A Rebuttal to Ben Kuchera, Re: Xbox One, Used Games, and More

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Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1092 posts) -

If you’re deep enough in to video games to read NeoGAF even passively, you know that there has been beef brewing between Video game Press and the consumer. The reasons for this reach far and wide, but the general consensus from my perspective seems to be that a lot of people in the videogame press have been doing it for so long they’ve sort of forgotten what it’s like to be a consumer, especially a consumer on a budget. As such, certain members in the videogame press are more forgiving of pricing woes that have typically plagued this last generation of gaming hardware, and when the subject of absurd pricing is rallied against, the response from the press has generally been to label these people as spoiled children that need to just “stop whining”. A few like to hide behind the excuse of “vote with your dollars”, which has not particularly worked well when you consider the state of Season Pass DLC and the attempted vilification of the Used Games market. There’s a line in the perennial classic Tommy Boy that I feel is a pretty good counterpoint to the notion of voting with your dollars:

Tommy: I’m sorry about your car, but don’t call me worthless. I’m trying my best. I’m not my dad!

Richard Hayden: You’re right! You’re not your dad! He could sell a ketchup Popsicle to a woman in white gloves!

The line pertains to people that can sell anyone anything even if it’s irresponsible for them to buy it. And you better believe that all of the big corporations try to employ marketers like that, making the idea of “voting with your dollars” fruitless. Because even if you’re smart enough to avoid buying so-called “coin doublers” for today’s games, there is a dedicated campaign to convince others that it is a necessary purchase. So in the end you have a bunch of people who are slowly falling out of touch on why everybody is so angry about the state of gaming because for the last 5 or 10 or even 20 years every videogame they’ve ever had was either provided to them gratis or considered a business expense. “It’s okay if I go out and on a whim spend $400 on Skylanders toys because that’s what my job is.” And on some level I don’t blame them - I’m sure they’re not consciously letting it happen, and some actively try and fight back against it. But it’s still a growing problem.

The latest and greatest example is the reveal of the XBOX ONE, which was at best met with indifference and at worst, total revulsion. Here is a videogame console trying to fix a problem that to most consumers doesn’t actually exist - we want to pay less for today’s games, not more (re: “voting with your dollars”), and so used video games have kind of risen up and given birth to a thriving second-hand market. The Xbox One wants to put an end to that, more than likely demanding that we spend full retail on everything - even games we borrow from friends. It is a plainly anti-consumer practice hiding behind notions that internet connectivity is “the future”. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. And you have people in the games press trying to spin this as a positive thing, with such lovely headlines like “You Don’t Hate the Xbox One, You’re Just Jealous”. But the one I want to touch on today is one by Ben Kuchera of the Penny-Arcade Report titled “The Xbox One will kill used games and control second-hand sales, and that’s great news (Really!)

As if you couldn’t tell from the title, the article assumes that the used games industry is the cause of the problem and not a response to a greater issue at hand, and I really don’t think that’s the case at all.

[Xbox One’s internet licensing system] is good news for a few reasons. The first is that piracy will likely be reduced. If the system phones home every so often to check on your licenses, and there is no way to play a game without that title being authenticated and a license being active, piracy becomes harder. You’ll never be able to stop pirates, not entirely, but if you can make the act of pirating games non-trivial the incidence of piracy will drop. This is a good thing for everyone except those who want to play games for free.

This is the first thing I have to take issue with. Maybe I’m just blind to it, but piracy on the Xbox 360 never seemed like a significant problem to me. That’s not to say it does not happen, of course, but getting an Xbox 360 that can play pirated games involves a process more complex than most people want to deal with. I would assume that 15% or less of all Xbox 360 owners have the means to play pirated material. While I’m sure nobody would argue that less piracy is a bad thing, this was not a rampant epidemic that needs drastic measures in order to be stopped. Compared to other hardware manufacturers, Microsoft already had piracy under control better than the competition did. Beefing up security is a little unnecessary.

The next thing is that the used-game market all but disappears. GameStop may not be able to aggressively hawk used games for $5 less than the new price to customers under these new controls, which is great if you’re a developer or publisher. Once that secondary market is removed you can suddenly profit from every copy of your game sold, and as profit margins rise it’s possible we’ll see prices drop. Some stodgy publishers will likely stay with the $60 model, but they’re dead companies walking already. The smart companies will see this opportunity to play with pricing and see what works and what doesn’t.

This is putting a lot of faith in to companies that probably don’t deserve it. I can find no better example than to chart the course of Epic Games this generation: they set the stage with the original Gears of War, railing against Microsoft’s policies regarding free DLC. Epic had, in the past, been known for providing huge content packs for Unreal Tournament completely for free, and suddenly Microsoft was demanding that they charge money for them. They met in the middle, and the first Gears of War DLC pack went the Halo 2 route: pay for early access, or wait until it becomes free months later. By Gears of War 2, the “pay for early access” concept fell by the wayside, as the game received an additional 19 new multiplayer maps, all of which were only available to those who purchased them. When it came time for Gears of War 3, the generous Epic Games from 2007 had been completely extinguished - hundreds of dollars in worthless skins were up for purchase, with a whole special marketplace built exclusively for it. Gears of War Judgement took it a step further, with an option on the main menu constantly reminding you that for a few extra bucks, you could accelerate their awful EXP treadmill and unlock items in the game faster. This is to say nothing of Microsoft themselves, which up until two months ago dared to ask $30 for the “Games On Demand” version of Halo 3, a seven year old game. That $30 purchase did not include DLC, which drove the price of the game up past $45 - only $15 shy of what it cost when it was brand new. Finally, as of around March, the game has been reduced to $20.

While you could say that these are responses to the Used Game market, I on the other hand see it a different way: Microsoft has dipped their toe in to Steam’s pool, with a crazy christmas sale that let me buy the Games For Windows version of Age of Empires 3 for the low low price of only $0.10. I also picked up Viva Pinata for a dollar (see: this blog). Since then, further sales on Xbox Live and Games For Windows have been decidedly mediocre, and Microsoft in general seems to have learned one very important, key lesson: in a store like Wal-mart, discounts are often necessary in order to get rid of worthless, old products so that newer, better ones can occupy that limited shelf space. In a digital marketplace, there is no such thing as “limited shelf space”. Content lists on the Xbox Marketplace can go on for hundreds, if not thousands of entries. And it makes sense, too, when you consider just how bad Microsoft has been at making it easier to find content - they’re perfectly fine showing you a “shelf” that may as well stretch in to infinity. In a way, though, that’s what shopping online is becoming - Steam, which may have single-handedly saved the PC as a platform, is almost as difficult to browse as the Xbox Marketplace once you get past the featured content on the front page, and there probably isn’t going to be a good way to solve that problem without straight-up removing games from the service. After all, it’s not Steam’s fault there’s 232 games listed under the “Action” genre, and adding finer detail sub-genres isn’t going to make things any easier to the untrained eye.

It’s a nice wish to think that game prices would come down with the elimination of the Used Games market, but this is also coming from a company that wanted you to pay $2 for a pack of JPEG thumbnails they tried to call “Gamerpics”.

These aren’t crazy ideas. You can’t sell your games on Steam, nor can you buy “used” Steam games. The same with iTunes. And e-books, with some exceptions. So selling content that can’t be resold or purchased used isn’t weird, it’s becoming the norm. What’s innovative is that Microsoft may offer a way for you to get credit back for licenses you no longer use.

Now, this is important, because on some level, he’s correct: Once you redeem a game on Steam and add it to your account, you can’t sell it. Nor can you sell iTunes music, or stuff on Kindle. But on some level that doesn’t matter, because Steam, iTunes, and Kindle all deal with things that are inexpensive. The vast majority of the 280 games I own on Steam were either purchased for under $20, or were gifted to me by others (more than likely because they were also under $20). Individual songs on iTunes retail for a dollar or less, and eBooks are similarly cheap - a Barnes & Noble eBook reader I was given just a few months ago came pre-installed with more than 200 literary classics. An Xbox 360 game, on the other hand, starts at $60 for the basic version, up to $100-$150+ for so-called the “collectors edition”, and until the birth of the Season Pass, that $150 CE could possibly involve another $20-$50 in future downloadable content. This didn’t start out as a response to the burgeoning Used Game market, it was the cause.

Right from the word “Go” on this generation, you were hearing developers talk about increased production costs and how they could recoup their unsustainable business model. The “$60 and up” price tag was their solution. In response to this, and in response to the state of the economy, many consumers began to look for cheaper means of entertainment. Gamestop was more than happy to pick up the slack. With their plans foiled, game publishers have attempted to vilify these kinds of actions instead of identifying the real problem from within themselves.

The Xbox One isn’t an exciting prospect for the future, it’s Microsoft elevating the war on used games to the next level of DEFCON - a war that isn’t being fought for the consumers, it’s being fought for gluttonous developers who want to glue motion capture dots to a dog or hire the London Symphony Orchestra to perform for their game or spend a hundred million dollars on a World of Warcraft Clone that is only notable for having a lot of voice acting attached to it. As smaller, independent games are proving, that kind of stuff doesn’t actually matter as much as you would like to think it does, just so long as the game is fun and engaging. Did Mojang spend a hundred million dollars just so Kiefer Sutherland could lend his voice to Minecraft? No, but they certainly could spend that much on their next product, given how much they’ve sold.

Chances are, they won’t.

The existence of the Used Games market isn’t my problem, it’s my solution. If the game industry wants to stop the Used Game market from existing, twisting a consumer’s arm isn’t the way to go about doing it. Publishers could be fighting the Used Game market RIGHT NOW, by lowering prices on games. They aren’t doing that, and clearly have no intention to start. Steam and iTunes thwarted piracy by making the act of buying their content as cheap and as painless as possible. Microsoft is just putting up more walls.

I can only hope that the Xbox One won’t kill used games, and it won’t control second-hand sales, because if it did, that certainly wouldn’t be great news (Really.)

#1 Posted by Dr_Perscitus (52 posts) -

Couldn't agree more.

Plus I live in the UK and, with our shitty broadband infrastructure, I couldn't imagine anything worse than an all digital future. However, I do think that this issue is going to cause a lot of grumbling in a customer base who would rather buy the console and winge than go without.

Pirates will do as pirates do and I can see the first thing that gets trialled is some kind of internet packet sniffer that intercepts and mimics the online check.

#2 Posted by Demoskinos (14822 posts) -

Bravo. I feel like standing up and applauding after reading that. I really feel like Kuchera wrote that just to poke at gamers and get attention. That was a pretty well thought out response.

#3 Posted by tescovee (358 posts) -
This is the first thing I have to take issue with. Maybe I’m just blind to it, but piracy on the Xbox 360 never seemed like a significant problem to me.

I live in chicago, and it seems pretty big. You can go to mom and pops that sell modded xboxs with little hassle. Of the people who I talk to about games to at work, all 5 of them have modded xboxes and just torrent the games.... You must be blind to it, just go to TPB. Do you know that Sony isn't going to do the same? So much vitriol being spewed about shit that isn't even known.

#4 Edited by SpencerBoltz (85 posts) -

I really like your Tommy Boy reference, not only because I love that movie but also because it's amazingly poignant. There is often a call to vote with your dollars and you're right, that assumes that marketing is powerless to the consumer. It's certainly how we experience advertisements, no one thinks they buy something because they saw a commercial for it. If that was the case, then why are billions spent in that very market then? We are obviously influenced by marketing and salesman, it is not fair to claim that we can simply vote with our dollar in any objective sense.

#5 Edited by FunkasaurasRex (847 posts) -

I really feel like Kuchera wrote that just to poke at gamers and get attention.

I don't think Kuchera is being disingenuous; his head is just that far up his own ass on this one. It seems like a lot of people play him up as this awful villain or whatever, but he's just kind of a dipshit when it comes to certain issues.

@blazehedgehog great blog btw.

#6 Edited by BlazeHedgehog (1092 posts) -

@tescovee said:
This is the first thing I have to take issue with. Maybe I’m just blind to it, but piracy on the Xbox 360 never seemed like a significant problem to me.

I live in chicago, and it seems pretty big. You can go to mom and pops that sell modded xboxs with little hassle. Of the people who I talk to about games to at work, all 5 of them have modded xboxes and just torrent the games.... You must be blind to it, just go to TPB. Do you know that Sony isn't going to do the same? So much vitriol being spewed about shit that isn't even known.

Just because you can torrent games from TPB doesn't mean it's widespread, though. Chicago is a pretty big place; it doesn't surprise me that you could find a place like that there. That's definitely not the case once you get out of the big city, though.

Furthermore, consider that hardware mods are more difficult to deal with than software mods. Anyone can mod their Wii these days, you just need an SD card. Look at what happened to the DS and PSP. It almost happened to the PS3, too.

#7 Posted by Walreese55 (506 posts) -

Very well written although I'll slightly disagree with the piracy on the Xbox 360 aspect. There are a sizable amount of people in my college that mod or get their consoles modded for them; it's not at all the norm but it happens frequently enough.

#8 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1092 posts) -

Very well written although I'll slightly disagree with the piracy on the Xbox 360 aspect. There are a sizable amount of people in my college that mod or get their consoles modded for them; it's not at all the norm but it happens frequently enough.

Yeah, but like I said to the other guy, consider piracy on other consoles. There's no modchips involved - with the Wii, all you need is an SD Card in order to install the Homebrew Channel. The PSP was in a similar boat, and DS flashcarts were cheaper than a lot of DS games. The PS3 narrowly dodged a bullet, though I'm sure there are a small pocket of hackers out there who never updated and are using custom firmware on their PS3 now.

Having to install physical hardware in order to enable piracy is the sticking point and moves it beyond the realm of "anyone can do this if they follow the guide". Again, yes, it happens, but it's more secure than the other guys were. There'll probably be a modchip for the Xbox One, too.

#9 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

I can only hope that the Xbox One won’t kill used games, and it won’t control second-hand sales, because if it did, that certainly wouldn’t be great news (Really.)

Props where props due. What a zinger.

#10 Edited by leebmx (2244 posts) -

Really nice blog. As you say the main problem with this approach to stopping used game sales is that it is the stick not the carrot. Drop prices and show you are flexible now, not after you have blocked off used sales, if you want people to buy new, something they all would do in an ideal world.

I think market forces will mean that they will have to get realistic on pricing if they manage to kill the used game market. There must be lots of other consumers like myself who would just end up buying 4 games a year if I had to pay straight £40 for everything. I would certainly be way, way more picky about what I played if we just lived in a world where everything cost the same as it did on Xbox Live currently. And that would be terrible for lots and lots of game publishers, and ultimately the console makers themselves.

#12 Posted by bgdiner (276 posts) -

Great blog. I read Kuchera's piece before this, and I was left dumbfounded at the obvious apologizing for everything the XONE is going to introduce. His argument went something along the lines of, "Since digital content is already here, let's just go with it (and all its woes)". To just accept this change in the game industry seems really dumb to me; I'm not going to pay more for games just because it's the future.

#13 Posted by Ramone (2965 posts) -

YES. Everything about this post is amazing.

#14 Posted by markini6 (445 posts) -

Very well written and thought out blog. As I understand it (please correct me if I'm wrong), Jonny Gamer takes his game to selected retailers, they buy it for whatever amount is deemed appropriate and said game is then removed from his account and thus unusable. Then, according to Eurogamer after some clarification, the retailer pays a fee which goes to Microsoft and the game's publisher, which 'resets' the game and the next consumer then just buys it just like if it were new. Apparently.

Assuming the One (not Neo) doesn't tank, and it probably won't at least in North America, do you think that the scheme which grants the publishers a cut of the second hand market could lead to exclusives or exclusive content for the console, if it yields positive enough results that the companies (not the consumers) start to favour the Xbox?

#15 Edited by Hashbrowns (650 posts) -

This probably won't go over well, but here goes nothing.

A consumer has no more "right" to a product than the producer has the "right" to the consumer's money. The producer offers a product for a given price and terms, and the consumer decides whether to buy or not. That's all there is. There is no "Just Price", no objective absolute you can point to and declare what a game or system is intrinsically worth. And exactly who would decide these values for everyone?

Lots of people buy Call of Duty every year for $60 plus DLC packs. I don't. They're not wrong, and neither am I. It's worth it to them, not to me. There's nothing else to it, no Good vs. Evil here.

It's very possible I won't be getting an Xbox One. Things can change, but it just hasn't yet appealed to me. But that doesn't equate to a moral, ethical, or spiritual failure on Microsoft's part. The only failure is in their product not appealing to me as one potential customer, but it might very well appeal to another person. If they appeal to enough people, they succeed. If they don't, they won't.

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

#16 Posted by Pezen (1604 posts) -

I'll never understand why video games on discs should be some sacred entity in commerce that second-hand trade somehow entitles the publisher money for whenever the game switches owner. It's not like there are more discs in circulation.

Also, Microsoft inventing a completely stupid authentication system for a problem that doesn't exist outside of some greedy suits calculator is pretty pathetic. I mean, if I sell a game to gamestop I am automatically unable to play the game because I don't actually have the game anymore. So they mandate install and don't require discs to be in (and that on a 500GB system is itself stupid) to argue that's the reason. Again, completely fabricating a soulution to a problem to a solution to a problem that barely exists.

#17 Edited by Nivash (241 posts) -

@pezen: It's mostly because most games work like non-consumable consumables, as odd as that felt to write. You play it through once and then it's over and you lose nothing by selling it and since it hasn't really been "consumed" - it will work just as well for the next guy to buy it off you as it did when you bought it - you can easily end up in a market situation where there is never a reason for the consumer not to buy everything used which means less money gets back to the developers.

This is a very special situation for digital products but the situation is also rather unique for video games: movies make their money back primarily in a theater as an experience which can't be resold. Music CD's are priced low enough that people usually don't bother looking for second-hand options, and even then there are the possibilities of earning money through licensing and live performances.

There's a reason there are no equivalent enterprises to Gamestop in film or music. It's a very particular phenomenon, and I understand why the industry is concerned by it. I don't have the numbers at hand, but businesses like Gamestop are making a considerable profit, little of which finds its way back to the developers.

#18 Posted by alanm26v5 (449 posts) -

@pezen said:

I'll never understand why video games on discs should be some sacred entity in commerce that second-hand trade somehow entitles the publisher money for whenever the game switches owner. It's not like there are more discs in circulation.

Also, Microsoft inventing a completely stupid authentication system for a problem that doesn't exist outside of some greedy suits calculator is pretty pathetic. I mean, if I sell a game to gamestop I am automatically unable to play the game because I don't actually have the game anymore. So they mandate install and don't require discs to be in (and that on a 500GB system is itself stupid) to argue that's the reason. Again, completely fabricating a soulution to a problem to a solution to a problem that barely exists.

Because a used game is functionally identical to a new game, and stores like Gamestop make significantly more profit on used game sales, which leads to really shady practices from both the stores and publishers, which is supposedly hurting the industry. Gamestop sends out emails encouraging people to trade in games that are less than a month old to bolster their used game stock. Publishers came up with season pass DLC to try to get a consumer to not trade in a game so quickly. We're preordering games, not because they're hard to find, but to get some stupid tacked on gun or costume. Studio lay-offs after a major release is becoming too commonplace. The whole game release cycle is only getting more aggressive and it's probably not sustainable and will lead to a crash unless something changes. Somebody has to try something new, for better or worse, if not just to raise some questions in court over resale of digital goods. Who knows, maybe this will lead to a way to sell off games in my Steam collection I'm done with.

#19 Edited by golguin (3912 posts) -

I think the gaming press (and this includes the GB crew) is out of touch with the common consumer. Every time I hear Jeff wish for an all digital future I have to roll my eyes and remember that they haven't been a "normal" consumer for a very long time and they probably don't remember what it was like to swap games with buddies and pass the same game around 10 times so everyone could share in the experience.

The reality is that people STILL DO THAT. All the anger at the Xbox One is coming from people that don't want any part of an online verification or a fee for used games. You know how used/borrowed games should work? You put the disk in the machine and it goes. If it doesn't do that you just pissed of a whole bunch of people.

In the past few days people have constantly brought up Steam and PC games like it's suppose to mean something. Most people who own a console don't have Steam. They don't care about the system that's already in place there. We're talking about Microsoft trying to limit the rights of the consumer (First Sale Doctrine) and all these PC people are willingly sticking their hind ends in the air when they shouldn't be taking this either.

#20 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

I'm still laughing at the part where you admit gamers can't help but be suckers because the big bad game companies hire marketers and salesmen that are too devious.

I'm a poor college student living on my own. But man how much money would I have if my PC let me trade in games!!!

#21 Edited by President_Barackbar (3462 posts) -

@doctorchimp said:

I'm still laughing at the part where you admit gamers can't help but be suckers because the big bad game companies hire marketers and salesmen that are too devious.

I'm a poor college student living on my own. But man how much money would I have if my PC let me trade in games!!!

I think you're missing the point of that statement. People who are game enthusiasts (you and I) aren't swayed by marketing people, its people only casually interested in games who are. If marketing people can sway them to drown out the voices of enthusiasts, the problem takes care of itself.

#22 Posted by Doctorchimp (4076 posts) -

@president_barackbar: what sort of person casually interested in games buys a stupid color scheme for gears of war? Or an xp doubler for their fave shooter?

#23 Posted by alanm26v5 (449 posts) -

@golguin said:

I think the gaming press (and this includes the GB crew) is out of touch with the common consumer. Every time I hear Jeff wish for an all digital future I have to roll my eyes and remember that they haven't been a "normal" consumer for a very long time and they probably don't remember what it was like to swap games with buddies and pass the same game around 10 times so everyone could share in the experience.

The reality is that people STILL DO THAT. All the anger at the Xbox One is coming from people that don't want any part of an online verification or a fee for used games. You know how used/borrowed games should work? You put the disk in the machine and it goes. If it doesn't do that you just pissed of a whole bunch of people.

In the past few days people have constantly brought up Steam and PC games like it's suppose to mean something. Most people who own a console don't have Steam. They don't care about the system that's already in place there. We're talking about Microsoft trying to limit the rights of the consumer (First Sale Doctrine) and all these PC people are willingly sticking their hind ends in the air when they shouldn't be taking this either.

I feel like PC and Steam get brought up a lot because a lot of these issues happened with PC games several years ago already. I remember in the 90s, lending and borrowing PC games with my friends. Games could also be freely copied easily, which led to the hassle of dealing with copy protection and serial keys. You had DRM that could slow down or crash your system, so you went online to find no-cd cracks for things you legally owned. It eventually just became easier to pirate things, and the Internet made it so easy. Until recently with the rise of good digital distribution platforms, publishers wanted to give up on the PC because they couldn't make their money back, even if tons of people played their game. Only within the last few years has it actually become less of a hassle to legally buy a PC game, and the publisher and developer get paid off of my purchase, so hopefully they can continue to make more games I enjoy. And thankfully, there is still pricing competition between online retailers and distribution platforms. In fact, even not counting crazy Steam sales, PC games lower in price over time at a pretty reasonable rate for the most part.

That's not to say that I have complete faith that if Microsoft or Sony were to fully embrace a digital store this time, they'd do it right. They have a lot to prove with regard to pricing and availability if we go off of the past generation. Hopefully they can get it right.

#24 Edited by Abendlaender (2803 posts) -

So, here are my thoughts on this:

1. Piracy. Is piracy really THAT big deal on consoles? Chances are, if you are going to pirate game, you are probably doing it on PC right? It's faster, safer, cheaper and easier. Looking at the Xbox/PS3 game sales I can't really understand a problem. Also, as a honest consumer this is in no way shape or form a benefit unless games will get cheaper pfffhahaha. Sure.

2. Again, great for developers I guess. I don't think anybody is arguing that killing second hand games is going to be bad for developers, but why should I care? Like seriously?

3. The Steam argument. See, this is something that really bugs me and I love Steam. Yeah, you can't resell games on Steam. That's not a good thing. And the argument "Well, this system doesn't allow it as well" doesn't suddenly make it better. That's like saying "Well, China censors the internet, so clearly nobody should complain if WE do too" (Of course this is a completely different scale, but I hope you understand what I mean). If your competition does something wrong you should NOT ape them, you should try to do exactly the opposite.

All in all, well guess what: All these things are going to be great for the big publishers, who could have guessed? Great work Kuchera, you nailed it Things that are anti-consumer might be pro-companies, Pulitzer material right there. I mean, yeah, the consumer is getting fucked over but he is probably a dirty second hand pirate so we shouldn't even talk about him.

#25 Posted by Humanity (9205 posts) -

This probably won't go over well, but here goes nothing.

A consumer has no more "right" to a product than the producer has the "right" to the consumer's money. The producer offers a product for a given price and terms, and the consumer decides whether to buy or not. That's all there is. There is no "Just Price", no objective absolute you can point to and declare what a game or system is intrinsically worth. And exactly who would decide these values for everyone?

Lots of people buy Call of Duty every year for $60 plus DLC packs. I don't. They're not wrong, and neither am I. It's worth it to them, not to me. There's nothing else to it, no Good vs. Evil here.

It's very possible I won't be getting an Xbox One. Things can change, but it just hasn't yet appealed to me. But that doesn't equate to a moral, ethical, or spiritual failure on Microsoft's part. The only failure is in their product not appealing to me as one potential customer, but it might very well appeal to another person. If they appeal to enough people, they succeed. If they don't, they won't.

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

The most reasonable deduction I've read in light of what I could only describe as a week of complete madness. I especially couldn't agree more about the disturbing trend to interpret any business decision a company might make, which does not align itself with that of the consumer, as a personal attack on our way of life and personal freedoms. The situation has escalated to the point where this company behind a gaming system isn't simply announcing it's business model, but rather declaring full out war on gaming as we have come to know it.

#26 Edited by golguin (3912 posts) -

@humanity said:

@hashbrowns said:

This probably won't go over well, but here goes nothing.

A consumer has no more "right" to a product than the producer has the "right" to the consumer's money. The producer offers a product for a given price and terms, and the consumer decides whether to buy or not. That's all there is. There is no "Just Price", no objective absolute you can point to and declare what a game or system is intrinsically worth. And exactly who would decide these values for everyone?

Lots of people buy Call of Duty every year for $60 plus DLC packs. I don't. They're not wrong, and neither am I. It's worth it to them, not to me. There's nothing else to it, no Good vs. Evil here.

It's very possible I won't be getting an Xbox One. Things can change, but it just hasn't yet appealed to me. But that doesn't equate to a moral, ethical, or spiritual failure on Microsoft's part. The only failure is in their product not appealing to me as one potential customer, but it might very well appeal to another person. If they appeal to enough people, they succeed. If they don't, they won't.

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

The most reasonable deduction I've read in light of what I could only describe as a week of complete madness. I especially couldn't agree more about the disturbing trend to interpret any business decision a company might make, which does not align itself with that of the consumer, as a personal attack on our way of life and personal freedoms. The situation has escalated to the point where this company behind a gaming system isn't simply announcing it's business model, but rather declaring full out war on gaming as we have come to know it.

Consumers actually do have "rights" to products and there are many laws in the United States to protect those rights. What are you guys even talking about?

EDIT: A better comment would be to ask what consumer rights do you imagine people don't have? Legally speaking.

EDIT 2: Let me remove some of the legwork and link to the http://www.consumer-action.org/helpdesk/faqs so you can scroll down and find your exact issue.

Here are some of your most common "non-existent" rights. I know it's not that many things, but this is only a list of the most common issues that consumers run into.

#27 Posted by Pr1mus (3904 posts) -

Is this a trick to make me read something from Ben Kuchera? Because it ain't happening.

#28 Posted by hughesman (312 posts) -

This probably won't go over well, but here goes nothing.

A consumer has no more "right" to a product than the producer has the "right" to the consumer's money. The producer offers a product for a given price and terms, and the consumer decides whether to buy or not. That's all there is. There is no "Just Price", no objective absolute you can point to and declare what a game or system is intrinsically worth. And exactly who would decide these values for everyone?

Lots of people buy Call of Duty every year for $60 plus DLC packs. I don't. They're not wrong, and neither am I. It's worth it to them, not to me. There's nothing else to it, no Good vs. Evil here.

It's very possible I won't be getting an Xbox One. Things can change, but it just hasn't yet appealed to me. But that doesn't equate to a moral, ethical, or spiritual failure on Microsoft's part. The only failure is in their product not appealing to me as one potential customer, but it might very well appeal to another person. If they appeal to enough people, they succeed. If they don't, they won't.

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

Thank you.

#29 Posted by triple07 (1196 posts) -

As much as I hate Ben Kuchera I went to a Gamestop recently to pick up a new copy of Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen and felt like I was in a fucking flea market being hounded to buy their shitty wares I had no interest in. So I'm conflicted about trying to save the used game market. For me I'm not going to buy all my games at $60 unless I feel they deserve it so if Microsoft ends up controlling used games then they will have to offer me discounts for me to keep buying games from them. I have Steam and other PC distributors that offer me good deals on games so I don't feel the need to buy used games anymore.

I may be price sensitive but I still don't buy used games unless that is the only way to get the game.

#30 Edited by DarthOrange (3860 posts) -


The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

If the devices are owned by us, then we have a right to bitch if something is not to our liking. I don't care about buying used games nor do I sell games. What I do do (ha!) is take games over to my buddies house sometimes and let them borrow games. The hoops that these rumors seem to suggest you will have to jump through just to be able to do this are ridiculous; there must be a better solution.

#33 Posted by SexualBubblegumX (542 posts) -

Honestly the whole demolishing used games thing with xb1 is a step towards consoles being a digital format. If anything, Steam opened the door for companies to fuck us. If you're truly disgusted with microsoft is doing, get rid of steam and go back to box copies for your pc games. As long as you use steam you're part of the PROBLEM.

It's actually really simple, Digital copies give consumer no rights what so ever. Stop supporting Digital Copies and Companies will start learning that shit like xb1 is you know, fucking wrong.

#34 Posted by Hashbrowns (650 posts) -

@golguin: I think there's confusion here between contractual rights (wherein the producer and consumer are both compelled to abide by established agreements and laws) with the consumer "right" to dictate the terms of the purchase (a right which does not exist).

Consumers have rights, certainly, I never stated otherwise. We do not, however, have a right to buy an Xbox One on our own exclusive terms, nor is Microsoft obligated to sell us one in the first place. Microsoft isn't compelled by law to meet our expectations. There are two parties to the transaction, the seller and buyer, and each has to voluntarily enter into it.

If you buy an Xbox, and then Microsoft proceeds to breach the terms of that purchase, you absolutely have the right to litigate, but that isn't at all what the current discussion is about. I was addressing the false presumption that consumers have rights to certain features before the purchase is even made. Unless you have a standard such as a contract (terms of service), there is no standard by which to determine if a violation has occured. You can't break a law or contract that doesn't exist.

Just to be clear, if we all bought Xbox Ones with the current features and business models of the current Xbox 360 (no used game fees, optional online) and THEN Microsoft suddenly said "Guess what? Always online, and all the games you already own now have retro-active DRM!" Well, THEN they would have breached the original terms of the contract we entered into when buying the console. But again, that's not what's being discussed.

#35 Posted by alanm26v5 (449 posts) -

@sexualbubblegumx: We haven't been able to sell or buy used PC games for way longer than Steam has been around though. You can't even return opened boxed copies of software. It's hardly a new thing.

#36 Posted by Hashbrowns (650 posts) -

@hashbrowns said:

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

If the devices are owned by us, then we have a right to bitch if something is not to our liking. I don't care about buying used games nor do I sell games. What I do do (ha!) is take games over to my buddies house sometimes and let them borrow games. The hoops that these rumors seem to suggest you will have to jump through just to be able to do this are ridiculous; there must be a better solution.

You certainly have a right to Free Speech, and I would never tell you not to complain. Voice your desires and expectations, absolutely. But if the Xbox One doesn't meet your standards, then you probably shouldn't buy one. Why buy something you don't want? There's a distinction here, and it's important. It isn't the opinions about Microsoft's poorly explained business model at issue; it's the premise behind many of the complaints that I wanted to address. I don't like any of these used-game limitations either, and it's likely why I won't buy and Xbox One. But I never had a right to own an Xbox One, just as Microsoft didn't have a right to my money. They don't offer what I want, I don't buy. It's incredibly liberating, really.

I can't stress this enough: if you don't like the features of Xbox One, VOICE YOUR OPINION! By all means! Tell'em that you won't buy an Xbox One unless they change the policy.

#37 Edited by endaround (2145 posts) -

@sexualbubblegumx: We haven't been able to sell or buy used PC games for way longer than Steam has been around though. You can't even return opened boxed copies of software. It's hardly a new thing.

Thank you. There has never been a real used PC games scene because the ease of buying, copying, and passing on. Console games have exclusionary properties, i.e. you need the physical product available. The PC used market has always been rummage sales and then eBay. Steam changed nothing.

#38 Edited by EXTomar (4718 posts) -

Yes this is nothing new for PC but...

- PC is a "semi-open" platform where any DRM is optional unlike DRM Hardened platforms like all modern consoles. Variation and rebuilding is common which make tying to specific installations a nightmare and some developers still make this mistake.

- PC market is open so the prices range from free to absurd which is not the case in every "walled garden". "Used games" don't exist as disks sitting in some store but on ebay and specialized sites.

- PC is a progressive and aggressive platform where tech is embraced and abandoned in months.

It is these multiple factors which have negated the used game market for PC a long time ago. Piracy also played a part but in many cases there is nothing to return.

So Microsoft (and Sony and Nintendo) can go for the "no used game" and the buyer has little recourse to complain if they come close to offering what PC offers. So far the XBox One (and PS4 and Wii U) don't even come close.

#39 Edited by SexualBubblegumX (542 posts) -

@alanm26v5: Ebay man, Ebay.

@endaround Actually it changed a fuckton, people are willing to sacrifice consumer rights for conveience. While subtle thats still a gigantic change. With My box copy, if for some reason it doesn't work due to my vid card or OS or well anything I can still give or sell that box copy to some one who can use it. With a Digital copy, if that happens well you just wasted money is all. Futhermore you have to play by the companies rules and the middleman's rules like how Steam has spyware in it for the information gathering nonsense.

#40 Edited by sopranosfan (1935 posts) -

For the people talking about piracy being big on the Xbox because of modded consoles, how long until The One is cracked and modded once again making the honest customer the one left paying for the bad things others do while the people pirating are still pirating.

Also, great blog.

#41 Edited by Slag (4345 posts) -

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

Not really, If I have a physical item in my possession that I manage, curate and provide space for, that I paid for, it's mine.

And that isn't disturbing at all, nor is it perpetual victimhood. That's just and fair for the the product I receive and the price I paid for it.

If there was true competition in the video game space than you may have a point. But there is only three major console makers in the entire world. It's an Oligopoly that can attempt to control the options presented to consumers. So it's not like Consumers have true free choice here. Yes they have a choice to not buy it at all, but they don't have a choice to buy it the way they want to. A reasonable way to buy it at that (We're not talking about 25 cent Pizzas here or something). That is a significant Free market Failure due to lack of adequate competition.

The view you are supporting is very disturbing in my view, it's basically supporting Corporate Fascism. You're essentially suggesting that companies should be able to dictate and enforce any terms they want. That's not how an effective free market works.

#42 Posted by DarthOrange (3860 posts) -

@darthorange said:

@hashbrowns said:

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

If the devices are owned by us, then we have a right to bitch if something is not to our liking. I don't care about buying used games nor do I sell games. What I do do (ha!) is take games over to my buddies house sometimes and let them borrow games. The hoops that these rumors seem to suggest you will have to jump through just to be able to do this are ridiculous; there must be a better solution.

You certainly have a right to Free Speech, and I would never tell you not to complain. Voice your desires and expectations, absolutely. But if the Xbox One doesn't meet your standards, then you probably shouldn't buy one. Why buy something you don't want? There's a distinction here, and it's important. It isn't the opinions about Microsoft's poorly explained business model at issue; it's the premise behind many of the complaints that I wanted to address. I don't like any of these used-game limitations either, and it's likely why I won't buy and Xbox One. But I never had a right to own an Xbox One, just as Microsoft didn't have a right to my money. They don't offer what I want, I don't buy. It's incredibly liberating, really.

I can't stress this enough: if you don't like the features of Xbox One, VOICE YOUR OPINION! By all means! Tell'em that you won't buy an Xbox One unless they change the policy.

I concur.

#43 Posted by troll93 (388 posts) -

@tescovee said:
This is the first thing I have to take issue with. Maybe I’m just blind to it, but piracy on the Xbox 360 never seemed like a significant problem to me.

I live in chicago, and it seems pretty big. You can go to mom and pops that sell modded xboxs with little hassle. Of the people who I talk to about games to at work, all 5 of them have modded xboxes and just torrent the games.... You must be blind to it, just go to TPB. Do you know that Sony isn't going to do the same? So much vitriol being spewed about shit that isn't even known.

I'm in a bit of the same boat, but I'm not sure if it is I just have a weird circle. Most people I know and talk to about games are comfortable with the design and construction of electrical systems (we spent about 4 years of high school doing this stuff). This means that they all felt really comfortable breaking open their xbox's and cracking them.

#44 Posted by Hashbrowns (650 posts) -

@slag said:

@hashbrowns said:

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

Not really, If I have a physical item in my possession that I manage, curate and provide space for, that I paid for, it's mine.

And that isn't disturbing at all, nor is it perpetual victimhood. That's just and fair for the the product I receive and the price I paid for it.

If there was true competition in the video game space than you may have a point. But there is only three major console makers in the entire world. It's an Oligopoly that can attempt to control the options presented to consumers. So it's not like Consumers have true free choice here. Yes they have a choice to not buy it at all, but they don't have a choice to buy it the way they want to. A reasonable way to buy it at that (We're not talking about 25 cent Pizzas here or something). That is a significant Free market Failure due to lack of adequate competition.

The view you are supporting is very disturbing in my view, it's basically supporting Corporate Fascism. You're essentially suggesting that companies should be able to dictate and enforce any terms they want. That's not how an effective free market works.

Firstly, to have that physical item in your possession, you entered into a contract (the terms of the purchase) with the seller. If you don't like the terms, do not agree to them.

Second, and more importantly, who gets to define "reasonable"? I'm guessing Microsoft and I have different opinions on what price the Xbox One should be. Who's right? How would that be determined? By what mechanism should the "right" price be enforced? Should the internet take a vote and then have the Department of Justice order Microsoft to offer what we want? You're appealing to an absolute standard that simply does not exist.

Corporate Fascism would entail the government forcing me to buy an Xbox One at whatever price they set by regulatory fiat (risking political parallels here with what's being done to the health insurance industry). Video games are not a naturally occuring part of life. They don't grow on trees in the wild. They are a commodity, created works by people. The producers OWN their product utterly. They then set an asking price/terms for sale. If you agree to the terms, you agree to the terms. It's that simple.

If the features and limitations of the Xbox One turn away enough consumers, Microsoft loses money. They would then have two choices; either change their policies or go out of the console business. They're not putting a boot to your throat; there is no fine or potential jail time for failing to buy a game console (unlike health insurance).

Of course we have free choice. In what way are you compelled to buy any of these devices? How many competitors must there be for "true free choice" to exist? Five consoles? Six? A hundred? How many pricing models need to be available before "true free choice" is realized?

And most importantly, who says so?

At the risk of being a broken record, let me reiterate this part: I'm NOT saying "Everyone should be content and happy with the Xbox One and you all should buy it!" Far from it! The big problem is that many people are acting as though commodities are a natural right, and that NOT being offered one they deem "reasonable" is some sort of moral outrage, or even a form of criminality.

#45 Posted by Musou (381 posts) -

I'm a consumer, not part of the press or industry in any way, and I wholeheartedly agree that most people are overreacting to this in a very misplaced sense of self entitlement.

You see, when you buy software you, technically, never should have been able to resell that software. You're not buying a disc - that's only a delivery mechanism - you're buying a LICENSE which gives you the right to use the software on that disc. This license is personal and CANNOT be transfered, which means, you DO NOT have the right to sell it to anyone. It's the classic "Real" Property X Intellectual Property debacle.

Thing is, because there is a physical media involved there are a bunch of other laws that get mixed up in it, that's why GameStop and other services were able to grow and function. But the point is, the company (in this case Microsoft) IS NOT wrong in creating mechanisms to prevent the sale of used games because it's merely defending a policy that was already in place.

You mentioned piracy as not being that big of an issue - and you're probably right -, but in the grand scheme of things what is exactly the difference between piracy and selling used games, or even borrowing games for that matter?

I mean, when a person pirates a game - or any other piece of software - he's taking a copy of that software, ripping it in some way and distributing it to other people. What you have here is that someone purchased ONE copy of a game and distributed it to a bunch of other people to use that SAME copy. The people that developed, marketed and distributed that game only get paid for that single copy while a bunch of people benefit from it.

When you sell a used game it is, basically, the same thing. One person buys a copy of a game, sells it to another person, who might sell it to another person still and so forth and so on. In the end you have the same problem, the people that worked on that game are getting paid one copy while there are multiple people using the content of it. Heck, I would go as far as saying that, in the end, the used games market is MORE prejudicial to the games industry than piracy.

Let's picture a hypotethical situation. You are a developer and you spend years making your game. Now let's imagine that you put your game to sale and you end up selling 100,000 copies, and let's imagine that your game is absolutely impossible to pirate. But let's say that you have someway to check how many people actually got to play your game - start to finish - and you find out that 300,000 people played it. That 200,000 copies from which you got nothing. Zilch. ZERO. That's pretty harsh, right? Had those people paid for the content they consumed you would have gotten three times the revenue, it's a pretty substantial difference.

Of course, that scenario is hypothetical and pretty exaggerated, but it is representative of what actually happens with the used games market. We've grown accustomed to reselling games, but those days are coming to an end, and rightfully so for this is a prejudicial practice for the industry.

Anyway, I've probably typed too much and this is most likely a very unpopular opinion but I just thought I would throw my 2 cents and offer a different perspective from a consumer on this.

Also, I would wait for E3 before ruling out the Xbox One as the latest antichrist. Microsoft seems to be quite confused with their speech on used games and what are their policies and systems. There're so many conflicting statements about all this that feel that nothing can be taken for granted yet.

#46 Edited by egg (1467 posts) -

"In a way, though, that’s what shopping online is becoming - Steam, which may have single-handedly saved the PC as a platform, is almost as difficult to browse as the Xbox Marketplace once you get past the featured content on the front page, and there probably isn’t going to be a good way to solve that problem without straight-up removing games from the service. After all, it’s not Steam’s fault there’s 232 games listed under the “Action” genre, and adding finer detail sub-genres isn’t going to make things any easier to the untrained eye."

Ok. Hold on. You can't remove games from a digital service.

If you try to browse a full list of games, that's your dang fault. Don't complain. That's like complaining there are "too many websites" thereby making the internet "difficult to browse".

#47 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1092 posts) -

@blazehedgehog said:

I can only hope that the Xbox One won’t kill used games, and it won’t control second-hand sales, because if it did, that certainly wouldn’t be great news (Really.)

Props where props due. What a zinger.

I'm actually the most fond of "Used games aren't my problem, they're my solution." I kind or wanted to end it there, but I figured it would've seemed a little abrupt without a little more setup.

@humanity said:

@hashbrowns said:

This probably won't go over well, but here goes nothing.

A consumer has no more "right" to a product than the producer has the "right" to the consumer's money. The producer offers a product for a given price and terms, and the consumer decides whether to buy or not. That's all there is. There is no "Just Price", no objective absolute you can point to and declare what a game or system is intrinsically worth. And exactly who would decide these values for everyone?

Lots of people buy Call of Duty every year for $60 plus DLC packs. I don't. They're not wrong, and neither am I. It's worth it to them, not to me. There's nothing else to it, no Good vs. Evil here.

It's very possible I won't be getting an Xbox One. Things can change, but it just hasn't yet appealed to me. But that doesn't equate to a moral, ethical, or spiritual failure on Microsoft's part. The only failure is in their product not appealing to me as one potential customer, but it might very well appeal to another person. If they appeal to enough people, they succeed. If they don't, they won't.

The underlying sentiment behind most of the Xbox One reactions is what's most disturbing: a belief that these electronic devices are in some way owed to us, and therefore any terms, prices or features that we don't want are considered tantamount to attempted theft. That mindset is self-defeating and inevitably encourages an attitude of perpetual victimhood, and so it's little wonder why people react with unhealthy rage when an entertainment device might not live up to their expectations.

The most reasonable deduction I've read in light of what I could only describe as a week of complete madness. I especially couldn't agree more about the disturbing trend to interpret any business decision a company might make, which does not align itself with that of the consumer, as a personal attack on our way of life and personal freedoms. The situation has escalated to the point where this company behind a gaming system isn't simply announcing it's business model, but rather declaring full out war on gaming as we have come to know it.

It must be nice to live in a world where the only thing that exists is "logic completely divorced from intent".

@egg said:

"In a way, though, that’s what shopping online is becoming - Steam, which may have single-handedly saved the PC as a platform, is almost as difficult to browse as the Xbox Marketplace once you get past the featured content on the front page, and there probably isn’t going to be a good way to solve that problem without straight-up removing games from the service. After all, it’s not Steam’s fault there’s 232 games listed under the “Action” genre, and adding finer detail sub-genres isn’t going to make things any easier to the untrained eye."

Ok. Hold on. You can't remove games from a digital service.

If you try to browse a full list of games, that's your dang fault. Don't complain. That's like complaining there are "too many websites" thereby making the internet "difficult to browse".

That's exactly what I was getting at, actually. With Steam launching Greenlight, they're actually opening the flood gates to MORE games, even. So far, neither Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo or Valve has even implied plans to remove depreciated software - it was simply a possible solution to the notion of a cluttered marketplace. A fairly heavy-handed one, but a solution none the less.

#48 Edited by egg (1467 posts) -

@blazehedgehog said:


That's exactly what I was getting at, actually. With Steam launching Greenlight, they're actually opening the flood gates to MORE games, even. So far, neither Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo or Valve has even implied plans to remove depreciated software - it was simply a possible solution to the notion of a cluttered marketplace. A fairly heavy-handed one, but a solution none the less.

Except that it's not a solution. If you have 1500 games on a marketplace and remove 50, you didn't accomplish anything. You still have a fuckton of games. Removing games isn't getting any closer to solving the problem, if you think so then by that logic you might as well stop adding games or push companies to stop making them.

Besides, you yourself wrote "there is no such thing as 'limited shelf space'." and when I read it I thought you were making a point how there's no need to clear inventory online.

Go here:

http://www.giantbomb.com/games/

Giant Bomb has 35098 games listed. Obviously that's too many for someone to browse through, so would you propose GB staff remove some? It is technically meant to be a list of every game ever made, but then again isn't Steam database technically a list of every game on Steam? And isn't it important that people are able to buy them?

#49 Posted by BlazeHedgehog (1092 posts) -

@egg said:

@blazehedgehog said:


That's exactly what I was getting at, actually. With Steam launching Greenlight, they're actually opening the flood gates to MORE games, even. So far, neither Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo or Valve has even implied plans to remove depreciated software - it was simply a possible solution to the notion of a cluttered marketplace. A fairly heavy-handed one, but a solution none the less.

Except that it's not a solution. If you have 1500 games on a marketplace and remove 50, you didn't accomplish anything. You still have a fuckton of games. Removing games isn't getting any closer to solving the problem, if you think so then by that logic you might as well stop adding games or push companies to stop making them.

Besides, you yourself wrote "there is no such thing as 'limited shelf space'." and when I read it I thought you were making a point how there's no need to clear inventory online.

Go here:

http://www.giantbomb.com/games/

Giant Bomb has 35098 games listed. Obviously that's too many for someone to browse through, so would you propose GB staff remove some? It is technically meant to be a list of every game ever made, but then again isn't Steam database technically a list of every game on Steam? And isn't it important that people are able to buy them?

You're merely arguing a suggestion I made, and one I don't even necessarily agree with, I just made because it was all I could think of. :P

#50 Posted by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -

for me personally (and speaking as a consumer on a budget)- this begins and ends with:

if you don't like what they're selling, don't buy it.

if it's a more complex decision for you, give it some measured consideration. weigh some pros and cons, and see what you can and cannot live with. but the real problem here seems to be, beyond the press being at odds with the consumer- GAME PRODUCERS, under this presumption, are at odds with the consumer. don't you think the authors of these original works want to live in a world where their entertainments MUST be paid-for to be enjoyed? everybody's got to get theirs, and beyond the desires of a few 'true' artists who simply want to share their work with the world...can you blame them?

the reality is, we live in a world in which revenue streams for studios in the traditional-console-space seem to be tightening. costs and risks are high, and so they're trying to do what they can to survive. that doesn't excuse insidious or inequitable business practices- but at a certain point, if you're playing on team microsoft, sony, or valve for that matter, and the game changes- you have a choice to make. either live with this new world, or pack it in. because like others have alluded to- they really don't 'owe' you anything when they simply putting a product on the market.

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