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Vital Parts of Games As DLC?

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the drm-by-any-other-name dept.

The Almighty Buck 446

Epic Games president Michael Capps did an interview recently with GamesIndustry, and he had some interesting things to say about the future of downloadable content, and how it will affect the retail games market. He also discussed the trend toward social gaming, and Epic's plans in that regard. Quoting: "I'm not sure how big it is here [in Europe], but the secondary market is a huge issue in the United States. Our primary retailer makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales, and so you're starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by ... if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code. I've talked to some developers who are saying 'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.' We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used — way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it."

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They're insane. (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715395)

Do they seriously think their customer base will stand for behavior like that? Anyone who has ever bought a used game will cease to buy any games, new or used, by companies that try to pull this shit. Consumers don't like being raked over the coals.

Re:They're insane. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715487)

I think this is more of a threat. Games resellers have been making insane profits and leaving the developers and publishers in the cold. It's one thing to sell a book, CD, or yard sale, its another thing entirely to buy recently released top-shelf games at 20 bucks a pop and sell them at 55.

I've got nothing against the first sale doctrine, but those prices? Fuck, at those prices, they should be given a good excuse (We have to give 20% to the developer, or they start killing our business.)

Re:They're insane. (5, Insightful)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715537)

If a person or entity has a secondhand copy of the game and wants to sell it, thats fair use. If the real market value is higher than $20 for the seller or lower than $50 for the buyer, well no one is stopping you from setting up your own online used game store.

Any tactic like not selling the whole game is, if not a blatent violation of fair use, a dispicable act that will have the manufacturer forever banned from my collection.

Re:They're insane. (1, Offtopic)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716191)

Although despicable, it's just as legitimate as our favorite license. If I may quote the GPL:

"EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM `AS IS' WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE."

If the program doesn't come with some levels, or has them disabled, well that's just too bad as long as the implied warranty of merchantability is conspicuously disclaimed. My guess is that it won't be, and that there will be yet another class-action suit.

Re:They're insane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715669)

From reading the article it seems to me that the largest problem is that the gaming industry are greedy fucking pigs who are taking so much profit from the sales of their games there's not much profit left in them for resellers.

Michael Capps: I'm not sure how big it is here [in Europe], but the secondary market is a huge issue in the United States. Our primary retailer makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales, and so you're starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by... if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code.

Seems to me that if your primary retailer is making most of its money off of secondary sales that'd be because they're making fuck all on original sales.

Easy for the industry to bitch that they're not making anything off secondary sales but that seems fair to me if the people they rely on to sell their games don't make ends meet from selling new games in the first place.

Re:They're insane. (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715913)

It's one thing to sell a book, CD, or yard sale

Damn, those yard sales are expensive, ever tried to buy one?

Re:They're insane. (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716113)

I did, but then I remembered that I live in an apartment and I wouldn't have anywhere to put that yard.

Re:They're insane. (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715573)

That's just it. The renters and the used game buyers aren't their customers.

Re:They're insane. (5, Interesting)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715647)

Except they are. No one (or at least, very few) rents or buys used games all the time. The average customer likely buys used sometimes, and buys new sometimes. Now they're screwing him over, and he'll never buy from them again. This is stupidity at its finest.

Re:They're insane. (2, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716063)

Not much will change.

From my view, now the person who got to rent it for a smaller fee before gets to "rent" it for free. You get the majority of the content there. To me, it just sounds like a glorified Demo, except it's not really a demo, it's the majority of the game. The "demo" part that covers the last bit will be the part you pay for.

I bought Rome a while back. It wasn't a AAA title, but I still paid $69.95Aus for it. That's a reasonably hefty whack of coin, for something that I played three levels of and then thought was rubbish. I would have much preferred to get through three levels of free content then decided the game was shithouse rather than having to learn that at the cost of $70.

Re:They're insane. (5, Insightful)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715867)

When you decide to start punishing non-customers rather than finding ways to entice them into being customers, that's a really bad sign.

Re:They're insane. (2, Interesting)

fimbulvetr (598306) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716225)

The only reason I buy new games is so I can trade them in within 6-12 months and get a good amount back for them. Sometimes gamestop, etc. has a special with their membership + quantity of games that blows anything like the hassle of shipping them to ebay purchasers out of the water. I am willing to pay 50-60 bucks because I know I can re-coup more than half that when I trade them back in. If they start taking that value away, then my new game budget goes down dramatically.

Of course, I generally only buy games getting 8+ or higher on all reviews, which is incredibly helpful for overall worth when trading them back in because most are not shitfests like the latest excuse for a spiderman game.

The remainder of the money I "lost" can be attributed to the premium I paid to get the game close to/on release date, and the fact that companies have to make a profit - which I'm OK with seeing as they wouldn't be investing the amount of effort it takes into getting an 8+ game out the door without the good chance of them making a buck.

Re:They're insane. (5, Funny)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715599)

This article got me thinking. We should really shut down sites like Ebay and Craigslist. It's unfair that people are able to sell their assets without generating any profit for the manufacturer.

Re:They're insane. (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715939)

We also got to put people to jail for selling games they can't use to their friends. Yeehaw.

Re:They're insane. (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716107)

Don't joke, man! Someone will take this seriously, and it'll be law one day.

Re:They're insane. (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715611)

Do they seriously think their customer base will stand for behavior like that?

Do you seriously think that it won't happen regardless? The vast majority won't know until it's too late, and that same vast majority are unlikely to look into things before the second purchase to prevent it happening again.

If they want to stop charging $60 for the game, give out the disks for free, and then componentize the gameplay modes as DLC (or rather, unlockable content on the disc), that's reasonable enough. Then I as someone who mostly sticks to single-player campaigns can spend just $15-20 on that rather than dropping $60 for a lot of content that will mostly go unused.

Of course, if they did it that way, it would be fair to us and solve most of their problems - both piracy and second-hand sales. Which guarantees that it will never happen that way.

Re:They're insane. (5, Insightful)

Fremandn (316311) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715643)

Why not just make games worth keeping?

Re:They're insane. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715679)

I find it unfair that the games industry gets a free pass on these kinds of things. If the MPAA said the same comment, there'd be protests in the streets!

Re:They're insane. (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715721)

They haven't gotten a free pass on anything. Look out in the streets -- they're protesting!

Re:They're insane. (1)

haystor (102186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715749)

Uh, while that may look like cosplay, before you get dressed up and head outside you might want to check.

Re:They're insane. (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715777)

But then we'd have to go outside.

Re:They're insane. (2, Funny)

perlchild (582235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715851)

I think we can safely say that looking at for instance EA, their customer base is composed of sheep, who have no idea how to hurt any of these massive companies. If customers had the intolerance you think they do, EA would have been bankrupt, by 2001 or so.

Re:They're insane. (4, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716049)

Do they seriously think their customer base will stand for behavior like that?

Yes, since the behavior is pretty clearly bluffing. "I've talked to some developers who are saying..." Yeah, you've talked to developers who were saying "Man, it sucks that we can't get a piece of the pie every time our games are sold, we should do something about it. Also, I really wish I had a unicorn."

You'll notice this is not him saying "In our next game, we're going to do this."

They realize it will directly hurt them eventually. If you couldn't sell a game back if it sucked, a lot of people would be a lot more hesitant to buy a game. I know I would raise my standards for such a game.

Plus, any idiot in the development buisness has to realize this isn't going to amount to beans. If I buy a game like this with a "first buy code" you know what the first thing I'd do would be? Post it online. They could make it such that you had to verify a unique code, but that's hurting their buisness then in another way: people without online capabilities won't be able to play it.

So yeah, if he is serious, he hasn't thought about it for more than 5 minutes.

Re:They're insane. (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716059)

Do you seriously think that they won't? Most people I know who play video games gladly pay their money (hard-earned or otherwise) for either the same damn sports games from EA that have nothing more than a roster update or DLC that will either vanish or otherwise become unplayable in a few years when the servers are finally taken offline. One might think that these people are too fickle to ever want to play these games again in the future, but these same people love the classic titles on consoles that have long been out of production (and are more than willing to pay again for the same titles on DLC). By my observation, either most of the gaming market is too nearsighted to think of how much their investments are going to pay off in the long term or they just don't care. It really makes me glad that I ceased being a customer quite some time ago.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715409)

So if I rent a game, and I want to fight the final boss, I have to pay $20?

Epic Games.. (3, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715413)

A once great game company. It's amazing that this is the same company that released those bonus packs for Unreal Tournament. They have really turned in to money grubbing whores. I blame people like Mike Capps.

Re:Epic Games.. (3, Insightful)

aweraw (557447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715443)

They were a once great PC game company. I blame the culture of console gaming for their current attitudes.

Re:Epic Games.. (4, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715449)

Not only that, money-grubbing whores who have said they're turning their backs on the very fans that propelled them to success (PC gamers). Fuck those guys.

it's not friday yet (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715445)

When did epic and EA switch bodies?

In other news... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715451)

... a large printing company has started replacing the last page in it's books with a 900 number readers must call to find out the ending. Apparently the greedy buzzards weren't making any money when people checked books out at the library.

Killing used/rental (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715479)

Ok, they want to kill of rental and used games. Fine. Doesn't matter to me.... but the value of games as a bought item like a DVD or book is a lot higher to me than a non-tranferrable license. Price accordingly and I'll bite. Oh! You idiots thought we are going to keep paying $60 and not be able to loan it out to a friend or turn it at Game Stop? That's very different, that is just a big old price increase heading into a recession. Brilliant move guys!

Re:Killing used/rental (3, Insightful)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715703)

And not to worry, if someone can't rent or borrow they'll just pirate, then the manufacture gets all the money they're entitled... wait.

Re:Killing used/rental (5, Insightful)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715761)

Exactly. If the game industry wants to kill off the used game market...and piracy for the most part too...in one fell swoop, all they need to do is lower the average game's price to around $20-30. If I can get a brand new copy of a game for $20, no way in hell I'm gonna pay Game Stop $15 for a used copy. It's simple economics really...

Not only that, but if the industry really truely wants to make gaming a mass market affair, they are going to have to lower the costs for players. If movies cost $50-60 per title, hardly anyone would buy them either.

Re:Killing used/rental (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716095)

One needs to knobble the first sale issue in its entirety. Rather than selling a $100 DVD, why not ship the DVD in store for $10, but to play it you have to register online for $50 (or perhaps buy a $50 registration card). Considering that we are talking about games that need online connection, this shouldn't be a big deal. That way ownership stays with the game writers, and the 2nd hand market doesn't exist, because who is going to re-sell a $10 DVD?

That would be like getting people to pay for sex (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715489)

Never gonna happen

Re:That would be like getting people to pay for se (5, Funny)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715881)

I don't know, if you were in the middle of sex and suddenly she stops and refuses to continue unless you pay the "climax fee" of $20, in the heat of the moment you probably would pay.

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716203)

I'd just tell her I was going to a gay bar instead.

Doctrine of first sale (5, Insightful)

MikeBabcock (65886) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715493)

Doctrine of first sale still applies to other properties that can be purchased and re-sold, despite the fact that authors make no money off sales of used books, nor Ford off sales of used cars and trucks.

Its like the music industries attitude problem has somehow infiltrated the thinking of other digital organizations worldwide.

Harry Potter will have had way more readers than it had sales (probably more than twice as many) before accounting for privacy at all.

"Get over it" comes to mind.

Re:Doctrine of first sale (3, Interesting)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715633)

Sure it's lame, but I don't think this applies. You buy a product with an included key that can be consumed once. You can turn around and sell this product to a game store or friend, but if you consume the key, the product is nearly valueless.

It's synonymous with food, well rotten food anyway.

Re:Doctrine of first sale (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715883)

You can turn around and sell this product to a game store or friend, but if you consume the key, the product is nearly valueless.

Keys don't get "consumed" naturally the way food does. It's an unnatural engineered-in limitation, which I would expect people to be seriously pissed off about if they weren't clearly informed prior to paying for it.

Re:Doctrine of first sale (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715993)

It's an unnatural engineered-in limitation, which I would expect people to be seriously pissed off about if they weren't clearly informed prior to paying for it.

Look at Spore. People are seriously pissed off even when they are clearly informed prior to paying for it. And rightly so, too.

Doctrine of first sort. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715829)

"Doctrine of first sale still applies to other properties that can be purchased and re-sold, despite the fact that authors make no money off sales of used books, nor Ford off sales of used cars and trucks."

It's a little like a bubble sort were the money moves one way and the goods moves the other way.

Book Publishers (1)

fractalVisionz (989785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715495)

I don't hear book publisher charging the price of a book to read the last chapter if I buy it used, why should games be the same way.

Just the same, we live in a free economy, the consumers and customers will speak as a collective whole, most likely by not buying the worse than DRM laden games.

Finally, I haven't come up with a good name yet for this, anyone have any thoughts?

Re:Book Publishers (2, Interesting)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715625)

"competition." If any of you slashdotters feel like starting up a game company this is a great time: Many Americans will be looking for something fun to do with their welfare checks-cum-tax rebates. Furthermore there are many coders willing to work for cheap in America and a public royally pissed off at the greed and mediocrity in the game business.

Re:Book Publishers (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715727)

Not yet, but they're trying. There are already textbooks that come with single-use online codes that make them worthless as used if the class requires the online portion, and the book publishers are salivating over the possibility of licensing books the way that software is licensed.

Boring games (1)

mrfriendly (536996) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715497)

"way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it" I played Gears without buying - for about 30 seconds before I got bored. Good thing I didn't spend 50 bucks - sheesh

Re:Boring games (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715863)

Yeah, I do that all the time. I've played 100's of games over at my friends' houses over the past few years and within half an hour, I've more than gotten my fill. For every game I've found fun enough to warrant a purchase (as well as investing the time to play them) there are hundreds that I was more than happy to skip. Poor quality, plus over inflated price equals you don't get my money.

For example: Thank god I didn't buy Spore! What a dissapointment... I was so excited for that game over the past 3 years, but then this guy [spore.com] had to ruin it. Not even beginning to mention the draconian DRM.

Sounds Retarded (1)

bshankle (207142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715501)

What's next? I buy a used car and have to pay the maker a fee to get my own set of keys?

Re:Sounds Retarded (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715799)

Coming soon to a used car dealer near you: Firmware updates for your used car! This special piece of software will allow reconfiguration of the seats beyond the first 100 times the position is set, recognition of the 8th-16th set of tires, trouble-free oil changes past 200,000 miles, and you can even wipe the GPS reporting settings! only $3000 plus tax, consult your nearest dealer for details.

Small Monthly Fees (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715521)

I would like to see all games go on a subscription service.

Ultimately, this would be a good thing for the consumer.

When you are finished with the game, there is no need to continue the subscription.

I would like to see games use the same "contract" model like cellphones. Pay a low monthly fee, and get access to the game.

Want early out of the contract? you can sell it to somebody else, or pay a small early termination fee.

It's good for the industry , and good for the consumer, everybody wins!

Operating systems and applications should also use this model. Why purchase a console or a PC, when you can lease it for a small monthly fee.

Same goes for storage. Why bother with the hassle? let someone else take care of it, for a small monthly fee.

Re:Small Monthly Fees (3, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715589)

Won't work. I still play starcraft and broodwar. I'm definitely not interested in paying more to play it. For your scheme to work, the subscription price needs to be small enough to entice me to continue to pay. At that level, the publishers aren't interested. What they are interested is the $15 or whatever people continue to pay for World of Warcraft. What they don't understand is that there's only *one* microsoft, *one* world of warcraft.

Re:Small Monthly Fees (4, Insightful)

Pinckney (1098477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715613)

No, god no. I don't frankly care if it reduces my costs overall. I'm fed up with this contract culture, where anything worth doing requires agreeing to terms that frankly, nobody understands. I want to have some control -- not to be bound to a million different obnoxious companies. Look at all the nightmares when people try to unsubscribe to AOL, for example. Now multiply it a hundredfold.

Re:Small Monthly Fees (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716039)

Don't feed the trolls.

Pretty much everyone is against the 'small monthly fee' mindset.

Yarr harr fiddledy dee... (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715557)

PC gamers will have an obvious way around this. More and more reasonable people are being pushed to pirating games they want; nobody wants SecuROM, or Starforce foisted on them, and nobody will stand for being told they have to pay more just to see the end of a game. Sooner or later, games will be losing more and more key content to the optional extra market.

"Oh, sorry, you only bought the game. You can play the training level as much as you want, but all the levels are extras. Yeah, if you buy the levels, be prepared to see some textureless soldiers running around. Those textures are extras." That sadly doesn't seem far fetched...

Re:Yarr harr fiddledy dee... (1)

narcberry (1328009) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715655)

This move is evidence of poor competition in the marketplace. If the market were truly competitive, decisions would be in favor of lowering prices and enticing users.

Re:Yarr harr fiddledy dee... (1)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716069)

Reminds me of that new Gran Turismo with only one car...

trade ins (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715575)

What game publishers don't understand: All those people that trade in games at Gamestop? Do you know what they use the store credit for? *New Games* If you kill the secondary market, all you will do is take money from the primary market, with the result of a poorer games industry. Is that what you want?

Re:trade ins (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715789)

What game publishers don't understand: All those people that trade in games at Gamestop? Do you know what they use the store credit for? *New Games* If you kill the secondary market, all you will do is take money from the primary market, with the result of a poorer games industry. Is that what you want?

But those "NEW GAMES" might come from *GASP* Their *competitors*!

"Scorched earth" is a common policy for corporates these days.

Re:trade ins (1)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715877)

"Scorched earth" is a common policy for corporates these days.

Scorched Earth... good game.

Umm... (5, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715591)

"We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used".

Welcome to the real world! Want to be rich? Keep working!

Seriously. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715969)

"BAWWW we want more money for the same product BAWWW you can't transfer that license even if you no longer retain the software BAWWW let's rob value from our products while making it so after purchasing all the DLC the full game costs more than standard shelf price, that'll show those dirty consumers!"

Let's get this out in the open right here, folks:

I WILL NOT PAY FOR A DEMO.

When will these faggots learn that their products aren't really worth that much, are presently -overvalued- in spite of rising development costs, and that there's a big difference between Oblivion horse armor and a crucial part of the game? This DLC garbage is going too far. I'll pay for an expansion pack that adds to an -already complete game-, I'll pay for little trinkets and other additions if they're worth it, but I will not purchase an incomplete game and then pay extra for the ending. That's like paying extra for the last five chapters of a book or the last half hour of a movie, it doesn't fucking work like that.

Cocksuckers that come up with ideas like this are pathetic businessmen grasping for straws. What developers and publishers are doing when they consider selling whole games as piecemeal is subtracting value from each portion and expecting the consumer to pay more for the whole. A good businessperson adds value to a product before asking the customer to ante up instead of taking it away.

Developers vs developers (3, Insightful)

antic (29198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715595)

"I've talked to some developers who are saying 'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.'"

Surely they mean they've talked to marketing/admin at a games development company? Which in-the-trenches developer, likely a gamer themselves, would want their games to play out like that?

Make a good game. Sell it. If the replay value is high enough, people will keep it rather than selling or renting it. Same if you provide legitimate, on-going DLC (whether free or paid). Engineer some stupid scenario whereby you drag more money out of people for the hell of it and you'll miss sales.

DLC as DRM (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715621)

Behold the future of gaming: using DLC as a form of DRM.

Right of first sale (5, Informative)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715631)

We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used -- way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it."

So what? A car manufacturer doesn't make money when a second hand car is sold. An actor doesn't get more money when a movie is rented.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine [wikipedia.org]

This fiction that every time a product is used, the people who made said product deserve to be compensated just shows up how greedy these people are. It's never worked this way before, and if you take this position and have ever bought anything second hand you're a hypocrite. Get a clue.

Re:Right of first sale (1, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715899)

Actually a car manufacturer makes extra money before the second hand car is sold. The first owner pays a price that includes an extra portion for how much that owner can make back by reselling the car in a few years. Take away used sales, and new sale prices drop. Same for the game manufacturer. So what this pig is complaining about is he only gets to make his money a few months faster on average, than the guy he sold it to gets to make some back. Now you know why American style capitalism doesn't work, whether the theoretical libertarian version would or not - Our 'visionary, self-made captains of industry' are actually 'whining, embittered, envious little losers'.

Ok... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715651)

'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.'

Good luck with that. Rest assured, developers, that the pirated version will be bundled with whatever "DLC" you are trying to charge for.

And that problem isn't just limited to the PC anymore. Plenty of people have mod-chipped consoles.

Something for Nothing (1)

madcat2c (1292296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715661)

Its amazing to me that one decision could destroy your company and alienate your customers in one fell swoop.

Rather than build great game after great game and make money, they would rather stifle development of new games. BUT they want to keep the same level of income (or higher) for much less work.

Dear greedy assholes, (1)

Caboosian (1096069) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715677)

Stop trying so desperately hard to dissuade me from giving you money. I love my hobby, but you are making it so damn hard for me to buy your games. If you keep pissing all over the idea of a "finished product", I'm eventually gonna have to find a new hobby. This shit has to stop.

Love,

A lifelong gamer

Dear Lifelong Gamer (4, Funny)

mypalmike (454265) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715917)

We only sold 5.3 million copies [vgchartz.com] of Gears of War. At $60 a piece, that's a mere $300 million, give or take, in gross receipts. Our top executives can barely afford the maintenance costs on their exotic Italian sports cars. Please, think of the execs!

Regards,
Greedy Assholes

WTF? Seriously. (4, Insightful)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715681)

Perhaps if enough people aren't willing to purchase your game at full retail, your retail price is too high for the product you are selling?

There's a reason GameStop, etc are basically pawn shops these days - they figured out that there's a whole lot more people willing to buy the games at roughly 30% off retail.

But no, your answer is to try and kill secondary sales.

I honestly hope you do, in some ways, as then you'll see that your logic is equally as flawed as the RIAA's and that each "secondary sale" or rental isn't someone who would have purchased it at full retail otherwise.

Re:WTF? Seriously. (2, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715831)

30% off? Lolwut?

Per Gamestop.com:

Fallout 3 (New): 59.99
Fallout 3 (Used): 54.99

Expect to save $5 to $7 (paying 89-92%) on used games these days, and only get 10-30% trade-in (high end only if EVERYONE wants the game, and then expect to pay 95-97%

I don't think "New prices are too high" is really the deciding factor here...

Re:WTF? Seriously. (2, Insightful)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716121)

Op must mean 30% off retail 12-18 months later.

I guess if you wait a year and a half, you could pay 30-50% less; but of course, by then retail will have shrunk by about the same amount the used price did.
It takes too long for the price to drop enough for a game I want to play to come out; buying used really only helps when you can get an additional discount on used, or are getting an older game.

Another Flaw (1)

therpham (953844) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715701)

Okay, so people that want the content and have to pay for it are pissed. But what about your customers that don't have Internet access on their console? They're double-screwed even if they bought the game new.

Oh btw (1)

dmhorus (968775) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715709)

Cliffy b sucks.

I was under the impression (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715725)

That movie studios make money from rental dvds. Why is it different for games? It shouldn't be.

Re:I was under the impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715781)

No. Your incorrect - movie studios don't make money from rental DVDs.

http://www.entmerch.org/positions.html#FirstSale

Re:I was under the impression (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715897)

As I said in my clarification which I'm sure you would not have seen yet, I believe it is true that rental dvds are sold for a much higher initial value than regular consumer prices. I'm not suggesting that is equivalent, though. I'm just saying, I don't believe it is true that they get no money for rentals. However small, they receive some money.

I don't know whether this is true for games, though.

Re:I was under the impression (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715911)

Grandparent is actually correct: As you note, first sale applies. However, there is nothing stopping you from making some other agreement. In the case of movie rentals, the peculiar economics of movie production often makes this a preferable arrangement.

If you are a rental place, buying movies at retail makes it very expensive to build up a large collection, particularly obscure stuff that will take ages to recoup the initial investment, or the bursty demand for new, popular, releases. Instead, you can establish a revenue sharing agreement with the studio, who will furnish you with as many copies of a given title as you need at the cost of pressing, which is trivial, and then share the revenue from each rental.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118972449/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 [wiley.com]
http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16851899 [inist.fr]
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=258 [upenn.edu]

Re:I was under the impression (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715821)

Replying to clarify: Isn't it true that rental dvds sold to hire stores are more expensive than regular dvd versions of movies?

(I don't believe they get a per-unit-rented dividend)

Ponderponder... why'd I sell a game... (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715735)

Let's see, why would I sell a game... Hmm... Would I sell Civilisation II? Nah, I might want to play it again. Would I sell Alpha Centauri? Are you nuts, that game can still be a blast (provided you find a machine able to run it)! I also couldn't see myself selling my copy of Supreme Commander.

If you don't want your players to buy their games used, give your gamers a reason NOT TO SELL THEM. Simple as that. You can only buy used what others offer you. Replay value is what you're looking for. Of course, if you offer games that can be done in less than 10 hours and give the player zero incentive to play it again (EA, I'm looking your way!), the temptation to dump the game back onto the market before it loses too much value is quite high. Hey, if I buy it offshore and get it past customs, I might even sell it without a loss!

Re:Ponderponder... why'd I sell a game... (1)

ozphx (1061292) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715813)

Exactly... and another tip: Stop selling 5 year old games for the same price as AAA titles. People wouldn't buy their games secondhand if they could get them new for $20!

Re:Ponderponder... why'd I sell a game... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716115)

Well, it could also help not to sell the same game over and over and just tack a new date onto the title (EA, looking your way again!). When there is Whateverfranchise 2006, Whateverfranchise 2007 and Whateverfranchise 2008, chances are good that people will pick up the one that costs the least, knowing that it's deep inside basically all the same crap.

Gamers will take it, and LIKE it (4, Insightful)

HomerJ (11142) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715739)

There's been A LOT of negative stuff with regards to games--mostly on the PC site. DRM, DLC that's promised and never delivered, poor quality. You know something else? None of these seems to have any real effect on sales.

Spore still sold millions of copies. Mass Effect sold well. As much as people SAID "Oh, I'm not buying this DRM crap" or "I hate these buggy games", they are still selling by the millions. Could these titles have sold BETTER if they didn't have all these negative points? Maybe, maybe not.

As soon as you have a major title that comes out, that will have some code like this...people will still buy it. And if publishers can put these kind of restrictions on games, why shouldn't they do it? There's no downside.

As far as piracy, or even renting goes(and when did THAT become evil)..it's limited to people that never really planned on buying it anyways. Those aren't lost sales despite what their studies say. The vast majority of people still still just go to a store and buy it. Good games still sell well. A cry of "OMG PIRACY KILLED OUR SALES" from a publisher is just trying to defend a bad title. Maybe Crysis would have sold better if it actually ran on more than 10% of the PCs sold at the time.

Expect these things to continue. Also expect them to be tolerated by the gaming public. All that crying about SecuROM is going to go away when Mirror's Edge comes out and you HAVE to play it. Having to have some code to get the last level of a game will be cried about on every forum--until Bioshock 2 has one. And it will sell millions of copies.

What can anyone do about it? Nothing. What COULD everyone do? Ignore the game. Don't pirate it. Don't purchase it. Don't talk about it on forums. But that won't happen. Most will happily take whatever the game publisher does to them just so they can have that shiny new version of their favorite game.

Re:Gamers will take it, and LIKE it (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715819)

And if publishers can put these kind of restrictions on games, why shouldn't they do it? There's no downside.

No downside to them clearly, unless people complain loudly enough to stop bullshit like that in its tracks before it happens.

Re:Gamers will take it, and LIKE it (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715903)

There's a downside.

The fact that a second hand market exists means there are some people who sell there games once they no longer wish to play them.

I suspect 99% of the money they get for selling them to someone else they use to buy another game - in fact they probably just do a trade in deal in the first place...

If they can't sell that old game, because that market collapses with no buyers then they won't be able to buy new games as often. Hence new game sales fall (or prices drop, yeah right that'll ever happen).

Re:Gamers will take it, and LIKE it (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716109)

Even that wont help, thats why the class action lawsuits against EA made such pleasent news :)

Re:Gamers will take it, and LIKE it (1)

WDot (1286728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715973)

Parent is spot on. Remember the Slashdot crowd is very different from the Kotaku/Destructoid/Joystiq crowd. Whereas Slashdotters may boycott to orgasm, many gaming forums are quieter, preferring to grumble a bit before paying anyway. There's some crossover, but ultimately what Slashdot sees as consumer rape is simply a hazard of the hobby for others. There's actually more animosity towards pirates on gaming forums "ruining it for everybody else," rather than the game companies who are instituting the rules.

Re:Gamers will take it, and LIKE it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716171)

People (like me) didn't know about the terrible path that PC gaming was headed towards until recently. I had no idea SecuROM was on Mass Effect, and I didn't learn about Spore's until after I bought it.

Learning takes time - if gamers are really angry, we'll see a trends sometime.

more money more problems! (1)

Wolfmandan72 (1395113) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715743)

People and companies are getting more money greedy by the year! I mean come on, this is highway robbery for god sake! Its like the government charging us to breath air!

In addition... (1)

dmhorus (968775) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715817)

I wish these marketing people could see where all this is heading. There is an eventual outcome to all this greed... Eventually when you buy a game, you get one player model, one gun, one song that loops forever one map, one stance on one license. You want to go to the next level? Gotta pay. Wish that hill had some trees on it? It will if you pay. Notice that the buildings in this post-apocalyptic world look like something from super mario world? Pay and they might change the scenery models to something more realistic. Want that gun to get a targeting reticle? $20 please. There are several RTS and FPS games that follow this model and they have been and shall remain garage games specifically for this reason. Nobody will pay to unlock parts of a game they paid for. As if $60 and $80 games arent enough, now you cant even play the complete game without a $20 monthly subscription (even if it is an FPS with offline bots) and hoping to god your computer doesnt die or require a new video card, changing your hardware setup and voiding your license? Its greed in one of its purest forms. Game companies need to get a grip and realize they cant turn into the RIAA just to make their fiscal sales goals and expect everyone to wet themselves whenever they release another EULA contract disguised as a game. Ill be using Epic's game disks as coasters from here on out thanks.

Nintendo, MPAA, not new... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25715823)

This is nothing new. Nintendo was very anti-used market back in the 90's and maybe even earlier.

The music industry has tried to fight the used market too.

What is next? Movie studios will try to come up with a system where if you have friends over to watch movies, you must charge them each $2 for watching!

Re:Nintendo, MPAA, not new... (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716175)

In some situations it may already be illegal to show a movie to a friend. I currently am living on campus at uni and the hall counselor says I can't bring my TV into the lounge and watch a movie with other people living on the floor because of 'copyright issues'

I think that's stupid and possibly bogus, but I guess it could possibly count as public exhibition that those FBI warnings warn about.

Good luck with that. (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715921)

Feel free to continue shitting on your customers. The rest of us that you drop a load on will just go to a competitor [thepiratebay.org] and download the full game.

Possible Scenario (4, Funny)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715947)

Kid "Mom, I need your credit card to pay Blizzard $20 so I can defeat the final level boss Cement Head in Worlds of Warcraft Junior: Adolescence Rage"

Mom "What? You need my credit card for what? A video game?"

Kid "I also need $15 more to buy a magic sword +5 against cement."

Mom "But that's extortion, who does Blizzard think they are to charge money to get to the final level and buy a weapon to help you defeat a boss, and what kind of name is Cement Head anyway?"

Kid "But moooooooom, all the kids in Junior High are playing it, and if I don't beat Cement Head, I'll be laughed at lunch by all of my friends because my family is too poor or too stingy to pay for unlocking those parts of the game."

Mom "Well if they laugh at you dear, then they aren't your friends. I am not paying $35 for you to finish some stupid video game."

Kid "But Mom, G4 'Cheat' gave it five out of five stars, the highest rating they can give it."

Mom "I don't care who gave it five stars, I am not giving you my credit card and that is final!"

Re:Possible Scenario (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716151)

I bet $35 that the kid isn't Cartman.

Now give me my money so I go cement that final boss.

Let's look at the first Gears launch... (1)

Tr3vin (1220548) | more than 5 years ago | (#25715951)

If I remember correctly, you didn't need to go out and buy the game. In fact, if you didn't buy it at launch, there was little reason to pick it up. Most likely one of your friends had finished it that first evening. It wasn't that they were so into the game, it was just way too short. Why the hell would I buy the game for 50 to 60 bucks when I could just borrow it for a few hours for free. I generally don't sell my games, but I also don't buy games that are going to last me only a few hours with no replay value. Sure, Portal takes a few hours at most to beat, but those few hours were some of the best I've ever had. It was such a fun time, I don't mind experiencing it again.

If they try to pull this unlock code shit, I doubt I will buy anything from them again. It is getting kind of sad because I am quickly running out of game studios that actually make games I enjoy. I don't care how many realistic shades of brown were used. Marketing, hype, and graphics don't make a good game. Sure, they may make a game that sells a lot of copies at launch, but not a good game. Good games require a little bit more effort than that.

I want a GAME that I can ENJOY. You know, with gameplay. That stuff that makes games games and not interactive movies.

They won't make any money then.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25716027)

If I have to pay to fight a boss or if I cannot buy a game used then oh well.. I will not buy games. How much more will they make then?? ha!

  Some games I've bought used and then liked them so much I bought the sequel new. Elder Scrolls III --> Oblivion for one. So that will not happen in the future.

I am not going to reward this business model. I'll vote against it by never buying games that use this model. I'll play games made by companies that like their customers.

Better keep libraries a secret then (4, Insightful)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716041)

I'm glad these guys aren't in the business of selling books, imagine how ape shit they would go if they learned about these places called libraries, that buy the book once, then lend it out free to whoever wants to read it? Hundreds, even thousands of people getting enjoyment from 1 sale, we better make laws against it fast, or book publishing will be doomed for sure!

Despite all their commercial success, Epic (especially cliffyb) seems determined to find excuses why their games aren't the highest selling entertainment product of all time. The PC version of Gears of War stunk, it had framerate and screen tearing issues, lots of bugs, and little to no effort put into adapting it to PC controls. When the sales stunk, they blamed piracy on the PC. Im sure when GoW 2 comes out, and doesn't outsell Halo, GTA , and Madden combined in the first week, he will blame modchips or paid off/bribed reviewers from Sony or whatever other thing he can come up with to massage his own ego. They owe a lot of their success to Id, who basically created the mold for their early games, but if you listen to them talk you'd think they are god's gift to gamers, bringing them ideas so innovative only truly inspired artists could come up with them, like a first person shooter where you fight aliens with guns, and chainsaws, and chain-saw guns.

Not everyone that hears a song pays for it (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716111)

Geez, get over it already. You cannot possible get everyone to pay every time they play a game. Being nickel and dimed to death has put several companies for other products on the do not buy list. Epic's thinking is a slippery slope to no sales at all.

Why not use advertising? (1)

edcheevy (1160545) | more than 5 years ago | (#25716173)

As much as I dislike advertising or product placement in games, it is less distasteful than the proposed idea. Why not look at magazines? Magazines get passed around to people other than the subscriber and they LIKE it because it increases the number of people viewing ads, raising ad prices. Heaven forbid, maybe game developers could profit without bending players over! Or maybe they're just floating this nonsense idea so they can "backpedal" to increasing advertising in games, their real goal in the first place?
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