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#1 Posted by MrCandleguy (822 posts) -


#2 Posted by MrCandleguy (822 posts) -

Since publishers or developers don't get any cut from the second hand game sales, but the only get the one sale at the start. is this better for them than piracy?

Where they get the one sale (or none if leaked) then people download and they have a chance to buy it? Most people I know pirate to test the game out first then buy it.

(also fuck gamestop)

#3 Posted by JaredA (827 posts) -

I would have to say piracy is worse. At least with second-hand sales they got a sale originally.

I don't know. I'm probably wrong.

#4 Posted by MrCandleguy (822 posts) -

@JaredA: I'm just very curious. There can easily be made a argument for both sides. At least for piracy there is a CHANCE of more sales, obviously most people don't buy it. But with second hand game sales, there is a sure fire way you'll get a single sale. But i'm on the side of help the industry! Buy games!

#5 Edited by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

neither group are customers of the publishers. so i guess both are just as bad interms of lost revenue.

but pirates are parasites though and have no defence or excuse and people buying used games are just gamers on a budget.

#6 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4735 posts) -

Piracy. With all the fucking DLC and online passes out there these days, if someone buys a 2nd hand copy of a game, chances are the publisher is still gonna manage to get something out of 'em

#7 Posted by BeachThunder (12283 posts) -

Second-hand game sales. It's hard to ever say that a pirated game is a lost sale, since the person never paid for the game; however, with a second-hand game, the person buying the game actually pays, suggesting they're willing to spend money on the game, thus making a stronger argument that their purchase was likely a lost sale for the publisher.

#8 Posted by Liber (648 posts) -

When someone pirates a game, there's a slight chance that person will buy the game if he liked it.

When someone buys a used copy, that person will not buy the game again for a full price.

You do the math.

#9 Posted by YoThatLimp (1931 posts) -

@MrCandleguy said:

@JaredA: I'm just very curious. There can easily be made a argument for both sides. At least for piracy there is a CHANCE of more sales, obviously most people don't buy it. But with second hand game sales, there is a sure fire way you'll get a single sale. But i'm on the side of help the industry! Buy games!

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I would say Piracy is worse as it never guarantees a sale. Used copies are usually bought months after release and that disc did not cost the publisher anything to make so they have already squeezed their money out of it.

#10 Posted by Dad_Is_A_Zombie (1225 posts) -

@JaredA said:

I would have to say piracy is worse. At least with second-hand sales they got a sale originally. I don't know. I'm probably wrong.

You're not wrong. In fact you're exactly right. Publishers have a legitimate beef with piracy. Piracy is nothing more than a romantic way of saying theft. Their problem with second hand sales on the other hand, is merely greed on their part to profit again on something they have already been paid for.

#11 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

I think losing a definite paying customer is worse than losing only a potential paying customer.

#12 Posted by GS_Dan (1406 posts) -

Both are kind of shitty from the publisher/developer side of things, but second-hand is probably worse.

#13 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1262 posts) -

Piracy because the publishers get no money at all from it.

#14 Posted by Vextroid (1425 posts) -

I was going to say both equally, as If someone pirates a copy or buys one used, the publisher doesn't get a sale, but then this exact thought crossed my mind:

@BabyChooChoo said:

Piracy. With all the fucking DLC and online passes out there these days, if someone buys a 2nd hand copy of a game, chances are the publisher is still gonna manage to get something out of 'em

Someone who pirated the game will pirate the DLC (as they most likely wont be able to access the required network for said DLC) where as someone who purchased pre-owned may by the DLC for a game such as an online-pass.

Bought a used copy of Gears 2 and bought the Dark Corners DLC months later.

But I choose C. DRM nice way to drive off sales / drive to piracy.

#15 Posted by DeF (4955 posts) -

piracy = they get nothing zero nada zip, little potential for "pirate" to turn into legit customer soon.

2nd hand used sales = they got the initial sale and might still get legit DLC sales afterwards AND might get a regular sale for future stuff

->> piracy = worse.

#16 Posted by Raven10 (1887 posts) -

I would say piracy is worse since like others said there is still a chance a publisher will get money off of DLC or an online pass from a secondhand sale, while there is very little chance of this if the game is pirated. The number of pirated downloads that turn into actual sales is very small, and the pirate may go ahead and buy a used copy anyways. At least with the used copy the publisher can say that they at least have a chance of getting some money out of the consumer.

#17 Posted by swfcfan (264 posts) -

If I buy a traded game I may still buy DLC for it. And sometimes I trade in games to be able to afford new releases.

But none of this will matter in the next 10 years anyway because all games will be downloaded and require "top ups" to get extra game time or they will be played via streaming services similar to how Onlive works.

YOU WILL NOT OWN YOUR GAMES,MOVIES OR MUSIC IN THE FUTURE, YOU WILL ONLY RENT OR STREAM THEM!

#18 Posted by Brodehouse (10106 posts) -

@swfcfan: No, it's more likely it plays out like Steam. You won't 'own' the data, you'll own a license that entitles you to the data, all connected to an account. Look at the way XBLA games work, they're tied to your account, you can download them to as many boxes and as many times as you want, but you have to have your account there. The data isn't the purchase, it's the license.

I'd immediately say piracy, but it stands to reason that used sales are more numerous and widespread. Especially on consoles where piracy is somewhat negated, used sales account for a much larger percentage of 'money lost' to players who don't pay the actual publishers and developers a dime.

#19 Posted by Keen314 (76 posts) -

I can't vote for either option because the effects of both of these are so overblown by the publishers. I think the publishers would be better-served by being more pragmatic, and ignoring piracy and used game sales. Stop harping on Gamestop, the publishers haven't had any issue with them for all the past console generations. Stop wrapping every game in new, increasingly-obnoxious forms of DRM. Instead, focus on making fewer, higher-quality games and reaping the benefits of being more consumer-friendly.

#20 Posted by Sackmanjones (4781 posts) -

I said second hand game sales. Not everyone knows how to pirate a video game but anybody could go to GameStop and buy a used game. For older games I don't think second hand games are too bad but for new ones it really hurts

#21 Posted by DarthOrange (3878 posts) -

Piracy is worse for them. At least with second hand sales they make money on any dlc the person buys. The pirate will steal the dlc too.

#22 Posted by kurtbro900 (117 posts) -

Piracy is one person getting the game and then giving it out for free to (potentially) 1000's of people. Second hand is one person getting the game, returning it, and one other person getting it.

So piracy.

#23 Posted by ThePhantomnaut (6201 posts) -

People not buying the game is worse even if piracy has connections.

#24 Posted by Morrow (1829 posts) -

@Dad_Is_A_Zombie said:

@JaredA said:

I would have to say piracy is worse. At least with second-hand sales they got a sale originally. I don't know. I'm probably wrong.

You're not wrong. In fact you're exactly right. Publishers have a legitimate beef with piracy. Piracy is nothing more than a romantic way of saying theft. Their problem with second hand sales on the other hand, is merely greed on their part to profit again on something they have already been paid for.

True. While they were the ones 'making the product', all kinds of customers try to buy what they want for the lowest price. If the publishers want to profit more from the game, even months after it's release, they should be more willing to take price drops into account.

I mean, games aren't the only articles which are re-sold. Buyers of all kinds of things can re-sell them used if they want to. Just look at Ebay.

#25 Posted by usgrovers (166 posts) -

I suppose piracy is the best choice of the two you offered. However, there needs to be a third option: their own anti-consumer practices. The effects of second-hand sales are vastly overblown by people who have a financial interest in controlling how we purchase games. Limiting consumer choice will not be better for gamers in the long run.

#26 Posted by Jay444111 (2441 posts) -

@Bell_End said:

neither group are customers of the publishers. so i guess both are just as bad interms of lost revenue.

but pirates are parasites though and have no defence or excuse and people buying used games are just gamers on a budget.

But what about when a game is totally unavailable? Like Earthbound?

Also, Piracy is more evil, anyone that has voted for second hand knows nothing of this.

#27 Posted by Barrock (3551 posts) -

Piracy because they never get paid for that. Second hand, at least they get paid for the first copy.

#28 Posted by Arker101 (1474 posts) -

I'm not too incredibly informed on the matter, but I assume that piracy hurts publishers worse then used sales. The pirates know how to get everything for free, whereas the "second handers" have to buy a game that has already been bought, and might buy DLC for that game.

I think publishers are hurting the consumers and second handers far more then they are hurting the pirates.

#29 Edited by believer258 (12084 posts) -

Second hand game sales aren't it. I'll never get how that became a legitimate issue. They couldn't get money from the pirates, so they started bitching about people buying second hand games, when pretty much every other market out there (besides food) has second hand sales. Where the hell are the music producers and the movie distributors who complain about secondhand sales of their things? Oh right - their new prices are somewhat reasonable.

Now, I know I've just stepped into a pool of horseshit, so let me just say it: I know that games are pretty expensive to make and don't sell quite as many units as some movies do. Still, do games really need to be $60 a pop to make money? I'd think that $40 per game would be a great and fair price, and they could sell tons more at that price point. Then, they wouldn't have to worry about used games because suddenly more people can afford new games in the first place.

Used games and piracy are always going to exist, but the games industry wouldn't have as much to bitch about when it comes to money if they would bite the fucking bullet and learn that by serving the customer properly, you serve yourself. See: Valve and their Steam service.

#30 Edited by Hitchenson (4682 posts) -

Second hand game sales. Once someone buys a pre-owned game they won't buy that same game again but new. Whereas someone who pirates a game might then decide to buy the game. This is ignoring the fact that they made a sale off the pre-owned copy already, because that's not a pre-owned game sale.

Pre-owned sales are fine though, fuck devs/pubs for getting mad with what people do with their possessions. If someone wants to sell a game, sell it and if someone wants to get a game on the cheap, good for them.

#31 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1595 posts) -

Piracy is worse because there's little-to-no chance that the person pirating will spend any money on the game, while someone who buys a used game might go ahead and fork over money for DLC or an Online Pass.

#32 Posted by AlexW00d (6386 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

Piracy is worse because there's little-to-no chance that the person pirating will spend any money on the game, while someone who buys a used game might go ahead and fork over money for DLC or an Online Pass.

I know more people who have pirated a game to try it and have bought it due to it than people who will buy a game second hand and then buy DLC for it.

Online
#33 Edited by PenguinDust (12600 posts) -

Second hand sales can actually be beneficial since they can create excitement for later installments in the game franchise for the paying audience. An uncertain customer can buy a used game, enjoy it enough to buy the sequel new later on because their experience was so positive the first time around. Additionally, some consumers are willing to take a chance on an unknown IP with the understanding that they can return that game for credit later. That sale might not happen otherwise.

#34 Posted by HarlequinRiot (1098 posts) -

While they make money on the original sale, I feel like the amount of people that buy used games causes them to lose more than piracy.

#35 Posted by Fish_Face_McGee (475 posts) -

Piracy. With used sales there's a clear opportunity for that person to want to buy the sequel new (assuming the opportunity is there). With pirates, that chance is slim to none.

#36 Posted by EXTomar (4917 posts) -

Both Piracy and Second Hand Market are both reflections of the misalignment of the general market. Basically a lot of games aren't worth $60 and have a life span too brief to justify it.

#37 Posted by Ace829 (2083 posts) -

How about the publishers themselves?

#38 Edited by SethPhotopoulos (5364 posts) -

You can trade in used games for new games and stuff like that. Some pirates may buy the game later if they like it enough but that is kind of dirty. If you are gonna pirate just do it and shut up. Don't try to justify getting an experience for free from an illegal channel while others payed for it.

#39 Posted by allworkandlowpay (874 posts) -

Piracy is worse because there is no avenue in regaining funds. If game publishers weren't such big flopping pussies, they could get their money from second hand game sales. The film industry already gets money from second hand movie sales, this isn't something unprecedented. All Activision or EA needs to do is wait just a few weeks before a major title release, let's say for example Madden 2013. Then they threaten Gamestop -- if you don't agree to give us 15-20% of all duly deserved used sales revenue, you won't get Madden 2013. I bet Gamestop will cave pretty quickly.

#40 Posted by JJOR64 (19048 posts) -

Piracy. People can buy used games, but still can purchase DLC.

#41 Posted by SmilingPig (1340 posts) -

Second Hand Game sales buy far since they have no real tool to fight it.

#42 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I would say piracy.

My argument here doesn't have anything to do with ethics, because I don't really want to dive into that pool right now. Nor does it take into account benefits of each thing, like expanding your user-base, because I don't want to deal with that, either.

It does make two really big assumptions, though. The first is that is that you have to support every user of your product, legitimate or otherwise. This support can take many forms, such as forums, support desks, and for things distributed digitally, bandwidth. As a publisher, you have to pay for this. And if you're going to treat every customer right, you're not going to put painful DRM measures in front of them. You're going to treat the customer like a customer, and not like a thief. That's assumption number two.

Through second-hand sales, you are guaranteed that for every copy of your game out there, there is at most one user. That's one user you have to support per license. Maybe you didn't get paid when the license switched hands, but it's always, at most, in one pair of hands. With pirated copies, you can't make that same claim. There can be x users for every single legitimate license. So, x users per license. Imagine what happens when one pirate decides to distribute a copy of your game to a hundred different people. That's a hundred more people you have to support.

Piracy does have hidden costs. My argument here is that if you're doing the "right" thing as a publisher, and that's treating the customer like an actual customer, then those costs are going to hit you harder through piracy than through second-hand copies.

#43 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1811 posts) -

Sales are more likely to be negatively affected from piracy. You have to go to a place (whether virtual or actual) that sells video games to buy a used game, and this will potentially get eyes on some advertising for the new hotness.

Also, pay for the things you enjoy. With things like the Humble Indie Bundle, Steam sales and the like being poor is no longer an excuse for piracy. At least in the United States...

#44 Posted by crusader8463 (14426 posts) -

They are the exact same thing as far as the publishers are concerned.

#45 Posted by AnimalFather (800 posts) -

2nd hand, the pirates were never going to buy the game to begin with but the 2nd hand people could have bought it new.

#46 Posted by haffy (673 posts) -

Since Portal 2 sold more on PC than consoles, I think second hand games do. If piracy was such an issue, console version would easily outsell, considering it's easier to pirate PC games than console.

It's hard to tell how many people actually pirate compared to buy used games as well. For every pirate copy of a game, there may be 5 times more second hand copies bought or vice versa.

Also. Fuck the retarded console marketing prices. It's daft how every game starts at £40, even though a majority of them are worth much less. Witcher 2 at release on steam was £35. Prototype 2 at retail on console £40, makes absolutely no sense.

#47 Posted by mordukai (7179 posts) -

None of the above. The biggest threat to publisher have and always will be themselves.

#48 Posted by Keen314 (76 posts) -

@allworkandlowpay said:

The film industry already gets money from second hand movie sales, this isn't something unprecedented.

Sorry, I don't understand this. The film industry gets nothing when I sell one of the DVDs/blu-rays I own.

#49 Posted by Totori (559 posts) -
@DeF said:

piracy = they get nothing zero nada zip, little potential for "pirate" to turn into legit customer soon.

2nd hand used sales = they got the initial sale and might still get legit DLC sales afterwards AND might get a regular sale for future stuff

->> piracy = worse.

this
#50 Posted by artgarcrunkle (970 posts) -

Piracy, I guess. Both are just convenient boogeymen for publishers to justify anti-consumer behavior and ignore the harm they do to themselves.