Used Game Sales "Killing" Single Player Titles

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SachielOne:
Kickstarter only works when there is a beloved name or franchise involved. I'm sure Kickstarter is littered with dozens of games that didn't get enough interest to be funded.

And that's a shame, because the traditional financing of games totally "works". I mean, every idea that gets a solid pitch gets funded there, right?[/sarcasm]

I think you're looking at it wrong. If games consumers don't care about aren't getting funded, that means it is working.

I view people who buy and trade in used games as leeches--not really harming the growth of the beast, but doing nothing to help it grow and reaping the rewards all the same. Alone, not an issue. Just a parasite. On mass? Problem.

I don't like them much.

gideonkain:
Movies still come on DVD/BluRay and Music still comes on CDs - so saying that Video Games being sold for 3 times the price of a movie and 6 times the price of a music CD aren't profitable is absurd.

A) Movies make their profit in cinema sales, digital downloads and physical media sales (as well as merchandise, TV slots, advertising, etc., etc.)

A2) People who watch movies: hundreds and hundreds of millions. People who play video games: much less.

B) Music sales account for a tiny, tiny portion of actual revenue. In fact, the artist makes next to nothing at all from CD sales, nor do the people selling them in stores or online. The actual profit for musicians comes from merchandise. The music industry is very bad at making money. 99% of people will never see a profit.

Comparing movies and music to video games doesn't work. So don't do it.

And here I thought the lack of innovation and taking risks on games was because of the over spending on making your game look so polished and have cutting edge graphics, that you spend millions and can't risk a fail.

Cutting price points has shown to spur sales in some things. Often hardware. So maybe it would make a few more sales for the new software. But will it make that much of a difference? Hard to say since software is a different beast.

Make something worth your price. Give the people who are buying your games something to rave about to everyone they know. Give them a reason to not just want to buy your game once but to KEEP it. Hell, I played Borderlands through on the 360 and the friends I knew had kind of stopped playing so I traded it. Months later had the itch so got the PS3 version (used) and played through that. Lo and behold -- I bought ALL FOUR DLCs for Borderlands on the PS3. Played through all of those (a bunch!) Finally traded it in. A couple weeks ago I had the urge to play it again. It was late at night so I went with the PSN download rather than wait until Monday morning to buy a copy (if I could find one). Sure, I bought a used one in the middle of all that -- but it got me to buy all the DLC. 2 years later I bought it again (still had the DLC). I'd say they gave me a *reason* to buy their game and dlc.

Bought a CoD World at War many months ago, used. Thank heaven for the 7 day return policy on used games at GameStop. Not only did I not want GS to have my money for that game, EA and Treyarch didn't deserve it either. (Oh, but you played through it, don't they deserve something for all their hard work!? -- NO. I didn't play through it, I hated it. If I had spent $60 on it new I'd have been PISSED and probably never looked at another CoD game since. As it is I've only played 2 since then, but still that's 2 more than zero).

Give me that reason to want your games and you'll get my money. Or perhaps I'll use the trade credit from trading other games but to you, it looks like a new sale for cash.

The used video game market is not the devil. GS may be evil in some of their practices, but they're not the devil either.

Short over priced games, buggy releases, cut-scenes and corridors, DRM, right of first sale and the inability to grasp user satisfaction is killing big games. I can only find the fixes to this on Steam and Indy games. If that kills AAA, their publishers and developers I will be happy. These people don't deserve to be in the business much less have my business.

Same for me. Amazon physical copy first day usually gets a $10 discount and four months later the game is on sale for $20 off anyway. I checked Origin lately and every single game was $59.99. I didn't see a significant discount for digital download although I may have not known where to look.

Does Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, MB, BMW, et.al. get a cut on used car sales? Yes, on their own lots. Oh wait, they don't have any. The used cars are only sold by dealers. The inability to run your business is not the customers problem. It is the business.

I don't think it's game stops fault. In fact, I think it's the publishers fault. And COD, but that's another topic. I won't act like I know the system, and I won't try to act like it, but if publishers are so big and still own all the rights to the games, wouldn't they be the ones able to shell out the cash?

Zer_:

Kwil:
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.

Those games were sold on expensive as hell cartridges. DVDs are cheap as hell. Publishers are driving development costs through the roof. There are also ridiculously expensive ad campaigns.

Skyrim cost around ~$100,000,000. That's merely an estimate, probably lower than that in reality. That also actually include marketing costs. I wish Bethesda would release the numbers. Some estimates say Skyrim cost $60,000,000, though so who knows. Skyrim is a big game, so such a budget is understandable.

Bethesda made an estimated $620,000,000 off of Skyrim sales. "By December 16, 2011, this had risen to 10 million copies shipped to retail and around US$620 million"

Call of Duty [Modern Warfare 2] cost $40 million to $50 million to produce, people close to the project said, about as much as a mid-size film. Including marketing expenses and the cost of producing and distributing discs, the launch budget was $200 million, on par with a summer popcorn movie -- and extremely high for a video game.

The costs for CoD:MW2 are ridiculous, however. Actual development costs aren't too bad, it's just the amount spent on marketing that is astronomical. There's no doubt they made all that money back and then some, but the point here is that big publishers and developers are pouring tons of cash into games that have very little content beyond Multiplayer.

They throw ridiculous amounts of cash into these games for diminishing returns in content and value. This is a self defeating business model, and it is not up to the customers to pay for that. Big publishers are more than capable of making money. Seeing a publisher fail is due to their own stupidity (Read: THQ). Used sales and Piracy are scapegoats. Period.

Right. Costs of production are less. Which is why a triple A game now costs very little more than your bargain basement production game did in 1989. All that extra development, sound, story, art, game AI, etc.. all that you're getting for free.

Some companies do indeed fold, like THQ might, because they make products nobody wants to buy, true enough.

Some fold because even though millions buy them, they can't recoup on the costs to make them because people expect so much more out of a game for less money.

Darkness665:
Does Chevy, Ford, Chrysler, MB, BMW, et.al. get a cut on used car sales? Yes, on their own lots. Oh wait, they don't have any. The used cars are only sold by dealers. The inability to run your business is not the customers problem. It is the business.

So what you're saying is that games developers should make games that degrade with every new computer it's put on? Say it loses some resolution or slows down how fast your character moves?

A used vehicle is..well.. used. It's not as good as a new one. Things degrade on it. Until the same thing can be said about the bits that go into your computer, your analogy doesn't apply.

Really the only way to fix the "problem" of used games is for everyone to stop buying games until the developers, publishers, and retailers are forced to come to some sort of agreement that benefits both them and the consumers. And when I say that we should stop buying games I mean stop completely. No new games and no used games. I don't care if you've been waiting all year for it to come out, or if it's on sale, or if it comes in some sort of bundle deal on Steam. Until we can make the developers, publishers, and retailers stop bitching at each other and make peace the only party who is ever really going to be injured is the consumer and anyone with even half a working brain and some common sense should be able to see that.

To be fair, only being able to sell your titles to the brick-and-mortar shops ONCE and having your physical copies' demand immediately hit zero is about six different kinds of terrible.

gideonkain:
Movies still come on DVD/BluRay and Music still comes on CDs - so saying that Video Games being sold for 3 times the price of a movie and 6 times the price of a music CD aren't profitable is absurd.

Uh... compare the budgets of movies/music to video games. Notice that video games have hilariously larger budgets.

Also compare the audiences of movies/music to video games. Notice that the audience of video games is immensely smaller.

I will continue to buy and sell used games because I owe you nothing. If you cant compete with Gamestop without using underhanded practices like DRM and deceptive EULA's then the market will be better off without you.

Your inability to adapt is your problem. Not mine.

the only way to fix it is by making the community love you or add cool stuff.
for example the reason I pre-orderd Skyrim was because of the map.

but wait what about DVD,s,CD,s and books? shouldn't those things have been out of print considering those also get re-sold?

Your reply does not make sense. Used cars of the same model year function just like their newer siblings.

I am saying that a three month old car will lose ~20% of its value. This is a product that has at least a three year life span and several times that under normal conditions. A used car in the current market will have a reduced warranty but will get the same milage and will provide the same basic function for many years. The car manufacturers know that not everyone can nor will buy a new car. It does however expand their customer base. Satisfied used car customers turn into new car customers when they can. Do some basic econ course work and/or research, it was this way before there were video games.

Just a personal data point for me. I have a couple used games. Ones for older systems or PC games that I could not get new. All the rest are boxed retail with a few digital downloads.

First sale is still the law of the US. Bad business decisions are legal as well.

Where were all this 'used game sales are evil' people back in the SNES days?

Hey, here's a few ideas assholes!
STOP DAY-1 DLC
&
Online Passes
&
60USD for games that will NEVER be worth more than 20USD
&
Treating LEGITIMATE costumers like criminals
&
Games that REQUIRE game fixing patch...the first damn day
&
ect
&
ect
&
GFYS

Kai, thanks, bi

And once again it's time for me to play my invisible fiddle. Wah wah we're poor boys not getting money we don't deserve. For a game to be sold used then it has to be sold in the first place which means you already sold a copy. And just because someone bought a game used for less doesn't necessarily mean that they would have bought it for full price otherwise. I can't afford to drop $60 on a game that may or may not be worth it. The price will drop in a few months anyway and I can live with waiting to play them. Maybe if you made better games for less and with better incentives to buy new then more people might be more willing to spend $50-$60 on what is (really) a luxury, especially in this poor economy.

Do used games have an impact on sales? Sure. But don't exaggerate and cry like a drama whore that used games are "killing" the industry. Stop being a whiny bitch and give people a GOOD reason to buy new instead of crying and punishing them.

dont sell your crappy games for 60 bucks and with day 1 dlc then?
maybe you shouldnt just throw all the money at the advertising and bribing of reviewers for that day 1 big sales, but instead focus on making a game worth playing and remembering?
or better yet you god damn morons, HOW ABOUT MAKING THEM FOR THE PC? (and releasing some mod tools so players will make the game better for you)
bigger profit margins, better fanbase, and used game sales? whats that? (if you actually bother with retail)

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

this statement is all anyone needs to know to call bullshit on statements like this. games would cost 500$ dollars if people payed that, or they would cost 5$ if that was all they were willing to pay. businesses will fuck you over in any and every way they can, and not one step further. they are greedy degenerates, but they like to play it safe. if we suddenly decided hello kitty racing games were awesome, guess what publishers would be ripping off? it is a sad situation when someone can convince consumers that it is their fault a business' outdated schemes arent working anymore, that the abysmal state of the industry is because you arent buying things the right way.

every other business in the fucking world deals with a secondhand market. you are not fucking special. make less shit games, lower the price on your own, make games worth fucking keeping. the world changes. change with it or die in the corner with PanAm and the new york times.

EDIT: wow. there was one page when i started typing this post lol. i was supremely ninja'd like 5 pages ago by xanthious, and probably a lot of other people along the way.

Just another industry looking for government protection. I wouldnt be suprised if a lobby group is just bombarding media sites with easy to modify template stories for support of this baloney.

PC games, no resale market (perhaps more piracy) but the prices are the same because *thats what people are willing to pay* . Economics 101, demand/supply, set our price to maximise profit, turns out $60 is it.

So what they are doing is trying to have believe that a lack of new and interesting titles can be blamed on piracy and used games which is a lie. Also that this used games nonsense (which suddenly became an issue) is anything more than greed at having not received another piece of the pie.

GTA4 one of the most expensive games ever and cost $100 million to make, about half of what it cost to make spider man 2. GTA 4 made a profit of $500 million within six months, everybody paying at least four times the price of a DVD. Any triple AAA publisher trying to tell me that they are not making insanely high profits is lying. If they want to convince me otherwise I want to see some bloody numbers and not from them or anybody with a paper trail connected to them.

I.Muir:
So what they are doing is trying to have believe that a lack of new and interesting titles can be blamed on piracy and used games which is a lie. Also that this used games nonsense (which suddenly became an issue) is anything more than greed at having not received another piece of the pie.

GTA4 one of the most expensive games ever and cost $100 million to make, about half of what it cost to make spider man 2. GTA 4 made a profit of $500 million within six months, everybody paying at least four times the price of a DVD. Any triple AAA publisher trying to tell me that they are not making insanely high profits is lying. If they want to convince me otherwise I want to see some bloody numbers and not from them or anybody with a paper trail connected to them.

Oh and spider man 2 made $100 million pretty much the first day it came out and that movie was crap. Perhaps if gaming were cheaper and more accessible maybe more people would play them and profits would be higher anyway instead of enforcing the soulless corporate mans wet dream of DRM, Day one DLC, owning a licenses not the game itself that can be taken away at a whim, and user agreements that stop you from suing them.

Pardon me if I feel less sympathetic and more homicidal.

If prices came down, company's would have to drop the price of their used games and the amount of credit they offer their customers.

Used games are not an option in sweden they usually cost around same price new so i call it bs. And with all the online pass bs they still get a cut, and they complain about piracy. They can go fk them self for all i care.

my buddy's sister brought home $20478 last week. she been working on the laptop and got a $487000 house. All she did was get lucky and apply the information leaked on this website CashHuge.com

Whenever this argument is being made it makes me wonder whether those making it are just uninformed or whether they spread half truths on purpose. First off, the money isn't lost. A good percentage of the money received for used games goes back into new games. The spread between buying and asking price for used games is certainly an issue! If you allowed used sales on psn/xbl/steam and cut out the middle man entirely that would fix it to a degree.
Second, games do age. Very quickly actually. If people really want your game at launch they'll pay for it. Many used game customers were never going to buy it new.
Lastly, if I can play through a game in 2 days and have no desire to keep it but trade it in right away then maybe there is something wrong with your $60 game in the first place.
/Grr

My god, companies are going to have program games with actual length and replay value!

The horror!

Lies. All Lies. Does anyone remember the article saying the games industry grew by 11% last year?

Also. Which other entertainment industry is trying to screw the 2nd hand product industry? Cars, CD's, DVD's in fact every product in the world has a 2nd hand market why do the games industry believe they deserve money from that 2nd sale?

Bullshit.

We do the same with cars, houses, art and books. Somehow the bussinessmen in those areas donn't whine about how it's bad for them, as they know it's consumer right. But computer games want to be special snowflakes and get all the do$h. Used sales drop when prices drop, and you have to be retarded to think it goes other way around. Like, seriously mentally challanged, or have a mental capacity of a 10-year old.

Think how much money book publishers lose on libraries! My god, save those publishers or the writers will go bankrupt! Sometimes you just have to accept you can't milk your cosumers for as much as you want.

Youknow, Retails would not turn that much of a profit if they dropped price from 60 to 30/40 dollars. People wont bother to turn in a game for the 5-10 bucks, which will be the highest the damn stores will give for it if they can only sell it for 20-30.

FieryTrainwreck:
One thing is certain: games are NOT too expensive. You'd have to be 15 years old to even suggest such nonsense.

N64 games cost $70. SEVENTY FUCKING DOLLARS. This was more than 15 years ago. Since then, the prices of food and fuel have sky-rocketed. The cost of living, especially in dev hotspots on the coasts, is through the roof.

Well that was back with cartridges that had inherent expense as ROM is a VERY expensive way of distributing a computer program like a video game, to spite the advantages of speed and convenience.

At the same time as N64 in the mid 90's, PlayStation games and PC games distributed on Disc were only around $45 because CD discs are cheap as hell to make, print and distribute. So going from $45 with inflation, what should DISC BASED games cost.

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/infl.cgi

Interestingly, it comes to just a smidgen over $60 very equivalent to the costs today plus a small amount of DLC.

And games were expensive to make back in the 1990's too. It was balls hard to develop in 3D in the 1990's but easy now as everything builds on previous work and more powerful tools are used. Final fantasy 7 was a huge game, so complex and with so many CG cutscenes. For example the 1998 game Metal Gear Solid had hours and hours of high quality voice acting in both English and Japanese, they hired the best voice actors such as Paul Eiding.

PS: food prices are skyrocketing due to a particular speculation on food supply, it's an aberration. I mean the price of Cocoa had doubled in just a few years to spite the supply slightly increasing and demand staying steady, this could be a food-price bubble, it's definitely quite "frothy".

Ralen-Sharr:
or they could just develop for PC, and put it on Steam, have a huge customer base and sell their game for years down the line, not having to worry about used sales

fix for consoles - put Steam (or something like it) with a full library on consoles with good games that work for a reasonable price

not sure if the current online distribution platforms for consoles carry enough games, perhaps offering an alternative to retail purchase is the answer - buy physical copy for 60 bucks, digital for 50, or 45.

That looks like where the market is heading. Retailers days are numbered.

The situation is a tough one, with no clear solution.

wrong. solution is clear. tell the publishers to f-off. they have no right for resold games. i bought the game i sell it to whoever i want. you already got paid for it. end of. you have absolutely no right to demand more. the key to making money is not charging for same item 5 times, its making the game good enough so people wouldnt return it to re-sale the same frigging day.

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