Developers Cracking Down On Second Hand Games. Is It Right?

GameDynamo - "There's an unfortunate trend sweeping through the gaming industry nowadays. It's a trend that's slowly spreading through the development community, one which is slated to adversely impact the entire market. Those of you who've been following the gaming industry for a while have probably already picked up on it. For a long time, developers have expressed negative opinions about second-hand games: from irritation, to resignation, to outright hatred."

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Lord_Sloth2266d ago

I say there's nothing wrong with devs wanting to make money off of their products sales. Even if it's just a small "tip" from the used game sales, something would keep 'em from all this day 1 DLC bullshit.

ATi_Elite2266d ago

I say that cause this has a PC tag and the PC doesn't have used game sales. Used game sales are not relevant to PC Gamers.

Anyway i kinda enjoyed the part about how used game sales are worse than piracy which is very true cause you have actual paying customers and people making money off of your product but you see NO REVENUE from it.

That's why i really see consoles going to Digital Distribution next gen seeing how they experimented with it this gen by way of XBLA and PSN.

Lord_Sloth2266d ago

While Digital would be a way to fight piracy in Gamestop, until they get some retarded HDD that can hold about 20 games at once or they have a breakthrough in streaming games I don't see that as a viable option anytime soon.

gamingdroid2266d ago (Edited 2266d ago )

except, piracy meant NO MONEY TO THE PUBLISHER AT ALL!

While, second hand sale is derived from a legitimate copy the publisher ALREADY RECEIVED PROFIT FROM.

It is ridiculous that consumers would even support restricting their own freedom to support companies. Especially when that restriction can potentially force them to pay more.

I find it incredible that the commpanies has been so effective in brainwashing users to believe all this nonsense to the point where they believe piracy is equivalent to used sales.

If it is, then why is one illegal while the other not?

Commander_TK2266d ago

This move is probably one of the worst in 7th gen of video games. When I buy a used car, I don't have to pay extra money so I could use the A/C or the radio. I don't have to pay Universal extra money to watch a deleted scene from American Pie.

This is a big fuck you to us gamers. I don't even know why some u guys are siding with those corporate pigs.

smoothdude2266d ago


I can't agree with you more. People sell their games in order to purchase new ones, which is revenue that the developers will make. I don't care what anyone thinks, there is nothing wrong with buying used games, I don't care what the developers want me to believe.

To top it all off, why do they want you to preorder a game now-a-days? You know that it will be patched and have DLC, so if you wait a couple of months, you will get the game cheaper and with less bugs. This to me is just sloppy...

Heartnet2266d ago

Its not worse than piracy... for a game to be second hand somebody would have had to of bought it first so gives the publisher a sale anyway...

And You people do realise the games industry is like the only place where youll find them punishing us for buying second hand? Do Cars take away the steering wheel if u buy it used? Do films cut out the ending if u buy it used ? No and there both doing well.. So what justification does the games industry have for doing this? None

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Darkfiber2266d ago

They can do whatever they want. There's nothing wrong with offering an incentive to buy a game new. They aren't keeping anyone from buying a game used or playing it.

It's just like buying a used car. Sure, you might save some money, but the brakes might be shot and need replacing. You're going to have to put more money in the car if you want it to run like it was brand new, just as you might have to put in a few extra bucks for something like an "online pass" or DLC if you wish the game to play as if it were new. Buying used is simply paying for the privilege of spending less money on it with the understanding that it wont be as good as it is when it's brand new. If you understand that fact when purchasing a used game, then you have nothing to complain about. If you think you should be able to pay half price for ANYTHING used and expect it to be exactly the same as if it were brand new, you need a reality check.

thebudgetgamer2266d ago (Edited 2266d ago )

Yea but you don't have to pay extra to get in the trunk. you still get to use the whole thing.

breakdancefight2266d ago

You can still play the whole game when you buy used. It's not as if buying a used copy of Madden you only get to play half a season and are forced to buy a pass to complete the season. It cost money to maintain servers which run Cerberus network on Mass Effect, Online multiplayer on battlefield and online competitive football on Madden, so when you buy used you are not contributing. Darkfiber is right and we as consumers are spoiled. If you look at the film industry they are combating the second hand market by charging you $15.00 dollars a ticket and the prices continue to rise. My parents payed $50.00 a game when I was a child and I did until the current generation console which went up by $10.00 dollars while development cost continue to skyrocket. We keep making demands of the developers, but are unwilling to to do our parts to make sure their doors stay open by supporting a new game market and not lining the pockets of the Gamestops of the world.

Heartnet2266d ago


No but if u buy madden used u cant go online which is one of its advertised features...

and if it cost money to run the cerberus network on me3.. then get rid of it! that was a useless feature and cudve just offererd dlc instead on the XBLA/PSN Store...

frelyler2266d ago

Games are not cars, so there is no logic to your argument. Also, when you buy a used car typically it comes with what you need to make it run, at least if you buy smart it should. Online that you have to pay extra for is like buying a car and going to drive it only to find it has no motor, but it can for a cheap price. If developers hate gamestop so much they shouldn't allow them to sell their games, not punish the people who can't afford new to begin with.

breakdancefight2266d ago

If you can't afford $5.00 dollars more for a new copy you have bigger problems than Gamestop.

Heartnet2266d ago


Wow maybe 5 dollars makes all the difference... if buying alot of games and u save 5 dollars a time and u buy 3 or 4 games uve saved 20... all adds up mate and for some people thats all they can afford.. not every1 is as rich and spoilt as you are ok?

Akiba962266d ago

@heart lol yea he spoiled in ruch because he pays 5 more dollars than you. Honestly if 5 dollars is worth more than helping out the industry which gives us all so much enjoyment, then you really should rethink your morals.

frelyler2266d ago

Why the $5.00 mark, when I buy used I save upwards of 20 to 30 dollars and that is a huge amount. Games today are overpriced. MW3 is a perfect example, it should only cost 30 if it comes out every year, especially when assets are recycled from 4 years ago which in the tech industry is a century. I don't make enough money to buy new games period. I have to buy used or wait for a price drop or rent, but if I rent I only get to experience half the game unless I want to fork over more money. If I had the capital I would start a store and contact all the game companies. I would say I'll give you 30% of my used game sales if you give me incentives back. It's a brilliant business idea and the only reason no one has done it yet is because of greed.

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Trenta272266d ago

I'm all for it. It'll show those bastards at Gamestop what for.

Noticeably_FAT2266d ago

I think it's wrong, people buy and sell items all the time and you don't hear the creators of those items complaining. Someone used a car analogy and I like that one, however, what if car manufacturers put some sort of chip in the cars so if they were sold to someone else they wouldn't work?

Why not do the same with consoles themselves next? We cant allow these types of things to happen in our society, I know this is just video games, but nobody is going to one day come out and say we have no rights, it's a slow process where we allow companies and people to have control over us.

ZombieAssassin2266d ago (Edited 2266d ago )

"what if car manufacturers put some sort of chip in the cars so if they were sold to someone else they wouldn't work? "

Nah because you can still play the used game you just can't play it online...think of online like a factory warranty and you can only use it if you buy it new or pay for it. The MP of games cost money to run so I can see why they do it and it's somewhat that whole Batman AC locking SP content thing is kinda bull.

EDIT: @below nvm you don't get it and prolly never will.

Noticeably_FAT2266d ago

Well where are all the people complaining about paying for something you already pay for, which is internet service?

If you buy a game, used or new it should work all the same, except maybe if there was DLC included that had already been redeemed.

I think it's a horrible practice and I'm glad not every company is in on this trend.

kneon2266d ago

ZombieAssassin is correct, there is a big difference between video games and all other items I can think of. When you buy a movie, book, TV, toaster etc. second hand it doesn't cost the manufacturer anything more. But when you buy a game that has an online component it costs the developer money when you play online.

That has to be paid for somehow. If the developers price in the extended usage of the servers into the initial price then game prices will just go up. Do you prefer that option?

palaeomerus2266d ago (Edited 2266d ago )

If you sell the game you will not be playing online anymore and the guy who buys it will simply be using your slot allocated for your copy of the game the same way that you did.

The total number of required online slots does not change when the game changes hands, so no more money is being spent by a publisher to support online play when games are purchased used.

If you have 5 million copies produced and sold then you only need a maximum capacity of 5 million online slots no matter how many times the games gets resold as used.

The seller and the purchaser of a used game cannot both play it online at the same time.

Recovery of expanded online costs is a bogus argument for prohibiting or discouraging used sales.

kneon2266d ago (Edited 2266d ago )


That's correct but when they work out the budget for server usage they make some assumptions about the typical usage patterns. Usually most people will only play online for a few weeks or months and then move on to something else. When the game is resold this pattern is reset and starts over.

The bottom line is that typically each new owner of the game will make additional use of the servers. Had the game not been resold usage would drop and they could pull some servers, reassign them to another game, or if it's a hosted service they can stop paying for additional servers.

Hicken2266d ago

So you're telling me gaming companies assume you're not going to play the game online very long? That they think you'll, at best, spend a few weeks online, and then stop, and that's all they account for? Isn't that stupid? No, there's no need to ask; it IS stupid.

If the developers and publishers fail to plan ahead, that's their fault. I have no interest in paying for their fallacy.

But, as paleo said, that used copy is the same copy as the new one, taking up the exact same spot on the servers.

And, as Noticeably_FAT said, excluding extras the game should work as advertised. It'd be a different story if the multiplayer or online was something you could purchase separate, even for a new copy, but every game comes with that ability built-in. This is why the car analogy makes sense.

kneon2266d ago


If developers aren't doing this kind of planning then they are stupid. Have you ever had to design a network or size a server or server farm? I've designed wireless networks with budgets over $500 million.

You always need to make some assumptions of usage patterns so that you aren't wasting money building out a much bigger system than is really required.

They certainly won't build the servers to support every customer playing online at the same time. They will build the system to support the expected peak load and will remove or reallocate capacity as usage drops off. With used game sales that usage drop off can be greatly extended thus costing them more money.

As for selling the online separately I agree that would be the right way to do it, I've suggested it myself. But as that would result in a lower initial price for the game I can't see it happening.

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Lord_Sloth2266d ago

I've been poor most of my life and homeless for a portion of it so don't throw that around like it's a viable excuse for not supporting a company and then bitching about it when they decide to try and get their prophet.

Bimkoblerutso2266d ago

They already made a profit. The game has to be sold to become secondhand.

Lord_Sloth2266d ago

Indeed but since so many people are purchasing these games second hand, you can hardly blame them for wanting to earn cash when their product sells a copy.

Bimkoblerutso2266d ago

And then nine times out of ten, the money gets pumped back into the industry, because the vast...VAST majority of sales to Gamestop are credit sales.

-Gespenst-2266d ago

I honestly just think the big names in videogames are just getting greedy. The videogame industry's been assimilated into the corporate agenda. Who knows, maybe someday they'll have sweatshops full of programmers haha.

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