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Wal-Mart Enters the Used Game Fray

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the publishers-must-be-thrilled dept.

Businesses 129

eldavojohn writes "It's a simple model — you buy used games for a third of the price of a new one from patrons. Then you turn around and sell the game for two-thirds the normal price to other patrons that have not yet enjoyed the title. Such has been the model for stores like GameStop. The great part about that business is a recession can sometimes help their market, as gamers look to save a few bucks any way possible. Well, today Wal-Mart launched kiosks in 77 of its stores that vend used video games. Looking like a RedBox DVD kiosk, these automated machines are full of bugs, but spell trouble for businesses like GameStop. This should also pique the interest of used-game opponents and provide a bigger target for them to go after if they get the politicians on their side."

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129 comments

you eat my asshole (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28007349)

chow down, nigger! first post!!!!

Re:you eat my asshole (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28007875)

I prefer syrup.

Chris Rock.

Bigger target? (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007383)

This should also pique the interest of used-game opponents and provide a bigger target for them to go after if they get the politicians on their side."

I have the feeling that even the likes of Blizzard or Electronic Arts would think twice about giving Wal-Mart a hard time.

Re:Bigger target? (3, Informative)

Supurcell (834022) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008821)

Blizzard, almost exclusively, makes computer games that have CD keys which make them nearly impossible to resell. Once someone registers their game, especially with their new battle.net system, no one else can use that key.

Re:Bigger target? (2)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009471)

Blizzard, almost exclusively, makes computer games that have CD keys which make them nearly impossible to resell. Once someone registers their game, especially with their new battle.net system, no one else can use that key.

One of many reasons I don't buy into anything Blizzard is selling.

Re:Bigger target? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28009751)

One of many reasons I don't buy into anything Blizzard is selling.

Yeah. Whatever.

Bet you have an excuse for any software that costs $$$.

Re:Bigger target? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010365)

The set of companies that have games to sell is larger than just Blizzard.

Re:Bigger target? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010341)

Does walmart know this....most EBGames geeks might...but the regular counter clerk at Walmart is far from a geek.. unless they force someone to review purchases before they happen...they might get stuck with people selling their wow accounts for more then they r worth.

Re:Bigger target? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011927)

Are you joking? You think any used store actually makes the employees make decisions? They have a list of all the games and prices they will offer for a game.

And as an aside, this isn't text messaging. You can actually spell out "are". Considering you spelled everything else out, I assume you can do that word too.

Re:Bigger target? (2, Informative)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009747)

Exactly my thought. Give them a bigger target? WTF? I just know oodles of politicians that are willing to go against a company that is so entrenched in nearly every city to earn the favor of MUCH smaller video game industry. You know...that industry that those politicians just love to kick around with their violent video game stuff... I think the *ONLY* argument that could work is "See! Walmart is making it easier for kids to get our Blood n Guts School Shooter Deluxe XVI!".

A ~$7-10 billion/yr industry is going to have a tough time competing with a ~$200 billion/yr *COMPANY* in this regards. Then you figure that part of that $7-10 billion is already used game sales... Yeah... Totally worried about those anti-used games folks using this one in their favor...

Excellent (5, Insightful)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007393)

Excellent. With Walmart now financially committed to reducing the amount of DRM that would interfere in resale, the amount of anti-DRM political lobbying money should increase dramatically.

Re:Excellent (4, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007515)

Except its only for consoles, which means the DRM wont be an issue. The summary should specify that it is console only, but it doesn't.

Re:Excellent (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007795)

Except its only for consoles, which means the DRM wont be an issue.

There's been some rumblings from console devs that they're wanting to put DRM on it to prevent used sales. Seems they're convinced that somehow, because they only profit once, that's unfair if the game trades hands again. You know, just like how car manufacturers couldn't survive if people bought used cars.

... I guess now is not the best time to make that sarcastic comment, but before anyone says anything to that end, I think we can agree that the big problem for the american auto industry is not used car sales.

Re:Excellent (3, Insightful)

Kuroji (990107) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007999)

Yes, but that's not the RIAA's problem either. Their lawyers just claim it is.

However, if GM were to cry foul on used car sales, everyone and their mother would jump on them.

Re:Excellent (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009919)

There's been some rumblings from console devs that they're wanting to put DRM on it to prevent used sales. Seems they're convinced that somehow, because they only profit once, that's unfair if the game trades hands again. You know, just like how car manufacturers couldn't survive if people bought used cars.

I'm surprised that nobody at GM has yet thought to blame used cars sales for their recent debacle. Or why Freddie and Fannie didn't blame realters for their near-collapse. [sarcasm] Because nothing destroys a business like the selling of used goods! [/sarcasm]

Re:Excellent (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28012579)

... I guess now is not the best time to make that sarcastic comment, but before anyone says anything to that end, I think we can agree that the big problem for the american auto industry is not used car sales.

So you say... but it's pretty hard to deny that using DRM to lock down an engine when the car is resold would be a *very* effective way for the car companies to increase new car sales volume -- or at least service revenue, for the $299 "pre-owned authentication fee" that would be marketed as a way of ensuring that the used car you bought is not filled with cheap aftermarket replacement parts. And then they get to sell you the genuine $AUTOMAKER brand parts.

Great. Just great.

You, sir, have given GM et al just the idea it needs to be viable again -- at the expense of our freedom. Thanks a bunch. Now when I buy my next used car, I'm going to have to download a crack to the engine DRM, and then worry about it being remotely disabled when it's discovered that I cracked it. Or even worse, I'm going to get sued by the Automobile Manufacturers Association of America (the evil stepsister of AAA) and then prosecuted for illegally accessing a restricted system.

And, down the road, we'll have to deal with an automobile-as-a-service model, where I pay for the use of the car, but don't really own it (oh wait -- we have that already, it's called leasing).

Re:Excellent (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28012745)

There's been some rumblings from console devs that they're wanting to put DRM on it to prevent used sales. Seems they're convinced that somehow, because they only profit once, that's unfair if the game trades hands again. You know, just like how car manufacturers couldn't survive if people bought used cars. ... I guess now is not the best time to make that sarcastic comment, but before anyone says anything to that end, I think we can agree that the big problem for the american auto industry is not used car sales.

They already do.

The way it's done is with special "promo codes" that are tossed into the the case. When you buy the game, you get the game, but if you enter the promo code, you get a little bit of extra DLC you can enjoy with the game. But once it's used, it's used - even if you pass the promo code on, it can't be used again.

You're still free to sell the game, but the next buyer, if they want what the promo code gave, either they're SOL, or they have to spend a bit to get the content you got for free.

(You can argue that if they wanted the game and the special content that badly, they'd have bought it new, but I'd argue that maybe they got into the game long after release, such that only used copies are avaialble).

And that is what I love about used games - I get into games later than normal, and unless it's digitally downloadable, well, it means I can miss the first game of the series. (I got into Halo on a lark when it was a $10 game, but this was long after Halo 2 came out, and I couldn't find a new collector's edition to save my life (I did accidentally though months afterwards). Ditto with Half-Life 2, but at least I could play the original Half-Life by getting it off Steam. There's probably another dozen or so games I got "late"...).

People still buy used games? (-1, Troll)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007437)

I don't buy used games on principle. (Wait... so I'm paying someone for a game and simultaneously not giving the content creators any money? Why not just pirate it and spend more money on new games if I'm not going to pay the creators?)

But even if I wasn't against the concept of used games I still don't see the financial incentive. Gamestop will pay me less than the parking fee to go in and sell them a game. If I were to drive to a free-parking gamestop it would cost more in gas than they would give me. The used prices of new games tend to be almost the same as new. ~$45-50 for new releases and games on steam tend to be priced as low or lower for older games.

If you aren't going to buy it new you might as well just pirate it and save the money going to Wal-Mart.

Re:People still buy used games? (3, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007555)

Your logic is like a half-baked cake. I suppose printing your own copies of books from the library is ok too, cause you aren't paying anything to look at the book anyways right?

Re:People still buy used games? (2, Interesting)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007731)

Well, in this case you might as well send the $45 to The Pirate Bay, rather than Walmart, as the publisher and game developers won't see a cent of it anyway.

Re:People still buy used games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28008955)

The person who bought the game in the first place sees quite a bit of that money though. He paid $60 for the game, played it, then sold it for $20 - he's out $40.

Now if everyone pirated rather than buying used, there wouldn't be a second hand game market and the guy would simply be set back $60 for the same game.

Now the guy gets much less value for his money when buying a new game. Meaning he would buy fewer new games.

Re:People still buy used games? (1, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007797)

I'm not saying it's ok. I'm just saying I would rather as a book publisher have you save your limited resources to spend on one of my books instead of going to a used book store and spending money there.

75% of the used game price disappears into Gamestop. As far as the game ecosystem is concerned that money is gone. Your customers are expending their limited teen dollars on a product that in no way what so ever brings a profit.

If instead of buying and reselling 2 games these teens pirated those 2 games and simply purchased a third new the publisher would make more money than if they threw their money into the big bonfire that is the used game market.

Re:People still buy used games? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28008689)

I'm just saying I would rather as a book publisher have you save your limited resources to spend on one of my books instead of going to a used book store and spending money there.

75% of the used game price disappears into Gamestop. As far as the game ecosystem is concerned that money is gone. Your customers are expending their limited teen dollars on a product that in no way what so ever brings a profit.

If instead of buying and reselling 2 games these teens pirated those 2 games and simply purchased a third new the publisher would make more money than if they threw their money into the big bonfire that is the used game market.

And I would love everyone of you to send me all your money without anything whatsoever in return.

Used games are part of the game ecosystem. The limited teen dollars might not be spent on a 60$ new game without the option to get some of that money back to begin wtih. So you'd end up with 3 pirated games and no sale at all. Sounds much better to me. At least publishers still would have something to bitch about. Oh and it's not their fault ... ever.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009091)

This is actually getting fairly close to just ignoring copyright and seeing it more directly as a matter of rewarding creators for their work. Copyright exists to "promote the progress of science and useful arts", and insofar as the way it works in the current world leads to some of these weird results, one solution is what you propose: ignore the legal rules of copyright, and instead try to honestly think of how to allocate your money to benefit the creators. However, this requires a level of honesty that I'm not sure will work in the aggregate. Will people really take the $50 they would've spent on used games, and instead pirate the old games while spending $50 on new stuff? Or will they just keep the $50?

Some of the more progressive aspects of the music scene have been encouraging a shift in that direction, though. From their perspective, it's better for the artist if you pirate their back catalog and pay $50 for a concert ticket and shirt; than if you pick up $50 worth of used CDs on eBay, or in some cases even new from their label (for artists with particularly bad contracts).

Re:People still buy used games? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28009975)

Faulty logic.

The money spent on used games does not vanish as you claim. When an individual sells a game, they receive cash back (or trade in value on something else). This means that the outlay for the original purchase of the game is effectively reduced, making it more affordable. Second, buying used games is a good way to cheaply (and currently legal way) of getting exposure to games. This exposure can and does encourage the purchase of new games in the same genre or publisher or series, assuming the games are good and worth purchasing. And third those teens (or anyone else) with limited dollars may be purchasing used games now but if they enjoyed those games, when they are no longer as limited they have a much higher chance of purchasing new games. All of these effects are useful and beneficial to game publishers.

Even a forest fire every now and then can be good for the ecosystem.
 

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010019)

Except that the kind of people that sell their games typically turn right around and buy another -- if you consider that the two scenarios begin to balance. Sure there are some people who will turn around and buy another used game, but many people find buying used games at a 20% discount a little hard to swallow when you can typically find the same new games at a 20% discount if your patient enough to shop around.

Re:People still buy used games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28010375)

Apart from all of the other arguments againsted your flawed logic, I'll consider your following point:
"75% of the used game price disappears into Gamestop"
Okay, whats wrong with Gamestop making a profit? They are part of the games eco-system like everyone else. Infact, your local gamestop are most likely the only guys in the ecosystem which are local to you. Support local businesses! Without them, where else are you going to go in the mall, while your mum buys your clothes?

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009957)

Most of his logic is pretty off kilter, but he does have one point. Gamestop tends to sell used games at new game prices. I can't tell you how many times I've bought a game, released at a suggested retail of $50, for $40 (new) at retail store X while Gamestop is *still* selling the used copy for $40. They almost never reduce their prices, at least on modern consoles and your treated like a potential criminal if you dare to ask to see the game before you purchase it. Honestly I'm surprised they've lasted so long so far. I've purchased two things from them. The first because they were the only ones who had it in stock and the second because I was given a gift card there. They are always, in my mind, the last option.

Re:People still buy used games? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28007687)

My teenage kids don't pay anything to get to the mall when they come with me and, trust me, getting 1/3 of the buy price back for a game which is no longer the thing would really appeal to them.

I'd guess that the teenage demographic is larger for console games than for PC games.

Don't assume that you're the target demographic

Re:People still buy used games? - logged in now (-1, Redundant)

IntentionalStance (1197099) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007709)

Whoops - wasn't logged in - testing Firefox with Tree Style Tabs

My teenage kids don't pay anything to get to the mall when they come with me and, trust me, getting 1/3 of the buy price back for a game which is no longer the thing would really appeal to them.

I'd guess that the teenage demographic is larger for console games than for PC games. Don't assume that you're the target demographic

Re:People still buy used games? (4, Insightful)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007719)

I don't buy used games on principle. (Wait... so I'm paying someone for a game and simultaneously not giving the content creators any money? Why not just pirate it and spend more money on new games if I'm not going to pay the creators?)

But even if I wasn't against the concept of used games I still don't see the financial incentive. Gamestop will pay me less than the parking fee to go in and sell them a game. If I were to drive to a free-parking gamestop it would cost more in gas than they would give me. The used prices of new games tend to be almost the same as new. ~$45-50 for new releases and games on steam tend to be priced as low or lower for older games.

If you aren't going to buy it new you might as well just pirate it and save the money going to Wal-Mart.

By giving money to someone who purchases new games, you are providing them with more resources to purchase more new games, and support new content creators. Or to put it another way, would you buy a car that you knew would have no value on the used car market? Auto companies like good resale value, so that one guy will buy a new car every year.

Also, if you save up a few games, it might just cover your parking. And give you cash for a new game. (Which is the point)

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007729)

I don't buy used games on principle. (Wait... so I'm paying someone for a game and simultaneously not giving the content creators any money? Why not just pirate it and spend more money on new games if I'm not going to pay the creators?)

What principle is that? The principle of irrational consumer? I know lots of people will buy a game new knowing that there will be a used market for it later when they're done.

If you aren't going to buy it new you might as well just pirate it and save the money going to Wal-Mart.

I'd gladly follow your advice but nobody has broken the PS3 yet. What the fuck is up with that? Isn't it already supposed to be broken by now? Will somebody please get on it and try to make it so that I don't have to open the PS3 and solder tiny connections.

But even if I wasn't against the concept of used games I still don't see the financial incentive. Gamestop will pay me less than the parking fee to go in and sell them a game. If I were to drive to a free-parking gamestop it would cost more in gas than they would give me. The used prices of new games tend to be almost the same as new. ~$45-50 for new releases and games on steam tend to be priced as low or lower for older games.

Save some gas. Pirate. Except for the fucking PS3!

Re:People still buy used games? (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007817)

Wait... so I'm paying someone for a game and simultaneously not giving the content creators any money?

If they make games that are good enough that people don't want to sell them back, this wouldn't be happening to them.

Re:People still buy used games? (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009507)

I don't really agree with this point. It makes sense for multiplayer games, but a lot of single-player games (like films and TV shows) are very enjoyable to play once, but become less enjoyable when you play them again. Given the choice between playing them twice, or playing them once and then playing another similar-quality game once, the second is more fun. Think of them like books and DVDs; lots of people buy these and sell them second-hand because they never watch a film or read a book twice.

Even a great single-player game like Monkey Island or Grim Fandango is only really fun to replay after a few years, and it makes more financial sense to sell the game after you played it the first time then buy a second-hand copy a few years later when it costs a fraction of the price; you pocket the difference in the price and don't have to store it for the intervening time.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28012403)

RPGs and games that allow alot of character customization are usually single player, but the personal replay value is really high if you liked it the first time, I have played final fantasy 1 on the nes with every char combination possible, but would i get rid of it, heck no. I think that is a thought lost on many of the new rpgs is some people WOULD rather run 4 white mages around for the challenge (and the bragging rights) than have a forced "fair" team.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010911)

This brings back the shame of my own trade-ins. Microage managed to get pristine copies of Secret of Mana and Final Fantasy 3 out of my 11 year old self in return for a MTG:Ice Age deck :(

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011987)

That's really a dumb comment. No matter how great your game is, everyone is going to get tired of it eventually. There is no magical way of making a game so great no one will sell it used.

Re:People still buy used games? (5, Insightful)

Blue_Wombat (737891) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007981)

That logic is whacky. So does that mean that you won't buy a house or a car second-hand (or sell your own after you have bought it) because this would mean that neither GM or the Architect got paid again? If so, I assume that you want to make sales of used cars illegal, and require that people raze their houses sell when they move so that architects and construction firms get paid again by the new person who buys the land? If not, please explain why you think that the first sale doctrine apply to everyone except game makers?

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008283)

There we are. I was looking for this post. Thank you

Re:People still buy used games? (0)

Stumpeh (665508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009481)

THAT logic is whacky. The used games market is totally different to the used car or house market because of the turn around times. You could happily buy a game for 60 quid/dollars/whatever, play it for a week, then sell it for 20 and you're only out 40. Not so bad. You'd be mad to buy a 6000 pound car and sell it a week later for 2000, though. People can't afford to do that, so they'll hang on to the car for a couple of years. This means that the car manufacturers aren't competing with the used market when selling their brand new cars. That's the big difference. Most of the money made on a new game is within the first couple of months. After that it's old and tired and something better has come out, so sales tail off.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009955)

Sorry, but that's silly. It IS the same thing. I do know many people who (sadly, imo) buy a new car every year and sell the old one. I also know a lot of people who refuse to ever buy new cars because of the high cost and the risk of investing in a untried technology.

The resale value of cars is higher than games because the cost of flipping an item is relatively fixed. You have to pay a kid minimum wage (or more) to spend half an hour per used game receiving and stocking it. The cost of storing it as cheap, but then not all games sell. So their price point has been the 1/3 buy 2/3 sell that the summary mentioned.

Cars have a higher storage price because they're bigger, but the price is also much bigger so you can buy a used car (say a 1-year old car) for 2/3 and sell for 4/5 and still makes a thousand or more in profits.

And as far as houses, lots of people buy houses, do some basic repairs and then flip them shortly afterwards. Others buy them, live in them for a bit, then rent them out while moving on to another house for themselves.

It's all the same market economy, and none of the original manufacturers have any right to whine about it. They should be looking to add value to original purchases rather than punish their customers.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Stumpeh (665508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010533)

The resale value of cars is still significantly lower than the cost of the car new. That's my point. Generally speaking, people can't afford to be trading in a car while the manufacturer is still making a profit out of the "brand spanking new" sales. Just because you might know someone who can afford a new car every few months doesn't mean that that's the buying habits of the majority. As to housing I don't see your point. The "basic repairs" add value, so its to be expected that you sell it for more money. You can't add value to a game. The housing market tends to appreciate, rather than depreciate, over time (well, most of the time!). They're completely different markets. Essentially the computer games market, as it exists today, is not really viable. If you're a firm believer in capitalism you might say "Bollocks to it then. Sink or swim", but by doing so you stifle innovation. If the only way to make money is by producing GTA 15 or Halo 67 you'll end up with a market consisting of one or two publishers churning out the same games over and over because it's not profitable to produce something that has any chance of being resold. It's either that, or accept some form of DRM that enforces no reselling for games within their few month initial release profit window (and I'm aware that that's naive as hell. If they've got the tech they'll lock down their games for all time, another happy side effect of capitalism). Neither of these options are any good at all, but the current games market cannot work under your market economy so as far as I can see you're stuck with one or the other.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010785)

I wouldn't say all resale markets are identical, but they all function. Just like books and cds and cassette tapes, the game market functions fine.

If anything it encourages the opposite of what you claim - "blockbusters" are games that flood the resale market, with more profits to resellers. By making smaller niche titles, it's harder to find those titles on the resale market, and the publisher can sleep at night knowing that no one else is profiting from the game after he does.

Just like I lie awake every night worrying that my previous employers continue to make money off the work I did for them without sending any of those profits my way. How dare they!

The world has lived with the doctrine of first sale for quite a while now. Video games are nothing new. The only thing that's new is publishers think that with DRM they have an avenue to increase their (already high) profits.

And don't even get me started on rentals and libraries. It's shocking the things people do with content without paying ever more money to the original creator!

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Stumpeh (665508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011441)

Righto, I've just typed a monster of a reply to bsdaemonaut below(#28011267) so I'll direct you to that for the crux of my argument.

I see your point that in a capitalist society asking for hand outs isn't cool. My point is that in a capitalist society you're going to get well and truly screwed up the arse by the game developers, because you're forcing them ALL to adopt unpleasant tactics in order to make a profit.

I think perhaps video games are something new really. They don't suffer from wear and tear like physical products, so can be readily resold, and they fall in a price bracket that's just about perfect for encouraging the resale market which will kill them dead or force them to adapt in unsavoury ways to avoid it.

Smaller niche titles are cool, but they're going to have to be really small to avoid the resale market. The size of the existing indie market, in fact. This market produces some stunningly inventive and fun games, but if you're after a big budget high production value shooter it just can't match up.

Publishers will certainly try to increase their profits with DRM. They're ardent capitalists just like you, and are just following the system. I'm suggesting that we should break the rules a bit to allow companies the chance to produce DRM free games, or suffer the consequences.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010171)

That makes zero sense. By your logic then, it would be comparatively hard to find a used car, but it's not. Typically everyone buying a new car brings a trade in. The same is not true for video games. Many car dealers have as many used cars as they do new, many more are purely used car lots. Its precisely why cars are so much more expensive and last so much longer that car manufacturers have to compete with used sales so much more. Rich Guy A is able to buy himself a new car every 2-3 years, but Poor Guy B, C, and D can only afford the kind of car he wants if he buys used. Rinse and repeat. It was different a couple of years ago when it was easy to get (if you had good credit) zero percent financing on a 5-6yr loan, but with loans becoming harder to get at higher APRs.. things changed. There is a reason why so many car manufacturers these days are struggling to stay afloat.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Stumpeh (665508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010353)

No no, I don't think you understand my point. It's easy to find a used car, yes. It's bloody hard to pick up a used car that was released a week ago, though, because noone can afford to swap cars every other week. By the time the car company has a new car out to sell to all the people who want brand spanking new cars their last model is a year or two old. They still get to make big money on the new model. The games industry makes almost all their money on new releases. A few months after release very few people are buying that game any more. The problem with the used games market is that its competing directly with the new games market. The same game is being sold as brand new and as used, so why wouldn't people pick up the cheaper version? They're being priced out of their market by the retailers and there's nothing they can do to stop it.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010567)

This logic just doesn't hold up, you can't compare the two that way. Yes, games are cycled through quickly, but the stakes are higher with cars. It doesn't take *nearly* the same amount of resources to create a game. The R&D as well as the manufacturing process, not to mention the maintenance of the manufacturing process, are all so much more when manufacturing a car. That's why they cost so much. Furthermore a game is less likely to be bought used, after it has been out a while no one wants it.. they want the next best thing, so while they may not still be making money on their last release they are still making money on the current one. That's not necessarily true with cars since the next best thing is not affordable. As far as used revenue -- car manufacturers only make money on new models themselves, I don't see the difference here. Perhaps there might be an exception with the "certified" selling of used luxury cars, but that's a niche market.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011193)

All a very intersting discussion about the merits and impact on viability of a resale market, but in the end here is my thought: So What! I'm sorry but I don't care if it is harder to make money in the game market because the time cycle is shorter blah blah blah. I bought a game, I should be able to turn around and sell it without being restricted by the content creator. That is all there is to it. The market WILL sort it out and there will be winners and losers based on the QUALITY of the games and not on the quality of DRM. If you can't make money against the back drop of a resale market then you don't deserve to survive as a company and someone else better should take your place.

This still comes down to government protecting a bad business model since DRM requires government backing to prevent it from being circumvented (ala DCMA). Thus you have the government in essence using its threat of force to block resale and protect a business model that can't survive in an open market system.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

bsdaemonaut (1482047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011869)

Console games don't really use DRM, well.. not at least beyond attempts to stop actual copying of media. They don't require registration, serial numbers, restrict content, and all that jazz. It's one of the reasons there is a used game market for consoles.. so in that respect DRM may be very tempting for publishers to add to their console releases in the future. That's one thing we'd like to avoid. Of course the other reason that PCs don't have a resale market is the ease of pirating. Yet, if the industry sees it has a chance of combining the lower rates of piracy on the console (at least for the average user) with the resale limiting effects of DRM for an increase in profit.. then it may just go for it.

I agree with you, I could care less. Personally I don't even buy used games for the reasons I stated above, they typically aren't cheaper. Yet I could see the whole thing going very wrong in the future.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Stumpeh (665508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011267)

I think you'd be surprised at the resources needed to create games these days. Budgets run at tens of millions even for the cheap and cheerful. The really big names run to hundreds of millions. They're by no means a guaranteed cash cow. Most new games, in fact, make a loss, which the publishers try to offset with their blockbuster cash cow titles.

That aside though, I agree it costs a lot more to make a car, and therefore follows that it should cost a lot more to buy one. That's not what I'm arguing. It boils down to this:

The used games market provides a method for someone to sell a brand new product, at no loss to themselves, for 2/3 the sale price available to the creator of that product, regardless of the sale price set by the creator. The creator is, therefore, stuffed. They can't beat the competition on price.

Proof:

Assume games sell new for 60, resell for 40 and are bought used by the retailer for 20. Assume the retailer makes a hefty 66% profit on new games (not far from the truth either. They make the big bucks).

Customer X has 60. He buys one new game a month. 20 goes to the publisher, 40 to the retailer.

Customer Y has 60. He buys (and re-resells) 3 1 week old games a month, at a total cost of 60 (40 * 3) - (20 * 3). 0 goes to the publisher, 60 to the retailer.

They essentially shift ALL of the profits to themselves, rather than share it with the publisher, and it's rather attractive to the buyer too. He only has to wait a few days to get a nearly new game.

This is the point I'm trying to make. You're right that no-one would want a six month old used game, but the problem is that a few days after release people will start trading in their games, so the market is undercut. Games are therefore MORE likely to be bought used. Why not? They're basically identical to the brand new version in everything except price.

This market undercutting can't be done with cars because there's no ready supply of used cars available for a significant period after a car is launched. Few people are rich or crazy enough to trade in their brand new car. A couple of years down the line the market will appear but the car manufacturer doesn't care (too much!) because they've got a brand new model out and everyone wants that one now. They still have a market. If we could buy cars for 50 quid each car manufacturers would have the same problem.

Books and CDs are an excellent example of similar markets to computer games which don't suffer from the same problem. I suspect that's because they're cheap enough that there isn't enough profit in it for the resellers. Unfortunately you can't just drop the price of games down to book level because the cost of development is significantly higher.

So, solutions:

Reduce the development costs of games? Fine, but you can't do that without sacrificing either quality or quantity. Not what any of us game buyers want, right?

Add on-line purchaseables that are so good people will just HAVE to buy them? The slight problem with this is that publishers and developers are amoral, capitalistic, companies and will take the line of least resistance to maximum profit. When you jack your first car in GTA 10 a screen will pop up asking for your credit card details. And again for the second. And so on. Essentially this is a form of DRM which locks out reselling, because the game's unplayable without an injection of cash.

On line monthly sub or pay to play of some variety? Well, yes. That's about the only workable solution, and effectively anti-resell DRM again.

Essentially we're screwed! Not buying resold games, however, gives developers one less reason to go down this road, and allows those developers who want to be a bit more moral about it an avenue to do business. It's not capitalism, but what can you do?

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

darthvader100 (1482651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008263)

Just because the publisher doesn't get any money doesn't make it ok to pirate.

That is like saying, since the car manufacturer doesn't get money from buying that car you should steal it?

Used games cost that much? I have on occasion gotten 2 used games for 1/3 the price of one new game. (new games go up to $110 for guitar hero etc, got 2 used games for $25). And the person who sold them got credit to buy new games.

I would much rather pay $45 for a slightly used game, then the $75 for the new one.

Also if you pirate the game and the MAFIAA finds out they could prosecute you, they wont be prosecuting me anytime soon for buying used games

Re:People still buy used games? (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008947)

Pending legislation change, that is... don't assume anything that's legal today will remain so, especially when copyright is somehow involved.

Re:People still buy used games? (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008839)

I don't buy used games on principle. (Wait... so I'm paying someone for a game and simultaneously not giving the content creators any money? Why not just pirate it and spend more money on new games if I'm not going to pay the creators?)

Except that when you buy used your money IS going to the creator (or at least his publisher). It goes to the publisher by proxy of the original purchaser who may not have considered the original selling price to be reasonable without the ability to resell it and recoup some of that cost. Similarly for all additional sales on down the line until the game eventually ends up in somebody's trash can.

But even if I wasn't against the concept of used games I still don't see the financial incentive. Gamestop will pay me less than the parking fee to go in and sell them a game.

Even if your characterization of Gamestop's pricing is accurate, they are by no means the only way to buy and sell used games (or used books, or used CDs, etc).

If you aren't going to buy it new you might as well just pirate it and save the money going to Wal-Mart.

Wal-mart provides a service - they get paid for that service, just as a book publisher provides a service to an author. You don't think that YOU personally are responsible for the money that goes to the authors that you publish do you? That would be the height of hubris - you provide them distribution and revenue handling in exchange for a fee. Kind of like the way Wal-mart, et al, provide buyers the service of distributing used copies.

Either you buy into the artificial scarcity of copyright or you don't, but don't think you can justly have the best of both the copyright-scarcity model and the non-scarce freedom of speech model without the downsides of either.

Re:People still buy used games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28009719)

I don't buy used games on principle. (Wait... so I'm paying someone for a game and simultaneously not giving the content creators any money? Why not just pirate it and spend more money on new games if I'm not going to pay the creators?)

Except that when you buy used your money IS going to the creator (or at least his publisher). It goes to the publisher by proxy of the original purchaser who may not have considered the original selling price to be reasonable without the ability to resell it and recoup some of that cost. Similarly for all additional sales on down the line until the game eventually ends up in somebody's trash can.

This is an excellent point that many people miss. Considering Gamestop will buy back almost any newish game for 1/3 or so of the "New Price," the publisher gets to sell the game at "New Price" but will sell the number of units supported by 2/3 "New Price."

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008937)

Then make a game that I don't want to sell. Simple as that.

Civilisation II, would I sell it? Let's assume for a second I'd still get a buck for it, I wouldn't! I want to play that game again, over and over, from time to time. The replay value is stunning, even though it's essentially the same game again over and over, but still, it's fun to just dig it up and play. There are often months between sessions because, well, its new car smell is off, but it's still fun.

Master of Orion II, same deal. From time to time, the mood strikes me and I install it again. Would I sell it? No chance.

Where are these games today? What game should I get that gets me the same amount of joy every time I play it? Most games these days have a limited storyline and a very limited set of things that I can actually do. Once I've seen all the cutsie graphics and had the "been there, done that" experience, they're off to the shelf, never to be picked up again.

I can as well... you know, sell it to someone who didn't play it yet.

Re:People still buy used games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28009777)

Do you really want to discourage the development of short games? Replayability isnt the only factor in the value of a game.

Re:People still buy used games? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011207)

No? What other factor is there to take into account?

When a game gives me the thrill of my life for 5 hours but is essentially boring afterwards, it should better not cost more than 5 hours of other entertainment. 2-3 good movies, admission to an amusement park for half a day, an evening on the town. All those things are 'over' after they're consumed, and likewise, that game is 'over' and consumed if I can't enjoy it anymore after 5 hours and I can't sell it either.

If it costs more, it's not worth the money.

Re:People still buy used games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28010391)

If you aren't going to buy it new you might as well just pirate it and save the money going to Wal-Mart.

I sense a new rationalization for piracy: "I infringe upon others' copyrights because it's better for the environment."

BTW, I think that you're an idiot, and shouldn't post here anymore. Try Digg - I think you'll discover that you fit right in there.

compromised serials (1, Insightful)

landaishan (1537821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007507)

i would never want someone else to have my serials especially if its an online game, making the second hand purchase useless

Re:compromised serials (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28008741)

That's just fearmongering. I've bought several used online games in online auctions and never had any issues with serials.

People who actually buy games and go about to the trouble to resell them, are more trustworthy than those that just pirate them.

Wow! (1)

NuKeLiTe (418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007519)

Good news for DRM lovers like Electronic Arts! Eat that!

It's our right to do whatever we want with our purchased games, included but not limited to, sell them to others when we finished playing.

Bad News In The Long Run (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008097)

Games will continue moving towards a service model with micro-payments that is far more locked down. MMOs, Steam, XBox Live, show the success of removing the physical media and binding games to hosted accounts.
In this model it's more difficult to resell a game, since game access is provided as a service of your account. Moreover, the companies can restrict reuse by offering access to certain content only via their servers.

Thanks, Wal-Mart! (2, Informative)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007547)

If you agree that GameStop is bad for gaming, then this isn't really worse. I don't think Wal-Mart doing it is going to increase the overall trade in used games. If you don't agree that GameStop is bad for gaming, then you don't care about this move anyway.

As such, I'm actually quite happy to hear the news simply because I hope they kick GameStop's ass. I don't buy games from them, but I've read enough of the Penny Arcade to completely [penny-arcade.com] loathe [penny-arcade.com] them [penny-arcade.com] . [penny-arcade.com]

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (1, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007631)

I, too, enjoy forming an extremely strong opinion about some person/company from entirely one source. Above all, from a webcomic with no references and no legitimate claim against the group in question. Besides, this is Wal-Mart - I was brought up being taught that they're well, not the best guys around... dunno whether I really believe it though, nor do I care as I never shop there.

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007871)

Above all, from a webcomic with no references and no legitimate claim against the group in question.

It isn't a good source for forming opinions, except when we're talking about something as trivial as corporate loyalty (which we are). Also, no legitimate claim? Their criticisms, while not as well referenced as a wikipedia page, are legitimate. Gamestop DOES DO THOSE THINGS. And they are annoying.

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008983)

What's annoying about buying and selling second hand games?

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (1)

slackbheep (1420367) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010845)

The foul smelling mouth breather behind the counter.

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011013)

You apparently also enjoy posting uninformed mini-rants. Do you even read Penny Arcade? If you do, you know that every day they post a news post with lots of links. Over the years, they've posted links to plenty of stories of verifiable shenanigans by GameStop/EBgames. Typically they just show up on PA a few days before the other sites I read.

Wal-Mart is evil, no doubt. But it's kind of a faceless evil. GameStop is evil with the face of a douchebag. So yeah, I'm going to have to root for Wal-Mart on this one.

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (3, Funny)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007755)

As such, I'm actually quite happy to hear the news simply because I hope they kick GameStop's ass. I don't buy games from them, but I've read enough of the Penny Arcade to completely [penny-arcade.com] loathe [penny-arcade.com] them [penny-arcade.com] . [penny-arcade.com]

And I have read enough of your post to loathe them too.

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (2, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009869)

Game stop is bad for used gaming. I wont buy anything at Gamestop or Eb games. They anally rape everyone on their used game prices.

Every used game I buy is on Amazon.com as I can get it , including shipping for at least 35% less than gamestop is selling it at. Most of the time it's 50% less than gamestop's lowest price.

It's ridiculous, If I bring them a like new game they give me maybe 5 bucks and then they slap a sticker on it and ask $48.90 for it. I sell it for $30.00 on Amazon.com I'll have it sold 15 seconds after I posted it and I get $30.00 out of it.

Gamestop and the likes are there only to allow the rich kids to churn their games mommy and daddy buy them at a fast rate.

Re:Thanks, Wal-Mart! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28011351)

:groan:

OK, here's the deal.

Gamestop is a store that is responsible for the games it sells. If they, say, sell a used game that doesn't quite work because it's previous owner damaged it enough to mess up a specific portion, then Gamestop will have to either replace it or refund it.

There is often no way to tell if the game in question was damaged before or after purchase, which often means that regardless of fault, Gamestop has to stick to that system, meaning a complete loss on many games they buy back used.

On top of which, you have seven days to return used games for a full refund. Fewer and fewer games have seven days worth of gameplay, and manipulative types tend to just return the game before the deadline and buy it from a different Gamestop, meaning the game is often played for free.

Gamestop normally HAS to buy your game back. They can't say "Oh, we already have about 8 million copies of Madden 06, we're not taking any more." If it's in good condition, or if it is a valuable enough game by default, they have to buy the game you're selling. If it's valuable enough(which most non-sports games are) but damaged, they have to send it out to repair the CD.

Amazon is an intermediary. You don't buy used games from Amazon. You buy them from someone using Amazon. If you can sell a decent copy of Capcom vs SNK over the internet to an interested buyer, kudos. But you aren't always guaranteed a sale. Caveat Emptor, as well, because the buyer is subject to whatever he is sold over the internet. I am not aware of the level of quality control for Amazon, I normally use it to buy cheap schoolbooks, but if you get cheated, you're probably gonna have to go through a lot more work to get your refund, if it is at all possible to get.

Old used games are awesome. (2, Interesting)

yourassOA (1546173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007751)

New used games suck they are used and not much of a savings in dollars. The only good thing about this is if WalMart sells lots of horrible games that suck so much you can't give them away. At least you have a way of disposing of them and recouping a few pennies.
Having a place to buy older games like PS1 or SuperNES games is valuable to the gaming community. Places that sell games you can't buy anymore! Our local video store sells these games for $2-$5. Sometimes they are scratched but you don't feel ripped off. And it gives you an opportunity to play these awesome games you forgot even existed. Except the older games are incredibly easy and you end up feeling stupid for taking two weeks to wrap it the first time.

Re:Old used games are awesome. (2, Informative)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009339)

Many older games from the 8-bit and 16-bit era are actually quite difficult. Try the first Mega Man on the NES, for example. Or Shinobi for the Sega Master System.

Re:Old used games are awesome. (2, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009991)

Except the older games are incredibly easy and you end up feeling stupid for taking two weeks to wrap it the first time.

Do it without save states, and writhe in the eternal fire that is "Nintendo Hard!"

So Wal-Mart's getting a bit long in the tooth? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007829)

I guess they had to get in while they still could, but with digital distribution being the future whats the point in conquering a business model that has possibly peaked? Then again it is only costing them kiosk space and electricity, I'm sure RedBox is paying for much of the hardware. Still, it sounds like Wally World is getting a little slow or at least complacent given that they have conquered much of the US.

Re:So Wal-Mart's getting a bit long in the tooth? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008387)

I don't see (official) online distribution pushing out hard copies for awhile yet, and that goes double for consoles (which is what this story is about).

The primary item is the available connectivity and the sheer size of modern games. For example, I'll take fallout 3, disc size, 5.52GB. Taking a standard fare 768kbps connection, that's about 16 hours. Compared to 1 hour (or less) for me to drive to town, buy the game, and come home. And don't forget that 5.52GB comes out of the ever so trendy transfer cap that call the cool ISPs are implementing.

For consoles, there's also the issue of space. Anything you download is going to get stored on the internal drive, which is mostly tiny (the PS3 has only 80GB). And PS3 games average in the 10-20GB range. Even with the special 160GB one (which I don't think is being made anymore), that's still only 8-16 games.

Re:So Wal-Mart's getting a bit long in the tooth? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009561)

I don't see (official) online distribution pushing out hard copies for awhile yet, and that goes double for consoles (which is what this story is about).

I see WiiWare and Xbox Live Arcade. Or are you talking about the respective 40 and 250 MB limits of those offerings?

variety? (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28007881)

Does this mean wal-mart will start carrying games that aren't hunting simulations? Deer Hunter, Deer Hunter 2, Deer Hunter 3 is about their entire stock of PC games.

I exaggerate, but not by much. What's up with the poor selection?

Re:variety? (1)

Tigersmind (1549183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008539)

Its Warcraft Games, Guild Wars and The Sims 2 here. We lost our hunting games......

The used game market is about to increase! (1)

Just Justin (1539921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008023)

Ok, just think for a minute people. How convenient is it to go to a GameStop? They're usually in malls, or sometimes in small shopping centers. Those are two places you only go to when you need to buy crap you don't really need.

Now with Walmart, they already have an entire store full of everything you could find at a strip mall but cheaper, plus groceries.

So this means there's a lot of people that go there on a weekly basis. Not just any people, but people that can't afford the rip offs at the mall. This new option will appeal to them, though I suspect maybe the system might be too complicated for them to figure out.

Anyways, walmart advantages:
1.) Convenient location
2.) 24 hour trade in ability
3.) Completely automated, no talking to people to do the trade in

Gamestop advantages:
1.) Maybe better quality control since the games have to be checked first? Though the walmart setup might have the games get checked by a human first before they get resold to consumers. Also it might be cheaper just to accept all games even if some are horribly scratched since they don't have to pay 1 or 2 people $7.25 per hour coming this July. So maybe this isn't really an advantage.

Re:The used game market is about to increase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28008453)

Fuck walmart.

Re:The used game market is about to increase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28009713)

Gamestop advantages:
1.) Maybe better quality control since the games have to be checked first?

There are two GameStop stores near where I live, and neither seems to check games before buying them. Seller brings in old games, clerk scans the barcode and checks that the CD is actually in the case, and just puts it away. Doesn't even look at the CD to check for scratches.
I assume they calculated that the cost of replacing fauly used games (happened to me twice, out of the dozen games I bought so far) is lower than the cost of checking for damaged CDs.

I barely buy used games anymore (1)

BenoitRen (998927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008373)

The great part about that business is a recession can sometimes help their market, as gamers look to save a few bucks any way possible.

I'm always looking to save some bucks, as the money I can spend on games each year is limited due to the lack of a job. However, I don't do it by buying used games. I wait for the price to go down, and for promotions.

Ever since I got a Wii, and am planning to buy a DS Lite, I've been buying lots of games at half the price or even less as older games for those systems I haven't picked up have dropped in price. Buying used from the local equivalent of GameStop would in most cases actually cost me more money. At best the used game is the same price as that of a new copy in another store, and of course I'm still buying the new copy then.

Good luck with that. (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008531)

With Steam infesting every game that comes out nowadays forcing you to tie a game to an account and forcing you to activate online for the sole purpose of killing the second hand market off I'm guessing this'll be a fairly short lived venture for PC games at least.

Still it's not a bad idea for the console market and I guess that's where most money is now in this anyway?

Re:Good luck with that. (1)

narfspoon (1376395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008769)

With Steam infesting every game that comes out nowadays forcing you to tie a game to an account and forcing you to activate online for the sole purpose of killing the second hand market...

Yeah because the $50 Half-Life PC game CDs I bought when it was new has such a high resale value...
http://store.steampowered.com/app/70/ [steampowered.com]

You can always try to get the non-Steam version too if Valve isn't the original publisher. I always check the title-specific forums on steampowered.com and look for people complaining about bad patches or poor 3rd party + Valve support. Some games don't work well Steam, easiest to just stay away from those.

With PC games, the prices fall too fast with many titles after 3-4 months. I think most of my RPGs/strategy games were 40% off when I got them after waiting a bit after release while still being *brand new* in box.

But you are right that this is a great idea for console games. Their prices stay inflated far, far longer compared to PC games.

Re:Good luck with that. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008889)

No problem here. If you plan to resell the game, make another steam account just for this game and go for it. You could even easily sell it on EBay, all you have to do is transfer the account data to the buyer, he can download it from Steam, no need to send the media.

Re:Good luck with that. (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009301)

I guess it depends how many games you have, but having one e-mail address per game is a bit over the top, people really shouldn't have to deal with that.

Also, afaik, as part of the EULA you're not allowed to sell on or allow accounts to change hands, so Valve can also easily get eBay to pull such auctions, it also prevents you selling to places like Walmart etc. because they wont deal with this sort of thing.

Re:Good luck with that. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011231)

EULAs ain't worth the electrons used to display them, at least where I live. Next case.

Where's the problem? (5, Insightful)

tiggertaebo (1480739) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008645)

IMHO game publishers are coming at this from the wrong angle - they should be looking at the second hand market as an opportunity rather than a threat. Over the last year or two there has been a growing trend for games to have paid-for DLC (see Guitar Hero/Rock Band as prime examples). Since this content doesn't get resold when the game does the new owner may well then re-buy the DLC.

So although yes they might miss out on the profit from the original game sale (assuming that the person who bought it second hand would otherwise have bought a new copy) they ARE still making money.

Also don't forget trade ins - many console owners I know (myself included) will trade old games for money off new ones, often allowing us to buy more NEW games then we would have done otherwise. Why not embrace this? Publishers could offer incentives if people trade in one their older games for a sequel, or a direct competitor to their game - say trading in Guitar Hero for Rock Band etc.

When the music market changed under them (i.e. the internet) the industry tried to fight the change rather than embracing it as a new opportunity, that didn't work out too well did it?

Re:Where's the problem? (1)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010009)

Also don't forget trade ins - many console owners I know (myself included) will trade old games for money off new ones, often allowing us to buy more NEW games then we would have done otherwise. Why not embrace this?

I'm not taking any side here, but I think the way they'd look at it is as follows. Some person goes and spends $40 buying a used game. In exchange, the store skims off $20 and passes the other $20 to you so that you have an additional $20 to invest in the new games market. However, if the used market didn't exist, presumably that person would only buy games 2/3 as often (as he'd have to spend $60 each time instead of $40) but it would be invested in the new games market. Granted you'd also only buy your new games 2/3 as often (as you'd need to come up with that additional $20), but the net result is an extra $20 being put into the new game market.

Of course, that's assuming that the limiting factor in purchases is money to buy. If instead buyers had more cash to spend than games they were interested in spending it on, it would be even more favorable to the game companies. You'd still buy your games just as often and that other guy that was buying used would buy just as often, except now he'd be buying new instead of used.

Of course, that's overlooking several other issues that make the issue more cloudy, such DLC, or that fact that maybe people would actually buy even fewer new games if there weren't a used game market.

Response to the bug issues and further details (1)

MadMoses (151207) | more than 5 years ago | (#28008857)

This post [arstechnica.com] has a response to the reported bug issues as well as some further information about how the trade-in process works.

Hmm how about.. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009331)

You make games that are very replayable and epic.. Then people won't trade them in. I haven't traded in ANY of my GTA series or Fallout 1 & 2, Nor have I traded in Battlefield 2 or Company of heroes or Men of War..

If a game is too easy to complete and only fun on the 1st play through of course I am going to trade it in once I have completed it, there is no incentive to keep it.

Don't release DLC (Downloadable Crap) that I have to pay for instead release expansions.

Another point is don't charge so much for the damn games in the 1st place. PS3 games are £50 ffs 6 games is the price of a brand new console. Try charging £25-£30 for the games and I am more likely to buy them. ALL my PS3 games (and console) are 2nd hand (GTA IV, MGS4, SBK08, GT5 Prologue, HAWX) as I do not have £250 to buy all those games brand new but at between £10 and £20 2nd hand I can afford that.

My PC games are pretty much all new as their price is affordable at £15-£30.

Simple solution (1)

jean-guy69 (445459) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009423)

What make this used games sound so immoral is the tremendous profit made by the used game resellers.

Their margin isn't related to the added value of their service, but with the value of the game in a new condition.

They are effectively stealing the game industry.

Won't happen in Florida (1)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009639)

Due to ludicrous Florida laws, all new used media stores are to be treated as pawn shops. In other words, you have to fill out paperwork and, I believe, give a thumb print to be able to trade in a videogame...

Re:Won't happen in Florida (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010041)

Don't be so negative. This could be the first step in undoing that idiocy. After all, we know how much Tallahassee just luuuuuurvs WalMart

Two Thirds? Really? (3, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28009929)

Two thirds of the price? In what gamestop? If you're lucky, you'll get a whole $10 off of the game is still retailing at release price.

Otherwise, you're getting $5 off retail until the game is so old its out of print and everyone who wants it has it so they're overloaded, when you can get it for $2.99... Yay Jak and Daxter!

Avoid Them All (1)

vil3nr0b (930195) | more than 5 years ago | (#28010839)

Trade your games directly on craigslist. It works everytime for me. You don't lose 70 percent of the value by trading it in and you can just keep the cycle going...

Walmart is now a Junk Store (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 5 years ago | (#28011001)

Walmart has pushed its suppliers year after year to reduce their prices, and they have done so.

They have done so by making a cheaper and cheaper product. Walmart is now a place where you go buy disposable Chinese junk. They pushed too far.

Thus it's no surprise to me that they are entering the flea-market business.

Copyright Misuse (1)

Absolut187 (816431) | more than 5 years ago | (#28012247)

Using DRM to prevent resale of games is a dangerous path for publishers that could lead to a judgment of copyright misuse, which leaves you with no copyright.

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

The doctrine allows the purchaser to transfer (i.e., sell or give away) a particular lawfully made copy of the copyrighted work without permission once it has been obtained. This means that the copyright holder's rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy end once that copy is sold, as long as no additional copies are made.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_misuse [wikipedia.org]

The doctrine forbids the copyright owner from attempting to extend the effect or operation of the copyright beyond the scope of the statutory right, usually through restrictive licensing practices) that are contrary to public policy.

3 Days Later (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28012667)

Money for trades is charged back to the trader's credit card up to three days after the transaction.

DarkSaber
Up to 3 days later? The hell with that, if I'm handing over my game in store, the store can damn well give me my credit/money there and then.

DC191
It seems like a perfectly reasonable measure to prevent fraud. The kiosks are completely automated so there is no way to immediately verify what you actually give the machine.

Yeah, it's not like the disks are digital media that can be read electronically and compared against a known digital signature for the title.

(GamePolitics' registration captcha won't display in my browser or I'd be posting my response there. Is it a Flash-based captcha?)

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