Used Game Sales "Killing" Single Player Titles

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Mr. Omega:
*Reads Lede*
Yeah, because PC Gamers have been paying so much less for titles with the all-digital model.

I have, Skyrim was 50 bucks, Battlefield 3 was 20 bucks, Two Worlds II, Batman Arkham City, The Witcher 2, Kingdoms of Amalur, ME 1, 2 and 3 all much cheaper than 60 dollars on PC a couple of weeks after launch.

If this is due no resells or due the war between Steam and Origin I wouldn't know; but that the new games are on average cheaper on PC digital than for consoles is a fact, and they also go on sale faster. Read most PC fanboy threads, one of the benefits they include is that the (new) games are cheaper!

That said, David Braben is seriously delusional if he thinks companies will reduce prices just because they are making more profits, just looking at someone like Apple makes you know it doesn't happen.

funny they say this considering digital distribution are full priced just like the originals (sometimes even more) as well even though that can't be re-sold

I have to admit this is the first time I am disappointed with Greg Tito.
The trade and resale of media including video games is stated in the first sales doctrine, part of copyright law. A little part of the law that states your copy of the media of you choice, book, magazine, news paper, video tape, CD , DVD and so on is your property not the publishers.

That the owner of said copy of media can sell, trade or even destroy of give away his or her own leisure. The First sales doctrine even protect your rights to make note or back up copies of said media (not not distribute said copies).

If anything the current models digital distribution and DRM is violating the First Sales doctrine. The MPAA, RIAA, Video game companies, and big name software companies are trying to circumvent such owner rights by calming we paid for a license not the product, but still treat the sale as a sale of product. That kind of "wave-particle" duality should have no place in the market place.

Greg you are agreeing with a ancient and draconian ideal of ownership that should of ended with the start of the American revolution. That the publisher dictates the rights of the copy holder, not the copy holder dictates he rights to his own property.

You know I find it hard to take this guy seriously when all you have to do is look around at the games coming out to prove him wrong.

darksakul:
*snip*

Oy! Quit making me panic by generating another "What if Valve went bankrupt tommorow" in my head!

In all seriousness, governments do need to look at the massive loop holes when it comes to digital sales and consumer rights.

Publishers are dinosaurs plodding on their way to extinction. They are simply irrelevant in the 21st century. Them and slimy retailers can battle in the tarpits until future archeologists amuse themselves poking at the bones.

Minecraft has proven that if an idea is good people will buy it even in an unfinished state.
The Doublefine kickstarter has proven that games can get multi-million dollar financing based on the creator's reputation alone.

Why do we need EA or Activision or any other publisher? We don't and we don't need the parasite class of executives and stockholders who contribute nothing to the creative process. They don't deserve any portion of our gaming dollars.

I'm going to call bullshit on this one. With DLC and online passes, and microtransactions, publishers are making money hand over fist. Used games don't stifle single player games in the least. Skyrim, Dark Souls, Dragon Age, Darkness 2, Dues Ex, and Skyward Sword to name just a few. Without used games Gamestop couldn't exist at all. So the publishers can shove off as far as I'm concerned. I don't buy the whole indie game dev argument either; between Steam, XBLA, App Store, etc. there are more than enough ways for small time guys to get their game out there. Or even without any of them, look at minecraft.

"We have no right to it, having been purchased in the past, but we feel that we deserve a chunk of the profit anyway", is how i basically read this news.

Maybe if they dropped the games in price FIRST, resales wouldnt be as prevalent, because more people can afford the game itself. I mean, 60$ for CoD and BF3? I dont have $120 to spend on both. Sorry, but im going to have to wait for BF3 to drop down to $30-40 before i can even consider buying it. If they both were 40 bucks, i could have gotten them both on launch.

But nope. Sorry if your going to only get 10$ out of the deal because i buy a used copy at half price, and get the online pass. Maybe i'll get BF4 at launch. Only if it doesnt hit shelves at the same time Blops2 does. Then your going to have to wait again.

I'd believe this if publishers already didn't have easy access for cutting out used game sales, product keys and single use game unlocking "DLC" could easily be implemented in today's counsel generation.

So yeah the guy isn't telling the whole truth.

Why doesnt a retailer, say Gamestop say to Publishers "we will give you say 25% of all of your pre-owned games that we sell in return for a discount in the whole price" they pay for their stock on the condition that at least some of the saving is passed onto the consumer.

So instead of a $60 game being sold once, a game would be say $45 with 10 from every pre-owned copy going to the publisher.

End result Publisher has increased revenue overall, the game store makes increased sales via having the game on offer the cheapest and the consumer makes a saving on each new game that they buy from said store?

Or am I just a mushhead who hasnt thought it though? Seems like it would be worth a go at least?

Can they really claim that pre-owned games are killing the industry when a major Gaming retailer throughout Europe and Australia is about to collapse?

Or just limit physical copies to deluxe editions with feelies and offer cut price "regular" versions via digital download services such as Steam.

Edit: Legally in this case, I'd say the ideal solution then is to make it clear each version is different. The physical copy is old-school ownership, the digital is a personal "lifelong" license.

But it's mostly the high prices of games that makes the used game market so popular. Irony is fun.

Pipotchi:
Why doesnt a retailer, say Gamestop say to Publishers "we will give you say 25% of all of your pre-owned games that we sell in return for a discount in the whole price" they pay for their stock on the condition that at least some of the saving is passed onto the consumer.

So instead of a $60 game being sold once, a game would be say $45 with 10 from every pre-owned copy going to the publisher.

End result Publisher has increased revenue overall, the game store makes increased sales via having the game on offer the cheapest and the consumer makes a saving on each new game that they buy from said store?

Or am I just a mushhead who hasnt thought it though? Seems like it would be worth a go at least?

There is no moral or legal obligation for that ever happening.
Game Stop have no obligation to offer the publishers anything, on top of that Game Stop will increase their own overhead by keeping track of what used game sales where so that the correct publisher gets their cut.

My advice to the video game industry is they need to come up with a new business model.
The business model publishers are basting there sale on are decades old, and DLC are treated the same way expansion sets where on PC games a decade ago. Although DLC made the expansion more profitable only the delivery method changed not the business model.

Hollywood is the same way, relying on decades old business models to find what is interesting to their demographic instead of breaking the mold and trying something different.

Also about kick-starters, that AAA titles aren't using them its the independent studios whoa re using them to fund projects, where someone's reputation or unorthodox ideas are funding the project. Hell even Mojang Studios steeped out of the mold by selling there game while it was still in development. But these measures works out for the little guys, not giants like EA, Activison, Square Enix, Ubisoft and so on. The big companies are dinosaurs that are unwilling to evolved because change is scary to them.

VonKlaw:

Oy! Quit making me panic by generating another "What if Valve went bankrupt tommorow" in my head!

In all seriousness, governments do need to look at the massive loop holes when it comes to digital sales and consumer rights.

I never suggested or implied Value is going under, at least you can trade off your downloads to another steam user. I can't say the same thing with every other digital distributor.

Okay listen, used games aren't killing the industry, it's keeping it alive. It lets people who don't have as much disposable income play a game, then talk about it, then maybe their rich friends buy it new. Either way they all wanna play online.

Personally, I hate used games, I work retail and sell used games, but people don't take care of the boxes or the disc. My 5 year old copy of BioShock is still in near perfect condition, and some kids trade in a copy of MW3 that looks like they went camping with it.

Publishers just need to face the fact that we OWN WHAT WE BUY, and then we can do whatever we want with it.

darksakul:

I never suggested or implied Value is going under, at least you can trade off your downloads to another steam user. I can't say the same thing with every other digital distributor.

I didn't say you did, so apologies if it seemed like I did, I meant it more as that being the example that normally gets hurled out as to why "Digital Distribution = Bad"

darksakul:

Pipotchi:
Why doesnt a retailer, say Gamestop say to Publishers "we will give you say 25% of all of your pre-owned games that we sell in return for a discount in the whole price" they pay for their stock on the condition that at least some of the saving is passed onto the consumer.

So instead of a $60 game being sold once, a game would be say $45 with 10 from every pre-owned copy going to the publisher.

End result Publisher has increased revenue overall, the game store makes increased sales via having the game on offer the cheapest and the consumer makes a saving on each new game that they buy from said store?

Or am I just a mushhead who hasnt thought it though? Seems like it would be worth a go at least?

There is no moral or legal obligation for that ever happening.
Game Stop have no obligation to offer the publishers anything, on top of that Game Stop will increase their own overhead by keeping track of what used game sales where so that the correct publisher gets their cut.

Oh I agree that there is no reason they have to do it but if one store takes up my idea, lets say Gamestop or Walmart or whoever then that store would be selling games at $45 as opposed to their competitors $60. There customer flock to that particular store cutting out the retailers who wont play ball? No legal or moral reason but surely an economic one?

Simple solution: Release games on DD at a discount of RRP. Instead of trying to charge $60 for the new game, charge $40 on Digital distribution, $60 in retail. Bam. If people want to be able to trade in their games, they can pay extra. Those who want to play the game to its fullest and for time to come pay less, those who cannot afford $60 on release day have a cheap alternative that they CANNOT trade in to fund the next "must have" game.

I don't buy that for a second. Movie and book publishers do just fine and dandy without thinking themselves entitled to a cut of used sales. Why should games be any different?

So the reason for high prices is the used game market and the reason for the used game market is high prices?

Good to know publisher's keep a keen eye on how the industry accentually works otherwise they'd look like idiots.

I'm inclined to believe that they have a point. There are a lot of used titles in games stores. Plenty of retailers seem to stock nothing but preowned most of the time... and if there are a lot of used titles circulating and not a lot of retention, then the publisher/developer gets slim pickings. DLC may have become a necessity for certain single-player games to keep making a consistent stream of income after their first batch of sales, as a matter of survival.

The used games sales of some retailers is almost predatory... it deprives publishers of sales. People are in denial about the problems caused by the used games market. Once it was alright, because people kept their games for a while, then traded in mostly older titles. But when someone buys, finish, and trade in a game in a period of one week after its release, that's obviously going to cause problems.

Of course, I accept that new game prices aren't exactly cheap, so it does cause problems and give people an incentive to buy used. Publishers are complaining that they have to sell things at a high price to make any sort of profit because instead of selling copies at a steady pace, and breaking even over time, a large portion of their revenue is gained from the first few shipments at full price and then people buy used from retailers instead. The only money in it for publishers is the shipments ordered by retailers. It sounds like a vicious circle to me. Publishers feel that they have to milk launch day sales for everything, because they will not get much of a return after that.

DonTsetsi:
And why do PC games cost 60 Euros now? There is no resale market on them.

That's an example of why this is such bullshit.
They would never lower prices if there all of a sudden were no used sales. They would still have the same prices and online pass/day one dlc bs because enough gamers will pay for it.
Both the publishers and the retailers will charge however much they can for as little as possible.

Pipotchi:

Oh I agree that there is no reason they have to do it but if one store takes up my idea, lets say Gamestop or Walmart or whoever then that store would be selling games at $45 as opposed to their competitors $60. There customer flock to that particular store cutting out the retailers who wont play ball? No legal or moral reason but surely an economic one?

Isn't just there no legal obligation to do so, there no legal presented for this to happen.
Game Stop as well as other stores only make maximum $10 on a $60 game, the avrage is $6 as games at retailers only have a 10% markup. Dropping the retail price down to $45 means that the store makes 10% of $45 which is $4.50 a game instead of $6 a game. Why would they cheat them selves out of an extra $1.50.
Not to mention the increased overhead keeping track of each distributor's sale of a used title.
People spending hundreds of hours to but a database together so every studio gets there fare cut. The logic is it be financially stupid for Game Stop to even consider this.

Top of that, stores like Toy-r-Us Wall-mart and Target do not even have a used game section.

darksakul:

Pipotchi:

Oh I agree that there is no reason they have to do it but if one store takes up my idea, lets say Gamestop or Walmart or whoever then that store would be selling games at $45 as opposed to their competitors $60. There customer flock to that particular store cutting out the retailers who wont play ball? No legal or moral reason but surely an economic one?

Isn't just there no legal obligation to do so, there no legal presented for this to happen.
Game Stop as well as other stores only make maximum $10 on a $60 game, the avrage is $6 as games at retailers only have a 10% markup. Dropping the retail price down to $45 means that the store makes 10% of $45 which is $4.50 a game instead of $6 a game. Why would they cheat them selves out of an extra $1.50.
Not to mention the increased overhead keeping track of each distributor's sale of a used title.
People spending hundreds of hours to but a database together so every studio gets there fare cut. The logic is it be financially stupid for Game Stop to even consider this.

Top of that, stores like Toy-r-Us Wall-mart and Target do not even have a used game section.

But once customers know there is a particular chain of stores that sells games significantly cheaper than their rivals customers would head there surely? Whilst they would take less per copy they would sell an increased volume hopefully making up for the loss? Also the Publisher would take some of the initial pain in return for an increased share of pre-owned software further down the line. Although you are correct that there would be increased overheads for keeping track of it all.

I'm not saying its a perfect modal by any stretch but hey I'm just throwing ideas about here :)

Of course! Because once you eliminate the competition and get a stranglehold on the market prices always go down, right? Except things like EA charging retail prices for digital downloads via Origin.

Every time I hear a developer whine about the used game market, I want to smack them. I remember that one guy from Volition who was so thrilled at the idea of an XBox that blocked used games and told us all to suck it up and pay them the low, low price of sixty bucks for every game.

It's not lost money...it's money they were never going to have in the first place.

So, tell me, why wasn't reselling games "killing the industry" back witht he NES and SEGA?

Blade_125:
Everything is worth what the buyer is willing to pay.

Blade is, of course, correct. There's no guarantee that prices would go down.

However, given that the second hand market does cause there to be less revenue from any given title, it is also certainly the case that titles that were considered marginal, but worth gambling upon, are now viewed as no longer worth gambling upon.

Funding games is not an act of charity. If you want publishers to take risks, then they must be making a lot of money with other titles. Same way with books. If publishers don't make a lot of money with the occasional best-sellers, they won't be able to publish the 90% of books that aren't guaranteed best-sellers.

So Greg's article is partially correct.

However, it may well be that being able to purchase AAA games at used prices is a lot more important to many players than the existence of a large number of second or third tier experimental titles. That's up to the player.

Certainly for a lot of readers, it's a lot more important that they can get current best-sellers as ultra-cheap e-books than whether there's a viable publishing model to allow new writers to get published over the next decade.

Tenbob:
Simple solution: Release games on DD at a discount of RRP. Instead of trying to charge $60 for the new game, charge $40 on Digital distribution, $60 in retail. Bam. If people want to be able to trade in their games, they can pay extra. Those who want to play the game to its fullest and for time to come pay less, those who cannot afford $60 on release day have a cheap alternative that they CANNOT trade in to fund the next "must have" game.

Games CANT be released on lower prices on DD.
If a publisher does that retailers refuse to stock it, see? the problems games could be released on digital downloads for much lower prices but they cant because of gamestop.
So gamestop
1:forces people to buy used.
2:keeps DD prices higher than they should be.

GonzoGamer:

DonTsetsi:
And why do PC games cost 60 Euros now? There is no resale market on them.

That's an example of why this is such bullshit.
They would never lower prices if there all of a sudden were no used sales. They would still have the same prices and online pass/day one dlc bs because enough gamers will pay for it.
Both the publishers and the retailers will charge however much they can for as little as possible.

They get bullied into not lowering prices by retailers.
If a pc game is cheaper online retailers refuse to stock the game at all.

Realitycrash:
So, tell me, why wasn't reselling games "killing the industry" back witht he NES and SEGA?

Because gamestop and giant used only retailers did not exist.
They only stock used games and maybe a few new games forcing people to buy used games even if they want to buy new.

Mr. Omega:

...Yeah, because PC Gamers have been paying so much less for titles with the all-digital model...

Well, that's, I mean, obviously, that's because of piracy I mean that's every reason behind a PC problem right?

They're not greedy, their protecting themselves from those damn, dubious pirates!

You smells that smells kids? Take a DEEP smell there, that smell, is pure, 100% organic BULLSHIT at it's finest.

rolfwesselius:

Realitycrash:
So, tell me, why wasn't reselling games "killing the industry" back witht he NES and SEGA?

Because gamestop and giant used only retailers did not exist.
They only stock used games and maybe a few new games forcing people to buy used games even if they want to buy new.

..They do? When I worked in GAME, we stocked both new and old games (granted, this was five years ago), and I remember being able to buy re-used games back in 94'

I find it sad that every time this particular piece of bait is dangled before all the fishies, all the fishies clamour for a bite of the hook.

Even though they know that the hook is there, they still bite the bait and wriggle furiously once caught.

Prices of Video games for the NES in 1989 ranged between $30 and $70, with most sitting around the $50 mark. See here: http://www.salzmafia.com/uploaded_images/GamePro_Issue006_February_1990-092-791162.jpg. In today's dollars, those prices would be $55 to $128

Yet today, most xBox360 games cost between $20 and $60 if you exclude special editions and the like. That means the most common price today is only a few bucks more than the lowest prices in 1989.

Here's your swords and sorcery game from 1989: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Ironsword.png

Here's your swords and sorcery game from 2012
http://xbox360media.ign.com/xbox360/image/article/121/1217313/the-witcher-2-assassins-of-kings-20120126092508666.jpg

Yeah, game companies are *so* ripping us off when they continue to charge us about the same amount as they were charging for the bargain titles some 20 years ago.

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