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100 Million Used Games Traded Each Year In the US

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the i'm-behind-on-my-quota dept.

Businesses 135

We occasionally discuss the complaints from video game publishers and developers about how used game sales are hurting them, and how they've been testing out countermeasures disguised as features to compensate. Now, industry analyst Michael Patcher has released a report which attempts to quantify that damage. Patcher estimates that used game sales and trades number around 100 million each year in the US. However, despite the immense number of transactions, he doesn't think the used game market is as detrimental to sales of new games as the publishers think. "The vast majority of used games are not traded in until the original new game purchaser has finished playing, typically well beyond the window for a full retail priced new game sale. Thus, while there may be some limited substitution of used game purchases when GameStop employees 'push' used merchandise upon consumers lined up to buy new games, the vast majority of used game purchases occur more than two months after a new game is released. ... To the extent that there is a substitution effect, we estimate that fewer than 5% of new game sales are impacted."

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135 comments

Seriously... (4, Insightful)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540249)

This is insane beyond belief.

Should MSI get a cut of the sales if I sell my laptop?

Why should game companies get a cut of resell?

Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

Re:Seriously... (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540329)

This is insane beyond belief.

Should MSI get a cut of the sales if I sell my laptop?

Why should game companies get a cut of resell?

Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

While I agree with you in concept; there is precedent in laws in some countries that give artists a cut of subsequent resale of original art.

Re:Seriously... (1)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540357)

But original art is one of a kind, no copies anywhere in the universe.

We are talking about mass produced plastic in the hundreds of thousands.

Re:Seriously... (1)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540587)

So you're saying that if all the other countries are jumping off of a cliff, our country ought to be allowed to do that as well? That's never been a good argument.

Re:Seriously... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540783)

While I agree with you in concept; there is precedent in laws in some countries that give artists a cut of subsequent resale of original art.

Really? More detail -- which countries for a start?

Anyway, I think "original" art would be unique hand made objects like paintings, sculptures; not mass-produced copies of such.

Re:Seriously... (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540593)

Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

Ok, that's braindead. I cannot imagine that the used chewing gum market impacts the sale of new gum.

Re:Seriously... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540891)

Don't be so sure... [theregister.co.uk]

âoeItâ(TM)s MY crap, and I work long and hard choosing the products to eat to make it high yield fertiliser.â
âoeIt wouldâ(TM)ve got sent to the bloody sewer system anyway,â the Boss replies.
âoeIf I so choose to release my products to the public domain, so be it. However, if you take something which is mine, which I created, and give it to another â" well thatâ(TM)s theft!â
âoeYeah, sure,â the Boss snaps wearily.
âoeI thought about it, and created it, itâ(TM)s my intellectual property!â

(C) Simon Travaglia, 2004.

Re:Seriously... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540905)

Are you fucking kidding me?

Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28541143)

You must be new here ...

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28541175)

There's a preview option in the new interface. Get with the times, budday.

Re:Seriously... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541455)

So you think it's acceptable to copy plaintext quotation marks into a textbox which correctly identifies the characters, only to have them butchered into unicode garbage by some poorly written parser?

Pull the other one, chum. It's just really sloppy, lazy work.

Re:Seriously... (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542803)

You must be new here. We slashdotters cant preview the text because it would impact how fast we can smash the Submit-button.

Re:Seriously... (1)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541145)

LOL Seriously. But the reason things are marked "no individual resale" is because the person who
sold it packaged it in bulk for sale to the public. Probably to make a certain profit, but just
to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps with less packaging that items meant for resale would have.

Either way it has absolutely nothing to do with actual resale of games, or anything else that is a durable
item, versus something that's a consumable. I regularly purchase used games for my disabled aunt on a fixed
income - and even then the $8 or $10 I pay for her games I consider steep for something that's 6 or 7 years old.
People are living in a fantasy world if they think the million'th sale or resale of any title is going to yield
the same profit that the first did. Trying to legislate that into being (no resale of games or CDs!11eleven) just
means the usual slashdot paths are taken: 1) finding artists or publishers who are consumer friendly (open source
publishing, as it were), 2) huge reduction in demand due to the egregious restrictions, 3) piracy. Note: I list
the huge reduction in demand *first* because despite RIAA/MPAA's protestations it is format restrictions, cost,
and product quality that drive down retail consumer demand, not piracy. Piracy is just the after-effect
once the barrier to entry for a legitimate sale is too high.

Just my opinion, of course.

Re:Seriously... (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541379)

LOL Seriously. But the reason things are marked "no individual resale" is because the person who sold it packaged it in bulk for sale to the public. Probably to make a certain profit, but just to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps with less packaging that items meant for resale would have.

It's because the government-mandated nutrition information and whatnot is only printed on the bulk package, not each individual item.

Re:Seriously... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542641)

So what if I don't care about it? That info is allegedly for my benefit, the customer's, so that I know that those yummy treats are essentially sugar coated poison. What if I couldn't care less?

When I can't choose to forfeit my right to be informed, the line between consumer information and nanny state has been crossed.

Re:Seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28542267)

This is over the fact that the individual units lack the legally required nutritional or ingredient information that is required to be on the package when sold.

Re:Seriously... (3, Informative)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540669)

Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

no, sorry, that only applies to candy and other goods sold in multi-packs and is there to stop unscrupulous retailers from purchasing multi-packs and then splitting them and selling the individual packs at the normal single pack price...

Re:Seriously... (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541875)

Which is still stupid, though admittedly has nothing to do with resale of used goods. Whatever a retailer buys he should be able to sell as he wishes. There's nothing "unscrupulous" about splitting up a multi pack of something and selling singles at all, except that the manufacturer doesn't get to sell as many total units because they're not able to artificially force the consumer to buy a set quantity of the item. Indeed, I'd call the "Not labeled for individual sale." labels unscrupulous instead. Heck I'm not even sure if they're enforceable or not.

Re:Seriously... (3, Insightful)

The -e**(i*pi) (1150927) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542399)

It is because they don't print the nutrition information label on every individual item, hence "Not labeled for individual sale"

Steam (1)

PleaseFearMe (1549865) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540907)

Steam for CounterStrike and Half-Life could have it all worked out. It's convenient because you can play on any computer without a CD, while you can't sell the game because it is tied to your Steam account. I think the CD key can be tied to only one Steam account.

Re:Steam (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542791)

That would be correct, and they've been known to lock people out of their entire account because they tried to buy or sell a game on the second hand market. Meaning that not only do you have the potential to not get what you paid for with one game, but they will take all of them back without giving a refund. I've also heard of similiar things happening if the account gets broken into. Which isn't really that far fetched, IIIRC hotmail always had this ridiculously easy way of breaking into it which led to this sort of trouble.

I do not do business with steam, perhaps if they're giving away games for free I'll be willing to go along, but definitely not while they retain that kind of grip on the accounts.

So should book publishers try to prevent trading? (5, Insightful)

krelvin (771644) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540273)

I would suppose that book publishers would love to prevent the reuse of their products too. The number of books passed on to others is most likely much much higher.

Re:So should book publishers try to prevent tradin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540315)

Random AAA game publisher CEO:
"Butt we are teh speciul!!!1"

Imagine libraries would lend games for free. The resulting spectacle and hysteria would be awesome.

Re:So should book publishers try to prevent tradin (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540721)

Especially school books. Consider how many students sell their kickass expensive books every year after passing the course!

Re:So should book publishers try to prevent tradin (2, Informative)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540837)

Book publishers have a great racket where if they want to make more money on books and prevent people (esp. college students) from reusing books, they put out a new edition.

Just fix a few typos, and voila! It's like you have a new book to sell.
And if you dare try to walk into a college class with the old edition you are SURE to fail...

Re:Editions! (2, Interesting)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541119)

I held my private rebellion to this.

You were right until the book publishers also caved to the "Don'Wanna'Read" crowd at the same time. I improved my grade by some 3 points because the older edition I picked out of a department ex-libris bin had more thorough explanations everywhere. Then on mean days I'd ask "brilliant" questions based on material that wasn't in the new edition.

Re:So should book publishers try to prevent tradin (1)

SpiderClan (1195655) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541123)

I brought the old edition to several classes when I was in school. In some classes, the profs were generous enough to provide a "translation key" on assignments so that we could figure out which problems were assigned. For others, I went to the library to do my assignments. For one calculus class, where the assignments weren't taken from the textbook, I used a completely different textbook and still did fine.

Old editions have the same information. In fact based classes where there's only one right answer and no possibility of a viewpoint, other textbooks on the same subject have the same information. I never bought a new textbook after first year, and you don't ever have to.

Re:So should book publishers try to prevent tradin (3, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541031)

I have some insight on this.
I ran a Computer store from '92 to '95. I started doing a "buy, sell or trade" thing on computer games in 94, I immediately noticed a big jump in new game sales, and the reason was told to me by hundreds of customers, being able to sell or trade the game in when they were done was a gigantic incentive to buy the games in the first place.
I also tried renting them out, BTW; that helped sales a little, but only because every 3rd or 4th customer ended up buying the game through late fees.
Up until Microsoft's attempt to kill or seriously injure the PC gaming industry came out, the "games for windows" program, I would have said that PC game reselling was a 100% good thing for the gaming industry; I imagine it would be impossible with the state of EULA's to do it legally, these days.
Blatant Plug: www.gotthefire.net/dnn. Go. Be Round.

Re:So should book publishers try to prevent tradin (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541555)

Up until Microsoft's attempt to kill or seriously injure the PC gaming industry came out, the "games for windows" program, I would have said that PC game reselling was a 100% good thing for the gaming industry; I imagine it would be impossible with the state of EULA's to do it legally, these days.

You have a 100% protected legal right to resell the game. However, if there are technical measures in place to prevent you from transferring your activation, then you are best avoiding reselling that game entirely. Console manufacturers want to knock out resale too. I suspect we're going to have to get some laws passed if we want games resale to continue into the next decade.

(It's been four minutes since I last posted a comment. WTF? This is the thanks for helping make slashdot great? We'll take off the ads that you don't see anyway, but we'll waste your time every time you comment at the speed of thought instead of pretending to be a fucktard who can only read and write about 75 cps?)

Game companies have a way to counter this (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540307)

Make shitty games. That way, they have no resale value whatsoever. Or better, call them something-forever and don't even sell them in the first place.

Re:Game companies have a way to counter this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540367)

Thats what they are doing lately.

Seriously they should is do good games with replay value. So people dont start selling them.

However good games > shitty games in terms of effort.

Re:Game companies have a way to counter this (2, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540613)

Quite the opposite would work: Make games with great replay value so I do not want to sell them.

The "story" of a contemporary game takes you about 10 hours, tops. After a few skirmish turns you're fed up with that too. And then? Off to the used market.

Can you imagine parting with your copy of CivII? Or Alpha Centauri? I can't. Yeah, I don't really play them THAT often anymore (hey, they're like 15 year old now), but still... I just might pick them up again, I couldn't sell them.

Re:Story FTW! (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541181)

OhMyGawd, by accident you might have stumbled onto TehWin.

Random madeup example: "Tom Clancy's NSA-Force: Lebanon" or something. Then as a bonus you can include special documented tech specs from Tom's secret notes, not found anywhere else. A complimentary special-edit version of a novel would also rock.

GAME-story: 10 hours.
Special Edit Clancy Novel: 10 hours!

Re:Game companies have a way to counter this (1)

BenevolentP (1220914) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541233)

If we only make games with great replay value, we'll only have roguelikes, sportsgames, randomly generated strategy games, motion-controlled solitaire collections and maybe a few other genres i can't think of right now (multiplayer games are a different beast obviously).

We wouldn't have a Mass Effect, Final Fantasy, Persona, Monkey Island, Sam & Max, Baldur's Gate etc.

Some of these provided me with 80-100 hours of fun, though i wouldn't think of playing them again. For me, games like this are like a good book - i will probably never read it again, but i still leave it on my shelf.

Replay value really isn't and shouldn't be that much of a point when it comes to games.

Re:Game companies have a way to counter this (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542581)

Then you have to make the games long enough (story-wise and interest-catching wise) to keep people from selling them while they're still in the strong selling time of their shelf life. If someone sells a game a year after he bought it, no biggie. You'd have to dump the unsold copies in the bargain bin already anyway, they're more loss-cutting than revenue generating. If he sells it a month after buying it, you are most likely losing a sale.

They can't stand free trade? (3, Insightful)

Inverted Intellect (950622) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540317)

Fuck 'em.

I actually collect games rather than sell them, but I reserve the right to do with my physical copies and registered accounts what common morality affords me, broken EULAs or no.

I frankly don't care how little or how much they "lose" through after market trading. Get off my lawn.

Re:They can't stand free trade? (1)

Deltaspectre (796409) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540713)

Agreed, I've started keeping games that I feel were amazing. It sure makes it easier knowing that I cant trade away the crappier ones on my shelf to get one that I missed.

Re:They can't stand free trade? (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540723)

I sell my 360 games on eBay all the time. I buy all my games from there too.

Last game I bought was FIFA 2009. It had the original Gamestation sticker on it, a new Cash Converters sticker on that, another electronic secondhand shop's sticker on that. I currently have it up for sale on eBay, minus the stickers. After tomorrow, the game will have passed though a minimum of five people's hands. Excellent.

Fuck 'em indeed. This is all about reduce, reuse and recycle, minus the reduce bit. Fuck 'em five times.

Out of interest, I would have kept the game forever but you just know EA will bring out 2010 in a month's time. It'll be on eBay a month later at a reasonable price.

Re:They can't stand free trade? (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540863)

Yes and I'm sure the publishers will have just as little of a pain in their conscience when they implement DRM in their games so that they don't lose money.

What? You won't be so big and mighty after that? Well just as you have the freedom to do whatever you want with your purchased items, publishers have the freedom to sell their games in any format they choose.

(spoken as a kid who wants to enter the video game industry one day and actually make money)

Re:They can't stand free trade? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541335)

Yes and I'm sure the publishers will have just as little of a pain in their conscience when they implement DRM in their games so that they don't lose money.

I'll have even less of a pain in my conscience when I don't buy them. And when that DRM starts screwing up the experience of new purchasers, I'll have myself a great big belly laugh.

(spoken as a kid who wants to enter the video game industry one day and actually make money)

Sorry. The only people who make serious money in the video game industry are the big guys, just like any other industry. But in the video game industry, since the little guys really WANT to be there, the big guys take even more advantage of them and make them work longer hours at lower wages.

Re:They can't stand free trade? (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542093)

Hey kid, check out how well DRM does it's job and then come back and let us know new job you want to grow up and make money doing some day.

And seriously now, just because YOU hope to make money doing something some day none of us are obligated to change our lives in any way to accommodate you. Come to think of it, with the "okay, you exercised your rights, now face my wrath!" attitude you ARE going into the right profession... Look into record company exec and movie producer too.

Re:They can't stand free trade? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541261)

I have to agree. I've never actually sold a game second hand and in fact have pre-ordered most new games out for the 360 for the last 2 years spending thousands on games, but I've always thought it seems odd that if say someone in my family became massively ill and I had to dig up as much cash as possible from somewhere I'd be able to sell everything from my house to my toaster to my car to my XBox 360 games, but oddly would be unable to sell my Steam based DRM'd games.

The fact is games that impose technical measures to try and prevent resale such as hard copy games that require Steam activation are fairly unique as products across pretty much every single market in that they prevent a second hand sale. I can think of very few (well, actually none of the top of my head) other physical products that have a measure in place to prevent second hand sale.

It's not only that though, I have a friend that I do not believe is unique, he buys a few games, but really just doesn't have the cash to buy new titles all the time, he can just about afford it if he can trade the last game he bought for £10 - £20 or so and buy the new one at £35 - £40. Effectively then I think preventing second hand sale could be self defeating, certainly he would be unable to buy new games outright at £40 a piece, they've got a scenario as so:

- Person 1 buys game at £40
- Person 1 sells game for £10 and buys new game for £40 when value of sold game is now only £20
- Person 2 buys traded in game for £20

So the games industry has made £80 of profit, but "lost" £20, whilst without the second hand sale they may have halved their profits to £40 if neither person could then afford to buy the new game or the second hand game. The problem is the games industry is assuming that if the second hand sales go that both people will just buy the game new making them £100 to £120. It's possible, but I think it's unrealistic. I think the best case scenario is that you could say goodbye to high release week sales as everyone who couldn't afford full priced games just waited for games to come down to second hand style prices anyway.

So essentially he is saying... (4, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540321)

as price drops demand picks up; and purchasers at $20 will not buy at the $50 retail price. Thank you for restating how supply and demand curves work.

The real question is:

Is there a price point between the price of used games and new games that would generate greater profits for game manufacturers than the current pricing model?If there is, then used sales do cut into new ones in the sense that purchaser will wait until the game price drops to a price they are willing to pay if the used game reaches that price prior to publishers lowering the price of new ones. If the used market captures those sales then it is cutting into new game sales since used games are replacing new game sales.

Publishers would probably like to price so as to capture as much of the "I must have it on release day" sales as at high a price as possible; then drop prices enough so the incremental demand from the price drop generates higher profits than fewer sales at higher prices. While falling prices would drive down the value of used games and their attractiveness to stores; publishers run the risk of training buyers to wait a few weeks for the first price drop and losing release day sales and profits. Given how rapidly used games start to appear after release shows their is a large demand at lower prices (duh); how to tap into that without hurting earlier sales is a difficult question to answer. It's a tough call; especially given the money it takes to develop a game.

In the end, however, I think their is more to the story than just $20 used game sales don't hurt the $60 new game sales./P.

Re:So essentially he is saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540403)

If there is, then used sales do cut into new ones in the sense that purchaser will wait until the game price drops to a price they are willing to pay if the used game reaches that price prior to publishers lowering the price of new ones.

Re: your sig, how much was that worth?

Re:So essentially he is saying... (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540525)

Thank you for restating how supply and demand curves work.

It's worse than that, what he's saying is selective economics. You want to see how selective economics works? I will now prove that used game sales increase the sales of games at retail prices: Everyone today knows they can resell a $60 PS3 game for $15 to Gamestop. So when they are figuring out the price, they are assuming that the game retains a resale value of $15--much like a person shopping for a car takes note of its blue book value. So you can pretty much look at it like you're putting down a $15 deposit on the game. Everyone assumes that they are going to play the game for a week and get tired of it. Fortunately, there's a few games that are really really good so that the player either keeps playing them or grows attached to the game in a special way. Now, people are buying more copies of the game because the in-the-end cost is $45, not $60. And a few people are holding on to the game instead of trading it back in. So in a world without used game sales, you would have made less sales. On top of that, if you make a really great game and most people keep it then there are a bunch of people buying your game figuring they will resell it and don't ... and you make more cash. I still have my copy of Ocarina of Time for N64 in my room even though I don't play it.

See how anyone can use selective economics to meet their needs? By the way, all economics lessons are selective. Whether they try to be or not.

Re:So essentially he is saying... (1)

dontPanik (1296779) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540983)

I've heard this agrument in the comment section of every story on this subject, and it has yet to convince me.

If there were no used games, couldn't publishers sell games at lower values, knowing that since they don't have to worry about lost sales to used game purchases, they could lower the price? An example of a marketplace that isn't threatened by used game sales is Steam. And what are the prices like on Steam? Fucking ballin'. You can get games on there for great prices, because Valve knows they can make great profits by having sales and such.

The bottom line is, publishers are going to charge what they know they can get for games. If a game cannot be resold, and so everyone using your logic decides buying this unresellable game is not a good investment, then those people won't buy. If these people constitute a majority, then the publishers will not maximize their profits. But if noone uses your logic, and I'll be honest, I think you only use your logic because it comes to a conclusion that you find benefitial to yourself (which is that you, the consumer, win), then people will continue to buy the game at 60 dollars anyways.

Re:So essentially he is saying... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541369)

I've heard this agrument in the comment section of every story on this subject, and it has yet to convince me.

If there were no used games, couldn't publishers sell games at lower values, knowing that since they don't have to worry about lost sales to used game purchases, they could lower the price?

Just the opposite. If there were no used games, they could jack up the price on new games even higher, knowing that gamers wouldn't have the option of buying a used game instead. Simple economics -- restrict the supply of a substitute and you can raise the price give the same demand.

Re:So essentially he is saying... (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541809)

Yes but they have limited pricing power. If you want a copy of MarioKart Wii you have to buy it from Nintendo, perhaps another Kart racing game will be an effective substitute but perhaps it won't. This means that if you raise the price you lose sales, but if you lower the price you pick up sales, so you price the item in a way that the extra profit from the higher sales price is less than the lost sales.

I'm a good example of that, my wife and I buy perhaps 1-2 new games a year (trauma center was the most recent one). I fish 30+ old X-box games out of the bargin bin for about $5 each. I probably wouldn't vary the new purchases if used sales disappeared so my game spending would decline pretty drastically (and moving up the chain, someone is missing out on $30-50 in credit to buy an extra game when upgrading from an X-Box to a 360).

Re:So essentially he is saying... (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541377)

I bought a PS2 in December. Not a typo - I have 25 games and paid between $6 and $20 for them. $20 is what the red-label "Greatest hits" goes for NEW so I don't think buying it used and expecting to pay no more than that is unreasonable.

But at $20, I don't think I would get much re-selling it, so I expect to have these until I get rid of the whole system and all games at one low, low price. Not for the money, just to get it out the house really.

So no, used game sales aren't hurting new sales in my case, they are actually the only reason I bought a game system, and the 3 games I bought new. When I can't find any more decent PS2 games, I'll tink about upgrading to the next level.

Daft (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540381)

They might as well say that competitors games hit their sale so they should have a cut from competitors sales. I can't see any justification for this whatsoever.

Re:Daft (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542393)

The government will pay you for killing your old car, so they could help the poor bastards from the game-industry as well.

But seriously, they could allow you to exchange a used game for a new one, you'd get a 30% discount or whatever.
That way they could dry out the used game market if they do the pricing wisely.

Re:Daft (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542481)

I wouldn't even mind if they offered a 30% discount and then scrapped the old game - as long as you have the choice of doing what you want with it.

Good games in perspective! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540413)

If a game has little replay value or is really bad, it is traded quickly. So, if the game companies get a share of used sales, games with no replay value and really bad games would generate the biggest revenue per individual game sale.

That would certainly be a good incitation to make great games.

The ability to resell add value to new games.... (4, Interesting)

ThinkThis (912378) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540421)

When you justify buying a new game at $60, knowing that you can resell it and maybe get half your money back makes it a little bit easier. Without that ability, the value of the game goes way down. Imagine if you were buying a new car, and knew there was no way to resell it ... Would that impact the price you were willing to pay?

Re:The ability to resell add value to new games... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540527)

I have a huge stack of games, mostly unplayed and never even installed, on my shelf. I don't think I paid more than half price for any of them and most cost the same as two or three beers. When I see something vaguely interesting at that price I grab it. I figure it could cost more second hand in a year or two - if you can find it at all.

Some are original versions, some are those repackaged (xplosiv, soldout) ones from the bargain bins.

When I win the lottery I'll play them all, end to end.

Re:The ability to resell add value to new games... (4, Insightful)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540591)

You don't have to imagine. Plenty of people lease cars, knowing they can't re-sell them - technically, they don't really even 'own' the car, all for a reduced price. Other people like me would never lease a car, though. We prefer to own the thing outright.

Disclaimer: I'm a game developer working on MMOs, so used games aren't exactly a threat to our business at the moment, since you're buying an on-line account which you really can't sell - the client software is sort of incidental. However, even when I was working on single-player games, I still felt the same way. Which is:

To hell with publishers who feel they don't have to earn their customers' money just like every other business on the planet. The game development industry is big and booming, but it's also incredibly cut-throat and highly competitive, often with very slim margins and high risk. Tough nuts - we finally made it (as an industry) to the big time, and now they're complaining that their margins aren't as big as they'd like it to be.

Guess what - if there's a thriving used game market which sells used copies of your game for just a few bucks less than the retail price, maybe it's an indicator that your prices are a bit on the steep side, especially many months after its initial release. How about you drop your prices to remain competitive? Or release additional content to encourage new sales, perhaps?

I can't stand it when people whine about the reality of the marketplace like that. It reminds me of another entertainment industry that's become universally loathed because of their refusal to adapt to new marketplace realities, and instead use the force of law to bully and intimidate their customers. I hope to God my industry doesn't go in that direction. At least we seem to be seeing a backing off of those insane and intrusive DRM schemes (which most developers I know don't like either).

 

Saying that used sales are "hurting them" is bogus (3, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540445)

How are the sales of used games "hurting them", when this is the market model that has always been around, and nothing has changed????????

The only people saying that the sale of used games is "hurting them", are people who do not understand the law, or greedy people. Or both. But there is no middle ground.

Re:Saying that used sales are "hurting them" is bo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28541219)

Exactly. How dare colored people in the mid-1800s say that slavery is "hurting" them. After all, up to that point that's how it had always been.

While I don't agree with the game publisher's stance on the issue, I think I've illustrated the flaw with Jane's line of reasoning.

Pricing, Pricing, Pricing!!! (3, Insightful)

qlayer2 (1122663) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540459)

There are a few games a year I look forward to, whether console or PC, that I will buy on release date, and purchase for $50-$60. Many other purchases are games that may be recommended later by friends, or games that looked interesting, but not interesting enough to pay the asking price for, so I'll wait until the price comes down.

http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/02/20/0750203/Do-Video-Games-Cost-Too-Much/ [slashdot.org]

We've discussed this before, and the consensus is easy to spot: many games are not worth the asking price. You'll sell more games if at 1-3 months after launch, you simply drop the price point to an appropriate range, depending on the total units you sold at launch and the total expected units. It's been proven- some games sell well years and years after release for a discounted price.

Of course, this has two impacts- if you enjoy selling games back to places like gamestop, their resell value will be diminished, as the retail price will be lowered quickly. Also, unless you have a strong opening for your game, you simply won't sell them at full retail if you have created the expectation of lowered prices shortly in the future.

I'm willing to pay $20 for new games giving the developers and publishers the profit, rather than pay $15-18 for a used copy.

Give it 5 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540465)

There will be a law and a whole industry dedicated to educating us as to how selling used games is piracy and only done by criminals, and that as patriotic americans you will recycle your games you dont want anymore, failure to comply will result in being arrested for infringing.

I wish I was joking.

The trend will be to direct-download games. (2, Insightful)

Carniphage (827184) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540473)

Console manufacturers and game publishers are going to move towards games which are entirely downloaded.

Directly downloaded games are impossible to re-sell. So will block this "problem"

Moreover, the revenue from downloaded games is not shared by resellers and retailers. Retailers can take up to 50% of the sale price. Just to sell a box.

When publishers, originate the game, develop it, promote it and take all the risks- you can see why they resent the used game market and the burden of "boxed-goods" retailers.

C.

Re:The trend will be to direct-download games. (1)

Taztrophe (982146) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541955)

You need to talk to some insiders in retail before you go off thinking 50% is a typical margin on games (and consoles). I own a video game store and the margin on NEW games maxes out at 20% but usually hits around 12-15%. That's GROSS margin. I still have to account for shipping and for the cut for the credit card/debit transaction providers.

Now new CONSOLES is even worse. The margin is 5% or less. We usually lose a little money selling new consoles.

Talk about taking risks. Try operating a video game store that trades in used goods. It slays me that the publishers can even THINK that the used market is damaging their profits. They obviously never took an economics course. Secondary markets drive demand (as most people here know and have indicated) for products and give people the opportunity to lower the risk (cost) to try some games they would otherwise never buy.

Oh and we DO promote games too. I spend OUR money advertising games to try to get people interested in coming in and trying them out and (hopefully) buying them. We let people try any game (and encourage it) before they buy so they know they're getting something they'll like (Halo Wars being a good example of something that didn't meet expectations). The relationship between [new and used] video game retailer and video game publisher is not parasitic as some of them would like to portray, but symbiotic. I for one hope that relationship continues well into the future.

-- Taz

Used games help new game sales (4, Insightful)

massysett (910130) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540481)

1) The person who bought the game new gets some money back when he sells it used, thus giving him more money to go buy another new game.

2) People are more likely to buy a new game if they know they can sell it used when they get tired of it. If they know they will be stuck with it, they will be less likely to buy. In the aggregate, lower new prices would be necessary if there were no resales. (This might end up happening if all the draconian DRM makes the "purchase" into a true rental because the game can't be transferred and might fail to "activate" in the future. Such games would be worth less.)

Re:Used games help new game sales (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540611)

#2 is already happening. Buy a game from the PSN or Live and you can't sell it. Same with Apple's store, except that latter are significantly cheaper than Sony or MS's prices.

Re:Used games help new game sales (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541571)

I think what ticks them off is GameStop pushing used games over new.
If you go buy a new game off the self and they have a used copy they will tell you that they have a used copy and offer to sell that to you instead of the new.
The reason isn't good customer service it is because they make a lot more on a used game than used. I promise you that game makers hate it with a passion. Me I save money and hardy lever buy a new game. Okay I bought Ghostbusters new but that is a rare event.

Re:Used games help new game sales (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541621)

The reason isn't good customer service it is because they make a lot more on a used game than used. I promise you that game makers hate it with a passion.

I don't care if the store is saving me money because it's good customer service, or because they make more money.

Game makers can go fuck off sideways if they don't like First Sale law. I bought HL2 through Steam and have since discovered that backups are not even backups... Valve is just attempting to kill First Sale AND is willing to punish the customer for giving them money at the same time. If I knew before buying HL2 what I know now (should have done some research I guess) then I would have borrowed it, beat it (in the few seconds it took) and then deleted it.

(It's been three minutes since I posted a comment. Waiting two more minutes before I hit submit is not going to make my comment any more intelligent. If I wanted to reread every comment nine times before submission, I would write for a living. Slashdot is doing its best to make itself irrelevant by reducing the total number of quality comments. First it was preventing people from voting and commenting on the same story, ensuring that the people best qualified to do both will only do one or the other. Now it's preventing you from commenting at full speed, which will do nothing whatsoever to increase the quality of comments.)

Re:Used games help new game sales (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542631)

I find it so amusing the venom that people work up. Frankly I sort of agree with you withiut the venom. Of course there is also the fact that GameStop pays you a lot less for your game and than they sell it for and they might get to do it 10 times for one disk. Hey they are trying to make as much as possible just like the game companies. If you expect a company to do anything but that you are just silly

What a lod of bullcrap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540487)

Jumpin' Jebus.

What next ? Are Fender going to start complaining that the local pawn shop is costing them millions of dollars due to the second hand guitar market.

What a bunch of assholes.

Used game market makes new games more affordable (1)

daffmeister (602502) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540507)

How many people buy a new game knowing that they can sell it on the used market when they've finished? So the cost to them for the game is effectively lower. How many would not buy the new game, or buy fewer, if that market wasn't there?

Car analogy! (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540529)

So if this is supposed to be so wrong (from the eyes of the original seller), why aren't car manufacturers trying to clamp down on used car sales?

Re:Car analogy! (1)

bezking (1274298) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540673)

The difference between used cars and used video games is the 'retention' of customers, if you will. If I buy a '93 Escort from the local used car dealer, and the muffler needs replacing, I have three options:
  • Go to the local ford dealer and have it serviced with FORD parts
  • Go to a third party and have it serviced with FORD parts
  • Go to the aforementioned third party and have it replaced with an aftermarket part - the maker of which had to pay Ford for the plans, rights, and maybe even royalties. The same conditions don't exist with video games, at least not yet.

Re:Car analogy! (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541669)

Go to the aforementioned third party and have it replaced with an aftermarket part - the maker of which had to pay Ford for the plans, rights, and maybe even royalties.

Absolutely false. Aftermarket parts such as mufflers, shocks, air filters, spark plugs, rims, brake pads, shoes, calipers, suspension parts, etc., aren't made from plans purchased from the assemblers (Ford is a car assembler, not a manufacturer). Your aftermarket muffler is 100% non-Ford - no licenses, no permits, no royalties, no other rights needed.

Moral equivocating in 3...2...1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540541)

LOL, today's the day, California! Today's the day your state has to issue IOUs because you all couldn't bother electing people with any common sense. You couldn't elect people who even knew how to add and subtract, LOL! What a bunch of freaking morons you all are. You got the big-ass nanny welfare state you wanted, and now you can't afford it! LOL, just LOL! Hey fellow Americans, take note. If you want a glimpse into Obama's future, all you need to do is look at California.

It's not "damage" (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540579)

Its reality. Companies are "damaged" about as much by the fact that they don't make money off sales of used games as I am "damaged" by the fact that people aren't paying me royalties for every time they take a shit and thus inadvertently destroy the resale market for MY shit.

I have a business plan, after all, that depends on the world paying me for my shit.

In short, when you have the delusional belief that you are owed money for something that nobody else in the world has ever been owed money for nor has anyone ever THOUGHT of being owed money for because its fucking insane, you're going to find your delusions "damaged."

Barcalounger doesn't get a cut of used chair sales. Del Monte doesn't get a cut of used fruit sales.

You want a cut? Do what Amazon did - they make money off new books, and then facilitate sales of used books and take a cut. (and of used games too.)

Game makes want a cut of sales of used games? Fine. Create a marketplace for sales of used games - make it more compelling to use than existing ones, and take a cut. If not, fuck off.

What about all other 2nd hand goods (Ebay)? (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540607)

Shall we start a massive database to track down all goods worldwide so that the producers can get a share whenever it changes hands?

I bet that would be fun.

I accidentally left my newspaper in the bus this morning. Somebody else might have picked it up. Are they going to arrest me now?

Does it really fucking matter? (2, Insightful)

darkitecture (627408) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540627)

Honestly, does it really fucking matter?

It doesn't matter if 100 used games are traded each year or 100 million. GAME COMPANIES GOT THEIR CUT WHEN THEY FUCKING SOLD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I don't give a shit if it takes 5% or 95% of their 'potential revenue' away - JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE ENTITLED TO IT.

In the puntastic words of someone funnier than me, it's not rocket surgery. Geez.

Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (4, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540681)

Used games do not hurt or harm the game industry. Why? Because the consumer has a first-sale right to sell the game and the game industry has no right to financially gain from that secondary (or tertiary, etc) sale.

So when some third party profits, and you have no rights to the profits, it necessary follows that you were not harmed.

Under the game industry's logic, because my fellow employees are being paid by my employer, I'm somehow losing out on that money, because for some bizarre reason, that money should be going to me.

Or under the same asinine logic, McDonald's deserves a cut from the local Burger King's profits because it's making money that, for some bizarre reason, McDonald's thinks it deserves, even thought it has absolutely no right whatsoever to those profits.

Of course someone is going to complain about my analogies. That the game industry produced the game so therefore it has a right over the game. In my first example I didn't do my coworkers' duties, so therefore I have no right to their pay. And McDonalds didn't serve the customers who went to Burger King so therefore they have no right to those profits.

But you're missing the point. It is completely irrelevant that a particular gaming company originally produced the game. The main issue is that once it sells a copy, It no longer has any resale rights to that copy. I'll say it again, it has no right to any resale money in the same way that I have no right to my coworkers pay or that McDonalds has no right to Burger King's profits. None. Nada. Zip.

The gaming industry certainly wants profits it is not entitled to. But that is not harm. That's jealously and blind greed.

Re:Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (2, Insightful)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540739)

Before I leave for the day, I want to add one thing.

Someone will say that the harm comes from the lost sale of new games. Guess what? That's not harm, that's competition. That's no different than my McDonalds/Burger King example.

Now of course if the competition is somehow unfair. Like if the Burger King ignores health and safety laws to keep their prices lower, then McDonalds would be harmed.

But as there is nothing illegal about reselling a copy of your game, there is no unfairness and no illegality.

To put it another way, if your industry is being harmed by legal and fair competition, it's about time to go out of business, because you have no clue how capitalism is supposed to work.

Re:Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540941)

Of course someone is going to complain about my analogies.

Of course, neither McDolands nor Burger King are cars.

Re:Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (1)

mochan_s (536939) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541499)

The main issue is that once it sells a copy, It no longer has any resale rights to that copy.

I'm pretty sure that's what they want to change.

Not because of greed or anything, but because of a more insidious problem - there is an entire industry based around used game sales and trading.

The customer buys the game for $60, sells it used to the store for $20 and the store sells it for $45. Before you say Amazon or eBay, they have really high commission rates on video games - basic 15% + shipping price cut + money handling fees ($1 Amazon fee or paypal fees). So, some stores then instead fixate on used games.

I'm sure what the video game industry wants is to get the used game industry somehow part of the video game industry itself so that money would directly go towards video game development rather than 10 chain stores in a square mile thing.

Re:Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (1)

dfxm (1586027) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541565)

If publishers want to get around the firs sale doctrine, shouldn't they just sell licenses to their games rather than the games themselves?

With the advent of online game stores built into the consoles, shouldn't this be much easier? All while taking away avenues for places like Gamestop to sell games?

I agree, this solution would be bad for consumers, but are the publishers just not creative enough? Or are they shifting that way, but very slowly?

Re:Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541607)

Used game sales do hurt the game industry. If people didn't buy and sell used games they would make more money. The thing is that is just too bad. Yes people have the right to resell the game.

Re:Used game sales do not hurt the game industry! (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541885)

If people didn't buy and sell used games they would make more money.

How's that? By some kind of magic?

People who buy used games cannot afford the new game price anyway and people who buy new games know that they can sell the game and get some money back. If they couldn't, chances are they wouldn't buy the game in first place. So no, if people didn't buy and sell used games, game industry would make even less money.

second hand cars will be forbidden next (2, Insightful)

Atreide (16473) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540745)

buying a car second hand steals money to car manufacturers

let's forbid that shamefull behaviour and save economy

really, some companies do not deserve our money...

Re:second hand cars will be forbidden next (1)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 4 years ago | (#28540989)

Agreed...

If a publisher does not like the second-hand market go into a different business like doughnuts - I hear the used doughnuts market is no threat to the new doughnuts market.

It doesn't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540747)

Even if used games sales are ass fucking them raw, users have a legitimate legal right of first sale. They can go pound sand.

I'm just hoping they lose a class action lawsuit over their SecuROM crap & install limit bullshit.

Man, they keep trying don't they? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28540773)

You can resell a car as long as it works too can't you?
You can resell your TV's, DVD players, Lawnmower, Children(put em up for adoption), dogs, cats, food, toiletpaper, heck, you can even sell your poo to be procesed as furtelizer.

Its a basic right to resell your shit when your trough with it.

Its bullshit and a pandora's box if they regulated resale of anything.

Their problem is the same as with all other Big companies out there. Since the dawn of the digital age, 2nd hand sales have both massivly grown(because its way easyer to reach a massive audience to resell to) and its become much more concentrated and publicly viewable how much it turns over.

They just want a piece of a pie they never had and should never have any right of cutting in to.

They make their money with the initial original sale and that should be it.

A publisher's perspective (3, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541021)

Here's what a games publisher sees when he reads that article: "yada yada yada yada yada yada 100 million copies yada yada yada yada yada yada yada yada."

$50 for a game is a lot of money (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541063)

It's that games are $50, which makes it a problem. I think in the minds of the American consumer, $20 isn't "too much money", but $50 is something that makes you think a little bit. Earlier this year, that would have been at least 25 shares of Ford stock.

If they want a disposable product lower the price! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541087)

Who is prepared to shell out $60 for a single game without any possibility of resale?

To be frank, that $60 price mark has prevented me from buying any new games. I have entertainment dollars to spend, but like anyone else, I like to be careful about how I spend them. When it comes to games, I consider anything over $40 to be something that requires some pondering where the end result is that I usually don't buy.

And now they want to discourage or even prevent the possibility of resale? Then they had better start changing some other policies. Either allow refunds or exchanges for things that are not identical or lower the price to $30 or less. Increasing risk is being placed on the consumer whose only recourse is to complain... and stop buying.

Killing the second sale market could do some serious damage to the first sale market. Usually, I presume that they have thought these things through, but now I am having my doubts. Game publishers are getting as bad as music and movie publishers.

Re:If they want a disposable product lower the pri (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541771)

They really have thought it through.

They arent actualy trying to end the resale market entirely. They are creating a justification for some features, etc, not being resellable. So that when you go to buy a new game you really dont know if the entire product will be resellable, and that when you go buy a used game you really dont know if the entire product is in there.

Think "Bonus" Downloadable Content.

The real problem is that replay value is dead (1)

uxbn_kuribo (1146975) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541717)

Seriously, if I pay $50 for a game that takes me five hours to complete, I'm not just going to play through it again to unlock some shitty artwork. I want REAL meat and potatoes for my money, and more so if I'm going to keep playing it. I'm looking at you, The Simpsons Game. Sure, it's a couple years old, but I paid $50 for it when it first came out. The controls made the game nearly unplayable, but hell, the script was funny, so I persisted. I beat the game, and now it's been sitting on a shelf ever since. The point is that unlocking the stupid "cliches" and other assorted crap wasn't enough to make me ever want to play that game again. And this is an increasing attitude with game developers. To charge full price for a game that takes me only a couple of hours to beat, and then add "replay" value by telling me to spend a few more minutes collecting stupid crap so I can see lame sketches of the characters they made. Along with the attitude that it's okay to ship games out with insane bugs (lol Sims 3) as long as you plan on patching it later, game developers are taking their market for granted.

I only buy used because you refuse to sell it! (1)

PingSpike (947548) | more than 4 years ago | (#28541753)

Here's what really pisses me off: Half the games I buy used I don't buy used by choice. I buy them used because the publisher has flat out abandoned them. If I want to buy an old PC game that isn't starcraft then I'm not going to find it on store shelves or at gogamer.com. They are DONE with that game and can't be bothered to sell it to me even when I want to buy it. So I have to go hunting for a scratched up CD with perhaps no manual.

So now they're bitching and moaning that some guy (or gamestop) is "stealing" their sales of new media (in actuality he is simply selling it at a pricepoint they are unwilling too) but they leave money on the table by refusing to keep their old titles available for sale. And now they want to cripple non-new games or flat out remove the ability for me to even buy them? Well, to that I say: Fuck you, sir.

Yes, I'm aware of GOG but their list of titles his hardly exhaustive and I have a gutteral feeling there isn't a lot of overlap between publishers making their stuff available DRM free on GOG and the publishers that are complaining about Joe Xbox gamer being able to resell Halo clone of the week after beating it in 10 hours.

Here is a magical way to solve this "problem" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28542293)

MAKE SINGLE-PLAYER GAMES WITH HIGH REPLAY VALUE.

Make absolutely damn sure the game is worth playing over and over again before you box it and ship it. Include multiple endings, tons of sidequests, a New Game + feature, and/or post-game content. Three of my favorite RPGs of all time - Chrono Trigger, Valkyrie Profile, and Dragon Quest VIII - have at least two of the four things I mentioned that create high replay value in single-player games.

Multi-player games probably survive in the average gamer's house longer than single-player games do, because the whole point of multiplayer games is to play them competitively with your friends repeatedly until you get sick of them or until the new version comes out (the Madden franchise, racing games, Super Smash Bros, etc). With single player games, though, you are playing against the software itself.

If there is no compelling reason for me to play a game again after I beat it the first time, you'd better believe I'm listing it on eBay right after the end credits roll. Give me a reason not to sell the game, developers, and I promise I won't. CT, VP and DQ8 are never leaving my collection.

Crushing the Used Sports Game Market (1)

pwileyii (106242) | more than 4 years ago | (#28542371)

I had a thought a few weeks back when purchasing a copy of "MLB: The Show '08" on the used market. A friend of mine has the newest verison '09 and the differences, while there, are very minor. I stated that there was no way I would purchase the newest version for full price ($60) when I had the previous version because all that I would be getting is a few features changes and a roster update. That is when the idea hit me of simply allowing users to purchase updates for their sports games (as with most application software). For example, charge them $30 instead of $60 if they own a version from one or two years back for a new copy of the current version. In order the get the $30 off, you would have to "trade in" the old game to prevent several people using the game to get the discount. This model, which is really only applicable to sports games that have yearly releases, would encourage people to get constant updates and would, in my opinion, provide the game makers with additional revenue and make the users more happy because they don't have to pay full price for what seems to be a minor update.

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