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Businesses The Almighty Buck Games

Used Game Penalty Escalates With SOCOM 4 325

Technologizer reports on this unwelcome development for used game buyers: "SOCOM 4: US Navy Seals charts a new course in punishing used game buyers, and it’s at once better and worse than the status quo of $10 online passes. As described on the official Playstation Blog, SOCOM 4 will let all players access the game’s multiplayer portion — as it should, because online play has always been SOCOM’s main attraction — but used game buyers will miss out on special guns, game types, and other perks to be added later. To get these features with a used copy of the game, you’ll have to buy a $15 activation code. Sony’s spinning this bundle of features, dubbed 'SOCOM Pro,' as an enhancement for new game buyers, rather than a drawback for used copies. It’s semantics, sure, but it’s also the direction in which these used game restrictions should be going."
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Used Game Penalty Escalates With SOCOM 4

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  • So what. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:37AM (#35864494)

    How is this any different than PC games that have CD keys that you need to install, and that you key in when you register them? How is this any different than me selling my MMO CDs to a friend and then laughing when he can not get online?

    The game basically is giving you access to an online profile, that when you sell off the disk, if you want your own new online profile, you have to pay $15 for.

    How is this any different than just about every other game with online components? Ten years ago if I wanted to sign into Nova World with a used version of the game, it would have already been registered with that CD key. How is this any different?

  • So how much... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Leslie43 ( 1592315 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:41AM (#35864520)
    "it’s also the direction in which these used game restrictions should be going."

    So how much will you pay for the used game knowing you still have to pay another $15 for the content? Not much.
    How about when they decide it isn't enough and want $20?

    It effectively destroys the second hand value and they know it.
  • Re:So what. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:45AM (#35864546)

    It's not. As usual people on slashdot will cry over something they'll never intented to play anyway, just because it's DRM and about the used games market. It's like game play for these people is crying about it on slashdot rather than actually even wanting to play the game.

    Look, if I want to play the game I can pay the $15 (if I bought a used copy, which I never do).

  • Re:So what. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doctor_Jest ( 688315 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:46AM (#35864548)

    It's really a fitting analogy, but if only the big game companies (Sony/Microsoft included) weren't so damn pissy about used games in general, this wouldn't be a bother. I cannot stand their tantrums about used sales "killing the industry". As if used car sales kill the automotive industry... or used books/CDs kill their respective markets. It just doesn't happen that way, and their "service without the service" mentality is what is going to cause them to nickel and dime the player until he or she simply tosses the console in the closet and goes back to minesweeper. :)

    The First Sale Doctrine really chaps their asses. This is their way of "play ball with me and I promise I won't shove the bat up your ass."

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @12:55AM (#35864592)

    Hard media is slowly going away. Like it or not, one day, games will be all downloaded. For better or worse, it's just more efficient. I don't know when, but that's just the way it will be. I like my hard copies, and you'll pry them from my crusty gout-ridden hands, but I'll be the exception.

    Sadly, "used games" will likely be a nostalgia. Why do they have to fight so hard against the used market. Let us enjoy our bargain bin rummaging.

  • Re:So what. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @01:03AM (#35864624)
    One player is giving another player his copy of the game. For each copy of the game sold, they can and should expect that there will be that number of clients online. While the client may have changed, the number of clients will not have. Thus, there are no extra costs for server maintenance/load.
  • by billcopc ( 196330 ) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @01:27AM (#35864744) Homepage

    Dude, if it were just about cutting out gamestop, I'd be all for it. There are few things I find more ridiculous in this world than the practice of selling a used title for $5.00 less than the new one, except perhaps the witless sycophants who actually buy them. The 3-for-1 trade-in deal is also pretty freakin' atrocious.

    But the reality is that the game industry is adopting Sony's movie and music industry practices. More money, more profiteering parasites at the executive level, and more customer abuse and FUD to justify the egregious corruption.

  • Re:So what. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BoberFett ( 127537 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @01:35AM (#35864782)

    If the used game market is eliminated entirely, prices will have to fall accordingly or they will simply sell less units.

  • Re:So what. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ragethehotey ( 1304253 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @01:37AM (#35864792)

    A player is expected to have a finite life as an active user, probably less than two years. The price of the game is set based on assumptions about the attrition rate. Giving the game to another user extends the length of time the server load exists for that copy of the software.

    Tough shit for the developers, accept it as a cost of business and move on. The nanosecond that someone figures a way to play with a private server, they lose a paying customer forever when someones friend of a friend shows him how to play online for free and becomes a pirate in the process. EA Sports and such can get away with this because of the nature of their business, because that copy of Madden 12 is really only played online for 18 months tops before it becomes obsolete anyway.

  • Re:So what. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kenshin33 ( 1694322 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @02:04AM (#35864900)
    or pirates :-)
  • Re:So what. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kenshin33 ( 1694322 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @02:10AM (#35864936)
    is that sarcasm ???
    Extra cost they imposed on themselves. At some point in time (PC mostely) there was the possibility to have private dedicated servers (the osftware came with the games : Unreal, Unreal Tournament Quack ... etc) for anyone who wished to host one ... and there were no extra cost for anyone except may be for those who chose to host the servers.
  • Re:So what. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bane2571 ( 1024309 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @02:47AM (#35865094)
    consider the buyer that currently buys a release date game on the undestanding he can polish it off in 2 weeks and resell for 1/2 value. That guy might buy 1/2 as many games without a used games market and since early adopters are a much touted statistic ("X00,000 copies sold in first 2 weeks" etc). Losing resale guy is not a great idea.
  • Re:So what. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xtifr ( 1323 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @04:41AM (#35865566) Homepage

    The real problem with the used games market is that it's worse than piracy.

    Horsecrap! Lets take a much more complicated scenario, but to simplify it, we'll ignore the details that don't matter.

    A. New game is purchased for $X. Game developers get their cut, $C.
    B. Game changes hands some unknown number of times, possibly with intermediaries involved, possibly not.
    C. Final result, one and only one person owns that one copy of the game which was fully paid for.

    All the other details (how much some hypothetical intermediaries might have made and so on) are completely irrelevant. One copy was sold to one owner, and one owner now owns one copy. That's all the developers can and should care about. The fact that they may be jealous of Gamestop's insane profits doesn't mean they deserve one nickel more money or that Gamestop is doing anything wrong. (Actually, they are doing something wrong, but selling used games is not it.)

    Gamestore through reselling probably made far more in profit from selling used than new copies.

    Gamestop has a near monopoly, and they're abusing it badly. Now, that's still not a problem for the developers (no matter how jealous they might feel about the situation), but it's a problem for us. Unfortunately, the only way to deal with a monopoly is to create competition (or regulate it, and I sincerely hope we don't come to that pass). So the game devs are jealous of all the perfectly legal abusive profits that Gamestop is making? Answer is obvious: open their own stores, and compete on used game prices. If there were competition in the used games market, Gamestop wouldn't be able to charge their insane markups (and they are insane).

    Note that it doesn't have to be the developers competing directly with Gamestop--I only suggest them because they're the ones that whine about Gamestop's monopolistic profit margins. It could as easily be Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Radio Shack. The point is, Gamestop's insane profits don't come because there's something wrong with selling used games; they come because there's no competition, so they don't have to compete on price. Period.

  • Re:So what. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino ( 614729 ) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:37AM (#35867174) Journal

    It's sort of like torrenting, but instead of seeding when you're done, you actually give the seeder MONEY (I know, right?!) instead. It's a pretty risky proposition though. The games usually don't work right, and a lot of times they come with wicked malware that's a bitch to clean off.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson