Game Makers Strike Back at Used Market

Buying and selling used video games has become a fact of life for many consumers -- but if game publishers get their way, it's about to become a lot more difficult.


But while it's a serious earner for retailers, it's a complete bust for game publishers, who make nothing from secondhand sales of video games. They're looking for ways to get a piece of the pie -- or, failing that, to take the pie away altogether. Here's a few of the tactics they're using to make buying and selling used games harder for consumers.

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GLoRyKnoT3173d ago (Edited 3173d ago )

I want to continue playing games & whatever is best for the industry is all that matters! Been aware (for years) that GS is bad for gaming. So, i simply do not purchased from them. So be it.

Montrealien3172d ago

So gamestop is bad for the industry that has been growing year over year for almost 20 years now?


Bereaver3172d ago

I really don't like used game sells.

I support the developers.

HolyOrangeCows3172d ago (Edited 3172d ago )

Dang it, I'm a console gamer because it's been so convenient. If this leads up to DLC, I'll be pissed. I changed my mind about putting a PC together earlier this year because of the news of Bad Company DLC, Bioshock DLC, and Ubisoft's ridiculous new system.

blu_yu_away3172d ago

I don't buy from Gamestop, for my own reasons (prefer new games, cheaper on Amazon anyway, lowball trade in values, etc) not because it is "bad for the industry". I'm sick and tired of developers and publishers whining about used game sales. Give us an actual reason to buy new (such as free content or discounts to "loyal" customers) and cut the DRM bullsh*t out. Consumers have the right to buy and resell as they please and its ridiculous that publishers are trying to dictate what the consumer can do and how they can use with the product they own.

Blaze9293172d ago (Edited 3172d ago )

I never used to buy used games - always hated the idea even if it was sued for just an hour. But now lately I've been realizing the value of a dollar a lot more and paying $50-$60 a pop for these games is becoming harder and harder to do especially if you aren't getting your money's worth. So yeah, this gen I've been buying a hella lot of used games rather than new MSRP off Amazon and ebay. (F*** Gamestop)

Publishers realize that too. Started noticing Microsoft doing it when they launched Gears of War 2 with the flashback map code in every new purchase. Now EA doing it most recently with Bad Company 2 and the VIP code. Is it fair? No, not really but at the end of the day, they have to make their money too and they only do that by selling new copies. Like I said, used buying/renting is blowing up in the gaming industry and that could ultimate effect us gamers in the long run.

So in stead of putting out crappy games they know damn well isnt worth nor did it cost much to warrant a $50, $60 price tag - be reasonable with game pricing then consumers won't need to buy used if it's set right.

yesah3172d ago (Edited 3172d ago )

the greed of some developers suprises me. pay money to use key features if you bought a game used? that's ridiculous. DLC, limiting installs, pay to play online. The greed of this industry will bite them in the a$$

also GOOD used games only go for like $5 below new ones (not counting online).

Darkfocus3172d ago (Edited 3172d ago )

seeing as no money gos to the dev's your not supporting the series anyway.
the only thing your supporting is whatever store you bought the used game from.
whats the point of buying a used game if it's only 5 bucks cheaper anyway(don't know if it's like that in the states but in Canada EB only takes 5-10$ off ,sometimes they're even the same price)

Aaroncls73172d ago (Edited 3172d ago )

Once Digital Media distribution is powered on there are a couple of things developers and publishing companies can do:

*Establish pre-paid cards to be used online towards the purchase/payment of games through either your console or PC, ala Blizzard/Wow. This will substantially cover the users that don't have or prefer not to use credit or debit cards.

*Hyper fast direct download to your console drive or powerful streaming tech (Onlive) to minimize wait/traffic.

*Buying a game grants the player a unique serial code, stored in personal user profile for re-download and TRADE IN. Elevate the amount of credit/currency the user receives for a successful trade in (in comparison with retail stores, ie. Gamestop)

NOTE: Buying a digitally distributed game (streamed/downloaded) will NULLIFY the Orignal/Used categorization; however packing a game with bonuses/dlcs/extra content at the release date might help maintaining a similar designation when sold/bought at a different date, or any other announced period, etc.

*Free express shipping for users who lack domestic internet connection and can only used the mail for buying and trading games.

*Create a fun and enjoyable interface for the accounts and online store systems, game related, with prizes, trophies, recognition, daily magazines, etc. Make players want to use the system.

*LOWER game prices! With all the savings that Digital media Distribution offers the cost of game production will decrease (no shipping, no packing, no retailers, minimized factory expenditure ie. discs, plastic covers, etc) Titles could go for $40 - $50 and still represent high(er?) revenue for publishers/developers or anyone involved.

*Top notch customer service, full forum boards attention, tech support, etc, etc, etc.

I think this will inevitably happen in the NEAR future... like tomorrow! :O

Blaze9293172d ago

Wow...I never saw it like that before. Interesting.

LastDance3172d ago

I work in a game store...

Modern Warfare 2 is around $90au wholesale. That means we sell it for 119.95au retail. But if we want to stay competetive, we sell it for around $99.95au..

NEW GAME SALES DONT PAY THE BILLS...its the used sales that keep our doors open.

This is nothing but greed developers.

Enate3172d ago

Acting like its all bad is stupid, an supposedly lashing at gamestop could end up hurting the customer to the point of pissing them off an killing new sales as well. Over the years a lot of people have come a custom to being able to trade in their games to pre order or buy new games when they don't have the cash. Trying to kill a market that supports the market you want to flourish without a thought is extremely stupid.

Day 1 and or all the promotional DLC is already getting pretty ridiculous. Making it any worse an my purchases will become few far an in between an I may just have to pick up hiking or something as a new hobby. To be honest I really can't see a developer who sells way out of the ball park complaining. The way this story is coming off lately you would think game companies are making 5 bucks on blockbuster hits day 1. Lets not sit here an kid our selves like quite a few of these companies have no problem getting our money an lots of it for good products. I seriously think this situation is being blown out of proportion as an excuse to an end that will ultimately hurt the customer an will come right back at the publishers an hit them in the face.

Upset the balance of things and you may not like the results.

evrfighter3172d ago

80 games in my steam account only about 6 or 7 i paid the full $39 or $49 for.

the rest were under $5-$20 or part of a publisher bundle discount.

The digital distribution market has its perks on pc hence used games aren't a big deal when they can be stupidly cheap ($1.99 TF2 anyone?). a shame consoles don't get holiday deals and such like steam where I believe I got around 35-40 games for less then $100

Epedemic3172d ago

Personally, I'm pretty poor so spending $60 a game is something I rarely do. Maybe 2 games a year or so I would spend 60 bucks on. The most important thing is not only the game has to be great, it has to last me longer than a week. If it doesn't, well, I just abuse Gamestop.

Gamestop has a 7 day return policy on used games so I pretty much just buy a game used and return it whenever I get my platinum and done deal. Only money spent was on gas. In reality though, I'm killing the game industry but if I were rich, I'd buy games where the developers deserve the money. Unfortunately I cannot do that atm.

Only games I'll be buying this year will probably be Super Street Fighter 4(since it's only 40 bucks and I'm a fighting game aficionado) and Final Fantasy XIV(50 bucks and being a former FFXI player, I can't wait to dive back in). All the other games are just used buys, besides maybe FFXIII. I'll probably have to buy that used, twice lol.

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deadreckoning6663172d ago

Yeah Gamestop sucks. I only go to them to buy PSN cards.

GLoRyKnoT3172d ago

GS charges tax on PSN cards! Yet, other stores (like BestBuy) do not.

Inside_out3172d ago

What a bunch of BS...If I buy something, a video game, a car, I own it...end of story...Next thing you know the car you sell won't start unless you get new keys from the manufacture. These guys want to be paid over and over again for doing nothing!!!. Start up there own stores and sell there games then...Used games serve a purpose. Not everybody can afford a new game 3 or 4 times a month...This will only hurt them in the long run. EA's been doing this crap for a while. Build a good game, you'll make all the money you need. That's why I rent...never buy new, especially if there's no multi player...I wonder how this will effect rentals. Their greed has no bounds...

Kurylo3d3172d ago (Edited 3172d ago )

yea but for a car you buy new parts.. and do repairs... for instance u buy a ford truck.. ur gonna go to ford when u need to replace the brakes... cause they are the ones that make it. I just spent $1000 on repairs for my car...

a game u dont buy anything else for... thats it... done... i just took out your argument. If you want games to be made u need to pay the developers to make them.. they have a full staff that gets paid. They have million dollar engines that require purchasing... they have buildings that need renting, utilities.. computers... Office space.... lawyers... publishers who take half the profits or more...

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-MD-3172d ago

I haven't shopped at a Gamestop in years.

nogolis3172d ago

Talk around GDC was we might not be seeing Gamestop around much longer... A lot of reports say they're trying to filter out their stock and liquidate. I wouldn't say it's 100% but many people we spoke with said Gamestop might not be here in 2012 to 2013. Could happen. What's scary is how all of that might affect Amazon and Ebay and such. What about Gamefly?

Things are changing in the industry and that is a fact.

yesah3172d ago

gamestop is the leading distributor in an industry that's growing. Why the hell would they go out of buisness? because they sell company stock?

Polluted3172d ago

I confess. I bought a used game today. I don't think I'd be too upset if they took it away, though. Especially if it's going to help the industry to keep turning out kick-arse games.

It would be hard on a lot of 16 year old kids who rely cheap used games to keep them occupied.

velaxun3172d ago

I dunno about the us but up in canada, the used games at EB cost maybe 5$ less than their new version. Maybe a year after release you can find a cheap one but usually they never drop lower than 10$ off the regular price

Inside_out3172d ago

Paid $80 ( Canadian ) for Bioshock2 recently...regular edition, nothing special...Does anybody in there right mind think these guy's are not making a killing. NOW I find out they are releasing DLC that's, get this, already installed on the disc AND charging the customer for it...WTF is going on...Poor developers are starving, yeah right..this is getting UGLY... BTW, never buy used games that were recently released. They are almost always defective returns, freezing, noisy, that kind of stuff...

steve30x3172d ago

Here in Ireland a used game is usualy less than a third the price of a new game.

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