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100 Million Used Games Traded Each Year In the US 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the i'm-behind-on-my-quota dept.
We occasionally discuss the complaints from video game publishers and developers about how used game sales are hurting them, and how they've been testing out countermeasures disguised as features to compensate. Now, industry analyst Michael Patcher has released a report which attempts to quantify that damage. Patcher estimates that used game sales and trades number around 100 million each year in the US. However, despite the immense number of transactions, he doesn't think the used game market is as detrimental to sales of new games as the publishers think. "The vast majority of used games are not traded in until the original new game purchaser has finished playing, typically well beyond the window for a full retail priced new game sale. Thus, while there may be some limited substitution of used game purchases when GameStop employees 'push' used merchandise upon consumers lined up to buy new games, the vast majority of used game purchases occur more than two months after a new game is released. ... To the extent that there is a substitution effect, we estimate that fewer than 5% of new game sales are impacted."
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100 Million Used Games Traded Each Year In the US

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  • Seriously... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iCantSpell (1162581) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @06:31AM (#28540249)

    This is insane beyond belief.

    Should MSI get a cut of the sales if I sell my laptop?

    Why should game companies get a cut of resell?

    Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

    • This is insane beyond belief.

      Should MSI get a cut of the sales if I sell my laptop?

      Why should game companies get a cut of resell?

      Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

      While I agree with you in concept; there is precedent in laws in some countries that give artists a cut of subsequent resale of original art.

      • So you're saying that if all the other countries are jumping off of a cliff, our country ought to be allowed to do that as well? That's never been a good argument.

      • by 1u3hr (530656)
        While I agree with you in concept; there is precedent in laws in some countries that give artists a cut of subsequent resale of original art.

        Really? More detail -- which countries for a start?

        Anyway, I think "original" art would be unique hand made objects like paintings, sculptures; not mass-produced copies of such.

        • While I agree with you in concept; there is precedent in laws in some countries that give artists a cut of subsequent resale of original art.

          Really? More detail -- which countries for a start?

          All the countries of the EU http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resale_Rights_Directive [wikipedia.org]. The UK had an opt-out, which was eliminated in 2006.

          Anyway, I think "original" art would be unique hand made objects like paintings, sculptures; not mass-produced copies of such.

          One-off or limited-quantity works. They don't have to be hand-made, just associated with a particular artisan. The droite-de-suite royalties are non-assignable except to heirs, unlike copyright/patent royalties.

          • by 1u3hr (530656)
            Interesting, but extending to do digital products is a hige stretch. For one, it applies to "works of graphic or plastic art such as pictures, collages, paintings, drawings, engravings, prints, lithographs, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics, glassware and photographs" and does not apply to goods valued less than 3000 euro.

            I guess the motivation is to give the creator a chance to profit from future use of his "product". But in the digital realm, the original artist can sell as many copies as he wants, for

            • Interesting, but extending to do digital products is a hige stretch. For one, it applies to "works of graphic or plastic art such as pictures, collages, paintings, drawings, engravings, prints, lithographs, sculptures, tapestries, ceramics, glassware and photographs" and does not apply to goods valued less than 3000 euro.

              While I agree it is a stretch; my point is the EU has started down that road and I would not be surprised at efforts to extend the law to other creative works, of lesser value and mass-produced such as games and DVDs.

              • by 1u3hr (530656)
                the EU has started down that road and I would not be surprised at efforts to extend the law

                Of course the copyright lobbyists will try, but Europe seems to be more sympathetic to individual artist's rights than corporates. They're the only ones who have stood up to Microsoft and such, for instance.

                • the EU has started down that road and I would not be surprised at efforts to extend the law

                  Of course the copyright lobbyists will try, but Europe seems to be more sympathetic to individual artist's rights than corporates. They're the only ones who have stood up to Microsoft and such, for instance.

                  Which is why I think, if they go down that path, it will be to "help the artists that created the art - i.e. musicians, singers, artists, writers" and not pitched as more money for the corporate owners of the material.

                  It's all in the pitch, not the results, that count.

    • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:45AM (#28540593)

      Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

      Ok, that's braindead. I cannot imagine that the used chewing gum market impacts the sale of new gum.

      • Don't be so sure... [theregister.co.uk]

        âoeItâ(TM)s MY crap, and I work long and hard choosing the products to eat to make it high yield fertiliser.â
        âoeIt wouldâ(TM)ve got sent to the bloody sewer system anyway,â the Boss replies.
        âoeIf I so choose to release my products to the public domain, so be it. However, if you take something which is mine, which I created, and give it to another â" well thatâ(TM)s theft!â
        âoeYeah, sure,â the Boss snaps wearily.
        âoeI
        • Are you fucking kidding me?

          Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8 Fix UTF-8
      • by eudaemon (320983)

        LOL Seriously. But the reason things are marked "no individual resale" is because the person who
        sold it packaged it in bulk for sale to the public. Probably to make a certain profit, but just
        to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps with less packaging that items meant for resale would have.

        Either way it has absolutely nothing to do with actual resale of games, or anything else that is a durable
        item, versus something that's a consumable. I regularly purchase used games for my disabled aunt on a fixed

        • LOL Seriously. But the reason things are marked "no individual resale" is because the person who sold it packaged it in bulk for sale to the public. Probably to make a certain profit, but just to give them the benefit of the doubt, perhaps with less packaging that items meant for resale would have.

          It's because the government-mandated nutrition information and whatnot is only printed on the bulk package, not each individual item.

          • So what if I don't care about it? That info is allegedly for my benefit, the customer's, so that I know that those yummy treats are essentially sugar coated poison. What if I couldn't care less?

            When I can't choose to forfeit my right to be informed, the line between consumer information and nanny state has been crossed.

            • by Golddess (1361003)
              You're looking at it from the wrong perspective. If you purchase a box of candy marked "no individual re-sell", and then turn around and sell it individually, you are no longer the customer, you are the seller. In this case, you're not choosing to forfeit your own right to be informed, you're choosing to forfeit the right of everyone else to be informed about the product you are selling.

              Of course, the point seems moot because it seems to me that there are plenty of bulk candy stores around here that don
              • Of course, the point seems moot because it seems to me that there are plenty of bulk candy stores around here that don't have such nutritional information on the bins, which I dunno how they get around that (maybe they simply make the info available to anyone who asks for it?).

                Perhaps it could be that the labeling isn't required when there's no packaging at all -- sort of like how restaurants aren't required to serve you a piece of paper with the nutritional information along with your dinner.

    • Re:Seriously... (Score:4, Informative)

      by advocate_one (662832) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @08:03AM (#28540669)

      Even candy is labelled "no individual re-sell".

      no, sorry, that only applies to candy and other goods sold in multi-packs and is there to stop unscrupulous retailers from purchasing multi-packs and then splitting them and selling the individual packs at the normal single pack price...

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        Which is still stupid, though admittedly has nothing to do with resale of used goods. Whatever a retailer buys he should be able to sell as he wishes. There's nothing "unscrupulous" about splitting up a multi pack of something and selling singles at all, except that the manufacturer doesn't get to sell as many total units because they're not able to artificially force the consumer to buy a set quantity of the item. Indeed, I'd call the "Not labeled for individual sale." labels unscrupulous instead. Heck

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          It is because they don't print the nutrition information label on every individual item, hence "Not labeled for individual sale"

      • by bogjobber (880402)
        Assuming that the product is the same, how exactly is that unscrupulous?
      • Nutrition analysis (Score:4, Informative)

        by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @03:49PM (#28548125) Homepage
        The actual labels you'll see is "This unit not labelled for individual retail sale", meaning that it doesn't have the nutrition facts on the individual packets, and probably runs afoul of some regulatory agency (FDA) if you try to sell it by itself.

        And what's so "unscrupulous" about splitting up a multi-pack? That's half of what retailers are there for: so you don't have to order things by the pallet.

    • Steam for CounterStrike and Half-Life could have it all worked out. It's convenient because you can play on any computer without a CD, while you can't sell the game because it is tied to your Steam account. I think the CD key can be tied to only one Steam account.
      • by hedwards (940851)
        That would be correct, and they've been known to lock people out of their entire account because they tried to buy or sell a game on the second hand market. Meaning that not only do you have the potential to not get what you paid for with one game, but they will take all of them back without giving a refund. I've also heard of similiar things happening if the account gets broken into. Which isn't really that far fetched, IIIRC hotmail always had this ridiculously easy way of breaking into it which led to th
  • by krelvin (771644) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @06:38AM (#28540273)
    I would suppose that book publishers would love to prevent the reuse of their products too. The number of books passed on to others is most likely much much higher.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      And look at all those immoral libraries.

      What are they doing to book publishers?
    • Especially school books. Consider how many students sell their kickass expensive books every year after passing the course!

      • by hedwards (940851)
        The college my mother teaches at has gotten fed up with that problem in the math department. The book she's going to be using in the near future will cost the students somewhere around $30. I'm not sure if it's going to be viable to resell the books, but at $30 it's far less expensive than what the status quo was.

        One of the other instructors is letting his basic math class bring in whatever math book they want to use for course lessons. I guess he'll be handing out worksheets or something along those lin
        • That reminds me of some .NET programming classes I've taken (work related).

          The VB.NET book, Programming in Visual Basic.NET 2005 Edition [mhprofessional.com], has an MSRP > $100. The C#.NET book, (Murach's C# [murach.com]), has an MSRP of $50, and everyone, publisher included, sells it for $37.

          Both books have 2008 editions now.

          The scary part? The Murach book is easily the better of the two books.

          Extra fact: The VB.NET book is actually only half the material the authors wanted to cover. The second book (also costing > $100) is Adva [mhprofessional.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by th0mas_g (1442333)

        Especially school books.

        Mod up! I used to eat for a week off one semester's worth of book-buy-back.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by dontPanik (1296779)
      Book publishers have a great racket where if they want to make more money on books and prevent people (esp. college students) from reusing books, they put out a new edition.

      Just fix a few typos, and voila! It's like you have a new book to sell.
      And if you dare try to walk into a college class with the old edition you are SURE to fail...
      • Re:Editions! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TaoPhoenix (980487)

        I held my private rebellion to this.

        You were right until the book publishers also caved to the "Don'Wanna'Read" crowd at the same time. I improved my grade by some 3 points because the older edition I picked out of a department ex-libris bin had more thorough explanations everywhere. Then on mean days I'd ask "brilliant" questions based on material that wasn't in the new edition.

      • I brought the old edition to several classes when I was in school. In some classes, the profs were generous enough to provide a "translation key" on assignments so that we could figure out which problems were assigned. For others, I went to the library to do my assignments. For one calculus class, where the assignments weren't taken from the textbook, I used a completely different textbook and still did fine.

        Old editions have the same information. In fact based classes where there's only one right answer

    • I have some insight on this.
      I ran a Computer store from '92 to '95. I started doing a "buy, sell or trade" thing on computer games in 94, I immediately noticed a big jump in new game sales, and the reason was told to me by hundreds of customers, being able to sell or trade the game in when they were done was a gigantic incentive to buy the games in the first place.
      I also tried renting them out, BTW; that helped sales a little, but only because every 3rd or 4th customer ended up buying the game through late fees.
      Up until Microsoft's attempt to kill or seriously injure the PC gaming industry came out, the "games for windows" program, I would have said that PC game reselling was a 100% good thing for the gaming industry; I imagine it would be impossible with the state of EULA's to do it legally, these days.
      Blatant Plug: www.gotthefire.net/dnn. Go. Be Round.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drinkypoo (153816)

        Up until Microsoft's attempt to kill or seriously injure the PC gaming industry came out, the "games for windows" program, I would have said that PC game reselling was a 100% good thing for the gaming industry; I imagine it would be impossible with the state of EULA's to do it legally, these days.

        You have a 100% protected legal right to resell the game. However, if there are technical measures in place to prevent you from transferring your activation, then you are best avoiding reselling that game entirely. Console manufacturers want to knock out resale too. I suspect we're going to have to get some laws passed if we want games resale to continue into the next decade.

        (It's been four minutes since I last posted a comment. WTF? This is the thanks for helping make slashdot great? We'll take off the ads

  • Make shitty games. That way, they have no resale value whatsoever. Or better, call them something-forever and don't even sell them in the first place.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Quite the opposite would work: Make games with great replay value so I do not want to sell them.

      The "story" of a contemporary game takes you about 10 hours, tops. After a few skirmish turns you're fed up with that too. And then? Off to the used market.

      Can you imagine parting with your copy of CivII? Or Alpha Centauri? I can't. Yeah, I don't really play them THAT often anymore (hey, they're like 15 year old now), but still... I just might pick them up again, I couldn't sell them.

      • OhMyGawd, by accident you might have stumbled onto TehWin.

        Random madeup example: "Tom Clancy's NSA-Force: Lebanon" or something. Then as a bonus you can include special documented tech specs from Tom's secret notes, not found anywhere else. A complimentary special-edit version of a novel would also rock.

        GAME-story: 10 hours.
        Special Edit Clancy Novel: 10 hours!

  • by Inverted Intellect (950622) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @06:47AM (#28540317)

    Fuck 'em.

    I actually collect games rather than sell them, but I reserve the right to do with my physical copies and registered accounts what common morality affords me, broken EULAs or no.

    I frankly don't care how little or how much they "lose" through after market trading. Get off my lawn.

    • Agreed, I've started keeping games that I feel were amazing. It sure makes it easier knowing that I cant trade away the crappier ones on my shelf to get one that I missed.

    • by Inda (580031)
      I sell my 360 games on eBay all the time. I buy all my games from there too.

      Last game I bought was FIFA 2009. It had the original Gamestation sticker on it, a new Cash Converters sticker on that, another electronic secondhand shop's sticker on that. I currently have it up for sale on eBay, minus the stickers. After tomorrow, the game will have passed though a minimum of five people's hands. Excellent.

      Fuck 'em indeed. This is all about reduce, reuse and recycle, minus the reduce bit. Fuck 'em five times.

      Out
    • Yes and I'm sure the publishers will have just as little of a pain in their conscience when they implement DRM in their games so that they don't lose money.

      What? You won't be so big and mighty after that? Well just as you have the freedom to do whatever you want with your purchased items, publishers have the freedom to sell their games in any format they choose.

      (spoken as a kid who wants to enter the video game industry one day and actually make money)
      • by russotto (537200)

        Yes and I'm sure the publishers will have just as little of a pain in their conscience when they implement DRM in their games so that they don't lose money.

        I'll have even less of a pain in my conscience when I don't buy them. And when that DRM starts screwing up the experience of new purchasers, I'll have myself a great big belly laugh.

        (spoken as a kid who wants to enter the video game industry one day and actually make money)

        Sorry. The only people who make serious money in the video game industry are the

      • by neomunk (913773)

        Hey kid, check out how well DRM does it's job and then come back and let us know new job you want to grow up and make money doing some day.

        And seriously now, just because YOU hope to make money doing something some day none of us are obligated to change our lives in any way to accommodate you. Come to think of it, with the "okay, you exercised your rights, now face my wrath!" attitude you ARE going into the right profession... Look into record company exec and movie producer too.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        You're assuming quite a bit. The game companies are encouraging the piracy by attempting to price games over what the market will bear and requiring people to crack games that they've paid for with their own hard earned money. EA being the worst offender, but others being egregious as well.

        I pay for the games I play, and I buy a lot fewer games now that I have to worry about whether DRM is going to spy on me, prevent reinstallation or cause other undesirable problems. I've paid for the game, I own it, in
      • by Hatta (162192)

        they implement DRM in their games so that they don't lose money.

        If they implement DRM they've lost my money.

        Well just as you have the freedom to do whatever you want with your purchased items, publishers have the freedom to sell their games in any format they choose.

        And I have the freedom to tell them to fuck off and spend my money elsewhere.

    • by Xest (935314)

      I have to agree. I've never actually sold a game second hand and in fact have pre-ordered most new games out for the 360 for the last 2 years spending thousands on games, but I've always thought it seems odd that if say someone in my family became massively ill and I had to dig up as much cash as possible from somewhere I'd be able to sell everything from my house to my toaster to my car to my XBox 360 games, but oddly would be unable to sell my Steam based DRM'd games.

      The fact is games that impose technica

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @06:47AM (#28540321)

    as price drops demand picks up; and purchasers at $20 will not buy at the $50 retail price. Thank you for restating how supply and demand curves work.

    The real question is:

    Is there a price point between the price of used games and new games that would generate greater profits for game manufacturers than the current pricing model?If there is, then used sales do cut into new ones in the sense that purchaser will wait until the game price drops to a price they are willing to pay if the used game reaches that price prior to publishers lowering the price of new ones. If the used market captures those sales then it is cutting into new game sales since used games are replacing new game sales.

    Publishers would probably like to price so as to capture as much of the "I must have it on release day" sales as at high a price as possible; then drop prices enough so the incremental demand from the price drop generates higher profits than fewer sales at higher prices. While falling prices would drive down the value of used games and their attractiveness to stores; publishers run the risk of training buyers to wait a few weeks for the first price drop and losing release day sales and profits. Given how rapidly used games start to appear after release shows their is a large demand at lower prices (duh); how to tap into that without hurting earlier sales is a difficult question to answer. It's a tough call; especially given the money it takes to develop a game.

    In the end, however, I think their is more to the story than just $20 used game sales don't hurt the $60 new game sales./P.

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:35AM (#28540525) Journal

      Thank you for restating how supply and demand curves work.

      It's worse than that, what he's saying is selective economics. You want to see how selective economics works? I will now prove that used game sales increase the sales of games at retail prices: Everyone today knows they can resell a $60 PS3 game for $15 to Gamestop. So when they are figuring out the price, they are assuming that the game retains a resale value of $15--much like a person shopping for a car takes note of its blue book value. So you can pretty much look at it like you're putting down a $15 deposit on the game. Everyone assumes that they are going to play the game for a week and get tired of it. Fortunately, there's a few games that are really really good so that the player either keeps playing them or grows attached to the game in a special way. Now, people are buying more copies of the game because the in-the-end cost is $45, not $60. And a few people are holding on to the game instead of trading it back in. So in a world without used game sales, you would have made less sales. On top of that, if you make a really great game and most people keep it then there are a bunch of people buying your game figuring they will resell it and don't ... and you make more cash. I still have my copy of Ocarina of Time for N64 in my room even though I don't play it.

      See how anyone can use selective economics to meet their needs? By the way, all economics lessons are selective. Whether they try to be or not.

      • I've heard this agrument in the comment section of every story on this subject, and it has yet to convince me.

        If there were no used games, couldn't publishers sell games at lower values, knowing that since they don't have to worry about lost sales to used game purchases, they could lower the price? An example of a marketplace that isn't threatened by used game sales is Steam. And what are the prices like on Steam? Fucking ballin'. You can get games on there for great prices, because Valve knows they can m
        • by russotto (537200)

          I've heard this agrument in the comment section of every story on this subject, and it has yet to convince me.

          If there were no used games, couldn't publishers sell games at lower values, knowing that since they don't have to worry about lost sales to used game purchases, they could lower the price?

          Just the opposite. If there were no used games, they could jack up the price on new games even higher, knowing that gamers wouldn't have the option of buying a used game instead. Simple economics -- restrict the

          • by nelsonal (549144)
            Yes but they have limited pricing power. If you want a copy of MarioKart Wii you have to buy it from Nintendo, perhaps another Kart racing game will be an effective substitute but perhaps it won't. This means that if you raise the price you lose sales, but if you lower the price you pick up sales, so you price the item in a way that the extra profit from the higher sales price is less than the lost sales.

            I'm a good example of that, my wife and I buy perhaps 1-2 new games a year (trauma center was the
      • Thank you for restating how supply and demand curves work.

        It's worse than that, what he's saying is selective economics. You want to see how selective economics works? I will now prove that used game sales increase the sales of games at retail prices: Everyone today knows they can resell a $60 PS3 game for $15 to Gamestop. So when they are figuring out the price, they are assuming that the game retains a resale value of $15--much like a person shopping for a car takes note of its blue book value.

        I think we both are making the same point - the situation is more complex than the article implies; with games helping and hurting sales. What is the net impact? Hard to say, and it depends on your assumptions

        Got to love economics, where two people can get Nobels for saying the opposite thing.

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      I bought a PS2 in December. Not a typo - I have 25 games and paid between $6 and $20 for them. $20 is what the red-label "Greatest hits" goes for NEW so I don't think buying it used and expecting to pay no more than that is unreasonable.

      But at $20, I don't think I would get much re-selling it, so I expect to have these until I get rid of the whole system and all games at one low, low price. Not for the money, just to get it out the house really.

      So no, used game sales aren't hurting new sales in my case,

  • Daft (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chrisq (894406) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:02AM (#28540381)
    They might as well say that competitors games hit their sale so they should have a cut from competitors sales. I can't see any justification for this whatsoever.
    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      The government will pay you for killing your old car, so they could help the poor bastards from the game-industry as well.

      But seriously, they could allow you to exchange a used game for a new one, you'd get a 30% discount or whatever.
      That way they could dry out the used game market if they do the pricing wisely.

      • by Chrisq (894406)
        I wouldn't even mind if they offered a 30% discount and then scrapped the old game - as long as you have the choice of doing what you want with it.
  • by ThinkThis (912378) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:11AM (#28540421)
    When you justify buying a new game at $60, knowing that you can resell it and maybe get half your money back makes it a little bit easier. Without that ability, the value of the game goes way down. Imagine if you were buying a new car, and knew there was no way to resell it ... Would that impact the price you were willing to pay?
    • I have a huge stack of games, mostly unplayed and never even installed, on my shelf. I don't think I paid more than half price for any of them and most cost the same as two or three beers. When I see something vaguely interesting at that price I grab it. I figure it could cost more second hand in a year or two - if you can find it at all.

      Some are original versions, some are those repackaged (xplosiv, soldout) ones from the bargain bins.

      When I win the lottery I'll play them all, end to end.

    • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:45AM (#28540591)

      You don't have to imagine. Plenty of people lease cars, knowing they can't re-sell them - technically, they don't really even 'own' the car, all for a reduced price. Other people like me would never lease a car, though. We prefer to own the thing outright.

      Disclaimer: I'm a game developer working on MMOs, so used games aren't exactly a threat to our business at the moment, since you're buying an on-line account which you really can't sell - the client software is sort of incidental. However, even when I was working on single-player games, I still felt the same way. Which is:

      To hell with publishers who feel they don't have to earn their customers' money just like every other business on the planet. The game development industry is big and booming, but it's also incredibly cut-throat and highly competitive, often with very slim margins and high risk. Tough nuts - we finally made it (as an industry) to the big time, and now they're complaining that their margins aren't as big as they'd like it to be.

      Guess what - if there's a thriving used game market which sells used copies of your game for just a few bucks less than the retail price, maybe it's an indicator that your prices are a bit on the steep side, especially many months after its initial release. How about you drop your prices to remain competitive? Or release additional content to encourage new sales, perhaps?

      I can't stand it when people whine about the reality of the marketplace like that. It reminds me of another entertainment industry that's become universally loathed because of their refusal to adapt to new marketplace realities, and instead use the force of law to bully and intimidate their customers. I hope to God my industry doesn't go in that direction. At least we seem to be seeing a backing off of those insane and intrusive DRM schemes (which most developers I know don't like either).

       

      • by jp10558 (748604)

        Wouldn't the people leasing cars (and not always cheaper than buying, it depends on the miles you drive) be more like the people using STEAM or even people renting games?

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:16AM (#28540445)
    How are the sales of used games "hurting them", when this is the market model that has always been around, and nothing has changed????????

    The only people saying that the sale of used games is "hurting them", are people who do not understand the law, or greedy people. Or both. But there is no middle ground.
  • by qlayer2 (1122663) * on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:18AM (#28540459)
    There are a few games a year I look forward to, whether console or PC, that I will buy on release date, and purchase for $50-$60. Many other purchases are games that may be recommended later by friends, or games that looked interesting, but not interesting enough to pay the asking price for, so I'll wait until the price comes down.

    http://games.slashdot.org/story/09/02/20/0750203/Do-Video-Games-Cost-Too-Much/ [slashdot.org]

    We've discussed this before, and the consensus is easy to spot: many games are not worth the asking price. You'll sell more games if at 1-3 months after launch, you simply drop the price point to an appropriate range, depending on the total units you sold at launch and the total expected units. It's been proven- some games sell well years and years after release for a discounted price.

    Of course, this has two impacts- if you enjoy selling games back to places like gamestop, their resell value will be diminished, as the retail price will be lowered quickly. Also, unless you have a strong opening for your game, you simply won't sell them at full retail if you have created the expectation of lowered prices shortly in the future.

    I'm willing to pay $20 for new games giving the developers and publishers the profit, rather than pay $15-18 for a used copy.
  • Console manufacturers and game publishers are going to move towards games which are entirely downloaded.

    Directly downloaded games are impossible to re-sell. So will block this "problem"

    Moreover, the revenue from downloaded games is not shared by resellers and retailers. Retailers can take up to 50% of the sale price. Just to sell a box.

    When publishers, originate the game, develop it, promote it and take all the risks- you can see why they resent the used game market and the burden of "boxed-goods" retailers

  • by massysett (910130) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:23AM (#28540481) Homepage

    1) The person who bought the game new gets some money back when he sells it used, thus giving him more money to go buy another new game.

    2) People are more likely to buy a new game if they know they can sell it used when they get tired of it. If they know they will be stuck with it, they will be less likely to buy. In the aggregate, lower new prices would be necessary if there were no resales. (This might end up happening if all the draconian DRM makes the "purchase" into a true rental because the game can't be transferred and might fail to "activate" in the future. Such games would be worth less.)

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I think what ticks them off is GameStop pushing used games over new.
      If you go buy a new game off the self and they have a used copy they will tell you that they have a used copy and offer to sell that to you instead of the new.
      The reason isn't good customer service it is because they make a lot more on a used game than used. I promise you that game makers hate it with a passion. Me I save money and hardy lever buy a new game. Okay I bought Ghostbusters new but that is a rare event.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        The reason isn't good customer service it is because they make a lot more on a used game than used. I promise you that game makers hate it with a passion.

        I don't care if the store is saving me money because it's good customer service, or because they make more money.

        Game makers can go fuck off sideways if they don't like First Sale law. I bought HL2 through Steam and have since discovered that backups are not even backups... Valve is just attempting to kill First Sale AND is willing to punish the customer for giving them money at the same time. If I knew before buying HL2 what I know now (should have done some research I guess) then I would have borrowed it,

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          I find it so amusing the venom that people work up. Frankly I sort of agree with you withiut the venom. Of course there is also the fact that GameStop pays you a lot less for your game and than they sell it for and they might get to do it 10 times for one disk. Hey they are trying to make as much as possible just like the game companies. If you expect a company to do anything but that you are just silly

        • I'm lucky. I waited before buying HL2... and ended up getting Orange Box instead. Heck, I haven't even played HL2 yet, despite having had it and its two episodes for over a year!

          As opposed to Team Fortress 2, in which I've clocked over 300 hours.

  • How many people buy a new game knowing that they can sell it on the used market when they've finished? So the cost to them for the game is effectively lower. How many would not buy the new game, or buy fewer, if that market wasn't there?

  • So if this is supposed to be so wrong (from the eyes of the original seller), why aren't car manufacturers trying to clamp down on used car sales?

  • Its reality. Companies are "damaged" about as much by the fact that they don't make money off sales of used games as I am "damaged" by the fact that people aren't paying me royalties for every time they take a shit and thus inadvertently destroy the resale market for MY shit.

    I have a business plan, after all, that depends on the world paying me for my shit.

    In short, when you have the delusional belief that you are owed money for something that nobody else in the world has ever been owed money for nor has an

  • Shall we start a massive database to track down all goods worldwide so that the producers can get a share whenever it changes hands?

    I bet that would be fun.

    I accidentally left my newspaper in the bus this morning. Somebody else might have picked it up. Are they going to arrest me now?

  • by darkitecture (627408) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @07:50AM (#28540627)
    Honestly, does it really fucking matter?

    It doesn't matter if 100 used games are traded each year or 100 million. GAME COMPANIES GOT THEIR CUT WHEN THEY FUCKING SOLD IT IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    I don't give a shit if it takes 5% or 95% of their 'potential revenue' away - JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU'RE ENTITLED TO IT.

    In the puntastic words of someone funnier than me, it's not rocket surgery. Geez.
  • by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @08:05AM (#28540681) Homepage

    Used games do not hurt or harm the game industry. Why? Because the consumer has a first-sale right to sell the game and the game industry has no right to financially gain from that secondary (or tertiary, etc) sale.

    So when some third party profits, and you have no rights to the profits, it necessary follows that you were not harmed.

    Under the game industry's logic, because my fellow employees are being paid by my employer, I'm somehow losing out on that money, because for some bizarre reason, that money should be going to me.

    Or under the same asinine logic, McDonald's deserves a cut from the local Burger King's profits because it's making money that, for some bizarre reason, McDonald's thinks it deserves, even thought it has absolutely no right whatsoever to those profits.

    Of course someone is going to complain about my analogies. That the game industry produced the game so therefore it has a right over the game. In my first example I didn't do my coworkers' duties, so therefore I have no right to their pay. And McDonalds didn't serve the customers who went to Burger King so therefore they have no right to those profits.

    But you're missing the point. It is completely irrelevant that a particular gaming company originally produced the game. The main issue is that once it sells a copy, It no longer has any resale rights to that copy. I'll say it again, it has no right to any resale money in the same way that I have no right to my coworkers pay or that McDonalds has no right to Burger King's profits. None. Nada. Zip.

    The gaming industry certainly wants profits it is not entitled to. But that is not harm. That's jealously and blind greed.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anita Coney (648748)

      Before I leave for the day, I want to add one thing.

      Someone will say that the harm comes from the lost sale of new games. Guess what? That's not harm, that's competition. That's no different than my McDonalds/Burger King example.

      Now of course if the competition is somehow unfair. Like if the Burger King ignores health and safety laws to keep their prices lower, then McDonalds would be harmed.

      But as there is nothing illegal about reselling a copy of your game, there is no unfairness and no illegality.

      To

    • Of course someone is going to complain about my analogies.

      Of course, neither McDolands nor Burger King are cars.

    • by mochan_s (536939)

      The main issue is that once it sells a copy, It no longer has any resale rights to that copy.

      I'm pretty sure that's what they want to change.

      Not because of greed or anything, but because of a more insidious problem - there is an entire industry based around used game sales and trading.

      The customer buys the game for $60, sells it used to the store for $20 and the store sells it for $45. Before you say Amazon or eBay, they have really high commission rates on video games - basic 15% + shipping price cut +

      • by Xtifr (1323)

        I'm sure what the video game industry wants is to get the used game industry somehow part of the video game industry itself

        That's simple enough--just invest in some retail locations, open stores, and sell the used games for less (and buy them for more) than the not-part-of-the-industry stores, and Bob's yer uncle.

        The problem is, they'd really like to do it without paying rent on brick-and-mortar locations and wages and salaries for extra employees to man those locations and then have even more money tied up in inventory.

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      Used game sales do hurt the game industry. If people didn't buy and sell used games they would make more money. The thing is that is just too bad. Yes people have the right to resell the game.

      • If people didn't buy and sell used games they would make more money.

        How's that? By some kind of magic?

        People who buy used games cannot afford the new game price anyway and people who buy new games know that they can sell the game and get some money back. If they couldn't, chances are they wouldn't buy the game in first place. So no, if people didn't buy and sell used games, game industry would make even less money.

  • by Atreide (16473) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @08:16AM (#28540745)

    buying a car second hand steals money to car manufacturers

    let's forbid that shamefull behaviour and save economy

    really, some companies do not deserve our money...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You can resell a car as long as it works too can't you?
    You can resell your TV's, DVD players, Lawnmower, Children(put em up for adoption), dogs, cats, food, toiletpaper, heck, you can even sell your poo to be procesed as furtelizer.

    Its a basic right to resell your shit when your trough with it.

    Its bullshit and a pandora's box if they regulated resale of anything.

    Their problem is the same as with all other Big companies out there. Since the dawn of the digital age, 2nd hand sales have both massivly grown(bec

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday July 01, 2009 @08:53AM (#28541021) Homepage
    Here's what a games publisher sees when he reads that article: "yada yada yada yada yada yada 100 million copies yada yada yada yada yada yada yada yada."
  • Who is prepared to shell out $60 for a single game without any possibility of resale?

    To be frank, that $60 price mark has prevented me from buying any new games. I have entertainment dollars to spend, but like anyone else, I like to be careful about how I spend them. When it comes to games, I consider anything over $40 to be something that requires some pondering where the end result is that I usually don't buy.

    And now they want to discourage or even prevent the possibility of resale? Then they had bette

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      They really have thought it through.

      They arent actualy trying to end the resale market entirely. They are creating a justification for some features, etc, not being resellable. So that when you go to buy a new game you really dont know if the entire product will be resellable, and that when you go buy a used game you really dont know if the entire product is in there.

      Think "Bonus" Downloadable Content.
  • Here's what really pisses me off: Half the games I buy used I don't buy used by choice. I buy them used because the publisher has flat out abandoned them. If I want to buy an old PC game that isn't starcraft then I'm not going to find it on store shelves or at gogamer.com. They are DONE with that game and can't be bothered to sell it to me even when I want to buy it. So I have to go hunting for a scratched up CD with perhaps no manual.

    So now they're bitching and moaning that some guy (or gamestop) is "steal

  • Those one-time bonus cards are an insult to me as a gamer, and I don't use those codes or buy any of the DLC as I believe a game should be self-contained and not require anything extra to be enjoyed, otherwise IT IS A BROKEN GAME.

    I keep all of the games I buy and never sell them back, but this really pisses me off. I'm a collector (maybe not as rabid as some, I only care about the games I like and not about collecting every last rare gem), and I expect my games to work in the future as is.

    Systems can bre
  • Used goods in any market, does not hurt sales of new goods. Period. The ability to resell *anything* adds value. No member of any industry has the right to stiffle the used sales market, unless they have a death wish. Used sales are a win-win for the consumer and the producer. The ability to sell something you bought new for about half the price you paid for it, is like getting a 50% discount, but the original retail outlet gets 100% of the money.
  • Blockbuster rents games for 10 dollars. It is a ripoff for whatever time period they give it to you for(like 5 days). But it is a great deal if you take into account that the restocking fee is an extra 1.50. You can keep the game for an extra month before they just charge it to your credit card. I know it sounds crazy, 2 bucks a day for the rental period, and then 5 cents a day for the time you aren't supposed to have it, but that is how it works.

    So any game that I can beat in under 35 days, I just r

  • ... just how??

    If the gaming industry wants me to spend money on games, then they're going to have to produce some games that actually have genuine interest to them. Run around and shoot things? Been there, done that, got bored with Quake (I, not II). Go online? Why?
    Frankly, I've recently removed OpenArena (another run-around-and-shoot-things game) from the machine and I'm still trundling on with alternating sessions of CIV or UFO-enemy-unknown. I've not met anything with the long-standing interest of those

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