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Ubisoft Hops On the Online Pass Bandwagon

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the stop-pretending-this-adds-value-for-customers dept.

Businesses 134

Joining the likes of THQ, Electonic Arts, and Sony, Ubisoft has now announced plans to launch the "Uplay Passport," a $10 fee charged to buyers of used games if they want to play them online. They say the program "will begin in the coming months and will be included in many of Ubisoft's popular core games. In each new copy of a Uplay Passport-enhanced game will be a one-time use registration code that, when redeemed, provides access to Uplay Passport content and features. The code can be found on the insert card inside the game box. Gamers can identify Uplay Passport-enhanced games by looking for the logo on the back of the box."

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First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780586)

lol

Great (3, Insightful)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780588)

Another games publisher to avoid.

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780728)

Everybody should avoiding Ubisoft since long ago.

Re:Great (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780782)

I have boycotted Ubisoft since they started with the always on internet connection DRM.

Re:Great (1)

fremean (1189177) | more than 3 years ago | (#36783876)

I've boycotted them since StarForce...

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780884)

There's really not many left to choose from. And as they make crappier and crappier games, it's starting to look like maybe giving up on games altogether is the smartest move.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781128)

I still keep an eye out for that studio just entering the game with something interesting, but otherwise I've noticed the slow decay of the gaming industry.

How much will someone bet that gaming companies will blame piracy for lack of sales?

Re:Great (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781430)

That decay has been going on for well over a decade now.

It may be just grumpy-old-guy syndrome, but in spite of the cmoparatively crap graphics, the old 1990's era games were a lot more fun to play (yes, bugs and all). The reason why have to do with elements that have little to do with the technical:

* Most of the old games (Quake/II/III, Unreal/UT, Half-Life, etc) were devilishly customizable, and the software companies actually encouraged modifications
* With only a few games of a given genre, you had a *lot* more players
* dial-up may have sucked, but it did equalize the field by quite a bit (everyone had lag to some extent) - OTOH, this is obviously more of a bandwidth thing and not a game design thing.
* the good games back then were more concerned about flow and content, and less concerned about "balance" or graphics
* most of the games were hosted and played freely online, not kept behind a pay-gate
* Some folks complain about bots and griefers back in the old days, but hell, they're just as common now as they were back then, if not moreso... just that the cheats are more subtle now, and the greifers less so.
* nobody gave a crap if you 'pirated' or copied the game, because odds were very good that you'd buy the next iteration when it came out (see also id Software)

Only opinion, but I'm blaming around 2000-2001 as the time when gaming began declining. CD Keys were only the barest hint of the DRM to come. More and more games got shoved into pay-for-play mode. The flood of games meant a growing fragmentation (even among folks playing the same title... You had Unreal Tournament, UT 2003, UT 2004, etc... all running w/ players at the same time). LAN parties became less and less common, and the ones still going only meant that there were UT players, Quake players, BF 1942 players, CS players, etc... and each new game or iteration meant less folks in a given LAN that could play a given game (or that wanted to, instead preferring their own game/version).

Sure, the consoles kept things going for awhile, but IMHO (and nothing more), it only pushed game publishers down paths that meant more DRM, higher prices, and pay-to-play online experiences. Not even going to touch on the remakes/reboots/re-whatevers that means the majority of games coming out are some re-iteration of something you've already played before.

Certainly, there are bright spots in this dark prose... games that stood out and demanded attention, and/or broke new ground (games like GTA). That said, most of the big ones just became more fodder for sequels, each not quite as good as the last.

Ah well... enough rambling. :)

Re:Great (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782238)

It may be just grumpy-old-guy syndrome, but in spite of the cmoparatively crap graphics, the old 1990's era games were a lot more fun to play

Pshaw! 1990s games? Just eye candy.

The 1980s games _are_ more fun to play. Mr. Do, Frogger, Dig Dug, etc.

(I'm largely joking, though I do like those old games... I see Amazon has a buy 2 get 1 free game sale for some games I'm interested in, so I will likely stock up on some more even before I have a PS3! Also, I've never had a Nintendo system, but one of the reasons I'll probably eventually get a Wii is for the relatively cheap old games on their network.)

Re:Great (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782362)

Totally disagree.

I had way more fun with Team Fortress 2, Battlefield 2, and Left 4 Dead than I ever did with Quake or Unreal. Warcraft 3 and Company of Heroes and Starcraft 2 are absolutely better than their predecessors.

Game makers have gotten smarter and design their games with better mechanics. TF2 and L4D, for example, have exceptionally well-balanced asymmetrical modes. Weapon and ability variety has increased tremendously. Map design has become more objective. Frustration factors have been reduced. Lobby systems have been improved. Mod-ability still exists, and has led to great modes like DotA.

I think the real problems with gaming today are the same ones the movie industry has been facing for a while. Simply put, studios have realized that a well-hyped turd with name recognition can make more money than a quality title. Just look at Duke Nukem Forever for proof. They never intended that game to be good, but it will make plenty of money for them. Even with good games, it's easier to make incremental improvements than risky innovative titles (see: Call of Duty, the Sims, any sports title).

There are a few companies that still focus on putting out groundbreaking titles, but even then, those titles will then be milked for at least a few sequels before the next innovation comes along. However, there is a way to reliably find innovation among modern games -- look among indie developers. They can take more risks, and as a result you get titles like Braid and Minecraft.

As for DRM, with a few exceptions (lookin' at you, Ubisoft), it's less intrusive now. I have not-so-fond memories of looking up page after page of text in the back of the manual during Interplay's Lord of the Rings. Cat pissed on the manual? Can't play that game anymore! Or CD checks that deprived me of my copy of Tie Fighter after the disc got scratched. I'll take Steam over that any day.

Re:Great (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782816)

I was going to write a long involved comment on it but I think it's better put this way:

$22,733 - this is how much it would have cost me to buy what I have for my Xbox (including the cost of the xbox and accessories) had I not bought it used.

Somehow I don't think my $60/month budget for gaming would cover that... unless they wanted to wait 31 years. They've priced themselves out of their own market and rather than dropping prices so people can actually afford to buy the games new they're trying to impose a tax on the used market.

Re:Great (2)

NotBorg (829820) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782420)

Beyond the DRM bullshit (there really is no other word), the gaming industry is suffering from the Disney movie effect. They just keep making sequels or remaking the same. Newer Unreals were the same game as previous ones just with better graphics. It was no more exciting than Aladdin 23 or Parent Trap 9 (or what ever Disney is up to now). When the games differed in more than new graphics they added extra complexity to the game that just didn't add anything to the game play. Many argue that the playability of earlier Unreals was better. Yes the first Aladdin was great, but you can over do a thing. That's what the gaming industry has been doing for the past decade.

Again parallel with the movie industry... if you've seen a few popular 80's horror movies, you'll never need to see another. Same tricks with the music, lighting, creepy camera follows just with higher definition (Despite all the technological advances they still manage to somehow make it less realistic than the movies that were made 30 years ago. WTF?). The movies with an interesting story line have much more replay value.

You can incorporate every feature known to mankind in a game, but is it fun? No? Then those features don't mean anything. Classic side scrolling Nintendo games with a small fraction the bells and whistles can be just as much fun. Simple graphics, simple mechanics, but so much fun. It's not the nostalgia talking either. I think they worked harder on game play when equipment was much more limited in capabilities.

Maniadrive can be funner than the most advanced racing games with all the physics and graphics that cause the wimpy systems to bleed.

obvious misnomer (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781292)

obvious misnomer; more accurately be "U-Pay Passport." You don't pay, you don't play.

Re:obvious misnomer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782062)

I honestly read it as the "Uglay Passport" when I skimmed the summary.

Re:Great (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782024)

It's becoming easier and easier to shop for games every day.

Re:Great (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 3 years ago | (#36783530)

yea, they're doing great lately, firs i pre-purchase heroes VI to get access to the beta, woaw, then they postpone the release date for about six months, then when the beta comes you're left with like 3 measly maps to play with, now they pull this off ... most of my collection consists of second hand games so i guess i won't be playing second-hand ubisoft games then :)

Sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780592)

So on top of charging $59.99 for games, upwards of $50 to "enhance" your nerfed game through DLC, this too? I'm really starting to become disillusioned with the gaming industry.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781020)

You're paying $59.99 for used games? What are you, an Australian?

Re:Sigh (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782868)

probably Canadian... $70 new, $65 used at EB!

Re:Sigh (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781066)

You do know that it's free for new copies of games, right? It's only if you're buying a used copy do you get hit with that $10 fee for online access with that game.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781338)

Which immediately reduces the resale value of all games by $10.

Re:Sigh (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781710)

No, it's not. It's free for ONE PERSON who uses that new copy of the game. Let's say you you're underage and have siblings? Or you have a spouse who games? Or maybe you have roommates or live in a sort of "house of dudes"? Having to pay another $10 for each person to be allowed to play (not to mention, possibly charging separately for each piece of DLC *per person*, depending on the particular piece of DLC in question) is bullshit.

Imagine if you bought Monopoly at the store for $10. You set it out and got the game ready to play. And then you had to pay another $30 so the other three people could be allowed to play. Or maybe if your cable company charged you $500/mo for cable television, because there are four people in your household instead of just one person watching content. Or handing your spouse a copy of a book you just read and they have to pay another $30 to read it.

The problem with all of these companies and all of this nickel-and-dime-ing bullshit is that they're fucking over the primary customer. The customer who is WILLING TO PAY FULL PRICE FOR THEIR GAME IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Re:Sigh (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781836)

If you're gaming in a communal environment, for games like this, use a public sign-in for the whole house. Everyone's pleased. This isn't rocket science. I already do it myself between me and my wife, so I know that this does work. And no, they're not short-changing the primary customer. They're short-changing the secondary customer, and I honestly couldn't care less for the secondary customer as I don't buy used games nor sell the ones I have and have also planned ahead when the concept of DLC came to fruition.

Re:Sigh (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782252)

Though one of the other recent stories said that the public sign-in wouldn't work, IIRC.. Didn't it prevent you from restarting the game from the beginning, once you'd finished it?

Re:Sigh (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782280)

If it's a single GamerTag/PSN ID for the whole house, on one device in the living room, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Re:Sigh (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782360)

Re:Sigh (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782396)

That doesn't really apply here since you can't put gamesave data on a DVD/BD-ROM. It's read-only, after all.

Re:Sigh (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782598)

Yeah, but couldn't they do the same thing with a "save game slot" on the internal hard drive on the console, or "in the cloud"?

Sure, it'd probably be get-around-able in some way, but effectively, it seems like the same thing.

Re:Sigh (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782662)

With gamesaves on a local drive, I don't see that happening. With cloud stored gamesaves, I only see that possibly happening if the data is stored on the publisher's servers. Even with XBL moving so that a gamertag lives solely in the cloud, your data is still going to be on Microsoft's servers and rather difficult for a publisher to get their hands on and edit.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781222)

Why are you paying $110 on a used game? Are you a moron?

WHERE IS YOUR TICKET !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780596)

You can't hop this bandwagon without a ticket !!

Arts funding needs to extend to video games NOW (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780602)

Good games just aren't profitable enough.

Re:Arts funding needs to extend to video games NOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781918)

Oh, they are. But the publishers want a bigger slice of the pie. So they're acting in their short term interests, failing to see (or not caring, because the managers who make those decisions will be out the door in two years) how it's going to hurt them in the long run.

Re:Arts funding needs to extend to video games NOW (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782104)

As long as idiots pay the money the publishers will keep taking their cut. As long as customers keep saying "I don't like it, but I just got to have the game" then this will keep happening. As Liberace said, "I'm laughing all the way to the bank."

Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780608)

Thanks Ubisoft for clearly Identifying the games I will not be buying (or buying used) with a nice Ubisoft logo on the box!

That is all.....

Enhanced for who (1)

clutch110 (528473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780614)

Enhanced? What is it enhancing? What is this $10 buying besides a spot in their wallet and not mine. Thanks but no thanks.

Re:Enhanced for who (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781700)

That's the thing. If they were providing any value for the money it probably would work, but as it is they're taking away value unless you pay them $10.

There's all sorts of services they could provide that would be worth $10 to the consumer without costing them $10 to provide. And yet they go the lazy route and just raise prices on their games. Hardly as brazen as the 60% that Netflix managed, but it's still pretty insulting to suggest that they're entitled to something for nothing.

Mod me troll now, I guess. (2, Interesting)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780620)

Seriously, I think this is good - as long as it's clearly marked on the box/digital 'packaging' so that people can make informed choices, let them. They'll lose customers, they'll also gain revenue - and they (and the market) can decide in the end if the revenues gained from second-hand sales make up for the revenue lost in first-hand sales.

I think it will more than do so - most people are basically inconsiderate in the end. If they get their gameplay out of it, they're really not going to worry about what the second-hand purchaser is getting when they go to gamestop to make their trade-ins. I suspect we'll see the second hand games resellers lowering both their purchase and resale price for these games over time.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780698)

I think it will more than do so - most people are basically inconsiderate in the end. If they get their gameplay out of it, they're really not going to worry about what the second-hand purchaser is getting when they go to gamestop to make their trade-ins.

There's a selfish motive for not buying games you can't resell at a high price. If I buy a $50 and resell it at $30, I've only spent $20 in that transaction. If I buy a $50 game and can only resell it at $10, I've spent $40. In either case I get the same amount of entertainment out of the game, but I'm paying twice as much for the undesirable game.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780898)

However, in terms of enjoyment-per-hour, games are still remarkably cheap.

Still hard to beat the $0.99 Tiny Wings or Angry Birds, though.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782984)

I dunno, I think Angry Birds causes more frustration for people than enjoyment. No one believed me when I told them I'd beaten the original, Rio, and almost finished Seasons because most people find them so hard to complete the more challenging levels.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (2)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780716)

Seriously, I think this is good - as long as it's clearly marked on the box/digital 'packaging' so that people can make informed choices, let them.

How visible is this logo going to be on Ebay, Playtrade or any online marketplace. You can bet ebay sellers wont advertise the "you have to pay another $10" part.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (2)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780744)

That all makes sense. But take it a step further down the chain. "I suspect we'll see the second hand games resellers lowering both their purchase and resale price for these games over time." That means that people who buy the game new will get less for their trade-ins. Not everyone trades games in, but that will yield a lower average value to the new game since some proportion of the buyers counted on defraying the purchase price with a trade-in. That will yield lower sales and/or lower prices on new games that use Uplay. Ubisoft, retail stores, buyers, and resellers will all adjust their prices to the new equilibrium over time. The end result will be a sharper divide between used and new game prices, lower prices on both generally, greater purchaser choice (since the difference between used and new games is itself larger - that doesn't mean to say that in any particular instance the choice you prefer is still available), and greater user annoyance at needing to deal with the uplay system.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780764)

If the resale price goes down, then less people will be willing to buy the game new. As they will have less of that resale money to spend. They will lose customers and revenue. I now know to avoid them, but I don't buy games when they first come out anyway. On the other hand I do tend to buy the first version and the GOTY editions of really good games. I just wait until those products are available at the reasonable price or get them used. They need to realize they are not only competing with new games but with the last 20+ years worth of video games for my entertainment dollar. These antics are not going to make me more likely to spend my money with them.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780874)

Come on guys, it's only the price for two latté....

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781010)

Guys don't drink lattes. Not only is it a stupid measure of value, it is a product the MBA that came up with that idea drinks and not the end users.

Re:Mod me troll now, I guess. (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36784040)

If you drink latté - and write it like that - then you are an iPhone + iPad user, and only pay $0.99-$4.99 for your games anyway...

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780622)

Oh, thanks for the heads up guys. I'll go back to playing Minecraft / Dwarf Fortress / Some Other Indie Game now.

Uplay Passport-enhanced games * (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36780650)

* For certain unconventional definitions of "enhanced"

Re:Uplay Passport-enhanced games * (2)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780702)

"Enhanced" as in "enhanced interrogation".

Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780682)

Another attempt to kill the secondary market.

I'd say I'd stop buying Ubisoft games, but I have mostly stopped buying games except thru Steam anyway.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780734)

Another attempt to kill the secondary market.

I'd say I'd stop buying Ubisoft games, but I have mostly stopped buying games except thru Steam anyway.

Isn't steam the wet dream of those trying to kill the secondary market?

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780794)

It is, but it is a three edged sword. Used sales disappear, customers gain convenience, and as economic theory would suggest game prices are lower and must be to make up for lost value.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782220)

Except that prices don't really go down. They go down much faster in retail stores than in online stores. Eliminating the middle man of the retail stores just means they pocket the difference, they will not pass that on to the customers (well, Steam is a new middle man here too, taking their own cut). So I can get cheaper games retail AND give them away to a friend when I'm done (legally!) OR play the game a decade after the publisher has gone bankrupt.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36784050)

Prices sort of go down if you stick to only buying games on Steam when they are on sale at reduced prices.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (2)

DanTheStone (1212500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780806)

The nice thing about Steam is that everyone knows you have no resale, so (admittedly, sale) prices reflect that. Most people wouldn't care if they couldn't resell their console games if they sold for $15-20 instead of $60.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (2)

captjc (453680) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780902)

With a vow to never spend over $15 and some patience (maybe as long as a couple of years), there is no reason why you can't get any game on there for cheap as hell. Usually by waiting for a major holiday.

However, for non-sale prices, Amazon (new and used) is usually cheaper, sooner.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781302)

With a vow to never spend over $15 and some patience (maybe as long as a couple of years), there is no reason why you can't get any game on there for cheap as hell.

$15? I don't remember the last time I paid more than $5 for a game that was tied to Steam.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781726)

I rarely if ever will spend more than $5 on a game from Steam. The only exceptions have been when the alternative was buying from somebody I hated even more than Valve and didn't have the patience to wait for the price to drop to next to nothing. In practice that's happened like twice.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

JMJimmy (2036122) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782860)

I have the same deal with Xbox - my average price is $5.19 (excluding DLC). The highest price I'll pay for a game is $15 because they're so short and I usually only like about 20% of them.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782230)

I can not purchase a game from Steam, I can only rent a game from Steam. They retain full rights because of the DRM and my right to transfer ownership is denied.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781414)

Egg meet Chicken.

The reason console prices haven't dropped is in part because of the 'vibrant' secondary market. Steam proves that publishers are happy to drop prices with a captive audience.

The used games market on the consoles is bad for everyone. It artificially inflates retail prices and it denies publishers revenue and instead hands it to useless organizations like Gamestop.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782270)

This is backwards. If there are inexpensive second hand sales this will drive down the costs of the first-sale products to match. Games are cheaper on Steam only when they're older, and even then it seems to take much longer for games to fall into the $9.99 bargain bin prices on Steam than they do in a brick and mortar store. Competition should reduce costs overall, which is why publishers strive to eliminate competition so that they can keep the profits high.

The comparison though is hard to make because many titles on Steam that have DRM are unavailable elsewhere because they Valve prefers to have contracts with the developers that discourage alternate distribution methods. If you see a retail box of a game that is on Steam with DRM, you can be pretty sure that the boxed game will require Steam during installation.

Gamestop is not the only destination for second hand games. They may be the worst of them though as they sell games at nearly full price. There are places where you can get second hand games at a bargain, and you can even give games away for free to friends. Do not support DRMs and give up your rights just because you hate Gamestop.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782272)

console games if they sold for $15-20 instead of $60.

But a lot of them DO sell for that. Greatest Hits get down to the $20 level.. and as I mentioned in another thread, there's an Amazon sale of buy 2 get 1 free. There were some $20 or less games there too, so if you can find 3 you want, that's effectively $13.33/game.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36783924)

you can always sell your entire steam account. hah. as if you couldn't sell your wow accounts too.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (4, Insightful)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780816)

Steam doesn't allow a secondary market; that is true. But they make up for it by selling games much, much, cheaper than other retailers (I don't have figures, but I assume that their deeply discounted games greatly outsell the others). The ability to resell a game has a value to me. If you discount the new game by an amount greater than the amount of the resale value, I will happily prefer buying your cheaper, but non-resealable version. Go low enough and nobody cares about buying used either since nobody buys a used game because they prefer used to new; they buy used because it's cheaper. The losers are the stores that specialize in reselling used games since they can no longer profit off of arbitrage.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780946)

Steam has one of the highest prices I have EVER seen. They drop them not that often, so you can buy some older games for still full price. And well... each new one goes for around 50-60€, while local retailer will sell it for around 15-30€ - boxed! Even if Steam puts something on sale its still often more expensive than my local retailers, tho I must admit sometimes its cheaper or shipping costs and me having to watch for mail makes Steam a bit more convenient. But overall its very expensive, especially in countries where you don't earn 1500-2000€ minimal.

People actually raged in Poland when they heard that Starcraft 2 will be priced at 50€ at retail. That was just unheard of for a PC game, tho it had enough fans to make a sale.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

d4fseeker (1896770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780996)

Drop me a note when you find a "local retailer" offering new games for 30 bucks, I seem to only hit the overpriced ones, as does everybody I know.
Oh and fyi: I live in Luxembourg

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

paziek (1329929) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781166)

I figure that your retailers match their price to earnings of their customers, so it could be hard to find something as cheap as here. Problem with Steam is that (from what I can tell) they have the same price for everyone in Europe. If new games for PC would be priced at 50-60€ at retail in Poland, then almost no one would buy. There are people here who need to live out of 300€ a month, and families with 3+kids that have "just" 600€ in total. 30€ for a game is already a hefty price + hardware that costs the same as in west EU; if not more.
I would suggest trying amazon UK, recently I bought there Sins of Solar Empire and Gothic4 cheaper than anywhere I could find.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781446)

While you're correct, you're in a bit of an edge case (albeit a bit one) since you have to deal with that whole $1=1€ thing on steam.

The rest of us paying in USD generally get games cheaper on Steam.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782274)

Steam has bargain games, but retail stores have bargain bins. When you look at new games Steam is not selling at a bargain.

I have even gotten one of my only Steam games from a retail store _cheaper_ than Steam was selling it online!

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780842)

Yes, but they already have me hooked. Prices are low, selection is good...

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781336)

Granted, you lose the ability to sell your games, but you get a lot in return. Install on many machines, including at work, laptop, desktop, etc. You can only play one at a time, but thats ok, and fair within the idea of buying "a" game.

You can forget about losing the disk, or scratching it. Installing is pretty painless and reasonably quick. They have great sale prices if you shop a bit. You can still play games many years after you buy them (I'm playing games I bought in 99, ie: HL1, TFC, which was even before Steam).

One of the biggest plus is updates. Updating games used to be a fucking nightmare. Going to Planetwhatever.com and putting up with their endlessly stupid registration and begging you to get a paid subscription so you can "download now!", when the game makers should have been making it easier to download fixes to their own games. With Steam, it is automatic and you never have to think about it, they just stay updated. Steam auto defrags games, too. Steam has a GREAT interface to buy games, simple shopping, a few clicks and you are downloading and installing.

So Steam isn't perfect, but it is how I buy most of my games because I never sold them anyway, and Gabe really seems to care about gamers. They balance profitability and usability quite well to make a very good product that helps all game content creators make a profit, while not stomping all over end users. Seriously, it is by far the lesser of all available evils, and the real cost is the loss of selling your games, after you likely paid less for them on Steam than you would have in the store to begin with.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782294)

Steam isn't perfect true. It's also evil. DRM should be boycotted by anyone with a brain who does not want to give away their rights merely because they're drooling over a game. It's not as restrictive a DRM as some other places, but it is still DRM and they have control over the game you paid money for. They're not doing this to stop piracy, but to stop second hand sales which is a right you should have as a consumer. But most people don't care because they no longer think about owning a game anymore they just want to play it temporarily while it's still fashionable and then discard it, and Steam is perfect for this sort of rental model. Same way that people don't worry about DRM on blu-ray because they'd rather get the flashy new movie than worry about their rights.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782162)

Yes. It's sneaky, get people to object over "bad" DRM and have the cozy up to "good" DRM and even go so far as to defend the DRM. To some people Steam is convenient so they conveniently overlook the fact that their rights are being removed. As long as a publisher has a game that someone wants, you can make them jump over flaming hoops to get it.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780748)

I'd say I'd stop buying Ubisoft games, but I have mostly stopped buying games except thru Steam anyway.

Wait you'd stop buying ubisoft because they are trying to kill the 2ndary market, because you buy on steam where they already did?

Hell.. on steam... you can't even lend or give a game away, never mind resell it.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

DDLKermit007 (911046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780906)

I lend quite often. It's called I switch my password to something temporary to let a buddy play, or just signin once to their machine, download the game, and put the hack on to put Steam into permanent offline mode on their machine.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781232)

Gaming industry insider says, "THIS IS NOT LENDING!1!1!!! THIS IS STEALING!!! How am I supposed to feed my family with your friends stealing MY PROF1T!!"

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782092)

I lend quite often. It's called I switch my password to something temporary to let a buddy play...

This is in blatent violation of the Terms of Service you agreed to.

And while your buddy is playing an online game, you can't login. Even if you own 20 other multiplayer games and wish to play something that is not in use....

or just signin once to their machine, download the game, and put the hack on to put Steam into permanent offline mode on their machine.

Effectively cracking the system to let your friend play it. Why not just have your friend torrent a cracked copy? How is what you've done any better?

Plus this method ensures you can't lend someone an online game, and/or that the lendee can't do any multi-player.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782822)

That's ok, i couldn't care less about their TOS. Hell, my friend and I share a steam account (about 200 games now), and we just D/L the game, and the go into offline mode. Have never had a problem with it, and we get to share each others games. As for multiplayer, I never buy a single player game for the multiplayer aspects. That is what MMOs are for, they do much better at it. I am loving steam ever since i bought Half-Life 2 years ago. Many of the older games and MMOs dont even require steam to work. As for cracking it, hell yea. I usually pirate games first, then if i like it, I'll buy it (saved a lot of money on DNF and DS3 this way). Once i buy it, it's mine and i couldn't be bothered to care what the devs or publishers think of my cracking it at that point. Plus steam usually has less actual and less debilitating DRM than a physical copy

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#36783676)

you are right and Valve's ToS is draconian. It's new technology and no laws are in place for it yet, which I hope there will be soon. Until then I create a new account for each game that I buy, so I can easily sell or lend games to other people.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782302)

So you can give away a Steam game by cheating to get around Steam's rules. Seems to me that Steam has some restrictions in their model that you don't like.

I'd rather have a game that I can give away publicly without hacking or cheating the system.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (0)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782852)

And I would rather have ponies and be surrounded by buxom blondes, but we have deal with the system we have. DRM free games are a pipe dream, unless you don't mind only playing ancient games from GOG.com, or freeware, open source crap

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782962)

If Valve wanted to stop that they could make installing the game on multiple computers a massive pain in the ass. But they don't. I think they know that lending doesn't kill the market.

Re:Another attempt to kill the secondary market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781210)

Ah yes Steam, friend to the gaming community where they offer you wonderful daily deals like "Batman: Arkham Asylum" for the low, low price of $24.99 today only, an impulse best buy! Never mind the same game is available at amazon for $10.99 new, box, disk, and manual included. (check)

Hey, guys, remember the good days, like Mech2? (1)

He Who Has No Name (768306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780706)

Where they didn't have multiplayer done in time, so they released it as a standalone FOR FREE?

Yeah, I miss that too.

More like (1)

dosle (794546) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780708)

Ubisoft. They will be hard... on your wallet.

So what will the new excuse be? (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780796)

Most I have discussed this with have talked about this being their last "console generation" if even half of them follow through and go back to pc gaming how do you think the publishers are going to explain away lost sales. Back when I was still console gaming a few years ago I would occasionally buy used games and when good they usually enticed me to buy the next title when it was released. Most that I know that buy used do so because they aren't willing to pay $60 for a game so they wait until it hits a price point they feel comfortable playing and either buy used or new depending on what drops first. I dont see this doing much to raise revenues if anything I see it dropping initial revenues and then maybe if gamers attention spans last long enough increasing the sales when it hits bargain bins.

Re:So what will the new excuse be? (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780896)

"how do you think the publishers are going to explain away lost sales"

Piracy & hackers.

GTFO of my pocket! (1)

Tyr07 (2300912) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780860)

Seriously, do companies need to profit on everything we do? They're as bad as the government. Tax when you get paid, taxes on the things you bought, taxes on the money you give, taxes on money you save, taxes on property you own. A single dollar gets taxed for like 50% of it. Gaming companies are trying to do the same! Pay money when you buy the game(I support that) Pay money to keep playing it (I understand it, content updates, servers, you know, mmo stuff) but now money when you sell it to someone else? They have to pay to use it? You have to pay for items in game in a lot of games now too! 3rd parties need to back off, get their hands out of my pocket before I snap it off. I'm tired of all these third parties trying to get their grubby little hands in your wallet EVERY time you bring it out.

Newspeak (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36780930)

"Uplay Passport-enhanced games"

Or rather: Uplay Passport-crippled games.

fine by me (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781026)

I wont touch a ubisoft game because of their retarded DRM stunts
fuck sony
THQ? what do they make aside from crap wrestling and movie games, and the occasional total shit port to another system (road rash 64 pops to mind)

And yes EA I am still pissed that nearly 10 years ago I bought Tiger Woods Golf for my pretty new palm 5 (and it was a great game), but you stole from me around 6 months later. (there is a cd key but it does not work with the game, you go to a long dead website, enter that seed, and get the current key for your seed+date or something, so you could not use the same key over and over again, which I might add is a real pain in the ass on a device without persistent storage)

Hmm.... (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781082)

Whether this movement is a good thing depends on one major factor: the price of used games.

If, because used games have less value thanks to not being able to go online, resellers drop prices, then I actually like the idea a lot. For me, who doesn't give a shit about most multiplayer components in games, I'd much rather get a single player-only game for cheaper. Mark down the prices by ten bucks and let me decide whether I'll get the MP component or not. In fact, that kind of modularity would be nice even at retail. Maybe it'd show publishers that you don't need to cram a multiplayer mode in every damn game.

Now, if resellers don't drop prices, then they'll see a dearth of customers and the entire thing will suck. Let's hope they'll take the sensible approach.

Coming Soon... (1)

brim4brim (2343300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781088)

Uplay hacked and now redundant as using the hack is undetectable as they can't tell the legitimate from the illegitimate codes. Queue restart of used games market. It is kind of like having a stick with a carrot on the end of it except your stick can be hacked :P

Uplay Passport 'enhanced' (1)

PenquinCoder (1431871) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781204)

Enhanced for who??? CERTAINLY not the user.... Marketing ploys suck.

The Answer Is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36781376)

The Answer is Crowd-funded FOSS computer games and expansions. There are some wonderful projects on Kickstarter. If more people embraced this model then we wouldn't have to put up with any bullshit from the big software companies who only really care about making money.

Great! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781724)

The thing I love most about gaming is ENTERING FUCKING LONG CODES and dealing with complex registration and login bullshit (UBI and EA tend to be the most fucking convoluted).

This is a good thing... (2)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36781766)

I love that the big publishers are doing this. It alienates consumers and makes small indie products even more attractive.
Keep digging those graves, you greedy bastards!

Enhanced (3, Informative)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 3 years ago | (#36782026)

This word works great in other contexts as well:

Hurricane Katrina flooding = enhanced swimming.
9/11 = enhanced travel services.
rape = enhanced snuggling.
concentration camps = enhanced lodging.

Now of course I'm not comparing Ubisoft to the holocaust. That would be absurd. Ubisoft is worse than the holocaust.

Nice One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36782148)

Is it just me or did anyone else read this as "Ugly"?

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