Heavy Rain Developer Thinks Games Are Too Expensive, Is Annoyed More People Didn't Buy His Expensive Game

#301 Posted by Kato (159 posts) -

Why not make downloadable (XBL, Steam, and PSN) games?

They're cheaper and cannot be sold used.

#302 Posted by zels (207 posts) -

@TheMasterDS: While I do agree that online passes for games that have an online component make sense, I just can't agree on the online passes for single player games part.

First of all, it doesn't make any sense from a technical perspective - there's simply no way to apply that, since:

1. Not all console users are connected to the internet or have such a connection.

2. People may have multiple consoles with multiple accounts of their own and they should be able to play on all of them and not have to buy a new copy for each system.

Secondly, I just don't see why the users who bought a used product should owe any money to the developers or publishers - the cost of producing that copy of the game, manual and case included was covered in the initial sale and no further loss of money was sustained. If there is a problem with the way the copy was acquired it should be taken up to the retailer that offers used copies and an agreement should be reached with them, not the customer.

Also, I'd like you to see my first point as the stronger one of the two, since it's less of an opinion and more of a fact.

#303 Posted by Sharpless (472 posts) -

I really wish he looked like the guy in that image.

#304 Posted by Quipido (662 posts) -

@ModerateViolence said:

@TekZero said:

I've said it all along, buying used games is no different than piracy.

You've been wrong all this time then.

I agree. Used games are entirely legal. Piracy is not. If developers feel it's the same thing, there must be change in law. I am living in a state where everything is determined by law, so if you want me to change my behavior, make the law apply to this problem and I will start to think about game purchases as licences to play, not a physical copy which I am free to do whatever I want to with.

Also I bought Heavy Rain new and I am still waiting for the promissed DLC, which should have explained at least some of the majoyr plotholes. That DLC will never come, right?

#305 Posted by Boopie (191 posts) -

Heavy Rain was OK but I would have felt raped at 60 bucks, robbed at 40 bucks, and consensually cornholed at 30 so borrowing it for free from my rich brother worked out just fine

and I won't cry any tears if they never make a sequel or another game

#306 Posted by xyzygy (10079 posts) -

Heavy Rain was not worth 60 dollars. I rented it and got the complete experience with 5 days left to return the game.

#307 Edited by TheMasterDS (2147 posts) -

@zels: 1. Yeah, that's definitely true, and also possibly the only reason it hasn't already happened on consoles. On the PC it's a standard practice if you don't just buy it digitally, but consoles aren't there yet.

2. Multiple consoles with multiple accounts has to be a series fringe case, but even then I'd say that the general Xbox Live Game rules apply - you can play it with any account on the system you downloaded it to first, or any console with the account on it. Then again, I don't know how that works if you're taking one stick around everywhere.

And a policy of only buying games used is as bad as a policy of only pirating games because when you buy a copy of a game, you're not paying for the box or the disc, but the content that's on the disc, and that content is not Gamestop's to sell, it belongs to the people who spent a ton of money and time making it.

#308 Posted by plaintomato (599 posts) -

He should be bitching at MS & Sony for sheltering brick & mortars with their (I assume it's "their", correct me if it's not MS/Sony) refusal to release new games for download the same day as the retail release. I don't know, maybe it's publishers that are trying to avoid the MS/Sony cut, but either way, lazy sods like me would buy games online for consoles if they were available just to avoid the drive to the store.

As long as they make me drive to the store, I'll buy and sell used games and call it their own damn fault for not taking advantage of my laziness.

#309 Posted by cyberfr3akgamer (19 posts) -

I bought it, i play it, and sell it again, and i bought it again its a great game ^^

#310 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

Off topic, but related to picture. Does anybody else find it hilarious that the "rent is too damn high" guy got kicked out of his apartment because his rent was too low?

#311 Posted by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

I buy 90% of my games new and half of the games that I buy used are simply games that I can't find new anywhere and I may have traded or sold 5-10 games used. I literally had a Gamestop employee ask me why I had the card if I wasn't going to buy a used copy when available. HOWEVER, after I buy something I own it and I'm not paying $60 for something that I don't own and if I can't sell if I choose to then I don't truly own it.

#312 Posted by YukoAsho (2144 posts) -

@Rasgueado said:

Perfectly valid to disagree with his sentiments... but was it necessary to be such a dick about it?

I don't often think highly of Alex Navarro. In fact, I think he's a piece of shit writer who would be laughed out of Kotaku, let alone any respectable establishment. That said, he's got a point. The video game industry isn't a "victim" of anything in the used games market, save to a fundamentally broken and unsustainable business model. Tell me, why is it you only ever hear complaints from the game industry. No one's bitching about used movies or anything, and no one's trying to ban libraries. If game companies don't want to deal with the First Sale Doctrine, then they're more than welcome to leave the US market, but they're not entitled to any of my sympathies if they make a $60 semi-interactive movie that can be burned through in a night, especially when they made as much money as they did.

#313 Posted by Rasgueado (719 posts) -

@YukoAsho said:

@Rasgueado said:

Perfectly valid to disagree with his sentiments... but was it necessary to be such a dick about it?

I don't often think highly of Alex Navarro. In fact, I think he's a piece of shit writer who would be laughed out of Kotaku, let alone any respectable establishment. That said, he's got a point. The video game industry isn't a "victim" of anything in the used games market, save to a fundamentally broken and unsustainable business model. Tell me, why is it you only ever hear complaints from the game industry. No one's bitching about used movies or anything, and no one's trying to ban libraries. If game companies don't want to deal with the First Sale Doctrine, then they're more than welcome to leave the US market, but they're not entitled to any of my sympathies if they make a $60 semi-interactive movie that can be burned through in a night, especially when they made as much money as they did.

Perfectly valid argument. Let me posit this...

I would argue that movie companies do actually have problems with used sales, but the number of open marketplaces where the practice takes place is limited in terms of its scope when compared to video games. Most retailers--even major retailers like Best Buy--have taken stabs at used video game sales. I have yet to see a major retail chain (take note I live in Canada) that executes this practice with movies. The stores that I know of who deal in used sales are small, community based propositions.

Libraries again fall into the same vein as video rental stores. As someone else in this thread already pointed out, these businesses pay a higher premium for the games they rent out which generate royalties for the publisher/developer to receive. Libraries are also generally public affairs that are linked with multiple branches throughout a single municipality. Authors who have their books stored in libraries (the number of copies of which are generally *very* limited throughout the library system) are usually agreed to be there as a means of archival and public access. With one or two books in a system with a 14-30 day policy for checkout, I would argue that this is generally viewed as not being a detriment to printing sales as these constitute a fraction of the press run. Books make back money on the number of physical copies that they sell. If a publisher sells out of an entire run of books they will print more to meet demand, but generally the practice has been to not monitor the marketplace for used sales as they have already made their money on the initial purchase of the printed book.

This is where, I believe, Guillauame's argument comes into play. He is suggesting that the economics of producing a big budget title are outstripping the size of the marketplace for the price point they are charging. Part of the problem they have at the moment is that they might produce 3 million copies of the game, but only 2 million of them are sold because a large segment of the marketplace is accustomed to acquiring games at a lower price through the vehicle of used sales. This practice, unlike with most major media industries (music, movies, books) is openly supported by the major retailers in the business (again... Best Buy doesn't sell used CD's, and Chapter's/Indigo/Barnes & Noble don't sell used books... at least *in* the store). Making this kind of direct comparison at this juncture of the retail marketplace isn't making a good comparison between like products, or markets.

Your arguments as to the direct value of the game in your mind are perfectly valid. For many people the proposition of spending that much money for the type of title that the game is would be something that anyone cannot argue with due the subjective nature of "want." That being said... many people still wanted to play it enough to acquire it via *some* means, so the value is there to be derived, just not for the asking price of the manufacturer. This I believe, again, is where Guillaume's statements come into play. He is openly stating that he agrees with this point of view, and feels that games are far too expensive. At the same time, he would like to explore other means of locking his product down so that his company can benefit from each sale of the game, as opposed to a retailer that had nothing to do with the development (like Gamestop).

My original post did not, in fact, disagree with the idea that there were issues to be discussed with the statements made from Quantic Dream. I clearly stated that it was perfectly valid to disagree with those sentiments. My issue was purely with Alex mischaracterizing the statements made, and painting the developer as a cry baby.

#314 Posted by vexidus (123 posts) -

This was a great read, thanks for this article Alex. Of course, being drunk might have something to do with that, but not too much. I loved Heavy Rain, but I feel no need to replay it again, so I definitely understand how so many copies weren't bought "new". Also, I'm surprised it sold 2 million copies new, and agree with the general consensus that a developer should be happy with a number like that. I'm sorry to say, but this guy kind of soured me to future new purchases from Quantic Dream. I feel like my money is somehow not good enough for him.

#315 Posted by zels (207 posts) -

@TheMasterDS: @TheMasterDS said:

And a policy of only buying games used is as bad as a policy of only pirating games because when you buy a copy of a game, you're not paying for the box or the disc, but the content that's on the disc, and that content is not Gamestop's to sell, it belongs to the people who spent a ton of money and time making it.

I will never agree that it's as bad as piracy. Piracy creates multiple copies of 1 disc and as a result both parties end up with a copy of the game. When a used game is sold the first owner no longer has access to it, and as a result if he ever wants to play that game again he'll have to buy it for the second time. I firmly believe that used media market should follow the very same rules as any other used market. Saying that because a certain product doesn't diminish in value due to use, the creator should therefore have a cut each time it is sold is imo ridiculous - like a painter getting a cut each time his work moves from hands to hands.

#316 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@zels said:

@TheMasterDS: @TheMasterDS said:

And a policy of only buying games used is as bad as a policy of only pirating games because when you buy a copy of a game, you're not paying for the box or the disc, but the content that's on the disc, and that content is not Gamestop's to sell, it belongs to the people who spent a ton of money and time making it.

I will never agree that it's as bad as piracy.

Then don't. But in the eyes of publishers it is still money they are not getting, it's as simple as that.

Piracy is worse because of the easy methods of distribution and the ability to make multiple copies, but the end result is the same: No money to the developer. Unlike piracy used games don't require modified consoles either which is a barrier that your average joe can't be bothered to pass, so if they want the game cheap they will buy it used or borrow it instead.

If you primarily buy used games and only play offline you might as well just pirate them instead. Save yourself money because you're not supporting the developer either way unless you intend to buy DLC or purchase an online pass for certain titles. Personally I can't be bothered with having a modified 360 anymore, I got banned from Xbox Live twice so I'm legit now, I just buy used games now and then instead of taking risks with my consoles. Still buy plenty of games new, though. I buy all my games new on PC. (you kinda have to anyway)

Just speaking frankly. In the UK we have a big store called CeX who sell a ton of second hand stuff, they have huge gigantic stores with DVDs, consoles, dvd players, computer parts, games...you name it. I would rather pirate a game than give money to a store like that, I really don't like places where you can trade almost anything into, I worry where a lot of it comes from. (home invasions!)

#317 Posted by YukoAsho (2144 posts) -

@Rasgueado said:

Perfectly valid argument. Let me posit this...

I would argue that movie companies do actually have problems with used sales, but the number of open marketplaces where the practice takes place is limited in terms of its scope when compared to video games. Most retailers--even major retailers like Best Buy--have taken stabs at used video game sales. I have yet to see a major retail chain (take note I live in Canada) that executes this practice with movies. The stores that I know of who deal in used sales are small, community based propositions.

Libraries again fall into the same vein as video rental stores. As someone else in this thread already pointed out, these businesses pay a higher premium for the games they rent out which generate royalties for the publisher/developer to receive. Libraries are also generally public affairs that are linked with multiple branches throughout a single municipality. Authors who have their books stored in libraries (the number of copies of which are generally *very* limited throughout the library system) are usually agreed to be there as a means of archival and public access. With one or two books in a system with a 14-30 day policy for checkout, I would argue that this is generally viewed as not being a detriment to printing sales as these constitute a fraction of the press run. Books make back money on the number of physical copies that they sell. If a publisher sells out of an entire run of books they will print more to meet demand, but generally the practice has been to not monitor the marketplace for used sales as they have already made their money on the initial purchase of the printed book.

This is where, I believe, Guillauame's argument comes into play. He is suggesting that the economics of producing a big budget title are outstripping the size of the marketplace for the price point they are charging. Part of the problem they have at the moment is that they might produce 3 million copies of the game, but only 2 million of them are sold because a large segment of the marketplace is accustomed to acquiring games at a lower price through the vehicle of used sales. This practice, unlike with most major media industries (music, movies, books) is openly supported by the major retailers in the business (again... Best Buy doesn't sell used CD's, and Chapter's/Indigo/Barnes & Noble don't sell used books... at least *in* the store). Making this kind of direct comparison at this juncture of the retail marketplace isn't making a good comparison between like products, or markets.

Your arguments as to the direct value of the game in your mind are perfectly valid. For many people the proposition of spending that much money for the type of title that the game is would be something that anyone cannot argue with due the subjective nature of "want." That being said... many people still wanted to play it enough to acquire it via *some* means, so the value is there to be derived, just not for the asking price of the manufacturer. This I believe, again, is where Guillaume's statements come into play. He is openly stating that he agrees with this point of view, and feels that games are far too expensive. At the same time, he would like to explore other means of locking his product down so that his company can benefit from each sale of the game, as opposed to a retailer that had nothing to do with the development (like Gamestop).

My original post did not, in fact, disagree with the idea that there were issues to be discussed with the statements made from Quantic Dream. I clearly stated that it was perfectly valid to disagree with those sentiments. My issue was purely with Alex mischaracterizing the statements made, and painting the developer as a cry baby.

A few things. Firstly, at least in the states, there really isn't much of a "higher premium" with game rentals. Rental chains straight up buy the game at retail prices, but even with all your other points being equal, it does point to the fact that, for many, $60 is way too damned much money.

Also, with regards to Best Buy entering the used games market, while it's true they're testing the waters, it's not the first time they've tried it, and the selection there for used games tends to be outright pathetic compared to new, which is different from the situation where you can get damned near anything after a month used at the Stop.

This brings us to the issue we both agree with, and that we both share Guillauame's point - price. $60 is simply asking too much, and if game prices go up to $70 in the next generation, we're going to see major market contraction, at least in the new games market. At the end of the day, the used game "problem" is simply a creation of the games industry living well beyond its means and expecting everyone else to come along for the ride. No one's buying used movies, books or CDs in part because they're pretty damned cheap nowadays, $10-$15 for a CD, $15-$20 for a DVD, $25 for a Blu-Ray, $10-$20 for a paperback book, maybe $40 for a hardcover. Video games are the only entertainment home entertainment that asks for so damned much money per item. The others don't even come close, and until that changes, the problem's not changing. Maybe the problem would be less if games were $30 or $40, but at $60, people are going to cop deals wherever they can.

And honestly, I don't much take issue with your opinions on Navarro's patently unprofessional reporting, but you have to admit that when a game hits 2 million in sales (a rarity in the present game industry) and the devs cry poor mouth, it doesn't make for good PR.

#318 Posted by beritbunny (26 posts) -

He should have made a better game that people didn't want to sell. Look at it this way: Somewhere around half of people who purchased the game didn't like it enough to keep it.

Neither I nor my BF sell games from The Library, but I hustled this one out the door in disgust within 6 months of buying it. We were so excited about this one, but I feel that it was not As Advertised. Do I remember why? No. I've put my precise reasons for dissatisfaction and self-loathing at the money I wasted out of my head.

I sold it not for money, but to get the visual reminder of a disappointment out of my home. At some point, the collection needs culling. (I also pruned some PS2 and Wii shovelware. Your Dreamcast's Samba de Amigo is not your Wii's SdA.)

Make a game that people want to keep close and you'll starve the secondhand market.

#319 Edited by Brackynews (4094 posts) -

I pre-ordered my copy of Heavy Rain sight unseen from HMV in ENGLAND, I wanted the proper box so much.

If I wasn't so sure, I probably would have rented it, and then decided to buy. Pity his math doesn't account for all the possibilities of where that extra 1 million trophy accounts comes from.

I already ranted my face off over on the GameSpot article and don't care to repeat it here. Generally I feel every developer and author and artist (including myself) has a right to complain when it's "food off their table". But that doesn't make the complaint any less hypocritical, because it's fairly likely we all have purchased college textbooks used, and used cars, and go to garage sales, and watch movies at friends' houses... The notion that our society in all its capitalist glory should become 1 sale = 1 experience is demented, and a very significant reason of why I chose library sciences as a career.

#320 Posted by Prv8J0k3r (3 posts) -

There are already too many DRM's on PC games...are they going to try to transfer that to console too?(It's not slowing down pirating either, where there is a will there is a way, so stop complaining) It reminds me of that South Park about pirating music(Faith Plus One), I'm not saying that these dev's shouldn't be rewarded for their work, but how greedy are you? Games are already over-priced to begin with you have to spend a small fortune for a couple of hours of enjoyment these days. I.E. - if you bought COD: Black Ops brand new thats roughly you paid roughly $59.99(USD), then if you want all the DLC(including the new Rezurrection DLC) it's another $59.96 for all of that bringing you to a total of 119.95 for a complete game with a lot of stuff that would have just been included back in the day.

#321 Posted by Cretaceous_Bob (528 posts) -

If that man is expecting everybody who plays a short singleplayer game to pay full price for it, he'll always have quotes about people pissin' on his pancakes.

#322 Posted by miva2 (226 posts) -

Games aren't too expensive for me. But I don't think I buy as many games as most other 'hardcore' players.

I would gladly give €50 for a good singleplayer game.

Many of those 1 million people who didn't buy the game at retail price would probably never have played the game at all if it wasn't cheaper. If I was in his place, I would be happy i reached another 1 million players besides the 2 million that bought the game at retail price.

#323 Posted by Wokiie (1 posts) -

i feel sorry for Guillaume, it should not be allowed to buy used games! can't you see that he wants the money?!

#324 Posted by Alex_Carrillo (283 posts) -

Funny. I'm mad Heavy Rain contained so many plot holes.

#325 Posted by TheKreep (68 posts) -

I'm sure that this has been said, but clearly, his two complaints aren't unrelated.

He thinks Heavy Rain didn't sell as well as he would've liked BECAUSE it was too expensive, and the price is something that's entirely out of the hands of him and his company.

#326 Posted by TheKreep (68 posts) -

@TekZero: Except it's not anything like piracy at all?

#327 Posted by FresherThanAir (8 posts) -

LOL I bought this game on day of release and took me about a day and a half to complete it (Inbetween School etc). Then after its completion the only thing left to do was collect the other trophies. I feel a total fool for paying £50 for a game that once you have played through once it leaves hardly anything left. Those who bought it second hand had the right idea. It's not really Sonys fault or the gamers fault, It's the game itself. If it had some stronger replay value than just a linear story line this game would have sold more.

#328 Posted by fini_fly (767 posts) -

In the last 5 years I have only bought a handful of game on or near the launch date. Heavy Rain was one of these. I beat it in 2 days, had no desire to go back and acquire trophies, then sold it to a friend. Games are expensive and multiplayer has justified the price of some games due to their continued use.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.