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Fable III Dev: Used Game Sales More Costly Than Piracy

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the granting-a-license-to-temporarily-rent dept.

Businesses 342

eldavojohn writes "A developer working for Lionhead, the studio behind Fable III, told Eurogamer that piracy is 'less problematic' than used game sales, from a business perspective. Mike West, the lead combat designer for the latest Fable, said, 'For us it's probably a no-lose even with piracy as it is. But, as I say, second-hand sales cost us more in the long-run than piracy these days.' So downloading a game is bad, but apparently stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game ends up hurting them even more."

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342 comments

Of course (1)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171550)

A retailer gets the used game sale money and the developer gets nothing unless they have DLC for sale.

Re:Of course (2)

Goaway (82658) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171614)

Except when it gets them a sale because the person buying knows he can recoup some of the cost by selling the game second hand.

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171662)

And of course, the thought of making a game good enough and non-buggy enough that people do not want to just sell it off, never occurs to them.

Re:Of course (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171858)

In this age of Call Of Duty 3000, people even sell on games they like and get the sequel.

The obvious solution is to release games at the 'used' price point, then everyone will consider it worth it from the start. There wouldn't be much of a used market if all the guys who wait for sensible prices buy the game as soon as it's released.. you'd still get some supercheap guys who want used copies, but not that many. Especially when physical media dies out! I wonder if people sell Steam accounts..

Re:Of course (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171984)

What's a used downloadable game worth?

Supercheap guys wait til the game goes on sale on Steam for under $5. Screw the high price of used games.

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172116)

"The obvious solution is to release games at the 'used' price point"

You nailed it dude. The industry is going backwards by increasing the prices. If pirates did do not buy the game at 50 bucks what makes them think they will at 60? i was an avid buyer but after starcraft 2 a lot of publishers are giving their games the 60 price tag, I'm not paying that, no matter how good the game is. Specially if it's digital form and for PC, they cut lots of costs by doing it digital they should pass the savings to consumer not their pockets

Re:Of course (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172092)

I doubt that's a huge factor. Sometimes you just get bored with games or they don't have a lot of replay value given their nature (highly story or puzzle based like Portal, for example). Doesn't necessarily mean there is anything WRONG with the game.

Re:Of course (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171838)

Sounds like me. There are lots of games I look at and think, "$20 is kinda steep," and then remind myself if I don't like it I can just sell it on amazon and recoup my costs.

Same with books. Same with DVDs. (But not CDs unfortunately, which appear to be near-zero when used.)

Re:Of course (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171752)

While true, they never look at the reason for the popularity of used game sales. Price.

Games have always been more expensive than the market can bare. If I can pick up a new game for $20 that's one thing but $70 is excessive. As is I personally pay $5.19 (tax inc) on average for arcade games and $11.13 (tax inc) on average for retail games used. Factor in taxes on the new game and that's 7 used games vs 1 new game. If that 1 new game is a dud and I don't want to play it I'll be kicking myself for not picking up 7 games and hopefully one or two are fun.

Don't tell the car companies (4, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171558)

Ford, Toyota, etc. would LOVE it if the only option was to buy new.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171602)

They all still make a ton of money off spare parts and dealerships wouldn't survive without the shop business.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (2)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171848)

Bad analogy. Most car parts you find in the parts stores come from 3rd parties, not the OEM. If your car is in warranty then you'll likely get them from the dealer who in turn gets them from the OEM but that's usually as far as it goes unless it's a "dealer-only" item in which case it's also a part that rarely breaks or is hard to reproduce otherwise(the control computers being a good example) and while those do bring in a decent profit when they're needed, they are rarely needed often enough to justify your statement.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171982)

Toyota is huge on sourcing from Toyota, hence the shortage in Toyota parts since the Tohoku Earthquake.

Same with things like engines, transmissions, control computers.

Car makers and their OEM partners make money off older cars while garage business is what keeps car dealers profitable.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172114)

Some smarter companies, like Volkswagen, are making it impossible to fix your own car by using non-standard sockets/wrenches. So that means you HAVE to go to the garage, and typically not an independent. You have to go to someone with the necessary VW tools.... aka the dealer.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171692)

Car parts are the real bussiness on car industry, but yet the scrap yards exist , ohhh but look at the quality.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171924)

Nope. See my post above this one. This is a massively flawed analogy. Most parts are 3rd party, not OEM. For over 25 years I have been buying parts and repairing cars on at least a weekly basis and in all that time I've only *had* to buy parts from the OEM a handful of times(maybe 5-10 times at most). Hell, it's more likely that I'll need the field service manual from the OEM than any parts.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171850)

Ford, Toyota, etc. would LOVE it if the only option was to buy new.

If it was totally illegal to sell or buy used cars, then the majority of the people who would usually buy a new car every two years would instead buy cheaper cars and drive them for a very much longer time. Those who find it hard to afford a new car would buy the cheapest new car they can find and drive it until it falls apart.

Re:Don't tell the car companies (1)

drcheap (1897540) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171956)

Car analogy fail.

Used cars have always been part of the market, and always will be. Some people can afford and/or want new cars, and they get them. Others are quite alright with a used car, which is not the same as the new one.

It's different with software though, because other than perhaps some missing packaging (that is of no real value anyway), the used item is equally as good as the new one. So people aren't "settling" for used software by compromising on features/cleanliness/etc. by going used...they are just simply paying less and getting the same end result.

idiot analysis (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171566)

"So downloading a game is bad, but apparently stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game ends up hurting them even more"

No, they're saying that more people buy it second-hand than pirate it. It's equally bad for them if you do either one.

Re:idiot analysis (2)

mrcvp (1130257) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171642)

And the second hand buyers have actually proven they are willing to pay some price for the product, and not nothing at all.

Re:idiot analysis (5, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171894)

No value is "lost" in the second hand market. A lot of people find buying a game for $69.95 to be ridiculous, and will never ever do it. Those "sales" are already "lost" because the producers are placing the price higher than the value. Make games a better value and you will get more sales.

Re:idiot analysis (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171968)

This needs to be modded to +11. If only the music, movie, software industry would figure this one thing out...we're willing to pay but we're NOT willing to mortgage our houses for a bunch of ones and zeroes that will be next to worthless in under a year.

Not only is it worse.. (1)

Modern (252880) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171570)

But the used games give you cooties.

Re:Not only is it worse.. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171878)

And so do girls. You make it sound that this is a bad thing.

This being slashdot, I suspect it's just fear of the unknown.

First Sale Doctrine (1)

Ferzerp (83619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171572)

SCOTUS needs to address this, badly.

"License" (5, Interesting)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171714)

The problem is that when you plunk out your money to buy the shiny new, it is not a sale. Legally, you're buying a "license" to use the game, which gives game companies the ability to dictate and/or change the terms of those license at their will.

It's not really SCOTUS that needs to address it, it's Congress. We need a law that basically says, "If it looks like a sale, acts like a sale, works like a sale, then it's a sale." Software shouldn't be able to be licensed except in very specific circumstances, none of which apply to individual end users purchasing entertainment software.

If SCOTUS did take up the issue, they need to basically rule most EULAs unconscionable [wikipedia.org] .

At any rate, I doubt any of that will happen any time soon. People are too addicted to that hot new Xbox/PS3/PC game to worry about little details like consumer rights.

Re:"License" (3, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172036)

The judiciary actually does has enough power in the US to do this. In fact, several courts have ruled EULAs invalid (see in particular SoftMan v. Adobe, which ruled that software is sold, not licensed, although it did uphold license restrictions as valid).

Re:"License" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172110)

in soviet russia fable III sells you!

Add ons (1)

alexmogil (442209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171584)

Can't they make more pure profit by selling the rest of the game... I mean wait.. "DLC" in the marketplace?

Well boohoo... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171594)

...but the second-hand market for games is legal.

Re:Well boohoo... (1)

SaroDarksbane (1784314) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171722)

For now, anyway. Give it a few more years.

This doesn't surprise me at all. (1)

rap_dot_com (2081432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171598)

It is very likely that the people who are pirating the games are the same people that wouldn't be able to buy the game in the first place, or who are unaware of how well/poorly the game will play and forgot that demos exist. I do appreciate Lionhead's rationale in that the only way to stop pirates is to just talk to one and help them understand why this is a problem. At least they aren't trying to cover up everything in some crazy anti-piracy DRM that ends up causing more of a hassle than it's worth it to play the game. Of course, this is why some people champion systems like Steam, where it is much harder to pirate games.

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all. (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171698)

Of course, this is why some people champion systems like Steam, where it is much harder to pirate games.

Plus the added benefit of completely eliminating the second-hand market.

How are you going to do that, exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171706)

Libraries.

Sorry, kids, but the bullshit that piracy is going to be the death of the industry is just that - bullshit.

'sides, if the industry - industries, really, if you count music, movies and games separately - keep growing in terms of revenue. Cry me a river about the purported doom that copyright infringement causes.

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all. (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171918)

I despise pirating games - however, I DO pirate them now due to DRM. For instance, I own a copy of a game and was going to purchase the GOTY edition with the DLC and expansion included - then I found out that they've already turned off the DRM server, so if you buy the GOTY edition, you can't access any of the DLC that you purchased. Guess what I did instead of clicking "add to cart" on Amazon? I jumped to the pirate bay instead.

I gladly pay for DRM-free games and the lower the price, the more willing I am to take a chance on a game and buy it (hence why I grab so much stuff on gog.com). If they want to improve sales, they need to ditch DRM and create a better product - not demonize people who sold what they legally purchased.

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all. (1)

Gripp (1969738) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172074)

i would gladly pay MORE for DRM free games/music/books/movies/etc.
as for the parent poster - i agree. it does occur to me that the moment i started earning enough to be able to afford my gaming addiction i started buying them instead of modding my xbox... and to the point of TFA even though i could afford them i almost always wait until i get them for
however, now i mostly purchase gmaes from Live anymore... something about not having to drive, snoop thru bins and wait in crazy lines simply for a new game is worth the extra cash.

Re:This doesn't surprise me at all. (1)

TheTyrannyOfForcedRe (1186313) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172176)

It is very likely that the people who are pirating the games are the same people that wouldn't be able to buy the game in the first place, or who are unaware of how well/poorly the game will play and forgot that demos exist.

What world do you live on? Here on Earth playable demos have largely gone the way of the dodo. What percentage of games have them? 5-10%?

Digital only will be the rule within 2 gens. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171604)

As much as I hate to say it, physical media is largely dead. Digital only, with all titles being tied to your personal information, thus letting corporations tailor advertisements to you, is going to be standard very shortly.

I think the next gen will still be physical, but after that it is very unlikely.

Re:Digital only will be the rule within 2 gens. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171932)

Dear gods, not the TAILORED ADVERTISEMENTS! Say it ain't so! :(

Re:Digital only will be the rule within 2 gens. (1)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172002)

As much as I hate to say it, physical media is largely dead. Digital only, with all titles being tied to your personal information, thus letting corporations tailor advertisements to you, is going to be standard very shortly.

I think the next gen will still be physical, but after that it is very unlikely.

Maybe in Japan, South Korea and Lithuania where you can get a decent internet connection for a reasonable price. Here in America, with ever-increasing last-mile prices and ever-tightening bandwidth caps (despite backhaul becoming exponentially cheaper year-over-year), in two console generations most people won't even be able to afford to play a game online, let alone download one.

censoring, deceiving holycost cannot erase truth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171610)

maybe for a short time? still waiting? more stand-up talknician routines. more threatening now? will the FSF guys be arrested for sex crimes too? julians, adrians, everybody's at risk, of being arrested, or worse. scary? 13 year old tagged by ss.gov at school for unapproved tweeting. so we're safe from him now. the key to the bells & whistles of just one city is way too much trust to put in one human. our/our planet's fate however, is different?

same old; how many 1000 babys going up in smoke again today? how many 1000's of just folks to be killed or displaced again today? hard to put $$ on that. the cost of constant deception, to our spirit? paying to have ourselves constantly spied on & lied to by freaky self chosen neogod depopulationers? the biblically styled fatal distraction holycost is all encompassing, & never ends while we're still alive, unless we cut them/ourselves off at the wmd. good luck with that, as it's not even a topic anywhere we get to see, although in real life it's happening everywhere as our walking dead weapons peddlers are being uncontracted. you can call this weather if it makes you feel any better. no? read the teepeeleaks etchings.

so, once one lie is 'infactated', the rest becomes just more errant fatal history.

disarm. tell the truth. the sky is not ours to toy with after all?

  you call this 'weather'? what with real history racing up to correct
itself, while the chosen one's holycostal life0cider mediots continually
attempt to rewrite it, fortunately, there's still only one version of the
truth, & it's usually not a long story, or a confusing multiple choice
fear raising event.

wouldn't this be a great time to investigate the genuine native elders social & political leadership initiative, which includes genuine history as put forth in the teepeeleaks etchings. the natives still have no words in their language to describe the events following their 'discovery' by us, way back when. they do advise that it's happening again.

who has all the weapons? who is doing MOST of the damage? what are the motives? are our intentions & will as the ones who are supposed to be being represented honestly & accurately, being met? we have no reference to there being ANY public approval for the current mayhem & madness pr firm regime style self chosen neogod rulership we've allowed to develop around us, so we wouldn't have to stop having fun, & doing things that have nothing to do with having to defend from the smoke&mirrors domestic frenetics, of the unproven genocides. rockets exploding in syria fired from Libya? yikes?

  the zeus weather weapon is still being used indiscriminately against the population, our rulers' minions are fleeing under fire.

the whore of babylon has been rescued by the native elders. she has the papers of challenge authored by the hymenical council, & is cooperating wholeheartedly with the disarmament mandate.
disarm. thank you.

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Skillsets (2)

Homburg (213427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171616)

Game developer good at developing games, not so good at understanding economics.

Re:Skillsets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171994)

Game developer good at developing games, not so good at understanding economics.

Well, since you're talking about Lionhead, I'd say not so good at either.

cry me a river (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171620)

But fuck Molyneux and his Fable franchise. Promises the sun, moon and Jupiter claiming you can do anything and LOL you can't do anything unless it's already scripted. Plus these Fable games are at best 4 hours long and they demand $60 a pop?

I'll buy used and watch them go down in flames while Valve continues to show the industry how it's done right.

Re:cry me a river (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171818)

Wha? If anything, the first Fable game went on too long for me; I didn't buy the sequels because I just couldn't invest the time to get everything out of them.

Then again, when I play RPG adventure-type games like that I tend to try to explore every feature/plotline/mission, rather than finish it as fast as possible and move on. That's why I'm still playing Fallout 3 on and off after 2 years :)

The used games market only hurts bad games (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171622)

People only sell games that aren't good enough to play after playing through once. Thus the used game market only damages bad games, enabling the consumers to express their opinion after they bought the product.

Re:The used games market only hurts bad games (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171976)

Super this. I still own games I bought for my PSX when it was new. Not all of them, mind you, just the ones I like to blow the dust off of and run through again because they're genuinely enjoyable. Hell, in some cases, I buy a game twice. Got Oblivion for PS3 and PC both because it's a different experience each way.
I'm going to buy the facelifts of ICO and SOTC when they come out. I think I've bought Gunstar Heroes for every system I've been able to except Game Gear.

Re:The used games market only hurts bad games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172050)

People only sell games that aren't good enough to play after playing through once.

[citation needed]

Re:The used games market only hurts bad games (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172082)

People only sell games that aren't good enough to play after playing through once. Thus the used game market only damages bad games, enabling the consumers to express their opinion after they bought the product.

Not really. Even good games are usually available used reasonably soon after the game hits retail. There are apparently a lot of people that get rid of games as soon as they've played through it once (of course, it can take months or even years for GameStop and their ilk to set reasonable prices on used games - it does disgust me somewhat when they are selling a brand-new game for $60, and the used copy for $55 when you know they are only paying $25 for the trade-in).

Personally I've never sold a game back to one of the retail stores (or anyone else for that matter), just in case I might want to pick it up again in a year or two... or five... or ten...

not a good conclusion (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171626)

The summary doesn't account for the very real possibility that a much higher percentage of used game buyers would have bought the game than pirates, had neither had a choice.

In other words, if you look at 100 pirates and 10 used buyers, and stop the piracy and used market, maybe 5 used buyers would pony up, but only maybe 3 pirates. But I'm just pulling those numbers out of the air - you can't say either way without hard numbers, and they're' not being presented here.

But I think we've all figured out at this point that a high piracy rate doesn't have to translate into a lot of lost sales. Every time we hear the "industry" cry the pirates are costing them money, they're conveniently counting every pirated copy as a lost sale, which is so far into fantasy land that it crosses clearly into insulting our intelligence.

How is this exclusive to gaming? (4, Insightful)

GFLPraxis (745118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171640)

Isn't this true of any industry? If I buy a used couch instead of buying it from the manufacturer, don't they take the same "loss"? It's amazing that now used games sales are being considered "loss" in the same manner as piracy.

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (1)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171764)

Couch Piracy means getting bed bugs in your home. Yarr!

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (2)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171854)

The prime assumption is that the person from whom you buy the used couch is making space to buy another new one. Then, you have to decide how many of the new buyers would pay the new product price if they knew there was no resale value.

For your couch analogy, there'd probably be no change in new product sales. (Who buys a couch for its resale value?) But for good old-fashioned car analogies, I think a lot of people would pay less for a new car if they knew it would be 100% worthless whenever they sold it, either one or two or ten years later. And I think video game buyers have a lot more in common with car buyers than couch buyers. Would most of the people who choose to buy and play new games continue to spend the same amount on new games if they couldn't resell them when finished? Probably not.

Hence, part of Mike West's argument is probably bull.

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (1)

Subacultcha (921910) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172170)

Would most of the people who choose to buy and play new games continue to spend the same amount on new games if they couldn't resell them when finished? Probably not.

What you're arguing here doesn't necessarily imply that developers would get more sales, because if a person is reselling their games, there's also a good chance they may actually be buying a used game. A used game sale may mean either a trade-in for a new one, an old one, or nothing at all. Logically, then there's fewer new games purchased after a trade-in than there are trade-ins, so trade-ins are not 100% helpful. Really, it's a case where you'd have to do a study to see whether used game sales actually increase sales enough for developers to be profiting from them. I don't think you can make an anecdotal conclusion on that issue. In any case, I think we'll see this issue go away with digital sales and online only games. There's just not much incentive for a game developer to allow used game sales if they can prevent it.

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (1)

seanalltogether (1071602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171902)

You can't compare the market for physical goods against the market for digital goods, the two have very different investment and production models.

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (2)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171934)

That is true. I guess the problem is that you tend to get a lot more long-term use out of your couch than a video game, and there is no real disadvantage to buying a game used (unlike that pee-stained couch ;)

Of course, that just seems like an argument for designing more re-playable games or picking a better business model. I don't hear Blizzard complaining much about used sales hurting World of Warcraft (due to the business model) or Starcraft (due to the replayability). And apparently the Rock Band franchise has had hundreds of millions of DLC downloads for their games. Hell, even EA has figured out how to minimize the market for used sports games by releasing a new one with updated features and player rosters every year...

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172026)

Because piracy sometimes leads to sales of new games. Sales of used games never leads to sales of new games.

If only 5% of people who ever pirate games, also buy some of those, that is still more money than the people who buy used games. The games get two owners, the makers get only one profit.

And as to "new games will be worth less if you can't resell them", I don't really buy that. I would venture most games are never sold once purchased. I have over 100 games that I have bought over the last couple of decades. The floppies I finally pitched. The old games for Win31, 95, etc. I have finally pitched. I buy the game to play it, as do many others, not to virtually "rent" it. If I wanted to rent it, well, I would rent it.

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172032)

That used couch can quite easily have smells, squashed cushions, and be very different from when it was new. Games are digital and as long as the disk works it will work the same as when new.

Re:How is this exclusive to gaming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172058)

You wouldn't download a couch!

Oh good (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171654)

Time to make that illegal then.

Pirates weren't going to buy it (2)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171664)

I can really see this being true. Game piracy does nothing more than get your game's name out there. People are playing it, talking about it, etc. Pretty much no one (statistically) who pirates a game intended on ever purchasing it and thus aren't lost revenue.

People buying used games intended on purchasing the game, but bought used to save $5. They did nothing wrong, but they were a potential source of revenue for the publisher that is lost.

I don't know of a good "fix," because I don't support limiting your right to resell, but at the same time the scale that EB/etc do it causes issues.

In my mind, morally, it's a bit like piracy itself. Me sharing an mp3 rip of an album I've bought with 3-4 friends is not "wrong" in my mind. Were I to rip an album and then sell it on the street for $5 a copy it would be a different story. How you legislate intent and morality, without killing genuine "sharing," is tough.

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171702)

A possible, non-legislative solution:

EA/MS/etc should simply refuse to sell "new" in stores which also sell "used." It will take a big name doing it, not a tiny publisher, and it will take doing so publicly.

People will want halo15/madden 2035/half life episode 69 enough that it won't kill sales (it may dampen them a bit, so that's why you use a blockbuster).

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (1)

Manos_Of_Fate (1092793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171802)

The problem with this solution is Gamestop. They make most of their money on used game sales, and have enough retail power that if they didn't carry something it's sales would be badly hurt.

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172122)

This is why multiplayer games may soon start charging for online play, but only to someone who hasn't bought it new.

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171786)

If you can't afford $X for a new game, you spend $Y on a used game. If you are no longer allowed to buy the used game, and you still can't afford $X, but you really really want to play it... what are you likely to do?

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171844)

You are making the mistake that the developer and a lot of groups that end in aa make. That if you could stop piracy or 2nd hand sales that the developer/author would then get the sale 100% of the time. That isnt the case. Some people who pirate would never have bought it. Some people who by used would never have bought a new copy. But at least the person who buys a used copy is ok under the current law in the usa. The person who buys used may be so impressed with the title that they may buy other games new from the developer. The pirate will never because he knows where to get it free and doesnt care about the law.

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172054)

People buying used games intended on purchasing the game, but bought used to save $5.

I think they're doing it to save a bit more than $5.

If law-abiding folk aren't willing to pay retail for your game, but are willing to pay a much lower cost for a used copy, then this seems to be speaking to an underlying issue. The problem isn't that they're able to buy it used. The problem is that they don't think full retail for your game is worth it. Maybe the problem is that you're charging too much.

Re:Pirates weren't going to buy it (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172144)

Used games, especially for games under 6 months old, are rarely discounted more than $5.

Buying a game at $10, but not at $50 I can understand.

But if you bought a game for $47 instead of $52, you were going to buy the game either way, it's just "why not save $5" when both are staring you in the face.

Blame for everyone. (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171674)

Make sense, as those who pirate usually wouldn't be paying in any case, while those who buy used actually have some cash.

But it's also a problem with shorter games without replay value, I'd never sell X-Com, Fallout 1/2, etc. because they can be played again and again, while many games are just 'unlock the next cutscene' with a static plot and outcome.

DRM (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171676)

And that Sir, is exactly what DRM was thought for.

Re:DRM (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171826)

And that Sir, is exactly what DRM was thought for.

The funny part is that I would probably have bought Fable III if it wasn't for the DRM, because it seems like it would be worth a try despite the numerous problems. But becasue of they put extra DRM on top of the Steam DRM I spent the money on a DRM-free copy of Witcher 2 instead.

i dont believe it..... (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171704)

atleast not from a developer whose job is to design and write the game mechanics; not count the money.

I dont know any devs personally, but i'd expect them to be on the payroll/contract for a game. That sort of stuff should be built into the budget for a game. They get paid if the game sells 100,000 copies or the game breaks record sales.

these kinds of arguments are very entertaining (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171712)

this guy from lionhead is trying to convince his bosses that their game did not sell because it was terrible, it is because of some boogieman out there they have little control of.

I don't buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171742)

Used game sales have been around forever, and it has never been a problem. Ever.

I would love to know the factors that somehow make used game sales such a negative force now. I suspect it is a lot of hand waving by the industry who would rather screw over customers by making them buy poor games at full value.

Well (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171750)

Sell the games too cheap to make used a good deal. Or make games that people never want to sell.
Really it is just too bad.

Call me crazy... but... (2)

cadeon (977561) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171770)

Wouldn't more reasonable prices for new games take the wind out of the huge second-hand games business?

But if you take away used games... (1)

Itesh (1901146) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171782)

how many more people suddenly become interested in pirating?

Shut the fuck up - learn to buck up - Cake (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171790)

This is nothing more than rent-seeking.

Hey Lionhead: Provide more content that people are willing to shell out money for. Either that or close up shop and get the hell out of the market, because obviously you are a bunch of idiots.

Somehow the creators of content just want to create once and never work again. Sorry, but this is not how life works in the real world. Continued rent-seeking will make people avoid your new products, and with good reason.

What a bunch of whiny cunts.

--
BMO

All a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171804)

Of course, we all know the used games market has an expiration date. It may not be the next generation of consoles, but surely the one after that. That's right; it's when things go all digital. Either through game streaming (like OnLive) or digital sales (Steam, Impulse, PSN, etc), all game sales will eventually migrate to digital distribution. At that point, the used games market will be completely gone. So, while used game sales do hurt game developers more than piracy, it's a problem technology will inevitably erase.

Just a thought.

p.s. Kudos to Gamestop for realizing this and picking up Impulse.

Agreed. (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171808)

It IS bad for developers because retailers like Gamestop and EB will put used copies on the shelf immediately on launch whenever they get them in, and for a few bucks less. They get a 100% profit, with none of the proceeds going to the developer (which is fine, but it's important to remember that you're not their customer by buying a used copy of a game). It cannibalizes initial sales during the most important time of a game's release, especially when you consider that frequent used game buyers will opt into things like Gamestop/EB's Edge card system, getting an additional 10% off the sticker price.

If the motion picture industry let retailers rent/sell copies of movies at the same time as theatrical release, then the financial bottom would be eaten out from under the theatrical aspect of the industry, which is usually the most important and most profitable portion of a film's release. This is the reason why the motion picture industry delays home video releases of new films, and this is what should be done with games, too.

I've heard arguments against that, people saying "Oh, well, I should be able to sell it if I want to", and that's fine, really; What needs to be regulated is not people selling games back or trading them in, but the amount of time needed before used copies start showing up on retail shelves alongside new copies. The only problem is, retailers are unlikely to agree to something like that unless forced to, since they can sell a $70 game for $65 for 100% profit. Waiting until later gains them less. Which is sort of why the game industry almost needs a standards board for this kind of thing... Something, though I shudder to say it, like the RIAA/MPAA (because, besides suing people for downloading media, that's part of what they do).

Re:Agreed. (1)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172034)

Your comparison to video releases is flawed, since selling second hand DVDs is not regulated either.

Re:Agreed. (1)

Runefox (905204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172162)

No, but that argument is also flawed; DVD (or Blu-ray, I'll refer to both as DVD for random, arbitrary reasons) sales aren't the sole revenue generator for a film that had a theatrical release, and you seldom see used DVD's on the same shelves as new ones, to boot. In fact, most retailers that DO sell DVD's don't bother stocking used DVD's.

Re:Agreed. (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172168)

A used copy can only exist if someone has already bought a new copy and then chosen to sell it on. The supply of such copies very shortly after a new game is released is likely to have a very close relationship to how poor and overhyped that game is...
Very few people are going to buy a game for $70 by choice and then sell it for a fraction of the price a day later. If someone does that, then they were effectively tricked into making that purchase in the first place.
If anything, the purchaser should have a window in which they can return the game for a full refund, especially if they bought something which didn't live up to its advertising.

Retailers should be able to resell used copies of games as soon as they have used copies to sell, to place an arbitrary delay hurts end users and hurts retailers.

Make it Epic. (3)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171812)

Epic, as in Epic Megagames (sorry, forgot they dropped the mega).

Just got 1 copy of Bullet Storm. We have 2 XBoxes. Only one player at a time can load the game in their personal Xbox. However, to access any of the online play features the second player has to purchase a $10 "online pass". Hint: XBL is largely a peer to peer network, hence "Selecting New Host" -- We're not playing on their dedicated servers, only the player's own XBoxes and the MS sponsored matchmaking is needed -- both I've already pay for twice (once for each player in the house). Granted, some in-game stats & ranking may be an excuse to run a separate server and charge for hosting -- but an additional mandatory $10 just to play online? Inexcusable (note: MS servers store the achievements).

From MS Game Studio Docs:

Any matchmaking scenario involves the creation of a network session. Network sessions give XNA Framework games access to profile data on all the gamers in a potential game.

Perhaps they don't use XNA, and roll their own instead -- whos fault is that?

Seems like a non-issue to me as long as this type of XBL lock-out extortion racket is allowed (Even moreso a non issue for me since I've added Epic Games to the list of abusive companies I boycott).

bad logic in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171816)

> downloading a game is bad, but apparently stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game ends up hurting them even more

No, it's just that they think it used sales happen more often than piracy.

Humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171830)

He might want to try working on a game that holds a player's interest for more than a couple of hours if the used games market is a problem for his wares. I own films that have given me more hours of entertainment than Fable 3 managed. They didn't cost me forty bloody quid and have their in-game butler character nagging me to spend more on poxyDLC either.

Re:Humbug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172030)

Come on. Watching "Top 10 32 reasons Fable 3 sucks ball" wasnt' entertainment ?

This just in... (1)

squidflakes (905524) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171842)

Game developers and marketing executives have determined that playing games is bad for the gaming industry.

"We're not like any other industry." said developer Nertlebaum Q. Tinkerbottom, lead designer at Poopsock Games "If we produce an inferior product, we still expected to get paid as if we had made a best-seller. Honestly, if gamers would just buy our games, and never play them, the industry would be in a much better position."

Fookyu Baka, chairman of Nintendo's Games Marketing division echoed the sentiment, saying "In perfect world, Nintendo would produce new systems every four quarters, and utilize already developed properties to generate sales. Our development efforts could have ceased in the mid-80s and we would realize continuing returns on, at most, six properties."

UH huh (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171852)

"Unless you sit down and meet a pirate face to face and have a conversation about what it does, I don't think anything will stop them."

... so we'll make the legit version of the game harder to pirate because we all know that annoying customers makes them spend more money!

Maybe Charge Less? Or make better games? (1)

Cloudgatherer (216427) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171870)

To put it yet another way, why buy "new" games? Especially console games.

Brand new games cost roughly $60 here in the US. If you are looking to buy used, a store like GameStop will often re-sell a used copy for just under whatever the new price is, thus a customer can potentially save 5-10 dollars on the used version vs the new version. GameStop (last I checked) also has a decent return policy on their used games, it can be returned up to a week after purchase for a full refund.

First scenario, a friend of mine will simply buy the game used, play it, beat it, and if he really enjoys it he keeps it. If not, he returns it for a full refund. Awesome. I'm sure that loophole will be closed at some point, but whatever.

Second scenario, is that games always get cheaper over time. I rarely play console games, but a game came out last year I had my eye on. It wasn't a great game, and the reviews clearly pointed out that it wasn't worth the $60 price tag. I agreed, and waited the price down to $30, and I actually wanted to own the game (hence I didn't go with scenario one).

In other words, people are flocking to used games because the time/fun to money ratio just isn't working for most people. $60 per game gets expensive, especially with some of the games being of poor quality/time versus other options. I have no problem paying more for a truly in-depth game, but these days many games are "copy-paste" jobs that end up being sequels or knock-offs of other games trying to charge full price when it really isn't worth it. You would think by the third time a company is about to release, effectively, the same game for the third time they would figure that out.

Summary's Interpretation is Bizarre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171880)

"So downloading a game is bad, but apparently stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game ends up hurting them even more."

The point was that stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game gets a developer zero revenue, as opposed to stopping by a first-hand retailer to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game. Piracy can gain you legit buyers because it's a zero-cost advertising medium, but it gains you nothing when the consumer is already going to buy a copy and the issue is whether their purchase will benefit the developer at all or just GameStop.

Re:Summary's Interpretation is Bizarre (2)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171958)

The point was that stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game gets a developer zero revenue, as opposed to stopping by a first-hand retailer to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game.

But there's absolutely no reason to believe that someone who can't sell the game second-hand would still buy it at full price or that someone who buys games second-hand would buy them at full price if buying second-hand wasn't an option. Quite likely both people would wait until it hit the bargain bin and get it for $5.

So the claim is probably as retarded as it first appears.

Thankfully same answer for both.. (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171886)

If a game costs 10 bucks new, not much of a secondary market. At least none that a Gamestop like company would have enough wiggle room to bother with. There might be a craigslist here and there, but no business in trade-in games. If you planned at doing $50 at your volume moves up by five-fold, revenue wise it's a wash, your game is more popular, and given the margins in software distribution your profit is probably the same too.

Similarly, the relative hassle/risk of pirating a game isn't appealing if you can just get legally licensed for a trivial sum.

stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36171944)

They fail to take into account people who trade in used games and use the money to buy new games. Take away that trade and you lose a sale.

Bad logic in many posters (1)

subanark (937286) | more than 3 years ago | (#36171996)

2nd hard market hurts more than piracy, not because they think more people buy used than pirate, but rather the willingness to pay for the full retail value is higher among people who buy used, vs those who pirate.

The future is DLC, it lets people pay how much they are willing for the game. We will probably see most non-MMO games go to free to play (with possibly ads) with the micro transactions there to those that are willing to pay.

I'm also willing to bet we will soon see DLC for TV as well in the form of bonus scenes.

it isn't a loss to the economy (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172012)

if a game is pirated no money exchanges hands. if a game is passed down no money exchanges hand. if the game is sold then resold, ad nauseam, then it is still a viable asset in the economy. the same goes for books. the only reason games are looked at differently than books is because the industry had created this bullshit belief that their content is somehow more holy.

Used car sales.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36172048)

Yeah, just like used car sales.

Isn't it unfortunate that every time someone sells their old car the auto maker doesn't see it?

A real shame.

God-damn money-grubbing assholes. (5, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172076)

Yeah. I said it. Fuck off. Let me repeat something I've said multiple times already: You are not entitled to my money. You sold it once, you got paid what you asked for; now shut the fuck up. Think that copy is worth more? Then ask for more when you sell it. Think you're not getting your fair share? Who the hell are you to determine what your fair share is? This isn't a free market that you're after, that's nothing but "Give me money because I said so" highway robbery.

At least the cat's out of the bag now. The problem that creative types (music, film, software) have with piracy has actually nothing to do with whether something illegal is taking place around the fruit of their sweat and blood. It has everything to do with them feeling that they're not making as much money as they think they could. It's a pure money-grab, nothing else. The only difference between the people who complain that the second-hand market is ruining them and basic robbery is that the first group hires government agents to do their bidding. The second group has at least the decency to do their own dirty work.

To that, I say Fuck You. Don't like it? Fuck you, with a chainsaw.

Peter Molyneux, I have great respect for you. You created Populous, which by itself gives you a near eternal free pass to be a dick. But any interest I have in Fable III will now be satisfied by buying it second hand. I might even write you an email, showing you my original copy, the second hand sticker on it, and a big middle-finger across it. Yeah, I know, you didn't offer up these sentiments. That was one of your underlings. Then get your underlings under control. The same goes for every other entitled asshole who feels that just because they made something pretty, they deserve to be paid in perpetuity anytime someone looks at their work, or creates something that vaguely resembles it.

And just in case anyone missed my point: Fuck you. I'm going to the flea-market.

My Tshirt (0)

munky99999 (781012) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172112)

I buy a tshirt. I make a copy and give it to a friend. Then I sell my original used one. There's no problems here? Tshirt manufacturers and designers arent whining. The same thing can be said for basically every other industry. Why then does the digital media industry think they should get protection from copying and resale?

Gamestop Preorder (1)

dadelbunts (1727498) | more than 3 years ago | (#36172120)

Why do these companies complain about used games and then offer pre-order bonuses from GAMESTOP. Basically the only company that sells used games on a mass market.
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