The Supreme Court Might Be About To Shut Down Used Game Sales For Good

"Used games are a point of contention between gamers who want to save a little money and game developers who worry about losing new sales to used games. But it may all be moot, if an obscure case that's about to go before the Supreme Court goes copyright holders' way. Here's what's going on, and why you should care."

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SactoGamer2174d ago

I suppose if SCOTUS bans the sale of used video games, they'll have to do the same with used movies, music CDs, books, cars, and Magic: the Gathering cards too.

ddurand12174d ago

how about used anything?

cars, chairs, couches, tvs.

where does it end?

jadenkorri2174d ago

u cant stop used sales, the implications of what would happen if this goes through. Just because game stop does it on a larger scale than most used sales gives no right to the publisher to complain. Next thing would be apple complaining about used iPhone sales, then car dealerships.

f7897902174d ago

Which is why this case won't go anywhere. Implications are always considered in these cases.

Pushagree2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

Good. Used game sales are a bane on capitalism. Everyone has a right to profit on thier goods. Gamestop is the only business that does NOT give a share of thier profits to the owner for used sales and that is not fair.

jeeves862174d ago

If I want to sell something that I purchased legally to someone else, I should be allowed to do that. They should be allowed to buy what I'm selling, too - provided I'm not selling something illegal.

Used games are not a bane on capitalism - it's a facet of your buying power. If publishers want you to buy a new game, then they should offer you incentive to buy a new game, not punish you for buying a used game.

cpayne932174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

Once you buy a product though, you own it, not the company or whoever that sold it to you. You have a right to sell the things that you own, and gamestop has a right to sell what has been bought off of you. Obviously copying what you buy and selling it is a different story.

If this passes, you might as well shut down every pawn shop in america since they would be commiting the same actions, just with different products.

Edit: well said jeeves, the ability to sell what you buy is a part of capitalism.

Pushagree2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

You don't own what you buy. You are paying for the services of what you buy. In this case, you are paying the company to be entertained. In order for you to sell something that somebody else has a patent on, you have to ask THEM for permission and give them a share of the profits. After all, without their work and inovation into the product, you would not have been able to make money on that said product at all, so it is only fair that you give a share to the owner who made it in the first place if you intend to make a profit on the item that they made.

Gamestop doesnt follow this rule. They STEAL money from hardworking people by not giving a share to the company when they resell used games. That MUST be stopped.

cpayne932174d ago

@push thats simply incorrect, items aren't services, they are physical objects which you own. You pay for that patent once, when you buy it. You're just plain wrong, and putting such restrictions on the used market hurts the free market as a whole.

Hellsvacancy2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

"Pushagree" lol, i dont think so, its good to know that your not on the same side of us gamers

If developers started making better games maybe i wouldnt buy them used

Its the publishers/government that drain the money from the developers not us gamers

Sometimes i feel like i can save the planet from disaster, what good would it do me with people like yourself habitating it, deluded do gooders

Trebius2174d ago

Its hard to buy new games when you have games like CoD which are the same every year with no improvements being regurgitated constantly. Developers should either hold to a standard of game development and give us games worth purchasing, or just make buying used games less convenient, which is what theyve been doing.

Buying used means you usually cant play online without a pass, thats just the start, just make other decisions like this and stop complaining about used games sales. Encourage us to buy new by giving us MORE...

Who wants to buy games brand new when you also have to buy a bunch of DLCs after the game comes out???? Developers are getting too greedy.

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Persistantthug2174d ago

The laws of THIS country are the laws.

The laws of an outside country don't apply here.

The minute you tell me this isn't true, then that's the minute this isn't the United States Of America anymore.

fermcr2174d ago

Dam... now i can't sell my used condoms.

FarCryLover1822174d ago

That's pretty funny, but I am sure there are people in this world who would buy them.

TekoIie2174d ago

just go to the black market brah!

nukeitall2174d ago

Supreme court will strike this down. No worries.

PockyKing2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

This is stupid, like really stupid. So now, with the digital era, we have to worry about our actual "ownership" of what we buy. And now, we can't even sell back, they physical merchandise we have. I understand devs want their money, but every used game already aquainted to a purchase of less than or equal to $60.00

This isn't that great of an analogy, but honestly, if you buy a candy bar you eat it, the company made it's money, you buy a game you play it, the company made it's money.

MrBeatdown2174d ago

Let's put it this way... save for a weirdo or two, nobody wants that candy bar once you're done with it.

That game you played though? That's a different story.

And that's the problem content creators face. Basically, uh, how should I put this... games don't have the luxury of being turned into poo once the credits roll.

PockyKing2174d ago

Unfortunately, I think the answer would be CD Keys..

ginsunuva2173d ago

Games aren't physical. They come on physical storage devices. They, themselves, are digital. Can you sell the computer or phone applications you bought?

xCaptainAmazing2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

It's so absurd. Even if they were banned, there'd be a game trading classifieds site launched immediately for regions all over the world that people could check out and trade games directly with others. No middle man.

As a matter of fact... we should hope this happens. Private sales will net you a more fair amount of cash, and straight trades are crazy convenient.

MrBeatdown2174d ago

Cars are a very poor comparison. With cars, you get what you pay for. Buy a new car today and you'll get, let's say, ten years of usefulness out of it.

But if you buy that used 2001 model, you're damn sure going to know it. It will have problems. It might smell like the previous owner's dog. It might have rust. It might have cigarette burns on the seat.

Vehicle condition deteriorates. That in itself is really all the vehicle market needs remain healthy. Condition is a major factor for car buyers.

With games, there really is no deterioration of the appeal a game has. A person who pops GTA4 into his console will get an identical experience to the one I had when I played it on release day back in 2008.

With the way retailers guarantee the functionality of a game, unless you are a collector who likes to get a copy in pristine condition, there really is no incentive to buy new. Price difference is a clear reason why you should by used though.

That's the real issue here... how do you persuade a customer to buy content from the creators, when the content is basically identical no matter who you buy it from?

nukeitall2173d ago (Edited 2173d ago )

By adding more content after the fact, such as GOTY editions. Also, a good idea is to make the game so darn good, that customers don't want to sell it back.

High demand games a high trade-in and resell value, which means more new copies are sold.

Finally, a good analogy is software and music. I would even argue that music is far worse off, because the price took a drastic dive from $10+ albums to $1 songs, it's easy and fast to share/pirate, and ripping a music CD is trivial.

So yeah, game makers aren't some vodoo business that deserve special treatment that other industries don't. Suck it up and make a good game!!!

MrBeatdown2173d ago

Releasing GOTY versions results in the vanilla version's price dropping, which means used versions drop even further. And making games that people don't want to trade in? That's much easier said than done. Look at insanely popular games like Skyrim or CoD4 which can provide hundreds and hundreds of hours of entertainment, and were or still are regarded as one of the best in their genres. That didn't stop trade ins.

Software and games are a much better analogy, but far from perfect. I don't buy a lot of software, but doesn't most of it come with DRM nowadays? I can't say I've ever seen a used copy of Microsoft Office at Staples.

And music? Piracy is probably a much bigger problem for them than games, but at the same time, they have far more control over their financial viability than game makers do. Anybody can record music in front of their computer nowadays. It's dirt cheap. But I'm sure there's a whole lot of people involved in the process that drive cars that cost more than my house. I'm kind of guessing here, but I'm assuming the NECESSARY costs associated with producing a successful album are much less than that of producing a successful game.

I'm not saying games deserve special treatment, but it would be naive to act as if games don't face a very different set of challenges from other products.

nukeitall2173d ago


"I'm not saying games deserve special treatment, but it would be naive to act as if games don't face a very different set of challenges from other products."

That is my point, every other industry face issues some far worse than this yet they don't get protection.

The idea that you aren't allowed to resell a used product is ridiculous. There are plenty of products that suffer effects from used market, yet we don't ban the sale of a legally used item, do we?

If the industry can't sustain itself, it will morph to do so. We already see that shift with indie type games. We shouldn't violate consumer rights,because they can't make money. That's after the fact that large companies like EA and Activision very healthy.

If there is anything I would like to see, is reduced taxes for small businesses. Not consumer rights violation to protect mega corporations. They do that fine on their own!

MrBeatdown2173d ago

You're right. They don't get protection. Some don't need it. Others find ways to do without it.

For software, the one thing most comparable to games, it's DRM. DRM is the road games are headed down. Just look at online passes.

If laws don't eliminate used games, publishers will. Either way, we will end up at the same point with us getting screwed by restrictions. Personally, I'd take restrictions that keep me from selling something over restrictions that keep me from using something.

thebudgetgamer2173d ago

Tell that to people that buy madden games that remove online features after a year.

nukeitall2172d ago (Edited 2172d ago )

"Personally, I'd take restrictions that keep me from selling something over restrictions that keep me from using something."

Given the two evils, of course I would prefer to be able to play my games. The question is, why are the pirates getting a working game while I get the short end of the stick?

So if used games were illegal, I will turn to pirating. It's easier than owning, far cheaper and I even get the better experience! F developers/publishers!

Fact of the matter is, publisher/developers already got their cut of second hand sales via online passes. What more do they want?

MrBeatdown2172d ago (Edited 2172d ago )

"So if used games were illegal, I will turn to pirating. It's easier than owning, far cheaper and I even get the better experience! F developers/publishers!"

That doesn't make much sense. You have to deal with DRM now. If you can get a better experience for less by pirating, why aren't you doing it already?

I'm not sure why you would care about getting the better experience in just that one scenario. With publishers being the ones that have to protect their work because laws won't, we're already getting screwed by things like online passes. We're not benefiting much as things are.

Like I said, I'd much rather have games I can't sell, but can at least be used as I wish with fewer DRM restrictions, than be stuck with online passes and all these different forms of DRM in games I bought new, and as a result, are devalued to both myself and a potential buyer anyway.

Sure it's not a guarantee that things like online passes would decline if laws killed off the used market and these massive resellers like GameStop, but I can't say I would mind taking the chance in hopes that it would.

Either way, one day, we won't be able to sell our games, whether it's due to law, DRM, or digital downloads. I'd rather take my chances with the law and hope that it provides equal protection for consumer rights, or at least some encouragement for publishers to offer customers a better experience with less restrictive DRM, and physical copies.

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BubloZX2174d ago

Shoot might as well ban goodwill and salvation army.

GamingPerson2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

good point.

I wonder what corporations are behind this.

Pushagree2174d ago

Charity =/= used games.

Tuxedo_Mask2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

You can sometimes find old games at Goodwill and Salvation Army stores. If they ban used game sales it will apply to them too.

BubloZX2174d ago

Its not a charity. You give goodwill and salvation army your stuff for free. They sell it to profit, they are like gamestop but worse. They make 100% profit gamestop only makes money after they sell a used products. Gamestop has to order and buy the they games new then sell them at little to no profit. Then they gotta hoe people trade stuff in. And they pay you for your stuff. For a lot less then what you paid but atleast they give you something.

omarzy2174d ago (Edited 2174d ago )

so how have i been buying, and selling japanese games all these years? that just contradicts the whole "buy and sell within the united states" notion because they said if games were made outside of the united states, then we could not buy or sell

TridentSlayer2174d ago

or...just saying....we download all of our games from home with massive hard drive space and not having to pay again if we delete a thought

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