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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Vital Parts of Games As DLC? 446

Posted by Soulskill
from the drm-by-any-other-name dept.
Epic Games president Michael Capps did an interview recently with GamesIndustry, and he had some interesting things to say about the future of downloadable content, and how it will affect the retail games market. He also discussed the trend toward social gaming, and Epic's plans in that regard. Quoting: "I'm not sure how big it is here [in Europe], but the secondary market is a huge issue in the United States. Our primary retailer makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales, and so you're starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by ... if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code. I've talked to some developers who are saying 'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.' We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used — way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it."
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Vital Parts of Games As DLC?

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  • They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:55PM (#25715395)
    Do they seriously think their customer base will stand for behavior like that? Anyone who has ever bought a used game will cease to buy any games, new or used, by companies that try to pull this shit. Consumers don't like being raked over the coals.
  • Re:Epic Games.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aweraw (557447) * <aweraw@gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:01PM (#25715443) Homepage Journal

    They were a once great PC game company. I blame the culture of console gaming for their current attitudes.

  • Re:Epic Games.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:01PM (#25715449)
    Not only that, money-grubbing whores who have said they're turning their backs on the very fans that propelled them to success (PC gamers). Fuck those guys.
  • In other news... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:01PM (#25715451)

    ... a large printing company has started replacing the last page in it's books with a 900 number readers must call to find out the ending. Apparently the greedy buzzards weren't making any money when people checked books out at the library.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@beauTOKYO.org minus city> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:04PM (#25715479)

    Ok, they want to kill of rental and used games. Fine. Doesn't matter to me.... but the value of games as a bought item like a DVD or book is a lot higher to me than a non-tranferrable license. Price accordingly and I'll bite. Oh! You idiots thought we are going to keep paying $60 and not be able to loan it out to a friend or turn it at Game Stop? That's very different, that is just a big old price increase heading into a recession. Brilliant move guys!

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:05PM (#25715487)

    I think this is more of a threat. Games resellers have been making insane profits and leaving the developers and publishers in the cold. It's one thing to sell a book, CD, or yard sale, its another thing entirely to buy recently released top-shelf games at 20 bucks a pop and sell them at 55.

    I've got nothing against the first sale doctrine, but those prices? Fuck, at those prices, they should be given a good excuse (We have to give 20% to the developer, or they start killing our business.)

  • by MikeBabcock (65886) <mtb-slashdot@mikebabcock.ca> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:06PM (#25715493) Homepage Journal

    Doctrine of first sale still applies to other properties that can be purchased and re-sold, despite the fact that authors make no money off sales of used books, nor Ford off sales of used cars and trucks.

    Its like the music industries attitude problem has somehow infiltrated the thinking of other digital organizations worldwide.

    Harry Potter will have had way more readers than it had sales (probably more than twice as many) before accounting for privacy at all.

    "Get over it" comes to mind.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Iamthecheese (1264298) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:10PM (#25715537)
    If a person or entity has a secondhand copy of the game and wants to sell it, thats fair use. If the real market value is higher than $20 for the seller or lower than $50 for the buyer, well no one is stopping you from setting up your own online used game store.

    Any tactic like not selling the whole game is, if not a blatent violation of fair use, a dispicable act that will have the manufacturer forever banned from my collection.
  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:14PM (#25715573)

    That's just it. The renters and the used game buyers aren't their customers.

  • trade ins (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:14PM (#25715575)

    What game publishers don't understand: All those people that trade in games at Gamestop? Do you know what they use the store credit for? *New Games* If you kill the secondary market, all you will do is take money from the primary market, with the result of a poorer games industry. Is that what you want?

  • by the_B0fh (208483) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:16PM (#25715589) Homepage

    Won't work. I still play starcraft and broodwar. I'm definitely not interested in paying more to play it. For your scheme to work, the subscription price needs to be small enough to entice me to continue to pay. At that level, the publishers aren't interested. What they are interested is the $15 or whatever people continue to pay for World of Warcraft. What they don't understand is that there's only *one* microsoft, *one* world of warcraft.

  • Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann,slashdot&gmail,com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:16PM (#25715591) Homepage Journal

    "We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used".

    Welcome to the real world! Want to be rich? Keep working!

  • by antic (29198) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:16PM (#25715595)

    "I've talked to some developers who are saying 'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.'"

    Surely they mean they've talked to marketing/admin at a games development company? Which in-the-trenches developer, likely a gamer themselves, would want their games to play out like that?

    Make a good game. Sell it. If the replay value is high enough, people will keep it rather than selling or renting it. Same if you provide legitimate, on-going DLC (whether free or paid). Engineer some stupid scenario whereby you drag more money out of people for the hell of it and you'll miss sales.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Firehed (942385) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:19PM (#25715611) Homepage

    Do they seriously think their customer base will stand for behavior like that?

    Do you seriously think that it won't happen regardless? The vast majority won't know until it's too late, and that same vast majority are unlikely to look into things before the second purchase to prevent it happening again.

    If they want to stop charging $60 for the game, give out the disks for free, and then componentize the gameplay modes as DLC (or rather, unlockable content on the disc), that's reasonable enough. Then I as someone who mostly sticks to single-player campaigns can spend just $15-20 on that rather than dropping $60 for a lot of content that will mostly go unused.

    Of course, if they did it that way, it would be fair to us and solve most of their problems - both piracy and second-hand sales. Which guarantees that it will never happen that way.

  • by Pinckney (1098477) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:19PM (#25715613)

    No, god no. I don't frankly care if it reduces my costs overall. I'm fed up with this contract culture, where anything worth doing requires agreeing to terms that frankly, nobody understands. I want to have some control -- not to be bound to a million different obnoxious companies. Look at all the nightmares when people try to unsubscribe to AOL, for example. Now multiply it a hundredfold.

  • DLC as DRM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:20PM (#25715621)

    Behold the future of gaming: using DLC as a form of DRM.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fremandn (316311) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:22PM (#25715643)

    Why not just make games worth keeping?

  • WTF? Seriously. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BrianRoach (614397) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:25PM (#25715681)

    Perhaps if enough people aren't willing to purchase your game at full retail, your retail price is too high for the product you are selling?

    There's a reason GameStop, etc are basically pawn shops these days - they figured out that there's a whole lot more people willing to buy the games at roughly 30% off retail.

    But no, your answer is to try and kill secondary sales.

    I honestly hope you do, in some ways, as then you'll see that your logic is equally as flawed as the RIAA's and that each "secondary sale" or rental isn't someone who would have purchased it at full retail otherwise.

  • by Neoprofin (871029) <neoprofin&hotmail,com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:27PM (#25715703)
    And not to worry, if someone can't rent or borrow they'll just pirate, then the manufacture gets all the money they're entitled... wait.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:30PM (#25715735)

    Let's see, why would I sell a game... Hmm... Would I sell Civilisation II? Nah, I might want to play it again. Would I sell Alpha Centauri? Are you nuts, that game can still be a blast (provided you find a machine able to run it)! I also couldn't see myself selling my copy of Supreme Commander.

    If you don't want your players to buy their games used, give your gamers a reason NOT TO SELL THEM. Simple as that. You can only buy used what others offer you. Replay value is what you're looking for. Of course, if you offer games that can be done in less than 10 hours and give the player zero incentive to play it again (EA, I'm looking your way!), the temptation to dump the game back onto the market before it loses too much value is quite high. Hey, if I buy it offshore and get it past customs, I might even sell it without a loss!

  • by HomerJ (11142) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:32PM (#25715739)

    There's been A LOT of negative stuff with regards to games--mostly on the PC site. DRM, DLC that's promised and never delivered, poor quality. You know something else? None of these seems to have any real effect on sales.

    Spore still sold millions of copies. Mass Effect sold well. As much as people SAID "Oh, I'm not buying this DRM crap" or "I hate these buggy games", they are still selling by the millions. Could these titles have sold BETTER if they didn't have all these negative points? Maybe, maybe not.

    As soon as you have a major title that comes out, that will have some code like this...people will still buy it. And if publishers can put these kind of restrictions on games, why shouldn't they do it? There's no downside.

    As far as piracy, or even renting goes(and when did THAT become evil)..it's limited to people that never really planned on buying it anyways. Those aren't lost sales despite what their studies say. The vast majority of people still still just go to a store and buy it. Good games still sell well. A cry of "OMG PIRACY KILLED OUR SALES" from a publisher is just trying to defend a bad title. Maybe Crysis would have sold better if it actually ran on more than 10% of the PCs sold at the time.

    Expect these things to continue. Also expect them to be tolerated by the gaming public. All that crying about SecuROM is going to go away when Mirror's Edge comes out and you HAVE to play it. Having to have some code to get the last level of a game will be cried about on every forum--until Bioshock 2 has one. And it will sell millions of copies.

    What can anyone do about it? Nothing. What COULD everyone do? Ignore the game. Don't pirate it. Don't purchase it. Don't talk about it on forums. But that won't happen. Most will happily take whatever the game publisher does to them just so they can have that shiny new version of their favorite game.

  • by ZephyrXero (750822) <zephyrxero.yahoo@com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:35PM (#25715761) Homepage Journal
    Exactly. If the game industry wants to kill off the used game market...and piracy for the most part too...in one fell swoop, all they need to do is lower the average game's price to around $20-30. If I can get a brand new copy of a game for $20, no way in hell I'm gonna pay Game Stop $15 for a used copy. It's simple economics really...

    Not only that, but if the industry really truely wants to make gaming a mass market affair, they are going to have to lower the costs for players. If movies cost $50-60 per title, hardly anyone would buy them either.
  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Free the Cowards (1280296) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:45PM (#25715867)

    When you decide to start punishing non-customers rather than finding ways to entice them into being customers, that's a really bad sign.

  • by Artifakt (700173) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:47PM (#25715899)

    Actually a car manufacturer makes extra money before the second hand car is sold. The first owner pays a price that includes an extra portion for how much that owner can make back by reselling the car in a few years. Take away used sales, and new sale prices drop. Same for the game manufacturer. So what this pig is complaining about is he only gets to make his money a few months faster on average, than the guy he sold it to gets to make some back. Now you know why American style capitalism doesn't work, whether the theoretical libertarian version would or not - Our 'visionary, self-made captains of industry' are actually 'whining, embittered, envious little losers'.

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:48PM (#25715903)

    There's a downside.

    The fact that a second hand market exists means there are some people who sell there games once they no longer wish to play them.

    I suspect 99% of the money they get for selling them to someone else they use to buy another game - in fact they probably just do a trade in deal in the first place...

    If they can't sell that old game, because that market collapses with no buyers then they won't be able to buy new games as often. Hence new game sales fall (or prices drop, yeah right that'll ever happen).

  • Seriously. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:59PM (#25715969)

    "BAWWW we want more money for the same product BAWWW you can't transfer that license even if you no longer retain the software BAWWW let's rob value from our products while making it so after purchasing all the DLC the full game costs more than standard shelf price, that'll show those dirty consumers!"

    Let's get this out in the open right here, folks:

    I WILL NOT PAY FOR A DEMO.

    When will these faggots learn that their products aren't really worth that much, are presently -overvalued- in spite of rising development costs, and that there's a big difference between Oblivion horse armor and a crucial part of the game? This DLC garbage is going too far. I'll pay for an expansion pack that adds to an -already complete game-, I'll pay for little trinkets and other additions if they're worth it, but I will not purchase an incomplete game and then pay extra for the ending. That's like paying extra for the last five chapters of a book or the last half hour of a movie, it doesn't fucking work like that.

    Cocksuckers that come up with ideas like this are pathetic businessmen grasping for straws. What developers and publishers are doing when they consider selling whole games as piecemeal is subtracting value from each portion and expecting the consumer to pay more for the whole. A good businessperson adds value to a product before asking the customer to ante up instead of taking it away.

  • by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@bellsout[ ]et ['h.n' in gap]> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:09AM (#25716041)

    I'm glad these guys aren't in the business of selling books, imagine how ape shit they would go if they learned about these places called libraries, that buy the book once, then lend it out free to whoever wants to read it? Hundreds, even thousands of people getting enjoyment from 1 sale, we better make laws against it fast, or book publishing will be doomed for sure!

    Despite all their commercial success, Epic (especially cliffyb) seems determined to find excuses why their games aren't the highest selling entertainment product of all time. The PC version of Gears of War stunk, it had framerate and screen tearing issues, lots of bugs, and little to no effort put into adapting it to PC controls. When the sales stunk, they blamed piracy on the PC. Im sure when GoW 2 comes out, and doesn't outsell Halo, GTA , and Madden combined in the first week, he will blame modchips or paid off/bribed reviewers from Sony or whatever other thing he can come up with to massage his own ego. They owe a lot of their success to Id, who basically created the mold for their early games, but if you listen to them talk you'd think they are god's gift to gamers, bringing them ideas so innovative only truly inspired artists could come up with them, like a first person shooter where you fight aliens with guns, and chainsaws, and chain-saw guns.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by philspear (1142299) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:10AM (#25716049)

    Do they seriously think their customer base will stand for behavior like that?

    Yes, since the behavior is pretty clearly bluffing. "I've talked to some developers who are saying..." Yeah, you've talked to developers who were saying "Man, it sucks that we can't get a piece of the pie every time our games are sold, we should do something about it. Also, I really wish I had a unicorn."

    You'll notice this is not him saying "In our next game, we're going to do this."

    They realize it will directly hurt them eventually. If you couldn't sell a game back if it sucked, a lot of people would be a lot more hesitant to buy a game. I know I would raise my standards for such a game.

    Plus, any idiot in the development buisness has to realize this isn't going to amount to beans. If I buy a game like this with a "first buy code" you know what the first thing I'd do would be? Post it online. They could make it such that you had to verify a unique code, but that's hurting their buisness then in another way: people without online capabilities won't be able to play it.

    So yeah, if he is serious, he hasn't thought about it for more than 5 minutes.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fluffeh (1273756) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:13AM (#25716063)
    Not much will change.

    From my view, now the person who got to rent it for a smaller fee before gets to "rent" it for free. You get the majority of the content there. To me, it just sounds like a glorified Demo, except it's not really a demo, it's the majority of the game. The "demo" part that covers the last bit will be the part you pay for.

    I bought Rome a while back. It wasn't a AAA title, but I still paid $69.95Aus for it. That's a reasonably hefty whack of coin, for something that I played three levels of and then thought was rubbish. I would have much preferred to get through three levels of free content then decided the game was shithouse rather than having to learn that at the cost of $70.
  • by Walpurgiss (723989) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:20AM (#25716121)
    Op must mean 30% off retail 12-18 months later.

    I guess if you wait a year and a half, you could pay 30-50% less; but of course, by then retail will have shrunk by about the same amount the used price did.
    It takes too long for the price to drop enough for a game I want to play to come out; buying used really only helps when you can get an additional discount on used, or are getting an older game.
  • Re:Seriously. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NoobixCube (1133473) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:34AM (#25716227) Journal

    Their sexual preferences and oral sex practices have absolutely nothing to do with their greed or incompetence. Unless of course you're talking about them being greedy incompetent lovers.

  • We go now to... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WCLPeter (202497) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:48AM (#25716299) Homepage

    ... reporter Mike Jones at ACME Construction headquarters where they have just filed an injunction against the National Association of Realtors, ordering them to sell only new homes. John Tightwad, company spokesman had this to say, "The secondary market is a destructive, criminally un-American, invention of the realtors with the sole purpose of eliminating hardworking construction jobs! Every time someone in America buys a used home, they're stealing someone's livelihood!"

  • by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabred.dyndns. o r g> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:51AM (#25716319) Homepage

    Welcome to copyright law being way behind where technology is.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:09AM (#25716445)

    That's acceptable for something that's free. Not sure about where you are, but a lot of places have laws against selling things you know are defective.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:17AM (#25716493)

    In this case, I think that scenario would result in the manufacturer getting EXACTLY as much money as they're entitled to.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GigaplexNZ (1233886) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:21AM (#25716519)
    It's time for our favourite car analogy. Car manufacturers don't make a profit when someone sells their car second hand, so why should game developers?
  • Re:They're insane. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Destoo (530123) <destoo@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:32AM (#25716579) Homepage Journal

    Because the game still has 'full value' when you re-sell it. The bits have not changed, the game is still the same. The car loses at least a few thousands in value the minute you take it out of the dealer's yard.

    This is why they want to add this 'feature'. To make the game lose value on the second sale. Looking at it that way, and seeing third parties making money only by reselling, I can only approve.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CSMatt (1175471) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:45AM (#25716653)

    The first sale doctrine is the good excuse. For someone who claims to have nothing against it, you seem to be all too eager to restrict markets that don't even need restriction, not counting of course the harm caused by these restrictions. (Used record stores, for example, could not exist without the first sale doctrine.)

    I don't know what used stores you are taking about where the used copy is sold far above the price of a new game, but if they exist, then customers will just buy from the retailer selling the new games. Any business reselling games at or higher than the price of a new game is not going to be in business for long.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grail (18233) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:47AM (#25716661) Journal
    Of course, you know the way that it will happen is that the single-player mode will work up until the final encounter, at which point it's revealed that you should have paid the $20 to unlock that NPC way back at the beginning of the game because they're pivotal to the successful completion of the final encounter. Can you imagine having to pay $20 to unlock Imoen or Jeheira in the Baldur's Gate series?
  • Re:They're insane. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by retchdog (1319261) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @01:53AM (#25716687) Journal

    As far as I know, it varies state-by-state. Some let you disclaim it, a few don't or have restrictions.

    Which is not to say that a video game with online/subscription-bound content is necessarily defective, again as long as it is made clear before purchase.

    Really I think this is the next generation of "feelies". Instead of a material fetish (look it up) to make you less likely to sell the game and its copy-protection, they're going the crass way. Whatever. People will either pay or not.

  • Re:Epic Games.. (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @02:05AM (#25716739)

    First everyone is complaining how evil the music labels are because they can't adapt to modern world of freely distributable data.

    Then some company DOES adapt to it and everyone here has a fit!

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by startled (144833) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @02:08AM (#25716755)

    When you decide to start punishing non-customers rather than finding ways to entice them into being customers, that's a really bad sign.

    Then it's a good sign that they're enticing non-customers into being customers, right?

    Gears of War 2 has special downloadable maps for people who buy the game new. People who buy it used still get the full single-player game, plus full multiplayer functionality-- they just don't get the bonus maps.

    They've identified a problem with their business model, and instead of legislating to protect their business model (like the recording industry), they've found a solution. What's the problem?

  • by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @02:35AM (#25716857)

    Take a look at the sales charts. Here's 2007:

    World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade (Blizzard Entertainment) - 2.25 million
    World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment) - 914,000
    The Sims 2 Seasons Expansion Pack (EA Maxis) - 433,000
    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward) 383,000
    Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (EA Los Angeles) - 343,000
    Sim City 4 Deluxe (Maxis) - 284,000
    The Sims 2 (Maxis) - 281,000
    The Sims 2 Bon Voyage Expansion Pack (Maxis) - 271,000
    Age of Empires III (Ensemble Studios) - 259,000
    The Sims 2 Pets Expansion Pack (Maxis) - 236,000

    Let's see. Either we can be WoW and monetize through recurring billing, which we get 96 cents out of every dollar (as opposed to 25 cents from selling boxes). Or we could crank out casual-friendly $20 expansion packs to sell at WalMart for development budgets in the 6 figures.

    Or we could try selling boxes of AAA games. The vast majority of these will fail to hit the megasuccess they need to to recoup our investments as game budgets are getting close to the 9 figures mark. Meanwhile our audience is being corrupted by the expectations set by games like WoW or consoles who can afford budgets of Ungodly Amounts Of Money because their monetization strategy can easily recoup them.

    The renters, pirates, and used-game buyers will complain that we charge too much if we sell AAA games, though... On second thought... screw 'em. We sell data, not boxes, and we will control the data.

    Slashdot will be pissed off. Screw 'em. They don't pay us anyhow.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @03:22AM (#25717093) Journal

    In holland there is a 2nd hand bookstore chain "De Sleghte" which has stores in all the major towns. Does the book industry complain about them not making any money from there sales? Well, they might, but nobody cares. 2nd hand books are normal.

    Pawn brokers make a living selling 2nd hand goods, any decent sized town in holland got some kind of 2nd hand store for household goods.

    What student doesn't get their household goods second hand from family? Does Philips complain that they don't get any money from people using their vacuum cleaners 2nd hand? Well, perhaps they do, but who cares. 2nd hand goods are normal.

    How many first time car buyers buy a new car? Or even a 2nd hand car? 3rd and even 4th hand are common. Does anybody care if the car makers complain about this? Of course not, the 2nd hand car industry is triving and a big part of the economy and the only way most of us can afford a car.

    Who of you lives in a new house? A 2nd hand house? I have lived in places (actually lived in a castle once) that were hundreds of years old. 30th hand perhaps? Nobody would take an constructor serious who wants a piece of sale price every time a house changes hands again.

    So why is the game industry different?

  • Re:Epic Games.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by joocemann (1273720) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @03:40AM (#25717187)

    Did they not just put out GOW2, an amazing sequel to an amazing game!

    Console gaming has nothing to do with it, nor is it something to get too upset about. If you don't like the product, don't buy it. Kinda easy, if you think about it.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BillyGee (981263) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @04:58AM (#25717663)
    Except they will buy from them again. The real world doesn't have the percentage of zealots that slashdot has, meaning in the real world, a statistically insignificant number of people care about who makes the game they want. They've heard about the game from somewhere, their friends are playing it and now they want it. You really think someone who wants Unreal Tournament 2010 is going to go "ah crap, that's made by those Epic bastards who screwed me over, forget it, I'll not play that game even though my friends are playing it"
  • Re:They're insane. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mobby_6kl (668092) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:13AM (#25717725)

    That's not a very good analogy. Where's BadAnalogyGuy when we need him most? Anyway, the used car market is quite important (to people and manufacturers alike), and I assume this applies pretty much everywhere. When buying a new car, most people who aren't planning to drive it until it falls apart consider its future sale price as part of buying decision. If car A costs 20k new and will sell for 10k in 5 years while car B also costs 20k new but 13k used, car B is, all else being equal, more attractive to new car buyers, and thus the manufacturer is likely to sell more of them.

    This is of course very simplified, but it shows that if a person can resell the game, they'll have more money to buy a new one. Unless, that is, they get something like two bucks for their game while the store resells it for $40*. In this case, the $2 are unlikely to have an impact on anything, while the reseller can easily undercut the prices of new games, leaving the developer/publisher nothing. I've given up on Epic a long time ago, but including some bonus content for the first buyers isn't such a terrible idea. An alternative is to lower prices in an attempt to reach a wider market which obviously exists, but this depends on how low the resellers can go with their used game prices. It might very well be impossible to compete with used games on price.

    *I actually have no idea what the real numbers are in this case, as I've never tried to sell my games or buy a used one, but that's what somebody posted in this thread.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @05:16AM (#25717737)
    well, it starts with the new-gen.
    sony development kit costs in the order of the thousands, and every major release now have to be delivered with high resolution models, textures, levels.. .

    The problem is that costs of game development had sky rocketed in the last years, while forced platform obsolescence and market fragmentation prevented the user base to grow proportionally.

    so now they have to shell out millions to produce a game, with a limited potential consumer base and greater risks.

    However, when in euroland I pay a game 69, I totally expect it to be complete, and moderately long. Price/gameplay wise, Crysis was a total ripoff, it was really short and the history was half completed.

    And the trend is not reversing: be prepared for more madden 20xx, fifa x, pes y and shooter z.

    The funny thing is that they deserve it, for producing exclusive platform titles, for recovering sales cost with pricey royalty and development kits, for destroying the game replayability and reselling value for fun and profit.
  • by Kneo24 (688412) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:14AM (#25718025) Homepage

    I imagine those are NPD numbers, so it only says a lot about North America. Other parts of the world do exist, and the numbers very well could be a lot different. Also, keep in mind that NPD numbers rarely, if ever, include digital sales. They only include retail sales.

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antic (29198) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @08:09AM (#25718713)

    Surely there's a difference between some "special downloadable maps" and (as stated in the summary) "the final boss"?

  • Re:They're insane. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by illumin8 (148082) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @11:00AM (#25720435) Journal

    They've identified a problem with their business model, and instead of legislating to protect their business model (like the recording industry), they've found a solution. What's the problem?

    Because it's unfair to consumers and violates the First Sale Doctrine [wikipedia.org].

    For now, it is just "bonus maps" or something innocuous. Pretty soon they will disable the entire game unless you're the original purchaser. That means you'll never be able to sell your used games again, and nobody will be able to buy your used games.

    Bought a game that sucked? You just bought a $60 paperweight, sucker.

    No company since Sony with the rootkit fiasco has had more contempt for their legitimate paying customers. Personally, I won't be buying another Epic game again. It's bittorrent and piracy for me. If they are going to "steal" from their customers by eliminating our resale value, I don't feel bad about stealing the game from them in the first place.

    The lesson to be learned here is "pirate often". These companies like EA with their ridiculous SecuROM DRM limiting installs and Epic need to be smacked down hard. They need to learn a financial lesson, that if you treat your customers like criminals, they tend to become criminals.

Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. -- Francis Bacon

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