Jimquisition: Fighting The 'Problem' Of Used Games

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rembrandtqeinstein:

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.

It isn't. But that's not what they do, so that's kind of a moot point.

Redd the Sock:
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".

I like your concept, hell I also think that companies that bitch and moan about there games being spun unto the used market should take this advice. They should keep making content so it'll keep players playing more new players buying the game and holding unto it. Keep adding major DLC every two months or so and minor DLC like weapons, outfits, character models etc like every month. Something to having the gamer think that I should hold unto this game it could be pretty badass for all parties. Also they should allow players that buy it used that like said game buy the DLC in bundles. Like after 4 months somebody picks it up for like 30$ they're able to DL like 2 major DLC's and like 3 minors for like 15-20$. Development teams these days need a team that works on a sequel and another team that just works on DLC to keep the current game alive and tying into the upcoming sequel. It's ironic this seems hard for the publishers that bitch and moan about they're losing money. If they got this into their minds that their customers, IP's, development teams are more then just a quick pay day they wouldn't have anything to bitch about.

random_bars:
But... Alright, hang on a second. I don't get this. How is it that Locked Away Content A is being taken away from used buyers, but Locked Away Content B is being rewarded to new buyers?

Some people are just vulnerable to suggestion.

Also, Jim seems to be unaware that, if games aren't making enough money, it's not just executives who don't get bonuses. Entire studios get closed, putting people out of work.

daxterx2005:
What on earth was the cat game? I want it!

It's Super Genius Man-Cat Professor Genki's Hyper Ordinary Pre-Order Pack and it comes free with with pre-ordered copies of Saints Row 3. Here's the full trailer:

Alright, lots of people have replied to my comment by saying that the difference between these two alternatives is that the multiplayer is a big component of a game, while the sewers in Rage are a much smaller piece of content. I see your point on that. What I still don't understand, though, is why Jim phrases them as two entirely different things: one being a part of the game that is locked away from used buyers, and the other being an extra thing that is gifted to new players.

What exactly makes sewers an optional extra but multiplayer integral? You don't have to play/experience either of them. There's nothing stopping you from completely ignoring a game's multiplayer (and indeed many do), just as a used buyer of Rage can ignore the sewers. And more importantly, they're both parts of the game, coded onto the disc, which are restricted from the player unless they buy the game new, or pay extra for them if bought used. The size of each content is the only difference - in terms of what they are conceptually, they are absolutely identical.

So again, why does Jim, and why does pretty much everyone who replied to me, consider a game without multiplayer to be 60% of a game, but a game without sewers to be 100% of a game but without an extra 10% that might be given as a gift? Surely they're either one or the other. I would be totally fine if he was saying that games where a small amount of content is restricted from used buyers, instead of a large amount, are better; equally I would be fine with him saying that games which only give a small bonus to new buyers, rather than a large one, are better.

But it's the way he treats the size of the relevant content as the deciding factor that controls whether said content is restricted or rewarded that baffles me.

I disagree, I find multiplayer to be fairly useless, I would rather have multiplayer cut and pay 10 dollars for it with online pass than the small bit of singleplayer gameplay were I to actually buy a used game.

Here's what I reckon.
If a company wants to combat used games, they've got to try and win over people who would buy used games. They have to competitive with their pricing and they've got to be more convenient.
How this for an idea. A month after the launch of a game, release the game on XBLA or the PSN. Charge more or less the same as that game would get used.

You don't get the box which is important to some people, but you also don't have to go to the shops. Not to mention you probably cut a deal to get it advertised.

It all comes down to carrot vs. stick. The easiest carrot to offer is convenience.

The big problem with the used game market isn't so much the concept of used games and used game sales; it's the crookedness of major used game retailers like Gamestop(and let's be honest, Gamestop has bought out pretty much the entire used game retail business).

Gamestop has built its entire empire from used game sales. They do everything in their power to direct you to buy a used game rather than a new game. However, from what I've seen, their used games generally aren't discounted that much from their new game stock, but, if you try to trade a title back to them, they'll give you so very little credit on the trade. From what I've been able to discern, Gamestop makes anywhere from $20-50 off each trade and sale of a used game, and, as others have noted, apparently not one penny of the sale is shared with the original publisher/developer of the game.

The scenario goes something like this: a customer buys a new game for $60. Plays the game and decides he doesn't like it. Takes the game to Gamestop for trade. Gamestop gives him $5-$10 for the trade and then resales the game for $55-$58, making an unshared revenue of $45-53. Gamestop does this for each trade and sale of the game as long as the new retail price is still near $60 and the game is reasonably popular.

This multiplicity gives Gamestop unprecedented revenue from game sales that they do not have to share, so it's little wonder the publishers are upset. But, it's also, in my opinion, disingenuous to the customer because the customer is not really seeing a substantial discounting on the purchase unless he already has some credit built up, and that credit is used up over time due to the difference between purchase price and trade-in value. The customer is only seeing a $5-15 discounting from the price of a new game(assuming he only purchases games if he has at least one trade-in), which means one extra game only every 4 months, at best. Further, as the gamer develops a collection of games he'd rather keep than trade, he will be forced to eventually buy a game new or at Gamestop's top used price, further dwindling any overall discounting off game purchases. At best, he will tend toward an average of $2-5 off the purchase of every game in his collection, so if he has 10 games, he will tend toward a discounting of $20-50 off his entire collection, which may cost him, on average $450-600 before discounting(basically, a meager 5-10% discount). If the gamer has the idea to always recycle his games through trade-ins rather than permanently keep any, then he eliminates any discounting because he is effectively paying an extremely high rental fee($30-$50 per game per cycle). In essence, he will have repurchased his collection multiple times.

While it can not be expected for the gamer to come out ahead, or even to break even(after all, we're at the bottom of the pyramid), I just don't see the gamer really obtaining that much a reduction buying used over buying new because of the significant disparity between the trade-in value and the used sale price and the fact the used sale price, at least from Gamestop, is often on close parity with the new sale price. Jim's idea of publishers just not charging so bloody much for the game in the first place would be one way to mitigate the issue. This does neglect any cost/profit requirements and disparity suffered by the publisher, but, as customers, that's really not our problem; the publisher needs to manage his own cost issues such to be able to produce a product customers are willing to buy at a price they are willing to pay.

Don't get me wrong; I think used games are a great idea and a marvelous way to help gamers not have to bank-roll a mortgage just to be a gamer. However, the way the used game market is currently implemented by the major used games chains is, in my opinion, simply disingenuous to both gamers and publishers, alike. Honestly, I think there would be less problem if the used games retailers were willing to share at least some revenue with the publishers and provide more than a marginal discount on the price of used game compared to new games.

As for the problems with publishers and the crap they pull when selling their games, I mostly see that problem with AAA titles. Honestly, I've completely given up on AAA titles. The only thing AAA titles have to offer is flashier graphics and higher cost, nothing more. The stories are trite, the characters are shallow, and the game design is often just blind rehash or copy-paste. In fact, some of these games are built more like a child's Busy Center, just a juxtaposition of various features and activities with no coherency or cohesion among them. They fail, miserably, to create a singular, coherent experience because the parts don't work together; they just flashily compete for the gamer's attention, as if the gamer is no more mentally developed than a 2-year-old(although, sometimes it seems there are a number of gamers who are exactly like that).

Gamer's have a choice in these matters, stop buying from publishers that punish customers and sell overpriced garbage games, and stop buying from retail outlets that do nothing but leech off the industry. This does leave fewer options and requires more work on the part of the gamer when looking for a new game, but, no change will occur until gamers finally take the one singular action that gives them the greatest power over all this crap, stop buying it. This is because companies only hear and understand two sounds, the creak of your wallet opening and the slap of your wallet closing.

random_bars:
Alright, lots of people have replied to my comment by saying that the difference between these two alternatives is that the multiplayer is a big component of a game, while the sewers in Rage are a much smaller piece of content. I see your point on that. What I still don't understand, though, is why Jim phrases them as two entirely different things: one being a part of the game that is locked away from used buyers, and the other being an extra thing that is gifted to new players.

What exactly makes sewers an optional extra but multiplayer integral? You don't have to play/experience either of them. There's nothing stopping you from completely ignoring a game's multiplayer (and indeed many do), just as a used buyer of Rage can ignore the sewers. And more importantly, they're both parts of the game, coded onto the disc, which are restricted from the player unless they buy the game new, or pay extra for them if bought used. The size of each content is the only difference - in terms of what they are conceptually, they are absolutely identical.

So again, why does Jim, and why does pretty much everyone who replied to me, consider a game without multiplayer to be 60% of a game, but a game without sewers to be 100% of a game but without an extra 10% that might be given as a gift? Surely they're either one or the other. I would be totally fine if he was saying that games where a small amount of content is restricted from used buyers, instead of a large amount, are better; equally I would be fine with him saying that games which only give a small bonus to new buyers, rather than a large one, are better.

But it's the way he treats the size of the relevant content as the deciding factor that controls whether said content is restricted or rewarded that baffles me.

Because for many gamers the multiplayer experience is more important. That's... subjective but that's also why many games can get higher scores than their single player campaign warrants. The sewer section in particular is similar enough to something you could find in any type of dlc however essentially making it a free dlc thus making it an more of a treat for the new gamers than punishment to used gamers.

Frankly more game publishers need to include more stuff like that, right now beyond the pre-order bonus there is essentially no reason to ever be an early adopter but plenty of reasons not to be. When Oblivion came out it was 60 dollars for just the game and the dlc was roughly 10 bucks a piece. A year later the goty edition came out including all the dlc for free and at a lesser price. Many people would say stop being early adopters but here's the facts: the sales of the first two months are usually what makes or breaks a game (and their developers), aka the sales to early adopters, and yet they almost always do nothing to incentivise this.

DracoSuave:

veloper:
I don't see a difference between giving free DLC only to new buyers and not giving some DLC to used buyers.

Online play isn't DLC.

What's the difference between taking a part of a game and calling it DLC or making a slightly smaller game and adding DLC? Would we even know?

Online play isn't DLC.

I can see the value of not putting the DLC right at the beginning and allowing players to put in the code at any time in the game, but I don't see why the bonus has to be small and insignificant.
More appreciation for the loyal fans paying full-price is a bigger bonus?

Online play isn't DLC.

No, Jim was railing against both online passes AND offline DLC, except his own 'version'.

As I see it, it's not only bad for used sales, not including content that already is there, but if I want to lent a game to a friend why he should not get the entire game, or online play? They just want to make more money that they are getting already.

And btw it is hard to believe that they lost 1m dollars from used games. With all that digital downloads still paying the full price? They don't have to pay for the cost of making, packaging and shipping game discs to stores, Returns, since they are digital data sitting there to be downloaded, and the Retailer I don't think gets the same amount as a regular shop. So that leaves with the Publisher and Platform Royalty.

Publishers still fuck this up though. Look at all of those costumes in Batman. You can't get a pack with all of them, and they are going to sell them later. Same happened in Fallout New Vegas.

I do agree with you though. There needs to be more positive competition rather than the negative 'fuck you' kind of competition.

Crono1973:

No more appeals to the poor developers, I've had enough.

This has gotten out of control. The developers work for the publishers, they are one in the same and your sympathy for the developers has been used against you. The developers aren't your friends, they are employees of the "greedy" publishers. You can't separate the two so sympathy for one is sympathy for both.

How are they the same, in most cases developers and publishers are two completely different companies, that have two very different goals?

I always thought that a good incentive for buying new would be free DLC dollars to spend on that game, costumers feel a reason to buy new, nothing is locked out(if the DLC is done right) and some costumers may even buy extra DLC if they feel the value of the things they bought with the free bucks was worth it.

When they add new skins or weapons when you buy new, im happy with that. But when they lock off part off the game thats on the disc already then thats wrong. An if you do that then make your game cheaper and then let people pay extra to unlock online multiplayer.

I rarely by used games as its cheaper just to rent from a shop. Most games i dont keep for more than a week anyway and i have no interest in online gaming. So games i would buy would be rpgs or games i will replay like Mass Effect, Fallout, Skyrim, Batman, Saints Row. Everything else i rent. Complete and give back.

lord.jeff:

Crono1973:

No more appeals to the poor developers, I've had enough.

This has gotten out of control. The developers work for the publishers, they are one in the same and your sympathy for the developers has been used against you. The developers aren't your friends, they are employees of the "greedy" publishers. You can't separate the two so sympathy for one is sympathy for both.

How are they the same, in most cases developers and publishers are two completely different companies, that have two very different goals?

I always thought that a good incentive for buying new would be free DLC dollars to spend on that game, costumers feel a reason to buy new, nothing is locked out(if the DLC is done right) and some costumers may even buy extra DLC if they feel the value of the things they bought with the free bucks was worth it.

How are they not the same. The publisher has alot of a say in how a game is developed. The publisher is paying for it (like how you can order your cheeseburger without onions because you are paying for it). You cannot buy a game to support Bioware without giving most of that money to EA.

It's ok though, keep throwing your money at publishers you hate to support the developers. Don't let the facts get in the way.

Crono1973:

lord.jeff:

Crono1973:

No more appeals to the poor developers, I've had enough.

This has gotten out of control. The developers work for the publishers, they are one in the same and your sympathy for the developers has been used against you. The developers aren't your friends, they are employees of the "greedy" publishers. You can't separate the two so sympathy for one is sympathy for both.

How are they the same, in most cases developers and publishers are two completely different companies, that have two very different goals?

I always thought that a good incentive for buying new would be free DLC dollars to spend on that game, costumers feel a reason to buy new, nothing is locked out(if the DLC is done right) and some costumers may even buy extra DLC if they feel the value of the things they bought with the free bucks was worth it.

How are they not the same. The publisher has alot of a say in how a game is developed. The publisher is paying for it (like how you can order your cheeseburger without onions because you are paying for it). You cannot buy a game to support Bioware without giving most of that money to EA.

It's ok though, keep throwing your money at publishers you hate to support the developers. Don't let the facts get in the way.

EA is taking all the the money when I want to support Bioware, is what I got out of your last statement, you demonized EA without demonizing Bioware.

lord.jeff:

Crono1973:

lord.jeff:

How are they the same, in most cases developers and publishers are two completely different companies, that have two very different goals?

I always thought that a good incentive for buying new would be free DLC dollars to spend on that game, costumers feel a reason to buy new, nothing is locked out(if the DLC is done right) and some costumers may even buy extra DLC if they feel the value of the things they bought with the free bucks was worth it.

How are they not the same. The publisher has alot of a say in how a game is developed. The publisher is paying for it (like how you can order your cheeseburger without onions because you are paying for it). You cannot buy a game to support Bioware without giving most of that money to EA.

It's ok though, keep throwing your money at publishers you hate to support the developers. Don't let the facts get in the way.

EA is taking all the the money when I want to support Bioware, is what I got out of your last statement, you demonized EA without demonizing Bioware.

Then you should learn to read.

I didn't say EA was taking all the money I said:

You cannot buy a game to support Bioware without giving most of that money to EA.

You do know what MOST means don't you.

EA/Bioware is an example. The point is that if you don't want to support a greedy publisher, you can't buy games from them even to support the developer. All the while people have been bitching about greedy publishers but they still give money to them in the name of the "poor developers" and they wonder why the publishers get greedier and greedier. Why should any publisher care what you think of them as long as you want to "support the poor developers"?

Are you saying that by buying Mass Effect 3 (for example), you aren't supporting EA?

In fact, EA owns BioWare completely, so supporting 'Poor BioWare' IS supporting EA, just as much as supporting the developer EA Sports is supporting EA.

Thank God for Jim Sterling!

What a stupid video.

It opens by straw-manning game publishers as represented by their overpriced executives, as if that had anything to do with them making moeny being good or bad. That's a problem with the american corporate culture, not game publishers.

Then he starts going on about how new buyers of games should be "rewarded" with little extra content if they bought the game new - what he's done here is just rephrase "punishment for buying used" into "reward for buying new", even though they are the exact same thing. Then he just pulls opinions out of his ass about how this will make consumers glad because they will feel rewarded and whatever, and stating as self-evident fact that people regret their pruchases when they have to enter in 20 didgit codes to start playing, as if we haven't all been happily doing this with CD-keys since gaming was invented.

And pre-order bonuses. Pre-order bonuses? What?? How could he possibly support that? It encourages people to buy shitty games because they'll be buying them before they're out, and thus will often have no idea what the game will actually be like. That is really bad for gaming, and encouraging people ot show "faith" in unreleased games by buying them before they know how those games are is just... of course, it also still feels like the peopel who didn't pre-order will get punished for not pre-ordering when they see the stuff the pre-orders get. Assuming the stuff matters, that is.

Then, after encouraging people to buy shitty games, he says that buyers should stop encouraging pubilshers from making shitty games by not buying them. Okay, dude, whatever. Why don't you complain some more about how taking 30 seconds ot enter in a code is waaay worse than losing tons of money after having spent years developing incredibly expensive games, because entitled duchebags don't feel that they should have to pay full price for their luxury products. Then he says some stupid stuff about capitalism without apparently understanding what the word means (he's for it one moment, against it the next, depending on if it's convenient for the point he's making at the time or not).

Then he said some smart stuff about DLC, but it sure isn't enough to make up for the parade of almost exclusive stupidity that was these last 3 videos.

Crono1973:

lord.jeff:

Crono1973:

How are they the same, in most cases developers and publishers are two completely different companies, that have two very different goals?

How are they not the same. The publisher has alot of a say in how a game is developed. The publisher is paying for it (like how you can order your cheeseburger without onions because you are paying for it). You cannot buy a game to support Bioware without giving most of that money to EA.

It's ok though, keep throwing your money at publishers you hate to support the developers. Don't let the facts get in the way.

EA is taking all the the money when I want to support Bioware, is what I got out of your last statement, you demonized EA without demonizing Bioware.

Then you should learn to read.

I didn't say EA was taking all the money I said:

You cannot buy a game to support Bioware without giving most of that money to EA.

You do know what MOST means don't you.

Fine replace all with most, it doesn't change the point I was trying to get across.

EA/Bioware is an example. The point is that if you don't want to support a greedy publisher, you can't buy games from them even to support the developer. All the while people have been bitching about greedy publishers but they still give money to them in the name of the "poor developers" and they wonder why the publishers get greedier and greedier. Why should any publisher care what you think of them as long as you want to "support the poor developers"?

Are you saying that by buying Mass Effect 3 (for example), you aren't supporting EA?

That's not what I'm saying at all, it is true that I'm supporting EA by buying Bioware games I'm not arguing that point at all, but that wasn't the point of my comment, what I am saying is that EA is the greedy one not Bioware. Just because multiple companies take money from the same product it doesn't make them the same, because that would mean truck drivers would be video game developers/publishers because they get a portion of the money for delivering the games to the stores.

Again you're rallying against the publishers but the dev's are the ones paying the price for used games. The simple fact is we don't all the games that sell millions of games. The system you're suggesting gives way to a mob rules system where only the most popular survive.

I should mention I have genuinely enjoyed past rants you've given but this 3 parter is not one I can get behind. There's a bigger picture than is being painted for the audience.

musim:
Again you're rallying against the publishers but the dev's are the ones paying the price for used games. The simple fact is we don't all the games that sell millions of games. The system you're suggesting gives way to a mob rules system where only the most popular survive.

I should mention I have genuinely enjoyed past rants you've given but this 3 parter is not one I can get behind. There's a bigger picture than is being painted for the audience.

Doesn't this whole thing boil down to one thing? Whether or not a game is good? If a small developer comes out with a game like The First Templar, should they be rewarded for their failure to produce a worthwhile game with similar profits made by the developers of Amnesia: The Dark Descent? It seems to me that, if a dev produced a poor-quality product, they shouldn't expect huge profits from it.

It should also be kept in mind that used games often serve as an avenue for gamers to enter a genre they don't usually play. For example: I never had much of an interest in Batman: Arkham Asylum. However, a couple years after it's release, I saw a used copy on Amazon for 5 bucks. I figured, why not, and I picked it up. I rather enjoyed the game, and am now considering buying Arkham City. Point being, if I wasn't able to buy this game used, I would never have played it, and subsequently had never been interested in it's sequel.

And lastly, if we're going to be talking about big pictures, lets take a look at the far reaching impact outlawing used game sales might have on other industries. For example, if used game sales became illegal, what's to stop Hollywood from doing the same thing? No used movie sales. Similarly, what about those devs over at Ford? No used car sales. It is my personal belief that anyone who purchases something, and thus claims ownership of that something, should maintain the ability to do what ever they want with their property, including selling it. That's one of those fundamental rights things.

Scrustle:
Really? You don't mind the Rage pass thing? That seems unusual for you Jim...

But I personally think it's just as much of a dick move as locking off multiplayer. It doesn't matter what the content is that is locked, if it's already on the disc publishers have no right to deny it to you. You own the content, you bought the disc, they shouldn't be allowed to hold anything away from you. That's extortion.

But I agree that pre-order bonuses are fine too. They aren't things that are already on the game disc and aren't necessary to make the game a complete experience, but still offer an incentive to buy new. Although I would prefer that the DLC in question also be available for purchase separately. I should be allowed to have the content if I want it. I shouldn't be denied any possibility to access it because I didn't buy the game in a certain way. Not only does it act as an incentive to buy new it also makes more money for publishers as well. Since you would need to pay for it that would give you an incentive to buy the game new because that way you would get it for free, and it is a way for publishers to make extra money out of something which would not require them to put any more effort or money in to making new content. It's the perfect way to do it for both gamers and publishers! It's madness that this method isn't more widely used.

I don't know why he didn't use Alice Madness Returns as a good example of this code nonsense done right. Buy it new and get the full first game for free. Buy it used and you get the full game anyways. Now that is incentive to buy new lol. Although there is achievements for the first one to bring it to the full 1K and that is gonna piss people off.

Side note it is an EA game so maybe, just maybe, they are learning

When it comes to lose in profits generally the executives and other higher-ups do not lose much. It is the peons and underlings that suffer from these losses such as pay cuts or mass layoffs.

Captcha: linguistic propri. I guess I am a good orator, or at least good with linguistics.

kiri2tsubasa:
When it comes to lose in profits generally the executives and other higher-ups do not lose much. It is the peons and underlings that suffer from these losses such as pay cuts or mass layoffs.

Captcha: linguistic propri. I guess I am a good orator, or at least good with linguistics.

So what does this mean? Just put up with the shit a publisher spews because if you refuse to buy from them, you are only hurting the peons and underlings?

Don't you see that nothing will change as long as this attitude is prevalent.

I am about one online pass away from buying 100% used.

Only 4 pages on day 2. This 3rd video doesn't seem to have had as big an impact as the first 2. It seems to me like this video was more about competing with the used market which I really don't think is a worthwhile goal.

I'll just say it:

The used market exists and is legal. Deal with it! Don't try to compete with it, you'll just end up punishing used buyers. Don't try to kill it, you'll just end up punishing used buyers. Just accept that is exists and is part of doing business in a capitalist society where consumers have a right to resell.

rembrandtqeinstein:

Beautiful End:
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?

When you get it from a friend or even piratebay you aren't consuming $50 that you had reserved for spending on games. When you get it from ebay there isn't a management structure pressuring employees to redirect new purchases to used ones.

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.

Straw man, nobody is talking about prohibiting used games. The problem is that there is a finite amount of money people will spend. The question is who receives the money. Is it gamestop or is it the publisher. If it is gamestop then what motivation does the publisher have to finance games?

And furthermore how are used games different from piracy as far as publishers are concerned?

Hehe, straw man. Don't know what you meant by that but I like it :P

I still don't see the problem. Yes, employees are encouraged to offer used games, but if the customer says no, well what else can they do? The simple solution is just saying No every time someone offers a customer a used game.
The publisher does see some money from used game sales. They just want it all. Unless Gamestop is stealing loaded trucks in the middle of the night, they must get the games from somewhere. Again, I offer Blops as an example. The game was so...great, i guess, that one one traded it at all. The demand was high, though. As soon as one person traded it in, someone bought it immediately. So the solution was getting more new copies of the game. People who came and asked for used copies had to buy a new one if they wanted the game that badly; not like it was a bad thing.

Not only that, but if a publisher has a game that just won't sell brand new, either because it's lame or not recent, they send us their copies to be sold as new, simply because people are usually willing to risk losing a couple of dollars for an okay game. And they can always return it if it sucks. One game that comes to mind that did this was Midnight Club for the 360 and PS3. Personally, I liked the game but I guess it wasn't selling, so we sold the new copies as new. Then it suddenly sold. Extra bonus for giving someone a new copy with the price of a used game. And believe me, Gamestop could not possibly get away with something like this without the publisher being aware of this; Gamestop isn't some sort of Pop & Mom rental store.
I think that's a great policy, especially for lame games. For example, I wouldn't buy Duke Nukem for 60 bucks, but sure, I might buy it for 40 bucks if I know I can always return it if I hate it.

Bottom line: Publishers do see money out of used game sales, especially if they're buying it at Gamestop! When i sell my game to my cousin, the publishers see no money from that transaction, that's for sure. Publishers just want ALL of the money. I can understand their point of view, but making a scene every time their game is sold used is not the way to go and it is not a crime either.

Ugh, I wouldn't mind preorder bonuses as a form of reward for new purchases, if they'd stop with the insane concept of 8 different kinds of preorder bonuses, at 8 different chains. Not only is that schizophrenic, it's FUCKING. IRRITATING. I don't want to be shoehorned into buying my game at a specific place to get the one bonus I'd like. How about you make ONE really good preorder bonus instead of dicking around with your time and pissing people off?

I'm pretty in agreement here, while I do not like imputting long codes, it's fine for first day DLC. If a game isn't selling well with new sales than there's probably a reason other than people looking for a good deal. Chances are that reason is probably that the game isn't very good or didn't get advisted well, both of which are the fault of the company/publisher.

The good ole days, back in the day when you didn't get pre-order bonuses, or little gifts to go out and pre order a game on the basis that you'll get some nice uber gun or some secret hidden map. You went out and pre-ordered it because you had read the pre release reviews and played the prequels and you were pre-ordering it because you knew it was gonna be great.

The good ole days when you bought a brand new game for the brand new price and the only thing you got was the knowledge that you had a brand new game at a brand new price on the day of release and if you wanted the game cheaper you had to wait until it either dropped in price or until someone decided to trade it in.

I am strongly against any kind of pre-order bonus or day one purchase rewards. In the best cases it is worthless crap such as skins and content that does nothing of any worth and at its worst it is content that can split a community, BF3 and your Karkand add on pack I am looking at you here.

If you buy a game brand new you buy it brand new because you want the game and you want the game because it is good, because the people behind it have done their work and given you a game that is worth the brand new purchase price, not because you'll be missing out on some shitty extra uber weapon or some missing content and don't even get me started on the locked multiplayer non sense.

If the developers have not done their job, not convinced you that the game is worth the price then you wait until it hits a price that reduces the risk / reward ratio.

Day one content and pre order content IS not a reward, it is a smoke screen to distract you from the reality that the game may not be very good, it is gaming alcohol designed to make that 2 pointer look like a 10. It is a carrot that is waved in front of your faces with the caveat that if you don't buy now you will either never be able to buy it or will have to wait x amount of time before being charged extra for it.

If you want to reward players for buying your game then, take the pre order non sense, the day one release content and stick it up your arse, then take the time and money you spent coming up with it and give it to the guys who make the core of the game and then ensure that the game you release is worth the stand alone brand new day one release price on it's own merit, not because you will get a gun that shoots beer at dwarves.

Jennacide:
Ugh, I wouldn't mind preorder bonuses as a form of reward for new purchases, if they'd stop with the insane concept of 8 different kinds of preorder bonuses, at 8 different chains. Not only is that schizophrenic, it's FUCKING. IRRITATING. I don't want to be shoehorned into buying my game at a specific place to get the one bonus I'd like. How about you make ONE really good preorder bonus instead of dicking around with your time and pissing people off?

I agree.

You know, I bet if they put all the bonuses in all the preorders, that would be better for the developers, publishers AND consumers. Instead of getting this OR this OR this for preordering, it'd be getting this AND this AND this for preordering. The player would get more content, it'd be no additional work for the devs, and the publishers would get more money because they'd likely get more preorders.

Varya:
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.

While there is a difference it is a very small one and the line between the two can be very blurry to say the least. In essence the whole thing hinges on that there is a clearly established "main game". This "main game" concept however is hard to keep up when you have preorder/bonus-DLC that more or less integrates into the main story and in turn fractures the experience, leaving people without it feeling as if they missed out on things and leaving people who have it feel forced to enter the code.

That is essentially the problem with what EA did in Mass Effect and Dragon Age, the bonus-DLC is in essence a part of the main game and without reading a few FAQs and walkthroughs it is impossible to tell how exactly it will impact the overall experience. It can even make the overall experience worse when bonus items such as weapons or armor throw of the games balance and leave you with confusing items in your inventory (i.e. getting high level armor at the start of the game that you can't use until hours later). The bonus thus becomes more of an annoyance then a welcome addition.

There are of course other areas where things are more clear, a special preorder-costume, that is cosmetic-only and clearly not part of the main narrative might not have such issues, especially when it's use is limited to multiplayer, not the main story. But whenever the bonus items integrate into single-player it can quickly turn into a complete mess.

And as annoying as codes for multiplayer might be, at least with those there actually is a very clear line of what you get and what you miss out on.

So I think I have finally come to a realization that has been bothering me throughout this series (on used games). From Jim's perspective online play is a fundamental part of the game itself and not a add on. As someone who rarely plays a game "online", I think I've been missing the point till now.
That being said, online is exactly where it makes sense to have a fee. I would almost say sell new games with a 12 month online pass and then make people buy a 12 month pass to play online if they buy it used. Online is where the manufacture must maintain and run extra equipment in order to keep the game going. Of course you could argue that a pass should be transferable as long as it still have time on it, but that is a different argument.
That being said, I 100% agree with Jim that games shouldn't all cost $60 out the door. It is basically collusion and price fixing at a scale that monopoly busters should take an interest in, but will not. If it wasn't, there would be much more variety of pricing as there is in the PC game market.

So I think I have finally come to a realization that has been bothering me throughout this series (on used games). From Jim's perspective online play is a fundamental part of the game itself and not a add on. As someone who rarely plays a game "online", I think I've been missing the point till now.
That being said, online is exactly where it makes sense to have a fee. I would almost say sell new games with a 12 month online pass and then make people buy a 12 month pass to play online if they buy it used. Online is where the manufacture must maintain and run extra equipment in order to keep the game going. Of course you could argue that a pass should be transferable as long as it still have time on it, but that is a different argument.
That being said, I 100% agree with Jim that games shouldn't all cost $60 out the door. It is basically collusion and price fixing at a scale that monopoly busters should take an interest in, but will not. If it wasn't, there would be much more variety of pricing as there is in the PC game market.

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