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GameStop exploiting devs and consumers, says Ready at Dawn boss

GIB:Ru Weerasuriya on fighting back against used games, and why he's launching The Order 1886 exclusively on PS4

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gamesindustry.biz
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Majin-vegeta1488d ago ShowReplies(4)
NYC_Gamer1488d ago (Edited 1488d ago )

Well,i'm all in favor of people being able to trade for cash/store credit..I don't feel the publisher should be paid twice.The exchange deal for used goods should be kept between the buyer and seller.

The_Infected1488d ago

They're not technically being paid twice because that person that was could've bought their game new and paid the Developer who made the game instead paid a few bucks less and paid Gamestop for nothing.

NYC_Gamer1488d ago (Edited 1488d ago )

From article

"I don't think we should stop used games, but we should do something about getting part of the revenue back from GameStop and places like that"

That would mean the publishers would collect from both sales of new and used software...That's being paid twice...The dude is clear as day saying they should get some percentage of the money made on used goods..In order for the game to be used someone had to buy it brand new[publisher was already paid for that sale]

The_Infected1488d ago (Edited 1488d ago )

^^^

If someone buys their game new then trades it in and someone buys it used then that's two people buying one copy of their game. One being the person who paid the developer and the other who paid Gamestop. So why shouldn't the developer get part of the money for their game?

Amazingmrbrock1487d ago

See the part your missing though is that a new game sale covers not just development but shipping and printing of disc and related materials. After the first sale that stuff and the development costs and marketing are already paid for. What the publishers and puppet developers are asking for is a double dip on the same product. They say they aren't selling enough to break even.. new game sales are higher than they have ever been and grow every year. The problem isn't that people are buying used copies denying the publishers money. The problem is that they spend too much money developing the games and way way too much money marketing them. There are games that sell 5 and 6 million copies and don't break even. Thats why they want used money. They manage their money poorly so they are trying to find every way possible to continue making overpriced games with too much marketing. Games shouldnt cost 100-200+ million dollars, they just shouldn't, that amount doesn't buy extra quality, or guarantee more sales. The publishers think it should but it just doesn't, there are games like dark souls which are profitable with 2-3 million sales, those developers and publishers never complain about used games. Plus dark souls arguably looked nearly as good as tomb raider or bioshock infinite, and one of the best looking games of the generation heavy rain cost about 30 million. There's just no call for it.

Gameratheart1487d ago

Car manufacturers don't make squat on used car sales.... It's the same thing. Chevy, ford, nissan, Toyota etc.. Should collect on every used car sold, because, as you put it, that person who bought used could've bought new.... That's a flawed argument because some people who buy used can't afford new prices, or simply don't want to.... I mostly buy new games myself, but to each there own.... There's a used market for just about everything sold... Why should game publishers be the only ones getting paid for used products?

kreate1487d ago

Agreed w nyc.

If I buy something, I should be able to sell it to whoever. Why does the original manufacturer get paid twice?

What if its sold again, the corporate gets paid a 3rd time?

How bout I also get a cut too?
Since I'm the original buyer, when gamestop sell my game they should give me a profit too.

MuleKick1487d ago

Okay, used games fans. Let's say Naughty Dog sold five million new games and 2 million use games. In order for them to afford supporting a second team, they need to sell seven million games. (which technically, they did) In falling short on their sales goal, that second team would not have existed and we would have not been able to enjoy what has been one of the best games of the year in The Last of Us. I'm all for Consumer Freedom. just understand what the repercussions of your choices can mean. All because you wanted to save $3 and stuff $20 into the pockets of stores like Gamestop.

spoonard1487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

Games are a product, just like everything else in the different consumer markets. Nobody else gets paid for each time their product get sold in a 2nd hand store. This bullshit over used games is simply an attempt to get paid twice for their product because they think they can do it. Auto makers get paid once for the cars they build, carpenters get paid once for the houses they build, PC manufacturers get paid only once for the PC components they build. NOBODY else gets paid for their used products. Game developers don't deserve, nor are they entitled to a chunk of the used games market.

thorstein1487d ago

Why is this only a problem with video games? All sorts of used media are sold every single day. What, I have a collector's edition of a comic book or baseball card and if I sell it for what it is worth, I somehow owe the baseball card company? Used book stores flourish in used book sales, but the publishers don't claim that they deserve the revenue. This is so weird.

Death1487d ago

Books and cars.

Authors are paid by the publisher for their work and then they get paid for each book sold once they hit a certain dynamic. Each author is paid differently based on the demand for their work. Completely different from games.

Automobiles cost tens of thousands of dollars. If someone out there was buying cars for half of new prices and selling them for $5 less than new, chances are GM would notice. Still apples to lugnuts though.

Software is a consumable experience. We are all licensed to enjoy a game for our single enjoyment for $60. If the license were transferable or made for multiple users we would pay much more than $60. Compare the prices of Mcaffe single and multi-user copies. You will see that you pay more for multiple licenses. We can't have games at $60 and demand we resell the license. Devs are shutting down and the kids are crying about rights that do not exist per the user agreement printed in the user manual of each game we buy.

Amazing when devs try to explain used games hurt their ability to make new games they get called greedy. If you are whining devs need to make better games for you to buy new, shut your pie hole. You are not a customer.

Sarick1487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

When you buy a book or DVD movie and watch it. If you decide to sell it or trade them in for money that's your right. What the person who bought it from you decides to do with it that's their right.

The product was already bought. Unless they continue to put one time codes on each disc or make the software LICENSES like Microsoft and digital downloads the data on the disc is mostly transferable.

Remember, when people trade/sell their games they aren't pirating them. They aren't stealing or copying the products. What they are doing is liquidating assets they bought and own to get new assets.

The product was already bought. What the developers need to do is make the customers hold onto their games longer. This way gamers will want to keep their disc longer minimizing the profit potential of these places buying back games and reselling them.

Look it this way, you don't see book companies complaining about FREE libraries that lend out books. It cost less to publish a book or movie but still.

How are they going to FIX this problem. I know the answer. What would need done is a balance. First the developers have full control of the games as digital licenses then later they sell the physical copies that require NO internet connections at all.

Sell the digital copies first online as digital licenses ONLY! At 80% of the retail value of disc based copies for a short time. This would be about three to six months.

In this time period a limited number of cheap really cheap FIRST LAUNCH game disc are also sold. This is the FULL game that contains ALL of the digital download already ON the disc. No frills or game books. It's basically a demo disc until it's digitally unlocked online for your system.

The sole purpose is to make the digital licensed copy available to people with poor or restricted internet connections.

Here is the kicker.

After the game has been out digitally as licensed format for 3-6 months sell the FULL DISC based versions with all the game books and stuff at full price while reducing the digital cost of the online digital copies more.

I realize most publishers would want to skip the second step but they'd lose a lot of people if we didn't get the physical copies at all. What they'd need to realize is by the time this is introduced most of the hardcore sells would've died down a bit. It would then open up a second market whee they still gain the upper hand in the digital market over the used sells.

The people who want the games at launch would have a choice to buy the digital license first while the people who choose to wait could get the disc based full copies later. Since the first launch disc are sold as cheap digital licenses it would be unprofitable for 3rd parties to resale them because the actual sale is done at the online stores.

This demo disc would make the digital copies viable for people with poor/limited internet connections while maintaining the publishers control over distribution.

This is basically, the same thing MOVIE theaters are doing. They license the movies to theaters for the first few months to insure box office sales. They then launch the customer based DVDs a few weeks later for people who don't go to theaters.

Everyone would win here. The people who want the games NOW and the people who want the physical copies. The people who want Physical FULL copies would need to wait a few months but they'd get their physical disc that they own.

The first launch physical demo copies being so CHEAP wouldn't be profitable for third parties to resale.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 1487d ago
T21488d ago

just use EBAY ... how is the retailer who made used games sales convenient the bad guy... if gamestop dissapears, two others will take its place... Hell I would open "Gameshop" if I thought it would make money.

user55757081487d ago

yea people dont realize they can get a much better return on their used games from ebay than they ever could from gamestop

Campy da Camper1487d ago

Or as Nintendo have said...make your game so much fun people don't want to trade it in. That fits me perfectly. I buy games I know I will like (infamous, uncharted, elder scrolls) and keep them forever. Its the crappy ho him 5 hour games that I feel cheated for spending 60 bucks on that get traded in.

Besides, the crappy games I do buy goes right towards paying off my ps4. Hell I've been scooping up boxes of old games at yard sales for 1-2 bucks and walking in to GameStop and getting 20-30 trade in credit. I put 100 bucks down on ps4 and its almost paid off due to me trading stuff in.

T21486d ago

great post, and what you said about making games fun can be expanded by saying that coop and multiplayer options make a game pretty much untradeable unless you are DONE with it... like totally done.
For instance look at fallout and borderlands. Fallout is far superior in terms of story and gameplay in my opinion, but my copy of fallout new vegas? Long gone ... Borderlands? still go online to mess around with DLC with my friends... because it has co-op, it was a rare game that my friend and I couldn't share on 360 we each needed the copy to play together. developers should see that... I'm not saying SP should die, just that developers should consider co-op options as a way to make a group of friends all buy a game simultaneously...

Christopher1487d ago

I'm fine with developers not getting paid twice.

But, I'm not fine with GameStop employees trying to sell a used game when a person specifically asks for a new one. I'm also against GameStop's policy of opening every copy of the game they have. That's why I never shop there.

GameStop goes out of their way to make sure they get paid before the developers. That's not helping anything when they're making so much money as it is.

UnHoly_One1487d ago

OMG, I'm glad that somebody said that. I hate that they open every single copy.

That is exactly why I don't ever buy anything from them.

user55757081487d ago

yea i bought one of the "gutted" copies before...the case was slightly damaged but i still had to pay full price

anything they open should go for the used game value rather than new. because the games we open are immediately used

rainslacker1487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

Those are the only two policies of theirs that really irk me. Asking if a customer wants new or used is one thing, but to go on about how used is better is just wrong, and particularly when someone asks for it new. I understand why they do it, but it's still not right.

At the same time though, I do believe that game shops in general should see a larger return on the products they sell for the industry. Reports say $1-2 and upwards of $12 per game sold new, which to me is a pitifully low mark up for a retailer to accept given the cost to run a retail establishment. So in that case I think the two sides seem to be working mostly against one another, instead of finding a happy common ground which is beneficial to all. I really believe that if retail markup was closer to normal(50-100%) you would see much less of a push of these companies to recoup investment from the used game market.

Gutting games is just annoying, and in my opinion unnecessary. It is entirely possible to have a display case without opening an original. I believe the policy only exists today to serve their employee rental program, and it should be changed, along with throwing away used boxes only to put them in generic boxes(pet peeve on PSP games).

Any other company that requires "gutting" a product" for display always sells the last item at a discount...they're called "floor models". Realistically though enough people are ok with it, so it's not likely to change.

Otherwise, what joecanada said above holds true, if it weren't GameStop, it would just be someone else.

I believe no company should be allowed to charge twice for one product, and it's incredibly entitled of developers who believe they deserve that money where no other industry in the world benefits from it.

I think if developers want to benefit from the used game market, maybe they should buy back the games themselves, and burden the risk of investment on those copies...which is exactly what GameStop does to make a profit.

In the end, this guy is like all the other devs/pubs stating things like this. Not a single fact or data set to show how it really effects them. Saying, "I don't want to get rid of used games" doesn't make what he says any less arrogant.

nukeitall1487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

What pisses me off about GameStop is that they will sell you a gutted copy as *new*, but they sure as hell won't take a gutted copy in return!

I'm mixed about developers double dipping as in getting a cut every time the game is sold.

I hear it on both sides and the problem really is that profit margin of used games is over double of new games. We are talking (if I remember correctly) 23% for new and 49% for used. The incentive is there for GameStop to push old copies.

This suggest that games are too expensive, but when Square Enix tells us Tomb Raider didn't hit projections at 3 million sold, we have a huge problem within the industry.

The solution is to widen the market and lower the price. Only way to do that is appeal the console to more than just core gamers like the Wii did.

The gaming industry is the only industry I know of that has (or used to have) several major national used game store chains. No other industry has this to the same extent.

Why doesn't the movie or music industry have something like this?

This is likely due to the high price tag and thus room for high profit margin, the replayability of a game and the tendency of used game buyers to be younger is my guess.

T21486d ago

wow I do agree with some posters here , gamestop has some stupid policies, opening all the copies??!! that's just wrong.
I guess EBgames in Canada is a bit different because I have never noticed them pushing used that heavily... and I go to Play n Trade too which is another different store...

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1486d ago
TomShoe1487d ago

I'd rather have Gamestop in business rather than no Gamestop and M$'s DRM.

nukeitall1487d ago

With MS solution, you would have set the standard for digital games to have trade-in, lending/sharing, and gifting.

Something nobody else has right now!

Publishers, developers and GameStop would all still exist and the profit would be more balanced.

One could argue that the gamer gets screwed, after all they have to check-in every 24-hour, but the benefit would mean instant game collection sharing among family and friends. On top of that, if you trade your game in, you still have 24-hours to play it if you keep your console disconnected.

In my opinion, that is far superior to getting a physical disc that I cannot maximize the use i.e. it has to be physically handed to your friend before he can play, whereas digital is instant!

3-4-51487d ago

Does Ford get a cut of the money when I re-sell my used car ?

No? So do publishers think they are entitled to this?

I sold furniture at a garage sale, Do I have to pay a fee to Art Van ?

I don't think so.

jerethdagryphon1486d ago

2 key phrases concerning this dicy subject.
Continued functionality and continued support.

A car works when you buy it and that functionaloty is mainedtained freely no subscription to enginestart monthly is needed. The manufacturer other then spare parts see nofurther input or requirments to it even if sold on (ignore warrennty for this)

A game often Has continued support . This is acrive by the dev for all copies in the form of patches matchmaking servers or aditional content. This support costs them money to maintain . And is maintained even if the game is sold so they do lose out.
If you buy a game and keep it forever. They made thwre initial money and support it. If you buy it used they lose that initial money and still have to suporrt it.

All other "but x doesnt get paid twice" falls into functionality bracket

Much as I hate it they do have legitimate grounds for a grievance

greenlantern28141487d ago

every one knows that it is not only game stop where you can buy and sell used games. ebay, amazon, best buy, there are a few small local stores that do it in my area, CL and you can sell it to your buddy. now if you sell a game to your friend how much is fair that you send back to the developer.
the devs have to start to realize that not every one can afford to pay top dollar for games, and buying it used is the only way for them to get it. so the alternative for some people is not playing the game at all, should some one be excluded just because they dont have a lot of cash to spend.
which leads to my next point, some times you buy a used game on the cheap and become a huge fan of that game or that developer and you buy some dlc for that game, than you buy their next game right away, plus we are all advertisers for the gaming community we go out and talk about games with people and sometimes you convince some one to buy a game they didnt even know was out, how much of that sale should i get when i tell 5 people about a game they never heard of and 2 of them go buy it

rainslacker1487d ago

I think the biggest complaint the guy had was that the GameStop employee pushed the used sale, even after the guy said he wanted new. It's OK, I believe to ask the customer which they want, but used should not be pushed over a new product. At least from a developer's standpoint. From a retail standpoint, I completely understand why they do it.

Otherwise, all the other stuff he said is no different than any other dev/pub who feels justified in getting paid twice for one product.

NegativeCreepWA1487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

I wouldn't be surprised if some devs started taking the risk of selling their games digitally only, while being very risky, it would ensure they make money off of every sale.

Games like Mine Craft and State of Emergency prove it possible.

While MS or Sony cant give Gamestop the finger because they need to sell consoles and accessories, devs and publishers can.

TronEOL1487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

Although I do agree gamers should be able to keep trading in games we no longer want, and others should be able to buy cheaper used games. But the issue I see here is some people will only buy games used to save the few dollar difference. Meanwhile, there are tons of printed new games sitting on store shelves needing to be purchased.

This is a very touchy subject with gamers it seems. But honestly, the more money the developer and publisher can make, the better. So why is everyone arguing that they shouldn't get a cut from a game they made? Even if they made profit on a game and outsold their costs 2 times over, they still deserve a portion of the money for the game they created. Whether or not it was bought second hand is useless information.

It's not like it'd hurt us. Games, used or new, would cost all the same, the developer/publisher would just make more money. Which is good if you're a gamer who loves games.

ZBlacktt1487d ago

I would like to see MS and Sony come out with their own used/new game store line. One that is fair to gamers with trade in. This is where Gamestop fail super duper hard. They give you penny's on the dollar for your used gear. Then turn around and resell it at a 95% mark up. That is pure bs and everyone knows it. Yet, some fall for it anyway....

CalvinKlein1487d ago

I dont think this is true what they say about gamestop at all. They have to put up alot of money to give out credit for games taht are not guaranteed to sell again.

But hey if its such a lucrative industry and soooo easy to make tons of cash, why dont we see publishers and devs buying and selling used games???? Ohh because it is a very risky business and is pretty damn hard to be successful. Gamestop only is successful because of how huge they are and all the new games/consoles they sell.

Seriously, if they hate it so much why dont activision give me 30$ off their yearly COD if I send them in last years copy????

Id rather have gamestop making money off my used games by selling them then have the developers get a cut for doing nothing. I bought a used honda, honda didnt get any money for that sale nor did they disable my AC unit until I paid them a fee. Every single industry out there seems to understand that you have to be in the business of BUYING and selling used if you want money for it. Videogame publishers and developers must think they are special or something.

Jazz41081487d ago (Edited 1487d ago )

I used to be a manager at gamestop and we sold some games back and forth over thirty times. Some games less some more. I am talking about the same copy as well not other ones as you can follow the games history pretty easy as most of the games traded back in used to us usually still had the used price tags from before. Some gamestops dont even bother to pull off the uses tags and you will see several tags under the top one..