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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Used Game Market Affecting Price, Quality of New Titles 384

Gamasutra is running a feature discussing the used game market with various developers and analysts. The point has been raised by many members of the industry that used game sales are hurting developers and publishers even more lately, when they're already beleaguered by rising piracy rates and a struggling economy. Atari executives recently commented that used game sales are "extremely painful," while GameStop's CEO unsurprisingly came out in support of resales. We've recently discussed a few of the ways game designers are considering to limit used game sales. David Braben, chairman of UK-based developer Frontier Development had this to say: "Five years ago, a great game would have sold for a longer period of time than for a bad game — which was essentially our incentive to make great games. But no longer. Now publishers and developers just see revenue the initial few weeks regardless of the game's quality and then gamers start buying used copies which generates money that goes into GameStop's pocket, nobody else's."
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Used Game Market Affecting Price, Quality of New Titles

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  • Marketing lies (Score:3, Informative)

    by 91degrees ( 207121 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @06:19AM (#26057435) Journal
    "That's in addition to the fact that we don't see anything from the used-game sales, which is one reason why the price of new games throughout the industry remains artificially high," he says. "I mean, the industry has to make all its money from the first sale since we don't get a penny from the subsequent dozen or so sales of that same game."

    Competition drives prices up!? Don't treat us like morons. If used sales went down why would they reduce the price? To make less money? I can see that being a great business strategy.

    Why are resales so popular in the first place? Because games are really expensive and have a short life.

    I'd also like to point out that while the observation that 80% of money from trade ins is spent on games is interesting, the car resale analogy is a little misleading. Cars are assets. They're purchased with the expectation of a certain level of depreciation. Games are to an extent but it's not nearly as big a factor in the purchase.
  • Re:Boo f*cking hoo (Score:2, Informative)

    by DreamsAreOkToo ( 1414963 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @07:06AM (#26057739)

    When I buy a car, I use it for *years* before reselling it. Also, when I resell it, I've put thousands of miles on it and other wear that makes it not very valuable.

    When I buy a game, I play it and sometimes beat it the day I bought it. I also have a lot of incentive to sell it back to gamestop that weekend, since they'll often give you $20 back for it, as opposed to the $3 they'll give you in a month.

    When I buy a game, I'll often go for the $5 cheaper used copy, even though it's only a 10% discount. Sure, a new copy is uhm... in an annoying plastic wrap I have to take off. There's ZERO incentive to buy new.

  • Re:Does this mean? (Score:5, Informative)

    by OeLeWaPpErKe ( 412765 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @07:42AM (#26057981) Homepage

    The new American businessmodel :

    1. start a business
    2. "almost" go bankrupt
    3. get your income from tax dollars instead of, you know, those horrible clients
    4. profit !

  • Re:Boo f*cking hoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by FredFredrickson ( 1177871 ) * on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @10:13AM (#26059463) Homepage Journal
    That is certainly not what the article says. It basically mentions that while a repair shop has your car, they're going to do an inspection on possibly accident-unrelated things. In the USA we call that a state-inspection. We're subject to this yearly.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @11:08AM (#26060275)

    Most of the posters here don't seem to realize that it costs $10-30 million dollars to make a AAA console game these days. It requires teams of hundreds of people working for 2 to 3 years.

    Games these days contain *hours* of quality recorded voice, *thousands* of high-quality meshes, *thousands* of high-quality textures, and *tens of thousands* of painstakingly hand-crafted or mocapped-then-hand-retouched animations. They implement somewhat realistic physics, quality 5.1 surround sound, and they often support multiplayer modes.


    Yet you're still paying the same $60 price you were paying 15 years ago, when making a good game cost a small fraction of what they cost now.

    Forgive me for calling you a lot of ungrateful bastards, but when you turn around and sell your old game back to GameStop for $15 and then buy your next game from them used just to save yourself $8, *the people who made the game you are buying get absolutely nothing*.

    If you want us to be able to make good games for you to play, maybe you should consider, *just* consider, y'know, sending that money towards the actual creators of the games, rather than propping up the used-game retailers who are helping to suck the lifeblood out of the game industry.

  • Re:Boo f*cking hoo (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:01PM (#26061117)
    I think you're doing inflation in reverse. $10 today is worth much less than $10 20 years ago.
  • Re:Boo f*cking hoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by Deagol ( 323173 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @03:22PM (#26064295) Homepage
    Indeed. For grins, I fired up my copy of Frink [] (very cool program, btw), and punched in the following:

    10 dollars_1981 -> dollars

    10 dollars_1972 -> dollars

    Note that Frogger came out in 1981 and Pong in 1972, at least according to Wikipedia. For a perspective of what things cost in 1972, check out this link []. Interesting to ponder.

  • Re:Boo f*cking hoo (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArsonSmith ( 13997 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @05:37PM (#26066321) Journal

    Except I remember most orignial NES, Atari, etc. games starting out at $39.95. some where $49.95 but very few were more than that, as in I can only think of one that was $59.95.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.