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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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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.)

      • 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 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: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.

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

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:22PM (#25715647)
        Except they are. No one (or at least, very few) rents or buys used games all the time. The average customer likely buys used sometimes, and buys new sometimes. Now they're screwing him over, and he'll never buy from them again. This is stupidity at its finest.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Fluffeh (1273756)
          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 lev
        • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by meringuoid (568297)
          No one (or at least, very few) rents or buys used games all the time. The average customer likely buys used sometimes, and buys new sometimes. Now they're screwing him over, and he'll never buy from them again.

          Actually, he'll just buy less often. The price of a new game is £X. The expected return when it is sold on the second-hand market is £Y. Then the cost to the customer is £(X - Y). If you eliminate the second-hand market, then you have effectively jacked up the price of your game by

      • 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.

        • 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?

          • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by fimbulvetr (598306)

        The only reason I buy new games is so I can trade them in within 6-12 months and get a good amount back for them. Sometimes gamestop, etc. has a special with their membership + quantity of games that blows anything like the hassle of shipping them to ebay purchasers out of the water. I am willing to pay 50-60 bucks because I know I can re-coup more than half that when I trade them back in. If they start taking that value away, then my new game budget goes down dramatically.

        Of course, I generally only buy ga

      • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Destoo (530123)

          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: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Miseph (979059)

            But it doesn't, and here's how we know... 6 months after most games come out, they cost at least $20 less than they did on their street date, yet copies are still being printed and shipped, and money is still being made.

            They can't sell old games at full price, and they've known it for a while, but some shit-for-brains got the stupid idea that, all experience to the contrary aside, maybe they actually can do it.

            Of course, this also begs the question: if a game can be sold at profit for less down the line, ho

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mobby_6kl (668092)

          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 ne

      • 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

    • by narcberry (1328009) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:16PM (#25715599) Journal

      This article got me thinking. We should really shut down sites like Ebay and Craigslist. It's unfair that people are able to sell their assets without generating any profit for the manufacturer.

      • by perlchild (582235)

        We also got to put people to jail for selling games they can't use to their friends. Yeehaw.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mabhatter654 (561290)

        we should dispose of our widgets each day when we are done enjoying them into recycle bins. Then go to work for credits in the factories recycling yesterday's "junk" into new cool items. Then nobody loses!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Firehed (942385)

      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

    • 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?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by perlchild (582235)

      I think we can safely say that looking at for instance EA, their customer base is composed of sheep, who have no idea how to hurt any of these massive companies. If customers had the intolerance you think they do, EA would have been bankrupt, by 2001 or so.

    • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bigman2003 (671309)

        Good post. Except for the part where you predict this won't happen.

        I just bought Gears of War 2 on Friday. It came with codes for me to download maps. These are single use codes.

        Now these maps are 'old', but it is a huge amount of content nonetheless.

        If I do sell the game, the person who buys it from me will have 9 maps instead of 14.

        (Personally, I think this whole idea is great.)

      • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @03:31AM (#25717151)

        you've talked to developers who were saying "... I really wish I had a unicorn."

        At least, being game developers, the fact that unicorns only associate with virgins isn't an issue.

    • by CSMatt (1175471)

      Do you seriously think that they won't? Most people I know who play video games gladly pay their money (hard-earned or otherwise) for either the same damn sports games from EA that have nothing more than a roster update or DLC that will either vanish or otherwise become unplayable in a few years when the servers are finally taken offline. One might think that these people are too fickle to ever want to play these games again in the future, but these same people love the classic titles on consoles that hav

  • Epic Games.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Beelzebud (1361137) on Monday November 10, 2008 @10:56PM (#25715413)
    A once great game company. It's amazing that this is the same company that released those bonus packs for Unreal Tournament. They have really turned in to money grubbing whores. I blame people like Mike Capps.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aweraw (557447) *

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Captain Spam (66120)

        Funny how I think they left the PC game industry because they were whining about piracy, and how going console-only would solve that so wonderfully and magically.

        And now, it's bitch, bitch, bitch all over again! It's the players' fault! Screw you, customers! What've customers ever done for them, anyway?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by joocemann (1273720)

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mobby_6kl (668092)

          GoW2 is a piece of shit sequel to a piece of shit game. The console gamers probably just don't know any better, but this doesn't change the facts. I didn't like the product so I didn't buy it, but that's Epic's problem, not mine.

    • 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.

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

      by WCLPeter (202497)

      ... 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 jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@[ ]u.org ['bea' in gap]> 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!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:05PM (#25715489)

    Never gonna happen

  • 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.

    • by narcberry (1328009) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:21PM (#25715633) Journal

      Sure it's lame, but I don't think this applies. You buy a product with an included key that can be consumed once. You can turn around and sell this product to a game store or friend, but if you consume the key, the product is nearly valueless.

      It's synonymous with food, well rotten food anyway.

      • You can turn around and sell this product to a game store or friend, but if you consume the key, the product is nearly valueless.

        Keys don't get "consumed" naturally the way food does. It's an unnatural engineered-in limitation, which I would expect people to be seriously pissed off about if they weren't clearly informed prior to paying for it.

        • by maglor_83 (856254)

          It's an unnatural engineered-in limitation, which I would expect people to be seriously pissed off about if they weren't clearly informed prior to paying for it.

          Look at Spore. People are seriously pissed off even when they are clearly informed prior to paying for it. And rightly so, too.

    • "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."

      It's a little like a bubble sort were the money moves one way and the goods moves the other way.

    • OT: Heh (Score:5, Funny)

      by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @12:39AM (#25716261) Journal
      Apparently Ford cant make money off the FIRST sale of cars and trucks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by killmofasta (460565)
      "nor Ford off sales of used cars and trucks."

      Not! Ford continues to make a *LOT* of money, from parts and service.
  • PC gamers will have an obvious way around this. More and more reasonable people are being pushed to pirating games they want; nobody wants SecuROM, or Starforce foisted on them, and nobody will stand for being told they have to pay more just to see the end of a game. Sooner or later, games will be losing more and more key content to the optional extra market.

    "Oh, sorry, you only bought the game. You can play the training level as much as you want, but all the levels are extras. Yeah, if you buy the leve

    • This move is evidence of poor competition in the marketplace. If the market were truly competitive, decisions would be in favor of lowering prices and enticing users.

    • Reminds me of that new Gran Turismo with only one car...
  • trade ins (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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?

    • 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?

      But those "NEW GAMES" might come from *GASP* Their *competitors*!

      "Scorched earth" is a common policy for corporates these days.

  • Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT 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!

    • Seriously. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "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 develop

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NoobixCube (1133473)

        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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Right of first sale (Score:5, Informative)

    by syousef (465911) on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:21PM (#25715631) Journal

    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."

    So what? A car manufacturer doesn't make money when a second hand car is sold. An actor doesn't get more money when a movie is rented.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine [wikipedia.org]

    This fiction that every time a product is used, the people who made said product deserve to be compensated just shows up how greedy these people are. It's never worked this way before, and if you take this position and have ever bought anything second hand you're a hypocrite. Get a clue.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Artifakt (700173)

      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, whe

  • Stop trying so desperately hard to dissuade me from giving you money. I love my hobby, but you are making it so damn hard for me to buy your games. If you keep pissing all over the idea of a "finished product", I'm eventually gonna have to find a new hobby. This shit has to stop.

    Love,

    A lifelong gamer

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by geminidomino (614729) *

      30% off? Lolwut?

      Per Gamestop.com:

      Fallout 3 (New): 59.99
      Fallout 3 (Used): 54.99

      Expect to save $5 to $7 (paying 89-92%) on used games these days, and only get 10-30% trade-in (high end only if EVERYONE wants the game, and then expect to pay 95-97%

      I don't think "New prices are too high" is really the deciding factor here...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Walpurgiss (723989)
        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.
  • That movie studios make money from rental dvds. Why is it different for games? It shouldn't be.
  • 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 ozphx (1061292)

      Exactly... and another tip: Stop selling 5 year old games for the same price as AAA titles. People wouldn't buy their games secondhand if they could get them new for $20!

  • 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 WDot (1286728)
      Parent is spot on. Remember the Slashdot crowd is very different from the Kotaku/Destructoid/Joystiq crowd. Whereas Slashdotters may boycott to orgasm, many gaming forums are quieter, preferring to grumble a bit before paying anyway. There's some crossover, but ultimately what Slashdot sees as consumer rape is simply a hazard of the hobby for others. There's actually more animosity towards pirates on gaming forums "ruining it for everybody else," rather than the game companies who are instituting the ru
  • Feel free to continue shitting on your customers. The rest of us that you drop a load on will just go to a competitor [thepiratebay.org] and download the full game.

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@noSPAm.gmail.com> on Monday November 10, 2008 @11:55PM (#25715947) Homepage Journal

    Kid "Mom, I need your credit card to pay Blizzard $20 so I can defeat the final level boss Cement Head in Worlds of Warcraft Junior: Adolescence Rage"

    Mom "What? You need my credit card for what? A video game?"

    Kid "I also need $15 more to buy a magic sword +5 against cement."

    Mom "But that's extortion, who does Blizzard think they are to charge money to get to the final level and buy a weapon to help you defeat a boss, and what kind of name is Cement Head anyway?"

    Kid "But moooooooom, all the kids in Junior High are playing it, and if I don't beat Cement Head, I'll be laughed at lunch by all of my friends because my family is too poor or too stingy to pay for unlocking those parts of the game."

    Mom "Well if they laugh at you dear, then they aren't your friends. I am not paying $35 for you to finish some stupid video game."

    Kid "But Mom, G4 'Cheat' gave it five out of five stars, the highest rating they can give it."

    Mom "I don't care who gave it five stars, I am not giving you my credit card and that is final!"

  • by Kaboom13 (235759) <kaboom108@bellsFREEBSDouth.net minus bsd> 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.

  • 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?

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