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Restricting Pre-Owned Content Could Damage Gaming

Poorer gamers should be nurtured and not punished, argues 360 Magazine.

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360magazine.co.uk
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DaveX3603188d ago

True.

Store buys many videogames -> Consumer swaps pre-owned and cash money for one of them.

Someone still gives money to publishers, it's just the shop and not purchasers directly.

iamnsuperman3188d ago

That works in theory but not they way deals have been going on. GAME have been doing some really great deals for us but bad for publishers. Trade in Gears and get Forza or Fifa for 99p. When more do this demand drops for GAME to buy new as they have a backlog of Gears titles pre-owned. SO for the first week there are a lot of sales but how many games are bought in the first week. Not millions its thousands. Used games are bad. The sotes do not need to buy new games from publishers because they can buy a game and sell it at a higher profit and so buy less games.

DaveX3603188d ago (Edited 3188d ago )

I can see where you're coming from, but I think the level of distaste this will bring about in poorer (generally younger) consumers will lead to problems, years down the line.

Videogaming has to nurture new fans, like any other form of entertainment.

EDIT - Besides, considering the majority of game sales occur outside of the first week (to a cautious estimate of 75% or so), by looking to eliminate the preowned market entirely isn't what they're essentially saying 'can we have 75% more money, please'? Seems a bit excessive, no?

ryhanon3188d ago

No, not true. At best, it's just a plausible conjecture. This article assumes, without any data to back it up, that there are significant numbers of people who won't buy new games if they're not able to trade away old ones for the money to do so. The fact is, there is no data to back that idea up. It's a guess, no more, no less.

The article suggests that if that were to happen then sales would plummet because people wouldn't be able to trade away old games for the cash to buy new ones. Assuming for a moment it's true though, I think that's all the more reason why used game sales should be eliminated. Think about it. If used games disappear entirely and then, as the article suggests, new game sales dwindle, publishers will have no choice but to drop prices across the board in order to keep up their profit margins. This means new games will come out with a lower standard pricing structure (say, $40 instead of $60). This is good for everyone.

DaveX3603188d ago

Again a possible but highly unlikely scenario, methinks.

DevilishSix3188d ago (Edited 3188d ago )

ryhanon

you posted the same comment on the article site. We get it, your a publisher and developer apologist. I am and for the consumer. No way in hell single-player content should be locked...period. Around 30-40% of gamers are not or chose not to hook up online whether its a money issue, geographical issue, or whatever.

Reality is that second hand markets in all walks of life have been around forever and will continue to and if a company choses to lock out such an option, well then consumers will go elsewhere.

If we as consumers allow this to happen then when will it stop? Will we have to give a cut to car manufacturers when we sell our used car in the future?

This whole Intellectual Property rights has gone to far and is now violating consumer rights.

Noone ever brings up the consumers right to property they purchase. Are we going to become a rent only society or are we going to be allowed to own something we paid for? Ask yourself that question.

ryhanon3188d ago

@DevilishSix

"Reality is that second hand markets in all walks of life have been around forever and will continue to and if a company choses to lock out such an option, well then consumers will go elsewhere."

Good. That's exactly what we need. The bottom line is that right now consumers *aren't* going elsewhere and until something drastic changes they never will. That's my point exactly. Once they do, the publishers / developers have to respond.

"If we as consumers allow this to happen then when will it stop? Will we have to give a cut to car manufacturers when we sell our used car in the future?"

I'm not sure I understand your point here. Are you implying we give a cut to publishers today when we sell a game? No, we don't.

Comparing the used game market to the used automobile market is ridiculous. Don't believe me? As I explained in another comment earlier, often the argument goes something like this: "Every other thing has a used market, like cars for example... why are video games special?"

They're special because the time it takes the original purchaser to turn around and sell a car is usually a very long time. There aren't significant numbers of used vehicles out at the used car lots at the same time those same vehicles are being sold new. The car manufacturers see very little revenue loss as a result because, since it takes so long for significant numbers of these used vehicles to accumulate, there is very little product overlap. Also, a used car (and any other used items for the most part) experiences wear and tear. It's old, beat up, has several thousand miles on it, etc...

In contrast, video games are turned around and put on the used shelves in significant numbers within a month of release (sometimes the same *WEEK* they're released). In addition to that, they're digital products that experience absolutely no level of degradation. Oh sure, the disc might be scratched, but if it's scratched to the point that it becomes unplayable you just return it for another copy.

As unpopular as online passes or codes for single player content may be it is, in my opinion, perfectly acceptable. Think of it as "wear and tear", standard degradation of the used copy of software you purchased. Without it, the used purchaser gets exactly the same experience as the new purchaser, only at a discounted price and the developer sees nothing from that sale (the people who actually produce this product and *SHOULD* be getting paid for it - the idea that they've already been paid for it at the time of the original sale is a logical fallacy). This matters because those sales cut into their bottom line in a very short span of time after release. If the game industry were more like the automobile industry there wouldn't be significant numbers of used games available until a good year or more after release, thus not cutting into a publishers bottom line in any significant way.

I'm all for consumers rights, but not at the expense of the rights of the individuals who actually spend the time and effort to create the content we enjoy. If you think the games are too expensive and the publishers / developers are too greedy (a sentiment I can even agree with at times), then the answer is very simple: DON'T BUY THE GAMES! Nobody is forcing you to buy these games. You're doing it because it's a hobby and you enjoy playing them, it's not a necessity. What *is* a necessity though, is that the publishers and developers that produce the games get paid appropriately for them. Otherwise there's nothing for you to play and enjoy because nobody can afford to make them.

DARK WITNESS3188d ago (Edited 3188d ago )

I see what you are saying and this has kind of been my idea from the beginning, except I think it could still work even with a used games market.

The average price of games was a lot lower(i am guessing here), but I am sure more people would be inclined to buy new games day one. With the new games being cheaper, people would feel less of a need to trade the games for cash or swap because it didn't cost as much to begin with and it would mean you are more likely to keep the game.

If killing the second hand market caused the prices to drop then that would be good. the only problem is gamers seem to be a lot happier when they are being poked in the backside. If they just shrug and continue to buy the new games and there is no drop, then it could see publishers putting the prices up instead.

It's hard to say though, we will never know until it happens. Either way I don't think locking content ( especially single player content is the key ) If anything reward people more for buying new.

I know this is suppose to be a reward in a way, but it does not feel like it at all.

Make a lot more of the DLC free to those who purchase new, instead of cutting stuff and selling and selling and selling. Don't cut stuff you know should be on the disc, or at least tell us from the start if a mission is dlc or not.

don't announce a game and promote content that you say makes up 20% of the game play and then turn round a week before the game is out and say it's now 10% and it's locked. Even if you have the best intentions, as a customer it just makes me feel you are trying to rip me off!!

@ ryhanon

You have a point but the only reason new games get traded in so fast is because they don't offer a lot of replay value/ the game is shit.

Again when games had a lot more stuff you could unlock when playing the game, cheats/ missions etc. offering more for you money, people were not so quick to trade them in. Now dev's are chopping up all those extras and trying to sell it to us, people see less value in keeping the game because they have to spend more to get all those extra, so the answer becomes trade it in while you can still get a good price for it.

if the price on new games was a little lower and they gave us more reason to keep a game instead of wanting to finish it within a weekend and trade it because there is hardly any replay value, then maybe that would give people less reason to turn to the second hand market.

I can't speak for others, but the games I have kept in my collection such as my original copy of Halo CE I kept because it was an amazing game and I felt gave me a lot of value. Other games I have kept like Kotor, Otogi, PGR1, the original gta games all the way up to San Andreas.

ryhanon3188d ago

Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this, and none of us can really say with any certainty that our idea is right or wrong, but I think there is some evidence to suggest that the elimination of a used games market brings prices down.

Consider the proliferation of digital distribution methods (Steam and the like). Steam has massive sales on a regular basis, offering games for a fraction of the price expected at retail. Even the standard prices on Steam are typically significantly lower than retail outlets.

As much as I prefer my physical copies and detest the idea of digital distribution of software where the consumer doesn't actually really own anything, if it came down to it, I'd be able to accept a model similar to Steam. It'd be especially easier for me to be comfortable with knowing that the developers are getting more of the money out of the people who are enjoying their games and not some retail chain that does very little to earn that money.

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jc485733188d ago (Edited 3188d ago )

I know my way around when it comes to buying games. you just need to gain awareness of special deals way ahead of time. It's all about saving in the long run and not aimlessly buy every game at full retail price.

gazgriff2k123188d ago

it will and properly already is