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Amazon.com To Accept Game Trade-Ins

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the this-game-sucks-you-try-it dept.

Businesses 242

revjtanton writes "Amid all the discussion and argument about Gamestop's two-billion-dollar trade-in industry it seems Amazon.com is getting in on the action. Like Gamestop, Amazon asks for the games to be in good condition, however they offer just a few more dollars for your discarded game (Gamestop listed Left 4 Dead for the 360 at $24 while Amazon had it at $26.50 trade-in value). Gamestop had already ruffled feathers in the developer and distribution communities with its practice of accepting used games; does Amazon joining the practice legitimize it?"

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242 comments

hmm? (4, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081905)

Although Gamestop already "ruffled features" in the dev and distribution communities, I'd say what really legitimizes the practice of buying and selling used games is the First Sale Doctrine [wikipedia.org].

That's like saying freedom of speech is only legitimate if everybody agrees with what you say... It's really quite different. It's legalized legitimacy is in the face of the fact that people disagree.

Re:hmm? (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081947)

But they don't sell it to you, they "license" it. And if they keep saying it, it will be true. Just like me having a replica of something you also still have is "stealing" it from you when you still have it.

Re:hmm? (2, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082023)

Whether you own it or not is one thing, but no publisher or developer has successfully argued that you do not have the right to resell a physical, original copy of a game.

Re:hmm? (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082173)

Whether you own it or not is one thing, but no publisher or developer has successfully argued that you do not have the right to resell a physical, original copy of a game.

They don't need to make the argument if they can prevent me from doing it by technical means instead. Its the whole "What good is a phone call if you are unable to speak?" situation.

I bought both portal and lost planet, in a box, with a disc, at a store. Do I have the right to resell them? Sure, do, but who ever buys them can't use them. The activation key is already used up, tied to my steam account.

And I can't move a title out of my steam account. Either I hand over the password/login and all the games in it, or I don't. There is no way to separate out a title and say, here, this isn't mine anymore, and re-enable the activation key for someone else.

Hell, per the EULA I can't even give the entire steam account away. (Not that I'd want to because I still want -some- of the games.)

So, even if I do have the right to resell them, what good is it? I can't meaningfully exercise it.

Re:hmm? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082577)

They don't need to make the argument if they can prevent me from doing it by technical means instead.

Thus far, they haven't done so with console games. Gamestop has only dealt in used console games for years, and a quick glance at amazon page shows they only appear to be reselling console games as well. TFS fails to mention this. Why do people constantly act as if PC gaming doesn't exist?

It would be a real shame if next gen, devs get their way and it moves all to digital downloads, specifically because then there's no way to buy a game used, and they will have effectively moved us to a leasing system.

Re:hmm? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082597)

... I meant to say "moves all to digital downloads for consoles." Way to complain about speaking as if PC gaming doesn't exist and then apperantly do it myself in the same post...

Re:hmm? (0, Flamebait)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082919)

Didn't you hear, the only people who play PC games are sad nerds...

Console gamers are buffed gods compared to us PC gamers.

Re:hmm? (1)

Dare nMc (468959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083007)

if next gen, devs get their way and it moves all to digital downloads,

currently the cost of the new game is $60, used is $50. So first sale person costs $35 for the time they had the game, then it costs $25 for each additional cycle (through gamestop anyway)
if downloaded games are $15 then all could win, because of the reduced costs associated, and additional sales... (or charge say $25 and allow the transfer of downloaded games)

Re:hmm? (4, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083125)

currently the cost of the new game is $60, used is $50

Uh... not sure where you're getting those numbers, but that's innacurate. If you were to buy a game on release day for $60, open it, and then sell it right back, they'd put it on the shelf for $55. If you were to buy the game on release, wait two months, and then sell it back, they might put it at $50 if it was a good game that still had demand, $30 if it were an average game. A game that is 2 years old that is good, more like $20. If it's average (like madden,) it will be more like $5.

The quality of the game factors into its used price.

Re:hmm? (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082943)

Well, if you've got a lot of time and/or money on your hands, sue them. Has this ever made it into the court system to have it determined what the law actually says on the subject? I would think that if the law says you are allowed to sell a copy of the game, it would be against that law to prevent the re-sale.

You can sell your steam games individually (1)

dew4au (804562) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083133)

So, even if I do have the right to resell them, what good is it? I can't meaningfully exercise it.

Yes you can.

It's called gifting. I bought Half Life 2 when it came out, but later bought the Orange Box. It notified me that I had one extra copy of HL2 and I was able to give it as a gift to one of my buddies.

You can gift any game that you've purchased. Just have someone send you paypal, then gift the game to their username.

You can sell your Steam games. By saying otherwise you're just spreading FUD.

Re:hmm? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082469)

They can say whatever the fuck they want. A physical product is changing hands - only one person can use it at a time. Does this piss off publishers? Absolutely, but no more than my selling a used book pisses off book publishers. Will they try to stop it using technical means? Sure, and every other industry on the planet would love to do the same thing, it's just not feasible. Is it legal for them to do so? That's for the courts to decide when it's tested - I think probably not unless they also exclusively control the original distribution platform that requires you to agree to their terms before buying, at which point it really does become more of a service than a product.

Re:hmm? (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083049)

Will they try to stop it using technical means? Sure, and every other industry on the planet would love to do the same thing, it's just not feasible.

It's very feasible and very easy. First they will require you to create an account with them. Then they will require registering your serial number, which at that instant will fail to register at any other account.

To discourage the use of multiple accounts, they may make it difficult to create multiple ones (checking by credit card number for instance). They'll also make sure your account is also used for forums, rankings, contains your credit card info, and so on, making giving out the account a non-trivial matter. But just having the account there makes things harder, what guarantee does the buyer have that you're giving them the right login and password?

Then there are the EULA restrictions against selling your account or giving out the password, which means that even if you manage to sell it, the buyer might get banned, making buying a risky proposition.

Unlike DRM, none of this relies on installing invasive crap on your machine or doing anything particularly strange. It can be done very easily and it will provide a good amount of discouragement.

Re:hmm? (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082779)

But they don't sell it to you, they "license" it. And if they keep saying it, it will be true. Just like me having a replica of something you also still have is "stealing" it from you when you still have it.

Then perhaps it is time to stop licensing and start selling. And a "friend" as big as Amazon might be just the thing to stop the nonsense. going further and further.

Re:hmm? (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082837)

Having a copy isn't a problem at all, as long as you purchased it.

Think about it... game developer spends $10 million creating a game, first person buys one copy for $50, uploads it, everyone else gets theirs for free, game company is out $9,999,950. You really think you aren't stealing when you just grab a copy w/o paying for it?

Re:hmm? (4, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082993)

Moderators must be high today. While your first line is true, it's not strictly relevant.

There is no clear cut line for what constitutes a loan, license or sale. Guidelines from the 9th circuit(Wise, 550 F.2d 1189) seem to indicate resale of a copyrighted work by a vendee who has sole control of the work can do so without permission from the copyright holder. The title of the agreement under which the sale or license occurs is not deterministic in revealing if the transaction constitutes a sale.

This is unlikely to apply to games purchased through Steam, since the copyrighted work still remains under control of the vendor. At most, the vendee would be liable to the copyright holder for breach of contract but the copyright act is not invoked. Even if the first sale doctrine were applicable, it doesn't require Steam to issue activation keys to the new owner of the copy.

Re:hmm? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27082349)

That's like saying freedom of speech is only legitimate if everybody agrees with what you say... It's really quite different. It's legalized legitimacy is in the face of the fact that people disagree.

That's apparently the policy of the American left. If they don't agree with what you are saying then they accuse you of hate speech and/or racism.

Re:hmm? (1)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082813)

Although Gamestop already "ruffled features" in the dev and distribution communities...

Forget about the ruffled feathers in the developers and distributors' community - Amazon folks should be more worried about the Furious Girlfriends Association who would hate to see their bf get cheaper versions of games they would play for the next 2 months.

Competition is good (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081913)

I hope this encourages GameStop to try a little harder to not suck.

Re:Competition is good (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081975)

I doubt it, unless Amazon or some other company starts opening store fronts all over the US to compete with Gamestop on their turf.

Re:Competition is good (2)

BrettJB (64947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082735)

Yeah, I hate not being able to access amazon.com from anywhere in the world...

You know, what they need is some kind of distributed network, with nodes interconnected with one another, kind of like a web. Yeah, a world wide web, that's the ticket!

I kid, I kid... You may have a point with people being unwilling to put up with the delay and uncertainty of dropping their used games in the mail, but I doubt it'll dampen the enthusiasm for Amazon's offering much.

Legitimising it? (1)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081925)

It's already legal (and always was). Only the stopping of people doing this is on the rather grey moral ground.

Re:Legitimising it? (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082003)

It's already legal (and always was). Only the stopping of people doing this is on the rather grey moral ground.

What? I would think forcing people to dispose of games as opposed to recycling would be the moral bad guy. Or is CarMax the devil? (Aside from the pricing practices)

Re:Legitimising it? (4, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082295)

Reselling games is recycling.. I usually just give 'em away to friends of mine who can't afford to get every game they want. They do the same to me sometimes. Just keeping the cycle going is a good thing. It's how the world's always worked, and humanity in general did ok out of it. The current trend to force obsolescence/disposal is more than morally grey; it's pretty morally black.

Re:Legitimising it? (2, Interesting)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082533)

If reselling my used and unwanted games falls into a moral gray area, we had better start torching any library in sight - the evil communist hideouts! And add yet another reason to hate on used car dealers.

Re:Legitimising it? (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082687)

Do you think that you'd be able to create a library today if they weren't already historically entrenched?

I've been buying and selling used games since 1990. It's never been illegal or morally gray. Some licences (which I no longer have to reference) said something along the lines of "you may only sell this game if you remove all copies".

The game publishers are only squawking about it because they, like the *AA, think that every used copy is a lost sale.

I buy used games because they charge too much for new games, and almost every new game is a crappy (albeit shinier) copy of a game that came out 10 years ago.

Re:Legitimising it? (2, Insightful)

Ioldanach (88584) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082809)

I buy used games because they charge too much for new games, and almost every new game is a crappy (albeit shinier) copy of a game that came out 10 years ago.

Plus that game that it's a remake of that came out even 5 years ago required the latest and greatest hardware. My latest modest PC makes those old games shine like new again.

Huh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27081935)

"does Amazon joining the practice legitimize it?"

Since when has it been illegal in any way or sense to sell your own property?

Good for Steam (4, Insightful)

TonyZahn (534930) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081941)

The more place that sell used games this way, the more developers will start moving to services like Steam to protect their revenue.

Re:Good for Steam (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082201)

But... you can always sell your Steam account. Less than selling each game separatly, but it's still possible.

Re:Good for Steam (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082465)

But... you can always sell your Steam account. Less than selling each game separatly, but it's still possible.

1) selling (even sharing) your steam account is against the eula. If that becomes widespread enough that they think its costing them enough money to worry about, they'll just start banning people over it.

2) you have to sell all your steam linked games or none of them. For most people that's a deal breaker. In my case I want to give one of my games away to a freind I know would enjoy it (nevermind sell it), but with steam its all or none. (Yes, I could give him my account info, but again, that's against the eula, and more importantly: only one of us can be logged in at a time.

So if I go down that road, if I have 'lent' out a few games to friends, odds are I won't be able to use my own steam account, not even play games no one else is playing.

I already ran into that at home. I can't even play game A, while my wife plays game B(*). That's FUCKED.

(*Sure I can dick around with offline mode, but that's a hassle and doesn't always work, and in this case both the games are online so offline mode is moot.)

Re:Good for Steam (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082263)

The more place that sell used games this way, the more developers will start moving to services like Steam to protect their revenue.

And then people will start selling their unlock keys.

Re:Good for Steam (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082277)

The more developers move to Steam, the less I'm going to buy their games.

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27082479)

And nothing of value was lost.

Re:Good for Steam (4, Interesting)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082507)

And the problem here is what exactly?

IMO Steam is a perfect alternative to selling/buying your games on physical media. While Steam does work against the used market, it provides sufficent 'pluses' to make up for loss.

You gain the ability to download the game to any computer and play it, as long as no other computers are logged in as you. You gain the ability to redownload the game as many times as you need. You gain access to things like ingame messenging, even if the game itself didn't have such a system.

The real problem will be, and it will be a short lived one I promise you, when companies decide to kill the physical media while simultaneously attempting to roll their own digitial distribution system rather than use one of the currently established platforms like Steam. Those games are going to be abandoned by customers and publishers faster than you can say Rumplestilskin.

Re:Good for Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27082953)

You gain the ability to download the game to any computer and play it, as long as no other computers are logged in as you. You gain the ability to redownload the game as many times as you need.

I know nerds are supposed to be weak and all, but come on. Are CDs really that heavy?

Re:Good for Steam (2, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082521)

Protect their revenue? They've already been payed. There's nothing to protect. Here's my little nugget ... if the just lowered the prices of their games, they might actually make more money in volume. Sixty bucks is a lot of money. Even before I was married and had a lot of disposable income, I still balked at that price point. It's way beyond an impulse purchase. Buying a new game is like an investment requiring a lot of research. So these days I wait until the game price that I want drop like a rock, and then I scoop them up without any thought. If I don't like the game, it doesn't matter ... after all what's twenty bucks?

Re:Good for Steam (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082621)

Protect their revenue? They've already been payed.

Exactly, let's not couch this in their semantics. This is not "hurting their revenue" any more than the used car industry "hurts" the new car industry. What the used game industry does hurt is their ability to sell as many mediocre games as they want, at the price they want. And only slightly.

Re:Good for Steam (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082715)

Steam actually violates the first sale doctrine. If it were challenged in court, it'd probably fail.

We'd end up seeing serial numbers that were un-registerable and re-usable.

How is this worth it? (4, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081989)

On Amazon right now, there are 22 used copies of Left 4 Dead (Xbox 360) with the cheapest being $38.00. Why on earth would someone do this trade in when you could make at least ten more dollars just listing it on their own marketplace?

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

Deag (250823) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082093)

Is it ever worth it. I mean the only games that get a decent price are new ones which I would still be using.

Seems to be a lot of bother for $10.

Re:How is this worth it? (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082095)

Because listing items is a serious PITA that's not worth the trouble? Between the options of:

A) Get money now for the thing you want to get rid of
B) Setup a web front, attract a buyer, work out delivery and payment details, package item properly, go to [UPS|FedEx|USPS] to send package, and then beg the buyer for feedback ...I know which one most people would choose. B only makes sense if you plan to do a significant volume.

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

glennpratt (1230636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082367)

I guess you don't know what Amazon Marketplace is.

Your option B should read more like:

B) Set a price based on other sellers prices and desire to sell then list it on Amazon.

You don't need to work out delivery or payment details, you don't need to beg for feedback and you would have to package and ship the game regardless.

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082481)

I guess you don't know what Amazon Marketplace is.

Actually, I do.

You don't need to work out delivery or payment details

Presumably, you want Amazon to give you your money, right? Well, it doesn't magically appear in your hand. You need to setup payment details with Amazon or you won't get paid.

you don't need to beg for feedback

O RLY? Is that why my orders always come with a card that says, "Please leave us feedback for this transaction!" And why my orders page gives me an opportunity to leave feedback? And why users always confuse the comment system for the feedback system and leave reviews that read like: "Product arrived in great condition. Will do business again. A+"

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

glennpratt (1230636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082609)

Ok, you have to setup payment details once with Amazon, you make it sound like some impossible task. Bear in mind, that by performing this impossible task you get real money instead of a digital gift card.

As for feedback, you don't NEED to do that. You can if you like I suppose.

So you've half refuted one of my points. I'm not trying to be pedantic, but you made Amazon Marketplace sound identical to eBay when it's not.

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082691)

I'm not trying to make it sound insurmountable. Only a royal PITA. As I said, it's worth it if you have a lot of items to sell. It's not worth it if you want your money NOW or if you have very few items to sell.

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082125)

And how fast do you think those copies are moving?

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082511)

And how fast do you think those copies are moving?

Left 4 Dead? Probably moving faster than a Boomer and slower than that witch that you just spooked...

Re:How is this worth it? (2, Insightful)

Radish03 (248960) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082205)

In addition to the hassle of listing items and hoping for buyers that other posters mention, there is also the fact that Amazon takes a 15% commission, $0.99 per transaction fee, and $1.35 closing fee (source [amazon.com]). That $38 sale price translates into $29.96 for the seller (plus a small amount to cover shipping). $3.46 for a sure thing sale doesn't sound quite so bad.

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

HistoricPrizm (1044808) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082525)

And, if you're in the market for a new game, that missing $3.46 can be easily made up by the 10% off a new game they're offering if you trade in a game in the next two weeks.

Re:How is this worth it? (1)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082257)

Why on earth would someone do this trade in when you could make at least ten more dollars just listing it on their own marketplace?

I'm a gamer, but I also have a life. Kind of bits to have to post something on eBay or some other marketplace just to get rid of a game. Remember, you also have to ship the game, deal with money transfer, etc. May not be much to you, but I probably work more than 40hrs a week, and my free time is important to me. It's very convenient for me to just bring in any games I've stopped playing, and use them for trade when I buy a new game. For example, I recently went through my PSP/PS2/PS3 games, decided I wasn't playing some of them, brought them in for trade. Got enough in trade that a new game was basically pocket change.

Took all of 10 minutes to drive to the nearest GameStop to make this happen.

Sure, I could have gotten more by selling them on eBay or something. My brother reminds me of this all the time. But bringing them in for trade (or now, to Amazon) is way more immediate.

D'oh (4, Insightful)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081991)

"does Amazon joining the practice legitimize it?"

No, it was legitimate before Amazon joined in. I think you might mean "popularize" it, or something different.

Re:D'oh (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083001)

does Amazon joining the practice legitimize it?

What were they thinking!! The next thing they'll do is try to sell used books or something.

It's a slippery slope I tell you. The next thing we'll have is stores trying to sell used books, used music CDs/tapes, used movies, etc. It's like the World is going to Hell in a hand basket! Don't they realize that this is going to mean the end of book authors, the end of musicians, and the end of film-makers!!!

It will be soooo bad, the only authors making money will have to put their books beyond a bullet proof glass pane window, the kind that's used to protect Obama (or the Mona Lisa), and there will be someone constantly looking over your shoulders making sure that you're not trying to memorize the book or try to take pictures of its content.

And what about PC games? (2, Interesting)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27081995)

Is anyone going to accept those for trade in? Because I have quite a few games I never play anymore and/or got burned on (doesn't work, faulty discs that the company wouldn't replace, game sucks balls, etc.) that I'd love to swap for something decent. But since they are "easier to copy than console games" *cough*bullshit*cough* I never seem to be able to do so.

Re:And what about PC games? (1)

sstengler (526236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082273)

You should be able to sell them yourself, as long as the buyer would be able to run them. However, I would question the morality of selling someone a game that you knew was not working...

Re:And what about PC games? (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082357)

Same here. EB (before GameStop took over) used to buy used games. :( I don't do eBay, Craig's List, and stuff.

Now, how about trade-in's on DVD/Blu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27082029)

that would be the final blow to the MPAA that's tried to say that used DVD's can't be resold without paying them again for royalties

Decrease or increase sells? (1)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082033)

If I can sell a used game to help of set the cost of a new one, then I might buy the new one where as before I would limit my buying much more.

This is already a moot point (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082123)

No one should be telling anyone else what they can and can't do with their own property.

If I want to sell a game I bought, I will. Just because the market for it may cut the industries profits makes no legitimate reason.

Used cars are sold all the time. It has no bearing on new car sales. If those people could afford a new car, they would buy one.

Same goes for games. Albeit, you're not getting a completely new car every time it changes hands.

Re:This is already a moot point (1)

lucas_picador (862520) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082335)

Used cars are sold all the time. It has no bearing on new car sales. If those people could afford a new car, they would buy one.

I guess you think that those auto-plant workers should just starve to death, huh? If you buy a used car, you're taking bread out of the mouths of the children of every assembly-line worker in Detroit.

Remember: RESALE = THEFT.

Re:This is already a moot point (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082751)

I'm in the habit of starving the children of glass installers by not throwing a brick through my living room window every couple of weeks.

Re:This is already a moot point (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082869)

I agree with you in spirit, but:

Used cars are sold all the time. It has no bearing on new car sales. If those people could afford a new car, they would buy one.

I can afford new cars... but I always buy used. This is because the transportation value of the car (in terms of miles left before dead) decreases much more slowly than the dollar value (due to insanely high 1st-yr depreciation). At any rate, I buy used cars because I'm a cheapskate, not because I can't afford new ones.

Availability of used cars *does* reduce new car sales... but the car industry isn't as stupid (clever?) as the game industry, who think they can overcome the 1st sale doctrine.

Right Pricing (2, Insightful)

meerling (1487879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082181)

There is a much larger market for a $20-$30 game than a $50-$60 one. Even Steam has come out and said this. So let's see, if packaging, shipping and promotion work out to about $5 per unit, and you sell 100,000 at $60 each for a total profit of $5.5 million. But if you only sold them for $25 each, and the lower price increased units sold to 300,000, (reasonable expectation based on personal expectations and the info from Steam) then your total profit would be $6 million. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that many people either didn't take, or else failed economics 101. (more like economics 30). If you don't know what I'm babbling about, Increasing price Reduces unit sold, Decreasing price Increases units sold. Of course there are some constraints on that system, available supply, market window, economy of scale, etc, but for the most part they really don't bung up the basic principle. You want to sell low enough to sell enough units sold so that the total profit, not the per unit profit, is maximized. Right now, the software industry is failing in that aspect completely.

Re:Right Pricing (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082671)

"Right now, the software industry is failing in that aspect completely."

Well yeah, if we accept your back-of-the-napkin figures. But if the demand is less than 2x greater at $25, then they are right to leave it at $50. (Accepting, of course, your two-price idealization). All we're seeing is a disagreement between Valve and the rest of the PC games world over the true price elasticity of games.

The games industry is stupid in a lot of ways, but I think we have to trust that they do know how to manipulate us so as to extract the maximum profit.

Goozex is better (5, Informative)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082183)

I've found that for online game trading Goozex [goozex.com] beats everything else by a mile. Buyers and sellers get the same price with only a $1 transaction fee to Goozex (plus you pay shipping if you're the seller--but free shippinig for buyers). Goozex then acts as an arbiter to resolve disputes (though I've yet to ever have one and from what I can tell by the forums, it seems pretty rare for everyone else too). If you try out a game and decide it's not your style (or if you simply beat it) you can get full money back minus the $1 fee and shipping as long as you didn't hold onto it so long that the value of the game has gone down.

To top it off, when you first start they give you a free $5 game (or $5 toward a more expensive game). Every other online site I've tried practically gives you peanuts for a game that they resell for much more.

Re:Goozex is better (1)

DCstewieG (824956) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083019)

I use gametz.com [gametz.com]. No transaction fee, just shipping. Two successful trades for me so far, great experience. As a noob, I send first, then they send. If both traders have good rep, they send at the same time. Beats the hell out of giving GameStop undeserved (IMO) money.

Shipping costs (1)

Pearson (953531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082193)

Although Amazon may pay $2.00 more per game, is that going to make up for the shipping costs to send them the disc and get the new one? I'd love to see some pressure on GameStop to pay more for used games, but I don't think $2.00 is going to be enough.

Re:Shipping costs (1)

Albanach (527650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082345)

Although Amazon may pay $2.00 more per game, is that going to make up for the shipping costs to send them the disc and get the new one?

Clicking the link in the summary tells me Amazon pay for shipping, and since most games cost more than $25 games you buy will be eligible for free super saver shipping (or if you're a Prime member, free 2 day shipping).

PS4/Xbox 720/WiiWii (1)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082233)

I bet that the next generation of consoles will have something to limit used game sales, and will push digital downloads much more than a physical media that can be easily traded.

What Amazon should do is publish the figures on how many of the used game sales were put right back in to new game sales and maybe it will convince the publishers that second hand sales is not necessarily as bad as they thought.

Re:PS4/Xbox 720/WiiWii (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082699)

I bet that the next generation of consoles will have something to limit used game sales, and will push digital downloads much more than a physical media that can be easily traded.

That is definitely a safe bet. I would also guess that older gamers are going to be more dissatisfied with that, are going to buy less games because we can't buy used, but kids are going to continue buying just as much, leading to a focus on kids games and mediocre games we're already seeing on the wii.

It was never non ligitimate (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082251)

The issue is not whether to legitimise it, the issue is whether the industry trying to kill the second hand market will succeed in getting enough corporate mindshare to have it thought of as a bad thing.

Every major high street game pc/console game retailer I have seen has a secondhand section.
Amazon sell used books too, another practice that printed word distributers tried to kill off (a bizarre strategy in itself).

This limited activation DRM thing is part of the idea that secondhand game sales can be prevented, but it still doesn't work. All it means is those games become useless to someone in the habit of selling off their used games to buy new ones (I used to), so they tend not to purchase them new either.

Amazon is a day late (1)

joeflies (529536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082267)

The used game business is eventually going to go the way of the dinosaur eventually. As most gaming devices are net connected now, game developers figured out the smart thing to do is not to make the whole game deliverable on a CD, but go client-server where part of the game is on a server. Now you got companies making money on the service delivery, like xbox, or getting part of the game experience online, such as WOW. And GTAIV's episodic content is the first step from taking that franchise in the same direction.

The customers are demanding an online experience, primarily for the interactivity with other players. But slowly, the content is moving less from a packaged box to a gaming software as a service, and it won't matter how many times you actually sell the cd itself. Korea, for example, is nearly already there with the way that their PC games are distributed for free.

What's to legitamize? (2, Interesting)

godless dave (844089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082299)

As long as the games weren't copied before being resold, there is no issue here. Any game companies that object will look as stupid as the record companies that objected to stores buying and selling used CDs.

"Gamestop" has ruffled feathers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27082307)

They make it sound like gamestop pioneered the practice of selling used games. I was trading in my used games back in the days of the NES. I mean about any mall in a big city would have some video game store, and they ALL dealt used games. Video game magazines would even have adverts listing the prices you could get for your games.

Amazon might be missing the point (4, Insightful)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082383)

People trade their games to Gamestop because they don't want the hassle of selling them online. For instance, maybe they are just a kid, and their parents won't help, or maybe they just don't trust the internet.
If you are going to go to the hassle of putting it online and then shipping it, why not just put it on ebay and make three times what Amazon would give you? I did a quick search of a few games, and Amazon's trade in value is still about a third of what you could get on ebay.
I think Amazon is missing the point.

Steam (2, Insightful)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082473)

I wish someone would bring some first sale doctrine to Steam.

I cannot sell my "used" steam games to anyone for any price. This is not to say that steam doesn't have its benefits. But losing the ability to sell old games is a tough one to swallow.

And they typically charge the same as if I'd gotten some tangible assets I could resell even though I can't.

The ruckus being caused among developers and publishers exactly the same being caused among the RIAA/MPAA. The business model of making something intangible and selling copies of it printed on plastic discs for a premium is faltering towards obsolescence.

Basically they had a money printing machine, and now they're whining that people have found ways to cut into their fat profit margins. Forgive me if I just consider that another aspect of the market instead of sympathizing.

Not New to Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27082495)

You have been able to buy used games on Amazon for years. Instead of selling your used games/movies on Amazon, they now act as a middle-man, making more of a profit.

Used games are bad for the economy (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082503)

It takes money from game publishers every time you sell a used game. And forces them to charge even more for their games to make up the loss. It's about time we turn this problem around with an economic stimulus package for the game industry. How many billions, with a b, do we need to give for Duke Nukem Forever to be released and help stimulate the economy?

Re:Used games are bad for the economy (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082727)

It takes money from game publishers every time you sell a used game. And forces them to charge even more for their games to make up the loss. It's about time we turn this problem around with an economic stimulus package for the game industry.

It's a real testament to the lack of imagination or intelligence in detroit that they didn't think to use this argument, blaming used car sales, when they were asking for a bailout.

Re:Used games are bad for the economy (1)

Beanyhead (1342977) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083021)

If game developers produced a game that had high re playability value, this wouldn't be a problem.

Re:Used games are bad for the economy (1)

dougmc (70836) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083087)

It takes money from game publishers every time you sell a used game.

To be more precise, it takes money from them every time they lose a sale, and if somebody buys your used game rather than buying a new one, they've lost a sale.

And what do I think about that? Boo hoo. They're selling a physical object that can be traded and sold. If they don't want this to happen, they should be selling something else -- a service of some sort perhaps? (And no, selling a game with a shrink wrapped license doesn't make it a service.)

Every time you buy a used car, you're costing the auto industry money in exactly the same way. A used book? Authors are starving! A used house? Carpenters need to eat too!

Garage sales? Think of all the damage they're doing to our economy?@!! Goodwill -- evil to the core!

But is this really bad for publishers? (1)

Baldrake (776287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082675)

People like Bruce on Games [bruceongames.com] rabbit on and on about how used game sales take money away from developers, leading to lower profits, and lower re-investment in new games.

I've never bought this argument. Surely people are more likely to buy new games if they believe they can get a few bucks back on resale. And people who want the game right now are going to prefer to pay the new game price over waiting to get it second hand.

Does anyone have real evidence that the used game industry really harms developers?

Re:But is this really bad for publishers? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082859)

Ultimately, that isn't really the point. If I buy something, it becomes my property, and I have the right to do anything I want with it, including resell(barring things that are illegal for other reasons, like murdering people with it). I don't have to prove that my doing so doesn't harm the original seller, it just isn't relevant.

You not giving me your money harms me; but that doesn't matter; because I don't have a right to your money. Used game sales might well harm developers; but that is irrelevant; because they don't have the right to stop them.

Re:But is this really bad for publishers? (1)

Carlosos (1342945) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082983)

Does anyone have real evidence that the used game industry really harms developers?

I don't have real evidence but common sense. Every used item "harms" the creator of it because the creator of the used item doesn't make money on the resell. The creator only cares about the amount of new items sold and reduced used items will cause more new items being sold (not the same amount as used copies sold before). Software also doesn't get bad over time so that you can get the same quality as the new item.
You could argue that prices will get lower for new items if no resell is possible but like with digital distribution it doesn't happen because most companies are not non-profit.

$2 billion industry?! (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082683)

Game publishers put on the pimp hat: "That's my money you're taking, muthafucka! We betta get on this here elecamatronic distribution thing, beyotch!"

This is not much of an exaggeration. The only real differences between pimps and game publishers are the choice of clothes and vernacular.

gamestop is dead here (1)

juenger1701 (877138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082819)

they can't compete against a 5 store chain started in a dorm room (http://rock30games.com/) that buys higher and sells cheaper than GS last time i saw a copy of left for dead with them they were buying at $28 (i bought it before it even hit the shelf) here they even have managed to slow down game sales in the big box stores

amazon is meaningless anyone with a local B\S\T game shop will go there to avoid shipping problems, time delays, option to get cash instead of credit not to mention that at rock30 at least they guarantee the stuff is going to work or they take it back

moral of the story: if you're in or near a decent sized town (this place is 18k when the college is in session 15-16 normally) do some digging you're probably going to find a B\S\T somewhere and it'll smoke any national chain

Know how to work the system. (1)

RsJtSu (569959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082883)

A while back Blockbuster was accepting used games and were offering a promotion of "turn in ANY 2 used games and buy ANY used game for $10".
The only problem was that a smaller game store was selling old PS1 games for 50 cents each which meant I could spend $1, go to blockbuster buy the highest valued game in the store for $10 minus what the trade in games were worth (usually about a quarter).
Then, I would turn around and trade in the game I just bought for anywhere between $15 and $35 dollars. So, I spent $11, made $25 for a profit of $14 and proceeded to do this around 50 times until the store manager refused to accept PS1 games anymore because they had about 15 copies of Madden 98 and NHL 96. But other Blockbusters still would.
How's that for getting peanuts for your trade ins?

Ruffled feathers (1)

Zolodoco (1170019) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082895)

Trade-ins might ruffle developer feathers, but they should know that without getting some value back on my old games I could seldom afford to purchase new ones.

If they did it then it isn't illegal (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27082921)

If they didn't sell the game then it is impossible for you to sell the game.

Examples:
If what you are doing is called "buying a license" then you are selling the license.

If they say you are borrowing it for your use for a fee, then you are loaning it for someone else's use for a fee.

No matter how they phrase it what they are doing is what you are doing. If the EULA specifies that by you doing what they did is illegal then they should be arrested/fined/sued for doing it first.

Re:If they did it then it isn't illegal (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27083111)

You're transferring the licence without express permission of the copyright holder.
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