Have Bethesda's litigious practices gone too far or has this whole thing been blown out of proportion? Can private parties sell games they never opened as "new" to others?
Can private parties sell games they never opened as "new" to others? Yes if the seals are intact, no if it has been opened, stores will accept sealed games as returns for refund as they can re-sell as new (wouldn't Bethesda winning this put a stop to that?), they will not accept open games.
For a company blasting Sony for not allowing crossplay, they sure do some majorly anticonsumer practices like not allowing someone to sell their game as NEW when it really is new and in packaging and not even allowing Fallout 76 to be sold on Steam. "Hey Sony, be pro consumer and allow cross play or we won't release the game on PS4." "Hey gamers, we aren't putting Fallout 76 on the biggest digital storefront, Steam. But you can buy it from these places instead!"
not releasing on steam isnt anti consumer if you provide another way to purchase the game for similar price, you lose around 30% of your game sale if you sell it there. If you have other means to sell your game on a digital platform it makes much more sense. Thats why a lot of publishers are making their own platform. Its actually a bit of the same as Sony, they are both juggernauts and untill enough people/publishers stand up to them they will just do whatever they want. Pubs/devs are actually in a pretty tough spot when it comes to digital sales on pc. You either ignore the biggest platform on pc or you let it take 30% of your sales.
Maintaining your own service could still cost you about 10-15% of your game sale. Its not like its free just because you make a web page. Steam charges 30% to indie devs. Publishers like Bethesda are paying 15-20%. That's what they pay on the console's store fronts. You get access to huge portions of the market, or forge your own way to have a higher profit margin. But I wouldn't be surprised if more sales are lost by not having it on steam, than are gained, and if the added profit doesn't make up for the lost revenue, then what has the publisher actually achieved by sticking it to steam? I've heard for over 20 years about how people could go to other auction sites other than Ebay and make more money from their sale. But they usually make less because there are fewer users. All these publisher run store fronts can't exist unless they have huge catalogs, and games that drive customers to their stores. Blizzard can manage it. EA and Ubi are doing alright. Bethesda will probably be alright. There are others who can go their own way, but since all of these companies seem to want to tie you into an account with some launcher, how long before the customers just get annoyed and say screw it.
No. It's not a good thing. And good luck Rage and Fallout. Cancelled my preorders. Shame on any impact to those devs. If I could buy from them rather than Bethesda, I would...
Very, very rarely, is a "copyright" anything, a good thing. Pretty sure that answers your question.
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