Silicon Knights Boss Says Used Games Drive Up Prices

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TheBobmus:
Notice that you can't make a used game out of a digital copy. So why are we still paying high prices for them? By this logic a full move to digital distribution (which will happen eventually) would mean a price drop (greater than that which we should already expect due to lowered distribution costs). Well here's hoping...

Its the retailers they boycott games that are cheaper digital than boxed

go away Dyack, nobody likes hearing a hack trying to act like he's smart

Baresark:

gigastar:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

Well actually if developers and publishers did get a cut from resales we might see the price come down again.

Though if they stayed the same, everything you said would be justified.

This excuse was used already. They said that online passes would help fight used games and would keep servers up longer. Which they don't. They won't drop the prices of games. Anyone who thinks they would is just lying to themselves. I almost never buy used games, but I'm all for them because it's used games that benefit the consumer the most. They exist because someone can offer them a product for cheaper with the same experience. To me that says they might sell more new games if the prices were cheaper.

I didnt bring up online passes. Nor did i say that they would help.

But if publishers got something like 3% of what retailers made from reselling thier games, they might feel more inclined to drop the prices of new games.

Also this time please note the hypotheticals.

Kroxile:
Why should they get a cut? In order for the game to be sold used it had to have been bought new at some point.

The publisher already got theirs. They have no right to anything after that. If you had a garage sale how would you feel if all the designers and creators of the stuff you were selling showed up demanding a cut of everything you sell?

As a couple others have already said: I find it hard to give a flying fuck that publishers and developers are crying about profits in an industry that has turned profits as much as this one has in the current economic situation.

I see i need to explain in a little more detail.

Well if they got a small percentage cut of the resale value from retailers, they wouldnt need to keep prices on new games at a constant because profits from resale years after release would make up for the lower initial price of a new unit.

And the garage sale analogy doesnt apply. While theyre not protected by any laws as far as i know, im fairly certain that any attempt to apply such a measure to them would be met with universal resistance.

And as for publishers crying about falling profits, its clear that youre only thinking about the successful piblishers, namely Activision, EA, Capcom, Nintendo and Ubisoft. Who you should be thinking about here is Konami, Namco-Bandai, Squeenix, THQ and Deep Silver, none of whom are doing particularly well for various reasons and one of which isnt likely to survive this year.

Kroxile:
Yeah, gamers are pretty stupid with their money and spineless to boot. Don't think that for one second that the publishers don't know that.

I like to think that for every one wisened up gamer like ourselves, theres another 5 who dont consider or care about the industry behind them.

gigastar:

Well actually if developers and publishers did get a cut from resales we might see the price come down again.

Though if they stayed the same, everything you said would be justified.

You know that does not explain why new games have actually come down in price over the last fifteen years. Video games sold for more ten years ago then they do now. With the introduction of the "indie" market games are getting even cheaper. There are still those of us who remember the days when games were $100 at launch. Since then the buying value of the dollar has halved and yet so has the price of games.

Everything else has gone up in price but games have been going down. To make this guys argument even worse both piracy and the used market have only gotten bigger as well.

Andy Chalk:
I think a lot of people are missing the central fallacy of Dyack's argument, which is that game prices have gone up. They haven't. Maybe they haven't gone down, but neither has the price of gas, food, hookers or anything else we spend money on every day. A major, triple-A release cost me 60-70 bucks 25 years ago, and it costs me 60-70 bucks now. That's actually kind of amazing.

And the used games market may be bigger than ever now, but back in Dyack's imaginary future, PC game rentals were a thing too. Can you imagine someone trying such a thing now? The market has changed, absolutely, but this constant worry about its imminent collapse, when all measurable indicators say that the videogame industry has never been healthier, leaves me baffled.

That is one of the two main issues with Dyack's argument. The second is that used games are not to blame for the lack of longevity in sales. Shamus Young posted this interesting article explaining how the used market is a reaction to the industry's refusal to lower prices over time. Works from every other entertainment media competing with used sales cost less the longer they've been out. This is not a complex system. Films that develop cult followings on DVD generate money over time because the barrier for entry drops low enough to justify a financial risk. When games disappear from stores without dropping in price, latecomers will take advantage of used sales to achieve the same end.

There's a reason many believe Steam sales are the true meaning of Christmas; it's the same reason Gabe Newell's pool keeps overflowing.

Funny, I remember a time when most games weren't bought, they were rented. I buy more games a year now than I ever owned on my NES, SNES or N64.

Sorry, but I think game companies should look at the industry before jumping on the used market, specifcally oversaturation. Too many games coming out to people on fixed incomes, and of course we find cheaper alternatives. And honestly, when is the last time anyone marketed a six month old game?

ewhac:
Okay, this is just a flat-out lie. I remember new games going for $30.00 less than 20 years ago. Then they nudged up to $40.00, then $50.00, and now here we are at $60.00. Even adjusted for inflation, that's nowhere close to flat.

First of all, don't call me a liar. Second, videogames have always been available at a wide range of prices, but across comparable releases, there is simply no rational way to argue that game prices haven't remained flat.

A few examples:

Chuck Yeager's Advanced Flight Trainer, 1987 - $54.95

Star Trek: The Rebel Universe, 1988 - $61.95

Max Payne, 2001 - $69.99

Morrowind Collector's Edition, 2002 - $79.99

Splinter Cell, 2003 - $59.99

Oblivion Collector's Edition, 2006 - $69.99

Thief: Deadly Shadows, 2004 - $49.99

Diablo, 1996 - $54.99

Diablo 3, 2012 - $59.99

I could go on, but I don't think it's necessary.

I think mister Ewhac is thinking of console game prices...

sunburst:

There's a reason many believe Steam sales are the true meaning of Christmas; it's the same reason Gabe Newell's pool keeps overflowing.

I thought that was just displacement :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(fluid)

CAPTCHA: schoishway. wot?

Andy Chalk:
snip

I don't think you should throw collector's editions in there. Of course their price is higher. Other than that, I agree with what you're saying.

Eh, he's just angry that after the first few thousands of copies of Too Human were sold, everyone started buying it used.

A majority of the games that are constituted as "used" generally seem to be older games in the first place. Sure, you'll see used copies of newer games. Yet in all the Gamestops I've been in (as well as the occasional EB games while they were still in existence where I live), a good 80% of the used game racks were games I couldn't find New there.

So excuuuuuuuuuuse me princess, if the copies of Drakengard 1 that I bought recently, was just a lowly used one, and is "making" games like "Mass Effect 4: A New Hope", or "Too Human 2: A Tale of Two Humans" more expensive for ya.

and yes, I'm exaggerating a lot, but I'm sick of all this "used game sales" crap when every game I've bought used is because that is the only available version of the game. Maybe if developers and publishers opted to sell older titles through themselves for a lower-than-new price, then I would. Otherwise, I'll be going back to trying to find Dot.Hack GU used for less than $100.

I saw PC games increase to $60 before I heard anything about the evil used game sellers.

Also I've read reports that digital game sales are starting to exceed physical copy sales.

Hmm...

EDIT: I can see their logic too, but what are they going to do about it? It'd be nice if the people who benefit from the used game sales sent some small percentage back directly to the developer that'd be cool.

But let's be honest, we all know how the world works. Something else would have been the cause for game sales increasing because I am sure they'd steadily get more expensive anyway because everyone always wants more for the same work.

In short:

"Wah, we're not making games people actually want to keep anymore! Damn you, used marketz!"

Suck it up and make shit we don't want to give up. Pursue excellence. You know, that one thing you fuckers actually had a number of years ago.

Seriously, I knew about Too Human, but these were the guys behind X-Men: Destiny? Jesus Christ!

Micalas:
I don't think you should throw collector's editions in there. Of course their price is higher. Other than that, I agree with what you're saying.

It's a range of games. Besides, the relevant point as it applies to those two games is that of two very similar CEs from the same franchise, the cheaper one is also the newer one. And I'm pretty sure Daggerfall (which was only available in one edition) clocked in at $79.99, more than either of the other two.

Anyone who thinks gamers were cheaper 20 years ago wasn't buying games 20 years ago.

gigastar:
snip

I know you didn't say anything about online passes. They used that same set of excuses to justify it.

Listen, I'm not trying to start a fight. But you are living in a fantasy land. They aren't looking for a reason to reduce game prices. And you are just buying their lines, which is good because you are who they are selling to. You stated that if they got just 3% of revenues they would be inclined to reduce prices. They would not be, nor will they be inclined to drop prices. If they got their 3%, they would want 5%. If they got 10%, they would want 20%.

They could reduce prices. They could rein in spending. They could utilize time and manpower much better. They could stop spending $20 Million for a product they could make for half that or less. They could make the first move. They don't do any of these things. They want people to make the first move. Well, people have made the first move, they did what all people will always do: They buy games for as cheap as they possibly can. Anything else would be just pure insanity.

Andy Chalk:

Micalas:
I don't think you should throw collector's editions in there. Of course their price is higher. Other than that, I agree with what you're saying.

It's a range of games. Besides, the relevant point as it applies to those two games is that of two very similar CEs from the same franchise, the cheaper one is also the newer one. And I'm pretty sure Daggerfall (which was only available in one edition) clocked in at $79.99, more than either of the other two.

Anyone who thinks gamers were cheaper 20 years ago wasn't buying games 20 years ago.

Oh, I got ya. I didn't even notice that Morrowind was more expensive than Oblivion. Impressive data point for your argument. I'm only 22 so I wasn't buying games 20 years ago. You can bet your ass I was playing them though. My NES still works. Prices for the most part, have indeed remained flat. My knowledge is more from the past 10-15 years, but this is and has been the equilibrium for quite some time.

That said, I don't believe for a minute that when we one day go 100% digital that the savings will be passed onto us. New releases will still be around $60. Bet on it.

rolfwesselius:

Lunar Templar:

rolfwesselius:

Did you actually even read it?
He says that syndicated used games sellers like gamestop removed the possibility of long term sellers.
THAT IS A BAD THING.

i skimmed it.
well for them its bad, but then again, i pretty much just use steam now, so, i couldn't really care less about what ever lame 'rewording' they wanna use for they're crying over, again, 'not getting a cut of sale they have no claim to'

sides, with all the crap most devs and publishers pull on us, i find it hard to care when they start bitching like this

But he said that digital distribution is a great thing!
He said that the loss of long term sales sucks and force publishers to sell allot of copies early.
But some dev's can survive on low selling over a long time but that has been stopped by gamestop.
Tough luck for them sell a million copies in a month or die! it goes now.
Steam is an example of selling in the long run.
Digital distribution returns the long term sales that the industry lost back in the early 2000's

return of the sale figures is only really good for them, not us.

we'll still get saddled with shit in the AAA field that's not worth the cost of entry, with content a mounting to little more then DLC, but they'll have they're sales ....

good
for
them
-.-
no, if you'll excuse me, I'll be sifting through all the shit to find something i actually want to play

Hmmm wasn't something like this already discussed in this article, more specifically this part

Braben said that having a game sell out the first day is not a good thing anymore. "The idea of a game selling out used to be a good thing, but nowadays, those people who buy it on day one may well finish it and return it," he said. "People will say 'Oh well, I paid all this money and it's mine to do with as I will', but the problem is that's what's keeping the retail price up.

"Prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells," Braben stated.

While a small smart part tried to agree in soft,thin voice, a bigger part just knocked the door down and punched him in the stomach.

I think it's more about the greed. No one ever mentions stupid, unsuccessful ways publishers have been fighting used games,. No one ever tries to provide us with desirable alternatives that aren't forced on us. No one ever argues when developers sell their digitally distributed, popular titles at $70 several months after release. No one ever points at GameStop, or tires to come up with some sort of deal to satisfaction of all parties.
Nah, it's easier to argue the whole concept while trying to come up with one argument that will make you seem less greedy.

No, it's always guys like

Andy Chalk:

Silicon Knights chief Denis Dyack

or indeed

Greg Tito:

David Braben - a veteran game developer since he made the space trading sim Elite

that try to argue, instead of making a game that justifies it's $60 price tag. Something I would gladly purchase, even after those first two weeks when their revenue decreases because people are more inclined to buy it used.

This is a fun debate to have once. Less so when we have it the fiftieth time with no new information or arguments

Solution: Lower the cost of a new game the farther it gets from its release date. It'll effectively destroy the used game market, but the player will get their games even cheaper (if they're willing to wait a bit for 'em).

What this man says is absurd, and simply baseless conjecture, and I for one will not stand for this. *puffs cheeks*

Also, we need the used game market, without it, how would people with lower incomes even enjoy the gifts of gaming. If they really wanted to save a ton of cash, and cut the price, they'd go drm-free digital distribution all the way, allowing you to copy the game to your own discs/sd card/whatever as many times as you want, and install on any number of computers you own. And maybe just completely cut their marketing departments, and use social media and Google for advertising.

DVS BSTrD:
It's funny since your company has yet to MAKE a game that's WORTH $60.

Eternal Darkness Sanirys Requiam was amazing and still love it guess thats why i payed full price and still play it.

P.S Pinkie Pie is best pony

OT: He makes a few good points while I almost never buy used games mostly due to liking my games in pristine condition. I do feel the used game market is hurting games some mostly smaller games sense it has become now that first sales can make or break a company due to sleeper hits being how some made most there sales

I think DD&PC is suffering most from DRM its why i dont get to many titles that way minus GOG

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

And this pure greed is why every one of these companies has kept their prices the same over a period wherein inflation has meant the value of te dollar has gone lower.

Whats wrong inside your head?

Well to be a bit off topic here at the closest Gamestop near my house there is a new copy of Too Human. It has been there for a few years now. Every time I go in there I debate if I should buy it out of pity and to finish it since I owned it before and I wonder how it ended. I never do because they never lowered the price of it from $30. It has been at that price for those years it has been there. I do wonder if that lonely game will ever be taken home.

Foolproof:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

And this pure greed is why every one of these companies has kept their prices the same over a period wherein inflation has meant the value of te dollar has gone lower.

Whats wrong inside your head?

Aside from dealing with the relatively short memories of my more ignorant cohorts in this shared hobby, nothing.

Games just last gen were only 30-40 dollars brand new... 50 for whatever CE they had.

Whats wrong inside your head?

Give me Too Human 2 and you will make money? Stop talking and go develop. Go go go.

Captcha on the forums now... SERIOUSLY? I'm so tired of Captcha bs everytime I want to do something on the internet...

Silicon Knights sounds like a porno, just sayin'. How about this:

Shitty games -> More Used Games -> Less $$$

Good games -> Sell more new copies -> Makes fans/repeat buyers -> More $$$

Is something wrong with that? I can see where you're coming from but how about this: make good games (or good games for specific audience). That'll make long-term fans who will pay for new games at full price. Heck, if CoD can do it so can you!

Well this is where I'd usually make a point of only buying Silicon Knights games used from now on but that's still more than the shit they churn out is worth.

To be fair, Game just went into administration because they were selling used games and claiming they were new. So it's not exactly the fault of the consumer entirely.

TsunamiWombat:

MrBrightside919:
Oh lord...here we go again...

I really have trouble taking Dyack seriously after the two bombs Silicon Knights made, X-men Destiny and Too Human...

This, my first thought was "why are people listening to this chump?"

Yea, only the opinions of successful devs count for anything. Which is why everyones opinion on here counts for so much.......

Kroxile:

Foolproof:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

And this pure greed is why every one of these companies has kept their prices the same over a period wherein inflation has meant the value of te dollar has gone lower.

Whats wrong inside your head?

Aside from dealing with the relatively short memories of my more ignorant cohorts in this shared hobby, nothing.

Games just last gen were only 30-40 dollars brand new... 50 for whatever CE they had.

Whats wrong inside your head?

Wow, thats a leve of pure and utter denial on a scale I've seldom seen in my life.

Before the availability of next generation hardware drove the prices down, Ps2 games cost you $60 new.

gigastar:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

Well actually if developers and publishers did get a cut from resales we might see the price come down again.

Though if they stayed the same, everything you said would be justified.

only a few sites have attempted to match valve's model, and the others, sony being the biggest violator, have kept prices at retail, if not HIGHER compared to physical copies of the game because those copies have fallen in price since release but nobody at the virtual store has been awake long enough to notice that they should have updated something

most of the justification for this is that sony has a captive audience (and doesn't like it when anybody even smells like they're going to tamper with their golden suckling teat) so they don't think they need to do anything special to keep their customers around when they know they can shake them for cash to feed their failing empire

Foolproof:
Wow, thats a leve of pure and utter denial on a scale I've seldom seen in my life.

Before the availability of next generation hardware drove the prices down, Ps2 games cost you $60 new.

Lol, ad hominem makes you smart too, apparently.

I've purchased probably about 30 PS2 games in that era, each only cost me about 40 dollars + tax.

The most expensive game I bought last gen was probably Doom 3 CE for the original Xbox.

But you go right on ahead and keep thinking whatever you wanna think, bro. My receipts say otherwise.

I guess I can see that to some extent, but I don't buy it entirely. It might also be because it takes more money to make a damn game these days and the development teams tend to be larger and the tech is more expensive. I remember hearing many years ago that when the gaming industry became as popular (or more) than the movie, as some might now argue that it is, the prices would go down. Uhh... bullshit. Maybe, but that was before, when games seemed to be more about games than marketing and making share holders happy.

Kroxile:
My receipts say otherwise.

Can you quote some? I'd like to hear which games were so inexpensive a decade ago - assuming, of course, that we're talking about current (at the time) releases.

Because as I've said before, anyone who thinks games were cheaper 20 years ago wasn't buying games 20 years ago.

Here's another one to add to the list above:

Deus Ex, 2000: $57.99

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, 2011: $59.99

Um, yes, and developers would be smart to realize this, however, they often seem so stupid as to believe that the used market reduces the chance I will buy their games. Of course, if this discussion included anyone who had a basic idea of economics... Well, lets just say that most people won't rise to the occasion.

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