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Businesses The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Publishers Want a Slice of Used Game Market 664

Posted by timothy
from the you-wanna-piece-a-this? dept.
grigory writes "GameStop's business model depends on a healthy flow of used games: incredibly '[GameStop] enjoys a 48 percent profit margin on used games.' Game publishers do not see a cut of the secondary sale because it falls under the first sale doctrine. Now, some publishers and manufacturers want a piece of the pie. 'One marketing executive, who did not want to be identified for fear of angering GameStop and other retailers, said the used game sale market is still depriving publishers of money because it gives consumers an all-too-easy alternative to buying a new game.' Interesting picture of companies fighting for your business, and (surprise!) complaining about being left out of the money stream."
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Publishers Want a Slice of Used Game Market

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  • by telchine (719345) * on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:16PM (#28216401)

    Someone should tell them that, since Steam appeared there is no used games market.

    Hell, come to think of it, now Steam's here, very soon there won't be such things as publishers!

    Sucks to be them! Maybe someone should tell them?

  • WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Score Whore (32328) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:16PM (#28216403)

    I wonder if these game publishers (and music, movie and book publishers) ever stop to think about what they are saying. If the logic is that they have some ongoing interest in the product they sell us, then doesn't that imply that as a purchaser we have an ongoing interest in the money we give them? So when GPG takes the money I spent and buys new equipment for their offices, shouldn't I be getting a new monitor out of the transaction as well?

    Or do they figure that this only goes one way?

  • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:16PM (#28216405) Homepage

    If a bookstore can sell used books without giving any money to the publisher, I fail to see why a game store can't sell used games. For that matter, are we going to insist that everytime a geekstore resells pokemon, magic cards, miniature collectibles or other similar items that they need to pay the publisher a fee? Or the same thing for baseball cards. And if the stores need to, why not the individuals? (Maybe I shouldn't be too loud about this but I'm sure the Post Office would love to get money from stamp collectors buying and selling their stamps. Or the Treasure Department and coins...)

    If your idea sounds ridiculous when the product is replaced by a functionally identical product, the idea is probably ridiculous.

  • What's Next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nate_in_ME (1281156) <<me> <at> <natesmith.me>> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:16PM (#28216407)
    If they are actually successful in doing anything about this, what next? Car manufacturers complaining because they don't get a "cut" of used car sales, because used car dealers are providing an "easy alternative" to buying new?

    Either that, or game publishers will be the next on the bailout list...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:18PM (#28216431)

    Sell us "second run" games for $20 or less as new/unopened products a few months after release, and we'll cut out the middleman (gamestop).

    I don't buy $60 games unless I *really* want them -- badly. Otherwise I wait until I can get them for under $20 -- any way possible.

  • by JustNilt (984644) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:19PM (#28216447) Homepage

    had done this also? Would they have managed to get their way, one is forced to wonder? Would GM be thriving if they had a cut of every used car sale? Who the F--- do these publishers think they are anyway?! If this happens will I have to pay Dell every time my business sells a refurbished Dell PC? Hell, the pawnbrokers alone will never allow such a thing to go through.

    These are somewhat rhetorical questions and the slippery slope fallacy applies a bit. Still, the principle is sound as a reason why the publishers shouldn't get a cut of used game sales, in my opinion.

  • Just like.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SirLoadALot (991302) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:19PM (#28216449)

    This is just like with a car, or some other item, where the original manufacturer gets a kickback every time it is resold because -- hey, wait, they don't get anything from it because that's a stupid idea! The original manufacturer has already sold it and given up any future interest in it for a fair price! Why the hell would the maker of a bad video game get more money every time EB manages to fob it off again on an unsuspecting customer?

  • by Punto (100573) <puntob AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:19PM (#28216451) Homepage

    it's the original sale, that's their slice.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:20PM (#28216457)

    Even better analogy: You sell your apartment, then when the buyer sells you claim half the profit.

  • by solios (53048) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:21PM (#28216475) Homepage

    Maybe someone should tell you Valve fanboys a couple of things:

    1. There's no Steam for the Nintendo DS. (as an example)

    2. There's a booming used market for handheld and console games. I bought all of my Castlevania GBA games used, for example - along with New Super Mario Bros. and several other titles.

    While Sony and Nintendo are slowly moving towards more and more DLC and downloaded games, they don't come with manuals or boxes and they're not portable in the sense that you can pull the cartridge (or optical media or whatever) out of your backpack and toss it to a friend to check out. The "downloadable" option isn't available for older machines - the heart of the used market, and where the "economically disadvantaged" buy their games.

  • by TorKlingberg (599697) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:22PM (#28216479)

    now Steam's here, very soon there won't be such things as publishers!

    Steam is a publisher.

  • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:25PM (#28216507)
    and then see how many people buy a used game when its a measly few bucks cheaper instead of $10-15 off. New games should follow these pricing guidelines in my opinion to reach a critical mass of sales success:

    $10 - bargain bin chumps
    $20 - standard rate new game
    $30 - AAA rated new game (think like the extra 10 bucks you pay for BluRay discs over DVD)
    $40 - AAA rated special edition bundle mumbo jumbo (i won't buy em, but some people like the extras I guess)
  • Well of course not (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:26PM (#28216517)

    If a bookstore can sell used books without giving any money to the publisher, I fail to see why a game store can't sell used games.

    That's because you're rational, and understand the first sale doctrine.

    Remember - these companies that are all in the selling entertainment business hold up the Holy Grail of money streams as their ideal. The RIAA. Make an item once, and every single time it changes hands, media - whatever - make a buck on it.

    It's insane, but there's also a metric ton of cash involved, so of course the more unscrupulous types are going to gravitate towards that. Notice how the source who said the gaming companies "want in" on that revenue stream to which they are not entitled, refused to come forward and name himself/herself.

    Any shakedown racket in its infancy would behave the same.

  • by gurps_npc (621217) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:26PM (#28216519) Homepage
    People don't decide "Hey, I want to buy a used game."

    Instead people say "Hey, I want to buy a CHEAP game, and don't care if it is not the newest thing out there."

    So if you are a game company wanting to get into the 'cheap, not recently released game' market, it is easy. Simply cut your prices for the stuff you brought out last year by 30% and for two years by 50%.

    You are not going to be cutting into your 'new releases' money, and you will be giving the people what they want.

  • Why the bad blood? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lyinhart (1352173) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:26PM (#28216527)
    I really don't understand the perceived conflict between retailers and game publishers. Retailers like GameStop pimp new releases just as much as they do used games. And anyway, if no one bought the game new, then GameStop wouldn't have any used games to sell! So if anything, GameStop needs more people to buy new games so they have more used copies to buy and sell at their huge profit margins. Unfortunately, game makers just don't seem to comprehend this relationship - so they're edging closer to a download-only model. Just look at this useless new doorstop PSP that Sony is releasing.
  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:27PM (#28216529)

    If they want a piece of the used game market, they can open their own stores and compete against GameStop just like everyone else.

  • by hidden (135234) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:28PM (#28216539)

    In the rest of the world, the only time the original Vendor/Distributor/Manufacturer/Whoever gets a cut of a second sale is when they're adding some value, by doing a factory refurbishment, or inspection, so why should the game publishers be any different?

    They can "refurbish" the game: Reset any DRM installation restrictions, clear out the multi-player accounts, check the disk for scratches, and replace any missing bits of paper in the box.

    Then they can have a cut.

    Until then, welcome to second hand sales.

  • by Pitr (33016) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:30PM (#28216569)

    Some games are good, just not so good I need them ASAP, and not so good that they're worth ~$70. (CAD, as I'm in Canada, don't know exactly how much less they are in the US, and don't feel like looking it up) If all games were $50 or less new, I'd probably buy a lot more new games. Most games I buy for $30 or less used. %50 off is nice, $70 for 10 hours of gameplay isn't.

    It's also worth noting that some games don't get cheap even when used until months after they've been released. Fallout 3 is currently only $5-10 less for a used copy, so I may as well buy it in the shrink wrap.

    The only thing I can see game publishers doing to try to sell as many first hand copies as possible is have a grace period of a month or two from the publishing date when you can't sell used copies, but they'd probably have to pay off stores to honour such a deal. Expecting a cut of re-sale of your product is just silly.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:31PM (#28216571)

    In the context of a game "publisher" usually means "Guys with the cash." Basically the publisher is the company that ponies up the money to have the game made. That is why you'll see even companies like Epic have publishers. It isn't as though Epic needs someone else's name to sell their game. It is that they don't want to incur all the financial risk. So you get a publisher to pay for it, often a much bigger company.

    Gears of War was published by Microsoft, for example. So suppose they spent $20 million on making it. Not an unreasonable amount for a game that quality, maybe they even spent more. Now let's suppose it had bombed for whatever reason. Had Epic incurred that cost, it would be real hard. They are a private company that employs about 75 people. Private means they can't just sell stock to raise money. A $20 million loss would equal over a quarter million dollar loss per employee.

    Now MS is a massive public company. They've got the cash sitting around that $20 million is peanuts. What's more they can sell stock if they need to raise money. Thus the risk is something they can afford to take.

    More over, many dev studios aren't sitting on much cash at all. So they need money during the development time of the game. After all you have to pay the programmers and artists and such while the game is being written, not after it sells. So even if they were willing to assume the risk, they just can't since they just don't have the money it would take.

    You do see some companies that self publish. Stardock has done this. Galactic Civilizations II was written by them and published by them. Means they self financed the game. All the risk and all the rewards are theirs alone. They've now gotten in to publishing other games as well.

    So publishers probably aren't going away. Many development studios will want someone to pay for their game, and that is what a publisher does. The publisher won't actually distribute the game, they'll just fund it, and then sign agreements with services like Steam and Impulse to get the game to consumers.

    Also, as big as Steam is, you are kidding yourself if you think it is more than a fraction of the market. There are plenty of publishers that don't release games on Steam, and even those that do are often not exclusive. EA sells many of their games on Steam now which gives Steam a huge boost in titles since EA is massive, however EA also sells their games in stores. The store copies don't use Steamworks or anything, they are totally independent of Steam.

  • AAAAAW (Score:2, Insightful)

    by M0b1u5 (569472) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:31PM (#28216573) Homepage

    BOO-FUCKING-HOO

  • by solios (53048) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:31PM (#28216583) Homepage

    Ask a manager or employee of a gamestore what their markup is on new games - what they actually make as profit. If they're not complete assholes, they'll tell you - a games store makes only a couple of bucks off of the new stuff, if that - the publisher keeps the remainder. Pay 65$ for a new game, the publisher gets at least $60 of that.

    Pay $20 for a used game, the games store gets around 15-19$ of that, depending on the condition of and demand for the game. The markup may seem a bit ridiculous, but independent games stores would be out of business if it wasn't for the used market - the margins on new games are so thin that they'd have to move an enormous volume of product to make up for the difference they see in returns on used games.

    I'm all for the used market, even though I buy most of my games new - it keeps the stores in business, even with dozens (hundreds?) of copies of crap and not-as-popular-as-they-thought-they-would-be (Nintendogs, anyone?) games sitting on the shelves.

  • by Zerth (26112) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:31PM (#28216585)

    No, publishers exist to provide advance money and get you into brick&mortars.

    Reviews, word-of-mouth, and liberal chargeback policies exist to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

  • Sure... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SIR_Taco (467460) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:32PM (#28216589) Homepage

    And while we're at it, how about I get a cut of the resale each time a house I've built changes hands?

    Maybe when you buy a used car you should send a percentage to the original manufacturer....

    Or maybe all that Lego I get for my nephews at yard sales for 25cents/bucket, the guys throwing the yard sale should mail a penny back to the company.

    Does this not all seem just a tad crazy?

    It's no different than what they're asking.

  • Oh com'on! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:32PM (#28216597)

    I've been a gamer for over a decade now. The fact of the matter is the market is diluted with crap, and even a lot of the "hits" are a lot less fun/shorter than the games from last decade. I mean, sure, Gears of War is fun for a time, but how does it even compare to Deus Ex or Jedi Knight? I mean, you can even see how video games have progressed in the sequels of some titles. For example, compare Deus Ex 1 & 2, or Thief 2 & 3. Mario Party 2 and Mario Party 8.

    Then there's the sheer amount of crap, even from "trusted" and "quality" companies. Like Soulcalibur Legends. My friend is a big fighter game fan and bought that game. Usually Soulcalibur is a "quality" title, but that game was so shitty! It seemed like a demo it was so short and lacking features.

    You raised the prices of games by $10 and eroded their value. People aren't paying for new games because the price of a "new game" isn't worth it to them anymore. And it shows. It used to be that a New game would cost $50 and GS would be selling it used for $35. That means there's a lot of people buying the new game and few buying the used game (high supply of used games, low demand.) Now, the games costs $60 new and $55 used. Which means the exact opposite (low supply of used games, high demand.)

    If I was a game publisher and I wanted to kill the market for used video games, I'd lower my prices to $30 and probably sell more than twice as many copies, making it up in volume. I mean, if you want the new Gears of War, you'll try and save $5 off of it because it already costs so much. But the difference between $25 and $30? Not many people care. In addition, when I get sick of GoW and return it, I'm getting $30 bucks back. That's like a tank of gas. What would you get back for a $30 game, $15 bucks? That's not enough motivation.

  • by Threni (635302) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:32PM (#28216605)

    > If a bookstore can sell used books without giving any money to the publisher, I fail to see why a game store can't sell used games.

    I think the argument is that bookstores sell a product, whereas when you 'buy' software you're actually entering into a licencing agreement to use the software but you don't have the right to sell/give it to anyone else. Sort of a little like when you buy travelcards (ticket in London which lets you travel an unlimited number of times in a given time period, ie day/week) you can't give/lend them to your partner - you're both supposed to buy one even if you always travel on alternate days.

  • devil's advocate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:33PM (#28216611) Homepage Journal

    I completely agree with you but their argument is simple: people are buying games new, installing it on their computer, installing any cracks necessary to make it play without the CD, then selling the game second hand (and then the cycle continues).

    They can't stop the NOCD cracks. They've tried. They can't run the game from CD, the performance is lousy. So all they can do is whine and lobby.

  • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:34PM (#28216617) Homepage

    Steam used games, no problem, sell your account with all your games. Next person can then change all the details on the account to make it accurate for them. No if steam was really nice it would allow you to transfer game access rights for a minimal fee to other account holders.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:34PM (#28216619)

    Nah... The Unions would have demanded too large of a margin there too.

    Maybe more people sitting in the break rooms doing nothing for 8 hours a day because hiring seasonal labor is just not acceptable to GM's union and they have to be full time even if there is no work for them. All that would have been different is that they would have tanked sooner then they already have.

  • by Bobfrankly1 (1043848) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:35PM (#28216631)

    Clearly the reason there's a huge profit margin in used games is that new games are priced way too high.

    I was thinking along the same lines. If they don't like the used games market, then either make games that are too much fun to part with (I almost giggled typing that one) or adjust prices according to how old the game is, and price used games off the market. You want brand new game X? Pay 59.99 for it. You want 6 month old game X? Pay 35.99 for it. 12 month old ...you get the idea. Use the Wal-Mart philosophy and undercut as you go, if a used copy is 18.99 and the new game is $20, I'll pay the little more for the brand new, even if the used copy looks spotless. But if the used copy is 35.99 and the brand new copy is 59.99, the game makers themselves would save the 25 bux without hesitation.

  • by Diddlbiker (1022703) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:35PM (#28216633)
    So, copying software is theft, "just like stealing an apple, or stealing a car. There is no difference; you're stealing a product". And yet, when it comes to reselling those products, different rules apply? Once I've bought my apple, or car, or furbie, I can sell it to whoever I want for whatever price I want. Why would software be different if you want it to be treated as a tangible object?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:38PM (#28216663)

    How is the price relevant?

  • by Rycross (836649) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:38PM (#28216665)

    Sony and Panasonic aren't complaining about used TV sales, Toyota isn't complaining about used car sales, and Dell isn't complaining about people reselling their computers. In what world is someone reselling the game considered taking away money from the publishers? Lets set aside the fact that some people will pay full price for a game because they know that they can resell it later and recoup some of the cost...

    Its not like people are going out to buy used games. They want cheap games. If they kept publishing their old games, and dropped the prices as the games got older, I'm sure they could take a huge chunk out of used game sales. Its not like I'm falling all over myself to save $5 off of a new game at GameStop. Seriously, every time I buy a recently released game, they offer me a used copy for $5 less. Oh boy, sign me up!

    It looks like that, instead of thinking about the problem and adjusting their business strategy, they've chosen to whine like petulant children about something that every other industry in the world (well, at least those based on real physical objects) doesn't have a problem with. Or maybe my brain just isn't sophisticated enough to understand their business genius. Either way, their little rant makes me feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:40PM (#28216689)

    Not to suggest the obvious, but the publishers seriously want to sell used games then they could take the games that aren't sold after a period of time and sell the at half the price of new games.

        It's just software. And with software you have relatively high fixed costs for development and then you have practically no marginal costs for selling the product. Suppose for the first year, you sell X number of games of a title at $69, .3X at $69 the second year, and .1X units at $69 in the third year. Used games are selling .4X units at $30 in the third year. 0.4X times $30 brings more revenue than 0.1X times $69.

        So just price the unsold new games of that title at slightly less than the used games of that title are selling for. Since you have no marginal costs on your sales product, you will be profitable. But no, you're a fucking marketing major and math is hard, so you want to pass a law to prohibit any 'advanced' business model that your little brain doesn't understand.

        I'm surprised that with so many game companies in New England, no one seems to have adopted the sales model of Filene's basement.

  • by Shikaku (1129753) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:43PM (#28216717)

    How about they actually make games that have replay value and don't suck so that nobody will want to trade them in?

  • by FranTaylor (164577) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:52PM (#28216809)

    "the used sale market is still depriving of money because it gives consumers an all-too-easy alternative to buying a new "

    This is the precise concept that motivates the First Sale Doctrine. You only get paid for selling something yourself. Why should you get paid when someone sells something that used to be yours? When you sell your used car, do you have to give a kickback to the person you bought it from? It makes no sense at all given the set of commerce rules that we have come to accept over the centuries.

    Really there is no end of the negative consequences that result if you decide that First Sale is not a valid concept. You have to question the entire meaning of the word "sale" if you do this.

  • by Cashlock (588292) <junk&cashlock,com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @06:56PM (#28216841) Homepage
    Games that you can't resell are worth less. How could anyone think this will lead to more revenue for publishers? People won't be willing to pay as high of prices for new games as they do today if there is no resale value. For example, the market for used cars supports high new car prices. You're less hesitant to spend $30k on a new car if you can sell the car after a few years and recoup some of your investment.
  • That's called "making a profit", something business are supposed to do. $40 for your used game is better than zero. If you don't like their business model, don't fucking sell them your games, put it on Ebay for $55 and see if you can get that.
  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:07PM (#28216937)
    Steam only helps if you want Steam powered games. I don't. And steam doesn't supply all possible games, and they certainly do not provide them at used-game prices. I did give in and get Portal though :-)

    Back before 1998 there as a set of nice used-game stores in San Diego that I used a lot. And the games were cheap. Then I moved to Silicon Valley and suddenly there was no such thing. The closest was Gamestop, which is not even close to being the same thing. They sell used games at nearly full price. What's the point? These aren't bargain games when you pay $40-$50. A bargain game is $10-20, or even some $4.99 CD occasionally. The other drawback of Gamestop is that it's almost all console games now, with only a tiny PC games section hidden in back, and they mostly stock only newish games instead of older (and usually better) titles. If they're only selling new games at nearly full price, I may as well go to a real retailer with a bigger selection.

    I really do miss "real" used game stores.
  • by ArsonSmith (13997) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:09PM (#28216943) Journal

    I always just fiugred they already had a piece of the market. You know, the first piece.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:09PM (#28216945) Homepage Journal

    Except steam sucks and has in inherent risks that owning a disk does not.

  • by sbeckstead (555647) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:10PM (#28216949) Homepage Journal
    Yeah and then we can get those pesky book publishers to get the authors to write books with replay value so that they don't suck and nobody wants to trade them in. And we can get the people who build houses to build houses that have great replay value so they don't suck and people don't want different ones of those things either. And maybe we can get slashdot users to write posts that don't suck...
  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:12PM (#28216963) Homepage Journal

    "Publishers exist to separate the wheat from the chaff. Otherwise, you'd have the situation like on Apple's app store, where you don't know which of the 25,000 apps are worthwhile."

    Yes we do, through social networking.

  • by sbeckstead (555647) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:14PM (#28216977) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, I guess Gutenberg really screwed those monks over too.
  • by fahrvergnugen (228539) <fahrv@hotmail. c o m> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:14PM (#28216979) Homepage

    In the age of the internet, games are uniquely poised to capitalize on aftermarket sales (and sales due to piracy) in a way that no medium in history has been able to, and it can all be done just by modifying the design of the product. Here's some examples that work extremely well:

    -DLC. Look at Burnout Paradise. Two years later, it's still getting meaty, significant upgrades on a regular basis. The game has had ELEVEN content updates, 5 of which were paid / premium add-ons. The publisher gets paid for each of those! Bethesda knows how to nail this too, despite some early mishaps with horse armor. Rockstar's figuring it out too. The right DLC will make you a ton of cash, even from the pirates.

    -Recurring subscriptions: Some MMO's give away their clients, and make their money on premium DLC and monthly subscription fees. Apogee understood this years ago, with the original Wolfenstein shareware. Download it and get 1/6 of the game, which was a meaty, satisfying experience on its own. But pay up and you can get the other 5/6ths!

    -High replay value: Rock Band & Left 4 Dead's co-operative multiplayer emphasis give them huge replay. I almost never see a reasonably priced copy of Rock Band sitting on the used shelf (trust me, I've looked, I want to import the songs into Rock Band 2). Rock Band follows the DLC model, too! The longer you convince someone to hold onto your game, the lower the aftermarket churn, and the higher you can keep your MSRP before you're undercut by the used market. Just ask the creators of Mass Effect, or Super Mario Galaxy (I dare you, get all 242 stars).

    -In-game advertsiing. The people who buy games used are necessarily doing so after the big retail splash of the original launch. These new eyeballs can view ads impressions just as well as the original pair, though, and the value of that digital billboard is only as high as the number of people who can look at it at any given time.

      Efforts to thwart the aftermarket's existence entirely, through one-time activation keys and emphasizing downloadable games, are just going to piss the customer off. The days of making a 4-hour singleplayer game with no replay value beyond deathmatch/ctf and expecting to have high sell-through are over; The high-budget $60 Terminator: Salvation game is only 4 hours long, it's going to be littering the shelves of used stores. The only way to stop the used market from undercutting the new market is to make the new experience so compelling, people don't want to part with their new game for a long, long time.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:22PM (#28217029)

    I wonder if these game publishers (and music, movie and book publishers) ever stop to think about what they are saying. If the logic is that they have some ongoing interest in the product they sell us, then doesn't that imply that as a purchaser we have an ongoing interest in the money we give them? So when GPG takes the money I spent and buys new equipment for their offices, shouldn't I be getting a new monitor out of the transaction as well?

    The answer is: yes, they do think about it. And their thoughts boil down to "If we get money from used game sales, then WE GET MORE MONEY! WOOOO!!!!"

  • by goombah99 (560566) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:24PM (#28217053)

    they could announce they were cutting the price of games by 1/2 unless gamestop revenue shares. If they did that then the price of used games would drop by half too and game stop would lose half its revenue!

    The price drop would actually not mean fully half revenue loss for the publishers because they would sell more games.

  • by langelgjm (860756) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:35PM (#28217143) Journal
    Bingo! You've figured out the blatant contradiction that supporters of strong IP are facing. On the one hand, they want it to be just like traditional property, and to act like it's a natural right, and can be stolen, etc. On the other hand, they want to turn around and license up the wazoo.
  • by chromatic (9471) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:40PM (#28217175) Homepage

    The price drop would actually not mean fully half revenue loss for the publishers because they would sell more games.

    I was just thinking the same thing. The presence of a used games market demonstrates that there are customers who prefer to buy games at a lower price. The real question is whether they would buy the game at the higher price if there were no used market (that is, they're out for a bargain) or whether the lower price convinced them to buy something they wouldn't buy normally.

    If there are enough of the latter, it's worth doing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:47PM (#28217229)

    All i'm hearing is "whaaa! I want more money" bullshit. I am tired of these companies who want everyone else to play by the rules (copyright) trying to circumvent the first sale doctrine. Guess what assholes, someone already paid the market price you set for the game and you got your compensation. If you think it's unfair, raise the prices and see if you get as many people purchasing your game. It is bad enough game companies sit on games that they have effectively abandoned, abuse people's PCs with malware designed to "stop piracy" and overall treat the customer with general contempt.

    Gaming companies have already done a bang up job preventing PC gamers from selling/giving away their game to other interested parties and now they want to double tax paying customers because of their silly said business model. So go ahead and cripple the resale market. You may be able to kill it but there will always be the black market and those first sales you may have gotten will dry up as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @07:54PM (#28217287)

    DSiWare, like WiiWare, XBox Live Arcade, and, PSN, isn't equivalent to Steam. There's no direct competition between DSiWare and DS games, because no retail games are offered on the service. It's like if Steam were only to offer $5 Flash games, but you couldn't buy Half-Life, Crysis, etc. While Microsoft and Sony have announced ways you'll be able to download games (on the 360 and PSP, respectively,) Microsoft has only announced back catalog games for their service and Sony's is (from what I've seen) a rental, not retail, service.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:30PM (#28217501)

    If you're going to go that far, then why not just download a torrent of the game and pay zero? At least then you don't have to take a loss by selling the game to someone else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:35PM (#28217525)

    Apart from the Nintendo DS and PlayStation 2, older machines don't have any commercial developers to complain about them. There aren't any new SKUs for the GBA, the original Xbox, the GameCube, or any pre-PS2 system, unless you count the few games sold by homebrewers [retrousb.com].

    Yes and no.

    For example, if I have access to old Super Nintendo titles, I might be less likely to buy remakes of those same titles for Virtual Console.

    Furthermore, I'm sure there will be arguments that the time I spend playing old games means less time that I have for playing new games, which means I'm less likely to purchase a new game. (In reality, I would probably purchase a new game that looked really good or a remake that had significant value over just replaying the original, but if I just wanted a *different* game to play, I would have the option of used games, too.)

  • of selling used stuff.

    Before the used game stores there were used record and CD stores and used Video tape and DVD stores. Pawn Shops buy and sell all of them and did this sort of thing before the "Used X" Stores.

    Even Comic Book stores do that, buy used comics for pennies on the dollar and sell them for "retail" or "collector's price" based on how rare the comic is and in what condition it is in.

    What next, Game Publishers want a piece of eBay and other auction sites that sell used games? Give me a break!

    Game Publishers already got a sale from whomever bought the game new, but the person got tired or bored of the game or it didn't meet the expectations and they sold it to the Used Game store to get some of their money back. Game Publishers should love the Used Game Stores because it stops people from pirating the game because it costs so much to buy new and the used price is more reasonable.

  • by thule (9041) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:37PM (#28217551) Homepage

    I would hope people would keep a new game for more than a week. It seems reasonable to me that if you keep a game for a couple of months, that you got at least $20 use out of it. Obviously people are willing to give up their old games for the price that Gamestop offers them otherwise they wouldn't have a store full of used titles!

    I'm just wondering if the game companies are worried that Gamestop is going too far in pushing the used sales. They are becoming more of a game rental company.

  • by Goldberg's Pants (139800) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:38PM (#28217553) Journal

    The translation:

    "Wah wah wah!"

    Perhaps if you greedy bastards didn't sell games at the price you do more people would buy them. Instead, for a lot of people, they can't just casually pick up a game and take a chance like you would on, say, a $20 DVD. $70 is a LOT of money to gamble on something that stands a 50/50 chance of being garbage. And no retailer I've ever come across will give you your money back under any circumstances, so you take a big chance buying most new games.

    Perhaps if the industry didn't put out so much absolute garbage we'd be more willing to take the chance. Unfortunately they aren't willing to not release unfinished games, crap games, and so much other effluence.

    They're reaping what they have sown. And all they seem to do is cry about used games and how they're losing revenue.

    Cry me a river.

  • by brit74 (831798) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:40PM (#28217563)
    Most of the comments here don't seem to get the situation. Publishers don't like the fact that GameStop is getting 48% profit margins from selling these used games. Now, here's where most of the Slashdot comments get it wrong: they assume the Publishers are pushing a particular (and unfair) solution to this problem.

    In the past, I've defended the idea of stores getting involved in second-hand sales. I still stand by the first-sale principle. So, let's look at some possibilities here.

    Option #1: Publishers don't like second-hand sales, so they enact legislation to stop second-hand sales OR they require a cut of every second-hand sale. This would be wrong. The first-sale doctrine prohibits this. And, consumers should be angry if this is what publishers were doing. Most of the Slashdot comments seem to assume that this is what publishers are doing, and they make comparisons to used books and car sales. This is not what publishers are doing.

    Option #2: Publishers get involved in the used-game sales. If GameStop is enjoying 48% profit margins, then there's a strong impetus for competition from the publishers themselves. There's nothing wrong with Publishers doing this. They're just jumping in and competing the used-game market, just like everyone else. (In fact, Stardock is attempting to setup a "used game" sales system along with their "impulse" DRM system. You can sell-back your serial-code and someone else can "buy" it. Admittedly, this gets odd. "Used bits" are no different than "new bits". And, what's to stop Stardock from always saying "sorry, we're all out of used copies of our game; you'll have to buy a new one"?)

    Option #3: Publishers create additional content so that people hold-on to their games. The article states that this is what publishers are doing - trying to incentivize customers to hold-on to their games, thus lowering the number of people selling them. Again, nothing wrong with this.

    I'm sure there are plenty of other options people could come up with.

    There is nothing wrong with publishers getting perturbed over used-game sales, and there is nothing wrong with their attempts to get money in the used-game market. The only issue is whether or not they go about it the right way. Option #1 is the wrong way, but there are good ways to go about it. Most of the Slashdot comments seem to assume that publishers are trying Option #1 - and then complaining that publishers are greedy and underhanded. I see nothing wrong - in principle - with publishers trying to make money off used-game sales or being disturbed by GameStop's 48% profit margins.
  • by erexx23 (935832) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @08:45PM (#28217597)

    Its such a crappy deal I dont know why any one uses them.
    I used them once and never went back.
    CraigsList if far more worth my time and money.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:02PM (#28217661)
    $60 / 20 hours == $3/hr
    $10 / 5 hours == $2/hr

    So $2/hr is "worth it" but $3/hr is "I don't think it's right"?
  • by robinesque (977170) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:04PM (#28217669)

    now Steam's here, very soon there won't be such things as publishers!

    Steam is a publisher.

    Steam is a distributor.

  • by Fallingcow (213461) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:15PM (#28217713) Homepage

    Except steam sucks and has in inherent risks that owning a disk does not.

    Except owning a disc sucks and has inherent risks that Steam does not~

  • what used games ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by giorgist (1208992) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:21PM (#28217761)
    Isn't a used item that has shown some wear due to use ?
    A used computer game is as good as the day you baught it.
    It's only devaluation is that it is not the newest thing.

    The problem with games publishes is that there is very little
    new under the sun. In fact they are publishing "used" games
    in the concept that the games have already 'used" ideas
    and people are not prepared to pay top dollar

    They do not see enough difference between "used" games and "new" games

    G
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:25PM (#28217769) Homepage Journal

    Except owning a disc sucks and has inherent risks that Steam does not~

    Name one, and I'll name a bigger corresponding problem with Steam.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:27PM (#28217773)

    You won't pay $60 for 20 hours of often quality entertainment ($3/hour) but I bet you still pay $10 for two hours of often sub par entertainment at a movie theater ($5/hour). Are you familiar with the old robot saying "Does Not Compute?"

  • by Obyron (615547) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:38PM (#28217831)

    It's much worse than a 50/50 chance.

  • by SignalFreq (580297) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:39PM (#28217835)
    I never purchase new games anymore. Interestingly, it's not because I can't afford to drop $60 on the game, but because I just can't see the game being worth $60. For $60 I get 20 hours of content, maybe 30, I'm taking a risk on not liking the game, not being able to return it for a full refund, and encountering bugs or game play issues that are silly and frustrating. Not to mention the irritations of DRM.

    I'd much rather wait a year or more and buy the game at $20 new on sale. I still get the same content, I get the benefit of a year's worth of reviews to decide if I like it, and most bugs and game play issues have been fixed. I just finished Mass Effect, loved it, and bought it new for $20 instead of $59 when it was released.

    Publishers have definitely priced themselves out of my market and what I'm willing to spend on entertainment. Even though I can easily afford to pay more, I won't because it offends my sense of reasonable value. I think the turning point for me was around $40... anything more than that just seems like they are gouging me. I probably purchase 10-15 games a year, so assuming 10, if they priced at $40 they would get $400 from me, instead, I wait and they only get $200 from me.
  • by mastershake82 (948396) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @09:48PM (#28217879)
    I see a lot of comments here comparing the "First Sale" profits of video games to cars or TVs or other physical utilitarian devices.

    The main difference, in my opinion, is that in the first year of owning a car or TV, only the first owner can get value from it. In the first year of life of a game disc, 12 people can get value from that one disc.

    I don't think you'll see Bungie, Epic, or Infinity Ward complaining about this. They've figured it out... you sell people the game and give them a great multiplayer mode (or some other reason) to hang onto it, and they will. Used copies will be few and far between.

    The people who are really suffering are those that make truly fantastic single player games. Prince of Persia comes to mind... it was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it. All 20 hours of it... and on my schedule, that's 5 days of having the game to do 100% of everything there is to do. So I rent it. I actually rent all games that have no multiplayer aspect. The only games I purchase are the ones I can see myself playing online still, 6 months down the line. You might say make the games longer, which is an option, but I personally don't WANT to invest more than 20 hours into any single player experience, and to be honest, when it is longer, like 100+ hours for a Final Fantasy game, you spend most of that time not having fun, just trying to level up to do everything.

    This applies to DVDs and to a lesser extend music as well. One DVD can easily fully serve a group of 20 people in one week if they pass it around and watch it in groups.

    I'll leave you with this... I think more than the disc, game companies, movie companies, etc are selling you the experience. The experience of playing through the game or the experience of watching the movie. And I believe they should be compensated for each experience they provide. I do think that $60 is a bit much for a video game, but I think it's to compensate for rentals and used game sales. Once everything goes digital, we will see a shift. Let's say that for every 1 copy of a new game that is bought, 2 people probably play that disc, on average, could be more or less, not sure. So $60 provides 2 play experiences. The publisher sees approx $30 per experience in this model, but assuming the first copy was $60 and the used copy was $55. That's $115 spent, and Gamestop probably paid the original owner about $25 for it, so they paid $35 for the experience. If the second owner sells it back very quickly for $25, then he would have paid only $30, bringing this in line with the above of $30 per experience. So $65 spent total for two plays, or $32.5 per experience. If the publishers had complete control over this, the players could have each spent less money for the same amount of, or more (because they get to keep the game), game.

    However, it may be be a utopian thought to think the publishers would pass these savings onto us completely, I like to dream.
  • by RichM (754883) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:15PM (#28218043) Homepage

    2. There's a booming used market for handheld and console games.

    There's also a booming market for new/used games and consoles from the 90s and 80s.
    One only has to search eBay for "NES" to see this...

  • by FLEB (312391) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:20PM (#28218069) Homepage Journal

    DRM. And that goes for both sides of the argument.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:35PM (#28218139) Homepage

    It's easy to get caught up in your own perspective. For a while I was very price sensitive, because income was short and free time was abundant. These days I hardly find time to game, but when I do the $/hour is nowhere near as important as fun/hour. If that's the game I like best, I'll pony up 60$ no problem. It's not that I want to flaunt it, it's just that different things seem natural to different people. Take something as simple as shirts - you can buy a ton of shirts but you'll still just wear one each day. Buying more cheap shirts, while fully functional, doesn't change the fact that you're walking around in a cheap shirt. So you buy a nice shirt, not because you need it but because it's more functional to you than buying another cheap shirt. Best computer example I got is probably the SSD I bought. Yes, it was expensive but it's also a dream to work with and I can only use one computer at a time (technically not true, but you know what I mean).

    The question is really how many there is of me, and how many there is of you. Are you really naive enough to think that noone on any media (games, books, software, music, movies) ever tried cutting the price by 50% and saw if they made more money or not? Truth is, you tend to run into more halfers like "30$? Why not cut it to 15$, you'll sell much more." while people like me are of course happy to get away with paying half. Eventually everybody ends up in my category, people aren't interested in buying a near-infinite amount of music at 0.01 cent/song because there's no point, they'd never get around to listening to it. If you spend lots of time listening to previews on iTunes and do find something you like, it's probably worth a buck or the value of your time is really, really low. Personally I'm waiting for the video variety, single-click DRM-less movie/TV show download in Blu-Ray/1080p/720p quality. I got the service, it's just that you can't pay to get it legally...

  • by nametaken (610866) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:43PM (#28218183)

    See oddly I consider the ability to buy any song (just one song), DRM-free, an absolutely amazing shift in how things work.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:45PM (#28218195)

    A combination of government interference through CAFE standards, EPA emissions standards, a host of other regulations going far past the point of reasonableness...

    Didn't seem to affect Toyota.

    along with greedy unions and poor management of the US car companies thrown into the mix killed/is killing the US car companies.

    Yep, that's pretty much what's killing them.

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @10:54PM (#28218251) Homepage

    If the publishers want to compete with the used market, it seems to me their best option is to either:

    1. Produce such a high quality product with so much content and replay value that everyone will WANT to own it first hand, and that it's so good that it will be months or never that a first sale customer is willing to let it go.

    2. Sell at a price that makes it make no sense to wait for used copies to become widely available.

    Neither of which the game publishing industry is willing to even seriously consider. Instead they want to use RIAA tactics to force the used market out of existence.

  • by fractoid (1076465) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:10PM (#28218335) Homepage
    Along with that is the fact that when you spend $60 (more like $80-$90 in Australia) on a new game, you're committing another 20-30 hours of your time to it as well. Take into account that you get all the 'value' out of that $10 casual game after maybe 5-10 hours play, and the fact that your $90 'triple-A' title will require you to play for 20 hours just to finish the main storyline, and you see where casual games get their appeal.

    Which reminds me, must go get Defense Grid. Although I hear it doesn't let you maze (a la some Warcraft 3 TD maps)... must finish writing my own TD/hero map engine. ;)
  • by fractoid (1076465) on Thursday June 04, 2009 @11:35PM (#28218511) Homepage

    I find that most of the people who are concerned the most about "resale value" are the ones who are using twisted reasoning to try to justify something they can't afford. "It's not a $60,000 car, it's a $20,000 car because I'll sell it for $40,000 in a couple of years!" I leave applying the same kind of logic to real estate as an exercise for the reader.

    True as far as it goes - for example, when I buy something I don't consider resale value because I tend to only buy things I want to keep. I've had my car for 8 years now, and I fully intend to still be driving it when it clocks over a million kilometers (at 380k now). That said, I bought it when it was 12 years old, and I have no problem buying used stuff when possible.

    Regardless of trying to justify an unnecessarily expensive purchase, the sale price of many goods with long lives _does_ have the resale value rolled into it. If cars lasted 3 years and then had a resale value of $0, they wouldn't cost anywhere near what they do. Likewise, you couldn't sell CDs for $30 each if you didn't count on at least having the option of trading them in for $10 when you're sick of them.

    Oh, and as for the real-estate market, the logic is skewed there because unlike the other goods we've discussed, land actually *appreciates* rather than depreciating. Unless you're unfortunate enough to have to sell in the middle of a property crash (such as we're currently undergoing), you will always sell land for more than you paid for it.

  • Hypocrisy? Greed? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jandersen (462034) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:03AM (#28218655)

    What the matter with these people? On one hand they want to be able to patent "Computer Implemented Inventions" (ie SW) - where the traditional, or at least the popular view is that patents are for significant, real-world inventions like machines or tools; something tangible. So they seem to argue that software, such as cmoputer games, are tangible enough to be patented. But on the other hand they want money for each time it is being sold, copied or even looked at - because now it is suddenly "intellectual property" on par with works of art, like music, paintings and novels.

    Either way, I don't see the merit in their arguments - if you sell tangible goods, you pass on the ownership, and if it turns out that the thing you sold for $100 can be sold on for $100000, shame on you for not seeing that opportunity. The same goes for works of art, as far as I can see; isn't that almost the way it goes - a painter sells his work for pennies, and later it goes on Sotheby's in London and sells for £10000000?

    It is this kind of behaviour that time and again show us all that those in the self-proclaimed "upper class" are in fact not rich because they have worked hard and been extremely clever and intelligent, but because they are greedy low-life who lack a few basic building blocks in their moral and social instincts. Is it any wonder that socialism seems like a good idea sometimes?

  • Well, when Valve cut the price of Left 4 Dead by half, they saw a 3000% increase in sales [shacknews.com]. That goes to show that there is a large enough market of people holding out for a better price. (With Steam and its constant sales, a better price is inevitable - especially around the end of the year.

    Valve can get away with it because they are only transmitting data. They don't have to worry as much about the physical media, transportation, and other logistics that come into play when they are selling a physical game.

    I recalled reading in EGM about how prior to the current generation of consoles they were selling "special editions" of games with cheap plastic trinkets and whatnot for like $70. It was all basically a ploy to see if consumers were willing to pay USD$60 for software, and many of them were. That's one of the reasons why new games often retail for $65.

    I have to wonder if slashing the prices of games will work at all when there's the consideration of physical media. It's a risk that I don't think very many game companies would like to take.

  • by vegiVamp (518171) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:39AM (#28218809) Homepage
    In other news, car manufacturers complain that they're still being deprived of important revenue streams because the used car market offers consumers a convenient alternative for buying a new car.

    No, wait. Car companies *don't* complain, they got into the secondhand market themselves, and offered an added value by doing a full checkup and offering limited brand warranty on the used cars, too.

    I realise engine checkups aren't really possible on used games, but if they want a piece of the pie they should work for it, not sit on their arses complaining.

    As a related item, btw, the renting of video games is being put to a stop in Belgium - no more additions to existing rental collections as of a few days ago, and no more renting at all from the end of the year. Is this a trend that's happening in other countries, too ?
  • by SleepingWaterBear (1152169) on Friday June 05, 2009 @12:57AM (#28218883)

    Buying more cheap shirts, while fully functional, doesn't change the fact that you're walking around in a cheap shirt. So you buy a nice shirt, not because you need it but because it's more functional to you than buying another cheap shirt.

    This is a valid point. Personally, though, I buy nice shirts for $5 from goodwill (seems I usually end up with Ralph Lauren, though I never look for any brand in particular). It's cheap because the stores can't sell last season's shirts, and they'd rather take a tax write off giving them to Goodwill than pay to ship them back to the factory.

    The thing is, you're not paying $60 for the game. You're paying $60 for the latest game. Just like last season's shirts, lots of people don't want to buy last season's games, and if you're one of those people, that's fine, but I think it's clear that it's not the quality you're paying for. There are games that are certainly worth $60 for the entertainment they provide, but those games are rare, and in any case, you're always overpaying for the right to play the latest thing.

  • One simple way would be to come out with more 'classic' releases - selling reprints of older game titles for a fraction of their original cost, but still pure profit for the manufacturers at this point. Pressing discs isn't that much.

    Bingo. And that they're not doing that is what convinces me they're not really interested in giving customers a good value proposition; they're just bitching that someone is preventing them from screwing customers as hard as they'd like to.

    If they sold "classic" (anything that's not the new hotness) games in different packaging for the price of used, who would buy used? They could take the wind out of Gamestop's sales right there.

    Lots of companies spend giant piles of money trying to figure out what customers want so that they can try to deliver it. In this case, it's blatantly obvious what customers want -- a slightly cheaper game -- and it's even obvious exactly what price they're willing to pay. Gamestop has done all the market research for them. If they want to make money, it's on the table for them to take. If they don't, they can let Gamestop take it.

  • by Mr2001 (90979) on Friday June 05, 2009 @02:02AM (#28219181) Homepage Journal

    what do you have against copyright? Why would a content creator make content if they can't make money off of it?

    Why do you assume the only way for a content creator to make money is to charge for copies? If the work he's doing -- creating content -- is valuable, then why can't he get paid directly for doing that?

    He shouldn't need to worry about how many people end up using the content eventually: he did a fixed amount of work, he deserves a fixed payment for that. If he wants to get paid some more in the future, he can do some more work, just like everyone else.

    Copyright restricts our speech and technology in order to promote the fiction that labor (creating content) can be chopped up, packaged, and sold as a good (copies of content). It's unnecessary, cumbersome, and has a host of negative side effects: every time a mashup artist is sued or silenced, every time an old TV show is released on DVD with a terrible new soundtrack, every time a cool project is never made because someone can't secure the rights to some component of it, you can thank copyright.

  • by TheLink (130905) on Friday June 05, 2009 @03:05AM (#28219433) Journal
    Sometimes it's not just because you can't afford to drop $60 on the game.

    You can't afford to drop the $1000 on the latest hardware to play it the way it's meant to be played.

    Yes you can play it in low detail, but that's a $20 experience :).

    When the "enough grunt" hardware drops in price, you could see higher sales, but people might buy other stuff.

    FWIW, USD60 is a lot of money in my country. For $60 you can pay for 30 to 60 decent meals.
  • by TheThiefMaster (992038) on Friday June 05, 2009 @03:19AM (#28219513)

    They can't run the game from CD, the performance is lousy.

    Really? That's why all xbox 360 games, original xbox games, Wii games, PS2 games, PS1 games, Sega Saturn and MegaCD games require installing to a hard-disk.

    Wait, they don't?

    The last game I worked on, "Wheelman", actually streams better from the 360 DVD than from some peoples' PCs' hard-disks.
    We had reviews all the way from "awesome" to "bad". Out of the few bad reviews, most were GTA fanboys not getting that Wheelman != GTA, but some were playing the PC version on PCs that weren't up to the task, and blaming us for the resulting problems.

  • by gundersd (787946) on Friday June 05, 2009 @04:38AM (#28219799)

    Can you imagine what would happen if:

    • GM or Ford said that they want a cut of all used car sales?
    • Builders & architects wanted a cut of all used house sales?
    • Dell wanted a cut of all used Dell PC sales?
    • Book publishers or authors wanted a cut of all used book sales?

    There would be blood on the streets. How is this any different? FFS - can someone please stop the madness?

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Friday June 05, 2009 @05:39AM (#28220113) Homepage
    Since Honda and Toyota are making huge losses as well, I have to call bullshit on that. The root cause was 20 years ago, but it's that the US auto industry is dead now because it has to continue paying the pensions and healthcare of all the people who made the crappy cars 20 years ago.
  • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Friday June 05, 2009 @06:22AM (#28220307)

    So many people in this thread have posed the same question and they ALL miss the point.

    It's not only the $/hour that matters. The absolute cost of the good is a consideration as well, because the lower the cost, the lower the risk.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:09AM (#28220623)

    The Toyota is an interesting example - they don't expect a slice of the price you get when you sell your car, even though cheap second-hand cars are a viable alternative to expensive brand new ones.

    Nor did Hoover expect a slice of the action when I sold my Granny's old washing machine (even though that stopped someone buying a new one). Nor did Hitachi expect a slice of the money when I sold her old TV. Random House didn't ask for money when I sold her old books either...

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Friday June 05, 2009 @07:31AM (#28220793) Journal

    The used market helps the poor. Many people wouldn't be able to get a house or car or TV or videogame system if the used market did not exist. Any corporation or government who interferes with that market is elitist - for the rich and powerful, not the common man, and said government should be abolished to form a more-perfect one that serves People not corporations.

  • by KnowOne256 (1445669) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:00AM (#28221049)

    One of the biggest reasons I buy used games at Gamestop is the return policy. You can play a used game for 7 days before deciding whether to keep it. Publishers, I think, underrate the importance of this policy. Essentially, it allows me to buy a game I am not sure I will like without any real consequences.

    The fact of the matter is, there is sea of crap games out there. Even so called AAA games often suck. If I buy a game new and don't like it, I am stuck with it. If, on the other hand, I buy it used then I have a week to try it out. This makes me much more likely to try a game that just looks like it might be good.

  • by awfar (211405) on Friday June 05, 2009 @08:38AM (#28221503)

    I see it as a forced, painful, crowbar'ed lurch. But it is a good thing, regardless.

"Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?" -Ronald Reagan

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