Online Pass Isn't Hurting Used Game Sales

Online Pass Isn't Hurting Used Game Sales

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U.K. retailer GAME says the introduction of Online Pass and similar programs hasn't had any impact on the popularity of pre-owned videogame sales.

Online Pass, also known in EA lingo as Project Ten Dollar, is a simple concept: Encourage people to buy new videogames by including a single-use code for access to DLC or multiplayer, which will cost extra for anyone who buys a used copy. THQ quickly followed suit and Sony is considering a similar program of its own, and while both EA and THQ have reported success with their programs, they don't appear to be having much impact on used game sales.

"Publishers are using content to extend the life of games, to extend the reasons to keep them - that's a good thing, as it's good for us and we'll sell more of the games," GAME Chief Executive Ian Shepherd told MCV. And despite predictions that the strategy was a frontal assault on pre-owned game sales, Shepherd said consumer interest in used games remains strong.

"We've not seen the changes in the commercial nature of how some games have launched make any impact on the trade-in category," he continued. "It's still a strong part of our business."

It's still a bit early to draw conclusions on the long-term impact of Online Pass-style programs, but if publishers can meaningfully take part in the pre-owned market without diminishing a very important revenue stream for retailers, not to mention cutting off trade-in opportunities for cash-strapped gamers, it's good news for everyone.

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Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

What?

Online pass was meant to recoup money lost from used sales... not damage used sales.

Ehh, wouldn't stop me from buying anything. I never played consoles online anyway...

GamesB2:
What?

Online pass was meant to recoup money lost from used sales... not damage used sales.

Haven't you heard? Used sales are destroying the industry and must be purged from existence! :dramatic:

In all seriousness though, it's been a common trend over the last couple of months for big name publishers and developers to come down on used games in the hopes they can eventually get rid of them.

GamesB2:
What?

Online pass was meant to recoup money lost from used sales... not damage used sales.

This be true.

Most of the time devs/pubs only get a small amount on each sale. Equal to what they get on this online pass deal - so effectively they're just getting what they'd be getting anyway.
Don't think GAME understands that yet.

Awwwwww I want to see GAME go bankrupt. Conmerchants!

JeanLuc761:
Haven't you heard? Used sales are destroying the industry and must be purged from existence! :dramatic:

In all seriousness though, it's been a common trend over the last couple of months for big name publishers and developers to come down on used games in the hopes they can eventually get rid of them.

I'm fully aware of how bad used games sales are for the industry.

I'm also aware that the reason online pass was created was so publishers could rake some of that loss back.

Methinks GAME doesn't quite grasp that...

In their faces. As someone already mentioned, lower the prices! Piracy was one of the reasons developers increased prices but in this console gen barely anyone pirates.

Irridium:
Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

Exactly. I wouldn't buy as many used games if the prices on new games were affordable. If games released for $40 instead of $60, I would not only buy more new games, I would buy more games in general. If Gears of War 3 was released with a $40 or even $50 price tag, that would be great for new games sales. People who otherwise wouldn't have been interested are now giving them attention because their game is cheaper than everyone else's. And when other companies start seeing that, they'll start releasing their games for cheaper and more people will buy games. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a brand new game that I'm interested in, but just wait for the price to go down before buying it because it's too much brand new.

GamesB2:

JeanLuc761:
Haven't you heard? Used sales are destroying the industry and must be purged from existence! :dramatic:

In all seriousness though, it's been a common trend over the last couple of months for big name publishers and developers to come down on used games in the hopes they can eventually get rid of them.

I'm fully aware of how bad used games sales are for the industry.

I'm also aware that the reason online pass was created was so publishers could rake some of that loss back.

Methinks GAME doesn't quite grasp that...

OH! I see what you were saying. My bad.

ProfessorLayton:

Irridium:
Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

Exactly. I wouldn't buy as many used games if the prices on new games were affordable. If games released for $40 instead of $60, I would not only buy more new games, I would buy more games in general. If Gears of War 3 was released with a $40 or even $50 price tag, that would be great for new games sales. People who otherwise wouldn't have been interested are now giving them attention because their game is cheaper than everyone else's. And when other companies start seeing that, they'll start releasing their games for cheaper and more people will buy games. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a brand new game that I'm interested in, but just wait for the price to go down before buying it because it's too much brand new.

Are you are of course assuming that Capitalism and common sense in some way integrate easily.

Allow me to assure you they do not! Short term gain is all that appears on a balance sheet, we see cheaper games being a sure fire way of making the industry better they see 20 off each unit sold and go into a panic about it.

So they continue to sell high and hope for high volume sales by advertising ludicrously and bribing reviewers, which costs a fortune. Which makes production higher etcetera etcetera ad nausium ad infinitum

electric discordian:

ProfessorLayton:

Irridium:
Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

Exactly. I wouldn't buy as many used games if the prices on new games were affordable. If games released for $40 instead of $60, I would not only buy more new games, I would buy more games in general. If Gears of War 3 was released with a $40 or even $50 price tag, that would be great for new games sales. People who otherwise wouldn't have been interested are now giving them attention because their game is cheaper than everyone else's. And when other companies start seeing that, they'll start releasing their games for cheaper and more people will buy games. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a brand new game that I'm interested in, but just wait for the price to go down before buying it because it's too much brand new.

Are you are of course assuming that Capitalism and common sense in some way integrate easily.

Allow me to assure you they do not! Short term gain is all that appears on a balance sheet, we see cheaper games being a sure fire way of making the industry better they see 20 off each unit sold and go into a panic about it.

So they continue to sell high and hope for high volume sales by advertising ludicrously and bribing reviewers, which costs a fortune. Which makes production higher etcetera etcetera ad nausium ad infinitum

Well, problem being a price reduction has to come out of the industry's end. All other costs remain the same.

Also, used games would simply match the price reduction on both ends.

GAME is also somewhat irrelevant to the whole "used games" deal, as they don't charge insane amounts (90% of the price of a new copy) for used games. Their used games are 75 to 50% off the price of new copies. So another $10 is still less than buying new.

Andy Chalk:
Online Pass, also known in EA lingo as Project Ten Dollar

Online Pass and Project Ten Dollar are NOT the same thing. Why am I the only one who can understand this?!

Online Pass - pay to play online if you bought it used
Project Ten Dollar - free DLC if you buy new, you get the full game with nothing missing if you buy it used

This is not hard! Please people, learn this!


Anyway, was the point of Online Pass (and not Project Ten Dollar) ever to get people to stop buying used? I thought it was just for the publisher to get some money back out of used game buyers. If people are buying used but also buying the Online Pass to play online, I think that's a win for EA or any other company using this system.

Irridium:
Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

Now, if we could only get the publishers to agree with that.

esperandote:
In their faces. As someone already mentioned, lower the prices! Piracy was one of the reasons developers increased prices but in this console gen barely anyone pirates.

lol no, its getting bigger and bigger and that statment is simply not true,

Are there any statistics on what used games are selling based on Game.co.uk's observations? Specifically, if Project $10 games still sold well in the used market, rather than single player games or games not under the Project $10 umbrella.

If the headline read: "Online Pass Isn't Hurting Used Project $10 Game Sales" there would be a more clear definition on whether or not Project $10 is influencing used Project $10 game purchases.

Michael O'Hair:
Are there any statistics on what used games are selling based on Game.co.uk's observations? Specifically, if Project $10 games still sold well in the used market, rather than single player games or games not under the Project $10 umbrella.

If the headline read: "Online Pass Isn't Hurting Used Project $10 Game Sales" there would be a more clear definition on whether or not Project $10 is influencing used Project $10 game purchases.

Good observation.

Irridium:
Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

Except that publishers are already wasting fistfuls of money on development and, oh yeah, they like to get paid(They're also greedy fucks, but that's a given).
Lower prices would at least work for us, the ones that play them, but it's the fact that developers have such an entitlement complex that has lead us to this futile "used games are taking our money" war. The over-bloated companies refuse to accept that their "Triple A" overbudgeted titles are anything less than a glowing golden idol shat out from the gods themselves, so if their sales are looking dodgy, they instantly shift the blame to some convenient scapegoat- one of which happens to be the used games market(In spite of the glaringly obvious fact that someone had to actually buy those games first and then sell them to a third party for them to become "used" in the first place. I don't know what imaginary world game developers inhabit in which all those games they ship out to stores suddenly vanish only to reappear in a used games store. Yeah, there's theft, but that would have to be an awful lot of it to justify the 1 Million units Epic once claimed they lost in sales to used games stores.).

I don't want GAME to go bust over DLC, that company paid my salary for the best part of three years!

Irridium:
Want to damage pre-owned sales? Lower the price of games.

Its that easy. You'll sell more games, hurt used sales, get more money, and the consumers will have cheaper games.

Everyone wins.

ProfessorLayton:

Exactly. I wouldn't buy as many used games if the prices on new games were affordable. If games released for $40 instead of $60, I would not only buy more new games, I would buy more games in general. If Gears of War 3 was released with a $40 or even $50 price tag, that would be great for new games sales. People who otherwise wouldn't have been interested are now giving them attention because their game is cheaper than everyone else's. And when other companies start seeing that, they'll start releasing their games for cheaper and more people will buy games. I can't tell you how many times I've seen a brand new game that I'm interested in, but just wait for the price to go down before buying it because it's too much brand new.

As someone who used to only have a 360 and a Live subscription, buying used games was a great option available when trying to save a buck. I already was paying yearly to play online, so anything extra that could be saved felt like it was balancing out the costs a bit.

Even now with my PS3, I still buy used games just because the price difference can be remarkable. A new copy on Amazon can sometimes run close to double the cost of a used game for the same amount of hours of single player. I don't really play online, but if that used game required an extra fee for the feature, it would still be cheaper than the brand new one! It does not help the matter when many games do not hit a reduced price nearly has quick as they should, nor do they offer "deals" or coupons to stay competitive.

Another problem that I see with the Online Pass is that if one purchases Game Z once it is really cheap for a used copy, there may be little to no incentive to even bother with the online if it is no longer popular anyway. In addition, some games are not even worth that online to begin with and are hard to justify full-retail, particularly with the yearly update games.

 

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