episode cause it contradicts what he said in the others... I call bullshit.

When you accuse someone of making a contradiction, you should actually take the time to point out the contradiction.

Or were you going to say something about how he's for preorder bonuses and extra content for new game buyers but against entire gameplay modes like multiplayer and things like that.

Or, is this one of those 'I didn't watch the video so I'll pretend that it has contradictions in it' snark that has absolutely no place in reasonable discussion?

vivster:
taking away online modes is the only reasonable way to implement such passes
because players actively cost the publisher money when they play on their servers
it's only fair that they pay for it

The publisher already has that server space paid for with the original purchase. They don't get to resell that server space to others, when that server space is bought and paid for and is therefore someone else's property.

Let's say, as an example, you as part of the contract of sale of a car include with it a lifetime supply of oil just for having that car. Now, that's part of the contract. If I own that car forever, you don't get to recharge me that because you've negotiated it into the contract. And, the amount of oil that car will use won't change. It's going to be the same amount no matter what.

Now, if I sell, give, or lend my car to someone else, you're not going to take extra oil expense. You'be already pledged that lifetime of oil. What I can do (and this is ABSOLUTELY legal) is sold my part of the contract to someone else. You are still contractually obligated to fulfill your part, but it's to someone else, not to me. My part of that contract has a value, it is legal consideration, and as such, may be traded LEGALLY in a contract.

In other words, by selling a game used, the contract with me to provide that server space is also salable. The publisher should be held to their agreements.

Another example: Let's say you owe a bank some money, and are paying it in installments. You know, a typical loan. The bank has the right to take that debt and sell it. You don't get to say 'Now, if you want me to pay you this debt I owe, you must give me money.' If you believe it works differently, burn all your money, because your entire monetary system is based on the concept of sold obligation.

In other words, the publisher's obligation to provide service to you should be fully transferable provided you recind your ability to utilize their service.

Man, I can't believe how many people thatare just being stubborn on this subject.
There IS a difference between being forced to enter a code to get online acces and getting a few bonus items as a gift for buying it new.
The main reason is; locking people out of a part of the game is douchy, giving people something extra isn't. To demand that you get EVERYTHING just because you bought the game isn't reasonable. To demand that you get the full game is. If you are willing to pay for an expansion,what difference does it make if it was ready on day 1? It's still something beyond what you paid for, and you have no right to it. If it isused as an incentive to make people buy the game new, awesome!
And yes, sometimes it's already on the disc, so you might get uppset that you can't access it, but concider this: "Come on! Don't be a baby!"
It's not there to fuck with you, it's just a simple way to distribute it. The only difference is that if it was a DLC you'd have to download it first. No other difference. Claiming it's yours by right could ultimately only lead to companies being forced to have it as DLC instead. You gain nothing, companies gain nothing, ultimately it'll just be a hastle for everyone.
In the end, don't be a dick, try and meet halfway. As long as you don't have to unlock an actuall integral part of the game, don't complain. Companies will try everything and if we dismiss their only decent attemt, will ahve to put up with wathever they'll try and do next. HINT: It'll suck

I applaud you for using Rage as an example Jim. I didn't even know that they had that in the game to be honest.

EverythingIncredible:
I completely disagree.

Everyone should get that extra content. And it is really just being held back from the used sales.

Want a way to fight used sales? Simple: replay value. That's all it takes. Get them not to sell their games in the first place, there will be a shorter supply of used games and the customer will think more about getting a new copy rather than a used one.

Or, offer to buy back your own used games for more then the $2 game-stop is offering for it

I think you might have converted me there. It's still my personal philosophy that if you aren't paying for a pruduct a publisher developed and you're still enjoying it (that part is important people), your a dick. But your solution sounds a hell of a lot better than fucking online passes.

Space Marine's online pass was an alright idea I thought. You could play until level 5 either entered the code to continue leveling if you bought the game new or buy it IF you thought it was worth your money. That said the multiplayer did seem a bit tacked on at the last minute I mean it was fun and all but the weapon imbalances were ridiculous.

That emotional appeal the beginning is a load of horseshit and you know it Jim.

The executives will never ever accept going down in pay, they receive the same amount of money even if every single one of their games tank, and they will continue doing so for all eternity or until their company goes out of business.

The people who actually lose out when the games do badly and lose money due to lost sales are the lower down employees, the people who actually MAKE the god damned games, they're the ones that get laid off, and guess what Jim? They aren't the ones that decide if their games should have online passes or any of the other things you bitch about, and don't give me the "well then they could just make good games" bit, you know as well as I do that plenty of good and even great games have lost money.

And yes I still find the argument that you don't like to spend one minute to put in a code to play a multiplayer game to be fucking ridiculous, it's like an argument a five year old ADD sufferer would make.

Not that I don't agree that companies should give extra content to people who buy new, I've always made that argument, but your view seems to be that the content they reward the buyers with should be, for lack of a better word, shit.
If the content is so minor as to make no difference at all, then the publisher either has to lie about it to make it seem good, essentially cheating the customer, or tell the truth, in which case hardly anyone with a 7th grade education will pick it over the $10 they save by buying used.
I think that they should be able to give content that is actually good to the people who actually pay them, but alas you seem to put consumer convenience above all else, so I guess you would agree with me on that.

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't have an problem with used games, I have a problem with retailers like gamestop. Their whole business model isn't about selling new games, its about getting people into their store and onto the used game treadmill.

Yeah! How dare they emphasize a form of business that is completely legal and ethical! The games industry is entitled to special treatment!

Sadly unless it is stopped ubisoft DRM and D3 will be the model for every game with a higher budget. You don't pay for the game, you pay for an account on a server somewhere.

The nice thing is between steam, android, and other internet sources there are plenty of independent games that I can use to suck up my gaming time.

Of course, Steam IS just what you described. You're not really buying or owning the games, you're paying for an account on a server somewhere. It's provisional, DRM-locked content just like ubisoft and everyone else people like to complain about, but somehow gets a pass in people's books because Steam gives them a tingly feeling.

If Ubisoft had the same PR as Valve, they could steal your kidneys in the middle of the night and still not get complaints.

Or as I call it, the Ron Paul effect.

On the topic, and less silly, I like pre-order bonuses. They won't sell me on a game, but they will switch me to a day one customer if I'm on the fence. And obviously, I'm buying new, so there's that. I like swag, too, but the days of good collector's edition items being plentiful seems to be long gone. Which is a shame. I mean, I still see some coolness, but mostly not.

The sad thing is, Jim is mentioning things that have been part of the publisher/developer toolkit for a long time, but seem to be falling into disuse as the standard motivator. It is, frankly, easier to lock out content than add new content. And yes, the "several bonuses, pick one only" thing kind of annoys me, unless you can get them later somehow. I hate retailer exclusive bonuses, because they make my buying experience worse instead of better.

So only bad games get sold as used Jim?

You want to put money on that?

One quick question.
Are online passes exclusive to consoles or also for the PC?
If so easy fix every one stops playing consoles and goes to PC.

I thank God for Jim Sterling on a regular basis. Of course, I thank myself for many things.

On a more serious note, I agree. And on the off chance that Mr. Sterling actually reads this; Thank you. I agree with the vast majority of what you say in your shows. Sure, I don't agree with all of it, but no one said that my creations were perfect. Although you were pretty close.

As many people are pointing out, it doesn't matter what you lock out of the game, some people are going to feel they aren't getting the full game if anything is locked away unless they pay full price for a new game or pay extra on a used one. The solution offered is no solution.

As far as, "Stop charging so much." You have no one to blame for that than your fellow gamers. They will rush out to be the first to own the latest iteration of any franchise that they make no effort to find out if it's any good, and will gladly pay too much to get it in they systems before the next guy.

If gamers want to see the problems with the game industry, they need look little farther than the nearest mirror.

Part of the problem with minor unlockable content jim is how disposable games have become to people. This is something that is largely generated by game companies that feel they have little reason to offer hundreds of hours of gameplay plus replayvalue in one game for your 60 when they can try and queeze multiple $60, 10 hour distractions, but then the turnaround became problematic hence the market gets all the blame. People that just want to beat it and sell it won't be detered from doing so be anything non major, and may even sell unused codes for the items with the game (it's happened to me). Common senese ideas like making the game worth the $60 new hit the wall of a business trying to sell in volume not quality. I know it sounds dumb, but games aren't movies: people won't buy the game a second time for being that good, while they'll see something in the theatre multiple times if they feel it's good enough.

Encouraging keeping one's games through various methods has been my prefered idea. How many people will play through the whole Mass Effect Trilogy to see various paths taken based on various choices in the past games? Another decent example would be the pacing of Dragon Age's DLC. It wasn't a quick batch of characters and Maps in the first 3 months then off to make the sequal. It was paced for a longer haul, and frankly, isn't that the best use of DLC: not to sell us things what were once unlockables, but to keep the game going months or even years after purchase, avoiding the need for cheap, more of the same sequals.

Then there's always some hope of trying to promote game collecting. Maybe just a poster of Suikoden 2 with the caption "if you sold this to gamestop for $5 credit you made a big mistake".

You make it sound like all games are made by these rich executives. How much does an indie developer lose when a game is mostly bought used? Also note: these are the games more frequently bought used, as big titles have many people buying on launch day. Other than this point, I agree with you, but I'd like to see what you have to say about this.

ok, all the valid arguments about rewarding players and fan loyalty via freebies and neat little things that wont spoil shit for used buyer; I've basicly forgotten all of it because of that really cool glass you have, and how jealous i am of it... still a cool video though

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't have an problem with used games, I have a problem with retailers like gamestop. Their whole business model isn't about selling new games, its about getting people into their store and onto the used game treadmill.

Unlike other retailers gamestop and similar "pawn shop" retailers leech off the marketing and promotion of publishers to attract customers, then when the customer is in the store try their damndest to get customers to buy used which parasitically sucks up the publisher's portion of revenue. Publishers are too chicken to just say "no" which leads to the endless whining cycle.

Bingo. This here's the truth.

The game industry isn't like any other industries, in terms of it's revenue models. Hence why all the "Durr, but used cars!!1!" or "But Movies!!!" arguments in the world don't work. The problem is the business model that has used game retailers using parasitic pricing models to syphon money away from new copy sales all under the illusion of offering savings. The solution is going to be found in some sort of new business and revenue model that works for everyone.

As for the topic at hand, it's all just differences in language. There really is little fundamental difference beyond locking something that's on the disc or offering something "extra" as a post release downloadable unless you really are talking about content that comes months down the line. It's just splitting hairs on terminology in a vein attempt to prove your point. The language may be different, but the concept is the same.

Here's the thing: every used gamer (or every annoying one) will complain about not getting an extra bonus as being "punished." There will be no difference between giving free stuff to people who buy the game new and taking things out when you buy the game used in the eyes of most people.

And I've always looked at pre-order bonuses as me getting stiffed some of the material in the game.

As a final point (and someone correct me on this if I'm wrong because I'm not sure), but don't used sales "take" money from developers, too? Developers that are constantly closing up shop and firing hundreds of employees nowadays? I give my money to them. I don't give half a damn about EA or Activision. But I want to support the people that work hard to make me happy. Does part of the online pass money go to them?

Clearly Jim and I just don't agree on this issue. And thats okay.

Excellent work, Jim. And yes: gold-plated foreskin and a thousand dogs was indeed appreciated. A little well-placed humor can go a long way.

Ironic that I watched this with my Saints Row the Third preorder stub on my desk. I preordered the game since the second was great and the preorder trailer looked sick.

Great game+Good bonus= My god! First day buy! HE'S RIGHT!!!

I'm sorry, but WTF is the difference between rewarding new purchases and punishing used buyers? Either way the used buyers get screwed and the new purchases need to input a damn code. I don't care about some stupid tacked on multiplayer, but I do like more single player content. This is just a psychological twist most people will hopefully be smart enough not to fall for. How is this a solution??

EverythingIncredible:
I completely disagree.

Everyone should get that extra content. And it is really just being held back from the used sales.

Want a way to fight used sales? Simple: replay value. That's all it takes. Get them not to sell their games in the first place, there will be a shorter supply of used games and the customer will think more about getting a new copy rather than a used one.

Thank you.
I agreed with most of what Jim said in this series but I have to disagree with his perspective on the Rage codes. I don't like to see this scheme played out with actual game content.

I'm not against "rewarding" people who buy new or pre-order but it should not be done with game modes or content.

I think Fallout New Vegas did it properly even if different retailers did offer different stuff: you would get a set of armor, a weapon, and some items like stimpacks. That's a bonus. Game content should not be a "bonus," it should be included with the game.

Still, Rage is not as bad as LA Noir which had different gameplay content offered as bonuses at different retailers so no matter which one you went to, you were not getting the whole game. That was pretty sleazy.

Zachary Amaranth:

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't have an problem with used games, I have a problem with retailers like gamestop. Their whole business model isn't about selling new games, its about getting people into their store and onto the used game treadmill.

Yeah! How dare they emphasize a form of business that is completely legal and ethical! The games industry is entitled to special treatment!

It isn't ethical to train your employees to act like dicks if the customer's initial request is for a purchase that doesn't maximize the store's profit.

Of course, Steam IS just what you described. You're not really buying or owning the games, you're paying for an account on a server somewhere. It's provisional, DRM-locked content just like ubisoft and everyone else people like to complain about, but somehow gets a pass in people's books because Steam gives them a tingly feeling.

I don't disagree that Steam isn't DRM. But the fact that gamecopyworld and piratebay exist means it is safe to buy from them. Nobody can ever lock me out of my purchases and if the DRM becomes too onerous I can strip it very easily. However I would never buy a game that is focused on multiplayer and doesn't allow for dedicated player-run servers.

And Steam at worst case requires a once a week or once a month phone home, D3 will require a continuous connection to play single player. So no mods, no cheats, no "offensive" names and you have to put up with the "important marketing messages" whenever you log in.

D3 no, Torchlight 2 yes.

Another way to reward customers: pack in a bunch of physical goodies, like CD Projekt Red did with The Witcher 2, and what Atlus is doing with Dark Souls.

Also, Metal Gear Solid 3 is fucking amazing and I will never let it leave my possession.

I think people tend to forget that it isn't the publishers that get all the extra money, the developers also need that so they can, you know, continue making games.

person427:
You make it sound like all games are made by these rich executives. How much does an indie developer lose when a game is mostly bought used? Also note: these are the games more frequently bought used, as big titles have many people buying on launch day. Other than this point, I agree with you, but I'd like to see what you have to say about this.

Because they're asking customers to spend $60 on a game they know absolutely nothing about and have most likely never seen before. Which is just fucking stupid.

A smarter thing to do would be to put those games up on XBLA or PSN or Steam and charge about $25-$20 for 'em.

People will be more willing to pay $20 for a game they don't know anything about, than they are to pay $60 for a game they know nothing about.

Once again, thank the Maker for Jim. Wait, that's redundant: Thank Jim for Jim! (And kudos for playing Beatrix's Theme from FFIX! 8D )

I'm sorry but I do not intend to pay 60 bucks for a crappy game like Duke Nukem. I wanna play it out of curiosity but it's not worth that much. And why should I pay 60 bucks for it when I can buy it used at Gamestop, or from a friend or eBay or whatever, waaaaay cheaper than that?

I'm not saying buying new games is dumb. Hell, I WILL buy Batman brand new. Wanna know why? I get two goodies for preordering it and I get to have a special edition. Plus, I know the game rocks so yes, you bet I wanna have it brand new and I do wanna be buried with it, just like my FFVIII copy and my Megaman Legends collection. Like Jim said, those games didn't offered me anything extra when they came out, yet I would have never dreamed of buying that game used. It wasn't a matter of price, it was a matter of paying the right amount of money for a good game. So bottom line: Make a good game and you can have my wallet.

Now, all this bullshit about developers complaining about used game sales is so fucking retarded. I get that they want more money; who doesn't, right? But guys! You're doing it wrong! Taking out parts of the game that are basic to us now (Multiplayer) is just a dumb, dick move through and through! You're just alienating players that way. I shouldn't be told what to buy and what not to buy. It's just business. Used car sales are the same, used appliance sales are the same, so why are used game sales such a drag? If they want extra money, released some decent DLC, for example: Undead Nightmare or Blops' Map packs.

Do they really think that a mom looking for a X-mas gift is gonna stop and think about used game sales and their benefits and consequences before buying her kid a gift? Fuck to the no! She's just gonna buy what looks pretty and what's cheaper. So make sure to appeal to ALL audiences, not just people who have a bigger wallet.

Publishers need to be smart about it. Right now, all those passes feel more like a punishment rather than a reward. Not everyone is able to spend 60 bucks on a game. So if a kid has too choose between Uncharted 3 new for 60 bucks or Uncharted 2 used for 30 AND with online already included, guess what? Uncharted 2 it is.

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't have an problem with used games, I have a problem with retailers like gamestop. Their whole business model isn't about selling new games, its about getting people into their store and onto the used game treadmill.

Unlike other retailers gamestop and similar "pawn shop" retailers leech off the marketing and promotion of publishers to attract customers, then when the customer is in the store try their damndest to get customers to buy used which parasitically sucks up the publisher's portion of revenue. Publishers are too chicken to just say "no" which leads to the endless whining cycle.

But isn't buying used games ultimately your decision? I know it sucks when people try to impose on you their products (Same reason why I'm against online passes), but it al goes down to this: it's just business. When I go to Wal-mart, they always offer me a Wal-mart card and I always say no. This isn't gonna change and it's irritating but I know I can get it over with as soon as I say No. Same when I buy stuff on eBay or when I go to Burger King.

I actually work at Gamestop and I do suggest people to buy used but only on certain situations. When they're buying a crappy game brand, like let's say, Homefront or Duke Nukem, I tell them that if they buy it used, they can always return it in about a week and get their cash back. And then if it turns out the like the game, they can always come back and buy it brand new. Believe me, 75% of the time, people come back and return a crappy game and they thank me for warning them or they return the game and get a brand new one. Games like Black Ops or whatever sell by itself. So I offer the used copies out of courtesy if they wanna save 5 bucks for a pack of gum or whatever. But I ultimately tell them that it's only a 5 dollar difference between a used copy and a new copy and that if they're sure about their purchase, they might as well get the new one.

Seriously, I have yet to hear of a publisher that has closed to their doors imply because of used sales. No, no collective reasons, just used games sales. They want their extra cash, but they just don't get it. Even if Gamestop closes, people are STILL gonna sell used games. Your cousin will, eBay will, pawn shops will, and so on. Same with car sales, book sales, etc. You can't stop it and you can't claim it's a crime or else every single person on Earth would be a criminal.

But I liked Dead Space 2 multiplayer :'-(

OT: The idea is certainly nice, but it begins to look like that the content is already on the game, and they're just saying "no, you can't have it". I liked what Mass Effect 2 did with Zaeed and a few of the weapons. You could download it for money, or you could get the game new. The content wasn't ready for release, so they say "You buy the game new, you get this for free, since we weren't able to give it to you in the main game". It sounds honest and is a respectful treatment towards the gamer that doesn't make it feel like it was already made, and is being excluded if they buy it used, since it wasn't ready. Of course, there are two problems, one being that it could already be finished, and they're withholding releasing it, or two, that they want their free stuff now. Personally though, I prefer real-life swag over in-game stuff when I pre-order. Black Ops poster? Sweet. Free BTM of Catherine? Sign me up.

Uh, Jim? Rage isn't giving extra content to those who buy it new. Its taking away content from those who buy it used. And how can you stand beside Pre-Order bonuses? All it does is try to make consumers commit to a purchase that might not be a good one.

The Saboteur did this. If you wanted the uncensored bar you either bought the game new or paid extra.

I'm still leery of what seems like a narrow and in some cases illusory difference between "bonus content" and content that's inaccessible to the used market.

Sure, there are places where there's an obvious distinction- when used gamers are completely locked out of multiplayer until they cough up an additional $10, certainly that's significant. Likewise, if a new buyer gets a gun that's bright pink and shoots out tracers that explode into showers of confetti, but does the same damage at the same range and with the same fire rate and accuracy as one of the default guns available to everyone, that's no big deal.

But there can and will be a hell of a lot of gray area in between. What if a particular boss is only readily killed with fire damage, and the so-called "bonus" weapon is the only option that does fire damage at medium-to-long range with readily available ammo? What if a "bonus" area is the shortcut between two other areas, without which the player has to trek through a longer route swarming with enemies? What if a "bonus quest" is the only thing that fills out a branch of storyline that will otherwise remain vague and enigmatic?

Sure, the second-tier gamers may still be able to get from beginning to end. That doesn't mean they necessarily got the benefit of the full experience. Indeed, they may have spent more of their precious time completing one that was less satisfying.

New skins and the like are one thing. But in general, I'm always going to feel a little cheated if the dev spent a significant amount of production time on the creation of assets whose primary function is to make late arrivals feel like second-class citizens. Post-release content seems to me like a better way to go, when possible.

Buy new, get free stuff that complements and adds to gameplay! What a novel idea!

Also, thank the assorted dead gods that I had $1 same-day shipping for the Saints Row the Third Pre-Order. This thread reminds me that I that will be amazing.

Splendid work Jim. I always enjoy your videos, only slightly more than I enjoy smiling smugly and shaking my head when my friend bitches about you and tries to get me to see the 'error of my ways'. As always, thank God for Jim.

chin chin means cheers in Canadian French... but it means penis in Japanese.

Why not include in every new game a voucher of a certain value to be used on ANY DLC brought out for that game, current or future?

That would extend someone's play time so less likely to sell while not taking anything major away from a used player since they can just buy it.

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