GameStop Warns Against Anti-Used Game Technology

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GameStop Warns Against Anti-Used Game Technology

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GameStop says sales of the next Xbox will be "significantly diminished" if reports that it blocks access to used games turn out to be true.

Rumors that Microsoft's next Xbox console will employ technology that prevents the use of preowned games have been kicking around for awhile now and came up again yesterday in a report claiming that the system will require an always-on internet connection and use activation codes restricting games to the original user only. That's bad news for GameStop, which relies on preowned game sales for nearly half its profit, but GameStop today warned that it will also prove to be bad for Microsoft.

"We know the desire to purchase a next-generation console would be significantly diminished if new consoles were to prohibit playing pre-owned games, limit portability or not play new physical games," GameStop rep Matt Hodges told Bloomberg, citing information based on surveys taken by members of the PowerUps Rewards program. Roughly 75 percent of GameStop's U.S. sales in 2012 went to PowerUp Rewards members, according to the company, and they spend five times as much as non-members.

GameStop's share price took a tumble following yesterday's report but has since begun to regain ground, and several analysts quickly spoke up to express doubt that Microsoft would take steps to kill used game sales. "It's highly unlikely," Colin Sebastian told GamesBeat. "They may have the capability to prevent resales, but Microsoft needs retail support to sell hardware, and many of their core gamer customers trade a lot of games."

He also pointed out that neither Microsoft nor Sony are likely to commit to a strategy against preowned games without knowing that the other is going to do it as well. "If one platform [blocks used games] and the other does not, then a huge competitive advantage goes to the platform that allows trade-ins," he added.

Microsoft has refused to confirm or deny the rumor, telling OXM, "We are always thinking about what is next for our platform, but we don't have anything further to share at this time."

Sources: Bloomberg, VentureBeat, OXM

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Ive always been an avid xbox owner, and never owned a play station in my life. If this is what Microsoft does with the next xbox, sony, here I come......

And when it come to stopping used game sales, if there's one place we know will objectively report the facts, it's GameStop..

..oh wait..

While I agree with what your saying GameStop, your not the best source for this advice. I mean your about as biased as it you can get to this topic. What I'm saying is this would have more impact if delivered from a neutral 3rd party.

I agree that is highly unlikely that Microsoft will prevent used games entirely a system that detects could just as easily say this game is used give us x$ dollars to activate which seems much more their style.

They are biased, but they are also correct. People will simply wait for price drops or switch to PC. Less hassle, and Steam deals are awesome. No one wants to buy a game for $60 and not be able to sell it later when they get bored with it. Not to mention that Microsoft also charges people for online play. Video game market is largely unregulated. This kind of business practice should be illegal.

Somehow, I have the feeling that if one console has the lockout feature that prevents used games, the other console will likely have it also, whether or not it was originally included will be the only question.

Also, seeing as this is Gamestop talking... I find myself not giving a shit...

Eric the Orange:
While I agree with what your saying GameStop, your not the best source for this advice. I mean your about as biased as it you can get to this topic. What I'm saying is this would have more impact if delivered from a neutral 3rd party.

Except that its GameStop that has all of the evidence. They have a good idea on how many people trade in games towards new purchases since they are the ones getting them. They might be biased but that doesnt matter when they have actual hard evidence to back up what they are saying.

Well they're not wrong, are they?

If MS does this, then couldnt Gamestop just not sell Xbox/games......after all if they dont make much from selling the hardware and new games then why would they bother stocking them? but as i say, i doubt MS will, maybe when consoles go digital only but then hopefully games will be cheaper and thus the used game market wont matter. Look at steam, there deals are awesome, got Deus Ex Human Revolution for 3.50, that cheaper than rental and at that price who cares about used.

Ehh, all the games I want to play come out on steam nowadays anyway. I don't think I've touched my consoles in almost 3 years, so frankly I don't see a reason for me to buy the next gen. If anything I think that's what Sony and Microsoft should be scared of happening, not used game sales.

I understand why Gamestop made this comment, they need to try and drum up support for their business but I don't know who would listen. They have an obvious vested interest and one were there support is mandate to be were it is. It's like asking Microsoft if everyone should purchase Windows or Mac OS X.

Adam Jensen:
They are biased, but they are also correct. People will simply wait for price drops or switch to PC. Less hassle, and Steam deals are awesome.

SonOfVoorhees:
but as i say, i doubt MS will, maybe when consoles go digital only but then hopefully games will be cheaper and thus the used game market wont matter. Look at steam...at that price who cares about used.

KeyMaster45:
Ehh, all the games I want to play come out on steam nowadays anyway. ... If anything I think that's what Sony and Microsoft should be scared of happening, not used game sales.

Uh, guys? I love Steam, too, but it's pretty much the poster child for buying games new and being unable to resell them. If MS/Xbox wants to chase Steam's coattails, no-used-sales no-game-stop all-digital-distribution consoles make good sense.

The remaining brick-and-mortar digital product stores are all staring into the abyss which Tower Records, etc., long since fell into. They're dinosaurs.

They're right, but the fact that this is coming for a company that is a big reason behind why Microsoft and Sony would be considering this leaves a bit of a bitter taste. Why not work something out with the publishers to do with the used sales, because at the moment (if the rumours would be true, that is) it would be a lose-lose situation, it would just be who loses more.

And there is still the fact that the terms of service we agree to allows them to change functionality after the fact. One day they could just go *click* and turn off used game playability. Sony already pulled this bullshit with PS2 games, and for what, to be able to sell them online.

Pyrian:
Uh, guys? I love Steam, too, but it's pretty much the poster child for buying games new and being unable to resell them. If MS/Xbox wants to chase Steam's coattails, no-used-sales no-game-stop all-digital-distribution consoles make good sense.

I'm aware that I can't get rid of my games on steam, but then I don't resell my games anyway. If Microsoft is looking to ride Steam's coattails then a console using its business model is not the way to go. They would, quite honestly I think, have better luck taking on the role of publisher only, doing away with the console all together, and just selling their products through services like Steam. Much like your remark of brick and mortar stores being on their way out (and few would argue they aren't) the proprietary console wars are antiquated as well.

The point that I was personally making though was that with this next generation Microsoft and Sony should be afraid of the people who normally would buy their consoles, not buying them because they no longer have a need for them thanks to services like Steam. For sure I know that I most likely won't be dropping money on the next gen because Steam meets my needs, and I know that I am not the only one which that is true for.

Frankly my worst nightmare would be to see the console wars simply morph into the digital distribution wars.

Why does everyone latch onto the "Used Games" part of these stories while ignoring the absolutely atrocious part. You must always be online to use the console.

Maybe I'm the only one that lives in the dark ages, but the internet is a very expensive thing (especially at the speeds they'll require)and until recently I didn't even have access to high-speed at all. If any console requires that I be online to play my games - whether or not they allow used game sales - I simply won't be able to justify purchasing the console nor the games. I don't know when I'll be forced to cancel my internet subscription and I don't know when I'll have to move down the street where there isn't cable access...

In other news: Oil barons in the middle east warn against sustainable energy

There has already been precedent made for forcing steam to allow games that are bought to be resold, if MS did this they would probably get sued, granted legal shenanigans can be made with the launch of a new service... I still think they would lose to anti-consumer practices and first sale doctrine..

I could see MS trying for some sort of project 10 dollar scheme... regardless of the facts, I won't be purchasing a new console when they come out, my PC will always be better.

Captch*
pod bay doors
-never mind the doors man the torpedoes.

I almost hope Microsoft does this so it crashes and burns, sending a nice wakeup call to the other publishers/developers how bad this idea would be.

I can understand why gamestop doesn't like this idea from MS. And I don't either many gamers buy and trade games with gamestop or bestbuy or with friends. If next-gen consoles block this type of activity I may not buy a new console.

Yeah I can't believe what levels companies are resorting to so they could make MORE money. Ah well in the long they're ultimately hurting themselves. If someone can't afford a brand new game they simply won't buy it.

GASP
Someone who gets most of their money off a product warns against preventing the sale of said product?
What has the world come to?

Late inb4 hate for "money grabbing, greedy, dumb Gamestop bastards"

However, I'll have to agree. If my next gen console doesn't play used games, then I'm not buying that consoles. I have a Wii, a 360 and a PS3. The WiiU didn't do it for me. So if the next 360 doesn't play used games, I'll fully embrace a PS4 that does.

Does Microsoft really want to kill of the market of people that sell their old games to buy new ones? Games are 60 dollars now, not everyone can afford to buy every new game they want. An anti-used game system will only hurt them in the end.

Yeah, I seriously doubt MS would require an always-on connection for their next console and limit used games. It's just beyond stupid, even for them. For a couple of reasons.

1) A decent portion of 360 owners aren't connected. Requiring a connection will mean abandoning them, which leaves them nice and ready for the competition's console.
2) Sony would jump on this so fast. "Buy PS4! We don't require an always online connection and you can play used games on it!"

It would be suicide for MS to make the next xbox always-online and block used games.

newwiseman:
There has already been precedent made for forcing steam to allow games that are bought to be resold

Actually, no. The ruling was simply one of if people are able to, they should be able to sell their license to a game to another person. While this is out there, there is no legal precedent saying that companies are forced to provide a service through which you can sell that licence.

FoolKiller:
And there is still the fact that the terms of service we agree to allows them to change functionality after the fact. One day they could just go *click* and turn off used game playability. Sony already pulled this bullshit with PS2 games, and for what, to be able to sell them online.

And don't forget the OtherOS feature on the PS3 that sony used in the majority of their advertising but as soon as ONE exploit was found there were like 'Dis R bad nao K?' and pulled the feature.

This feature will not affect me, because I don't buy used games in general. (I own 3 used games total across the 5 consoles I own)

Honestly, I would be completely fine with a used-game block as long as they also add in a decent store into the console. I like steam, because I can get games massively discounted during their sales. If the console makers were smart, they'd incorporate sales, rentals, and game trades into their own online stores/services, so that they'd completely cut out the demand for used games. It'd be simple enough for them to cannibalize Gamestop's business model even if they go completely digital with it.

Always online consoles? Hahaha, that's hilarious; now that movies are close to being completely seen as a service and not a product on physical media, people will have nothing to do if their cable goes down or servers have issues. I guess everyone will have to read a book again since they couldn't play games or watch movies.

They shouldn't get anything at all from used sales. They sold their product to a customer, that's it, they don't have the right to demand money from used sales. There is no other industry where this argument is going on, and in fact, this wasn't even an issue until this generation where these big publishers are getting too greedy, and started whining about "ohhh the used sales are just killing us! Ow ow ow!"

The used game industry was just fine with everyone until these guys started attempting to control every aspect of how customers use their product so they can nickle and dime us to death on full priced games, and what is crazy to me is how gamers so willingly fall in line with their BS.

The big publishers are making more money than any company generations before, breaking records, but used games suddenly are a problem after nearly 25 years, including years they didn't exist yet? They're shaking us upside down for every penny, treating us like criminals, and they're saying it's our own fault.

Sidney Buit:
Why does everyone latch onto the "Used Games" part of these stories while ignoring the absolutely atrocious part. You must always be online to use the console.

Maybe I'm the only one that lives in the dark ages, but the internet is a very expensive thing (especially at the speeds they'll require)and until recently I didn't even have access to high-speed at all. If any console requires that I be online to play my games - whether or not they allow used game sales - I simply won't be able to justify purchasing the console nor the games. I don't know when I'll be forced to cancel my internet subscription and I don't know when I'll have to move down the street where there isn't cable access...

Yes. Yes you do live in the dark ages.

The most recent statistics I've heard on internet access are that 71% of households have internet access.

The immediate argument is that 29% is still a big number, but you have to consider a couple things.

1. A large portion of that 29% are poor families.
While poor people do enjoy video games as much as the next person, they are unlikely to be able to afford a new console. If they do buy a console, they're likely to get a previous gen one, from a garage sale, so they are not potential customers for sony/microsoft.

2. Of that 29% a large remainder are senior citizens.
I will be the first to admit that gaming is constantly broadening it's demographics, but most senior citizens don't play video games. The few that do are most likely also the few that are tech-savy enough to have internet access as well, so this also isn't a big concern for sony/microsoft.

3. Console gaming -should- get it's online stores fixed for this gen.
The current gen was the console makers treading the water for online sales. This gen should see much more robust online services/stores. So long as the console makers aren't completely braindead, they're likely to take notes from the current successful digital distributors (like steam) which means we're likely to see a lot more sales and discounts in our next gen digital stores. (this gives poorer consumers a viable alternative to used games)

Don't forget that it would also assassinate the game rental business, not just the used game business. Obviously if all copies must be bought new, you can't go out and rent a game. Microsoft would be taking out (well, perhaps seriously injuring) two birds with one stone.

That said, I know we've been trained to believe that everyone in the gaming industry with a few rare exceptions are a bunch of ass-hats, but I really can't imagine a guy in a developement meeting saying "Hey! You know EVERYTHING that gamers hate these days with the online passes and the DRM and the always-connected stuff? Why don't we roll all that into one big pot! We could call it the F.U.Box! You know how much we've been wanting to drastically tarnish our brandname and piss off all of our customers, right? Well this is the way to do it!"

LackofCertainty:

Yes. Yes you do live in the dark ages.

The most recent statistics I've heard on internet access are that 71% of households have internet access.

The immediate argument is that 29% is still a big number, but you have to consider a couple things.

1. A large portion of that 29% are poor families.
While poor people do enjoy video games as much as the next person, they are unlikely to be able to afford a new console. If they do buy a console, they're likely to get a previous gen one, from a garage sale, so they are not potential customers for sony/microsoft.

2. Of that 29% a large remainder are senior citizens.
I will be the first to admit that gaming is constantly broadening it's demographics, but most senior citizens don't play video games. The few that do are most likely also the few that are tech-savy enough to have internet access as well, so this also isn't a big concern for sony/microsoft.

3. Console gaming -should- get it's online stores fixed for this gen.
The current gen was the console makers treading the water for online sales. This gen should see much more robust online services/stores. So long as the console makers aren't completely braindead, they're likely to take notes from the current successful digital distributors (like steam) which means we're likely to see a lot more sales and discounts in our next gen digital stores. (this gives poorer consumers a viable alternative to used games)

You are forgetting that 71% includes people who still use dial-up and DSL, connections that don't support heavy streaming use that modern gaming demands. And the Elderly absolutely are using the internet, not in huge numbers, but they do use it to check on email and browse, or are just plain heavy users like anyone else. The proper speeds for gaming are expensive. I have only one choice in my area and it's 60 a month just for the net.

Besides, every time cable goes down, or servers have a problem, the customers are unable to use their prodect whenever they want, and that's wrong. When I lived in LA recently, the service went down often, and when I couldnt use the net, I played games.

So the WiiU wins the next generation by default if these rumors are proven true??? Well then I'm going back to my retro game collection then. Hell I will have more fun playing Sega Saturn, Genesis, 32x, CD, Nes, Super Nes, N64 or Play-station games.

No more preowned games? Oh well, I never liked the idea of used games anyway. Unless it's being sold/traded within the family.
Would be pretty bad if one person bought a game, played it and the sold it, repeating it until everyone in the world has played the game with the exact same copy...
Plus... I might like hoarding my games...
After all, they're mine.

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