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Microsoft Businesses Sony Games

The End Is Near for GameStop 393

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the what-is-property dept.
kube00 writes "The rumor mill is saying the next generation of consoles might not play used games. What does this mean for retailers such as Amazon, GameStop, and Best Buy? Will gamers flock to the one console that can still play used games? GoozerNation speculates if the Mayan apocalypse draws near for used game sales."
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The End Is Near for GameStop

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  • I'm not an insider or anything, but they seem to be pretty quick on their feet to adjust to the market. They're still going to sell new games and used games for PS3/360 for quite a while even after PS4/720 come out. They're also selling cards for your steam wallet and MS points etc. Probably still in the used system market as well, not to mention the nice margin on off brand controllers. If the end is coming, it'll still be a while yet.

    • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FyRE666 (263011) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:43AM (#42942567) Homepage

      I would imagine that people will also look at the other options before buying one of these consoles. Sony and MS (and Nintendo I guess) are no longer the only games in town. Alongside the raft of Android kit that's in the pipeline people obviously have their phones and tablets, and PCs have never been stronger (and in fact PC players buy as many games as either XBox or PS3 players, no matter what Bungie may want you to believe.)

      Hopefully this will finally wake people up to the fact that consoles are NOT a good buy, unless you really don't own a PC, and want to game with your thumbs (which I consider to be as effective as playing the piano in oven gloves.)

      • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:32AM (#42942743)

        (which I consider to be as effective as playing the piano in oven gloves.)

        Jazz...

      • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mangu (126918) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @08:28AM (#42943311)

        consoles are NOT a good buy

        Consoles are anachronistic by now. They are remnants of an age when there was a TV set in the living room and the family gathered there to watch. Back in those old days, a color monitor was an expensive item, so much that it made sense to use the family TV as a monitor.

        Today, when people carry in their pockets a device with a screen that offers much better resolution than the TV screen did, consoles make no sense at all, at least not for the consumer.

        There is only one group that benefits from the console system today, the game publishers. Consoles are what enables them to save money in development, because the range of hardware that they must support is limited, while at the same time allowing them to pump the prices up, by using DRM.

        • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:01AM (#42943485)

          Today, when people carry in their pockets a device with a screen that offers much better resolution than the TV screen did, consoles make no sense at all, at least not for the consumer.

          LARGER screen? Not having to squint at a bad font choice on a tiny screen? Real controls?

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            A screen that is too small to allow the resolution of individual pixels is not really something to brag about. That's ultimately what a "retina display" is: too small for scrutinize.

            Gamers aren't the only idiots that will happily pay a premium price to eat dirt.

        • Re:I doubt it (Score:5, Insightful)

          by twistedsymphony (956982) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:42AM (#42943791) Homepage
          Let me tell you a little story... I was a PC gamer for years... I eventually got tired of dropping over a grand ever other year to keep my PC up to date, then the headaches with the game I just bought not being compatible with my hardware, wasting sometimes hours getting things installed and setup well enough to make them playable... I loved fighting games and racing games and those were two areas where consoles really out-shined the PC market so I made the switch and I was happy. Graphics weren't as good but I loved the fact that I could just sit down on my couch after a long day at work and enjoy the games without any roadblocks... no installation, no configuration, no worries about compatibility, no worries about lack of hardware power.. just pure gaming without any noise.

          I have a home theater setup now with a nice big 109 in screen, and my PC is a laptop which is quite convenient, it's also 3 years old and I only paid about $600 for it then and it's not even close to being obsolete for my needs. With Steam launching big picture mode there there having been a few PC only games I wanted to play in the last few years I decided... maybe the Home Theater Gaming PC is a reality now? I dropped the cash and built a machine the last few parts came in last week... I had the box in my office hooked up to a spare monitor, keyboard, and mouse that I had... I spent a few hours installing windows, running windows update, installing and signing up for steam among other things.... I was ready to use it so a hauled the machine down into my home theater room, removed some old equipment to make room and hooked up my sleek new Home Theater Gaming PC.

          It booted up and everything seemed to be going well but once I was in windows the wireless keyboard and mouse wasn't being recognized... ok I unplugged and plugged back in the dongle, no use, I checked the batteries, they were good, checked the documentation, there's no special instructions other than to plug it in. So I ran and got my wired keyboard and mouse and had to sit 2ft from my giant projection screen on the floor trying to figure out why the wireless devices weren't working... For some reason windows was recognizing the wireless dongle as a mass storage device that had 0 space. I plugged the dongle into my laptop and it worked fine without any problems... so I know the device is fine, the problem is with the windows install/drivers on the new machine. after banging my head against this issue for about an hour not finding anyone with similar problems online and not being able to futz with the drivers to get the machine to recognize it properly I gave up on that... I had a wireless adapter to use an Xbox 360 controller on the machine so for the time being I would just use the wired keyboard and mouse to navigate windows and play with the controller once I was in the games.

          Throughout dealing with the keyboard and mouse problems I realized that I wasn't getting any sound, I didn't have speakers hooked up when it was in my office so I hadn't thought about it. I needed HDMI sound output for my home theater setup and pouring through all the sound options I couldn't find anything to enable sound out via HDMI. I went to look at the graphics driver options when I realized that I had never installed the nVidia graphics driver and it was still using the generic windows video driver. I went to nVidia's website, downloaded the latest driver and installed. It wanted to reboot so I obliged. I see the bios screen, the then some info on the raid array, then the windows loading screen then my projector looses the video signal, then it finds the video signal but the screen is black... for about 5 seconds then it loses the signal again, and repeats this loop endlessly. I force shutdown by holding the power button wait a few seconds and reboot...same problem.... I force shut down again and reboot into safe mode... same problem

          So after spending nearly a grand, spending a day building the thing and half a day banging my head against driver issues I've at the mome
          • by Lluc (703772)
            Sorry for your computer problems, but if you're not interested in debugging problems, do not build your own computer! It looks like you were making some relatively basic mistakes, like not installing graphics drivers -- you probably should have purchased a Dell, or even better, spent the money at a boutique computer builder who would send you a working HTPC.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:36AM (#42942551)

    So the article speculates that the prices of new games will come down if second hand sales become a thing of the past.

    Yeah. Right. If you believe that, I have a special deal, just for you, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you could be the proud owner of the Brooklyn Bridge for the low low price of $1000!

    Publishers will sell the games for as much as they think the public will pay. They're not going to oh-so-generously drop the price of their product just because you can't resell it down the road. I guarantee you, prices will stay the same, or go up.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:51AM (#42942595)

      So the article speculates that the prices of new games will come down if second hand sales become a thing of the past.

      Yeah. Right. If you believe that, I have a special deal, just for you, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, you could be the proud owner of the Brooklyn Bridge for the low low price of $1000!

      Publishers will sell the games for as much as they think the public will pay. They're not going to oh-so-generously drop the price of their product just because you can't resell it down the road. I guarantee you, prices will stay the same, or go up.

      Remember when those same publishers got rid of big boxes, printed manuals and goodies that used to come in normal pc game editions -- with the excuse of going green and lesser price ? Yeah, what happened to those prices ? They went up, up and up. And you ended paying much more for less.
      It is GUARANTEED that if second hand games go the way of the dodo prices will not go down.
      You'll end up paying much more for even less value.

      • by mog007 (677810)

        Games stopped selling big boxes because of stores like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart wanted to be able to fit more stuff on a shelf, so they told the publishers they would no longer be stocking game boxes that were larger than a DVD case. It had nothing to do with being "green". That might have been the motivation for dropping manuals, but I suspect the lack of manuals was more to do with cost savings.

    • by Vaphell (1489021) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:10AM (#42942665)

      true that, anyone believing the price would fall when the competition gets weaker (2nd hand stuff competes with brand new) is a fucking moron.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Their argument against second hand games, is that they want to sell more copies. They will sell more copies, and at the same price.

        You know what? I say, go for it. The market evolves, and it will screw them over. Take Steam's console for instance, there's a gap, and they're going to fill it. PS3 was good because it had the Wii and Xbox as competition, PS4 needs to be spectacular.

    • Make it 900$ and we have a deal!
  • *yawn* (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:38AM (#42942557) Journal

    The rumor mill is saying that something might happen, and the question is about the possible consequences of this thing that may or may not occur.

    This is too many layers of speculation to be useful for anything.

    Please call me when someone knows something about anything. Thanks.

  • lolwut (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tambo (310170) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:40AM (#42942561)

    > "If none of the consoles can play used games I could see the price of games coming down. AAA titles may come out at $45 or $50 instead of $60."

    :lol: Right. Because when publishers eliminate the only legitimate source of price competition for their titles, they will become benevolent toward their customers and cut the price out of... good-naturedness? Rather than, you know, jacking up the rates for Halo XVIII through the roof, because they know that customers would sell a kidney to play Master Chef again?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:44AM (#42942571)

    That was sooo last Baktun.

  • by guises (2423402) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:46AM (#42942577)
    I'm sure it's too much to hope that people would just not buy the new consoles...
  • by bluescrn (2120492) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @04:48AM (#42942583)
    Developers/publishers *need* to fight back against pre-owned, as game retailers really started to take the piss, and it's really been hurting the people who make the games. This isn't about stopping friends sharing games or selling them privately on eBay, although sadly these users will suffer too.

    This is to stop retailers going to great lengths to sell pre-owned *instead* of new copies. Mixing new and preowned stock on the same shelf was ridiculous enough, but Iit's got to the point where you try to buy a new copy of a game, and they're actively pushing pre-owned even at the checkout: 'Are you sure you want a new copy? This pre-owned one is $2 less!'

    This directly hurts publishers and developers, who need the new sales and make no revenue from pre-owned. Publishers have been way to slow and scared to respond, they should have clamped down much earlier. After all, it's never happened to this extent with music or DVDs, and I expect that the music/movie industry would be very quick to stamp these sort of practices out if pre-owned sales were being pushed in the same way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Bullshit. The reason why they can sell games at $60 a pop is because they have the value added to them that they can be resold. If I buy a $60 game and sell it to a friend for $30, then a game that cannot be resold is only worth $30 Being able to sell these games adds a ton of value to the game, so if publishers take this ability away, the price needs to DRASTICALLY fall, we're talking $10-15 for a new game
      • by Exitar (809068)

        Yeah sure, because before shops started to sell used games, the cost was $10-15...

        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Game resale was possible from the very beginning. I used it myself personally in the 90s. Chances are that it was available earlier than that simply due to human nature. Markets create themselves whenever there is demand.

          Fighting against human nature? Against free markets? Against personal property righs? You might as well call yourself Communist.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bluescrn (2120492)
        If you had any idea how time-consuming and costly modern console game development can be, you'd understand why games are so expensive.

        (Oh, even at $0.99, games bitch and moan about games being too expensive, too... the fun of being a mobile developer...)
        • by Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:26AM (#42942731)
          Thats not the problem. Make games that people want to buy at reasonable prices, and they will buy. If publishers keep pumping out expensive shitware, then yeah, they're going to be a problem.

          And if developers are going to be removing features from games I purchase (the right to resell) then the price needs to be dropped dramatically.

          Actually, forget it. Preventing resale will just light a fire under the pirate's asses; they'll crack the DRM in no time, and then publishers will have an even bigger problem than gamestop
        • by Guppy06 (410832)

          If you had any idea how time-consuming and costly modern console game development can be, you'd understand why games are so expensive.

          Then can you explain to me why simply going from 480p to HDTV somehow adds 20% to the price of a game?

          Wii was the only console that didn't support HD, and it was the only one with new games with an MSRP of about $50. Now that the Wii U is HD, they too have jumped onto the $60 bandwagon.

        • by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:06AM (#42943519)

          I'm 45, I'm old enough to remember the prices on Atari 2600 games and what you got for that money, and trust me...taking inflation and content in account, modern games are CHEAPER.

        • It's somewhat true. Go back to the early 90s...

          There wasn't full motion video. Maybe they had some narrated pics or MAYBE some in-game-rendered footage for a few seconds.

          The voice acting (in the cut scenes or even the game) weren't really there. Between the writing and the vocal talent it was often quite weak. There WERE exceptions but for the most part... not great.

          They weren't using A-list or B-list actors to voice their stuff like they do now. It was rare for them to pick a celebrity or even a solid

        • (Oh, even at $0.99, games bitch and moan about games being too expensive, too... the fun of being a mobile developer...)

          How much of that is due to Android phone manufacturers having launched their phones in countries where Google didn't yet have a payment infrastructure? That's what happened with Android Market in the early days of Android: ad-supported became the norm because so many countries were shut out of paid applications entirely.

      • by VAElynx (2001046)
        Hahaha nope.

        Bullshit. The reason why they can sell games at $60 a pop is because they have the value added to them that they can be resold. If I buy a $60 game and sell it to a friend for $30, then a game that cannot be resold is only worth $30 Being able to sell these games adds a ton of value to the game,

        This is completely correct. However.

        so if publishers take this ability away, the price needs to DRASTICALLY fall, we're talking $10-15 for a new game

        however, this does not follow. A manufacturer will

    • Um, what do you think most of the people who sold the retailers those used games do with the money they get? I would imagine(though obviously hard data is hard to come buy) that the vast majority of them *gasp* buy new games with the cash, or just trade them in directly for a new game. You know, like basically every car dealership ever....
    • by docmordin (2654319) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:09AM (#42942653)

      Developers/publishers need to fight back against pre-owned, as game retailers really started to take the piss, and it's really been hurting the people who make the games. [...] This directly hurts publishers and developers, who need the new sales and make no revenue from pre-owned. Publishers have been way to slow and scared to respond, they should have clamped down much earlier.

      By this logic, you should be all for contractors demanding and receiving a percentage of the sale price for any building they constructed, car companies forbidding the use of any second-hand vehicle, and all other sorts of wonderful nonsense.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bluescrn (2120492)
        You rarely get a car dealer saying 'no, you don't want to buy that NEW car!... buy this used one instead, for just $50 less!'

        It's not a great comparison, though, as there's extra risks/costs associated with buying a used car. With used software, the used copy is exactly the same as the new copy (assuming the disc is undamaged)
        • Depreciation on a car is a lot different than a video game. A car has a usable life of 10-15 years/150k miles before it becomes more expensive to maintain than replacing. If I'm buying a 5 year old car, then the price reflects that half of its life has been consumed. In buying a used game, once I've confirmed that it isn't scratched, its usable life is hardly affected from when new. That being said, I am often willing to pay $50 for a new game, knowing I can sell it for $25+ on eBay later on. When I bu
        • by bleh-of-the-huns (17740) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @09:34AM (#42943723)

          Actually, car dealers have been pushing used cars over new cars (those dealers with large new and used lots). The profit margins are significantly higher on used vehicles, and banks love them because the interest rates on used cars is higher then new cars.

          It has gotten to the point where people are buying used (more than likely CPO used), because they thought they were getting a better deal, when in actuality the new car was actually cheaper in the long run over the life of the loan. And Dealers love this, CPO sales are a huge profit generator.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @06:16AM (#42942905)

      ...Mixing new and preowned stock on the same shelf was ridiculous enough, but Iit's got to the point where you try to buy a new copy of a game, and they're actively pushing pre-owned even at the checkout: 'Are you sure you want a new copy? This pre-owned one is $2 less!'

      This directly hurts publishers and developers, who need the new sales and make no revenue from pre-owned...

      Ironically, this exact scenario plays out across the entire nation every single day. In used car sales lots. And in pawn shops. And in clothing thrift stores.

      Why is it I don't see Ford lobbying against every single used car dealer, demanding they "outlaw" the sale of all used Fords?

      Why is it I don't see Abercrombie and Fitch pissed at the fact that their $40 T-shirt sells for $10 at Platos closet, threatening the sue the entire used clothing chain?

      Why is Rolex not demanding that all used Rolex watches be pulled immediately from the market and destroyed, since they're being sold for thousands less than what the MSRP is, crushing their "value" and image?

      I'll tell you why. Because these retailers have already got their damn money once, and don't feel they should be paid again. And again. And again.

      I fail to understand why you or anyone else thinks the gaming industry deserves this unique honor. As far as them being "hurt", well I guess I'll believe that when I see that multi-billion dollar industry actually start slowing down. Seems the music and movie industry likes to cry poor mouth too while artists and managers wipe their ass with $100 bills.

      • by DarkOx (621550)

        What it comes down to is the those business created brand loyalty thru their marketing efforts. The game studios created lots of series loyalty but not much brand loyalty. Its always easier to blame some external force like "the used market" for ones own failures; then it is to own them. The sad fact is this leads to trying to solve the wrong problems.

        Do you know anybody who buys games because Ubisoft made it? Exactly. People might by every "Assassin's Creed" or whatever I would wager a good portion o

        • by PhxBlue (562201)

          Do you know anybody who buys games because Ubisoft made it? Exactly.

          I know at least one person who doesn't buy games because Ubisoft made it.

      • by henni16 (586412)

        Why is it I don't see [..]

        I'll tell you why. Because these retailers have already got their damn money once, and don't feel they should be paid again.

        Another way to look at it:
        it's an admittance that the replayability of the games sucks.

      • I think you underestimate the desires of manufacturers to get rid of the first sale doctrine. They have pushed the courts to restrict FSD whenever possible, including potentially eliminating FSD for 'imported' goods. Considering most things we buy are made abroad, if they are successful, FSD could be all but eliminated. Omega vs. Costco [wikipedia.org]
      • by doug141 (863552) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @10:33AM (#42944263)

        Why is it I don't see Ford lobbying against every single used car dealer, demanding they "outlaw" the sale of all used Fords?

        It was called Cash for Clunkers. Car companies lobbied for it. It required the gov't to subsidize the destruction of operational used cars.

    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      Name another industry that prevents resale of sold goods (other than for safety reasons).
      If they want to make money from any copy of the game, new or used, then offer in game content for sale. Sell hats like TF2 for crying out loud. There are people in my TF2 clan that probably spent $200+ on hats, tags, paint, and other customization. And better yet, not one of those purchases can affect game balance.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:06AM (#42942641)

    In the EU and especially in Germany it is allowed to resell used copies of licenses of software and games.
    You are explicitly allowed to buy high volume licenses and resell them individually (e.g., oracle and windows licenses).

    It's like MS bundling IE and Media Player with Windows in the EU. Either they pay high fines (900 millions or more) or they
    comply with the law in the EU.

    • In the EU and especially in Germany it is allowed to resell used copies of licenses of software and games.
      You are explicitly allowed to buy high volume licenses and resell them individually (e.g., oracle and windows licenses).

      It's like MS bundling IE and Media Player with Windows in the EU. Either they pay high fines (900 millions or more) or they
      comply with the law in the EU.

      But this is a little different; you aren't even buying a copy of a game or a license. You are buying a 'service'. The 'service' is the streaming of the game to your console.

      • by qbast (1265706)
        The only company that streamed game to your machine was OnLive. Just because you download game to internal hard disk instead of having it physically on Bluray does not mean it is not a copy. US is probably screwed, but I don't think EU will allow this.
  • by sdnoob (917382) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:16AM (#42942685)

    in the courtroom challenging first sale rights, click/shrink wrap licenses, etc. perhaps also format/device shifting, drm and circumvention of it to preserve customer rights... heck, even privacy and user tracking could be a part of it (that is one reason why the push to online-everything.. it's easier to track and report)

    but the case will drag on for so long, that most of the readers here will be so old and arthritic they won't be able to play video games anymore anyway other than things like freecell.

    when the supreme court does finally hand down a ruling, though, it _will_ be monumental (for the better, or the worse) and completely change how not only video games are sold, but also other software, digital goods (software, music, movies, books, etc) that are fast replacing physical ones, and the used/lending/rental markets for all of those (including ordinary public libraries and person-to-person lending).

  • by sir-gold (949031) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @05:19AM (#42942701)

    Hopefully this leads to people (re)discovering the PC as a gaming platform, so PC gamers can stop being held back by these stupid console ports that are written for hardware that was commodity level 6 years ago.

    Maybe if enough people switch back to the PC for all their gaming needs, we can finally get Valve to release HL2 Episode 3.

    • The whole attraction to console gaming is that it used to "just work" Now there's the BS with internet enabled games and dlc and the like, but guess where that came from? Ya, that idea was brought to you by PC gaming.

      The pain with PC gaming is that everyone's PC is configured differently. Games have dependencies that may not exist on your PC. A game may take advantage of a niche feature of a video/sound card that doesnt exist in other cards. A game might work with a specific version of a hardware driver.

  • GameStop pivot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The last time I was in a GameStop (on Market St. in San Francisco) I was surprised at the near complete transition that had been made. Sure, they sold games. But right in front of the store were a ton of used iPhones, iPads, iPods, Galaxy tabs... And I got the impression they were driving more interest than anything else in the store.

  • Dear Console Makers,

    Let me be crystal clear. I will NEVER buy a console that is incapable of playing used games, PERIOD.

    If I am capable of buying physical media for my console, I should have the right to lend / sell / trade that media with others including companies who may resell it.

    If I am capable of downloading games for my console, I should have the right to save those games to external media and play them on other consoles. Not copy them to the other console, but merely play them.

    I am fundamentally o
  • Hold out for a price drop or three. Few things depreciate like last year's games.

  • "the rumor mill" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @08:27AM (#42943307)
    That's redundant, what else is on Slashdot these days? :)
  • When I walk or drive past a gamestop, I seldom see people browsing, even when they are doing a big sale on used games. However they frequently have big banners up telling people to pre-order Halo 17, Half-life 12, or Fifa soccer 2020. It appears that they make more money from the new stuff than the old, from what I have seen from walking or driving past any number of gamestop locations in my area.
  • As someone that has loaned friends optical discs and gotten them back scratched, I can see a silver lining...

    "Sorry, I'd love to loan you this game, but it only plays in my console!"

    That being said, I do think making used games unplayable is a greedy money grab.

  • by paugq (443696) <<pgquiles> <at> <elpauer.org>> on Tuesday February 19, 2013 @08:42AM (#42943389) Homepage

    Depending on how they implement the "no used games" feature, it may be contrary to European law. There was a ruling against Oracle last year saying it is perfectly fine to resell second-hand software:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-09-16/second-hand-software-sales-set-to-soar-on-oracle-ruling [businessweek.com]

  • As in "a lifting of the veil", not "the end of the world."

    Oh, it may be the end of the world for Gamestop: a chain built on used contemporary games that caters to the contemporary gamer. But the few used-game stores not bought up by Gamestop during its boom survived without even having to pivot all that much: now they work with retro games -the stuff Gamestop doesn't carry- and modern merchandise. You can't build a mega-chain on that (yet, though we'll see what the death of used games does to that), but you

How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."

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