Pachter: Sony's Jack Tretton "Totally Opposed to Blocking Used Games"

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Pachter: Sony's Jack Tretton "Totally Opposed to Blocking Used Games"

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The SCEA president calls blocking used games "anti-consumer."

According to market analyst, Michael Pachter, who recounted a meeting he had with Tretton at E3.

"He said, 'for the record, I'm totally opposed to blocking used games. I think it's great for the consumer that they can buy those. We have a customer that buys our console late in the cycle, pays less, is looking for value priced games, and I think it would be anti-consumer for us to do that'," Pachter told GameTrailers.com

Tretton was responding to rumors that the as-of-yet unannounced successor to the PS3 - which, according to Kotaku, will be called the Orbis - won't support PS3 games and will block the use of used games. Similar claims have been made about whatever console will follow the Xbox 360.

Tretton's support of used games seems somewhat hollow, however, given that Sony is currently pushing the PSN Pass system, which requires second hand game owners to buy codes to use their games online. He did qualify his statements by adding that Japanese Sony executives may not see eye to eye with him on the matter.

Pachter himself was dismissive of the rumors about the PS4. "I think it will play used games," he said. "That is the dumbest rumor I've ever heard."

Judging by Pachter's previous predictions, that means there's a 60% chance the PS4 will block used games. Oh dear.

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i hope it turns out to be a rumor or they'll have to make every game they ever release have a digital version as well

Holy crap. Someone from Sony actually gets it.

Grey Carter:

Judging by Pachter's previous predictions, that means there's a 60% chance the PS4 will block used games. Oh dear.

I loved this part. It's always hilarious when people pretend to take Patcher seriously.

What he says is the absolute truth. It is anti-consumer. You know what is also anti-consumer? People who compare used games to pirated games.

I remember having a fairly favorable opinion of Mr. Tretton before, but for the life of me, I can't remember why. As to Pachter, I'm willing to ignore his contribution to this, and just put him down as an anonymous source for Mr. Tretton's comment. It's better that way.

Baresark:
What he says is the absolute truth. It is anti-consumer. You know what is also anti-consumer? People who compare used games to pirated games.

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

Grey Carter:

Baresark:
What he says is the absolute truth. It is anti-consumer. You know what is also anti-consumer? People who compare used games to pirated games.

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

I'll bite. Explain to me how, from a business perspective, used games are "far worse" than piracy.

I was more joking about the similarities. I know that they are morally, worlds apart. I would never endorse people getting something for free when others have to pay.

My captcha is: Have an inkling, weird and a bit eerie.

Baresark:

Grey Carter:

Baresark:
What he says is the absolute truth. It is anti-consumer. You know what is also anti-consumer? People who compare used games to pirated games.

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

I'll bite. Explain to me how, from a business perspective, used games are "far worse" than piracy.

I was more joking about the similarities. I know that they are morally, worlds apart. I would never endorse people getting something for free when others have to pay.

Well when someone pirates a game, you can't prove that they would buy the game if they had the money. So that's technically not a lost sale. Whereas if someone buys a second hand copy of your game, the net effect is still the same, you get no money from that sale, but you have evidence that person was willing to buy the game, so that's a lost sale.

Grey Carter:

Judging by Pachter's previous predictions, that means there's a 60% chance the PS4 will block used games. Oh dear.

At least it's better than 100%.

Also, I'm just glad that some higher-up says that blocking used games is bad, and even if he doesn't believe it himself it's a step forward... in a way. If the next Playstation DOES block used games though I say we all send this dude an e-mail linking to this article.

Grey Carter:

Well when someone pirates a game, you can't prove that they would buy the game if they had the money. So that's technically not a lost sale. Whereas if someone buys a second hand copy of your game, the net effect is still the same, you get no money from that sale, but you have evidence that person was willing to buy the game, so that's a lost sale.

Even then, one can quantify it all depending on the time a person buys used. Two weeks to a month after the game came out? Definitely a lost sale on part of the consumer not wanting new. Say it's a couple years down the line, the game is no longer made new, then it's more a lost sale on the market. Then we can have the used buyers because of the disc breaking/lost/sold back, so it's a technical lost sale in that regards.

For my opinion, if Jack Tretton's words are actually what he thinks, then we definitely need some more of him in the industry. At least to tone down the used game hate stuff.

Jmp_man:

Grey Carter:

Judging by Pachter's previous predictions, that means there's a 60% chance the PS4 will block used games. Oh dear.

At least it's better than 100%.

Also, I'm just glad that some higher-up says that blocking used games is bad, and even if he doesn't believe it himself it's a step forward... in a way. If the next Playstation DOES block used games though I say we all send this dude an e-mail linking to this article.

Slightly better than half your 'predictions' being right isn't a good thing for a 'market analyst'. It's barely better than guessing wildly. We shouldn't reward people for guessing wildly. We have the denizens of the internet for that.

I want it to play used games, but they might not see it that way.

captcha: rasberry tart
That's Pachter to a tee

Grey Carter:

Baresark:

Grey Carter:

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

I'll bite. Explain to me how, from a business perspective, used games are "far worse" than piracy.

I was more joking about the similarities. I know that they are morally, worlds apart. I would never endorse people getting something for free when others have to pay.

Well when someone pirates a game, you can't prove that they would buy the game if they had the money. So that's technically not a lost sale. Whereas if someone buys a second hand copy of your game, the net effect is still the same, you get no money from that sale, but you have evidence that person was willing to buy the game, so that's a lost sale.

You're assuming they would buy the game at its full price. How do you know they're not buying the game because of the lower price tag? How many sales are lost because prices are too high or pricing models are outdated?

yes, it is anti-consumer, horribly, but what other option is there? When I go to a retail store and take a new game to the counter, I will be asked "Did you want the pre-owned? It's $5 cheaper, identical in every way and, because you have that card that we gave to you for free, will give you benefits and a further discount which buying new will not". so with that active denial of new sales, there are no real options other then keep with the online passes (also, incredibly anti-consumer) or move to an online only console (will cause issues as many people simple don't have the downloads/bandwidth to get the game reasonably not to mention that competitors like steam will not be on these consoles so everyone will be paying launch prices for the first year of release).

I would love for used games to continue to sell, I am at university studying game development and thus have no money, but with GameStop/EB Games getting 100% of the profit on used games and constantly screwing developers/publishers over, I ask again, what other option is there?

Acrisius:

Grey Carter:

Baresark:

I'll bite. Explain to me how, from a business perspective, used games are "far worse" than piracy.

I was more joking about the similarities. I know that they are morally, worlds apart. I would never endorse people getting something for free when others have to pay.

Well when someone pirates a game, you can't prove that they would buy the game if they had the money. So that's technically not a lost sale. Whereas if someone buys a second hand copy of your game, the net effect is still the same, you get no money from that sale, but you have evidence that person was willing to buy the game, so that's a lost sale.

You're assuming they would buy the game at its full price. How do you know they're not buying the game because of the lower price tag? How many sales are lost because prices are too high or pricing models are outdated?

I would tend to agree, but Gamestop and their ilk are making a killing by undercutting used sales by as little as $5. That five bucks is enough to make customers buy used. If companies dropped the price of games, then Gamestop would just undercut that price.

Grey Carter:

Acrisius:

Grey Carter:

Well when someone pirates a game, you can't prove that they would buy the game if they had the money. So that's technically not a lost sale. Whereas if someone buys a second hand copy of your game, the net effect is still the same, you get no money from that sale, but you have evidence that person was willing to buy the game, so that's a lost sale.

You're assuming they would buy the game at its full price. How do you know they're not buying the game because of the lower price tag? How many sales are lost because prices are too high or pricing models are outdated?

I would tend to agree, but Gamestop and their ilk are making a killing by undercutting used sales by as little as $5. That five bucks is enough to make customers buy used. If companies dropped the price of games, then Gamestop would just undercut that price.

I agree that Gamestop and their ilk(good word btw) are abusing the market that way. But it's not always just as little as a 5 dollar difference in price, not for older games at least(I know how they "trick" customers into buying used copies of recently released games the way you describe). And many "old" games wouldn't even be available on disc without used sales. And personally, I've almost never bought used games from a place like Gamestop, I buy them from other people. I would love to see that become more common among "casuals" as well, because Gamestop are just ripping everyone off, not just the publishers/devs.

So really, where we disagree is where you think used games are "worse" than piracy. Hell, I personally don't even think piracy is as bad as it's being made out to be, but to say that used games are WORSE than something that's illegal is just wrong to me.

Why do games need special treatment? If you buy a car, house, furniture, etc... second hand you don't have to pay the company which made it. So why should you for games especially if its offline only.

Grey Carter:

Baresark:
What he says is the absolute truth. It is anti-consumer. You know what is also anti-consumer? People who compare used games to pirated games.

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

I disagree because lets say I buy Modern Warfare 3 used, I trade it in and get BlOps 2 new on release day. Yeah I didn't buy that one game new but I used that to buy your other game new. A wise CEO once told me, yeah this product of ours will cannibalize sales of our other product but its either us or someone else. Also factor in that if you pirate a game you can't use online services while used you can. So I may didn't buy your game new but I bought the DLC. Now if I pirate, I'll just pirate the DLC because I can't even get on XBL or PSN with a pirated system. Now if you look at it from a near-sighted publisher perspective well I guess they are one in the same.

Well remembering how Sega failed with the Saturn, I know that what he says has little president over the bigwigs in Japan. Now I do hope he is right or else I might have to trade in my "gamer card" or stick with my PS3. Man this current gen leaves me disappointed

Acrisius:

So really, where we disagree is where you think used games are "worse" than piracy. Hell, I personally don't even think piracy is as bad as it's being made out to be, but to say that used games are WORSE than something that's illegal is just wrong to me.

Worse from a purely from the publisher's economic perspective. Used games have far larger and far more provable effect on game sales than piracy.

Personally, I think that while used sales do sometimes suck sales away from games that deserve them, particularly single player games, the overall net benefit - a thriving second hand market, games staying relevant for longer, the "hidden gem" factor - outweighs the negatives. But I can see why publishers hate them.

Shit. What weed is he smoking? Better be careful. If he keeps on sharing such intelligent ideas and such sound business decisions, he'll probably get the boot.

Grey Carter:

Tretton's support of used games seems somewhat hollow, however, given that Sony is currently pushing the PSN Pass system, which requires second hand game owners to buy codes to use their games online. He did qualify his statements by adding that Japanese Sony executives may not see eye to eye with him on the matter.

You seriously don't see a difference between trying to get some profit out of the sale of used games, and trying to destroy the market entirely?

Amnestic:

Jmp_man:

Grey Carter:

Judging by Pachter's previous predictions, that means there's a 60% chance the PS4 will block used games. Oh dear.

At least it's better than 100%.

Also, I'm just glad that some higher-up says that blocking used games is bad, and even if he doesn't believe it himself it's a step forward... in a way. If the next Playstation DOES block used games though I say we all send this dude an e-mail linking to this article.

Slightly better than half your 'predictions' being right isn't a good thing for a 'market analyst'. It's barely better than guessing wildly. We shouldn't reward people for guessing wildly. We have the denizens of the internet for that.

Its only better than guessing wildly if you're dealing with 50-50 outcomes, which he isn't. What you're doing is confusing predicting a cointoss, where there are only two possible outcomes, with a consumer goods market, where there are infinite number of possible outcomes.

Grey Carter:

Acrisius:

So really, where we disagree is where you think used games are "worse" than piracy. Hell, I personally don't even think piracy is as bad as it's being made out to be, but to say that used games are WORSE than something that's illegal is just wrong to me.

Worse from a purely from the publisher's economic perspective. Used games have far larger and far more provable effect on game sales than piracy.

Personally, I think that while used sales do sometimes suck sales away from games that deserve them, particularly single player games, the overall net benefit - a thriving second hand market, games staying relevant for longer, the "hidden gem" factor - outweighs the negatives. But I can see why publishers hate them.

Well, the former isn't really a benefeit, its just a description, and the latter two have absolutely nothing to do with the secondhand market (I bought a copy of Okami for the Ps2 new. The net effect is that new copies of the same games replace secondhand copies in the same placement within these stores)

Tretton was responding to rumors that the as-of-yet unannounced successor to the PS3 - which, according to Kotaku, will be called the Orbis - won't support PS3 games and will block the use of used games

won't support PS3 games and will block the use of used games

won't support PS3 games

.....Are. You. !@#$ING. Serious?

...Well, I'm not getting it. Not unless they come up with some orgasm inducing games that make it an absolute necessity to get.

It took me almost 3-4 years to get my PS3 after it launched. I get the feeling I might wait even longer before getting this new one. I hate when backwards compatibility gets dropped.

So it's the Japanese that insist on the online pass then? Well fuck them.
"Didn't we bomb them a few years ago? What was in those bombs, fuckin fertilizer?" -Diceman

Grey Carter:

Acrisius:

So really, where we disagree is where you think used games are "worse" than piracy. Hell, I personally don't even think piracy is as bad as it's being made out to be, but to say that used games are WORSE than something that's illegal is just wrong to me.

Worse from a purely from the publisher's economic perspective. Used games have far larger and far more provable effect on game sales than piracy.

Personally, I think that while used sales do sometimes suck sales away from games that deserve them, particularly single player games, the overall net benefit - a thriving second hand market, games staying relevant for longer, the "hidden gem" factor - outweighs the negatives. But I can see why publishers hate them.

:P No need for all the convoluted arguments, publishers hate used games cause they don't get paid on them, and everyone already knows this.

Personally I think the whole thing is a load of BS in the first place. Used games only become a REAL issue a few months after the game has been released. Where do game makers make the majority of their money with a game? At the launch date. Just as a band makes the majority of its money by doing concert tours rather than selling CDs, game publishers make their money within the first few days of a games release when EVERYONE has to buy it new. Want more people to buy your game new so you get paid rather than Gamestop? Here's a novel idea: make better games so people will WANT to buy your game used.

To qualify what I mean by "better games", I mean stop this "We want to be like CoD and crap out another shitty game every single year!" - Square-Enix, Ubisoft, et al. Make a quality product and market it correctly and you'll make a boatload of money when your game releases. Because chances are if someone is going out to buy your game 5 months after it's been released they had no intention of buying your game new in the first place, why? They weren't interested enough (and/or the price itself outweighed their interest for the game). In other words, you failed to MAKE the consumer WANT to buy your game new...and that's the purpose of marketing above all else, and then you can start talking about whether the game itself is crap or not.

The point is, if used copies of a game outsell new copies of a game, the publishers have no one to blame but themselves.

Case in point: Minecraft 360 made 20 million frickin' dollars in five frickin' days. Why? Quality product + good marketing = boatload of cash. Granted, this was with a franchise that had already more than proven itself, but the fact that people who likely have it for the computer were still willing to cough up about $20 to get it on their 360 still says a lot.

Grey Carter:

Baresark:
What he says is the absolute truth. It is anti-consumer. You know what is also anti-consumer? People who compare used games to pirated games.

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

From a business point of view, not buying product 1 in favor of buying product 2 (or no product at all) is as bad as piracy since company 1 isn't getting money.

Maybe consumers shouldn't get choices and we should just be told what to buy?

Personally, I think that while used sales do sometimes suck sales away from games that deserve them, particularly single player games, the overall net benefit - a thriving second hand market, games staying relevant for longer, the "hidden gem" factor - outweighs the negatives. But I can see why publishers hate them.

The used market HELPED this industry grow and destroying it will only hurt the industry unless they are willing to offer a Steam like service complete with kick ass daily deals. I don't ever see the big three doing that.

Understand the greed of publishers is just as bad as understanding the greed of bank robbers, IMO. At the very least, understanding the greed of publishers only encourages them.

aegix drakan:

Tretton was responding to rumors that the as-of-yet unannounced successor to the PS3 - which, according to Kotaku, will be called the Orbis - won't support PS3 games and will block the use of used games

won't support PS3 games and will block the use of used games

won't support PS3 games

.....Are. You. !@#$ING. Serious?

...Well, I'm not getting it. Not unless they come up with some orgasm inducing games that make it an absolute necessity to get.

It took me almost 3-4 years to get my PS3 after it launched. I get the feeling I might wait even longer before getting this new one. I hate when backwards compatibility gets dropped.

If they don't put a cell processor in the PS4, it may not be backward compatible.

Grey Carter:

Baresark:

Grey Carter:

Morally the two aren't even remotely similar. But from a business perspective? Used games are far worse than piracy.

I'll bite. Explain to me how, from a business perspective, used games are "far worse" than piracy.

I was more joking about the similarities. I know that they are morally, worlds apart. I would never endorse people getting something for free when others have to pay.

Well when someone pirates a game, you can't prove that they would buy the game if they had the money. So that's technically not a lost sale. Whereas if someone buys a second hand copy of your game, the net effect is still the same, you get no money from that sale, but you have evidence that person was willing to buy the game, so that's a lost sale.

That is one of the most clear and lucid things anyone has said regarding this subject, and I never thought about it that way. I definitely learned something from that, so thank you.

I don't know if I agree still. I don't think the ability to track what wasn't sold is a valid way of looking at business. People like to not acknowledge the role that chains, such as Gamestop, have played in building videogames as an entertainment giant. And while I game almost exclusively on the PC (and have given up any hope of a used game market), I don't think that people who hold a physical product in their hands they no longer need or want, should only have a recourse of throwing it away. That is anti-consumer.

I think the only proper way to solve this "problem" (or ideological debate) is for gaming console companies to deregulate their licensing system and offer a lot more digital goods versus physical goods. But, part of the deregulation would have to be their acknowledgement that is cheaper to both produce and distribute digital goods, therefore the price of goods would have to come down. That is one of the biggest aspects of PC gaming after all: That games have typically been cheaper on the PC than on the console until recently, then it's only certain companies that are making that jump to increased prices....

I'm rambling, sorry. Thanks for the food for thought though, best response to a comment in a while.

What a bro. His opinion is probably meaningless, sadly.

Sony and Microsoft both are already starting to squeeze extra $$ from gamers via dlc. It's just going to get worse. Why would they try to block used games on top of everything else?

Amnestic:

Jmp_man:

Grey Carter:

Judging by Pachter's previous predictions, that means there's a 60% chance the PS4 will block used games. Oh dear.

At least it's better than 100%.

Also, I'm just glad that some higher-up says that blocking used games is bad, and even if he doesn't believe it himself it's a step forward... in a way. If the next Playstation DOES block used games though I say we all send this dude an e-mail linking to this article.

Slightly better than half your 'predictions' being right isn't a good thing for a 'market analyst'. It's barely better than guessing wildly. We shouldn't reward people for guessing wildly. We have the denizens of the internet for that.

Uh, he's not even right half the time. Honestly though, Carter's assertion that he's got a 60% chance of being wrong is a bit of an understatement; I'd peg it closer to 80% wrong. He's pretty much only right when he's predicting things that have already been announced. I look forward to him predicting Halo 4.

P.S. Thanks

RJ 17:

The point is, if used copies of a game outsell new copies of a game, the publishers have no one to blame but themselves.

What? They can blame the business that figured out how to cut the publisher out of the "who do we give money to" equation. They can blame the customer who decides that 5 bucks off the game is worth not giving a cent to the people that made the game.

You can say that publishers and developers are greedy because they want to profit from the things they put out there, but we outlaw piracy for pretty much the same reasons.

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