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Sony Joins the Offensive Against Pre-Owned Games

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the saddle-up dept.

Piracy 461

BanjoTed writes "In a move to counter sales of pre-owned games, EA recently revealed DLC perks for those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, PlayStation platform holder Sony has jumped on the bandwagon with similar plans for the PSP's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3. '[Players] will need to register their game online before they are able to access the multiplayer component of the title. UMD copies will use a redeemable code while the digital version will authenticate automatically in the background. Furthermore ... anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online."

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461 comments

Weeeellllllllll. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197586)

If memory serves, isn't the PSP one of those systems it's (relatively) easy to pirate for?

I have a feeling Sony has traded getting no money from resales to getting no money because everyone's downloading a cracked version.

More than that. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197886)

I don't buy a Sony TV because of my past experiences with Sony's car radios etc. The whole DRM thing is useful to tell the good ones from the bad ones.

Having such cool products.... I wonder if they fully appreciate what they're doing to their brand.

Someone doesn't like second hand market? (2, Insightful)

Sunnz (1120513) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197590)

Doesn't look like a smart move to me after all the bad press with the sony DRM and rootkit.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (4, Insightful)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197642)

How long before there is a class action lawsuit against Sony for articifically reducing the value of assets that are purchased in good faith. What happens if you wish to sell your PS3 and all of the games? The package will be devalued by the amount of resubscriptions required for the online games.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (4, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197680)

How long before there is a class action lawsuit against Sony for articifically reducing the value of assets that are purchased in good faith. What happens if you wish to sell your PS3 and all of the games? The package will be devalued by the amount of resubscriptions required for the online games.

And that's grounds for legal action because? Sony is not stopping you from reselling the games; just not letting you transfer the subscription; something you knew when you bought the game.

A flip side to this is it benefits someone who doesn't play online - used game prices will drop to accommodate the subscription fee; and if you don't plan to play online you now have a code that you can sell to someone who bought a used game. Either way your price for the game would drop if you don't play online.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (5, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197692)

If I don't want to play online, am I allowed to return the code to Sony for a $20 refund? I should be.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197716)

you make a good point.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (4, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197868)

If I pirate the game and then pay Sony $20 does that make it legitimate?

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (3, Insightful)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197990)

Well maybe not - I guess this is up to the company to set up rules for usage of their products. Instead of charging for games and usage fees on servers they could have change their business model into one where vendor benefits from either usage fees or registration and usage fees. without need to pay for software. This not only eliminates the need to purchase a game but at the same time eliminates the piracy as we know it. Of course then the trade in stolen access codes will ensue but this is easier to control than the stolen access codes on top of pirated software. But I guess at the end the user will be asked to pay on all occasions: by purchase, by on-line registration and monthly fee on top (plus a fart fee for farting while on-line).

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (2, Insightful)

Daengbo (523424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198060)

I think you've just described the MMORPG model popular in the west.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (4, Insightful)

sosume (680416) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197852)

> Sony is not stopping you from reselling the games; just not letting you transfer the subscription; something you knew when you bought the game.

Online play is a part of the game as advertised on the retail box. Therefore barring use from another machine is a crime on Sony's part. There is no "subscription' - I'm not paying Sony to play this game, I paid the store and online play was included.

What if my PS3 breaks down due to a technical failure and Sony's warranty replaces the unit. I would then have to pay $20 again for each game?

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198142)

I would guess this will be attached to an account rather than the PS3.

Now you could create an account per game and then sell the account username/password at the same time.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

Theoboley (1226542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198162)

Most likely not. With their current setup, you're allowed 5 downloads of a game that you purchase over the PSN. After 5 downloads and reinstalls though, you're required to purchase again.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

Chysn (898420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198306)

Online play is a part of the game as advertised on the retail box.

Yes, but along with those great big letters and exclamation points at the top, there will be some itty bitty little other letters at the bottom that make this issue go away.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

basscomm (122302) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198210)

And that's grounds for legal action because? Sony is not stopping you from reselling the games; just not letting you transfer the subscription; something you knew when you bought the game.

Well, then what happens when I try to take my copy of the game to a friend's house to show him how awesome the online part is, or because he has a better gaming setup than I do, or any number of reasons? From the description, it sounds like if I do that, I'm going to have to pay $20 for the privilege.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198226)

Because it's not a subscription it's included with the game. And the makers of Autocad got smacked recently for trying to stop people from selling Autocad on the second hand market. This is just greed pure and simple, companies have gotten used to being able to get away with this sort of shit because the DoJ over the last decade or so hasn't been doing their job when it comes to markets.

It is so quaint that you assume a code (1)

LordZardoz (155141) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198244)

It is possible, but it is also possilbe that they will use some unique identifier associated with your XBox instead.

END COMMUNICATION

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

KyoMamoru (985449) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197712)

To be honest, the PSP has always been a playground for Custom Firmware since the initial 'Fat PSP.' The ease at which the console works when hacked with games and what not is simply astonishing, and so I can see why they need to do something about it. This is a situation where the desire to conquer the 'Free Frontier' and the 'Used Games Market' are overlapping strategies. The benefit to the consumer here [in their eyes] is that the servers won't be bogged down by players not paying, and the reduction of hacks in game play.

Re:Someone doesn't like second hand market? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197950)

1. Most people STILL don't know about that. What's more, some of the people I have discussed it with are not exactly joes on the street -- they are people with technical experience, knowledge and inclination.
2. It was so long ago, most people don't have that on the forefront of their minds.

With that said, I agree with you that it's a dumb move for Sony, but many many companies are becoming increasingly aggressive and arrogant when it comes to the consumer. Perhaps their creation and backing of ACTA is making them somewhat overconfident.

Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197598)

Digital downloads and online registration bypasses the doctrine/right of first sale which states, essentially that copyright owners cannot control downstream sales of the product purchased. For some reason, this is more difficult to apply to computer software, most likely because of eulas being supported by the courts.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197664)

I know car analogies are old on slashdot but I seriously wonder how long before car manufacturers start building the electronic components of their cars such that they are needlessly dependent on some online system run by the manufacturer so that your fuel indicator only works correctly if your car has been able to update this month from the manufacurers online fuel level measuring methods database and your aircon shuts down unless authenticated with a secure server on a regular basis as a "car theft prevention measure".

Idiot lawmakers make bypassing or removing the "anti car theft" systems for any reason a crime.
Drivers pay through the nose to have an account with the manufacturer.
Manufacturers get more profit since now people have an incentive to not buy used cars.
Shills start trolling car enthusiast message boards talking about how it's a good thing because this way the car companies get more money to build better cars and everyone wins except those dirty car thieves.

I can honestly see it happening.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (2, Interesting)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197806)

I can honestly see it happening.

Completely different market. With a computer game, the software is the product, it can be (illegally) copied very cheaply so the manufacturers need to find more creative ways to sustain their business models. With a car, the car is the product, and the software is just a component of it. And the car can't be copied cheaply so the existing business models work just fine.

That doesn't mean they won't try it of course... but unless there is collaboration across the whole car industry it won't fly.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (2, Insightful)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197954)

Perhaps it is a different market, but the concept here is basically the 'right of first sale', 2nd hand sales etc... not piracy. No, the car cannot be copied, but your right of reselling he car could very well be restricted.

Say a car manufacturer considered 2nd hand sales of it's cars to be theft, just as video game makers see 2nd hand sales of their games. So, you must register your vehicle with the manufacturer in order for it to continue to work beyond five minutes at a time with a ten minute 'cool down' period, the registration 'agreement' may or may not restrict you from reselling the car, and when it is registered the car is imprinted with some sort of bio signature that is unique to you... an imprint that cannot be changed without secret tools only the manufacturer has. So, after a few years you sell the car, and the new owner must pay the manufacturer MORE in order to drive it.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198218)

I work for a one of the big european car manufactorer's. I can assure you that car manufactorer's have absolutely no interest in crippliing used cars sales.

If people could not sell their cars(to the dealer or to another user directly) they would keep using the same old car until it can. Car manufactorer's are instead very interested in people changing thir car every few years(2-3-5 are the most interesting spans), so they can seel a new one. People buyng a used medium size sedan are not likely to buy the same car new, while people changing their medium size sedan every 2-3 years are not likely to resort to used cars market(they clearly like having brand new cars), so there is very little overlap.

Also a used car is a very very different product from a new one. They have different values and there are many risks for non competent people buying 5 or more years old cars.

A car, even if there is no newer version, gets old with use and get less and less "useful" with time. There are very little istances of cars which are more than 10 years old and still good for everyday use, at least not without major maintenance(old fasghioned cars are a good example, if well kept they can be in perfect working order, but the cost of mantaining a 50's car in mint condition are very high. What you spend on it in 5 years is for syure much more than what you'd spend to buy a maintain a brand new car for the same time, and you'd have to factor that newer cars have better mileage, and much bettere safety systems, not to mention comfort).

Used games are the same, as long as the instalation media is not ruined they don't loose value due to use or abuse. The only limiting factor in a game value is aging, which is devalueing because newer better games come out. So These people just want to spend less money making new games, and keep milking old cows.

Car makers used not to have this problem up to a few years ago. they did start in the nineties to make new models every 2-3 years because they wanted to push obsolescence on their previous models just to sell more(they mostly succeeded here in europe).

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198116)

No, in both cases the experience is the product. Get with it.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197848)

More likely the car drives at the lowest legal speed unless its speed limit database is up to date.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

ulski (1173329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197942)

Don't BMW already have a system a bit like the one you describe already? I remember a story I heard from a college. He had to go to a authorized BMW dealer because he wanted to shut of the flashing "need Service indicator lamp" - properly because he wanted to sell the car.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198152)

On my nearly 2 year old BMW you can edit those fields yourself - it's basically a "time to next service" and "miles to next service" pair, and whichever trips first generates a "needs a service" light. Twiddling the various sticks & knobs will find the place to adjust them. On Audi's you have to do particular button press combinations that aren't documented in the user manual, IIRC, too

A bit naughty of your friend to artificially over-ride that to disguise the fact that the car needs a service - even though on a 2nd hand sale it's entirely caveat emptor

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

ulski (1173329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198252)

not quite so - the reason he had to go though the switch off lamp procedure was not to hide anything. As far as I recall, the car was in perfect working order - newly serviced by a small shop or by him self (I don't recall), but according to him only authorized BMW dealers have the software needed to switch off the lamp.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197952)

All the technological means are in place in any car with a system like Onstar [wikipedia.org] . GPS, cellular modem, some control over the ECU...

I suspect that the market reaction would be ugly; but there is no technological reason why such a system could not be used for all sorts of exciting pricing schemes.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (3, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198056)

They already tried something similar when cars first started having diagnostic ports - you had to use a special machine to read the diagnostic code which was only available from the manufacturer to franchised dealers. This is why OBD-II was developed and is now mandated in much of the world.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198280)

Grr, we hateses the OBDII.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198108)

More like giving extra services (oil changes, car washes, tire rotation, etc) only to the first owner.

But car makers are smarter than the software industry. They try to make used cars as valuable as possible. The reason why is left as an exercise for the reader (and because I'm too lazy right now)

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198258)

It depends how far they go with it - online multiplayer for instance is not an "extra service" in many games, it's at least as important as the single player experience, and in some cases more so, so more equivalent to the car manufactuer "loaning" the gearbox to the first owner but with the right to take it back on resale.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197724)

They aren't controlling the downstream sale of the product, they are controlling access to a related service, which does not contravene the first sale doctrine.

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (4, Informative)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197964)

Doesn't it depend on how they present the product ? Let's say the product is the software, the physical media, the packaging, and maybe online access.

- if 'online' is an option, then I should be able to get a refund if I'm not interested. By law, 'linked sale' must be breakable into constitutive parts in my country (France).

- if 'online' is an integral part of the product, then I should be able to resell it along with the software itself.

We're going to see some fancy marketing-legalese footnotes on those games...

Re:Bypassing doctrine of first sale (5, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197928)

It doesnt bypass anything. The first sale doctrine still applies, and Sony has to allow the transfer of DLC to other accounts. Of course someone has to sue them first to force them to respect the law, until that happens they can flaunt the law all they want.

Pre-owned = Piracy (4, Funny)

grimJester (890090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197600)

Yes, charging buyers of pre-owned games 20 bucks will show those dirty pirates. In other news, as part of my own ongoing fight against piracy I'll install self-destruct mechanisms and DRM in cars and charging 1k for every driver authentication beyond the first. Because I don't want my car analogies to be pirated. It makes perfect sense, I assure you.

Pirates are very likely to notice it. (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197970)

Yes, charging buyers of pre-owned games 20 bucks will show those dirty pirates.

And sure, all the people who get their games from Pirate Bay are VERY likely to notice what happens to regular buyers~

Re:Pre-owned = Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198052)

It's not the consumers that are the problem here, it's the games stores that have transitioned their business models to selling new games, buying them back for $20 a week later, and putting them right back on sale at $50 under the new price, resulting in sales of new copies dropping off a cliff about three days after release, and massive profits for the stores. It would really help if the publishers called their bluff on this shit, but as it stands that's not going to happen, they'll just take it out on the customers.

Re:Pre-owned = Piracy (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198288)

Maybe the games industry should be more concerned with why people are trading their games in after three days - if they built in some longevity then perhaps people would hang onto them longer and solve the problem in a consumer friendly way, instead of punishing them as per usual.

Preowned? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197602)

Root kit?

It benefits the consumer, really. (4, Insightful)

Posting=!Working (197779) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197616)

Koller is also confident that consumers will react well to the news - despite the fact that Ubisoft was forced to defend its proposition in the face of angry gamers. "From our research, this will be received quite positively," he insisted.

They really are completely delusional. What benefit does this provide to the consumers that they'll react positively to? Is there even any theoretical benefit to the consumer? Maybe the research was done entirely among Sony executives.

Re:It benefits the consumer, really. (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197684)

No, no. Obviously the lack of sell-on value will result in a reduced retail price! I'm really looking forward to buying one of these games for $10 on the day of release!

Exclaimation mark!

Re:It benefits the consumer, really. (2, Informative)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197702)

Koller is also confident that consumers will react well to the news - despite the fact that Ubisoft was forced to defend its proposition in the face of angry gamers. "From our research, this will be received quite positively," he insisted.

They really are completely delusional. What benefit does this provide to the consumers that they'll react positively to? Is there even any theoretical benefit to the consumer? Maybe the research was done entirely among Sony executives.

It's the oldest story in the book. If you repeat something enough people will eventually believe it. Besides, how often have you seen press statements that don't appear to make any sense at all, but they still play the "Hai, this is what we do" statement. It's sad, but it works in the bigger picture. A lot of investors simply lap that shit up.

Re:It benefits the consumer, really. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197802)

I'm pretty sure their research has shown that the majority of gamers has no clue when it comes to these things and the few loudmouths that complain will fall in line because they are weak.

Saying "it will be received positively" means: "There won't be any negative consequences for us because our customers are chumps".

"recieved positively", not by consumers (2, Insightful)

grimJester (890090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197960)

I may be overly cynical, but I think the talk of piracy while eroding / bypassing every consumer protection law under the sun is more for political reasons than to reassure their customers. They want to cover their asses in advance of the inevitable EFF lawsuits. If they lose any of those, they'll lobby for new laws.

Re:It benefits the consumer, really. (1)

rastilin (752802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198228)

They really are completely delusional. What benefit does this provide to the consumers that they'll react positively to? Is there even any theoretical benefit to the consumer? Maybe the research was done entirely among Sony executives.

At this point, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find out that one or more of the Sony executives are in the pay of their competition. It would make perfect sense.

Illogical? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197624)

Given that the former owner doesn't have access to the game, wouldn't Sony be profiting off someone not using their online subscription anymore? If they want money so badly, they should require an annual subscription.

NOT PIRACY (4, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197638)

The sad thing about this is that, this has NOTHING to do with illegal distribution of games.

This has all to do with greedy corporations who keep moving towards the "software as a service" paradigm.

Nowadays, a lot of games you "buy" contain only a very small offline playing offering.

I only want a multiplayer videogame that I can play at home with my friends (at home two!). I just got the "Spyborgs" game for Wii... I haven't had so much fun in some time; it is the first "cooperative player with a history when playing both of them" I have been able to play (since I played Army of Two for PS3!).

Re:NOT PIRACY (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197730)

This has all to do with greedy corporations who keep moving towards the "software as a service" paradigm. Nowadays, a lot of games you "buy" contain only a very small offline playing offering.

I don't have any problems with software as a service. I have subscribed to a LOT of MMOGs. That's perfectly fine in my books. It's a service they give. They keep adding content, I buy an occasional expansion, we carry on happily.

What rubs me the wrong way however, is when a package that isn't actually software as a service is painted to look like one. A normal shooter, with online play, that's not a service. That's what you damn well expect.

With a little luck, these bone heads will eventually learn that doing this sort of thing doesn't pay in the long run. If not, they will slowly flounder while other smarter companies develop and market content that is what it's supposed to be and is marketed as such.

Re:NOT PIRACY (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197788)

I don't mind so much if Sony charges me to use their servers (as long as it's not too expensive), as they are paying to maintain them. If this impacted in any way the ability to play single player mode on second hand games, that's completely outrageous.

DNAS Error -103 (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198030)

I don't mind so much if Sony charges me to use their servers

But I do mind if Sony pulls the plug on the server just before the tournament that we planned out on a forum, or if Sony pulls the plug before I even break the shrinkwrap on a new-in-box game (which has happened to me twice).

Re:DNAS Error -103 (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198274)

If they've burnt your fingers before, why did you go back to them? If any business fucks me over, even once, I NEVER go back to it, and I make a point of telling everybody why.

I beg to differ - this *is* Piracy (1)

afc_wimbledon (1052878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197810)

...and Sony are the pirates, "sealing" from people legitimately buy the game second-hand.

Re:I beg to differ - this *is* Piracy (2, Funny)

afc_wimbledon (1052878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197834)

"sTealing".

See, *hey've already s*olen my "*" key!

Re:NOT PIRACY (-1, Troll)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198012)

I only want a multiplayer videogame that I can play at home with my friends

A lot of people who regularly post to Slashdot seem to think split-screen sucks, and they think multiple gaming PCs and multiple copies of each game per household are worth the price. I am not one of them; I just wanted to warn you about the groupthink you're up against.

Re:NOT PIRACY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198048)

This is what you (in general) get when you allow complicated licensing systems. Think of it as the end product of a certain type of evolution - greedy corporate evolution.

E.g. music: "You didn't buy the album, you bought the right to listen - to that physical disc only"

E.g. windows: "Windows is licensed only to the original computer that it was installed on. You have no right to resell this copy of Windows, even if you don't want to use it."

Fuck all of you (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197646)

I am in the position now where I don't really care about money anymore. So I tend to purchase good products because I feel like the creators deserve to be compensated.

I already avoid Sony products but now I will actively pirate your shit and help other do so as well.
FUCK YOU!

Digging their own grave (4, Insightful)

mkintigh (1719294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197656)

Nothing like discouraging people from wanting to buy their product -- new or used. I knew Sony was an evil empire (coming from someone that worked for them far too long), but this is just stupid.

Let me be neither the first nor last to say (2)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197686)

Let me be neither the first or last to say:

Fuck you, sony and EA.

Smart move? (2, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197698)

Why on earth do they do everything in their might to discourage people from buying games and instead pirating them? Im starting to believe its intentional and that for some reason the media industry think they will make more money out of lawsuits than from selling games the normal way.

this is so wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197708)

this is so wrong, the supreme court has ruled against this like a dozen times, why don't these companies get it?

Hate your customer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197718)

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

Stupidity will never stop astonishing me.

System breaks (1)

iCantSpell (1162581) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197722)

and your screwed.

bleh (2, Insightful)

Keruo (771880) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197726)

If you pay for it, its yours to sell forward. This applies to resale of licenses as well.
Should we try the hollywood approach here instead?

You wouldn't sell a car..

Pre-owned? (4, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197742)

What's wrong with the word "used"? Are you all car dealers now?

Re:Pre-owned? (4, Funny)

jamesh (87723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197850)

Pre-owned.... pwned... I never made the connection until just now!

Re:Pre-owned? (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197884)

Pre-owned don't have to be used.I own movies that still have that plastic on them, never been used, and used don't really have to be "Pre-owned" either. For example hardware/software used for demo purposes in a store.

Re:Pre-owned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197976)

Games that are still in the shrink wrap, never been used, won't be registered on Sony's servers, and thus won't require a new owner to purchase another serial/license/whatever. So, the article really does refer to used games, even if they say "pre-owned" like it's the Lexus winter sales event.

Sony! You win! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197766)

I won't be pirating or renting or selling any of your games... or game systems... I won't be buying any of them either.

EA/Bioware compared to Sony (4, Insightful)

C0R1D4N (970153) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197770)

EA/Bioware adds little perks for people who buy the retail version of the game or preorder it even (a suit of armor, a downloadable character) that you really want to have in a game you have a strong desire to play (Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2). Sony utterly gimps your gameplay experience. I am not bothered by one (and hell think it's a good idea) guess which one that is.

Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (5, Informative)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197804)

So many people think that the used game market is somehow harming the new game market. They are completely wrong. Through the magic of a priori reasoning, I know that you cannot be harmed merely because you're not getting what you are not entitled.

Let me explain. Wouldn't it be awesome if your coworkers gave you a cut of their salary, for no reason whatsoever? Wouldn't it be great if you walked into a bank one day and the teller decided to give you a portion of the bank's holdings, for no reason whatsoever?

Yep, that would be awesome, no doubt about it. But are you being harmed because your coworkers and bank are not giving you money you don't deserve? Nope.

That's what's going on with the new game and used game markets. The new game industry somehow feels entitled to profits from the used game market. Despite having absolutely no legal basis for such entitlement. In the United States we have the right of first sale. What that means is that we can sell what we bought, even if what we bought was copyrighted material. So we have a right to sell our DVDs, CD, and used games.

Of course someone will say that my coworker/bank analogies fail because they don't take into consideration that the game industry created the games that the used game market is selling. If you think that, you're completely missing the point.

The fact that the game industry originally created the game is completely irrelevant to whether it is entitled to any profits from secondary or tertiary sales. It does not have such a right to profits. None whatsoever. No more than General Motors has a right to profit from the sale of the used Chevy truck you just sold. GM created the truck, does it deserve a cut from every subsequent sale? What about your house, should the contractor get a cut when you sell it, when it's sold 100 years from now? (I live in a house originally built in 1856, exactly who am I supposed to pay when I resell and move out?)

My point is, much like how you have no rights to your coworkers pay, and much like how you have no rights to your bank's holdings, the new game industry has no right to profits from the used game market. None whatsoever.

Of course the new game industry outright lies and claims that the used game market "Is profiting from the sale of our games." It's a lie because once the new game industry sells a particular copy of the game; it is no longer their game. They have absolutely no ownership right in that particular copy. So to accuse the used game market of taking or stealing their property is an outright lie.

I have no doubt that someone will argue that the new game industry is being harmed because of lost sales. I.e., consumers are buying from the used game market rather than from the new game industry which is causing the new game industry to lose money.

Let's get one thing straight: Losing sales to a competitor is not harm. It's competition.

The new game industry's claim that it's being harmed from the used game market is as asinine as McDonalds claiming it is being harmed by Burger King.

Now certainly if Burger King was unfairly or illegally competing, for example, if Burger King ignored health and safety laws to keep their prices lower, in that circumstance one could argue that McDonalds would be harmed by the unfair and illegal competition.

But in this instance there is no illegality or unfairness in the used game market. It's not illegal for consumers to resell their games. It's not unfair to price those used games lower because the products are necessarily inferior to the new ones.

If your industry is somehow being harmed by perfectly legal and fair competition, then it's about time change careers because you have a complete misunderstanding about how capitalism is supposed to work. You are not entitled to someone else's profits, merely because you want them. Get over it.

Unfortunately, this is exactly why the new game industry is having laws passed to make it more difficult to sell used games. Despite what corporations say, they don't really want to compete in a free market, they want the government to bend over and protect them from legal competition.

Re:Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (4, Insightful)

GospelHead821 (466923) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197938)

By the reasoning that you've used, I think that one has to endorse what Sony's doing here. After reading through most of the comments, I think I do anyway. All Sony's doing, after all, is competing more effectively. Their competitor is a reseller. Therefore, is there really anything wrong with Sony creating a product that is more useful when purchased new than when purchased from their competitor? Let's try a different spin on this: Sony isn't selling crippled software. They're selling software bundled with a one-time use subscription code. $30 for the software, $20 for the code. Sorry, no refunds, though. If you're interested in just the single-player experience, you should buy the game used. It's fine if you choose to sell the software but the new user will also have to subscribe.

Re:Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197966)

I have no problem with what Sony is doing here. They are selling a physical game, which can be resold without impediment. And an online service, which each subsequent purchaser of the game needs to buy if he wants to partake in it.

My post came from my blog and was merely about the general idea about used and new game sales.

Re:Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (1)

sydb (176695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198096)

So you were looking to profit (in karma) from a USED blog post! You are as bad as those you rail against!

Re:Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198144)

But I did not link back to my old blog post! That makes it ok, right?

Re:Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (2, Insightful)

DrXym (126579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198094)

So many people think that the used game market is somehow harming the new game market. They are completely wrong. Through the magic of a priori reasoning, I know that you cannot be harmed merely because you're not getting what you are not entitled.

Of course it harms new game sales. If someone can buy a new game for $60 vs a used game for $50 then obviously some people would choose the latter. The money from that sale goes to store, not the publisher.

How much they're losing is the big question. I wouldn't be surprised if it were 10-15% of sales, more on some titles. Publishers should thank their stars that the likes of Gamestop are so greedy. If second hand prices were more reasonable I expect the % loss would be even higher.

How do publishers combat the issue or clawback money?

The obvious way, the way that the likes of EA and others are following is to start bundling redemption codes in the box. But it only works games with a substantial multiplayer / online element. Doing so means second hand owners get a crippled game (e.g. because other people have the map pack that they don't) and must purchase the missing component on line. Also, since the second hand game is crippled its resale price is less and therefore people may be discouraged from selling the game since they get less for it.

A better way IMO is to produce decent games in the first place and to support them longer. People sell crap titles, those with no replay value and those where the servers are dead. Raise the quality bar and people will naturally be inclined to hang onto their titles longer. The less games in the second hand channel, the more people are likely to buy new.

Personally I buy most of my games brand new but I restrict myself to games which are highly rated. I don't see the point of rewarding bad games or bad publishers.

Re:Used games are not harming the New Game Market! (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198100)

They are in other words competing with their own older products, just like the car industry

If Ford started producing rubbish cars then the second hand car market would take up the slack and people who want a Ford would buy second hand cars

If the games industry are not producing games people want anymore then people will buy second hand games

The solution is to make games people want to buy, rather than crippling or charging for older games

What's next the music industry charging more for older songs so that new songs will be played/bought instead?

It's a company. Of course it's right. (5, Funny)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197816)

A company can do whatever the hell it wants! Nobody forces you to buy these games after all. Between bong hits, you hippies whine that policies like this lead to decreased consumer choice, greater entrenchment of established players, less innovation, and price increases [wikipedia.org] across the board. So what? That's just too bad. The right of a corporation to do anything it wants it spelled out in the Book of Job. If a corporation does it, that makes it right.

Still whining, huh? Are you a successful executive? No? When what business do you have talking about anything, loser? Don't like it? Go read a book, or move to a France, or preferably, impress your boss by putting in 12 hours at work tomorrow instead of the expected 10.

Re:It's a company. Of course it's right. (2, Informative)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198118)

According to your logic a company can charge you for a product and then not provide it, if they do provide it can be faulty, dangerous, or not as advertised "If a corporation does it, that makes it right"

Strangely the law disagrees with you ....as it probably does in this case as well, as soon as someone takes Sony to court ...

this really saddens me (3, Insightful)

2fuf (993808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197818)

I used to be a fan of my C64 games as a kid and I loved playing PC games for years. So much in fact I tried breaking into game development and ran the local IGDA chpater for some years. My heart is still with games and I think they are a wonderful extension to the artforms of literature, cinema and storytelling. When I see how the game dev industry treats its customers these days, I really get the feeling they are way beyond stretching their welcome. Games (especially console games) are so icredibly overpriced and lacking of creativity and intellectual depth that I wonder why gamers are still interested in buying/playing them. I haven't upgraded my gaming pc for almost 8 years now and I only have a Wii because my wife like the balance board games (and admittedly I love being her audience). The only games I occassionaly play are the really old ones, like Civ II/III Baldur's Gate stuff, the good old Sierra point and clicks (Larry, 2D King Quest) because of the humor and fun in these games. Also I really love firing up the C64 emulator for a quick round of classics. When will they stop squeezing customers for every penny and drop the incredible graphics/hardware performance race that has been polluting the game content for the past decade. I don't give a damn about 3D performnace or yet another FPS, come up with something new, interesting exciting. Something that doesn't insult my intelligence and challenges and entertains me in a more subtle way. Dear Douglas Adams I miss you, you were well on your way to solve this problem but you passed too soon. Oh god, is no one going to change this rotten game dev industry we're having? Perhaps I'm just an old fool blabbering about the lost good old days, but doesn't anyone agree that it's not supposed to be like this? *sigh*

What nonsense (3, Interesting)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197830)

We used to buy a silver disk and it contained a game. As long there was an active userbase playing it, you would have multiplayer. Otherwise, you'd organize a night of multiplayer gaming with friends or play single player mode. But the game was yours to play.

If I look at it, the games industry is evolving to a SaaS-model; you pay a subscription fee on a games base and when you stop paying you are denied access.

it wouldn't surprice me, with latest Nvidea's realtime rendering farm et al, we'd soon have a subscribers base "gamers account", where you can pay monthly for "casual gaming", a more expensive "regular gaming"-account or "extreme all the latest games at fuckplenty fps"-account giving you access to certain titles/types of games which you can play realtime over wire.

Gaming like we've known before, on brown or silver disks, seems to be phasing out forever.

Re:What nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197892)

Except they're not ... they are plentifully supplied by all the major players, and the indie players. Only a small fraction of games are online-only, or mostly-online.

I suspect the bias here is that many people *want* to play these online-only or mostly-online games, but don't want to pay for the servers (which is a reasonable position, since Sony (at least) always said the servers would be free).

But there's no demise of single-player games that I can see, if you don't care about online. I have a (small) shelf full of PS3 discs which work just fine without an internet connection.

You think you bought it but actually you didnt (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197870)

basically this is what they are saying you.

Re:You think you bought it but actually you didnt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198134)

Cool. Then they can think I bought it, when I really just downloaded a pirated copy. What's good for the goose ...

You know where this is going, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197880)

First it was a couple nonessential gear items, now it's the entire multiplayer component. They're taking not-so-baby-steps toward a world where when you buy the game you get a one-time code to activate the whole thing, and reselling the physical media is pointless because the game simply won't function without another code.

Re:You know where this is going, right? (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198170)

Isn't that pretty much what steam does (well there isn't anything technially stopping you reselling your whole steam account but unless you create an account per game that doesn't help you all that much) already?

Re:You know where this is going, right? (1)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198208)

And yet they'll be charging full price for the physical media.

Humph! (1, Funny)

backbyter (896397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197882)

I guess since the last game console I bought was a Magnavox Odyssey, this really doesn't affect me directly.

Re:Humph! (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198106)

Since I have an Xbox 360 and prepay for Xbox Live for a year ($3 to $4 a month if you get a prepaid card on sale), this doesn't effect me, either.

Getting sick of this shit (3, Interesting)

tiberiumx (1221152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197930)

I just don't give a damn about the DLC. I played Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 all the way through without even noticing the little DLC registration cards in the box (typically those are just advertisements) until someone mentioned them. Both games were good and complete. The presence of free-if-you-buy-it-from-us DLC isn't going to motivate me to ignore a used game if it is available. What pisses me off is in-game advertisements for DLC. Every time you go back to camp in DAO some asshole is standing in the back with a bright yellow exclamation mark saying "Buy the DLC for my quest!". No, asshole, if you don't represent a playable part of my game, get the fuck out. I'm afraid we'll see a lot more of this sort of thing in the future, as our (more profitable than ever) game companies continue to morph into greedy bastards like the rest of the entertainment industry.

Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197932)

It may not be as bad as it sounds. They are just selling two distinct goods: the software for the game and the multiplayer service. Reselling the game should mean the reselling of both. Thus, you register with generic or false information (assuming they aren't nuts and ask for a CC or SS for something you already paid for) and when selling the game, you sell the disk and the code.

Bad for customers, but not unique (1, Informative)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197956)

I personally am against any corporations policy that limit the resale of of products that require a high upfront fee. As mentioned above, we need to draw a defining line between product purchases and subscriptions. I feel deceived when a purchase a software boxed set and discover that I only have a right to use the product, not transfer ownership.

For example, I bought a Rosetta Stone boxed language set and discovered that I only have the right to use the product and am barred from reselling it. They control this by requiring each user to register online.

I would be happy to pay a monthly subscription, but, resent paying the entire fee upfront. The upfront fee requires me to take all the risk. If I don't use the product, then I get no value and cannot recoup my costs. Under a subscription model, I pay an initiation fee plus a monthly subscription. The company gets an up front fee for providing the product, but we share the risk. I pay only for the value I receive.

I like the TiVo model the best. I pay a monthly subscription fee, but have the option of purchasing a life time subscription. The life time subscription is permanent and can be transferred with the TiVo device. That way I have a choice of an upfront transferable versus low monthly subscription fee.

 

Mass Effect 2 is a game? (1)

keryeski (829654) | more than 4 years ago | (#31197958)

I thought it was just one big movie you had to watch.

I'm far from an anti-Sony fanboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31197974)

but seriously Sony, I speak on behalf of everyone who waits a couple of months to pick up the games at less than half price in the bargain bin because I can't drop $100 (AU) on a game straight up, when I say a big "Fuck You".

Awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31198004)

This will be awful for call centre [inspirecoms.com] workers

Repeat (5, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198104)

Piracy is the better choice. It's been said before, but apparently it hasn't gotten old yet.

Just when i was almost ready to buy a PS3... (3, Insightful)

Sandbags (964742) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198180)

This is a cycle, and I'm stuck in it. When the PS3 came out, first I waited simply because I wanted to be sure the platform took off. I eventually said to myself "It's going well, as soon as they drop the price I'll buy one." Well, they not only dropped the price, they dropped the emotion chip. ...so I didn't buy it. Later they were to drop the price, and they dropped the Emotion chip EMULATOR TOO, then Linux boot support, now they're dropping my ability to get good value on resale of games (since that $20 is getting passed to the consumer, my game is not $20 less valuable at resale, especially since most used games I BUY are only $20 or less, that's a huge hit). I was all set, finally just willing to admit there were few enough PS2 games I have that I'd actualyl play it was worth just keeping the PS2 slim i have around to play them, and I was going to buy a PS3 this summer when the price inevitably dropped again.

Sorry Sony, your screwed yourselves again. I'll just buy another PC based game or two, maybe a new Vid Card.

Missed Chance? (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 4 years ago | (#31198294)

If your that upset over where on-line games are going like this then stop crying and start building your own. Honestly, these companies didn't start out all big and fancy. They started out in a garage or a campus lab or some basement or something. Start creating instead of just consuming, you might make a hit that way and blow their lock-ins out of the water.
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