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N4G's hypocritical fan base.

I recent submitted a news story from Eurogamer about an interview with Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream. The co-founder Guillaume de Fondaumiere mentioned how he had lost 1 million sales due to the used market. Some thing caught my eye in the comments. The was a lot of support for the used game market. That is fine but not many brought up the big question. They lost at least 1 million in sales. To put this into perspective on a $60 game (£40 for me) lets say around 15% goes to the developer. So this is around $9 (around £6)per game. So they have lost out by $9,000,000 (£6,000,000).

It seems I have gone on a bit of a tangent. Over the times I have spent going on N4G one thing has struck me. Everyone complains about how there are no new innovative IPs. The users complain how X game is another Call of Duty mould. I ask you do you blame the developers. If Heavy Rain (a new innovative ip) lost $9,000,000 on used game (including piracy, lending) sales why would any other developer take the risk and not go for the easier highly profitable option. At the moment there is always going to be an area where sales are lost (from pirating, used games, giving them to friends). The lack of new ips is a trend that has become more apparent this generation with sequel after sequel and other games using the same formula as the most popular game on the market

Well how do publishers and developers counter this trend. I will tell you. In other stories there seems to be a massive hatred for online pass. To be honest can you blame publishers for introducing online pass.If a developer is loosing $9 million it would be interesting to see how much publishers loose also. I agree some online passes are not implemented well but in an age of used game sales going on the up you must understand they are loosing a lot of money per game. The online pass has become more of a deterrent than a method for increase profits. I was in GAME the other day and I decided to get Medal of Honor. It was £20 new and £15 used. I thought to myself it is only £5. The online pass on top actually make the game more expensive.

I hope you can see why I am getting at when I call the N4G fan base hypocritical. On the one hand they complain about no new innovative IPS and how everyone is copying COD and then on the other the publishers come up with a solution to regain their money so that it can be pumped back into games but there is mass hatred for it. You can't have new ips with a used game market that is taken the money away from these new ips. Those same people who complain about no new ips also strongly disagree with online pass and often proclaim they have bought a game used. There is a reason for the lack of no new ips and it is down to you guys.

Does the N4G users have a better option to keep a used game market and keep sales going to the developer so they can take risks and develop new ideas?. Come on N4G. Stop being a hypocrite.

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Pozzle2288d ago

Yes, but the $1 million loss was only an assumption on Quantum Theory's behalf. They are assuming that everybody who bought second-hand, rented, or borrowed the game would have bought the game brand new if that was the only option. But not everybody can afford to do that (I should know. I live in Australia and the average brand new PS3 game can cost around $100-$120 here), when those gamers might not have even considered buying the game if their only option was to buy it brand new.

I'm all for new game sales, but not everybody can afford to buy games brand new. And getting rid of the used game market isn't going to make more people buy brand new games. It will probably just exclude a very large group of people from buying games alltogether. IMO developers, publishers and distributors should come to some sort of agreement, so that they still make a profit off used and rented games.

scotchmouth2287d ago

Pozzle nailed it.

Most people I know that buy used do so because they are budgeting their money. Not that it's necessarily tight but because they have other things it can be spent on.

A lot of people don't need the newest games all the time constantly. Some people play the waiting game and pick it up cheaper because they have other expenditures.

I saved myself tons of money buying used games and the used game market helps someone keep a job stocking and facing those shelves. I'm not worried about a dev that theorizes about how many millions they may have made if it wasn't for used games. I am worried about the kid putting himself through college at the used video game store that operates because of people like me.

mastiffchild2287d ago

I think, and I'm not alone, that HR sold AMAZINGLY well at retail. In EVERY way it's a niche game-arty(wilfully), different in many ways from even other niche games in terms of game [play and storytelling-a more interesting figure might be just how many who bought HR rented, bought used or borrowed a copy of IP? The used market creates fans for niche game makers more than any other(percentage wise)and the amazing sales(new) for HR show this well.

As a musician I'd LOVE a way for used sales to be shared back with me too but, in truth, I HAD my chance and if people didn't find my work good enough to keep it's MY fault. Besides helping niche games used sales also create interest and future new game buyers as a lot of used game buyers are today's students with the buying power of tomorrow-do we wanna throw them away to more inclusive hobbies etc just for a pointless piece of cake that already gives back to the industry while looking like the most over entitled industry EVER?

fear882287d ago (Edited 2287d ago )

The problem isn't the used game market though. The used games have the same entertainment value of normal games but a lower price. Thus their value is higher in the eyes of the consumer.

Not everyone can afford 180 a month for games, especially in this economy when money is tight.

Developers and Publishers need to realize they have to sell on volume rather than just throw a product out on the market without concern as to how expensive said product is and whether or not it merits any value at that price.

They need to think of how to get the game out to as many people and to get people to talk to friends about that product.

Games should not cost $60 new. I feel as though at 40-45 is acceptable for me to buy a new game.

Deterring piracy is another concern but I feel that when a product is properly secured and has affordable entertainment, there is less incentive to pirate. There isn't a huge difference between 5 dollars and free, but there is a bigger difference between 60 and free.

I feel as though game prices need to come down and online passes need to increase in price.

Games should be 40 new and come with an online pass. Used games are fine but online passes by themselves need to be 15-20 to shrink the losses incurred by developers and to discourage buying used products by offsetting the better value in the used price.

Gamestop would have to cut their prices considerably on used products to stay competitive with new products on shelf which means they need to lower the buy back price. That means instead of getting $10-$15 from selling to gamestop, you would instead get $2 and it would discourage consumers from selling a game and opt to keeping it.

Nate-Dog2288d ago

I get your point and agree with you somewhat. But I think that like some people have pointed out on that article you submitted the figures (and possible monetary figures too) have surely been blown out of proportion somewhat, although to what extend we don't know for sure. People can lend games to other friends, people can rent games, a household can have one Playstation with more than 2, 3, maybe even 4 or 5 accounts where they all try the same games on them all. I really don't think it's a sound idea to say that every account that has even just 1 trophy for a game counts as a possible sale, it just doesn't make sense.

Onto the issue of the used-game market. Well here's my own opinion on the matter. If it somehow was the case that Quantic really did lose between €5m and €10m on these used-game sales they claim happened, then yeah, that's a big loss and it seems unfair to the developer. If this was the case of a bigger developer or publisher such as Activision or EA or Capcom quite frankly I myself wouldn't care because they can moan all they want everyone knows how loaded they are and how much money they have been making on games (and on games that often aren't anywhere near worth the money they get). But in the case of the smaller developer I do feel sorry for them, but they do have to remember how expensive the gaming market is and how expensive gaming as a hobby is in general (which in fairness to him Fondaumiere said himself in that interview you posted, and said that that probably is the problem with the market since there's often such a large gap between the price of used-games and new games). If the price of new games decreases to a certain level, you close the gap between the price of used-games and new games. You might only decrease it by say £5/€7.5/$9 or $10 but that amount could make the difference for a large number of consumers giving their money to the developer rather than a game store.

Yet the problem I see with this is that (at least here, and in the UK from what I've seen from prices online) prices for games in the past few years have slowly (and by small amounts) but steadily decreased. Yet by the time these prices fall to a close enough level to the used-game market, I feel the next generation of consoles will be on us, and in fact I think that the next time we see any decent decrease in game prices (probably in the next 6-12 months) the next generation of consoles will be fairly close, which will mean a fairly large hike in prices once again to inflate the gap between the used and new markets for the games for new consoles.

Nate-Dog2288d ago

(Exceeded character limit)

But I don't think it's fair to blame people that often buy used. Games are expensive and we've always gotten the short end of the stick. Look at all the problems that have been apparently happening with some of the latest releases like Deus Ex and Dead Island. I mean we're supposed to pay full price for an unfinished game that will probably be fixed and at the level it should be on release in around 2 months? It's disgraceful that we have to pay the sort of money we do for games in the condition that they often arrive to us. And what if we don't have an internet to download these patches? We just have to get on with it. For those people that always say with delightful elitism "I always buy games brand new and have never bought a used game, I hate people that buy used games", not everyone has bags of money like you, and even if they do not everyone likes paying that much money for something that might only last a few hours or maybe they don't like paying for broken games (like me even though half the time I still end up doing it if it's a game I've been waiting for for a while). You may buy one game used to see what it's like, get into the series (or that genre if you're just trying it out) and become a fan and then buy a number of games in that series or genre brand new, whearas if that used game was never there and the game was only there new for a high price, you'd have never tried it and the company would have never seen any of your money.

I don't know where this comment has come from so sorry for the ridiculously long reply especially if I rambled. To anyone that reads it thanks, hopefully it was worth it lol.

Christopher2287d ago

Re: Having money vs not having money and buying new vs buying used

I see this very much in the way that I see WalMart coming in and taking over small businesses. People are ignorant on what it means when they spend their money in one location as opposed to another, and they don't care because they are being given the chance to get something that normally they would have to wait a few months more to get at a better price. That doesn't change the effect their spending decisions have on the market, though.

I buy new because I understand that I want that money to go back to the developer. I don't buy it because I have tons of money laying around, but because I understand what my purchase means to them. Even if that means waiting the 3-6 months before a game hits $30, the price I think it's worth.

Others, they don't have this same concept and they don't think about how their desire to have it now affects the market as a whole.

Personally, if you buy your games used, you are not a customer of the gaming industry. You have no say on what the gaming companies do or how they do it since you're already spoken with your wallet that you don't want to pay them for your services, whether you know it or not.

Side note: I agree with a lot of your complaints, Nate-Dog, especially with the need for patching, certain titles (not most) taking forever to reduce in price, etc. I could make explanations for these, but the reality is that companies look to perform a balance act between acceptable amount and cost of time and effort.

admiralvic2287d ago

I think the author overlooks 1 key thing! Games are not always 60 usd even at launch. Deus EX for instance is down to 35 usd. Kmart gave 20 gamers credit with Resistance 3. Even if you cant figure out something; you can just buy a PSN card then some R3 DLC.

This alone could cause a simple disparage in pricing. Do you think that every copy of F3AR TRU sold at 30 on release day was included in the final figure? These are usually rough estimates based off basic Econ.

LightofDarkness2287d ago (Edited 2287d ago )

Simply put, the only reason people buy used is because it's cheaper, and people in general don't have a lot of money right now.

The numbers wouldn't add up in your example in the real world. People simply weren't going to plop down 50-60 USD/EUR for the game. So they wouldn't have lost out on the supposed 9000000 extra credits. They'd have to have dropped the price of the game to move the units anyway, at the store level.

Stores buy new games for pretty much full price. They don't make a lot of money on them, and thus don't buy many copies of a game new if they don't expect to shift them. This is also because the longer the game is on the shelf, the more it depreciates in value. So before any of these used sales can be considered, you'd have to consider that they'd need to drop the game's price by half of the original price before these people would even consider buying it, then maybe another 10-15 USD/EUR in a sale to finally be rid of all their extra copies.

Used game sales keep places like Gamestop, Game etc. open because each used sale is pretty much PURE profit. It prevents them from over-buying on new titles that don't perform relative to their hype level and leave a retailer trying to sell off a bad investment/expense for what could be years down the line. It means they can get a few new copies, have people trade them back in and then wait a few weeks for the price to come down to a level where the used gamers will bite. This process takes much less time than having to wait for brand new copies to come down or go on sale, simply because it puts everyone at a loss.

Of course, some might take a "down with Gamestop/Game" stance on all of it but think about that prospect: would it actually benefit anyone if those places closed down? Would you want to have to travel miles to find the nearest gaming enthusiast store in order to get "Obscure Game X"? Super market chains don't carry everything.

EDIT: Oh, and online passes are pure crap. See that part up there where I explain how stores already buy the games from pubs/devs at near full price? They already got the money from that sale. Online passes are effectively them being paid twice.

-Alpha2287d ago (Edited 2287d ago )

"Simply put, the only reason people buy used is because it's cheaper, and people in general don't have a lot of money right now."

And that's maybe their right as consumers, but gaming is an expensive hobby, not necessarily a right.

I keep coming back to what the pirate may say, and it's no different: "I don't have a whole lot of money right now, so I'll pirate this one game"

Not that I have never pirated anything in my life, but it's a very interesting debate.

caseh2287d ago

I've pirated plenty of games but I've also spent an absolute ton of money on gaming in general be it consoles, games, accessories etc over the years.

Sometimes games make you curious as to whether or not its any good, if i decide to not buy it and maybe pick up a pirated copy personally I see no harm in that. The industry would never have seen any money from me anyway as i would never buy it. However, if that game was epic then that dev has potentially hooked me into buying future titles.

I borrowed my uncharted 2 to around 4 friends who would never have bought it due to them being sceptical about it being any good. Each of these people has now pre-ordered Uncharted 3.

Pre-owned games and even piracy can have a hand in future sales. If the product is good enough, it will ultimately sell well.

SageHonor2287d ago

Okay I have a few things to say about this article

~ Start PROOFREADING your blogs!! I had to reread half of it because you mix up alot of words.

~ "Come on N4G" Stop being a hypocrite

Sorry but this will never happen. People like me and you watch this hypocrisy go on. I pay it no mind. This is just how it is. IT's just a matter of most gamers not really understand how the game industry works when it comes to business. I doubt most gamers even understand business at all. Supply and Demand anyone. The truth is, we were all better off in just shutting up and not playing the game. If you dont like it dont buy it and leave it at that. Dont even talk about it. Now everyone wants to ramble on and complain about things. The more gamers we have voicing their opinions.. The more things start to contradict itself. People should just learn to shut up at times.

COD is starting to get overhated. Sure, Activision mastered accessibility and hasnt really innovated. You know why? Because people KEEP BUYING IT! Say what you want but look at the sales.

But guess what? Most of the time on websites like these, people just say whatever the hell they want. It is pathetic but a fact at the least. Don't take it seriously. Not everybody can be pleased anyway.

dinkeldinkse2287d ago

Is that there is no way to calculate that. It's an assumption. No one knows the actual number. Could be way more or way less so it is pointless to give a number.

I really don't know why anyone would be for an online pass. I have played so many games this gen that were unfinished messes that should have been delayed or only cost $10, but instead cost $60. When developers/publishers screw the people that buy their games new, why should anyone have a problem with people buying used?

I don't have any problem with the people buying used because they do help the video game industry whether the publishers/developers like to admit it or not(like the used game so they buy sequels, people that sell their games to the people buying used are able to buy new games).

If you are wondering, I have not and will never buy a used game.

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