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Are Used Games Sales Evil? Top Developers Speak Out.

Are use games sales evil? Check out what Universal's Pete Wanat, Bethesda's Todd Howard, Raven's Brian Raffel, Insomniac's Ted Price, Gas Powered Games' Chris Taylor, and id's Todd Hollenshead have to say on the hot-button issue.

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Samer3053554d ago

I always wondered why the stores do not give money back to the publisher for the used games sold.

umair_s513554d ago

Yeah, that is a good idea

nightelfmohawk3554d ago

The reason they don't is because they're not legally obligated to. When a company makes a product, they have various legal rights in that game. They have the right to publish, the right to distribute, the right to broadcast (in the case of a football game on TV, for example), and so forth. However, when a consumer purchases that product in some tangible form (software, cartridge, DVD, blu-ray, CD, etc.), that company's rights in that particular product (that particular unit) is now extinguished with some exceptions (i.e., obviously the company still owns the trademark and copyright on the logo, the artwork, and so forth).

This means the consumer is free to do nearly anything they want with that product. The consumer can give the product away, destroy the product, throw the product away, keep the product, use it to prop up their desk, etc. The moment that product passes to a consumer for the first time, it can now be resold, traded, destroyed, or whatever an infinite number of times. Of course, there would probably be other legal issues if, for example, the consumer decided to open up a for-profit arcade at their home and charge people to come over and play their games.

I sympathize with these game developers much more than I sympathize with companies that make music or movies to be honest. I know it's hypocritical, but I guess it's also partially because I think most movies and music is garbage these days, so I really don't care if, for example, Hollywood and the RIAA lose money. But when a good movie or TV show comes out, I will buy it. I boycotted music after the RIAA started being assholes though, and, no, I don't pirate music either.

But for game developers, I feel bad for them for a lot of the reasons they already mentioned in the video. I think it's a good idea for game developers to create incentives for gamers to hold onto their game copies longer, however, I do not think cutting the game into segments and releasing, say, 50% of it online through DLC that gamers have to purchase is the answer. It's bad enough that brand new games cost $60. If you're going to charge us an additional, say, $20 to buy alternate costumes, new maps, new characters, or whatever, then that starts to get pretty ridiculous, IMO, and there's just more incentive for consumers to pirate games, buy used games, or to just avoid games that are clearly gouging consumers like that.

For example, another controversial issue is game companies working on DLC before the game is even released. It's one thing if the launch game is so packed with content that you really can't fit much more, but I think that's probably not the case, at least on PS3, given the storage capacity of blu-ray.

On the other hand, I don't think developers should become slaves to their old games where they have to periodically always be releasing new free DLC just to discourage piracy and/or people selling their games to places like Gamestop.

There needs to be some kind of balance, and I'm not sure what that balance would be. One random idea is maybe game companies themselves could get into the used game market. Think of companies like BMW that sell certified, used refurbished BMWs at discount prices. Gamestop doesn't give a consumer jack **** for what a game or console is actually worth in comparison, so game companies wouldn't have to offer too much more to buy the games from the consumers and re-sell it themselves.Of course, that will cut into the game company's bottom line profits as well though.

lukeb4dunk3554d ago

an excellent and well stated post, nightelfmohawk. Bubbles.

I will say, I am usually against buying used games and/or trading them in. If there is a game I want and I just I don't quite have the money, then I may pick out a couple of games that I no longer play and can't see ever playing again, and trade them in. But mostly, I buy it new and keep them.

...except when it came to Fallout 3. When Mr. Howard from Bethesda said that the PS3 version wouldn't be getting the helpful patch, it upset me. So I grabbed my copy and gave it to gamestop and used the credit towards my K2 preorder. Childish? Yep. But maybe they should take care of ALL the consumers who purchased their product.

peeps3554d ago

I'll give the video a watch on my lunch break but my quick thoughts on the subject:

With nearly all products customers are entitled to sell them as pre-owned if they no longer have a use for them. Why should it be different for games.

Also some may argue but... if a game is really good then it's less likely to get traded in and so if people will end up buying a new copy anyway, if developers make a poor game chances are you will see alot of pre-orders available for that game.

I'd say the biggest scandal is trading a game in to a store, them giving you x amount of money and then selling it for more than double what they paid you for it! I know they gotta make a profit but it's ridiculous.

Gun_Senshi3554d ago

Slapped in the wall of Text on CDs/Manual is

"Cannot be resold"

caseh3554d ago

If games are priced fairly to begin with i'll quite happily pay full whack. For example Killzone 2 and SF IV have both cost me £28 brand new.

Of course game pricing will come down to the company selling it on, some companies like Game in the UK who have practically monopolised high street pricing...charging £50 for a game that can be bought online for close to half the price, then charging £40 for it pre-owned...

Dark-vash3554d ago

A lot of gamers here (in Portugal) are using online UK stores to buy new games!

New releases, like SF4 and Killzone2, cost around £62 (70Euros). And then, they show up @ Gamestop and Game stores, used for 65E.
Games like Hallo 3, MGS4, Lost Odyssey, Bioshock are still priced @ 60~65E used... Even Ps2 used games are sold above 45E...

So we, I included, buy games from Uk online retailers...
And I'm sure that A LOT of people do this!

silvacrest3554d ago

A simple but not a total fix would be to change the law so that used games sold at gamestop, gamestation etc have to give some of the profits from used game sales back to the game creaters

obviously this doesnt stop places like ebay from selling used games and getting 100% profit but its a start

Anon19743554d ago

People will still sell used games to each other. That's not going to end anytime soon. They'll probably just turn to the internet in larger numbers. I remember before the PS3 launched, Sony had a patent for some technology that would imprint games on an individual console so, once it was played for the first time it would be registered to and could only be played on one console and one console only.
I shudder even to think of it. Thankfully this didn't make it's way into the PS3. I wouldn't buy nearly as many games if it weren't for the fact I can sell them again when I'm finished or tired of them.

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