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What Happens To Your Used Games? 276

Posted by samzenpus
from the gently-used dept.
silentbrad writes "GameStop's bosses are obviously tired of hearing about how used games are killing gaming, about how unfair they are on the producers of the games who get nothing from their resale. One astonishing stat is repeated by three different managers during presentations. 70 percent of income consumers make from trading games goes straight back into buying brand new games. GameStop argues that used games are an essential currency in supporting the games business. The normal behavior is for guys to come into stores with their plastic bags full of old games, and trade them so that they can buy the new Call of Duty, Madden, Gears of War. GameStop says 17 percent of its sales are paid in trade credits. The implication is clear — if the games industry lost 17 percent of its sales tomorrow, that would be a bad day for the publishers and developers.'"
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What Happens To Your Used Games?

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    to stupid people that ask dumb questions

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:15AM (#40893431)

    Just as used car sales are bad for auto manufacturers, and home resales are bad for builders, and garage sales are bad for retailers, ... and ..., ... and ...

    • Watching Nyan Cat on YouTube is S*T*E*A*L*I*N*G from the band of live musicians you should be paying money to perform every time you play a video.

    • Poor Analogy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:26AM (#40893515) Journal

      Just as used car sales are bad for auto manufacturers, and home resales are bad for builders, and garage sales are bad for retailers, ... and ..., ... and ...

      This is a fairly poor analogy in the same way that calling file sharing "theft" is a poor label. The value of the game isn't the physical cartridge or disc on which the game comes -- sure, the manual and external artwork to the packaging may have some value to you and especially to collectors. But the real value of a game is that copyrighted information and artwork and writing stored in a digital manner on whatever medium.

      I still think you should be able to sell secondhand copyrighted information, I really do. But I also think it's a poor comparison when the value of the car isn't so much the intellectual property but more so it's got X lbs of steel and other materials specially arranged to get you from point A to point B. Games are artwork, not vehicles.

      Better comparisons are books and DVDs. Of course, I'm sure those industries want secondhand sales abolished as well to keep their sales up and I totally disagree with that considering how much I shell out for said objects.

      Me, personally, I've learned my lesson. I sold my Ocarina of Time collectors games a while ago and now truly regret it (I had thought that one day N64 cartridges would be as unplayable as NES cartridges but they appear to work for much longer). So I maintain a library next to my books and movies. Sure you might think it looks "tacky" but I think that attitude will change in the near future. I played my dad's pong game, my kids will probably play my Zelda games.

      • Re:Poor Analogy (Score:5, Informative)

        by edwdig (47888) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:46AM (#40893635)

        NES games are still playable. The problem is the NES itself - the connector the cartridge slides into gets bent out of shape. It's easy to open the system up and swap the connector. The new part only costs a few dollars.

        Blowing on the cartridges never actually did anything to make them work. What did help was simply taking the cartridge out and putting it back in. It would sit differently, and eventually it would sit well enough to make a solid connection with the bent connector.

      • But will they play them on a NES, or will they just download them from piratebay and fire up an emulator?

      • by dywolf (2673597)

        The IP is not the source of value, or rather it is irrelevent to the value.

        The value for a game comes essentially from its usability. In this case, the gameplay, the enjoyment. You can load a game with tons of IP but that doesnt mean it has any value.

        Value is determined by the market.
        Market makes this determination according to demand.
        Demand for games is determined by enjoyability.

        And that is why highly enjoyable games are worth more on a trade in, while others are not.

      • Well, you're still paying for the engineering that went into the car, which is also intellectual property.
      • by Rogerborg (306625)

        Let's stick to analogies that we can all understand.

        Last week, I changed a suspension link on my wife's car, and GM's Revenue Actualization Department served me a notice for depriving them of the profit I'd stolen from them by not simply buying a new car.

      • by Hatta (162192)

        I had thought that one day N64 cartridges would be as unplayable as NES cartridges but they appear to work for much longer

        N64 cartridges are as unplayable as NES cartridges. They are both completely non-unplayable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:15AM (#40893435)

    I'm tired of hearing it as well - because other businesses with narrower margins have survived some form of First Sale Doctrine for literally centuries at this point.

    When people buy stuff, sometimes they sell it. You don't get that money, because you already sold the product. Suck it the hell up.

    • by wild_quinine (998562) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:36AM (#40893565) Homepage

      I'm tired of hearing it as well - because other businesses with narrower margins have survived some form of First Sale Doctrine for literally centuries at this point.

      Of course, some of them have not. And, crucially, that's a good thing, too.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        Individual companies perhaps but not an entire business (as in "market") as a whole. If there is sufficient demand, there is a viable business model.
        It might not be the business model that some companies want, but that just means they misjudge reality.
        Even buggy-whips are still being made.

    • by Artraze (600366) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:44AM (#40893625)

      Well, the counter argument to this is that the, let's call them 'informational', goods don't depreciate with use like a tangible product does. A (pressed) game disk will be just as functional in 5 years, though your, say, lawn mower will probably be all gunked up with grass, rusting a bit and have some wear on the engine.

      Of course, we all know this is pretty bunk. Game disks get scratched fairly easily, or the booklets/cases get lost and there are plenty of physical goods that keep their value as. Computer are such a thing: aside from a possible aging hard disk, they pretty much run just as well as when they were new. Still, there's only very limited used computer market. Why? Simple: New computers offer something more than used computers; usually they're faster and/or draw less power. Intel spends their time making better chips and exploring new markets, rather than complaining about how unfair it is that people trade used computers or don't every one released. Game companies should do the same. Offer something worth buying and people will buy it. Don't shovel out a new revision of the same old crap and complain when people are content to swap the old version and skip the new one.

      • by arth1 (260657) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:51AM (#40893657) Homepage Journal

        Well, the counter argument to this is that the, let's call them 'informational', goods don't depreciate with use like a tangible product does. A (pressed) game disk will be just as functional in 5 years

        And so will a book. In fact, a book will easily outlast CDs and DVDs. That doesn't mean that if I sell a book I have read, I steal from the author (or his publisher's grandchildren, more likely).

        First sale. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.

      • by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:45AM (#40894089)

        The problem is the time it takes for people to think about selling their games. Each new generation of games might be 'better' (yes I know only the graphics improve with most other things getting worse and worse), but a new game from a series will be released once a year at best, while the customer will be thinking about selling the old game in a couple of weeks.

        Game maker should be thinking about ways to keep players playing the games they buy, rather then preventing them from selling them.

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:57AM (#40893699) Homepage

      More to the point, anyone trying to claim a portion of the proceeds from every resale is just engaging in rent-seeking. You sold it, it's not yours anymore, and you should have no say in what they do with it after.

    • by gutnor (872759)

      Suck it the hell up.

      That is indeed a question of principle. Lots of consumer regulation are not (should not be) thought with the business in mind, but with the customer in mind. You cannot sell dangerous product, make false advertisement, lie in the ingredient list, and ... you cannot profit from your product resale. There is no point arguing if this is good for business or not, that is beside the point.

      Of course, we may open the discussion if first sale doctrine is still actually relevant, but the profit margin of game stud

    • by roman_mir (125474)

      Every single industry that sells tangible products

      - yeah, but in some cases it's not the industry that prevents tangible products from being resold. How is that secondary market for used condoms doing?

    • Except with games, they are not selling the tangible product; they are selling a license to use the software, a copy of which just happens to be contained on a tangible product.
  • 17%? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Gamestop does not make 100% of game sales, so losing that would in no way be NEAR 17% of all sales in the gaming industry.

    • by Goaway (82658)

      And of course, some part of that 17% is used sales, where the money goes straight into Gamestop's own pockets.

      • by DMorritt (923396)
        If you're the sort of person that has a game you want to trade in, and trade it in for another used game, then I guess, in a few weeks or months you'll be trading that one in for another? How is this not helping the industry? Everyone needs to make money somehow, if Gamestop are getting a slice of the new and used games I don't see a problem with that, they have supply, there is a demand (for cheaper used games as well as the latest ones). Not everyone wants to buy the latest blockbuster.

        The fact that
    • by FyRE666 (263011) *

      Additionally, if they used the credits to buy other used games, then that money goes direct to Gamestop.

      • Re:17%? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by DarkOx (621550) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:17AM (#40893837) Journal

        Hardly.

        It goes to pay the guy behind the counter, it goes to the power company to keep the lights on. It goes to local sales and property taxes, it goes an insurance company who has the policy on the store, etc. Does Game Stop get lots on Contribution margin in this case sure, but they have lots of fixed cost overhead.

        They are preforming a service many find useful the offer a market place and facilitate it by functioning as a broker. If you want to keep more of the sale price for a game your selling there is ebay and Craig's list. Its going to be lots more work on your part though, and when the sale happens is when you find a buyer rather than anytime you are ready.

    • by plover (150551) *

      If the behavior at Gamestop represents the behavior of an average consumer and of an average game retailer, then that means the same thing happens at other game stores. So yes, that would be near 17% across the board. And Gamestop is one of the largest game retailers out there, so they do statistically represent a large fraction of how the trade-in gaming industry operates.

      Stores like Target and Walmart sell new games but don't take trade-ins. Plus it doesn't account for on line sale channels like Steam,

  • But...but...but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:19AM (#40893463)

    Don't all these Games players have infinity deep pockets and can all afford to buy new and just throw away?

    • Re:But...but...but (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:28AM (#40893529)

      This needs some modding up. I would never have gotten into video games if I could only afford one once a quarter. Used games meant I could buy a game every month when I was a teenager. This broadened my experience and helped cement gaming into my life experience. I probably wouldn't be buying a couple games a month nowadays if I couldn't buy a game a month back then. Luckily, games commonly sell on sale for $5 or less nowadays so new gamers will still be able to experience a wide array of games if they so desire.

      The industry can't just assume that they'll be able to sell all of the AAA titles to all of the gamers every time one goes on sale.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Krishnoid (984597) *

        I would never have gotten into video games if I could only afford one once a quarter.

        Isn't that how all arcade games used to be priced?

  • by Zemran (3101) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:21AM (#40893483) Homepage Journal

    ... bears really do shite in the woods.

  • by David Gerard (12369) <slashdotNO@SPAMdavidgerard.co.uk> on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:23AM (#40893493) Homepage

    Artists and companies both share a toddler's idea of ownership: "if I thought about it, it's mine."

    The syllogism goes something like:

    1. Someone, somewhere, is making money from something I am tangentially involved in.
    2. Therefore, THEY STOLE IT FROM ME!!!!!!

    The economic notion that you can't capture all the value you create if you want to maximise your take appears a bit complicated for them.

  • by guises (2423402) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:24AM (#40893499)
    70% of nothing is still nothing. The complaint is that Gamestop is making fat wads off of used games by paying out nothing and selling them for only slightly less than the new price, while pushing used games sales instead of new ones. No one cares what Joe Gamer does with the pittance that he makes.

    Of course, while Gamestop's behavior here is contemptible, leveraging its monopoly to undercut the very industry that supports it, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with used game sales in general. No more so than used books or other media. The real shame is that this is the direction that the big publishers are trying to push the debate into - blaming used game sales for their declining profits, to justify more and more DRM.
    • by jbolden (176878)

      Paying a low price and selling for a lot... i.e. a large spread indicates the market isn't very competitive or that Gamestop's service is considered extremely valuable by their customers relative to their competitors. I suspect the later. That people selling to Gamestop really like the brick and mortar vs. Ebay.

    • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday August 06, 2012 @10:10AM (#40894299) Homepage

      selling [used games] for only slightly less than the new price, while pushing used games sales instead of new ones

      If Joe Gamer is choosing to spend $50 on Final Ghost Warfare Ball 2011 than $60 on Final Ghost Warfare Ball 2012, maybe the industry should consider writing an original game once in a while.

      Gamestop's behavior here is contemptible, leveraging its monopoly

      I agree, it was way harsh when they successfully put eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Craigslist and yard sales out of business.

      • by Telvin_3d (855514)

        Joe Gamer is not buying "Final Ghost Warfare Ball 2011" for $50 instead of the new "2012" for $60. Joe Gamer is buying "2012" for $55 used two weeks after "2012" came out.

        It's not the old games market that the game companies care about. Some kids spending $5-$10 on a few older titles? Whatever. A large number of customers willing to pay basically full retail price for new games having their money diverted? That they care about.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Joe Gamer is buying "2012" for $55 used two weeks after "2012" came out.

          If "2012" only has two weeks' worth of gameplay in it and it costs more than $55 then the publisher is hereby cordially invited to go fuck themselves. Games should have replay value and if they don't then that's their own damned fault.

  • by Vintermann (400722) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:27AM (#40893519) Homepage

    A used games market allows effective price discrimination [wikipedia.org], because some people couldn't justify buying a new game unless they knew they could recoup some of the costs after using it.

    In this market, price discrimination is a good thing. It allows publishers to still sell copies (and thus get something) to those who can't afford to buy a game at full price. They could have cut Gamestop out of the loop by doing this themselves, but that would demand realistic discounts on older/less popular games, something the publishers appear unwilling to do.

  • I am a hoarder. I would never trade in my games. I would never sell them on. I also buy games infrequently.

    The people that I know who buy games a lot, always trade in their old games. They wouldn't be able to afford as many games otherwise.

    It is nice to think that you have have people who buy lots of games and hoard them forever. Maybe if we gave those gamers free money then it could happen.

    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      Yea, that's pretty much me too. I buy a few games I want to play, mostly nostalgia I guess (Diablo III, Starcraft II). I don't buy used games (I figure it has a code which has already been used). And I keep them until they likely can't be used any more, overcome by OS upgrades.

      [John]

  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki AT cox DOT net> on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:29AM (#40893535)

    In 2010, the video gaming industry made 66 BILLION. Saganesque billions and billions and they can't turn a healthy enough profit?

    The business model for gaming has failed. The answer isn't digital either. Digital distribution only makes it easier to fail in the market place and do it faster too.

    The problem is management. Management is failing in a big way. Even with Valve, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Google and Apple's pound of flesh, there's no way in hell margins so thin that used game sales threaten it can be considered "healthy." Even in volume. Maybe especially considering the volume that some games sell at.

    Where the fuck is all that money going? Is it a matter of creative Hollywood accounting or is there bigger costs involved with pushing pixels through silicon?

    • Production costs have increased. These aren't the days where gamers will be so easily satisfied with pixel-art, five-poly spaceships and text for dialog*. A top-tier game these days needs much larger teams making highly detailed resources from textures to level design, and even voice actors. It's exactly the same situation that raised the cost of hollywood movie production: Standards rose, to the point where audiences would reject any movie that used obviously painted backdrops and cheap special effects. If
      • Production costs have increased

        Rising production costs aren't a problem so long as the market itself will offset them, either through being willing to pay more, or through volume. Where it gets risky though is when a single project can represent so much risk that a company can be ruined by it, but then the rewards are pretty good if it pays off. To use movie examples, look at how much cash Avatar brought in, but then contrast that with John Carter. It's a risky business creating AAA content, and it's likely going to be the preserve of co

      • by jank1887 (815982)

        let me point you to Angry Birds, Zombies vs Aliens, and many of the early, top-selling Wii games. You make a fun game, price it right, people will buy it and play. If you can't make a high cost game and recoup your costs, too bad. You played and lost. such is business, maybe next time you'll do a better cost-benefit analysis.

      • by sohmc (595388)

        Production costs have increased.

        And the market is responding appropriately. A few people are willing to pay $60 for a new game. Others are not willing to pay that much, but would pay $30 plus a few months (after all, time has a cost). Others will pay no more than $10 and are willing to wait years.

        The gaming industry has a few options:

        1. Find a way to control costs, which I submit is already being done with the number of sequels, etc. instead of brand new content
        2. Increase the price, which they've done s
      • by Junta (36770)

        They have increased, but not *nearly* so much as film production costs have increased. To pick two examples, Call of Duty: Black ops had a reported budget of $10 million. Despite being a tad older now, it still is priced at $30 a pop on amazon. How to train your dragon had a budget of $165 million and can be had for $20 a copy on Blu-Ray, in line with moderately new releases. The games industry is making the *MPAA* look reasonable by comparison. Per-unit pricing is what *really* frustrates people, thou

        • by nedlohs (1335013)

          The Blu-Ray of How to train your dragon isn't the only product made with that $165 million. There was also the cinema release, the sales of play rights to various cable/broadcast entities, the sales of streaming rights, and probably a few more I can't be bothered thinking of. Whereas a video game just has the video game - there's no cinema release, there's no selling broadcast rights to Fox.

          When you gross $495 million at the box office the "film production costs" for the Blu-Ray release are effectively $-33

    • In 2010, the video gaming industry made 66 BILLION. Saganesque billions and billions and they can't turn a healthy enough profit?

      66 billion? In their fevered minds this number can always be higher. Look at Paramount's Al Perry and his response to Louis CK pulling in over a million dollars in just a few days of offering his stand-up show video DRM-free. A success perhaps? No, could have made more money if he'd used DRM. Perry and his ilk are fundamentally wedded to preserving the existing business model, or replacing it with something so hopelessly draconian and self-defeating as to all but kill the very product they're trying to "mon

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:35AM (#40893557) Homepage

    No, see? If used games were not resellable, those 17% would be paid in extra money that all gamers have an infinite amount of. It couldn't possibly result in a loss in sales due to reduced disposable income.

    • The game retailers (it's not just gamestation) are not going to buy a used game unless they think they can resell it at a profit.

      So while some gamers may have had a little more money for new games as a result of selling a bagful of old games (something a gamer can clearly only do occasionally, otherwise they would run out of games to sell) other gamers must be spending money that could have been spent on new games on used games and afaict most of the money those gamers are spending on used games goes to the

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If they get rid of the used games market, they better be prepared to charge less money for games. Right now Batman Arkham City is thirty bucks on PSN. The game of the year edition is the same price on Amazon (which I think has all the DLC included). Amazon is also offering 15 dollars to buy the used version back.

    If they're going to sell a less complete version of the game that can't be resold or brought over a friend's house, takes up a ton of hard drive space and doesn't have to be manufactured and ship

    • Cheaper and more accessible. What needs to happen is for there to be a truly global market for games, I always had hoped that digital distribution would help create that, but it hasn't. You need to be able to choose the region you want your game in when you digitally download because the versions aren't identical and it doesn't cost extra to ship. Want the Japanese version of the game on the Japanese release date? Download it! Want the European version with some added features/languages? Download it! Want t
    • Would now be a bad time to point out that I got Arkham Asylum GOTY, Arkham City and all its DLC, and Gotham City Impostors and all its DLC all for $25 through Steam a few weeks ago?

  • Ban libraries.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JaJ_D (652372) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:41AM (#40893597)
    ...we cannot have people reading copyrighted material for free!

    Seriously where is this sort of BS going to stop?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Ban libraries...we cannot have people reading copyrighted material for free!

      Libraries are not free. They are, at best, pre-paid by local taxes.

      Seriously where is this sort of BS going to stop?

      You could start by not saying that public libraries are free.

      • by speculatrix (678524) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:14AM (#40893809)
        mod parent up!

        Actually, here in the UK it's been worked out that it would be cheaper to close all the libraries and give all active library users a bunch of amazon vouchers and a kindle.
      • by Trepidity (597)

        Well yes, and GameStop is not free either, nor are their used game sales. The question is whether each additional re-user should make a new payment to the original copyright holder, which they typically don't at either used [book|game] stores or at libraries.

    • by Shagg (99693)

      You say that in jest, but that's exactly what Publishers are trying to do.

  • by Alkonaut (604183) on Monday August 06, 2012 @08:53AM (#40893671)

    No-resale, DRM, always-on etc. is fine by me. I license something, I don't buy it. I don't expect to be able to transfer my license to anyone and I don't even expect to be able to play the game myself in a few years. So a game for me is 1-2 years of entertainment, without resale. If the price of a game feels to steep for what I'll get, I'll just NOT buy it. If it turns out I can resale in a few years from now, or that the game will be open sourced or DRM/always-on removed, then that is a BONUS, and something I didn't expect when I bought it.

    As long as the seller is upfront with what I'm paying for, I can choose to not buy it. The unforgivable failures on game producers behalf is when they have DRM servers not working, or *hidden* caveats such as no-resale licenses, always-on requirements and so on. As long as I can make an informed decision I'm happy.

    • by omnichad (1198475)

      It's a problem for me. I still play Myst now and then (released in 1993 - that's 19 years ago), I love the original Sonic The Hedgehog, and I own a Wii and 3DS. I want a good value for my money, and I don't buy games I won't want to replay in 10-15 years when it's new again to me. I just opened a Steam account 2 weeks ago because I could get World of Goo for $2.50. I was holding out for a physical CD, but the price never came close. I loved the game Machinarium, but ordered it from the UK to get it on

  • by MacGyver2210 (1053110) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:08AM (#40893767)

    GameStop says 17 percent of its sales are paid in trade credits. The implication is clear — if the games industry lost 17 percent of its sales tomorrow, that would be a bad day for the publishers and developers.

    Is GameStop now the only place that sells games in the world? Losing 17% of GameStop sales is not equal to losing 17% of overall sales. Also, GameStop has this nasty habit(which I have seen countless times myself) of taking pristine used games and selling them as new. They often only cut ~$1 to $5 off a recent used game's price, which is ridiculous for a $60 game. If someone already had that game, and used the crap out of it, it is no longer worth $58. They already paid the premium to the distributor and the developer, so that becomes pure profit that goes right into their corporate pockets.

    There's also the issues of $60 for a disc-only game without manual or proper case, and totally chewed discs that they won't accept returns on, but will instead try to make you pay the difference for a new copy. They are slimy as hell, regardless of why people don't like them.

    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      I say! This is an outrage! These bits have been... used! The 1s have gone flaccid.

      If you don't like seeing GameStop's nasty habit "countless times", perhaps you should stop shopping there?

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      If someone already had that game, and used the crap out of it, it is no longer worth $58.

      If someone will pay $58 for it (without being deceived about what it is) then clearly it is in fact worth $58.

  • by slashmydots (2189826) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:08AM (#40893775)
    They know damn well that trade ins fund new games. What they really want is a cut. Well, guess what. Gamestop makes money off used games so that's a huge "NO" from them and if they pursue legal means, well, that's a dead end. Autodesk (makers of AutoCAD) attempted to stop everyone from reselling their software after its initial purchase and completely and utterly lost that court case. They must have thought they were some sort of magical exemption from a free market economy.
  • by speculatrix (678524) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:11AM (#40893789)
    Most people who buy new cars do so when trading in their old one.

    Imagine if people couldn't trade in their old car and had to keep it forever or have it scrapped/recycled?

    Or, imagine that if they sold the car, half the features on the car stopped working.. say, because the radio required a non-transferable licence key which expired when sold, so requiring the new owner to buy their own.

    Depreciation of used cars would be even worse than it is now, and the reduced sale price of used cars would fall and people would be hold onto them longer. New car sales would also fall significantly in response, and either manufacturers or dealers would reduce their prices to try and boost sales, or simply that there would be a big shake-down and manufacturers and dealers would go out of business to allow the survivors to maintain volume and margins.

    In the meantime, "piracy" would increase as people found work-arounds to renable or retrofit features to their cars to add and restore features "stolen" by official dealer network. There would be a boost in jobs for people to repair or maintain older cars, and cost of spares would rise, and thus growth in third party components, and a backlash from manufacturers trying to copyright, patent or trademark spares to prevent that loss of revenue to unauthorised parts manufacturers.
    • by Rogerborg (306625)

      Analogy fails because each car after the first one costs the manufacturer a significant proportion of its sticker price to make. A game costs about $1, depending on how fancy the packaging is.

      Curiously, that doesn't invalidate your point, it strengthens it.

  • by Junta (36770) on Monday August 06, 2012 @09:18AM (#40893849)

    Game publishers price in a way that pretty much demands a secondary market. The path to make used sales irrelevant is easy: lower prices so there isn't appreciable profit to be had by trying to facilitate a used market. People don't wan't to pay $60 on a game they'll, on average, maybe play for a week before being done with it. This is the most effective strategy that can possible be done.

    On gamestop's end, the delta between the money they give for someone trading in and the price they put on it is huge. That delta is likely the bit that the game industry finds problematic. Percentage wise, it's far more severe than other used markets get away with (a used car sees maybe 15-40% markup between trade-in and resale, gamestop is more on the order of 100-300% from what I understand).

    If publishers decreased their price just enough and not too much, they'll be able to get as much, if not more, overall revenue in the gaming industry without leaving room for a secondary market. If revenue is flat compared to the current circumstances, at least Gamestop's markup would be going to publishers/developers instead of Gamestop.

    Incidently, if they *did* succeed in eliminating the secondary market without taking steps to adjust pricing, revenue would take a potentially sharp dip. It might be tempting to think the money spent would be constant, that people would just buy one new $60 game instead of 3 used $20 games. However, people tend to get more careless with their spending when spending in small chunks, so they may be more rulectant to even buy one $60 title than five $20 titles spread out over a bit of time.

  • What is stopping game publishers from buying back and reselling the second hand games themselves?

  • I still have every game I've ever purchased. The first one from 1978.
  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Monday August 06, 2012 @10:27AM (#40894433) Homepage
    If people would rather pay $50 for Final Ghost Warfare Ball 2011 than $60 for Final Ghost Warfare Ball 2012, then maybe you should write some original games once in a while instead of serving up re-heated leftovers as haute cuisine.
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Monday August 06, 2012 @10:55AM (#40894769) Journal
    Most used games end up in landfills, polluting our water supply and threatening our air quality. But a disconcertingly large portion of them are shipped to low wage countries like India, China or Phillipines. There rag pickers with no protective equipment, no purify, no bounds checker, not even a basic UMR checker pick them apart and make piles and piles of code. Toxic code, with no input validation, teeming with buffer over runs, wild pointers, Freed Memory Reads/Writes, spaghetti code, with tons and tons of long jumps and GOTO calls, at some instances code with even COME FROM calls are being pulled and recycled. Please take care of your used games and recycle them properly paying some attention to Mother Earth.
  • Perhaps we are seeing a change in the business model towards pre-purchasing that open the field with a lot of possibilities and enhancements. The traditional market won't dissapear but the cheese has moved and it hurts to some companies and distributors.

    Thus, projects that in the past would never see the light (like DayOne [gamesplanet.com]) now can get a niche of followers and collaborators.

  • Just how much value does trading used games at Gamestop have over other avenues? Gamestop's entire business model relies on the trade of used games at rock-bottom prices so that they can then sell them at about a 500% (or higher) profit. Of course they sit on old stock for a while, but even at their fire-sale pricing for really ancient stuff they'd typically be breaking even.

    The biggest problem is not that Gamestop offers the ability to trade used games for (credit towards) new games; The problem is that Ga

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