56% of American Gamers Don't Buy Games

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I think we can all agree that used game sales and sharing are cutting down on the profit a publisher makes. The disagreement comes from how much this effects the publisher and/or whether it is a bad thing.

What many people can agree on is that we, as gamers, do not need another One Shot Wonder 4: The Pursuit of More Cash. So if forcing a publisher to tighten its belt causes some game series to actually end I call it a win.

If publishers want to make more profit maybe they should stop hiring armies of apparently incompetent people to design their games. Think about it: take any first person shooter(or third person for that matter)series and compare any two consecutive titles in that series and answer the following questions about the latest one. Are the graphics better?(a little bit) Are there a lot of new guns?(a few extra) Is there a radical change in what you can do in the game or how it plays?(no) Is the writing and character dialogue more clever and/or more prominent and numerous?(no)

So given your answers to these questions answer this last one: Can you justify why the sequel has a development team as large or even larger than the previous game's?

I don't know about everyone else, but the reason I don't buy new is because I can't afford to. basic economics says that you won't sell a product if people aren't willing to pay for it. focus on the cheeper aspects of game creation like story, creativity, things to do besides shoot people, etc. and less on the super powerful expensive graphics and cut the price a bit and new game sales will skyrocket. I know people who are failing my first year economics class in college who could solve this problem.

Ragsnstitches:

-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.

The answer isn't lack of knowledge. The answer is going to Gamestop instead of eBay, where you'll get the game for half of what it retails for. Often with DLC.

Used game sales are how I got into the Fallout series. I bought FO3, Op: Anchorage, Pitt and Broken Steel on eBay for 20 bucks. Not a cent of that sale went to Bethesda, and I never would have bothered if I had only new games available as FO3 was way too expensive an unknown to justify the money on. However, I liked the game so much that when Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta came out I bought them right up. There's 20 bucks Bethesda would have never made had I not bought FO3 used. They turned out quite good as well, so when New Vegas was up for pre-order I snapped that shit right up. 49.99 into Bethesda's coffers, again because I bought FO3 used. Then, of course, I bought all of the DLC for New Vegas save Courier's Stash(Mods gave me better starting gear than any of the official stuff), which sent another 45 bucks Bethesda's way.

tl;dr: Bethesda made $115USD off of me because I bought Fallout 3 used, a $115 they never would have seen otherwise.

And yet the industry is going pretty strong.

Ragsnstitches:
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.

Because they don't have the money, that's why.

If you had actually understood my post, i very clearly explained that customers have a limited amount of disposable cash available. I didn't say people were disinterested in AAA titles. I said there just wasn't a demand for it. In economics, "demand" is NOT the same as "interest". I'm sure there is plenty of people who are interested in owning a speed boat that they can impress chicks with. That doesn't mean they can afford one.

Bottom line is that the game industry is pumping so many money into making big-title games, that they have to sell those games very expensively. And when all you give the consumer is $50-$60 games, then it's obvious they can't afford them all, and it makes it harder for you to break even because everyone else and their dog is also spitting out AAA titles. Result: The consumer spends some of his money on some cheaper games (indie games, possibly old AAA titles that are now on steam sales for 25% of their original cost), and gets your brand-new $60 AAA title through piracy or resale.

So what I'm essentially saying is that if the game industry hopes to make more of a profit, they need to start spending so many money on making the games. Yes in some ways this sucks for us, the consumers, too, because games on a cheaper budget are often less technically impressive. But at the end of the day, we simply can't afford all of the AAA titles, so if the companies want to make more money, they need to lower their expenses, because we (the consumers) certainly aren't going to increase our income out of the blue, and to us, the goal is to get as many games as possible for as cheap a price as possible. Sure, some AAA titles will float, and you mentioned a lot of them (CoD, Battlefield etc.) but for every one of them, there is another AAA title that just managed to break even or was a financial fiasco. When the customer is out of money to buy, the only way to increase your turnover is to decrease your expenses.

Mr Ink 5000:
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

Dear Mr Ink

While the cost of a disk is low there are a lot more costs than the disk.
When everyone is paid of your 60$ we only see 27$ of them. Meanwhile a game like LA Noire cost about 100 million dollars to develop over 8 years, means that we will break even on our 8 year investment at about 3,7 million copies sold.

As you can see we are not trying to screw you over. We are just trying to stay in business.

Signed

A. Publisher

Draech:

Meanwhile a game like LA Noire cost about 100 million dollars to develop over 8 years, means that we will break even on our 8 year investment at about 3,7 million copies sold.

That isn't even close to a realistic, average example and you know it.

As you can see we are not trying to screw you over. We are just trying to stay in business.

Signed

A. Publisher

Yeah no. Publishers have dealt with the same issues for decades and are only now deciding that it's a problem. At present they are making more money than they have at any point in gaming history. It's just greed and lack of long-term perspective.

Draech:

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.

You assume people who buy used will buy new if they can no longer buy used. This will most certainly NOT happen.

Yeah Valve doesn't have to deal with used sales, but they do have to deal with piracy, which is far, FAR worse. With used sales there's 1 copy, and only one going between a few people in the span of months, maybe years. And the publisher already got paid for that copy. With pirated copies, 1 copy can be copied millions of times to millions of people, in a few hours, and chances are they didn't get any money from that one copy since most are leaked before release. Valve managed to make Russia their second largest market in Europe, a country seen by many as pirate-heavy. They beat it by offering a better deal, something publisher's are not doing with used sales.

Why should people buy from Valve/Steam when they could get the pirated copy for free? Because Valve offers the better deal.

Why should people buy console games new? There isn't a good argument for why they should buy new.

Lowering the price would be a good reason, but there are lots of others. Like giving repeat customers benefits. Giving new customers benefits. In other industries, these are known as "customer benefits", and are used to keep people buying from you. These could include anything from coupons for reduced prices for future games, special codes to redeem on their own service(like, say, Origin. Buy Battlefield 3 new, get a code for one free game from Origin). You know, give people reasons to keep buying new, or from you personally.

Perhaps the industry should look into this.

Just like you'd share a book or a film when you've finished it, then.

I wouldn't read too much into this. It's normal behaviour, just an indication that games have become more socially widespread. Sharing things you legitimately own is not a crime. Or do publishers intend on criminalising that, too?

...oh fuck, this is going to help the industry validate its' horrific methods to stop used games

Show me the numbers then I will believe it.

Pandabearparade:

Draech:

Meanwhile a game like LA Noire cost about 100 million dollars to develop over 8 years, means that we will break even on our 8 year investment at about 3,7 million copies sold.

That isn't even close to a realistic, average example and you know it.

As you can see we are not trying to screw you over. We are just trying to stay in business.

Signed

A. Publisher

Yeah no. Publishers have dealt with the same issues for decades and are only now deciding that it's a problem. At present they are making more money than they have at any point in gaming history. It's just greed and lack of long-term perspective.

It depends on what you mean by average.
You can usually go with 10-15 mil development cost per year. So a game like battlefield 3 also has to deal with a number in that area.

You have to understand cant be made by bedroom programmers any more. Production cost is a lot more than what they were a decade ago. The markets ofc are a lot bigger as well, but you see the math. The 60$ is there for a reason.

TestECull:

Ragsnstitches:

-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.

The answer isn't lack of knowledge. The answer is going to Gamestop instead of eBay, where you'll get the game for half of what it retails for. Often with DLC.

Used game sales are how I got into the Fallout series. I bought FO3, Op: Anchorage, Pitt and Broken Steel on eBay for 20 bucks. Not a cent of that sale went to Bethesda, and I never would have bothered if I had only new games available as FO3 was way too expensive an unknown to justify the money on. However, I liked the game so much that when Point Lookout and Mothership Zeta came out I bought them right up. There's 20 bucks Bethesda would have never made had I not bought FO3 used. They turned out quite good as well, so when New Vegas was up for pre-order I snapped that shit right up. 49.99 into Bethesda's coffers, again because I bought FO3 used. Then, of course, I bought all of the DLC for New Vegas save Courier's Stash(Mods gave me better starting gear than any of the official stuff), which sent another 45 bucks Bethesda's way.

tl;dr: Bethesda made $115USD off of me because I bought Fallout 3 used, a $115 they never would have seen otherwise.

Okay. I retract that comment, though not entirely... I'm pretty sure there are people who aren't aware (probably don't care either) to whom their money is going to.

You also seem to support DLC (am I right?). DLC is the extra limb that balances the losses to piracy and 2nd hand sales (no matter how large/small) and that is why I support DLC. I don't hate 2nd hand games, I have bought them when on a budget and I completely agree with you.

I'm saying a lot of things in anger and forget that most people on this site have a brain, so I apologise.

Athinira:

Ragsnstitches:
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.

Because they don't have the money, that's why.

If you had actually understood my post, i very clearly explained that customers have a limited amount of disposable cash available. I didn't say people were disinterested in AAA titles. I said there just wasn't a demand for it. In economics, "demand" is NOT the same as "interest". I'm sure there is plenty of people who are interested in owning a speed boat that they can impress chicks with. That doesn't mean they can afford one.

Bottom line is that the game industry is pumping so many money into making big-title games, that they have to sell those games very expensively. And when all you give the consumer is $50-$60 games, then it's obvious they can't afford them all, and it makes it harder for you to break even because everyone else and their dog is also spitting out AAA titles. Result: The consumer spends some of his money on some cheaper games (indie games, possibly old AAA titles that are now on steam sales for 25% of their original cost), and gets your brand-new $60 AAA title through piracy or resale.

So what I'm essentially saying is that if the game industry hopes to make more of a profit, they need to start spending so many money on making the games. Yes in some ways this sucks for us, the consumers, too, because games on a cheaper budget are often less technically impressive. But at the end of the day, we simply can't afford all of the AAA titles, so if the companies want to make more money, they need to lower their expenses, because we (the consumers) certainly aren't going to increase our income out of the blue, and to us, the goal is to get as many games as possible for as cheap a price as possible. Sure, some AAA titles will float, and you mentioned a lot of them (CoD, Battlefield etc.) but for every one of them, there is another AAA title that just managed to break even or was a financial fiasco. When the customer is out of money to buy, the only way to increase your turnover is to decrease your expenses.

Okay I agree with the point on not having money, I have been(and currently am) there.

I'm also too tired right now to go into too much detail

but...

Games haven't changed in price in 10-15 years (as far back as I recall). PC games have always been 30~ euro here, give or take and console games have always been 40-50 euro give or take(At least for the PS2 generation, I forget the cost of cartridges on N64 or early genesis, since I wasn't buying my own games but getting them as gifts).

What has changed is the prevalence of used game sales.

Costs for the consumers hasn't changed, but more options have been added (DLC, Microtransactions, Subscriptions etc.) for the player that also cost money. They are the things that contribute to the industry... second hand sales do not, though granted, may encourage other investments like the aforementioned DLC and Microtransactions.

Okay, I'll be honest, I can't keep this debate up all night and I'll probably forget about in the morning. I agree that as a right to the consumer, 2nd hand sales shouldn't be restricted (it is legitimate). But you have to agree, DLC and the other means for making money is still rough around the edges. The recent statistics shown on this site that says only 50~% of gamers actually purcahse dlc (I think it's lower) shows that DLC isn't a saving grace. Couple with these statistics today, make for a worrying trend...

It can also be said, that the shortage of DLC buyers is due to some stigma that all DLC are bad, which isn't true. Yes there is bad DLC, yes there are Labels out there abusing the costs of DLC against their actual worth... but there are plenty to say on the contrary.

This is our hobby, our interest and to some, our future. You can't ignore the issues been raised until they are seen through to be shown as false or true.

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

Well firstly game development is not that expensive. GTA 4 was one of the most expensive games at $100 million. $20 million - $50 million is more typical.

However, it is poor logic to base your pricing on the money you have spent. The public do not owe you a profit, it's up to you to keep your development costs in line with what people will pay. You should just pick whatever price point will generate the most profit.

Publishers seem to live in a fantasy land where everyone and his dog will fork over $60 for a new copy if only they could be prevented from pirating/buying used/borrowing from a friend. In the real world, most people have other things to spend money on and will think twice about paying $60 for a game, even if the game is great and the DRM 100% effective.

If they sold their games for $20 instead, a lot more people would be interested. There would also be a much smaller used market and probably less pirates too. At $20 you can take a punt on a game that may turn out to be shit. There's less incentive to share a single copy among many friends. As Steam sales seem to indicate, selling cheap makes a ton of money.

Irridium:

You assume people who buy used will buy new if they can no longer buy used. This will most certainly NOT happen.

Yes I do. I expect people who buy 30 dollars worth of games will buy 30 dollars worth of games. That is your argument as well. If games were cheaper people would buy them. That means setting them the same price range as the current used.

Irridium:

Yeah Valve doesn't have to deal with used sales, but they do have to deal with piracy, which is far, FAR worse. With used sales there's 1 copy, and only one going between a few people in the span of months, maybe years. And the publisher already got paid for that copy. With pirated copies, 1 copy can be copied millions of times to millions of people, in a few hours, and chances are they didn't get any money from that one copy since most are leaked before release. Valve managed to make Russia their second largest market in Europe, a country seen by many as pirate-heavy. They beat it by offering a better deal, something publisher's are not doing with used sales.

Why should people buy from Valve/Steam when they could get the pirated copy for free? Because Valve offers the better deal.

Piracy is a completely different beast because it doesn't charge anything. There is no profit lost there. Dont compare it to used.

Irridium:

Why should people buy console games new? There isn't a good argument for why they should buy new.

Lowering the price would be a good reason, but there are lots of others. Like giving repeat customers benefits. Giving new customers benefits. In other industries, these are known as "customer benefits", and are used to keep people buying from you. These could include anything from coupons for reduced prices for future games, special codes to redeem on their own service(like, say, Origin. Buy Battlefield 3 new, get a code for one free game from Origin). You know, give people reasons to keep buying new, or from you personally.

Perhaps the industry should look into this.

You link the Valve example of lowering prices. Then what is the problem in making a full digital service everywhere? Steam doesn't have 56% of their customers not paying them. They have a 100% of their customers paying them. They dont give you any other option than buying new. Why is it bad somewhere else and good here?

If consoles went a 100% digital distribution you would see a service not that different from steam there. Why? because as Valve already pointed out. It makes a good profit AND the customers are happy.

"without seeing a decrease in their profits" that right there is the key term. It's not about making money, or even large amounts of money, but as much money as possible. Your dealing with an industry that has grown into a multi-billion dollar powerhouse despite the prescence of used games, game sharing, and piracy, none of which are good, but they haven't prevented the industry from operating at a profit. The games industry has as a whole not been losing money or operating in the red, even if like any area of business specific game companies have gone out of business.

The thing with these arguements is that your listening to people who are sitting on obscene piles of money basically telling you "I should have even MORE money, irregardless of how it might affect you".

The reason why the industry likes DLC is obvious, we didn't need an article to tell us that. That isn't the issue here, the issue is whether it's right, and fair to the consumers themselves.

Really the concern over used games, game sharing, etc... is largely because a bunch of fat cats have convinced themselves that they could be even fatter if they could cut into that. In the process missing the point that thise re-use is EXACTLY how high prices they are chaging are justified. Someone buying a game knows he is going to get $60 worth out of it, especially if he shares it with friends and family, this is to say nothing of people (especially kids) who both chip in for a game, knowing that they will both get to play it. Then the used game market, and potentially getting some of that money back towards other games figures into it as well.

I might be more sympathetic if the gaming industry was say lowering it's prices, but it's not, it's asking for a lot of money, and always threatening to raise that price.

To be blunt, lower prices would impact a lot of these problems. If it becomes more practical for people to buy games new, they are going to do it rather than wait to borrow them, and of course lower prices means less trade in value, and of course there is less desire to trade in games for a cash return when they aren't so expensive.

Of course the reason why you never see the gaming industry talk about lowering their prices and going for an increased sales volume that way is that it's not about the principle things, it's about adding more dough to their already obscene piles of cash. All these complaints ARE a cash grab. If they were to say halve the price of games, and sold twice as many, they would wind up right where they are now, as opposed to gaining anything.

Another point to consider is that the guys who make games are in no way impacted by this arguement to begin with. This is all about the fat cat publishers. In a general sense the way games are made is that a publisher either lends money to a developer to create a game, OR comissions them to create a game for them. Irregardless of how it goes down the development cost of a game pays the people making the game, the cost of computers and office space is minumal in scale of these budgets, the rest goes to human resources.

People act like developers are victims, but they aren't by the time a game hits the market they have generally gotten paid. If a game fails it just impacts people hiring them again, or being able to borrow more money. By the same token, unless the developer borrowed the money as a loan in hopes of making enough money to pay off the loan and profit (after paying thmselves through the development process) the developer never sees any profits off of the actual sales of the game.

If anything it can be argued that developers are part of this problem, as gamers we want to love the guys who make our games, and believe they are regular game-loving schlubs like us, who live hand to mouth to produce these wonderful things. Some will even tell you that. In reality these guys might like games and enjoy their work, but they also expect to be paid very, very well for their work. In general when you hear about the increasing cost to produce these graphics and stuff, the bottom line is that the people making them are demanding more money. If the guy doing the graphics made $100k last year, but demands $250k this year to design graphics, that gets added to the bill/loan request going to the publisher, which means that the games are becoming more expensive to produce. In reality it's greed more than the advancement of technology, we just rarely hear about it in those terms but merely "the cost to produce graphics has more than doubled over the last year..." or whatever.

I've read quite a bit about the relationship between developers and publishers over the year, magazines like Game Informer alone have covered aspects of it in the past, as have a lot of sources. This is just the basics, and really as often as not it's not the employees but the heads of development teams. The guys in charge of these studios like to pay themselves very well, the massive increase in a dev cost might be from like Peter Molyneux wanting to buy his own island and have a castle shaped like his head built on it... and maybe hire John Cleease as his personal Butler for real. All jokes aside, the point is that the the division of resources here is not nessicarly fair or based on who is developing what, part of it is the development honchos becoming as greedy as the publishers.

The bottom line here is that this whole situation is stupid. The game industry needs to chill out, and be content with making reasonable profits, while advancing games, as opposed to trying to make as much money as possible, as fast as possible. I as a consumer am getting tired of being gouged by people who already have more money than they could ever possibly spend without engaging in astronomical stupidity. As a gamer I buy a TON of new games each year (it might shock some people) but yet every time I login, I have the industry making me jump through more and more hoops, and filling sites like the escapist with constant bellyaching about how much richer they deserve to be.

Really, as much as gaming keeps me going at this time in my life, I'd be willing to give it all up to see another industry crash take these guys down. I would love to see Bobby "I have a private jet and personal stewardess yet won't pay promised bonuses" Kotick wind up on skid row after having Activision closed down and his assets seized to pay debts.

Problematically, if EA decided to drop all the new game prices to, say, $40, they'd likely be in pretty much exactly the same boat they are now, percentage-wise. Used games would still be cheaper, people would still bitch about new game prices and rage over DLC and online passes, and people would still mooch games from their friends.

The whole "I'd buy new if they were cheaper/better/whatever" argument is rather hollow.

Zachary Amaranth:

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.

First, calm yourself. Next, people are still spending money. Even if someone lowers the price of a game, people will still buy it because people are still spending money. For example, I want to buy gum. Instead of driving all the way to wal-mart, just to buy a pack of Stride gum for 25 cents, I can just go to my neighbor and ask for some. See? I saved money AND time.

Therumancer:
-snip-

If you truely have a problem with this. It being ideological or you just feel they are ripping you off then put your money where your mouth is.

Dont buy their product. You are not forced and if the producers are greedy, then dont buy it. Dont just threaten with it. Just go spend it on something else.

Spend it only on sole developer and bedroom programmers and avoid the whole system.

I dont mind the "fat cat" publishers because without them games like battlefield 3 would never have seen the light of day. A huge team programming for 5 years just to get the engine done, some1 has to pay them. They need to live for those 5 years.

You might want to cut them out of the system, but gaming would be nothing like what it is now if they wern't here.

A great deal of us cannot afford to, so we buy the cheaper stuff available on console arcades or Steam

One Hit Noob:
First, calm yourself. Next, people are still spending money. Even if someone lowers the price of a game, people will still buy it because people are still spending money. For example, I want to buy gum. Instead of driving all the way to wal-mart, just to buy a pack of Stride gum for 25 cents, I can just go to my neighbor and ask for some. See? I saved money AND time.

Calm myself? I only paralleled exactly what you did. Glass houses?

"Next," I already rebuked that argument. So...You joking, or seriously don't understand that the gum market hasn't crashed yet for a reason?

Draech:

Piracy is a completely different beast because it doesn't charge anything. There is no profit lost there. Dont compare it to used.

You could argue there's no profit lost in used sales either. And I compare the two since quite a few seem to think that used sales are either worse, or just as bad as piracy. You know, maybe finding out how Valve beats a much worse problem than used games could be educational and help find solutions to the used sale "problem".

And no, I don't think they are the same. But simply ignoring how one company solves a huge issue is just stupid. Especially if it could help solve the used-game "issue".

Draech:

You link the Valve example of lowering prices. Then what is the problem in making a full digital service everywhere? Steam doesn't have 56% of their customers not paying them. They have a 100% of their customers paying them. They dont give you any other option than buying new. Why is it bad somewhere else and good here?

If consoles went a 100% digital distribution you would see a service not that different from steam there. Why? because as Valve already pointed out. It makes a good profit AND the customers are happy.

If all-digital content would be cheaper, then DLC wouldn't be getting more expensive, and XBLA/PSN games would still cost $5-$10, instead of now costing $15-$20. But that's exactly what's going on. DLC has been steadily going up in price, and XBLA/PSN games have gone up in price.

Valve does it because they're smart, and know what they're doing. They know that you can make much larger amounts of money over a long period of time if you charge less now. Damn near every other company only focuses on short-term profits, with no regard for long-term benefit/consequences.

For an all-digital future to be good for everyone, Publishers would need to start focusing more on the long-term, and less on the short-term. I have seen nothing to suggest this will happen anytime soon. Well, outside of Vavle and a small handful of developers, anyway.

Ragsnstitches:
Okay I agree with the point on not having money, I have been(and currently am) there.

I'm also too tired right now to go into too much detail

but...

Games haven't changed in price in 10-15 years (as far back as I recall). PC games have always been 30~ euro here, give or take and console games have always been 40-50 euro give or take(At least for the PS2 generation, I forget the cost of cartridges on N64 or early genesis, since I wasn't buying my own games but getting them as gifts).

What has changed is the prevalence of used game sales.

Wrong. I can guarantee you that resales thrived just as well 10-15 years ago as it does now. Difference is that back then, you could develop an AAA title for half the budget of what it takes today, which made it ridiculously easy to break even.

Back in the REALLY old days (25 years ago), programmers could throw together what (back then) would be considered an AAA title for less than 1% of the budget that goes into todays mainstream games. Most games didn't have voices, so you didn't need to hire voice actors or create other sounds, because everything was used with MIDI. Graphics could be put together by far fewer artists. A games engine was much simpler, so it could be put together by far fewer programmers, and in far less time (compare very old game engines to the gigantic 3D monster engines like CryEngine which literally has millions of line of code). Level design was mostly 2D based, meaning that one developer could throw together a several 2D levels in less time that it takes several developers to develop a single 3D SEGMENT of a level these days.

Gaming budgets have rapidly increased proportionally to the technological advancement in computer systems. That, btw, is the same reason that the amount of game releases 20 years ago was way higher than it is today, because back then you could practically spit out games at an almost non-existant budget, and if it didn't go well, then you could typically just try again.

Draech:

I dont mind the "fat cat" publishers because without them games like battlefield 3 would never have seen the light of day.

Sure it would. They opted to spend that much time and resources so the game could look the way it does, have a "story" mode, have voice acting. All that extraneous fluff does not make a Battlefield game.

"Fat cat" game companies are choosing not to settle for a certain range of presentation value. They still think continuing to escalate a tech arms race will always be the only way to beat the competition. They don't understand why large masses of people enjoy games.

Zachary Amaranth:

One Hit Noob:
First, calm yourself. Next, people are still spending money. Even if someone lowers the price of a game, people will still buy it because people are still spending money. For example, I want to buy gum. Instead of driving all the way to wal-mart, just to buy a pack of Stride gum for 25 cents, I can just go to my neighbor and ask for some. See? I saved money AND time.

Calm myself? I only paralleled exactly what you did. Glass houses?

"Next," I already rebuked that argument. So...You joking, or seriously don't understand that the gum market hasn't crashed yet for a reason?

First of all, you didn't exactly copy my style of typing because I didn't cap my words in a manner that seems frighteningly rude. Second of all, when exactly did the OP say that the game market crashed?

You know what hurts more? The fact that in Australia and New Zealand, games that are new cost around $130. That's almost twice the amount for Americans. So while everyone is persuading developers to sell their games less than the $60-70 in America and complaining about that price, we're still paying MORE than them.

I think, personally, we get to complain a little more.

I want to know more about this study. How many people did they survey? How wide was the survey (in economic groups as well as area). What counts as buying a game? I require more information before I jump on this anger train that is the used game fight.

The biggest issue I have for buying a 60$ title is that most of my wishlist games cost 20$. So one game or three (excluding steam sales)? It always comes down to: is skyrim worth the content of 3 other games?

Sorry but many AAA games fail this test when I research them and I get the older games or the indie/smaller company games.

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

Also how did the games get to be pre-owned, someone must have bought them so the publishers are getting money.

Maybe if developers start to make games again that are replayable or have some longevity then maybe people wouldn't trade them in, I mean I still have alot of PS1, PS2 and even some Sega Genesis games hanging around that I would never sell simply because I still play them occasionaly.

Draech:

Mr Ink 5000:
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

Dear Mr Ink

While the cost of a disk is low there are a lot more costs than the disk.
When everyone is paid of your 60$ we only see 27$ of them. Meanwhile a game like LA Noire cost about 100 million dollars to develop over 8 years, means that we will break even on our 8 year investment at about 3,7 million copies sold.

As you can see we are not trying to screw you over. We are just trying to stay in business.

Signed

A. Publisher

i understand there are costs, i'm saying sell at half the price and they may sell over twice as much.

If the situation is as bad as publishers make out; there are not enough consumers who believe in their business model (ie yourself and others on here) to buy the amount of games new that they would like. the consumers who'll wait for sales, go for used or borrow games ain't gonna get their minds changed and are feeling more and more penalised with each measure that comes in.

there is a recession on, at this rate we might have another video game industry crash like the 80's

People who work in the games industry do deserve to be paid, sure as in most places the administrator/publisher types probably do rake in more than they need but just because you don't see the work that goes into a game doesn't mean it isn't there. AAA games require a fairly large staff to be employed over an extended period of time and they all need to be paid a fair wage for their specialist work.

I think the future of the games industry will be more direct digital distribution and/or value adding through DLC and extra physical content like collector packs. Much like video stores I don't see a large future market for games stores.

I think games prices are fair enough and I live in AUSTRALIA! Games are a luxury not a right.

Draech:

Therumancer:
-snip-

If you truely have a problem with this. It being ideological or you just feel they are ripping you off then put your money where your mouth is.

Dont buy their product. You are not forced and if the producers are greedy, then dont buy it. Dont just threaten with it. Just go spend it on something else.

Spend it only on sole developer and bedroom programmers and avoid the whole system.

I dont mind the "fat cat" publishers because without them games like battlefield 3 would never have seen the light of day. A huge team programming for 5 years just to get the engine done, some1 has to pay them. They need to live for those 5 years.

You might want to cut them out of the system, but gaming would be nothing like what it is now if they wern't here.

Actually there are a number of products I have passed on, including ones I did want. You just don't hear me yelling it from the rooftops, but I've mentioned a few of these on these forums from time to time.

That said, the issue is simply the industry needing to reform itself. Truthfully there is no reason why games like say "Battlefield 3" can't be made without profit gouging. My basic arguement is about being content with millions or tens of millions of dollars in profit (profit being computed after expenses) rather than having to constantly push for hundreds of millions of dollars and increasingly huge piles of cash. If a big budget, AAA title makes 50 million in profits (just for example), why the heck should someone not be happy with that? When your making 50 million on a single product, it's just ridiculous to QQ because that isn't enough money and to say... no I want hundreds of millions, or even billions of dollars and then stick it to people.

At any rate, the point of message boards like this is to try and convince people to follow suit, it's not me bellyaching totally in lieu of refusing to support certain products and practices. Mostly I'm writing this to serve a counterpoint to an article about the industry which seems to be trying to present it's actuons as reasonable and nesseicary when really they aren't.

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

Until the publishers starts buying those used copies and selling them themselves, they don't get to bitch.

Jimmy Sylvers:
Games are a luxury not a right.

The second hand market is a right as well. First Sale Doctrine and all that. Just thought I should mention that as well.

OT: If you want to stop used games, address the issue as to why people sell their games back, not why people buy them.

Irridium:

You could argue there's no profit lost in used sales either. And I compare the two since quite a few seem to think that used sales are either worse, or just as bad as piracy. You know, maybe finding out how Valve beats a much worse problem than used games could be educational and help find solutions to the used sale "problem".

And no, I don't think they are the same. But simply ignoring how one company solves a huge issue is just stupid. Especially if it could help solve the used-game "issue".

The thing is piracy doesn't take any money.

The reason some think its worse is more or less this:

"Guy A spends 60$ on 2 used games VS Guy B who spends 60$ on 1 new game and pirates one. Both spend 60$ and ended up with 2 games. Guy A didn't do anything wrong, but didn't provide the producers of the games with any profit while Guy B did something wrong, but provided the producers with income. To the producer used cost them more money than piracy"

The thing is it murks up the whole discussion to take Piracy into it and it adds no argument to the discussion. Piracy is a separate issue that everyone has to deal with. Not just digital distributors.

Irridium:

If all-digital content would be cheaper, then DLC wouldn't be getting more expensive, and XBLA/PSN games would still cost $5-$10, instead of now costing $15-$20. But that's exactly what's going on. DLC has been steadily going up in price, and XBLA/PSN games have gone up in price.

Valve does it because they're smart, and know what they're doing. They know that you can make much larger amounts of money over a long period of time if you charge less now. Damn near every other company only focuses on short-term profits, with no regard for long-term benefit/consequences.

For an all-digital future to be good for everyone, Publishers would need to start focusing more on the long-term, and less on the short-term. I have seen nothing to suggest this will happen anytime soon. Well, outside of Vavle and a small handful of developers, anyway.

Now the thing is the DLC price rising is more a sign of the increase of used sales. Trying to get more out of the used market. Thou the increase in prices on XBLA/PSN games is more or less an increases in production value. A game like Section 8 was made under the principals of selling it cheaper over digital distribution and they were selling what is really a AAA title for 20$. Wasn't what you were asking for when you wanted cheaper games?

You shouldn't be trying to compare Steam to to XBLA/PSN as they are now thou. What you should be comparing Steam to is services like Impulse and Origin. They act more or less just like steam.

Now if XBLA/PSN became the distribution platform then games would have to compete amongst each other while being able to lower production cost. Ofc we would see a drop in prices from that.

Now you talk about short term gain over long term gain. Again that is the fault of the used market. PC games have a much longer shelf life than console. This is mainly because after initial sales almost every sale will be used . They have to push those first weeks sales because there wont be a steady income of profit over a longer period. Digital distribution makes long term profit come by it self. Sale will still provide profits long after launch and there wont be the risk of "rotting stock" that there is with no physical production.

Mr Ink 5000:

Draech:

Mr Ink 5000:
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

Dear Mr Ink

While the cost of a disk is low there are a lot more costs than the disk.
When everyone is paid of your 60$ we only see 27$ of them. Meanwhile a game like LA Noire cost about 100 million dollars to develop over 8 years, means that we will break even on our 8 year investment at about 3,7 million copies sold.

As you can see we are not trying to screw you over. We are just trying to stay in business.

Signed

A. Publisher

i understand there are costs, i'm saying sell at half the price and they may sell over twice as much.

If the situation is as bad as publishers make out; there are not enough consumers who believe in their business model (ie yourself and others on here) to buy the amount of games new that they would like. the consumers who'll wait for sales, go for used or borrow games ain't gonna get their minds changed and are feeling more and more penalised with each measure that comes in.

there is a recession on, at this rate we might have another video game industry crash like the 80's

But that wasn't your complaint.

Your complaint was its easy to make a cd so therefore they can sell the game to you cheaper.

I wanted to point out how much of a risk a publisher actually makes by paying people for 8 years to make a game. The pricing isn't unfair, and the profit margins arn't that insane.

If you want games to be cheaper then try to convince the publisher to go full Digital distribution. You can cut a lot of your price tag if you didn't want a CD to go with your game. Take section 8. A triple A title for 20$. Done purely by digital distribution. More game for less of your money.

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