Volition Dev Vs. Pre-Owned Games

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Volition Dev Vs. Pre-Owned Games

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Volition design director Jameson Durall reckons the idea of next-generation consoles banning pre-owned games is "fantastic."

Durall entered the used-game debate-turned-melee with both fists swinging. He seems particularly enthusiastic about the rumours surrounding the successor to the Xbox 360 and its supposed "anti-used game" technology.

"There's another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up...it won't play used games at all!" he wrote in a piece called 'I Feel Used'. "Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first...they will grow to understand why and that it won't kill them."

Durall describes current programs designed to mitigate used-game sales, such as project ten dollar and the online pass system, as "just a band-aid on a large wound," before going on to describe his hypothetical, all-new-games utopia in exacting detail.

" The system is already there for Microsoft, all they'd have to do is use the DLC and codes model they have to tie a game to your Xbox live account," he writes. "Each retail disc would likely need that unique key somewhere in the code so the account would be able to link it properly. Ideally it would tie a full version to the console it is registered on so family members can play even if the main account isn't signed in, but this is exactly how their model works now anyway."

Durall admits that such a system would have its faults. Game rental companies, for example, would be rendered moot, but that could be solved by Microsoft implementing its own rental service. Gamers who want to lend games to their friends could conceivably be accommodated by a system similar to Amazon's book lending policy, which transfers the license for a set period of time. These are just minor details, however, Durall maintains that the industry needs to act quickly because dire things are afoot.

"In the end, I fully believe that we have to do something about these issues or our industry is going to fall apart," he continues. "People often don't understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don't seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing. Maybe something as simple as educating them could help solve the problem..."

Source: #AltDevBlogADay

Permalink

At the end of the day, do we really need to say anything about this?

Volition, we like you. Millions of people have played your games. You've already shipped 3.8 million copies of Saints 3, well past your initial goal of 3 mil by March. Used game sales aren't going to put you in debt anytime soon.

Grey Carter:
Jameson Durall says things

...YOU MONSTER

Well, that's just my opinion. I'm sure that all of the Escapist will rise up against me to support Durall and his hatred of used games. :p

"even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first..."

Understatement of the article right here.

Sony would run crazy with this over Microsoft if this were true. I call a lot of bullshit on this whole rumor just because of how bad the backlash would be. I'm all for cracking down on the pirate sites but just stick with the online pass/project 10$ stuff when it comes to the used games market guys.

IF this was done, I wouldn't buy that console.
IF all current game consoles had anti-used game software, I would sit out that generation and hope the next one corrected said mistake.

Not EVERY game is worth 60USD, SEE:
# Red Faction: Armageddon (2011)
# Saints Row (2006)
# The Punisher (2005)
# Red Faction II (2002)
# Summoner 2 (2002)
# Red Faction (2001)
# Summoner (2000

Right...... volition i may love your early work but this sounds pretty awful to me. The companies that get my full price money are the ones that have made great games I love in the past. Quite frankly a lot of games aren't worth 60$ to me and by the time they are available for something I might pay then tend to only be found used.

If that happens then welcome to the world (at least an area) of PC gaming, consolers.

Tell you what, Jameson, the instant a AAA title gets released in Australia with a RRP of "only $60", come talk to me.

Until that day, stop talking shit.

Also:
What happens if/when your console breaks?
What process will there be to move 'your' games to the new system?

DRM is DRM and DRM is BAD!
Stupid people like Durall who support DRM make me buy used games.

That's right.
As of this moment I will NOT buy another game new, by Volition.
I've been doing the same thing with Ubisoft for YEARS.

If they want to treat me like a criminal, I'd rather my money goes to some random idiot on ebay(for example) or GameStop.

Grey Carter:
Game rental companies, for example, would be rendered moot, but that could be solved by Microsoft implementing its own rental service.

Ugghhhhh *shudder*

Having experienced the level of thought they put into their gaming related services with Games For Windows Live after some overly hasty PC game purchases, I can honestly say I wouldnt under any circumstances trust a single cent of my money to a MS implemented rental service.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who would tell any console or console generation that attempted to restrict my ability to play games based on whether I bought them new to, very politely, "Eat shit and die."

The industry's current model is failing because, like the movie and music industry, it has failed to adapt.

They're so caught up in trying to force people who NEVER were going to buy their game new to do so, that they don't even grasp the level of resentment and animosity they're growing amongst loyal customers. It's the same problem with piracy - they're getting out-performed by the used market.

Why? Because they refuse to believe their games are worth ANYTHING less than the price they released at.

It's a shame, because I would gladly buy some games new. Some games are WORTH running out and buying day one. But I'm not going to be forced into making purchases I don't want. Especially not when the Industry is trying it's damnedest to sucker people into buying the game before they've even seen a review or heard a critic talk about it.

This isn't good business. It's bad for studios and consumers alike... only the studios all seem to be too stupid to realize they're shooting themselves in the foot with this kind of talk.

But it IS good for the prospects of a new entrant into the console arena... and studios who reject this ass-backwards philosophy. They stand to gain substantial popularity.

Oh hey consumers... SHUT-UP... buy this new thing.

Oh and microsoft *wink wink* monopolize the game rental service. Huh *nudge* huh! *nudge*

Hey, I got a better idea for a console.

Listen here:

Me: Consumers will be the console and set it up in their homes.
Board: Yea, yea, sounds good.
Me: Then when the consumers turn it on it *BAM* it demands a credit card to be put into in on start-up
Board: Uh-huh, i like credit cards. What else though.
Me: Will after a consumer has played a game for 30 minutes it will deduct 25 cents as a usage charge. We split the profits 80-20 with the developer (getting the 20) and rake in mega bucks. We only need to sell one game really. Endless profit potential.
Board: Get this man an island immediately, and booze.

That idea might just be the single most retarded thing I have heard as far as DRM goes, it's just stupid I mean if you think about it, it will make collecting rare games ludicrously hard, I mean all people will do with rare games is buy them until they are out of stock and then proceed to sell them for 200$ on e-bay, I sure hope nobody is stupid enough to use this DRM.

I recently went to the trouble to repurchase several N64 titles to do some retro gaming. Guess how many of those were purchased new? If they do this, I will avoid that system in favor of their competitors.

Look, if I can only use a physical copy on only one game console for the rest of that disc's life, I'm only buying that game digital and even then only when it hits absurdly low Steam sale territory. I'm a collector and this kind of nonsense kills my incentive to collect. Also, if it's only the Xbox's successor that'll do this crap, guess which company I'm not buying a next-gen console from?

Oh look. Another whiney cunt wanting to fuck over the consumer and put a happy face on it. Pity we can't throw him out a plane into a zombie filled city to fight a zombie Burt Reynolds.
I say this again. IF the 360 were fucking stupid enough to do this then that would be it for the 360. You could measure its sales in 6 figures. If it hit 1 million consoles sold I would be surprised.

So let this dude run his mouth. He will come crawling back with another Saints Row game (since thats the only thing of worth they do) to the PS4 or PC hoping we all forget his stupidity.

I'm sorry, my money was pre-owned. You can't have it.

Seems like I have to put Volition on my no buy list now.

You sent us Saints Row 3, a game that feels empty (And now loaded with DLC). Red Faction Armageddon ... Need I say more?

Consider my middle finger pointed in your general direction, Volition. You wanna see the gaming industry collapse? Implement your idiotic ideas, I guarantee the whole thing will come down like a sand castle under a fat guy's ass.

Are they antagonizing us on purpose? Seriously it's like they say these things intentionally. If they really want to end this problem with used video games. Well for starters it will never end so stop it. Second make you're games cheaper. I can go into a store and impulse buy any game at around 20 bucks without thinking twice. With 60 dollars I gotta walk away. Look at my budget. research the game. See a couple reviews. And then after all that I gotta decide is it still worth 60 bucks? Most of the time it isn't. Plenty of nice games are worth 30, 40, sometimes 50 American dollars. But not the full price of 60. And then there's still DLC to buy.

I'm always going to side with my wallet volition. Developers die everyday but my wallet stays strong.

If that's true, then it won't be Sony who gets forced out of the console market.

Grey Carter:
"There's another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up...it won't play used games at all!" he wrote in a piece called 'I Feel Used'. "Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first...they will grow to understand why and that it won't kill them."

It won't kill the consumers, but it WILL kill Voliton and/or Microsoft.

Dear Volition Dev,

Fuck you.

That is all.

Okay, I guess that can't be all or someone will flag this as a low-content post. The entire idea that they have some right to the game -after- they sell it is fucking ridiculous. If the next gen systems prohibit used sales, why even buy them? Way to encourage everyone to become a pirate, dumbass.

Grey Carter:
but that could be solved by Microsoft implementing its own rental service. Gamers who want to lend games to their friends could conceivably be accommodated by a system similar to Amazon's book lending policy, which transfers the license for a set period of time.

Come on, Grey. We all know that both of those would either never happen, or be outrageously priced services.

Oh dear, Volition has angered the beast.

Now before we all get up in arms about the travesty that is opposing used games, try to gain some perspective on both sides of the matter. Penny Arcade made a very strong case for the other side of the debate a year or so ago, and it's worth reading, along with the reader responses that followed.

http://www.penny-arcade.com/2010/8/25/

I personally don't have a particularly strong opinion on the matter, but I do think that many gamers seem very entitled when it comes to them and their precious video games. We as consumers do not get to decide how companies sell their products. Express your disdain by withholding your purchase or contacting the company, not by whining and calling them scumbags.

Indeed, I too love saving money on video games, but when I don't have enough money to buy another game I want, tough luck for me. Besides, even if I don't get it immediately, by the time I am able to, odds are the price will have been lowered. By the way (and this is less relevant but still needs to be said) some people complain that most games cost $60 now. Games are extremely expensive to make, even moreso now that the technology is improving so fast. I can't say I enjoy paying more, but everything has its price, and if you want it, you'll have to be willing to pay for it.

Say, Volition man, you know what else hurts game sales and developers? Red Faction Armageddon. Remember? It's that stinkfest you suckered me into buying because Guerrilla was awesome.
If you're saying I can't sell it, to get at least part of my money back, I'm going to come to your house and hit you over the head with the game disk, until I feel that the 60$ dollar entertainment value is satisfied.

Sincerely,

A sucker

All i can say is the next xbox better be backwards compatible...my xbox 360 is fucked haha.

All i can really say is 'Gods help us if the Nextbox does have this system' and 'PC Gaming Master Race FTW' if the PS4 has it too.

If youre wondering about the WiiU, Nintendo has alot to prove in my eyes before i pay money for one of thier consoles again. And im certainly not buying it if its 3rd party games go the same way as the Wii.

I own a PS3, an Xbox and two gaming-capable PCs. I own 24 AAA titles on the PS3/Xbox and about 4 AAA PC titles, plus a massive amount of DLC, downloadable games and non-AAA PC titles. Of those, about 2-3 were bought used (and one of those led to DLC purchases). Most of my games were bought on release day or pre-ordered. But I can say this much, I will never buy a console that features "anti-used game technology." And I'm someone who rarely even buys used games, and never rents. But I'm firm in my rejection of DRM, particularly when it's meant to circumvent legal behavior.

And frankly, the idea that this is reasonable is ludicrous. The online passes are barely that (I don't consider it entirely unfair to pay a one-time fee of $10 for the use of servers). But if you thought about this in terms of books, movies or physical goods...Come on. A DVD-player that only let's you play movies that are bought brand new? A car that can't be driven except by the original owner? Bull.

For any such console to prevail, it'd have to include some insane pull on gamers. AAA titles that are the fraction of the cost on that console than on any other, loads of free quality DLC for every title, an extensive exclusive catalog, or some new, incredible technology (like virtual reality levels of incredible). I don't see that happening, and without it, any such console would fail when we still have PCs to fall back on. So unless Durall has a way to kill PC gaming, it's not going to happen.

That war against pre-owned games has to stop! I currently live in China (2nd year here) and if anyone here ever lived in mainland China they would know that it is almost impossible to find a legit copy of anything and that importing games is often almost impossible or terribly expensive.

Still, I do import my games and pay a premium for doing so. I pay good money because I feel morally obliged to pay for something I enjoyed for almost 23 years now (I'm 26). I used to pirate games when I was younger and had absolutely no disposable income. Now I can afford them but it is extremely expensive and difficult for me to buy them but I still do it. It would be absolutely easier for me to have a chipped console here and buy bootleged games here that do come with any DLC that's already released as well as without DRM, for at most $3.

If game devs, publishers and companies come through with this scheme, I will have no right to talk against piracy and will most definitely never buy a game again. Note that I won't stop playing games, new or not. Please, allow me the continued pleasure to pay for my games, new or not, and cut this bullshit.

SL33TBL1ND:

Grey Carter:
but that could be solved by Microsoft implementing its own rental service. Gamers who want to lend games to their friends could conceivably be accommodated by a system similar to Amazon's book lending policy, which transfers the license for a set period of time.

Come on, Grey. We all know that both of those would either never happen, or be outrageously priced services.

Those are solutions Durall himself offered. Personally, judging by Games For Windows Live, I don't think Microsoft could organize a pissup in a brewery.

Grey Carter:

SL33TBL1ND:

Grey Carter:
but that could be solved by Microsoft implementing its own rental service. Gamers who want to lend games to their friends could conceivably be accommodated by a system similar to Amazon's book lending policy, which transfers the license for a set period of time.

Come on, Grey. We all know that both of those would either never happen, or be outrageously priced services.

Those are solutions Durall himself offered. Personally, judging by Games For Windows Live, I don't think Microsoft could organize a pissup in a brewery.

Well, that's my favourite metaphor of the day.

*Sigh* Here we go again.

Publishers/developers need to understand that buying used games is not a crime. They might hate it, they might not get all of the profits, but it's not a crime. It's not theft and it's not piracy. Everyone does it; it's not only GameStop/eBay/Amazon who does that, people do it outside the internet and major retailers. Craigslist, ads, etc. Also, I'm not rich, so be thankful over the fact that I at least would get to play your crappy games if they're in the 'less than 15 bucks' bin and I get to keep them forever because I know I would get like 5 cents for them in return. Or else I would never play some games.
You can't stop it. Get over it.

Now, in order to do something like that, a next gen console would need some sort of magical device (Inb4 5 years from now, this device exists and I'm calling it a 'magical device' now) that would allow the system to recognize and...imprint, if you will, on a disc so that no one else but that sole game owner can play the game ever again. So...ignoring the whole used game thing, what happens if I wanna let my friend borrow the disc? What if I get tired of the game? What if the game sucks? What if there's a "Complete" edition coming out in a couple of months (Which are quite trendy now)? Is this guy seriously a design director? Because his comments sound like the kind of comments a preppy 8 year old rich boy would make.

You're telling me that I can't ever get rid of a crappy game that I was led to believe was awesome? Alright, sounds fair enough. In return, though, I demand perfect games from now on. You know, so that it justifies a lifetime of owning your games. Deal? Deal.

TwitchyGamer101:
I'm sorry, my money was pre-owned. You can't have it.

Best quote ever. Hands down.
You sir/ma'am have won the internet and its surrounding galaxies.

Samus Aaron:

I personally don't have a particularly strong opinion on the matter, but I do think that many gamers seem very entitled when it comes to them and their precious video games. We as consumers do not get to decide how companies sell their products. Express your disdain by withholding your purchase or contacting the company, not by whining and calling them scumbags.

Except, you know, that kind of is consumers deciding how they want companies to sell their products. By pushing them to do something they like, so as to appeal the consumers and have sales pick up. :P

OT: Gah, I hate this "anti-used" crap. Most of the stuff is blatant anti-consumer BS, and solves nothing. I don't know why people put up with it. It might be because our culture has conditioned us that capitalism means "consumers serve the will of the corporations", instead of the other way around. Or it could just be that people like to ignore a problem until it is too late. *le sigh*

Samus Aaron:

Indeed, I too love saving money on video games, but when I don't have enough money to buy another game I want, tough luck for me. Besides, even if I don't get it immediately, by the time I am able to, odds are the price will have been lowered.

Without used games to compete against there's no reason to lower the price, after all you can just wait and save up for it...

By the way (and this is less relevant but still needs to be said) some people complain that most games cost $60 now. Games are extremely expensive to make, even moreso now that the technology is improving so fast. I can't say I enjoy paying more, but everything has its price, and if you want it, you'll have to be willing to pay for it.

That's a design decision, good games can and will appeal to people even without multi-millions invested in state of the art rendering tech. It's a risk the developer/publisher make when creating their game that they hope will sell the best. The developer has failed if the player is done with their $60 game in the span of a week and returns it.

I expect the prices of games to rise if there is no competition from used games when the consumer has no choice for better pricing.

Ah well, thank spongebob that the xbox has always been so easily hacked/cracked/j-tag or whatever. If this is actually implemented, sure I will get the console somehow (pre-owned perhaps? :P) and then just download every game as they come.

So what happens when the Nextbox or NextStation breaks? Do we lose all our games? Do we have to send the console away for weeks so they can transfer the games? What if the warranty has run out?

I really do not see any way that this will not just end up with piracy skyrocketing.

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