"The pre-owned market is a serious problem"


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Noticed this little tidbit when reading BBC:

The problem that publishers have with retail, he said, was due to the growth of the second-hand games market.

"The pre-owned market is a serious problem, because there is no benefit to developers or publishers," said Mr Livingstone.

While retailers have to pay a percentage to the publishers for a sale of a new game, there is no such requirement when selling a second hand game, with the shop pocketing all the profit.

Mr Livingstone estimated that the pre-owned market made up more than a quarter of a video-game retailers turnover.

"A shop makes a bigger margin on a pre-owned title, and can sell them six or seven times, so there is no incentive for them to reorder and the content creator gets no slice of the action," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8210622.stm

An emoticon featuring someone playing a violin would be appropriate here, because my heart bleeds.

I will just roll my eyes instead.

:rolleyes:

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I can hardly bear to see them suffer...sniff...I guess...sniff...I guess I'll have to follow through with that plan to...sniff...wade through the offices of EA with a submachine gun...sniff...its the kindest way now that I know how much they are suffering...

Seriously though, developers are suffering but that's due to the general economic state of things. I mate of mine who is a games developer was unemployed for ages after his old company let him go, but he's landed on his feet and is now working on Football Manager, which is like building your house on and from adamantium when it comes to security. Make a game that people want to buy and you'll do well. Make Dancing on Ice 2 and you'll be designing your next game on old toilet rolls.

The only way one-purpose games shops can make money is to do a lot of second hand business, outside of places like GAME I don't know a games shop in Bristol that doesn't do at least 60-70% of its trade second hand just to survive because the profits on selling the game the first time around are so low. Actually, even GAME does about 50% trade-ins. Fuck the publishers, no-one working in one of those shops gets rich off it.

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They've been saying this for years. Honestly, if games weren't so expensive, I don't know if the pre-owned market would be as big. I don't buy many games that are pre-owned, but I do tend to wait for sales for games that I'm not dying to grab. The reason why I buy so many download titles is because they (for the most part) seem more appropriately priced.

Just as an aside; I remember reading about the really clever idea for reselling downloaded games that would allow for developers to regain a little bit of profit from re-selling. I think a concept like that would quell a lot of people’s concerns with DLC and would be great for developers.

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I got Tomb raider underworld last week in a pre-owned 2 for 20.

The game brand new in the same shop was 20 in itself, the game lasted me 4-5 hours.

What I'm saying is that if games where cheaper, or at least lasted a good few hours of having fun, not running around in circles I wouldn't mind paying the extra money.

If publishers want to charge 40-50 per games that last 4-5 hours of serious play, then that's fine, like with a DVD, I'll wait till it gets cheaper in a few months.

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Honestly, I don't know why consumers get all righteous and snarky when people actually expect to get paid for their work.

The publishers are actually right here. Pre-owned sales DO hurt their bottom line. That's why the price of games went up, because less people were buying new, and they had to make that up somehow. Not to mention that buying used is going to majorly fuck us all in the end when everything goes download and the publishers control all the distribution channels.

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Honestly, I don't know why consumers get all righteous and snarky when people actually expect to get paid for their work.

The publishers are actually right here. Pre-owned sales DO hurt their bottom line. That's why the price of games went up, because less people were buying new, and they had to make that up somehow. Not to mention that buying used is going to majorly fuck us all in the end when everything goes download and the publishers control all the distribution channels.

Used sales have affected every single aspect of the economic system from the beginning of time. Does Toyota complain that their cars are sold at used car lots? No. Does Hollywood complain about used DVD sales? No.

Besides, used game sales only really get high AFTER the games have had their big new-sales peak. After all, the used games have to come from somewhere, and if 5 million people all want to play Call of Duty at launch, they'll have to all have their own copies of the game. Even if those copies were owned by someone else previously, that means that 5 million units have been sold.

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Knightwing nailed it.

No other industry complains about secondhand sales. Game designers can cry into their giant piles of money and thousand dollar hookers for as long as they want. I'm not budging.

Why thank you, sir. :)

I think game developers are complaining because their products are software, and therefore the normal economic standards "shouldn't apply" to them.

The used car industry hurts new car sales; that's true. Used sales always steal a very minor fraction from what might have been new sales. However, they also vastly increase the overall economy of the auto industry as a whole, and help the entire world economy work better, thus allowing for higher new-car sales in the long run.

Games are no different. Used games keep the cash flowing through the game industry as a whole. Even if only 30% of games sold are new, that means that when the game industry grows as a whole, that percentage stays the same, yet grows in actual value.

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Honestly, I don't know why consumers get all righteous and snarky when people actually expect to get paid for their work.

The publishers are actually right here. Pre-owned sales DO hurt their bottom line. That's why the price of games went up, because less people were buying new, and they had to make that up somehow. Not to mention that buying used is going to majorly fuck us all in the end when everything goes download and the publishers control all the distribution channels.

Knowing several people who work or have worked in games shops I can tell you that if the second hand games business stopped in the UK then every single games shop would close too. These places lose money on selling the consoles and make a very minimal profit off new games, if you take out the second hand business then they literally cannot make money. This is true of GAME, EB (when there were still EB's in this town), Pink Planet and multiple others. If the publisher can't make money off games then its not the fault of the shops, because as I said, if these places sold nothing but first-hand games they'ed go out of business. Amazon, Play and multiple supermarkets can already afford to sell those titles cheaper, the second hand market and console peripherals is all they have left.

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You can't compare the video game industry to the car industry. Cars are something you buy and keep. Video games are programs you rent a license to use. The disc is not the game. It's more like the movie or music industry.

With that being said, the don't have a leg to stand on in their argument. It's ridiculous to think they should get a cut from a disc every time it is sold. Who is going to regulate that?

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You can't compare the video game industry to the car industry. Cars are something you buy and keep. Video games are programs you rent a license to use. The disc is not the game. It's more like the movie or music industry.

No, that's not true. If that were the case, then used game sales would be illegal, as you would be selling something that was the property of Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo. Sony was rumored to be trying to change the terms of purchase for their games that before the PS3 launch (so that you'd only be buying the license to use the disk, and therefore used game sales would be illegal), but nothing came of it.

You own every bit of data on the disk, just like you own all your car's parts. The disk is a physical thing that you buy and keep, just like a car.

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You can't compare the video game industry to the car industry. Cars are something you buy and keep. Video games are programs you rent a license to use. The disc is not the game. It's more like the movie or music industry.

No, that's not true. If that were the case, then used game sales would be illegal, as you would be selling something that was the property of Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo. Sony was rumored to be trying to change the terms of purchase for their games that before the PS3 launch (so that you'd only be buying the license to use the disk, and therefore used game sales would be illegal), but nothing came of it.

You own every bit of data on the disk, just like you own all your car's parts. The disk is a physical thing that you buy and keep, just like a car.

Sorry, but you are wrong. You may own the disc, but not the information on it. It's the same as the music on a cd or the movie on a dvd. Courts have always sided with the ip holders on this. The reason it's not illegal to sell a used disc is that the license transfers with it when it is sold.

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Sorry, but you are wrong. You may own the disc, but not the information on it. It's the same as the music on a cd or the movie on a dvd. Courts have always sided with the ip holders on this. The reason it's not illegal to sell a used disc is that the license transfers with it when it is sold.

That's not what I meant. You don't own the intellectual rights to the content, but you own the disk itself. Because it's a physical object, you can treat it as you would anything else. The "licensing" issues are just overly complicated legal ways to keep the intellectual rights protected while still allowing for the sale & resale of the actual item.

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This is the problem the music, movie, and game publishers have been dealing with since the modern internet arrived. You don't need discs anymore, but it was the only control they had over their media. That's why they started using DRM. That's why they are trying to push digital distribution. The problem is the world isn't ready to switch just yet. The digital age came with a lot of problems that we haven't worked out yet.

Just think, there are music companies claiming that ringtones are public performances of music, and want more money for them. They already cost 3-5 times more than if you just buy the song.

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Cars and software are different on a stupid number of levels, to the point that you can't really compare them. You don't typically resell a car four to six months after using it. As for the movie industry, they would be all over used DVD sales except downloads are a much bigger issue to them and used DVD profits are pathetic in most cases.

And next time I visit Bethesda, I'll be sure to ask them where the giant pile of money and hookers are, cause I didn't see them. I love how the people that make the games aren't deserving of our money, but a billion dollar corporation like Gamestop, yeah, let's drive up their profits a bit more, despite only knocking five bucks off the price for a used game. My concern isn't with the publishers, it's with the developers, who more often that not are already getting raped out of their money through other means.

It's like music when people try to justify shit by saying "they have enough money". Seriously, capitalism, look it up. They got that money because they put out a product that people were willing to pay money for. That's how it works. There's not some law that dictates how much money you're allowed to make in the entertainment industry. "Yeah, look, Hannah Montana, I know your next album sold millions, but you already have a jacuzzi, so we're just going to give the album away."

Speaking as the former manager of a Gamestop, yes, used games are their main source of income by a huge margin, and they likely wouldn't be in business without them, but if we're talking about corrupt motherfuckers that need to be put out of business, it's them and one of the few pluses I see to a download only future is that their demise is just an eventuality at this point.

All of that said, everyone here has bought used games, has music or movies on their computer that they didn't pay for, etc. But to say that it doesn't effect people is shortsighted and wrong.

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You don't typically resell a car four to six months after using it.

Games are also about 300 times cheaper than cars. It evens out.

It's like music when people try to justify shit by saying "they have enough money".

You're definitely right about that. You can't run a capitalist system according to personal sympathy.

All of that said, everyone here has bought used games, has music or movies on their computer that they didn't pay for, etc. But to say that it doesn't effect people is shortsighted and wrong.

It totally has an effect, but you can't argue that it needs to stop. Gravity is a huge problem for the airplane industry, but that's an unchangeable fact of life. As long as digital media is still stored on physical mediums, it will be bought and sold just like any other physical object.

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This isn't exactly a black and white issue.

What about legacy games and systems? Games that are "cult classics" and never really sold well, like Beyond Good and Evil? There aren't new copies readily available, but a lot of people would probably like to check out what they missed. Yes, many older games will be "reissued" like the Fallout games, but many won't and there's not exactly a plethora of other options aside from used games or piracy, unfortunately. Also considering the piss poor broadband penetration in the US, digital distribution won't be the norm for years, so services like Steam and XBox Live won't become realistic options for the sole distribution of big budget games (that is, in lieu of hard copy sales at retail).

It's not going away anytime soon; but I do think you will start to see publishers and developers incentivize new purchases more, like the Madden DLC: Only the new owners will get the bonus content, while used buyers will have to settle for the regular version of the game. I hope this never results in a "broken" used version, but that might be what it comes to eventually.

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Dubs, you're going to have a hard time selling me on the idea that the game developers, who are making a damn sight more than I am, deserve my money when the games could cost half of what they currently do. I'll gladly buy used games, because I can use that money I'm saving a hell of a lot more than they can.

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Dubs, you're going to have a hard time selling me on the idea that the game developers, who are making a damn sight more than I am, as an unemployed actor, deserve my money when the games could cost half of what they currently do.

Ehh...

That's not always the case. Game devs don't always make a lot of money. Their funding often comes from publishers and investors, who get a large cut of any profit. Just because a game makes $5 million doesn't mean that that money goes straight to the devs. After all the money is divided up, the devs might not get any more than a normal programming salary. Also, it takes 1-2 years for a game to be developed, so that means that if a company doesn't make enough on the projects that they spent years working on, their company can go under. (like GRIN, who made the Terminator: Salvation game and the remake of Bionic Commando

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All of that said, everyone here has bought used games, has music or movies on their computer that they didn't pay for, etc. But to say that it doesn't effect people is shortsighted and wrong.

It totally has an effect, but you can't argue that it needs to stop. Gravity is a huge problem for the airplane industry, but that's an unchangeable fact of life. As long as digital media is still stored on physical mediums, it will be bought and sold just like any other physical object.

And at no point do I argue that it's something that needed to be stopped. Used sales exist because there's a demand for it. I was simply defending the game makers in saying that it has a negative effect. The direction the industry is going, used games are going to stop on their own, when physical discs no longer exist.

Dubs, you're going to have a hard time selling me on the idea that the game developers, who are making a damn sight more than I am, deserve my money when the games could cost half of what they currently do. I'll gladly buy used games, because I can use that money I'm saving a hell of a lot more than they can.

I guess I'm never buying lunch again. Those Subway execs make a shit ton more than me.

Again, you're confusing developers with publishers. EA, Activision, yes, those guys have a lot of money, but the developers like Westwood and others that work under those companies? Most are working under six figures.

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