56% of American Gamers Don't Buy Games

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deathbydeath:

Irridium:
Hey, publishers, if SO MANY PEOPLE aren't buying new, and one of the big reasons is price, perhaps it'd be a good idea to reduce your fucking prices already. You know, like what any other business would do.

Especially you EA, who said that the $60 price was a problem way back in 200-fucking-7, and still have done NOTHING to remedy this despite now having your own store where you can charge whatever you want.

Publishers are so quick to blame so many things for the loss of money, but I would bet that their own broken-ass business model is the biggest reason.

Valve has proven that the less you charge, the more you make. Perhaps you should try that.

Normandyfoxtrot:
The thing that always bugs me is people complaining that they don't make enough new IP's but then won't buy new IP games new, they rent them or buy them used.

Well when the publisher doesn't market them, charges $60, and releases the at the same time as the next big Modern Warfare, Assassin's Creed, Halo, Battlefield, Elder Scrolls, and/or Fallout game, can you really blame them for not wanting to risk their money on it?

Would you risk $60 on a game you've never heard of, when instead of it you can buy the sequel to a series you already know you love?

Mass Effect 3 just defeated your argument, and I do tend to buy new new ip's more often then sequels. I have steam, but still...

How did Mass Effect 3 defeat my argument in any way?

It's a sequel to a popular franchise, from a popular developer, being released at a time many games won't be releasing, and will be marketed to hell and back by EA.

The only thing it's doing that I suggest changing is being $60. Which is one point, and does not defeat my argument. Just one point of it. And even then its shaky because EA is doing everything else right and creating a perfect environment to charge $60 for it, even though it'd sell a LOT more if it was $40-$50.

As for you buying more new IP's, well yeah, its because Steam generally has those on sale all the time. Charging less and getting more sales. There's also the matter that apparently new IP's sell better on the PC than consoles, but that's a whole other discussion.

Ragsnstitches:
The game industry is much more expensive then the music industry, so can't live off of a few thousand new sales, but needs 10's of thousands of copies to break even and more to make profit.

The game industry does NOT have the luxury of an isolated experience that excels over home use such as film. I'm talking about Theatre/Cinema. DvD sales are usually the icing on the cake in terms of earnings (or a desperate bid to break even) as the majority of earnings come from the box office.

By "other industries", did you honestly think i only meant within the entertainment industry?

I'm talking practically everything. Cars, furniture, electronic devices. You name it. The game industry might need more than the music industry to break even, but there are industries out there that are in an even worse state than the game industry in that regard and who can barely manage, and they still have to deal with it.

Every industry has different things they suffer under, but they all have to deal with resales. Some do it better than others. The music industry, for example, has to live with that many of their users don't buy the music but consider it enough to listen to it on YouTube. They actually have to offer their music almost for free these days in order to sell it.

In addition, this is something the game industry has brought upon themself. They all are willingly going for high AAA titles with million dollars budgets. When all they are giving consumers is a high supply of high-budget titles at high prices, then it's obvious the demand in some . For the second time in this thread i will have to refer to StarDock again. As Brad Wardell explained, instead of doing games with ridiculous budgets, they went for something more conservative on a low budget and still managed to create a great game series that made them a profit (Sins of a Solar Empire). Did it sell as well as other AAA titles? No, but that was planned. They worked out the budget, the expected return and saw profit, even disregarding piracy.

This is akin to the movie industry making B-movies, which happens alot. In the game industry, instead of going for cheaper games on a cheaper budget, most of the game producers themself have decided to make it a race for the AAA titles at high budgets, which they then have to put out at high prices for the consumers. And guess what: Since the consumers have a limited budget to buy games for, they can't afford all the games at the store price. So they have to buy used. The only thing they can hope for is that the games they put out is better/more popular than the competition, netting them the most sales, but nevertheless, no matter how much they blame resales, it's a class example of the simple punishment for completely misunderstanding supply and demand in their primary market. Piracy and resales is always going to exist, so you have to take those things into account BEFORE you make your game. Not just blame them after the fact that the game didn't turn the profit you expected.

If anything, indie games has shown us that there is a market for low budget low price games. Hell, there even exists games in between that are on a medium budget and are sometimes quite quite good and sells quite quite well. But the simple problem is that game companies always wants to grow bigger, not realizing that the consumer base and their disposable income isn't growing at the same rate = Supply is outgrowing demand (at least amongst the expensive AAA titles).

So TL/DR:
THE GAME INDUSTRY IS JUST AS MANY OTHER INDUSTRIES. THEY JUST SUFFER FROM THEIR OWN GREED AND DESIRE TO GROW BIGGER, AND JUST HAVEN'T REALIZED THAT THEIR TROUBLE WITH BREAKING EVEN EXIST BECAUSE THEY ARE OUTGROWING DEMAND.

Mallefunction:
Of course people share them. People also share DVDs, books, and other media without making a second purchase. So what's the big deal?

Thank you. Why is it only this market that seems to vilify sharing, borrowing and buying used.

No one ever seems to listen to this. If people didn't have access to used games then many games (including new ones) would never be played and purchased. A lot of games that are purchased new are done so by trading in old games.

Yes, it's true that if I buy a used game then the publisher does not get any money from me. However, if I don't have anywhere to trade in my used games then I would not be able to afford as many new games. The only reason this would be the case is if the shop where I trade in games ceased to exist because no one buys used games.

This cycle feeds itself. The idea of everyone buying new would only result in fewer new sales overall. If fewer people buy a game, then the publishers need to make more money per copy. This results in more expensive price point where even fewer people could afford them.

In summary, used games are not the damnation of the market. They may, in fact, be the salvation.

Loonerinoes:

Yopaz:
And yet people will come here and say that used sales don't cause the publisher any reason to worry...

Of course they don't! After all, used sales are *legitimate* ways in which the developers/publishers don't get money, whereas piracy is bad because it's *illegitimate*. What matters is the principle of the thing, not the, ya know, actual effect being virtually the same damn thing in the end.

/end sarcasm

Absolutely!

BAN AMAZON.COM!!!

/end sarcasm.

OT: I buy new if I know the game will last me a while (Disgaea 4, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3) but for a game like Bulletstorm (bought used yesterday, $25 cheaper) that I might return tomorrow (since I'm pretty bored of it already) used is needed.

I purchase a lot of newly released PC games, both digital and retail, but nearly all 360 games I play are lent to or from friends/family.

And nearly all of the books I read are borrowed from friends/family, and a paperback doesn't cost $60. Thats just what people do with entertainment.

Perhaps this game sharing trend is due to the economy. As disposable income gets more and more scarce, the need to be the sole owner of a means of travel, a place to live, or even a video game to play becomes less and less appealing.

Aeonknight:

It's not really the wrong emphasis if they're both required for this industry to exist. The only one that's unneccesary is the retail side. Yet they're the ones screwing both ends, and it's somehow developer's fault (and to give credit where it's due, they blame us too.)

Hell even off Extra Credits' video here:
http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/project-ten-dollar

More of your money is going to game stop's pocket rather than developers. yet the developers are the greedy assholes...?

Yes, technically without games there would be no industry that involved them, but originally I believe the first video game came before the first customer wanting a video game, but I'm open to someone who has solid historical facts correcting me on this.

But in terms of who is more important in this dynamic, it's the customer, always. They don't need to own a video game, but a video game business needs to sell their products. The business has to cater to their desires, or they can try the riskier proposition of supplying an exclusive audience, on a 60 million budget (which I think is ridiculous. I'd settle for Skyrim with Morrowind graphics and no voice acting, if it meant the same amount of content and player agency as that game had, for example)

Personally when I buy used I know I'm being a cheap-skate, specifically because I would prefer a pristine new copy/package every time. And I'm lazy because I would rather walk to the Gamestop nearby than drive to a Target or someplace they sell new, sealed, games a bit cheaper. But I'm not going to force that way of thinking down the rest of the markets throat.

Irridium:

Traun:

Irridium:
Hey, publishers, if SO MANY PEOPLE aren't buying new, and one of the big reasons is price, perhaps it'd be a good idea to reduce your fucking prices already. You know, like what any other business would do.

A publisher receives 17$ per a 60$ game sold( PC market excluded), when the price goes down they receive even less. Now mister marketer, how much do you think a game should cost, so that the additional sales compensate the lower price?

Lets go with what Bethesda's own Todd Howard said and say $40. Of course, for retail they'll only then make about $7-$8, but they have avenues to make up for that. Avenues like DLC and digital sales.

They'd have to take a bit of a hit in the short term, yes. But it'll be beneficial in the long term. Thanks to the iPhone/iPad, which lets you get literally hundreds of new and interesting games for free or $1-$5, paying $60 for a game is slowly but surely becoming obsolete.

Kwil:

Irridium:
Hey, publishers, if SO MANY PEOPLE aren't buying new, and one of the big reasons is price, perhaps it'd be a good idea to reduce your fucking prices already. You know, like what any other business would do.

Especially you EA, who said that the $60 price was a problem way back in 200-fucking-7, and still have done NOTHING to remedy this despite now having your own store where you can charge whatever you want.

Publishers are so quick to blame so many things for the loss of money, but I would bet that their own broken-ass business model is the biggest reason.

Yeah.. how dare developers keep charging the same price they've been charging for decades. It's not as if they're spending a whole sh'load more on developing art assets for high definition visuals, or spending more money on getting actual voice actors and orchestrated music instead of 8bit beeping and booping, to say nothing of how it's free to develop multiplayer modes and make sure it's all balanced as well as having a semi-decent single player mode. And we certainly know they don't have to deal with inflation -- after all, movie tickets have continually gone down in price since the 80s. Thank goodness we have super-intelligent folks like you to point out the problem is simply they're charging too much for what we expect in a game.

Oh wait.. the opposite of all that.

I got a fix for that. It's called not doing those things.

Don't waste money on amazing graphics that'll be obsolete a year later, and instead focus on creating a strong art-style. Don't waste money on a huge, orchestral soundtrack that will end up sounding just like every other orchestral soundtrack, and instead focus on small, more atmospheric tunes that come in, set the mood, then leave. Don't waste money on a multiplayer mode because not everything needs multiplayer, and focus on the story. And voice actors won't mean anything if the game's story is crap, so use the money you're saving by not doing the other things and hire some actual writers.

And yes yes, inflation and all that. But large amounts of people aren't willing to buy the games at the current prices, so they need to change so those people can buy the games.

And yeah yeah, game developers work hard. We all have problems. Customers buy from the ones offering the best deal. Right now that's used sales. So start offering better deals. Customers have no obligation to buy from anyone.

I agree with both of your comments completely Publishers have to change if they're gonna make some money out this relationship. Unless suddenly everybody in the US has a job that pays 70k per year they gonna need to sacrifice their current bottom lines.

lord.jeff:

Jodah:
Personally I follow a 1 hour per dollar rule. If I expect to get 1 hour of enjoyment for every dollar a game costs I will buy it. With me playing very few multiplayer games that means I don't usually buy games new. I'm not spending 60 dollars for a 4 hour campaign.

I take it you don't watch movies then.

I follow the same rule for movies too. If I see a movie in a store for $15, and it's 2 hours long, if I buy it, I expect to watch it around 8 times with friends. The Matrix and Starship Troopers did this.

I don't see movies in theaters, because they are way too expensive, and I have rent to pay.

To me piracy won't be that much of a deal for PC as more and more games are going the multiplayer route. It kind of sucks that once you buy a game and it activates on steam (or Origin now) that it can't be returned or deactivated (I understand why games can't be traded through steam accounts, but apparently a trading scheme is being implemented by Steam currently, correct me if I'm wrong though).

Although when I uninstalled Just Cause 2, that deactivated the game, which was cool. But I wouldn't be able to to sell it at a store, as they can't verify if I actually have deactivated it. I knew nothing of Origin when I bought BF3, and to me its a piece of crap. Also the web interface is so stupid, why can't I just view that in game? It makes connecting to new servers much faster and easier, like every other multiplayer game out there. I would love to return the game or trade it in and get some money back, but can't as it's already activated. I just wanted the damn game, I didn't want to research all of its features beforehand. A second hand market for these types of games would be cool. Although if Steam does implement their system, then this won't be an issue.

I can't imagine how the current second hand market is bad for companies. If someone buys a game and realises they don't like it, it's not as if they will continue to buy the extra content for the game and give the publisher etc more money. If they can sell it, get some money back, and allow someone else to play the game for a lower price, that's fine. That $10 thing is good too, but I haven't researched how it works. But I'm guessing once sell your copy of a multiplayer game, the CD key can't be used again as it's already activated. But someone could buy that second hand copy of that multiplayer game, pay the publisher the $10 and can then get online, that's cheaper than buying the original at full price. That system works for me.

To my mind piracy is not as bad so much as its proliferation with all the public torrent sites. It's not as if every person that pirates a game would have bought the game if they couldn't pirate that title. It's just the sheer proliferation and availability of pirated content that makes it bad in my opinion.

munx13:
I think it's because of the INSANE PRICES?

Make a game thirty dollars, and used games will cost twenty five. It. Still. Won't. Work.

AdumbroDeus:

You seem to forget the fact that the average consumer has the lowest portion of overall spending power (adjusted for inflation) since the 1920s.

I really wish people would remember this before they start talking about games being "cheaper" now.

AdumbroDeus:

Ironic Pirate:

munx13:
I think it's because of the INSANE PRICES?

Games are longer, more complex, and (adjusted for inflation) cheaper than they've ever been. So, not that insane, really.

Anyway, this wouldn't be a problem if they didn't let Gamestop step all over them. Gamestop relies solely on one product, a product that can be purchased digitally. And yet they don't share used game profits? That's the problem, not people buying used games or prices.

You seem to forget the fact that the average consumer has the lowest portion of overall spending power (adjusted for inflation) since the 1920s.

Hmm. Games have stayed essentially the same price for thirty years, adjusted for inflation they should cost now about 200 dollars, at least according to an internet calculator. I don't know how much the portion of overall spending has gone down for the average consumer, but considering games are also now longer and more complex, the prices are still justifiable.

Loonerinoes:

Yopaz:
And yet people will come here and say that used sales don't cause the publisher any reason to worry...

Of course they don't! After all, used sales are *legitimate* ways in which the developers/publishers don't get money, whereas piracy is bad because it's *illegitimate*. What matters is the principle of the thing, not the, ya know, actual effect being virtually the same damn thing in the end.

/end sarcasm

The only thing illegitimate here is the "Used Games are the same as Piracy" argument.
It's a common argument I see a LOT on these forums, and it's been disproved many MANY *MANY* times before in other similar topics.

TheDooD:

Normandyfoxtrot:

TheDooD:

I didn't say they need to give me a damn thing. It's just they need not to bitch when I choose to buy their game used when it was too damn expensive for me to buy it new. If Publishers want people to buy new they need to sell cheap and stop treating those that buy used, rent, and or share games like they stole money out their pockets.

Just for curiosities sake what price do you think a Triple A title should go at you know with the mulit-year development and total costs being over 500million dollars?

It's not my fault somebody else has HORRIBLE money management skills, to burn through 500 million there better be a fucking rocket going up in the air when the game is launched as well. Hell with a good 5 million an indie company can make some badass that's if they need that much. Movies have been made with less, cars cost less. So why in the fuck does a AAA need to cost SO much fucking money for just 5 or so hours of Single player content, maybe multiplayer and hopefully DLC. You tell how, why do they really need 500 MILLION to get the job done and they STILL manage to make a overall average product.

1) It would take MUCH more then 500 million just to build a rocket. You'd have maybe a fraction of an actual shuttle with that budget.

2) That isn't the average budget for a video game. As of last year, its 20 Million per triple A game and that's MUCH less then most big title action movies you saw last summer. For example, Green Lantern had a 200 million dollar budget.

3) Obviously an Indie developer is gonna need less money, the point of being an Indie developer is that they're independent and work with a VERY small staff as opposed to a whole team of developers, artists and programmers.

4) Triple AAA games cost so much money because they're a lot fucking bigger then your average indie game. They have a whole team of writers, voice actors, artists, programmers, developers, marketing teams etc etc, working on the game as opposed to just a handful of people that comprise most indie teams. You have to pay their paychecks ya know.

5) The Average length of a game isn't 5 hours. They last much longer then most indie games and even then, the amount of gameplay you get out is equal to the amount of time you spend playing it, not the amount of time the developers average out of the play testers speed runs. A 5 hour game isn't worth 5 hours if you end up playing it for several days.

6) The price of video games has actually dropped if you factor in inflation.

7) The current cost of video games is currently in a place where the publisher can make money, albiet a very small one and to cover their losses, they need to assure that each game sells rather decently.

One Hit Noob:

munx13:
I think it's because of the INSANE PRICES?

Make a game thirty dollars, and used games will cost twenty five. It. Still. Won't. Work.

The lower the price, the fewer people will feel the pinch to save every buck. It's funny, because IT. DID. WORK. WITH. CDs. Lower the prices, more new sales.

HUH. howabout that.

Ironic Pirate:

but considering games are also now longer and more complex, the prices are still justifiable.

I don't see how you're arriving at that. Beyond behind the scenes, technical complexity, show me an example of a current gen game in any genre, and I could easily find examples of greater length and complexity from 10 or more years ago. And even recent games that may be more complex in some regards, just don't feel that way when you're playing, so little does the complexity involve things that actually matter in a game.

I know the industry is trying to sell that idea, in hopes we won't call foul when a sequel to a 20 year old game accomplishes less with a fraction of the budget and development time.

But I still agree the price is justifiable, just not for those specific reasons. Demon's Souls isn't any more complex or longer an RPG than Gothic 2, for example, but I still got what I feel is $60 dollars worth out of it.

Irridium:

Normandyfoxtrot:

Irridium:
Hey, publishers, if SO MANY PEOPLE aren't buying new, and one of the big reasons is price, perhaps it'd be a good idea to reduce your fucking prices already. You know, like what any other business would do.

Especially you EA, who said that the $60 price was a problem way back in 200-fucking-7, and still have done NOTHING to remedy this despite now having your own store where you can charge whatever you want.

Publishers are so quick to blame so many things for the loss of money, but I would bet that their own broken-ass business model is the biggest reason.

Valve has proven that the less you charge, the more you make. Perhaps you should try that.

Well when the publisher doesn't market them, charges $60, and releases the at the same time as the next big Modern Warfare, Assassin's Creed, Halo, Battlefield, Elder Scrolls, and/or Fallout game, can you really blame them for not wanting to risk their money on it?

Would you risk $60 on a game you've never heard of, when instead of it you can buy the sequel to a series you already know you love?

Which doesn't change the fact that your hardly in any position to bitch about a lack of new IP's why do you think they turn out so many sequels in the first place.

Because sequels sell better than the original IP. And why do they sell? Because when everyone buys the new IP used, they love it and buy the sequel new.

This industry is so focused on short-term gain they fail to see the long-term affects. Used sales are perfect for building franchises. Used sales do transfer into new sales. It just doesn't happen quickly.

And again, people buy the new IP used because the publisher doesn't market it, charges the same amount as the huge sequels, and releases them at the same time as those sequels. Expecting them to sell well in that environment is just insanity. It's not the consumer's fault that publishers don't market their games, charge a lot of money for them, and release them at a time where the consumer's money will be put towards sequels. It's the publisher's fault for releasing it in such an environment.

The publish is already only making 27$ a sale. That means an average production 30 mio dollars will only start making profit after a 1 million copies sold.

And even if the prices are lowered a used copy is still worth less than a new so the same type of customer will still go for the cheaper option.

I say go digital. Kill the used and be able to lower prices in one swoop.

Lets not think of it as costing Publishers money, think of it as helping the retailers :P

Though this does make me fear people will redouble their campaigning of online passes.

One Hit Noob:

munx13:
I think it's because of the INSANE PRICES?

Make a game thirty dollars, and used games will cost twenty five. It. Still. Won't. Work.

I don't have the data to support the claim that people would stop buying used games all together at that price point, but I feel confident that less people would certainly feel inclined to do so. In other words, I'm willing to bet that there are more people who can afford to spend an extra $30 every now and then than an extra $60.

I'm in the UK and I lend games to mates, in turn they lend me games. It makes fucking sense. I only buy off of Steam if they do a sale because I can't afford 40 every time I want a game. That's a lot of money when you consider how many single play games you want to play.

So we just get the ones that each of us are most interested in and pass them around when someone fancies giving it a go.

I lent God of War III and Darksiders to a mate only about a month ago. Also Red dead redemption to another mate. He's gonna lend me Rage when he's through with it.

As much as I want to support every good developer, my wallet disagrees with the sentiment.

I see some people saying that if they lowered new game prices, used prices would just get even lower, so that strategy wouldn't work.

That's a distinct possibility, but I'd like to state that I'd be more likely to buy new if the new price was $30-40 at launch instead of $60, even if the used price was still less money.

I can't speak for the rest of the financially challenged gaming community, though.

Draech:

Irridium:

Normandyfoxtrot:

Which doesn't change the fact that your hardly in any position to bitch about a lack of new IP's why do you think they turn out so many sequels in the first place.

Because sequels sell better than the original IP. And why do they sell? Because when everyone buys the new IP used, they love it and buy the sequel new.

This industry is so focused on short-term gain they fail to see the long-term affects. Used sales are perfect for building franchises. Used sales do transfer into new sales. It just doesn't happen quickly.

And again, people buy the new IP used because the publisher doesn't market it, charges the same amount as the huge sequels, and releases them at the same time as those sequels. Expecting them to sell well in that environment is just insanity. It's not the consumer's fault that publishers don't market their games, charge a lot of money for them, and release them at a time where the consumer's money will be put towards sequels. It's the publisher's fault for releasing it in such an environment.

The publish is already only making 27$ a sale. That means an average production 30 mio dollars will only start making profit after a 1 million copies sold.

And even if the prices are lowered a used copy is still worth less than a new so the same type of customer will still go for the cheaper option.

I say go digital. Kill the used and be able to lower prices in one swoop.

Most customers hate buying used though. You hear it all the time. About how much people hate Gamestop, how they wish games didn't cost so much so they can buy more.

People buying used after a price drop will buy used no matter what, or just not buy at all. Which means you will NEVER get any money out of them, which means they are NOT lost sales.

There's also the fact that many in the industry agree that $60 is too much to charge these days. Mainly EA(who said it way back in 2007, mind you), Todd Howard(of Bethesda fame), and David Jaffe(of Twisted Metal/God of War fame).

EA's in the best position to lower prices, since they have their own store now, and they're not. Bethesda could charge whatever it wants for Skyrim and it would sell. Could you imagine if they charged $40 for it? It'd be game changing. It would cause people to go "wait, if Skyrim is only $40, why should I pay $60 for this game?". But, they're not doing that. David Jaffe thinks Twisted Metal is good enough to be $60. And while its not as hyped as Skyrim, it'd still be great if he did what he said should be done and lower its price.

dyskordian:
I have 170+ games on Steam that disagree with this article.

No, you have 170+ games that put you within the 44% that do buy games.

Its not hard to see how they can combat DLC and recover income. Make better games actually WORTH the release price. They might find things change rapidly when they accomplish that.

Ironic Pirate:

AdumbroDeus:

Ironic Pirate:

Games are longer, more complex, and (adjusted for inflation) cheaper than they've ever been. So, not that insane, really.

Anyway, this wouldn't be a problem if they didn't let Gamestop step all over them. Gamestop relies solely on one product, a product that can be purchased digitally. And yet they don't share used game profits? That's the problem, not people buying used games or prices.

You seem to forget the fact that the average consumer has the lowest portion of overall spending power (adjusted for inflation) since the 1920s.

Hmm. Games have stayed essentially the same price for thirty years, adjusted for inflation they should cost now about 200 dollars, at least according to an internet calculator. I don't know how much the portion of overall spending has gone down for the average consumer, but considering games are also now longer and more complex, the prices are still justifiable.

Games were a niche thing 30 years ago. They made perhaps a fraction of the profit modern games make, even accounting for inflation.

Modern big budget games could easily afford to cost about 30 and still make the same if not more profit than they are doing at that minute.

Perhaps if games weren't so god damned dull and if we weren't being bent over and screwed without lube we'd buy more new games. Ever stop to think about that, bean counters?

I'm far more likely to buy a brand new Valve game than, say, an EA game. Why? It's gonna be good, it's gonna be fun, and it's not gonna run like ass. They also don't try to fuck me over by including online passes 'n shit.

Oh, and used games don't hurt the games industry any more than used car sales hurt the auto industry. And with the auto industry having been juuuust fiiine with used car sales existing since about six months after new car sales became commonplace we can pretty assuredly say that anyone who believes used game sales are hurting game devs is full of shit. They already got paid their fair share for that copy when it was bought new, already compensated for the work put into making it, they aren't entitled to a single cent beyond the initial, brand new purchase!

I buy ancient titles that no one has heard of like Planescape Torment and Strife. Personally, I think those games deserve the 60USD far more than any of the dross that tends to come out on the market today. Even "good" games tend to be extremely short and tend to cut corners. Why would I pay 60 for something that I can finish in a long, boring afternoon when I can spend wallet money on something that will bring me joy for weeks, not counting possible replays?

Want my $60? DON'T push your online distribution service in my face. DON'T push ineffectual DRM schemes that are going to be easily defeated by those less scrupulous. Don't overhype the shit out of your "re-innovation" of your latest title. DON'T make your game always online either. I have a good connection, but I won't to be able to play if your server takes a dump, which will likely happen often because you chimps did not adequately explore this possibility.

Most of all: DON'T tell me that I can't resell my copy of my game. You are not a unique little snow flake in the world of products. Why don't you learn from other industries? Car dealerships will offer you absurd amounts of money for your used car only to get rid of it if you are buying a brand new vehicle from them. Why don't you offer me a little credit and take a used game off the market? Of course you won't do that. That makes too much sense. Why don't you instead spend STUPID sums of money making your own cumbersome online distribution service so I have to make ANOTHER account with ANOTHER password and have ANOTHER program running in the background?

I liked gaming better when I could just pop the disk in, install the game, and then forget about the CD until I need to reinstall Windows 98 for the third time this year.

I like how the emphasis has gone from piracy to used games over the past few weeks

Baresark:

Ragsnstitches:

Athinira:

snip

TL/DR:

GAMES ARE NOT THE SAME INDUSTRY AS MUSIC AND FILM. THEY ARE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BEAST THAT ARE AS DIFFERENT AS NIGHT AND DAY!.

While they are not exactly the same, what you say is not explicitly true. The pricing structure may not be the same, it is still a luxury entertainment industry. The only other things the other two mentioned industries have over videogames is that they have elements that are considered art. Same thing goes for books.

The costs of production are amorphis in nature. There is no definitive amount of money that must go in any project. It just so happens that the average AAA title cost $18-$28 Million to make. But there are plenty of stories of small developers becoming overnight success stories by selling a product that very little has gone into.

It's misleading to define the videogame industry as vastly different than other entertainment industries. It's simply untrue. You are making an excuse for developers that do not turn out a product that can at least get back what they put into it. And it's not the consumers responsibility to see a company prosper, it's the companies responsibility to produce a product that people want. Likewise, it's also not the consumers responsibility to refrain from buying the product for a better rate if they can get it at a better rate.

Unfortunately, the game industry, while it's not exactly the same as other industries, should not be exempt from the same consumer end sales as other industries. You can't name another industry that has the same problem with resales. And it's not because it's so different, it's simply because car companies, record producers, book publishers, and the movie industry (to name a few) have dealt with it the only way it can be dealt with. They constantly try to turn out a product that people want. The videogame industry is different in one very important way though. Some companies seem to want to turn out crap and make huge profits. But they don't. Why? Because they put out a product that isn't worth the asking price. So, anyone selling it for cheaper is going to get the sale. And if someone buys a product they are unhappy with, they are entitled to try and make the best of it, even if that means selling the product to a neighbor or selling to Gamestop so they can get credit to buy another game they may want.

Yeah, okay what I said was more for dramatic effect then literally what I meant. Games are affected by supply and demand as much as film, music, cars etc.

However I will not agree with you that the game industry is somehow lacklustre in output compared to other industries. That is baloney. There are crap cars, crap songs, crap films and crap books (that sell really well). What each of these industries have is a unique conduit to make a profit (or at least break even).

*Music, as I said, has Radio (local/national) and Tours that rake in money. The former is public and would be taking massive risks in illegally reselling their music, the latter is a unique experience that is demanded by many, scalped tickets not even denting the honest festival/concert goer spending (don't forget all the branding and product placement that occurs here, Coca Cola and such has to pay to get their product in). In this case, outside of CD sales or Digital Downloads, Music still earns cash.

*Film has Theatre/Cinema, a singular experience that cannot be matched at home (unless you have a cinema at home). You constantly hear about films being "smash hits" or "breaking the box office". A good chunk of earnings from Theatrical releases go right back to the film industry. Films are also purchased by T.V stations and few other public services which also send money back to the film industry. There is also a notable degradation in quality for most pirated films (especially camcorder piracy during theatrical releases)

*Cars are not the same as games/film/music at all. Yes there are used car sales, but did you stop to note how rare it is to find a used 2011 car in 2011 (the first year, or months even, is where the future is decided for that specific product line/brand)? Or what people think when they see a used 2011 car in 2011? People buy cars usually with expectations of long term use. The Car industry also DOES NOT SUFFER FROM PIRACY. They may suffer from shoddy knockoffs coming from china/eastern europe, but they are not easily purchased.

ALSO, second hand sales of cars can still send money back to the manufacturers. How? Because sometimes people still need to get spare parts, or need some other service offered by the manufacturer of your used car. Also, Used cars can also be sold at the Named Retailers of the manufacturers (Toyota show rooms may have Toyota used cars.) They also sell cars (used and new) at incredibly high markups over the cost of manufacturing.

-Also as far as I know, cars are not made in surplus (like games), usually only a couple thousand units being built initially and future sales been decided based on how that stock sells globally.

*Books are the only other industry I can think of that share a similar Retail/Consumer/Producer relationship as games. But the cost of production is tiny in comparison and is pioneered by authors and not teams of people, so the mark up is more enticing for consumers (10-20 bucks for 10-20+ hours of reading is acceptable, unlike 50+ bucks for 5-20 hours of gaming as standard).

Where do games get the moolah? From single hardcopy/digital purchase by individuals in retail or online stores. There is no other method of note to earn their keep beyond DLC and other less favoured methods. Pirated copies are as good as the new products and sometimes even better with the removal of security features, there is no public outlet that offers a unique experience over home use and online stores like Steam and Origin (impulse and some others too) are the only outlets that are entirely run by the game industry, unlike Gamestop and Game who are a separate industry, though symbiotic (parasitic if you're feeling cynical) in nature with the industry.

Athinira:

Ragsnstitches:
The game industry is much more expensive then the music industry, so can't live off of a few thousand new sales, but needs 10's of thousands of copies to break even and more to make profit.

The game industry does NOT have the luxury of an isolated experience that excels over home use such as film. I'm talking about Theatre/Cinema. DvD sales are usually the icing on the cake in terms of earnings (or a desperate bid to break even) as the majority of earnings come from the box office.

By "other industries", did you honestly think i only meant within the entertainment industry?

I'm talking practically everything. Cars, furniture, electronic devices. You name it. The game industry might need more than the music industry to break even, but there are industries out there that are in an even worse state than the game industry in that regard and who can barely manage, and they still have to deal with it.

Every industry has different things they suffer under, but they all have to deal with resales. Some do it better than others. The music industry, for example, has to live with that many of their users don't buy the music but consider it enough to listen to it on YouTube. They actually have to offer their music almost for free these days in order to sell it.

In addition, this is something the game industry has brought upon themself. They all are willingly going for high AAA titles with million dollars budgets. When all they are giving consumers is a high supply of high-budget titles at high prices, then it's obvious the demand in some . For the second time in this thread i will have to refer to StarDock again. As Brad Wardell explained, instead of doing games with ridiculous budgets, they went for something more conservative on a low budget and still managed to create a great game series that made them a profit (Sins of a Solar Empire). Did it sell as well as other AAA titles? No, but that was planned. They worked out the budget, the expected return and saw profit, even disregarding piracy.

This is akin to the movie industry making B-movies, which happens alot. In the game industry, instead of going for cheaper games on a cheaper budget, most of the game producers themself have decided to make it a race for the AAA titles at high budgets, which they then have to put out at high prices for the consumers. And guess what: Since the consumers have a limited budget to buy games for, they can't afford all the games at the store price. So they have to buy used. The only thing they can hope for is that the games they put out is better/more popular than the competition, netting them the most sales, but nevertheless, no matter how much they blame resales, it's a class example of the simple punishment for completely misunderstanding supply and demand in their primary market. Piracy and resales is always going to exist, so you have to take those things into account BEFORE you make your game. Not just blame them after the fact that the game didn't turn the profit you expected.

If anything, indie games has shown us that there is a market for low budget low price games. Hell, there even exists games in between that are on a medium budget and are sometimes quite quite good and sells quite quite well. But the simple problem is that game companies always wants to grow bigger, not realizing that the consumer base and their disposable income isn't growing at the same rate = Supply is outgrowing demand (at least amongst the expensive AAA titles).

So TL/DR:
THE GAME INDUSTRY IS JUST AS MANY OTHER INDUSTRIES. THEY JUST SUFFER FROM THEIR OWN GREED AND DESIRE TO GROW BIGGER, AND JUST HAVEN'T REALIZED THAT THEIR TROUBLE WITH BREAKING EVEN EXIST BECAUSE THEY ARE OUTGROWING DEMAND.

I'm sorry, but what? You are saying that people are showing a disinterest in AAA titles? Really? Explain 2nd hand sales then (of AAA titles, since indie titles can't be sold 2nd hand), explain the successes of CoD MP and it's DLC and the likes of Gears of War, Halo, Battlefield, Mass Effect, Mario, Zelda, Batman: AC, GTA, Red Dead, L.A Noir, Fallout 3/NV, The Elder Scrolls, Half Life, Starcraft, World of Warcraft, Warhammer Online, Fifa (insert number here) NBA (insert number here) NFL (number), Gran Turismo etc. etc. etc.

-Please, also explain to me why someone would buy a 2nd hand AAA game for 2 euro/5 Dollars less then the New release over the new release that actually goes back into the industry rather then the retailer. The answer is really simple, lack of knowledge. Why invest in the distributor only at the expense of the supplier... logically that makes no sense at all.

Indie games? Minecraft, Meatboy, Plants v Zombies, Bejeweled (the biggest of the bunch) Angry Birds etc. All of which have sold really well that is true... but it does not mean a shift in demand.

People still want big budget fancy textured, HD 3D surround sound audio, A list celeb voiceovered, AAA games. The fact that 2nd hand sales are doing so well is PROOF of this. if people didn't want to spend money on something THEY WOULDN'T.

As for your example that the Game industry shares the same burdens as other industries, read my response above to the other guy. But I'll break apart the things you mentioned too:

*Furniture: Aside from the average customer, where else would Furniture Manufacturers be able to market their stuff? Well, pretty much anywhere people would want to sit (go into town, look around... how many chairs do you see? Do you think they are all bought 2nd hand?). Add tables, light fixtures, desks, drawers, pressers etc. to these same areas and you can, hopefully, see where they make their earnings. That isn't to say it's a stable market, aside from the juggernauts like Ikea plenty of small manufacturers are just about breaking even and those that don't die off.

In this case, 2nd hand sales are not detrimental because there is always a need for specifically designed furniture (for themes) or modern designs (for offices, cafes etc.)... I also think furniture piracy is fairly weak in the grand scheme of things compared to film/music/games.

*Electronic Devices. When was the last time you bought a graphics card 2nd hand? Unlike games/films/music, something frivolous and forgettable more often then not and for more people then less, the devices we use them in are highly scrutinised. The 2nd hand market for digital products is extremely weak (people will not spend 80-90% of the "new" price on a 2nd hand device, 60-70% is the cut off... this is not the case for games). Honestly tell me this, aside from pawn shops and cash n' carry's (if your in the UK/Ireland) where is the equivalent to Gamestop, Game, Electronics Boutique, that offer BOTH the new items and the slightly cheaper new items. The only examples I can think of are dedicated 2nd hand retailers and are few in number and variety. When was the last time you bought a 2nd hand Sony device from a Sony Store? You didn't... ever.

2nd hand sales, again, is weak in this market. People also rarely share their devices with friends, though family exchanges (Phone hand-me-downs, unused appliances if moving etc.) aren't unheard of.

You can read what I said above from this point on... I'm too tired to continue with this.

Yopaz:

So you wont care if all publishers/developers slip into bankruptcy?

I qualified the statement with the word 'most', so no. Some publishers produce games of sufficient quality to actually merit a new purchase without having resorting to measures like online passes or pack-in DLC (though I only seriously object to the former). Bethesda and Valve are two examples.

I don't even object to companies like Rockstar putting bonus missions into their games, because I trust Rockstar to make the core game actually -good-.

Now get this. I am not saying used sales should be banned.

Is anyone? If so, those people are idiots.

We got this thing called free market and that's why publishers can rack up their huge piles of money. The retailers undercut them using the same thing and rack up huge piles of money.

Yes and yes. I agree.

However when publishers give out DLC free with new copies they should be allowed to because of... you guessed it. Free market.

I didn't claim they shouldn't be able to (in the case of bonus DLC, at least), I said I wouldn't cry if they go bankrupt. I'm usually a new buyer, but I refuse to buy a game with an online pass packed in. That's capitalism. I'm not compelled to give a rat's ass about the welfare of a large corporation if they produce a shitty product like EA is so wont to do.

Dear games industry,

the cost to print a disc and inlay is prectically nothing.
sell those games cheaper from the start, many more peole will take a risk and buy new. Might even shift enough to have higher profits than $45/$60

Or stagger lowering the price in a regular the consumer knows when to expect it. if i knew a platinum edition will be released after 6 months at half the price, I'd wait rather than buy used

signed
A. Gamer

Normally i'd come to the defense of publishers and developers, but a motherfucking $60 for another motherfucking modern war shooter is going too far. If i feel a game is worth it's price then i'll trumpet it from the fucking rooftops, but as things are now, the asking price for new games is too high.

Athinira:

Ragsnstitches:
The game industry is much more expensive then the music industry, so can't live off of a few thousand new sales, but needs 10's of thousands of copies to break even and more to make profit.

The game industry does NOT have the luxury of an isolated experience that excels over home use such as film. I'm talking about Theatre/Cinema. DvD sales are usually the icing on the cake in terms of earnings (or a desperate bid to break even) as the majority of earnings come from the box office.

snip

Wow. Someone who understands the free market? On this forum? You get a cookie.

What interests me is how 'new purchase' DLC doesn't necessarily create an increase in sales. Companies should be looking to slight price drops to help them out. Hell, even dropping ten bucks off a triple A title would spike purchases.

Irridium:

Draech:

Irridium:

Because sequels sell better than the original IP. And why do they sell? Because when everyone buys the new IP used, they love it and buy the sequel new.

This industry is so focused on short-term gain they fail to see the long-term affects. Used sales are perfect for building franchises. Used sales do transfer into new sales. It just doesn't happen quickly.

And again, people buy the new IP used because the publisher doesn't market it, charges the same amount as the huge sequels, and releases them at the same time as those sequels. Expecting them to sell well in that environment is just insanity. It's not the consumer's fault that publishers don't market their games, charge a lot of money for them, and release them at a time where the consumer's money will be put towards sequels. It's the publisher's fault for releasing it in such an environment.

The publish is already only making 27$ a sale. That means an average production 30 mio dollars will only start making profit after a 1 million copies sold.

And even if the prices are lowered a used copy is still worth less than a new so the same type of customer will still go for the cheaper option.

I say go digital. Kill the used and be able to lower prices in one swoop.

Most customers hate buying used though. You hear it all the time. About how much people hate Gamestop, how they wish games didn't cost so much so they can buy more.

People buying used after a price drop will buy used no matter what, or just not buy at all. Which means you will NEVER get any money out of them, which means they are NOT lost sales.

There's also the fact that many in the industry agree that $60 is too much to charge these days. Mainly EA(who said it way back in 2007, mind you), Todd Howard(of Bethesda fame), and David Jaffe(of Twisted Metal/God of War fame).

EA's in the best position to lower prices, since they have their own store now, and they're not. Bethesda could charge whatever it wants for Skyrim and it would sell. Could you imagine if they charged $40 for it? It'd be game changing. It would cause people to go "wait, if Skyrim is only $40, why should I pay $60 for this game?". But, they're not doing that. David Jaffe thinks Twisted Metal is good enough to be $60. And while its not as hyped as Skyrim, it'd still be great if he did what he said should be done and lower its price.

The thing is you link a Valve article that doesn't have to deal with used sales.

And you use anecdotal evidence as proof of people doesn't like buying used.

Your whole argument is that games should be cheaper so people would buy them, but used will still be cheaper no matter how much you lower it. If the customer is buying used for the price point, then they will still be doing so because used will still have the price advantage.

The problem is that there isn't any real disadvantage buying used (with the exceptions of the limiters publisher put in now.. and they get whine at for) so its a much more desirable market that other mediums.

If we go full digital everywhere then we cut out major production/shipping/distribution costs, making publisher able to make more than the magic 27 dollars per game sold. Allowing them to lower their prices. Furthermore the used sales profit (major part as already pointed out) will now go into the sales of new. That means even greater profit per game allowing them to lower their prices even further if you can ensure 2 million copies sold rather than 1.

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