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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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  • Does this mean? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Antony-Kyre ( 807195 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @05:52AM (#26057273)

    We should bail out the game industry?

    After all, if it goes under, we'll get a lot of people, who spend hours gaming, not gaming anymore. This means less soda and junk food to snack on, which in turn, means the junk food industry will be hurt, which, in turn, means more layoffs.

  • Newsflash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yakumo.unr ( 833476 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @05:52AM (#26057275) Homepage

    Rubbish games don't sell the first time arround.

  • Well... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by michael021689 ( 791941 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @05:55AM (#26057293)
    If it makes them feel any better...I have never bought or sold a used game. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of my purchases in the past year have been digital. That does come at the cost that I only buy good games from companies that treat me properly.

    Beyond that..of course it effects prices. That being said, you can't do anything about it. Once purchased, the game is mine to sell. The best (for them, that is) thing to do is to abandon singleplayer and focus on subscription and account based games. I'd be devastated though. You already took away KOTOR 3, don't take away ME2 and whatever else you can think of.
  • by Gerad ( 86818 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @06:22AM (#26057449)

    Books, CDs, movies... these are all forms of entertainment that lose a lot of their value once they've been viewed once. If game companies don't want people reselling games, they need to make some kind of incentive for people to hold onto their games, and make the gameplay actually enjoyable so that people keep the game to enjoy, rather than just to finish the single-player content once. Great examples of this are the Smash Bros. series and the Halo series. Both are enjoyable to play with friends (or online) after you've finished the single-player campaign. Things like XBox achievements do a lot to add replayability to games, but if the games aren't inherently fun, then even they can't save a game.

  • I seem to remember (Score:4, Interesting)

    by stimpy ( 11763 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @08:14AM (#26058247) Homepage

    the movie industry saying the same thing about rental shops when they first came out. They ended up dropping the price of videotapes (Yes, I'm old. Deal.) from $50 to $19.95. They don't seem to complain about that any more. Maybe if the game companies dropped the prices to begin with, more people would buy them when they first come out.

  • Re:Uhuh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fred_A ( 10934 ) <fred@fredsh o m> on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @09:35AM (#26059015) Homepage

    I find it rather strange that numerous $randomSlashDotPosters can figure this out and that almost none of the game companies can.

    Don't they hire, like, market dudes or something ? Or are we specially gifted around here ?

    What's wrong with all those companies that keep on acting like divas all the time... "waaah, I've been obnoxious and painted myself in a corner, it's all the fault of my nasty customers, of p2p, of unmetered access, of sunspots, of the falling market, of terrorism..."


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

    by yakumo.unr ( 833476 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @10:08AM (#26059399) Homepage

    I consider the depreciation value of a game quite high actually.

    How many would pay $49 for a copy of Crysis today? how about the same for Prey? Quake? DOOM? Frogger? Pong?

  • by wild_quinine ( 998562 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @01:41PM (#26062753) Homepage

    If you want me to buy "Megagame 2" but don't want me to sell my copy of "Megagame 1" in case it creates competition for your Megagame 2 sales, then offer me a voucher for my copy of Megagame 1 (you only need to match or slightly better the price places like Gamestop would pay me). Said voucher to to be used when purchasing Megagame 2 )or another of your product line). Then when you have my copy of Megagame 1, you can destroy it so it never threatens your future sales again.

    This was actually done by Epic, during that period of time before they started assfucking PC gamers for fun and profit. If you bought UT 2003, and wanted UT2004 (which basically included all of the content of UT 2003, in what can only be described as a bargainous adventure into consumer value) you could send them back your 'Play' disc from UT2003 and get a rebate on UT2004. I think it was about 10 bucks, but it was still a nice thing to do!

  • Re:Boo f*cking hoo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull ( 905905 ) <marc.paradise@gm ... ENom minus berry> on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @04:22PM (#26065201) Homepage Journal

    The price has remained the same, but remember that back in the days of yore a lot more cost of the game was involved in it's medium. The ROM chips (and sometimes additional processors, batteries, etc) used in cartridges way back when were orders of magnitude more expensive than the CD's and DVD's that games ship on now (which cost maybe $0.15 per disc to produce). So yes, development costs have gone up, but that's the only reason prices should remain the same. Without that games would logically cost half as much as they do now given the reduction in media cost.

    $50-60 today is not the same as $50-60 in 1985. Adjusted for inflation, game prices are decreasing while production costs are increasing...

    Yeah, I hate that argument too - it annoyed the crap out of me when the oil companies used it to defend rising gas prices. Nonetheless, there is some truth to it.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama