#51 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@Example1013: Well everyone seems the think there freedom is just a given  
#52 Edited by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

  • For 1000 used copies to exist, there must have been at least 1000 new copies sold. There must have been at least 1000 transactions from which the publisher could make a profit.
  • For 1000 pirated copies to exist, there must have been at least 1 (/0) new copies sold. There must have been at least 1 (/0) transactions from which the publisher could make a profit.

Very true. But it's only 1 side of the coin.

To only look at one sale in isolation and dismiss the history of the copy involved (as publishers and certain commenters are wont to do) is to be deliberately ignorant of what seperates these two practices.

Let's take a look at a broader picture like you suggest, the net loss to the developer.

Say a game sells a modest 1,000,000 new copies on both PS3 and 360 combined (500k per). What do you think would be a fair for PC sales 100,000 ?

  • we have 1mil console copies, now let's say they were only resold once. (some will be resold many times, but some will not be resold at all, considering M. Pachter's 1/3rd of market estimate and lower sale price per unit, it seems close)
  • we have 1mil used saled
  • the game was pirated on the PC 10x as much as it was sold (seems a bit harsh, but to make a point)
  • we have 1mil pirated copies
  • the publisher could not make a profit on aprox 1 million transactions in both cases

Now obviously the numbers are highly highly speculative. This is only to put things into rough perspective. A publisher is loosing more $ in sales to piracy, or the reverse. But in terms of the "the big picture" publishers are loosing a relatively significant amount of money to used sales comparable to piracy. So if per transaction a used sale is no different then a pirated copy to a publisher (which you don't seem to disagree with). And overall used sales are costing them a significant enough chunk of money to be a concern on par with piracy. Seems to me like on both levels (per transaction and net effect) to the publisher there is little difference.

This leads to people parroting stupid things like 'used games are just legalised piracy' and 'the only difference is legal'.

I was not saying this at all. You were the first to bring illegality into this as a differentiating factor.

It's not just a legal difference: the used market by definition -even at its absolute worst- still implies a comparatively sizeable new market and an opportunity for the publisher to make money on every copy created. Even if somebody only buys used games, at least they know that every single copy they buy is a copy that, at some point, the publisher had a chance to make money on and thereby sustain themselves and the industry. The same cannot be said for those who have chosen to pirate games, which is what makes the difference between choosing to buy used and choosing to pirate not only legal but also moral.

What makes it legal vs. not legal as I have already pointed out is the fact that during piracy a new copy of someone elses IP is made. This isn't personal opinion. This is the legal differentiator.

As for morality. Morality is personal/public opinion. To me and to you buying a used copy is moral and pirating a copy is less so. I was never trying or even attempting to argue that.

My only equating of the 2 had to do with the publishers perspective.

#53 Posted by evanbower (1210 posts) -

It really is a strange problem because it seems like most industries can handle a used market because it they are sustained by enthusiasts who make an effort to buy new. Let it be known, I loath Gamestop, and they certainly deserve blame..but lets not forget, none of our money goes directly to the publishers. The best we can do is give our money to a game retailer to show them the game is worth having in stock, so they can order more, and give their money directly to the publishers. So the real issue is that Gamestop doesn't need to order more copies because their inventory is replenished by copies they've already sold. What I'm not sure of is if all the blame should fall on Gamestop for exploiting this, or on the publishers and console makers for having a fixed (and expensive) pricing structure that can be so easily exploited.Of course no matter what the price point, a used copy will always be cheaper. But I can't help but think some of the Gamestop hate could be directed toward publishers for not finding the right price point for their audience.

#54 Edited by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

@Example1013 said:

I'm glad kids these days are being brought up with such blatant disregard for established common laws that protect them as consumers. I can't possibly think of any way relinquishing Right of First Sale could end poorly for consumers. This is another one of those times I'm glad we don't live in a democracy.

You can sell your used disks all you want, no one is denying you that. Your right of first sale is not being impuned in any way.

#55 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@Tennmuerti:  Well other then the publishers and developers who want nothing more than to do just that you mean .
#56 Posted by LOTR_Dan (61 posts) -

PS: Also I find your Isaac Asimov quote usage disgusting.
#57 Posted by SoldierG654342 (1726 posts) -

The greatest fallacy in economics is that everyone is bound by rational thought processes.

#58 Posted by Lemi (16 posts) -

@Enigma777: That's.... a really good post. I think a lot of people in the gaming industry (especially on the Dev side) are bad at expressing what they mean when they rant against used game sales. If you actually confront them about it you usually end up with them specifically ranting against coorperations like Gamestop and not against used game sales between privates or small buisnesses.

#59 Posted by Demoskinos (14519 posts) -

I look at it this way. As a consumer you have every right to sell any game you legally obtained and also try to find ways to legally purchase games for cheap. People have limited incomes and games are expensive. I get that. What I also get is that games are also expensive to make and that most times unless your a Call of Duty or Halo most games barely break even if they even see a profit. I think the developers have an equal right to try to convince you to buy new games instead of used games. In many cases there are weeks between the pressing of discs and the release date and it only makes sense for the developers to start working on post game content during that time. As the final build of the game is out of their hands.

Lets get rid of another falicy just because something is "on the disk" doesn't mean you own it. You purchase a licence to play whatever game you buy that product description of what your buying with your $60 is up to the discretion of the developer. You have an equal right not to buy it from them if you so choose but if you don't or buy it used complaining about not getting content that was designed to reward people who supported the developers by buying new is a pretty sad thing.

#60 Edited by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@Example1013 said:

I'm glad kids these days are being brought up with such blatant disregard for established common laws that protect them as consumers. I can't possibly think of any way relinquishing Right of First Sale could end poorly for consumers. This is another one of those times I'm glad we don't live in a democracy.

You can sell your used disks all you want, no one is denying you that. Your right of first sale is not being impuned in any way.

@darkdragonmage99 said:

@Tennmuerti: Well other then the publishers and developers who want nothing more than to do just that you mean .

Yeah, seriously. How can you argue that online passes and the like are not specifically designed to devalue my game after I purchase it? Getting an online pass that only I can use intrinsically makes it less valuable to the person I am attempting to sell it to, because ultimately they're going to have to pay at least another $10 on top of what they pay me. That makes my thing worth less.

And to all the people arguing "Yeah well fuck Gamestop and EB Games!", you know this isn't about them, right? This is about you and I, and what we are allowed to do with the things we buy. As a consumer, it's my right to decide if I want to pay much less to get it used (you guys know that Gamestop isn't the only way to get used shit, right?) or buy it new day one. just as it's my right to decide whether or not I want to keep something or sell it to someone else. I should be allowed that right and fuck you people for trying to take it away from me. And really, the whole "but publishers don't get money from used sales" is such a bullshit false flag argument anyway. You know how the publisher gets money? If either a) someone buys DLC for the game (and guess what, people who buy used copies do that too), or b) if a ton of people buy the game new when it's out for full price. Because that's how they make their money - by selling shipments of a product to stores. If you wait for a game to get cheaper before buying it, that usually means that shipment didn't sell and the store is trying to get rid of it to make space and possibly get some money out of it, and is a losing venture. Basically, you're no better than anyone who gets a used copy and you're probably a hypocrite.

#61 Posted by PixelPrinny (1030 posts) -

What I do with a product after I purchase it is my business. If I want to sell it to a store, or sell it on ebay, or sell it at a garage sale, or throw it in the trash, is up to me and the publisher should have no say in that decision.

No other medium has a problem with this -- from books, to cars, to electronics, to collectibles -- there are healthy used markets for all of them.

If the big publishers want a bigger piece of the pie they may want to take notes on how the car companies do it -- Run their own used goods stores, offering more for a trade in than the current competitors in the market do while gently guiding consumers into putting that money back into their own products.

#62 Posted by jozzy (2041 posts) -

@Tidel said:

In 2009, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter reported that used game sales generate roughly $2 billion in annual revenue, and used games accounted for one-third of all game sales in a given year.

Wow, article from june 2009, that's a great way to start your argument. You are saying that not a ton has changed in two and a half years? Newsflash, it has.

There is no other industry where the primairy retailers of a product use 80% of their storespace for used products instead of new products, and I personally don't think it is healthy at all. But like others have said, those retailers are all slowly but steadily going down the crapper and digital downloads will become bigger and bigger so the issue will resolve itself.

#63 Posted by Lemi (16 posts) -

Of course this is about them too. Their the main source for this debate to even exist to this extent. Otherwise there would maybe a few publishers/whatever ranting but it wouldn't be much more of a deal than it was before and devs themselves probably wouldn't care one bit.

Their the third party that is laughing at the whole thing while proffetering all over.

#64 Posted by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

@Tennmuerti said:

@Example1013 said:

I'm glad kids these days are being brought up with such blatant disregard for established common laws that protect them as consumers. I can't possibly think of any way relinquishing Right of First Sale could end poorly for consumers. This is another one of those times I'm glad we don't live in a democracy.

You can sell your used disks all you want, no one is denying you that. Your right of first sale is not being impuned in any way.

@darkdragonmage99 said:

@Tennmuerti: Well other then the publishers and developers who want nothing more than to do just that you mean .

Yeah, seriously. How can you argue that online passes and the like are not specifically designed to devalue my game after I purchase it? Getting an online pass that only I can use intrinsically makes it less valuable to the person I am attempting to sell it to, because ultimately they're going to have to pay at least another $10 on top of what they pay me. That makes my thing worth less.

I'm not saying that. I know very well they are designed to do so.

And when you buy a second hand car or clothes, they are also devalued. The person who bought that second hand car from you will have to pay more money for it's upkeep then they would have if they bought a new car. It just happens more naturally (or even artificially for some products if you believe in rummor mills of companies making their products not last on purpose) to other products. Games are on a different cycle, the resale time is incredibly fast compared to other goods, so the manufacturers (publishers) are introducing their own further devaluation.

#65 Posted by Lemi (16 posts) -

I mean

-They don't really have to fear that a major right like used games get banned. (It won't as much as people here fear)

-Gamer's defend them.

-And Publishers/Devs can't openly rant against them since they need Gamestop and so on to advertisise their products. So, they rant against the entire maket instead.

#66 Posted by Commisar123 (1790 posts) -

@MB said:

This entire argument will soon be moot with a fully digital video game space looming just years away.

This is certainly the future I see. I understand used games sales from both sides, but I really don't care. I buy the cheapest version of a game I can unless there is a reason not too.

#67 Posted by Tidel (360 posts) -

I should have posted this when I had more time to respond (maybe not 3 in the morning), but I think the best thing I can add is that I really appreciate the discussion this is generating and it is widening my perspective on this issue a lot.

#68 Posted by Jimbo (9769 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@Jimbo said:

  • For 1000 used copies to exist, there must have been at least 1000 new copies sold. There must have been at least 1000 transactions from which the publisher could make a profit.
  • For 1000 pirated copies to exist, there must have been at least 1 (/0) new copies sold. There must have been at least 1 (/0) transactions from which the publisher could make a profit.

Very true. But it's only 1 side of the coin.

To only look at one sale in isolation and dismiss the history of the copy involved (as publishers and certain commenters are wont to do) is to be deliberately ignorant of what seperates these two practices.

Let's take a look at a broader picture like you suggest, the net loss to the developer.

Say a game sells a modest 1,000,000 new copies on both PS3 and 360 combined (500k per). What do you think would be a fair for PC sales 100,000 ?

  • we have 1mil console copies, now let's say they were only resold once. (some will be resold many times, but some will not be resold at all, considering M. Pachter's 1/3rd of market estimate and lower sale price per unit, it seems close)
  • we have 1mil used saled
  • the game was pirated on the PC 10x as much as it was sold (seems a bit harsh, but to make a point)
  • we have 1mil pirated copies
  • the publisher could not make a profit on aprox 1 million transactions in both cases

Now obviously the numbers are highly highly speculative. This is only to put things into rough perspective. A publisher is loosing more $ in sales to piracy, or the reverse. But in terms of the "the big picture" publishers are loosing a relatively significant amount of money to used sales comparable to piracy. So if per transaction a used sale is no different then a pirated copy to a publisher (which you don't seem to disagree with). And overall used sales are costing them a significant enough chunk of money to be a concern on par with piracy. Seems to me like on both levels (per transaction and net effect) to the publisher there is little difference.

The point is, whatever hypothetical numbers you come up with, you can double the number of copies available in your hypothetical pirate market without the company making a single extra dollar. To double the number of copies available in your hypothetical used market you have to (at least) double new sales to do it.

They look at piracy and correctly see a practice which could potentially kill an entire market (like it killed AAA PC exclusives). A used market can't do that, however bad it gets, because a new market is always a prerequisite for it. A larger used market necessitates a larger new market to supply it in the first place. A larger piracy 'market' does not, because supply is unlimited. Used gaming isn't a threat to them, they just see getting rid of it as an opportunity to make even more money (money they aren't entitled to).

A used sale and a pirate copy are only no different 'per transaction' if the observer is not prepared to consider the history of the game copy involved. One of them has at some point made the publisher money and the other hasn't. It's a pretty important difference. When you then consider that this is true for every transaction - every single used copy is a copy that once made them money - and consider those transactions added together, then it should be obvious why an individual used sale is not the same as an individual act of piracy. If they're different when they're added together then they can't be 'no different' 'per transaction', unless you're ignoring something important (the history of the copy involved). So if that is how the publishers see it 'per transaction' then they're wrong.

In short: if 1000u = some dollars and 1000p = no dollars then u != p.

#69 Posted by TheHBK (5458 posts) -

I say fuck publishers and developers with these online passes. This shit would not be such a problem if games didn't cost so much in the first place. They cost so much because most games are going to be failures because they suck. And 60 dollar sale of MW3 or Skyrim covers the cost of other crappy ass games losing money. Look at THQ, the Udraw failed so much and things would have been worse if Saints Row wasn't there to cover it up a bit.

#70 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@iAmJohn said:

@Tennmuerti said:

@Example1013 said:

I'm glad kids these days are being brought up with such blatant disregard for established common laws that protect them as consumers. I can't possibly think of any way relinquishing Right of First Sale could end poorly for consumers. This is another one of those times I'm glad we don't live in a democracy.

You can sell your used disks all you want, no one is denying you that. Your right of first sale is not being impuned in any way.

@darkdragonmage99 said:

@Tennmuerti: Well other then the publishers and developers who want nothing more than to do just that you mean .

Yeah, seriously. How can you argue that online passes and the like are not specifically designed to devalue my game after I purchase it? Getting an online pass that only I can use intrinsically makes it less valuable to the person I am attempting to sell it to, because ultimately they're going to have to pay at least another $10 on top of what they pay me. That makes my thing worth less.

I'm not saying that. I know very well they are designed to do so.

And when you buy a second hand car or clothes, they are also devalued. The person who bought that second hand car from you will have to pay more money for it's upkeep then they would have if they bought a new car. It just happens more naturally (or even artificially for some products if you believe in rummor mills of companies making their products not last on purpose) to other products. Games are on a different cycle, the resale time is incredibly fast compared to other goods, so the manufacturers (publishers) are introducing their own further devaluation.

And I'm not supposed to look at that and say "fuck you, you pieces of shit are devaluing my game and I don't appreciate that"? As others have said before me, other businesses have been able to thrive in spite of their being a heavy used contingent. Why is it that with games, suddenly people who want to buy it used are the villains, and the publishers who are stripping away the rights of consumers because they know that ultimately we just want to play the game so we'll put up with it are somehow the heroes? Online passes are a war against consumer rights and deserve to be treated as such.

@TheHBK said:

I say fuck publishers and developers with these online passes. This shit would not be such a problem if games didn't cost so much in the first place. They cost so much because most games are going to be failures because they suck. And 60 dollar sale of MW3 or Skyrim covers the cost of other crappy ass games losing money. Look at THQ, the Udraw failed so much and things would have been worse if Saints Row wasn't there to cover it up a bit.

Also this.

#71 Posted by Klei (1768 posts) -

What's so fucking hard to understand?

If you buy your games used, you give the profit to GameStop and stores of that nature, which in return, makes gaming companies angry and forces them to adopt a defensive position; online passes and DLC. At least, when you pirate, you don't fund GameStop, which is the lesser of the two evils. I'm not saying pirating is good, but it's definitely better than the moron who purchase a game for 54,99 instead of 59,99 thinking it's some kind of deal. If you're anal about five bucks, you probably shouldn't buy games altogether.

As a die hard gamer and avid customer, I'm not for online passes, but i'm not against them either. I'm actually on the developers' side and I encourage them to do whatever they can to hamstring second-hand gaming business.

#72 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

People that pirate things are fucking scum no matter how much they try to justify it. Plain and simple.

#73 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@Klei said:

What's so fucking hard to understand?

If you buy your games used, you give the profit to GameStop and stores of that nature, which in return, makes gaming companies angry and forces them to adopt a defensive position; online passes and DLC. At least, when you pirate, you don't fund GameStop, which is the lesser of the two evils. I'm not saying pirating is good, but it's definitely better than the moron who purchase a game for 54,99 instead of 59,99 thinking it's some kind of deal. If you're anal about five bucks, you probably shouldn't buy games altogether.

As a die hard gamer and avid customer, I'm not for online passes, but i'm not against them either. I'm actually on the developers' side and I encourage them to do whatever they can to hamstring second-hand gaming business.

And again, because Gamestop is the only place to get used games, right? Stop being so myopic. Also, lol at suggesting piracy, where infinite people can trade infinite copies that only one person (if anyone) paid for, is somehow preferable to the used model where one person has access to one copy of a game.

#74 Edited by Klei (1768 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

@Klei said:

What's so fucking hard to understand?

If you buy your games used, you give the profit to GameStop and stores of that nature, which in return, makes gaming companies angry and forces them to adopt a defensive position; online passes and DLC. At least, when you pirate, you don't fund GameStop, which is the lesser of the two evils. I'm not saying pirating is good, but it's definitely better than the moron who purchase a game for 54,99 instead of 59,99 thinking it's some kind of deal. If you're anal about five bucks, you probably shouldn't buy games altogether.

As a die hard gamer and avid customer, I'm not for online passes, but i'm not against them either. I'm actually on the developers' side and I encourage them to do whatever they can to hamstring second-hand gaming business.

And again, because Gamestop is the only place to get used games, right? Stop being so myopic.

What are you talking about? Did you even read my post? I said '' GameStop and stores of that nature''. I'm not being myopic. And no, I'm not encouraging piracy, I'm just stating the lesser evil of the two. I'm just stating the cold, hard truth. If you buy used, it's basically legal thievery. And if you don't understand that, then you're part of the problem.

#75 Edited by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

The point is, whatever hypothetical numbers you come up with, you can double the number of copies available in your hypothetical pirate market without the company making a single extra dollar. To double the number of copies available in your hypothetical used market you have to (at least) double new sales to do it.

Or those hypothetical numbers of copies can simply be resold a second time. I actually agree with what you are trying to say in principle. Just not the way you put it. Used copies sold to new copies sold is not a static 1:1 ratio.

They look at piracy and correctly see a practice which could potentially kill an entire market (like it killed AAA PC exclusives). A used market can't do that, however bad it gets, because a new market is always a prerequisite for it. A larger used market necessitates a larger new market to supply it in the first place. A larger piracy 'market' does not, because supply is unlimited. Used gaming isn't a threat to them, they just see getting rid of it as an opportunity to make even more money (money they aren't entitled to).

It can actually, in theory, not an entire market, but a kill publisher yes. It is harder for the used market to do so then piracy, but it can do it if the money the publisher gets from new sales drops below their costs, by there being too many resales.

A used sale and a pirate copy are only no different 'per transaction' if the observer is not prepared to consider the history of the game copy involved. One of them has at some point made the publisher money and the other hasn't. It's a pretty important difference. When you then consider that this is true for every transaction - every single used copy is a copy that once made them money - and consider those transactions added together, then it should be obvious why an individual used sale is not the same as an individual act of piracy. If they're different when they're added together then they can't be 'no different' 'per transaction', unless you're ignoring something important (the history of the copy involved). So if that is how the publishers see it 'per transaction' then they're wrong.

No argument here. You are correct.

In short: if 1000u = some dollars and 1000p = no dollars then u != p.

Ah, but we cannot simply say that 1000p is no dollars because there is demand and money being made in the same market that those 1000p exist. Wheather it is people buying after pirating or word of mouth. In fact for 1000p to exist at all there HAS to be some initial sales say 10s for people to care to pirate, since when we have 100s for a game there would then be around 10000p :)

Edit: woa! just had a deja-vu moment after posting this

#76 Edited by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@Klei said:

@iAmJohn said:

@Klei said:

What's so fucking hard to understand?

If you buy your games used, you give the profit to GameStop and stores of that nature, which in return, makes gaming companies angry and forces them to adopt a defensive position; online passes and DLC. At least, when you pirate, you don't fund GameStop, which is the lesser of the two evils. I'm not saying pirating is good, but it's definitely better than the moron who purchase a game for 54,99 instead of 59,99 thinking it's some kind of deal. If you're anal about five bucks, you probably shouldn't buy games altogether.

As a die hard gamer and avid customer, I'm not for online passes, but i'm not against them either. I'm actually on the developers' side and I encourage them to do whatever they can to hamstring second-hand gaming business.

And again, because Gamestop is the only place to get used games, right? Stop being so myopic.

What are you talking about? Did you even read my post? I said '' GameStop and stores of that nature''. I'm not being myopic.

Yes, you really are. If I were to go on Goozex, just for example, to trade my copy of a brand new game, I'd get the equivalent of $50. That's not $50 going to a store; that's $50 going to me. Or, if I don't want to be tied to their system and points, I could go on eBay, Amazon, or a multitude of other places and get something like $40 cash for it.

This is why this whole thing is such bullshit - why the fuck should my rights as a consumer be hindered because there are shitty stores that deal in used games and rip off their customers? Those stores and their shitty business models are the problem, not the used game business. It's like trying to kill a fly with a fucking shotgun.

@Klei said:

And if you think that only one people play a used game, you're wrong. Used games are usually those that friends trade amongst each other, because they're less important in the hierarchy of games that you posses than the retail ones you've bought.

And what the hell does this even mean? So somehow I'm more likely to lend a used game to my friend or trade it with them than I am a game I bought new because speculation (and just to give you a hint: no not really, I'm just as likely to trade any game with my friend that I own, regardless of whether or not I bought it new or used, because it's a game they hypothetically want to play and I'm their friend)? So what, we're against being able to lend people games now?

#77 Edited by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

@iAmJohn said:

@Tennmuerti said:

I'm not saying that. I know very well they are designed to do so.

And when you buy a second hand car or clothes, they are also devalued. The person who bought that second hand car from you will have to pay more money for it's upkeep then they would have if they bought a new car. It just happens more naturally (or even artificially for some products if you believe in rummor mills of companies making their products not last on purpose) to other products. Games are on a different cycle, the resale time is incredibly fast compared to other goods, so the manufacturers (publishers) are introducing their own further devaluation.

And I'm not supposed to look at that and say "fuck you, you pieces of shit are devaluing my game and I don't appreciate that"? As others have said before me, other businesses have been able to thrive in spite of their being a heavy used contingent. Why is it that with games, suddenly people who want to buy it used are the villains, and the publishers who are stripping away the rights of consumers because they know that ultimately we just want to play the game so we'll put up with it are somehow the heroes?

Woa woa there! Again dude, I said none of this nor am I implying it. If you read my previous posts in this thread I have absolutely nothing against used buyers (i am myself part of the used market). In fact I believe that villifying them is wrong.

(Sigh, i wish people stopped assuming my position in this debate as purely part of one side or the other.)

Online passes are a war against consumer rights and deserve to be treated as such.

Here is where you and I actually disagree. You believe you have the right to sell your used game. I fully support that, having resold my share of games. But I also believe that the developers have the right to entice new sales as other industries do, simply with different means, because this is it's own new industry with it's own new rules. Laws and morality change. We make new laws all the time for the new digital age, new things emerge and we adopt.

As others have said before me, other businesses have been able to thrive in spite of their being a heavy used contingent.

And business in the games industry are trying to do the same.

#78 Edited by Example1013 (4833 posts) -

@Tennmuerti said:

@Example1013 said:

I'm glad kids these days are being brought up with such blatant disregard for established common laws that protect them as consumers. I can't possibly think of any way relinquishing Right of First Sale could end poorly for consumers. This is another one of those times I'm glad we don't live in a democracy.

You can sell your used disks all you want, no one is denying you that. Your right of first sale is not being impuned in any way.

Well see, the reason I assumed that was the implication is because there was no real argument between both posts (outside of "people who wait to buy games used are bad people and I am better than them because I don't if I can avoid it"), and I figured, no one would really be that blindly arrogant to think anyone would care about their stupid little personal values on used game sales, so there must have been a more far-reaching implication there, and the only one I could come up with is "since it's wrong, it should be illegal", and that's what I responded to. If someone thinks they're better than me because they don't wait and buy used that's fine, whatever, but I don't see why that would be important enough to warrant six paragraphs. It's an opinion with no factual base, so it's not like you can make a good argument to support it.

EDIT: Like, you can make an argument, but it's a really ridiculous one, and it's all based in morals. At that point you may as well be arguing over the place Patron Saints have in Catholicism.

#79 Posted by Gamer_152 (14050 posts) -

This is certainly a well-written and well-researched post, and I totally agree with your position on used games, but I can't help but take issue with the fact that you're telling people their opinion on used games is wrong, assuming that they're on the industry's side for this one. Even if people in general were against the used games market, I don't think it would be right to tar everyone with the same brush, but that's not even the case. While I think some gamers could stand to be a little less apathetic towards dick moves publishers are making, in general consumers have spoken out in huge numbers against the practises which are trying to kill the used game market.

Moderator
#80 Posted by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

Ah fuck this thread, I spent like 3 hours on this shit and while it has been fun tossing thoughts around with you fellas, I need to go actually play some damn games today :)

Thanks for the discourse!

peace

#81 Posted by Lazyaza (2165 posts) -

You should pay more attention to Jim Sterling, particularly his Jimquisition series over on The Escapist. He's brought up the topic of used games many a time and his vids are both informative and entertaining.

#82 Posted by greennoodles (404 posts) -

My main problem with Gamestop as a company is their policy when it comes to letting children trade-in games, or should I say lack of one. When a parent buys their kid a new game for $60, the last thing they are thinking is that that same game will be traded in for 1/3 of the price 3 weeks later but this happens all the time. Say what you will about a parent needing to keep better tabs on their children, but we all know that a 12 year old who really wants to do something (especially in the world of going to Dad's on weekends or parents having 2 jobs) will find a way to do it. For example, my 11 year old nephew got Halo: Reach for Christmas. By the end of January, he decided he wanted to see what he could get for it so he took the game to a friends house, the friend asked his Mom if they could go to the mall and there they were in Gamestop. The $20 wasn't as much as he wanted, but it was more than he had, so he traded it in for a used game that his friend thought looked cool cause there was an ATV on it that cost like 17.99. Low and behold he asked for Halo: Reach again when his birthday came around. He didn't get it of course, and when he tried to take the 17.99 game back to Gamestop (one month later) they informed him that it was now worthless. Now I don't know why he can go into a Gamestop and be allowed to make financial decisions like this when if he took the same game into a pawn shop, they would not be able to do business with him, but that is the way it is.

I remember what its like to be 11 and have the dangling carrot of "something new" in front of me, so I see why my nephew made that mistake. It's not just my nephew either. I work in retail and hear these stories all the time. Most of the time it ends with the parent saying "you should have known better" thank God, but I still think the practice of expecting a minor to understand the concept of value is shady to say the least.

#83 Posted by tourgen (4426 posts) -

Fantastic post with some serious thought and research put into it. Thank you.

The "used sales problem" and squawking over piracy has always seemed to me to be about a massive power grab. Grabbing control after the sale, ridiculous EULA terms on software licenses, and generally just providing a less usefull product in favor of more publisher control.

This isn't about a hobby or entertainment. It's about keeping contract law sane and ensuring the fundamental aspects of capitalism aren't perverted beyond recognition by greedy law-bending corps

#84 Posted by Sander (409 posts) -
@MB said:

This entire argument will soon be moot with a fully digital video game space looming just years away.

I read a couple of years ago that 27% of all xbox 360 owners have never connected their console to the internet(and those that do often must deal with usage caps).
So I don't think Microsft, Sony or Nintendo are prepared to toss away that segment of the market just yet.
#85 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@Sander said:

@MB said:

This entire argument will soon be moot with a fully digital video game space looming just years away.

I read a couple of years ago that 27% of all xbox 360 owners have never connected their console to the internet(and those that do often must deal with usage caps).So I don't think Microsft, Sony or Nintendo are prepared to toss away that segment of the market just yet.

It's actually more than that. Last I heard, the number is closer to half.

#86 Posted by MormonWarrior (2529 posts) -

This is my big problem with the push to digital media - apart from Steam, it's all super over-priced. Also, you can't sell back or trade back digital copies. Under normal circumstances, I often buy games new for cheap or used and then sell them on Amazon when I'm done with them. I keep the games I really love or that have tons or replay value, but that's it. Why isn't that my right to do that? Also, not everybody is like I am. Regardless, I purchase some games new (Zelda, Gears of War, Mass Effect) when I really care about them, but I'm not going to drop $60 on a new IP that I don't even know if I like. I don't have that kind of money.

And yeah, the piracy argument just doesn't hold up. Unless you can prove that the people pirating copies of movies/games/etc. would've bought it in the first place if they couldn't pirate it, you didn't lose a single cent in the act of piracy. That's gotta be an extremely small percentage of the people doing it, especially on systems or with games that are super hard to effectively pirate (StarCraft, etc.)

#87 Posted by Maelstrom (38 posts) -

To all of the (many) idiots in here arguing for used games to be abolished: what the hell do you propose that we do with our hundreds of finished games that will never ever get played again? Am I supposed to cram them and my old systems into a closet forever? Dump my stuff in a landfill?

How dare I try to get some money back from the games I played. How dare someone else enjoy a game I played.

Publishers are falling all over themselves looking to wring a few more dollars out of us. Fair enough. But if they are only interested in their own financial well being then I don't feel bad about looking out for my financial situation.

Only in the video game industry (Tea Party excluded) do people fight for enormously wealthy corporations who clearly don't have your best interests at heart. They don't even have to work hard to make a case for themselves, there are more than enough deluded or ignorant gamers out there who will happily hand over their consumer rights and give up ownership of physical products that have been purchased.

Bravo Tidel, that was a brilliant summary of the situation that we are in regarding publishers crusade to exert more control over their games even after they have been sold.

#88 Posted by chrissedoff (2075 posts) -

Ah, the guiding principle of rhetoric: begin by alienating everyone by accusing them of ignorance and anti-intellectualism. What a suitable quotation for this highly intellectual subject.

#89 Posted by greennoodles (404 posts) -

@Maelstrom said:

To all of the (many) idiots in here arguing for used games to be abolished: what the hell do you propose that we do with our hundreds of finished games that will never ever get played again? Am I supposed to cram them and my old systems into a closet forever? Dump my stuff in a landfill?

How dare I try to get some money back from the games I played. How dare someone else enjoy a game I played.

Publishers are falling all over themselves looking to wring a few more dollars out of us. Fair enough. But if they are only interested in their own financial well being then I don't feel bad about looking out for my financial situation.

Only in the video game industry (Tea Party excluded) do people fight for enormously wealthy corporations who clearly don't have your best interests at heart. They don't even have to work hard to make a case for themselves, there are more than enough deluded or ignorant gamers out there who will happily hand over their consumer rights and give up ownership of physical products that have been purchased.

Bravo Tidel, that was a brilliant summary of the situation that we are in regarding publishers crusade to exert more control over their games even after they have been sold.

As someone put earlier, I don't think most of us want to do away with the used game industry. I do think that some of us are more accepting of the dlc/game pass stuff or don't like the way Gamestop does business. If someone were to say they want to abolish used games as a whole (unless they are arguing for digital distribution, which I am for) I would not want to be lumped in with that person lol.

#90 Posted by MB (11891 posts) -

@Sander said:

@MB said:

This entire argument will soon be moot with a fully digital video game space looming just years away.

I read a couple of years ago that 27% of all xbox 360 owners have never connected their console to the internet(and those that do often must deal with usage caps).So I don't think Microsft, Sony or Nintendo are prepared to toss away that segment of the market just yet.

Of course not...that's why I said it's probably years away. Eventually that statistic won't matter because consoles will require internet connections, it's as simple as that. Publishers definitely want this because they can not only do away with the used game market as a whole, but it gives them highly expanded DRM options for console games as well. Such consoles will be cheaper to produce, too...no disc drives to worry about.

You guys may as well embrace this and enjoy used games while you can, it's not that far off.

Moderator
#91 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@Tennmuerti:  And that's the problem you seem to think they are trying to devalue the used game  and it's not what they are doing at all they are trying to prevent used sales all together like they did with pc games.  
 
This isn't simply you drove that car off the lot so it's 5 grand cheaper it's you bought that game now you can't sell it period and that is exactly where they are trying to go don't kid yourself. 
#92 Posted by Guided_By_Tigers (8060 posts) -

@MB said:

Of course not...that's why I said it's probably years away.

You said "This entire argument will soon be moot"....how is soon years away?

#93 Posted by MormonWarrior (2529 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

@Tennmuerti said:

The only difference to the publisher between a used sale and a pirated copy is ... none.

False. Every copy involved in a used sale made them money at some point. The same cannot be said for pirate copies.

The amount of damage used sales can do is limited, because every used copy has to have first been a new copy. This means the publisher always has the opportunity to make money on the first sale of every copy. The amount of damage piracy can do is potentially unlimited, because you can have an unlimited number of pirate copies, none of which the publisher has ever made money on. This is the fundamental difference between the two practices and why one is a legally protected consumer right and why the other is illegal.

Also, it bears mentioning that there's a huge difference between taking somebody else's copy (through Amazon, GameStop, etc.) and making an entirely new copy (through piracy) that was never paid for. Scarcity is why games have a value in the first place - it's not a common commodity. (That's economics for you.) Piracy and used game sales aren't even sort of the same thing. When you get a game digitally, you have to pay the developer/service providing the download directly, paying for that new copy. It makes sense. Otherwise, you need to pay for the other copy someone else bought new in the first place.

#94 Posted by Fobwashed (1887 posts) -

@Tidel: I did a short write up on Gamespot's 2010 numbers a little while back. What's relevant there to what you've written here is that used game sales made up 26.1% of their sales ($2.469 billion) but accounted for 46.2% of their actual gross profit ($1.140 billion).

Compare that to their sales in new games which was 41.9% of their total sales while only accounting for 20.7% of their annual profits.

The point is just that if there is a real effort to stop used game sales, until brick and mortar stores are no longer necessary, it won't be happening because it's too goddamn important to them to roll over and take it. Gamestop alone sold over $5.6 billion dollars in in new hardware and software and until the platform holders/publishers figure out a way to get that amount of sales to take place online, retailers will have the final say.

Once more, just to be clear. They moved $5.68 billion in new merch and $2.5 billion in used games. You can calculate that the cost of goods sold on used games was $1.27 billion dollars and assuming that all that money was used to buy new games (which is wasn't since I'm sure some of it was spent buying more used games), you could argue (somewhat weakly) that 22% of new game sales was from money generated from the selling of used games. By cost of goods sold, I mean what customers got paid for the used games. They paid us 1.27 billion for our used games and we most likely got GS credit and purchased new games with that money.

So in a way, publishers/platform holders need to figure out a way to get us consumers to buy $5.6 billion dollars of hardware/software while at the same time having $1.27 billion less to spend on said new merch due to the inability to sell our games.

Anyway. The bottom line is always profit for them and fun for me. If they are charging too much for fun, then I will spend elsewhere. I understand their reasoning for online passes and non-dlc dlc, pre-order bonuses and all that other crap and I don't care because if it's shitty, I won't give them my money. If it's something I want, I will give them my money. The market will correct itself over time and bad practices will die and good ones will thrive. By the way, I love Steam. I almost never partake in their massive sales but I'm happy that it's there.

I feel that the only way Steam could be better would be if I could directly put up used copies of games I own on sale in a sort of auction like manner to other steam users and then use the earned money to buy new games. The caveat would be that anyone purchasing a used game needs to buy it with new money that's not in the system. This would mean there would always be new money coming into the system so that it couldn't be "gamed" by unscrupulous people to create some kind of cycle to allow everyone to somehow buy new games with fake money.

PEACE!

#95 Posted by Beaudacious (925 posts) -

The pretentiousness i get from the first quote in the OP's post wants me to disagree with anything he says.

#96 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -
@MormonWarrior:  tech estimates 20 years everyone in the first world will have high speed internet as things are right now it's more like 60 %. 
#97 Posted by zombiepenguin9 (526 posts) -

@Enigma777 said:

Now as far as your argument about second-hand sales supporting first-hand sales and the impact of losing that system, you're basically describing an unsustainable bubble economy. Before Gamestop was a huge company with record-breaking yearly profits there were a lot of small mom-n-pop game stores where you could trade-in games. However the practice was never that big of an impact since such stores were fewer and mostly unkown. That changed when a large corporation emerged that could influence gamer's buying habits through advertisement and sheer mindshare and geograhpical presence (seriously at one point there were 7 Gamestops in my area withing 3 miles of each other. Seven!). So Gamestop created a cycle that increased sales in the short term while also cannibalizing new game sales (why pay $60 when you can pay $55!) in order to drive their profits. But after a while such a system would collapse under it's own weight, and the market would be fucked. Just look at what happened after the housing bubble crashed.

I'm not sure I understand the connection between selling a used product and people buying houses they can't afford/banks giving people money to buy houses they can't afford.

Personally, I don't sell used games or any other form of media (cds, dvds, etc) very often. It never seems to be a good return-on-investment to me, so I try to resist impulse buying and only purchase things I actually want. That being said, I think the long-term implications of greatly reducing used game sales through online codes or whatever is ultimately a bad idea for the gaming world. Individuals who collect games in the interest of preserving and archiving gaming history are going to have major difficulties finding fully playable copies of X game 10+ years or so after its initial release, assuming enough sufficient content is restricted by activation codes or whatnot. It's bad enough that games, unlike films and music, are pretty much limited to a generation or two of hardware, and after that they are unplayable sans emulation or re-release. Films made in the 1920's are readily available on the newest forms of media. Likewise with music. Granted, the very nature of software and hardware makes giving near-eternal life to games difficult at best, so comparisons to film and music may be misguided.

And this issue is probably of little concern to devs and publishers. But not being able to play current games a few decades from now because of used-up activation codes and long-dead account servers seems like a dark future for whoever cares about preserving this art form.

#98 Edited by Tennmuerti (7956 posts) -

@darkdragonmage99 said:

@Tennmuerti: And that's the problem you seem to think they are trying to devalue the used game and it's not what they are doing at all they are trying to prevent used sales all together like they did with pc games. This isn't simply you drove that car off the lot so it's 5 grand cheaper it's you bought that game now you can't sell it period and that is exactly where they are trying to go don't kid yourself.

So? What publishers want is no concern of mine. What they do is. Right now they aren't preventing my used sales, nor are they currently trying to outright prevent them either, I have no issue with them trying to make money on those sales. They simply can't from a technological standpoint on current console infrastructure/connectivity setup.

Like I said new business models are required for new types of business, the market evolves. Transition of removal of PC used sales and emergance of digital distribution occured over a long stretch of time relatively concurently. I love where PC games are right now, they are easier to buy, I always have a "new" copy, and if I choose to do so i can buy by those games cheaper then most console players buy used games for, and I don't have to even sell any of my games to get money back for more purchases. They are always new, always mine, and super cheap if I don't buy day 1. Hell these days it's faster and easier for me to buy my PC games then to pirate them!

#99 Posted by Bollard (5202 posts) -

Fuck facts, I'd rather see more money to developers, so less good games are considered "failures" because of small sales numbers, and publishers stop avoiding funding new IPs.

#100 Posted by iAmJohn (6107 posts) -

@darkdragonmage99 said:

@Tennmuerti: And that's the problem you seem to think they are trying to devalue the used game and it's not what they are doing at all they are trying to prevent used sales all together like they did with pc games. This isn't simply you drove that car off the lot so it's 5 grand cheaper it's you bought that game now you can't sell it period and that is exactly where they are trying to go don't kid yourself.

He was responding to me, and I do think that. Honestly, that's mostly why it bothers me. At least with PC games, I can usually get them for far cheaper and the DRM is far more lenient (I mean hell, with most games, I don't even need a disc or anything, I just open Steam on a computer and all my stuff is there). If that's what the future's going to end up being, so be it, but I fucking hate this stupid bullshit middle ground that online passes are, because it is devaluing my games down to zero without at least having the courtesy to give me the benefits that come with not being able to sell my games.

But that's always been the problem, that this is the game publishers being greedy shits trying to get as much money out of the consumer for as long as possible before the sinking ship of $60 games forces them to drown under the pretense of "protecting legitimate customers."