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If You Resell Your Used Games, the Terrorists Win 423

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-hyperbole-at-all dept.
MojoKid writes "Game designer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored antipiracy features in the next-gen PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango. 'The real cost of used games is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of games available to the consumer,' Browne writes. Browne's comments echo those of influential programmer and Raspberry Pi developer David Braben, who wrote last month that '...pre-owned has really killed core games. It's killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk.' Both Browne and Braben conflate hating GameStop (a thoroughly reasonable life choice) with the supposed evils of the used games market. Braben goes so far as to claim that used games are actually responsible for high game prices and that 'prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells.' Amazingly, no game publishers have stepped forward to publicly pledge themselves to lower game prices in exchange for a cut of used game sales. Publishers are hammering Gamestop (and recruiting developers to do the same) because it's easier than admitting that the current system is fundamentally broken."
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If You Resell Your Used Games, the Terrorists Win

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  • used or bust (Score:2, Insightful)

    by kimvette (919543)

    I buy ONLY used games for my XBox 360.

    • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Interesting)

      by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:22PM (#39751375) Journal
      I almost never buy used games PS3 games, but I almost always wait until a game is part of the "Greatest Hits" collection. That way I'm reasonably certain it's a good game. I'm too cheap to pay full price.
      • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

        by danomac (1032160) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:52PM (#39751663)

        The problem here is price. Again.

        Most people don't have problems dropping $10-20 on a game. They do have problems with paying $60-70 for a game. It's not rocket science here.

        If new games cost a third of what they were now I would suspect the used market would not be nearly as big.

        They should take a hard look at themselves before whining. Honestly, if the new consoles are going to restrict used games, I won't buy one and find something else to do with my time.

        • They must really hate me. I found my PS2 in the neighbour's trash and bought all my games used.

          I picked up God of War at a pawn shop last weekend.

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by _KiTA_ (241027) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:05PM (#39751811) Homepage

          The problem here is price. Again.

          Most people don't have problems dropping $10-20 on a game. They do have problems with paying $60-70 for a game. It's not rocket science here.

          If new games cost a third of what they were now I would suspect the used market would not be nearly as big.

          They should take a hard look at themselves before whining. Honestly, if the new consoles are going to restrict used games, I won't buy one and find something else to do with my time.

          The funny thing is, not only are they $60-70, they honestly aren't of the quality that some $20-30 "indy" companies like Nippon Ichi or XSeed put out, to say nothing about true indy games out there.

          Seriously, I get that all that HD graphics and buying hookers and yachts for your CEO and the like are very, very expensive. But the $80 a game rumored price point for the Orbis and Durango titles is insane, and honestly, 99.9% of the titles for all 3 consoles are shovel-ware dressed up with marketing blitz.

          If they want to fix game sales, make better games. Fire the executives who keep making shitty decisions. Stop being so goddamned "safe" (read: bland as hell) with your companies. If Notch had been working for a major design studio, there's no way in hell Minecraft would have ever been released.

          We're going to hit a point very soon where it doesn't matter how much better the graphics get, the devs won't be able to develop for those, because we're not going to be willing to pay for $80-90 games with $50 of tacked on DLC.

          • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:28PM (#39752059)

            The funnier thing is:

            Gamestop wouldn't exist without used game sales.
            Over 50% of first-day sales happen at Gamestop.

            By trying to kill gamestop (and defraud consumers of their rights of a purchase) they're fucking themselves over.

            • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

              by squiggleslash (241428) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @10:27AM (#39755727) Homepage Journal

              Do 50% of first day sales need to be at Gamestop however?

              To put it another way: would all those people who bought "EA's Banhammernorefunds" at Gamestop the day it came out have not gone to other retailers if Gamestop hadn't stocked it?

              I wonder if the problem here isn't Gamestop or used game sales, so much as the fact we're still using the same business model from the 1970s to sell games consoles and games despite the fact the world has drastically moved on since then. There's nothing good about a system that requires high game prices to fund development and cover the disadvantages of... having high game prices.

              Many Slashdotters argue that the problem is simply the high prices, and that people would not buy used games if the new games were cheaper than they are today. Is that actually realistic? If you were given the choice between a $5 used game and a $25 new game, would most people fork out $25? And would enough people spend $25 to make up for the fact that is isn't $50 any more (remember, also, that the fixed costs in each game, from the console maker's royalty to the cost of pressing a disc and the cost of manufacturing the box, means that you'd need considerably more than twice as many sales to get the same income)

              The arguments here are largely going on because we've reached a point where a high tech box that you plug "games" into that you buy at high cost has become unsustainable. People who argue it's all about the used market are missing the point. The used market will always exist in such an environment. People who feel that prices are too high will never buy new games, where used games are available or not. Prices are therefore going to continue to go up.

              And in the meantime, I'm sitting here paying (relatively) peanuts for games on Steam. I'm paying peanuts though, for the most part, because those games are two or three years old. I can't really judge whether the developers would be getting the money they spent on development if their new releases cost the same as their two or three year old prices.

              Something's going to give, and unfortunately, it's probably not going to be prices, but the crashing down of an industry that can no longer keep up with expectations while producing a product that will sell at any price high enough to recover its costs.

          • by LordZardoz (155141) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:00PM (#39752773)

            The reason to upgrade the hardward generally comes down to improving graphics and processing power. The added work for things like high end physics and AI is not an especially big hit in terms of development expense though. What is driving the cost upward is primarily the high res 3d graphics.

            Creating high quality 3d art is extraordinarily labour intensive, and the tech to improve the toolset for the artists is not advancing as fast as the ability to push more content to the screen. If you increase the polygon count of your scene from 100 000 to 10 000 000, the labour requirements get difficult. Just watch the credits from a game made in 2001 and compare to a game made in 2012. The size of the art teams have gotten proportionally much larger compared to the size increase for the programmers.

            Also, the assumption that the CEO's are getting hookers and blow is not universally true. If you produced one of the top 3 games of the year, sure, people are getting rich. If your outside the top 10 though, the development costs are eating enough of the profit that its a crap shoot on whether or not your broke even.

            Used games and piracy have eaten a great deal of the profit margin for games that were good but not great. Lowering the price might actually be a good idea, but if your barely breaking even your going to have a hard time justifying the move to share holders who are seeing only marginal profitability.

            In any case, change is coming because the iPhone / iPad is forcing it. All the companies that cannot compete at the $60 a game core market are starting to chase the lower dev costs for the mobile devices, and the bigger companies that see 'easy money' are following them. In any case, the long term move is to cut the retail outlets out of the game distribution entirely. Once that happens, your pretty much F*cked for buying used games anyway.

            END COMMUNICATION

            • by 24-bit Voxel (672674) on Friday April 20, 2012 @11:21PM (#39753497) Journal

              As a 3d artist in both games and high end, I can attest to what you just posted.

              Deadlines? Shorter. Workload? Higher. Hours? 80-100 weeks for the past 10 years. Overtime? Ha! Benefits? Nope. Software? Autodesk puts out worse and worse releases every year, making things take *longer*, but our deadlines just get shorter.

              It's a mess, it's not sustainable, and soon it'll implode.

              But from my experience it's not the majority of users that demand the super high end 3d graphics, it's the marketing team. It's like all they understand is superficial glitz.

            • I think we can sure as hell stop pushing graphics quality. If you have a hi-res screen and every game looks like Crysis and runs at 60fps, the limiting factor of graphics quality is going to be your eyeballs. We've reached "good enough." Is there that much of a difference between Quake 3 or the original Ghost Recon and today's flashiest game? Compare that to going another 10 years back, the difference is massive.

          • Pondering games... (Score:5, Insightful)

            by TiggertheMad (556308) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @02:00AM (#39754065) Homepage Journal
            The funny thing is, not only are they $60-70, they honestly aren't of the quality that some $20-30 "indy" companies like Nippon Ichi or XSeed put out, to say nothing about true indy games out there.

            The interesting thing is that I suspect that if you adjusted the cost of a 1986 NES game for inflation, you would end up at modern game prices. I don't recall hearing people complain too much about the cost of carts back when I was a kid. People who where 14 and wanted the top 10 games just got a paper route and bought them. I agree that the quality of many triple A titles is very much lacking these days, and I think that is the real problem. I have no problem paying $100 for a video game that provides me with 100+ hours of entertainment, and that is the problem with a lot of games. Price is no guarantee of quality, unfortunately.

            I have a theory that the 8 and 16 bit games era was the golden age of video game design, because the hardware resources were so limited. They had to design the hell out of games to make them work and fit in the systems of the time, and I will speculate that they spent a lot more time thinking carefully about core mechanics and fun. I can fire up a compiler nowadays and have my computer rendering 60+fps on a 10k poly count model in about an hour. That doesn't mean that the resulting game will be well designed, though.

            The light at the end of the tunnel is that the market will find its level, and wherever we end up there will be games. On the way though, there will be some companies that are eaten by a grue.
            • by Bert64 (520050) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Saturday April 21, 2012 @04:22AM (#39754445) Homepage

              In those days, you got the physical cart which in itself was a substantial piece of hardware, plus you usually got a manual with the game too.

              Now? Your lucky to get a single DVD and a single sheet which is more likely to be full of legal terms than any instructions for playing the game.

              In those days lousy games couldn't hide behind fancy graphics and heavy marketing, the industry was much newer and it was possible to buy magazines which actually contained impartial honest reviews.
              You could also quite often return the game if you didn't like it, this was generally allowed with games on media that wasn't easily copied, for instance they would never let you return games on floppies unless they were defective as they would assume you had just taken a copy.

              As far as users were concerned, they got a lot more for their money with the carts.

              Also you could always resell the carts and buy used games...

            • by msobkow (48369) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @08:01AM (#39754985) Homepage Journal

              I have no problem paying $100 for a video game that provides me with 100+ hours of entertainment, and that is the problem with a lot of games. Price is no guarantee of quality, unfortunately.

              But that's the key reasons that people sell used games nowadays. They don't have the replayability of a lot of older games, especially the "shooter on rails" type games. And aside from replay value, the initial play-through of the single-user game is often a matter of 5-20 hours with modern games, whereas 40-60 hours was typical even in the '90s.

              If I've bought and played through a game that isn't fun to play again, you can bet your sweet patoot I'm going to sell it off for whatever I can get rather than keep it. I only keep games that are fun and worth playing again.

              If I do find myself in possession of a game not worth keeping and that I want to sell off, you can also bet I am not happy with the publisher and that I'm feeling ripped off by them. I'm far less likely to buy any other products from them in the future not because of used game competition, but because they ripped me off.

            • by Cow Jones (615566) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @03:14PM (#39757629)

              People who where 14 and wanted the top 10 games just got a paper route and bought them.

              Ah, the good old days. I remember I had to deliver the morning paper for three weeks before I was able to afford Paperboy...

          • by houghi (78078)

            I get that all that HD graphics and buying hookers and yachts for your CEO and the like are very, very expensive.

            In fact, forget about the HD graphics. (Not sure if I am going for insightful or funny.)

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by gstrickler (920733) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:28PM (#39752061)

          Agreed. While the games aren't as complex/expensive to develop, Apple's App Store is a great example of this. People are making hundreds of thousands, millions, and occasionally tens of millions off games selling for $0.99 to $4.99. When the potential market is 25M+ machines, there is the potential to sell many millions of copies, if the price is below the "take a chance" impulse buy threshold.

          Indeed, the App Store (and corresponding Android markets) may completely alter the way mass market software is priced and sold.

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ultranova (717540) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:43PM (#39752223)

          The problem here is price. Again.

          Not for me. The hatred and fear I feel for people who try to keep me from reselling stuff I bought from them has far exceeded it. They want a future where I own nothing but merely "lease" things, for full price of course. They are public enemies and should be treated as such and stopped before this madness spreads to other industries.

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Informative)

          by crafty.munchkin (1220528) on Friday April 20, 2012 @09:31PM (#39752939)
          I don't have a problem with paying $60-70 for a game. Have been happy to purchase at that price point for quite a few years. The problem is that brand new games here in Australia come out at $100, often up to $180 for a collectors edition, and that, I do have a problem with paying.

          I also expect that a game I spend a decent amount of money on can be played by me, or my wife, or my kids. You have no idea how pissed off at Ubisoft I was when the DLC for Assassins Creed Brotherhood came out and was tied to the one xbox 360 account which initially downloaded it - my wife's account - and that I couldn't play the DLC without re-purchasing it.
          • Re:used or bust (Score:4, Informative)

            by mjwx (966435) on Saturday April 21, 2012 @04:06AM (#39754419)

            I don't have a problem with paying $60-70 for a game. Have been happy to purchase at that price point for quite a few years. The problem is that brand new games here in Australia come out at $100, often up to $180 for a collectors edition, and that, I do have a problem with paying.

            I also expect that a game I spend a decent amount of money on can be played by me, or my wife, or my kids. You have no idea how pissed off at Ubisoft I was when the DLC for Assassins Creed Brotherhood came out and was tied to the one xbox 360 account which initially downloaded it - my wife's account - and that I couldn't play the DLC without re-purchasing it.

            According to the license agreement one game purchase is one license so according to Ubisoft in order for your wife or children to play the game you have to buy a separate copy for them. The only defence you have in this is that they can't enforce this license agreement.

            But given Ubi's stance on DRM I won't be buying from them again.

            BTW PC games are a bit cheaper at only A$70-80 but from the UK they are £30 which is only A$40-50. Guess if I import or buy them locally.

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by rtb61 (674572) on Friday April 20, 2012 @11:33PM (#39753547) Homepage

          Nah, the real problem here, the actually truly factual problem is, 'REPLAY VALUE', most current games just don't fucken have it. Play it once, zip right through it, meh, same old same old, who the fuck want's to play it again, might as well dump it on the second hard market and get some of 'MY MONEY' back.

          Want to fix the problem in the second hand market start designing better games again, games that people want to keep and replay again and again and again. Stop the PR=B$ (lies for profit) of spending more on marketing and franchise licences, than on game development, to suck people in on first day game sales buying crappy games.

          This has nothing to do with game development and everything to do with the endless stream of bullshit corporate marketing. First day sales is all about marketing strategies and basically sucking people in to buy shit games that they won't ever want to play again. Of course once arsehole game publishers get into that kind of shithead thinking, game replay value becomes an anathema to them as well.

          'We don't want them to play the same game over and over again. where's the profit in that, we want them to get sick of it and buy another one', so game re-playability often sucks on purpose as does length of single player games. The benefit of psychopaths in industry, nothing to do with providing customer service and everything is about how best to rip of the customer as much and as quickly as possible (a lot of this thinking was straight out of M$ and the ballmerites).

          • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Bert64 (520050) <bert&slashdot,firenzee,com> on Saturday April 21, 2012 @04:31AM (#39754463) Homepage

            You have a good point about "first day sales"...

            If a game is lousy, but heavily marketed it will sell well initially, but sales will soon taper off when people realise how bad it is...

            If a game is good, sales will actually increase as some people buy it, enjoy playing it and tell their friends about it, especially if the game is good enough that those people who bought it don't want to resell it so subsequent players also have to pay full price.

            Basically the industry is greedy, they want to do all these customer hostile things while not suffering the consequences that doing so in a free market should entail, and when such things happen its always pirates or used game sales to blame, and never the fact that they're treating their own customers with utter contempt.

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Gorobei (127755) on Friday April 20, 2012 @11:50PM (#39753633)

          Most people don't have problems dropping $10-20 on a game. They do have problems with paying $60-70 for a game.

          Most people use the term "most people" as shorthand for "me and the people I associate with."

          In reality, in the USA, "most people" either have to make a hard choice to buy a $20 game or have no problem at all paying $70.

    • by schwep (173358)

      Or we can boycot the industry completely for a year. Make them feel the hurt & maybe they'll realize that they're not something important like, say, the food industry.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Good luck with that...

      • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

        by desdinova 216 (2000908) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:48PM (#39751631)

        Or we can boycot the industry completely for a year. Make them feel the hurt & maybe they'll realize that they're not something important like, say, the food industry.

        the only problem with that is the game publishers won't see it that way, they'll blame piracy.

        • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:31PM (#39752099)

          They're not going to blame piracy any more than they would regardless. You have to remember that they're dishonest, not stupid. They know perfectly well what they're doing, and why they're doing it: Their goal is not to reduce piracy, it's to control the market. Making noises about piracy is just their way of excusing customer-hostile behavior calculated to achieve a dominant market position and exclude competitors from the market. Higher actual piracy rates or lower sales rates are totally irrelevant, because they just fabricate all the numbers anyway.

          the only problem with that is the game publishers won't see it that way, they'll blame piracy.

          I declare this meme officially over.

          But there is a different problem. The problem is that boycotts don't work unless you're organized, and you're not. You and six of your friends staging a boycott is not going to make anyone care. A year from now when you're discontinuing your unsuccessful boycott having failed to modify their behavior, someone else will be announcing a new boycott that only they and their six friends will be ignored for participating in.

          There is, however, an easy way to deal with this: Don't buy games with DRM. Ever. Period.

          That isn't a boycott, it's a promise. And it's forever.

          It's also a lot easier to hold yourself to, because there are plenty of DRM-free games made by developers who don't disrespect their paying customers by assuming they're criminals. Adopting this policy is actually advantageous to you, regardless of its consequences on game developers, because you then never have to deal with the failures of DRM. And sooner or later, as more and more people discover how easy and satisfying it is to adopt and stick to a policy of never, ever buying games with DRM, the developers who use DRM will either abandon it or go out of business. Problem solved.

          • by Trogre (513942) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:33PM (#39752621) Homepage

            So... one might say that you were boycotting DRM games.

            • Re:used or bust (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:48PM (#39752695)

              No, boycotts end. If you choose not to buy products with asbestos because they're poison, you aren't boycotting asbestos. You're choosing not to buy it because it's harmful to you. That happens to provide a market signal to the companies making things with asbestos (or DRM) that they should probably stop including it in their products, but when you're making the purchasing decision, your goal is not to make them stop building products with asbestos. Your goal is to not have asbestos (or DRM) in your house.

          • Re:used or bust (Score:4, Interesting)

            by MartinSchou (1360093) on Friday April 20, 2012 @11:29PM (#39753525)

            There is, however, an easy way to deal with this: Don't buy games with DRM. Ever. Period.

            Why do that?

            Not buying a DRM'ed game doesn't tell the developer or studio anything.

            Buying a DRM'ed game, having the store gift wrap it, and then bringing it back (in pristine condition including the shrink wrap) the next week for a refund "due to not wanting DRM'ed games", is going to rack up issues for the retailer.

            If enough people do that, to the extent that a retailer thinks they've cleared their inventory of a particular game on or just after release day, only to get 50% of them back a week later, will make the retailers push back against the developers/studios.

            Hell, if you can organize it properly, it wouldn't take that big of a group to get the store to constantly have fairly large amount of money tied up in potential refunds.

            Suppose a store gets 100 units of game. At a retail price of 60 dollars, that's 6,000 dollars worth of inventory. If we say the mark-up is 50% (it isn't), that means they've paid 3,000 dollars for it. Not a huge amount, but it's still a dent.

            You and your group of accomplices get together and buy 50 of them. That's 3,000 dollars, 1,500 of which goes to the store, 1,500 of which goes to the game studio.

            The store is now up 1,500 dollars.

            A week later those 50 games are all returned in exchange for 3,000 dollars of in-store credit.

            Those 3,000 dollars are now spent buying 50 other games. 1,500 dollars of which goes to the store, 1,500 dollars goes to the game studio.

            Those 1,500 dollars the store earned are now going to the game studio.

            A week later, the same thing. Now the store is missing 1,500 dollars.

            Week five they're missing 3,000 dollars.

            Week six - 4,500 dollars.

            Week seven - 6,000 dollars, but they get their first refund from the game studio, so they're back to only missing 4,500 dollars.

            That would pretty much cover the monthly salary for two sales clerks.

            Keep it up for a year, and that constant outlay on products is going to tear a hole in the store's pocket.

            Once the store manager notices that their DRM'ed games have a massive return rate and outlay like that, they won't be inclined to buying that many of them. If they're corporate, it'll be pushed up the chain across many many stores.

            There are currently 275 cities in the US with more than 100,000 inhabitants. If each city can mange to get a group of 50 to participate in this, that's a constant 412,500 dollars outlay for the stores in those cities, assuming an insane mark-up of 50%.

            If it's a slightly more realistic 25% it's 618,750 dollars. At 10% it's 742,500 dollars, not to mention the useless stock the stores ends up with.

            And all it takes to participate in this fun task is something like twenty minutes a week, a one time fee of 60 dollars and some people you like hanging out with.

            • Meh, same problem as the boycott. You've got a collective action problem. You're assuming you can get a group of people in every city to coordinate this. (And you're assuming that what you're proposing isn't either illegal or grounds for the stores to refuse the returns.)

              The solution is much simpler than that. Just don't buy games with DRM. Who cares whether they keep using it or not? There are prolific alternatives with no DRM; pay your money to people who don't treat you like a criminal.

      • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:43PM (#39752225)

        To be fair, I know a fair number of people who have been boycotting the industry since the day they discovered Kazaa...

        Right or wrong, when game companies do shit like this, that is where they're driving their customer base. Why boycott when you can just rip the fucking game off and play it for free? Are people supposed to feel bad about doing that when the industry itself is treating them like they're doing it anyway? I mean, you keep calling your 12 year old daughter a whore, by the time she's 16, odds are, she's going to be a whore.

        The game industry treats it's customer base like an abusive parent treats their children, and they're shocked when the kids finally have had enough and disappear? Please. Not even these masters of the universe can be that fucking naive.

    • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:33PM (#39751477)

      I borrow my games from the library. Fuck em all.

    • Re:used or bust (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:58PM (#39751727) Journal

      And this entire line of thinking is retarded! hey why don't I get a cut of every resale of every PC I have ever built? Why I could probably lower my price if that happened (but of course IRL I'd just pocket the extra profits) or why doesn't every carpenter get a cut every time a house he built gets resold?

      Because that isn't how reality works and only arrogant game designers and the MAFIAA would try to push that insane bullshit upon us. If you want to charge for MP because you need to pay the server costs? Not a problem but frankly i'd rather host my own so don't be surprised if I buy the one that lets me host instead of yours, but news flash game designers YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL and don't deserve to have the entire rules of commerce rewritten because you think everyone that views your precious IP should have to give you a cut even after you have sold it.

      Just remember everyime you support douchbags like this you are siding with those like Sony that think you should have to pay a nickel to play a song or give them the price of the CD over again if you want it in a different format. Your imaginary property rights don't and shouldn't trump ACTUAL property rights. the most ironic part is while douchenozzles like this rail for more American laws they then go to china to hire cheap coders. Our laws are good enough for these dicks but not our workers. fuck them and the horse they rode in on, if they block first sale I'll pirate every damned thing rather than give a cent to pricks like this!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        If you win and the system changes, sir, you are a patriot, but if you lose and the system remains, sir, you are a terrorist.

  • So.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bobwrit (1232148) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:19PM (#39751337) Homepage Journal
    How is a broken retail model related to terrorism? I don't see the connection. And I have RTFA.... still says nothing.
    • Methinks submitter was attempting to be clever.
    • Re:So.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:27PM (#39751429) Homepage

      *whoosh*, as they say.

      Appending "the terrorists win" to a sentence implies it's a load of bullshit, as popularized by countless anti-terrorism pundits since 9/11.

    • by jhoegl (638955)
      Perhaps it was a play on that commercial which claimed SUVs support terrorism because gas profits in part go towards terrorists?
      Although, I love the in article statement that games would be cheaper had resellers never ventured to sell used games... BAHAHAHAHA.
      These guys are just money grubbing assholes, which I equate to the RIAA and MPAA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SonofSmog (1961084)
      Yesterday the RIAA-produced video In Trial, which covers the societal dangers of music piracy, made its way out to torrent sites, and among its contents are instructions on how to get RIAA investigators qualified as expert witnesses, a guide to identifying pirated CDs, and the above bit, about the links between people who profit from pirated music and people who deal weapons, populate terror cells, and murder their fellow man for sport. Here: http://idolator.com/359196/riaa-murderers-terrorists-and-other-c [idolator.com]
      • Re:So.... (Score:5, Funny)

        by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:39PM (#39752189)

        Interesting tidbit: The argument that piracy funds terrorism is based on the idea that terrorists sell counterfeit CDs and DVDs to raise money. The thing is, all of those people have pretty much been put out of business by The Pirate Bay and co., because nobody is going to pay actual money for a pirated DVD when it's free on the internet.

        In other words, internet piracy fights terrorism.

        • In other words, internet piracy fights terrorism.

          Which would be better fight?

          Pirates versus Terrorists
          or
          Pirates versus Ninjas

        • by guttentag (313541)
          Actually, I heard Osama Bin Laden was pretty heavy into buying used SNES games on eBay after he went into hiding in Pakistan. He'd sit in his room for hours playing UN Squadron on that little TV, plotting new ways to lose the game. He was also a frequent user of the disaster feature in Sim City. There are reports that he was trying to build a weapon of mass destruction out of a Beowulf cluster of SNESes, because he couldn't get enough PS3s due to export restrictions, but nothing ever really came of it becau
    • by Qzukk (229616)

      How is a broken retail model related to terrorism?

      I hear that when you buy a new game, the counter-terrorists win.

  • Horse hockey... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raydobbs (99133) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:22PM (#39751379) Homepage Journal

    The real secret for cutting down on reselling used games (can't eliminate it entirely) is to provide an incentive for the customer to retain it. New content, re-playability, tie in with future products that open new avenues of gameplay, rewards for brand loyalty, etc. You make a nice single player franchise, have there be some sort of in-game reward for owning other products, having played them, or even still having the original disc and manual.

    Oh, and don't shit in your own sandbox when you go werewolf on the series - destroying everything and everyone just because you want it to be 'though provoking' when it all comes crashing down (looking at you Bioware / EA...).

    You continue to make another Call of Duty / Battlefield clone with a crappy five hours of single player action to make a quick buck - your game will get resold to Gamestop, that's just a fact. Multiplayer 'passes' prevent resell of a multiplayer game, but it won't do donkey dick to prevent those who are tired of owning your product from selling it off. Just accept that this will happen if you make shitty games.

    • Whoooo MAAAADENNNN!!!!

      I love you BRO!

    • I like the idea of tying in with future products, right now the farthest that's gone is MW3 showing your multiplayer rank since CoD4 in your profile. The problem is, the real way developers try to make people keep playing single-player games is shovelware. Fallout 3 & NV did it, and NV got more and more glitches the more you bought, essentially leaving you with a $100 broken product they have no intention of fixing. The other way to make people keep the game, of course, is continuing multiplayer experie
    • by EdZ (755139)
      This would be an incredible disincentive for me to buy your single-player game. I do not want a bunch of extraneous shit that requires me to buy your other shit in order to unlock parts of the game, I just want to buy the damn game. If I enjoy the game, I will retain it to play again. If the game is no good, it gets sold.

      The trick to preventing single-player game resales is to make good games.
    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      I would have disagreed with you. But I just bought the 4 expansion packs for Fallout 3, despite having spent nearly 3 months wandering the wastes in the original game. I swore to everyone not to buy any new Fallout related things for me.

      I could have gotten the $20 GOTY edition, but it was sold out. Did not exist on the shelf, just sold. So I got two expansion packs for $16, both re-owned, when I could have bought GOTY for $20, and gotten Mothership Alpha (which I really did want), new, and the publisher

  • by Zaphod-AVA (471116) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:23PM (#39751387)

    If Mr. Browne has ever purchased a used car, borrowed a book, DVD, or CD, then he is a hypocritical schmuck.

    • Sweet merciful crudcakes, I wish I had modpoints. +1million
    • by dufachi (973647)

      If Mr. Browne has ever purchased a used car, borrowed a book, DVD, or CD, then he is a hypocritical schmuck.

      To be fair here, the Movie Industry and the Recording Industry BOTH want dib dollars on resells of those product. Car manufacturers get money from parts (even the off-brand ones).

      I will however agree on books. Publishers aren't going all crazy-talk about how used book stores are ruining the industry and a reason to sell the first-day hardcovers for double the price they should be.

      I still call shenanigans.

      • by Dracophile (140936) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:09PM (#39751857)
        When I buy a car I expect it to wear down and need repair from time to time. I do not expect the same of a right to watch a movie / listen to music / play a game.

        Car manufacturers do not get anything on resells. Nobody should. First sale doctrine and all that. And yes, I know that publishers claim that they license a right to use software instead of selling that right. But I rather suspect that all falls over when you want to exchange a scratched CD/DVD; you'll have to pay for the license all over again.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          "And yes, I know that publishers claim that they license a right to use software instead of selling that right."

          There was a recent court ruling that the First Sale Doctrine applies to software as well.

          And the courts in general have long held that if you walk into a retail outlet and plunk down your money, you have BOUGHT the product, not licensed it, regardless of any written restrictions that are on or in the product.

          A lot of people are not aware of this, but restrictions on the after-purchase use of products has been tried for just about everything under the sun, including hammers and shovels. Courts have con

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by interkin3tic (1469267)
      Or, going the other way with this, I don't like the fact that I only get paid one salary for my job. If producers can claim resales as well as the first sale, they're getting paid multiple times for the same product. I should be able to do the same thing and get paid multiple times my current salary for doing the same job.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:25PM (#39751411)

    If that is true why isn't MW3 cheaper in Steam?

  • 'prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells

    Did anyone else?
  • Games have been sold with just an offline serial check and were resellable for quite a few years
    Did the industry see a significant increase in income after complicatiog these parts?
  • by RanCossack (1138431) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:32PM (#39751467)

    The game developers calling for a share of used market profits are advocating the death of First Sale doctrine in the name of perpetuating a doomed business model.

    Maybe I should RTFA more often.

  • by guspasho (941623) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:34PM (#39751481)

    The used market has flourished since time immemorial, probably more so in the past than now. It isn't responsible for the lack of creativity in games. Blame the state of the industry, dominated by risk-adverse mega-corporations like EA that take over or muscle out the plucky independent game studios that used to characterize the industry.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:34PM (#39751489) Journal
    What I really loath about the special pleading of the 'content industries' is not so much its frequent-though-not-total dishonesty; but it's sheer lack of perspective.

    Is it, quite possibly, the case that used game sales are bad for aspects of the game creation business. However, the right of first sale is a fairly fundamental aspect of people actually being able to 'own' things. Guess what, guys: Even if your direst predictions are true, this is a case of video games vs. meaningful property rights. A sense of scale would be in order.

    The same thing goes for assorted other 'IP' issues. Is piracy hurtful to the music and video industries? Quite possibly(though history suggests that their estimates of how much so should be taken with a grain of salt that would stun an ox...); but can that possibly matter more than such minor quibbles as 'due process' and 'innocence until proven guilty', which are trampled on by most of today's more enthusiastic anti-piracy schemes? Even if it were true that the whole damn industry would burn without such legislation, what of it?

    That is what really gets to me. Yes, it is also true that these industries have a history of mendacity about the real damage inflicted by various things that they don't like; but that is a petty footnote: When it comes right down to it, the thing that they don't like(used game sales) is derived directly from a right more important than the entire video game industry. GameStop can rot in hell, they are a thoroughly parasitic and inefficient middleman; but meaningful ownership of property is far more important than video games, even if the direst predictions of their self-interested proponents are taken at face value.
    • by DaveGod (703167) on Friday April 20, 2012 @07:29PM (#39752071)

      The content industries consider themselves a service industry or a product industry when it suits them. They want to sell it as a product and control it as if a service - you may have paid them but they still see it as "their" game.

      Maybe someone is going to argue the same can be said of consumers, there's usually plenty of people bemoaning gamers' sense of entitlement for "their" game. But that's a pretty naive argument when the industry is pushing a "product" but then not applying the standards that are expected of a product. This goes well beyond first sale doctrine: substantially bug-free, complete, wholly owned and (in the UK at least) most retailers will refund any product without even asking for a reason.

      It is also worth noting the success and general approval of the likes of Steam and MMO*'s, where gaming is sold as a service.

      Consumers generally seem pretty happy when gaming is either a product or a service. As it stands, the industry tries to give them the worst of both.

  • Braben (Score:4, Interesting)

    by 0123456 (636235) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:34PM (#39751493)

    He produced the Frontier games, didn't he? My experience of those was:

    Frontier: copy protection so bad that you had about a 25% chance of being able to start the game until you removed it.
    First Encouters: required a patch to run at all, then crashed. I think I played about an hour before I gave up.

    So I doubt he has to worry about anyone wanting to buy a used copy of either.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:35PM (#39751509) Journal

    There are people out there willing to pay millions of dollars in aggregate for single player games that don't even exist yet, and pre-owned games are killing the market for single player?

    • Just like there were people willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in aggregate for a game that was released to the public in a very rough alpha.

      Seriously, any time a spokesperson representing a large game company laments how their industry has been ruined by something other than their own arrogance or lack of desire to innovate or really any reason other than "we want to leverage an existing property that has already been paid for many times over to create a long string of best selling titles that

  • by Githaron (2462596) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:35PM (#39751511)
    And create games that are so good that no one bothers to trade them in. Also, we have a right to resell our property. Deal with it.
  • by hibiki_r (649814) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:40PM (#39751561)

    The used market softens the ridiculous price of games when they come out. If Joe buys a game for $60, and resells it for $10, , he can use those $10 to buy another game. If reselling used games becomes impossible, then Joe might be short $10 the next time he tries to buy a new game, and will not be able to afford it. He could just wait until it's on sale.

    The one place where the game industry loses is because of the friction of the used market: The cut that the intermediaries take. If they want to make that friction go away, why not allow reselling of games, right within their platforms? Why not lower prices to spur sales at full price. I sure have not bought a game for $60 in many years.

    And then there's also the model followed by this guy called Gabe Newell. The best ROI his company ever got did not come from extremely expensive games that people can't resell. It came from making a game free to play, and instead of making people pay to get advantages in game, he just got his Australian sidekick to sell digital hats. Since people loved the game, they also bought the hats for Gabe's free game.

    But it's easier to blame piracy, or used games, or the Wicked Witch of the West than it is to build a very solid product first and figure out how to get paid later.

  • by Fned (43219) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:44PM (#39751595) Journal

    Are you selling us an object that we own, or are you asking us to pay you for convenient access to a system that you own?

    You can't have it both ways.

  • before gamestop the pawn stores resold games some times at high prices as well.

  • I have no problem with this, as long as they make it clear what they're doing. If you don't like the idea, don't buy them. If nobody buys such game, they won't be sold any more.

    Dude is right. Video games are a competitive marketplace. If more people bought the games new (because less people bought used), there'd be more games published, there'd be more pressure to lower game prices, etc. Games aren't made as charity or on a government quota, they're made with the hope of financial returns.

    All the "I am

  • This means that it's about time for another video game industry crash.
    customers were treated about as bad now as they were before the last one. it took the crash at least for a short while to treat their customer base well. i think they need to relearn that lesson.

  • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Friday April 20, 2012 @06:57PM (#39751725) Homepage
    I guess me and Amazon are killling the games industry together by paying 15GBP for a game after 6 months to a year instead of 40GBP right away. PS to game developers (looking hard at Bethesda) don't release very buggy software if you want repeat customers.
  • by Algae_94 (2017070) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:35PM (#39752639) Journal
    If game publishers really want to recapture some of the used game sales money WITHOUT crap that prevents used game sales, they need a pricing structure that reduces game costs over time after release. Hell, that's how the used game prices are at GameStop. Game was released last week, used price is ~$5 off, a month ago and maybe its $20 off, last years games are $40 of the original price. All they have to do, is reduce the difference between the new price and the used price.

    Compare these two hypothetical situations
    1. You're looking for a game that is about a year old, the used price is $20, but brand new it is still $45 (if you can find it). What would you buy.
    2. You're looking for the same game. The used price is still $20, but the publisher has reduced the price of the new version to $25. Do you think they might get some people that would just buy it new now?

    Even their cohorts in Hollywood allow movie theaters to have a second run of movies after they are getting stale with lower ticket prices. The used to be $1 theaters, but now they're probably closer to $3. Basically, in the world of media and media related products. The older something is, the less you can get from it. These really are depreciating assets. If you don't want GameStop to profit by selling a used copy of your game for $5 less than new price, cut the damn new price. Used game prices are a much better reflection of the true market value of these games. The publishers have unrealistic ideas of their games market values.

  • by BrookHarty (9119) on Friday April 20, 2012 @08:43PM (#39752667) Homepage Journal

    Car manufacturer Richard Browne has come out swinging in favor of the rumored remote disable features in the next years model PlayStation Orbis and Xbox Durango.

    'The real cost of used cars is the damage that is being wrought on the creativity and variety of cars available to the consumer,' Browne writes. Browne's comments echo those of influential engineer and Raspberry Pi designer David Braben, who wrote last month that '...pre-owned has really killed commuter cars. It's killing daily driver cars in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk.' Both Browne and Braben conflate hating used car dealers (a thoroughly reasonable life choice) with the supposed evils of the used car market. Braben goes so far as to claim that used cars are actually responsible for high car prices and that 'prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells.' Amazingly, no car manufacturers have stepped forward to publicly pledge themselves to lower car prices in exchange for a cut of used car sales. Car companies are hammering dealers (and recruiting insurance companies to do the same) because it's easier than admitting that the current system is fundamentally broken."

  • by bzipitidoo (647217) <bzipitidoo@yahoo.com> on Friday April 20, 2012 @10:28PM (#39753247) Journal

    Get 'em right here [humblebundle.com].

    Oh yeah, there's music there too. Have I said enough to get Slashdot shut down for linking, and armed men in black uniforms sent to my house to terrorize me? No? Well, how about a few more links:

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