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Used games: should we feel bad about buying them?

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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Man, stop bitching about low trade in prices, you just have to know how to work the system. There is almost always a trade in offer or coupon(posted on CAG if you don't want to sign up to GameStop's newsletter). If you're trading in a semi new game you're going to get a decent amount for it. My girlfriend just traded in Final Fantasy Tactics for the PSP, which she bought for 40 dollars new. She got 22 dollars for it. In my book that's pretty good, especially with since it's less hassle than dealing with eBay or the like.

    YodaTuna on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Or, y'know, you could use a trade-in service that doesn't rape you in the ass. I haven't traded in a game at Gamestop since I started using Goozex. It's slow, but it works.

    As for used games, look, games aren't kept in print forever. Lots of times, used is the only way you can buy a game, and really, if you find a "new, sealed" copy on eBay years after the game has gone out of print, it makes no difference to the developers whether you buy that or a used one. If a person buys, say, a used copy of Metroid Prime for $8 and then loves it so much he buys a new copy of Metroid Prime 3 for $50, how can that be a bad thing?

    Daedalus on
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    HtownHtown Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Screw that. It's not different than buying anything else used, at least for console games. The gamer who had it is giving up his right to use it, and I am buying it for a reduced price.

    You're not a bad person for buying a used game any more than you're a bad person for buying a used car.

    No guilt at all. Enough of this boo-hoo bullshit.

    "Bu... but the game makers aren't getting any money from the game!"

    You know what? I wouldn't and don't buy used if I feel the price for getting it new is reasonable. But if your game is overpriced by 15 bucks, you wouldn't be getting any of my money ANYWAY. If I can get the same thing in good condition for a lot cheaper, then I have every right to do so.

    I'm buying a legitimate copy of a game, from someone who is giving up their ability to play that game, after they already paid full price for the game.

    There's no piracy, or anything like it, involved.

    By this argument, you should feel guilty any time you buy a used car, any time you buy anything from a garage sale, or any time you buy anything from a friend.

    Maybe you're even the selfish kind of son of a bitch who borrows things or reads books FROM A LIBRARY. You bastard, you should find the publisher of every library book you ever checked out and send them a check for the cover price of the book, or you should feel like a dirty little thief.

    Or maybe not.

    Welcome to capitalism, bitches.

    Htown on
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    Onidragon the AvengerOnidragon the Avenger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Only if it's much, MUCH cheaper than the original(I like the in-closed instruction Book) than go for it if it's a local store, I live in the midwest, and Gamerz is a local chain that actully sells used games for a little cheaper than GameStop Anyway. Plus local stores usualy sell retro games, like PS1 or SNES. So if you're buying Used, go for local stores. If you're buying from gamestop or EB, than it's not helping anybody except THE MAN.D:

    Onidragon the Avenger on
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    ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Used games lie somewhere between pirating and buying new for yourself, when it comes to impact on the developers. By contributing to a used market you are making new copies more enticing for people willing to resell. So essentially you and the person who bought the game originally have each bought part of the game (and added some overhead). The more times it is resold, the more sales you've cost the owners of the game.

    So in my opinion if you can afford to buy new and buy used just because you can, you should feel a little guilty. And I don't think that the ability to sell your game to someone else should necessarily be a fundamental right. It doesn't really make sense when you consider the reason intellectual property laws exist. I say this mostly about the case of digital distribution, where the traditional impediments to a used market (hassle and quality degredation) do not exist.

    I disagree entirely. If you buy a game, thereby purchasing a license to use the software an infinite number of times, play it once and decide you wouldn't care to play it again, you should be allowed to sell your right to play it to another person. You paid $60 for something you no longer want, but you're not allowed to resell it because the maker wants to sell more? That sounds really unfair to the customer.

    It's not the job of the law to fix broken business models. If game companies want to combat used games from taking away sales, offer a single-play game or a non-resellable rental period for less money. Or just make the goddamn game good enough so that most people don't want to sell it!

    ZackSchilling on
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    zilo wrote: »
    For less than $50 (PC) or $60 (console), it's not worth making the game. It's worth noting that games now actually cost less than they did in the 80s and 90s.

    Games cost more in the 80s and 90s because they needed to be manufactured on rather expensive ROM chips inside cartridges, rather than pressed on a ten cent circle of plastic. PC games in the 80s and 90s cost about the same as today, when adjusted for inflation.

    And I don't buy your first point, either. Obviously, yes, if new game sales stayed exactly the same, then lowering prices would result in less revenue. What makes you think that sales would stay the same if game prices went down?

    I'm talking PC games (console games were often more expensive than PC games back then). PC games cost $50 in the 90s, which is $70+ in today's dollars. Console games may cost less to manufacture but those costs have never been a major part of a game's price. They sure do cost a lot more to develop now than they did back in the cartridge days.

    There's a lot of stuff on the internet about the hows and whys games cost what they do, but a good rule of thumb is that a top-shelf release has to sell about half a million (give or take 150k) to break even. Charging ten bucks less means they have to sell around a million copies to break even (again, give or take a few hundred thousand). Obviously this is a vast oversimplification but it's meant to demonstrate that the margins are thinner than you think, and publishers can't just cut the cost by ten bucks and expect to make more money. No reasonable person would expect a game to sell twice as many copies at $40 than it would at $50.

    zilo on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    zilo wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    zilo wrote: »
    For less than $50 (PC) or $60 (console), it's not worth making the game. It's worth noting that games now actually cost less than they did in the 80s and 90s.

    Games cost more in the 80s and 90s because they needed to be manufactured on rather expensive ROM chips inside cartridges, rather than pressed on a ten cent circle of plastic. PC games in the 80s and 90s cost about the same as today, when adjusted for inflation.

    And I don't buy your first point, either. Obviously, yes, if new game sales stayed exactly the same, then lowering prices would result in less revenue. What makes you think that sales would stay the same if game prices went down?

    I'm talking PC games (console games were often more expensive than PC games back then). PC games cost $50 in the 90s, which is $70+ in today's dollars.
    In 1994, Doom cost $40. (You can fire up the shareware version of Doom and look at the order screen. It's right there.) The price of games went up slightly with inflation.
    Console games may cost less to manufacture but those costs have never been a major part of a game's price.
    N64 games consistently cost around $20-$30 more than PS1 games, and the reason for this was that an N64 cartridge cost something like $20 more to manufacture than a CD-ROM. Even Nintendo's "Player's Choice" line at the time cost $35 each, as opposed to Sony's "Greatest Hits" at $20. The difference was even more marked when comparing higher-density ROM chips, for instance, those in Neo-Geo cartridges.
    They sure do cost a lot more to develop now than they did back in the cartridge days.
    They also sell exponentially more copies than they did in the cartridge days, and the reduced cost of manufacture means that large print runs are far less risky than they were for cartridges.
    There's a lot of stuff on the internet about the hows and whys games cost what they do, but a good rule of thumb is that a top-shelf release has to sell about half a million (give or take 150k) to break even. Charging ten bucks less means they have to sell around a million copies to break even (again, give or take a few hundred thousand). Obviously this is a vast oversimplification but it's meant to demonstrate that the margins are thinner than you think, and publishers can't just cut the cost by ten bucks and expect to make more money. No reasonable person would expect a game to sell twice as many copies at $40 than it would at $50.

    This is also entirely bullshit. Every goddamn used games thread we hear the argument, over and over, that retail stores don't make more than $5 or so on a $60 new game. If $10 goes to the console manufacturer (in reality it scales based on the game's retail cost, but that'd just further my argument so whatever) and bulk shipping is cheap, then we're still looking at at least $40 going to the publisher for every copy sold. Half a million copies times forty bucks revenue is twenty million. We'd need to cut out twenty dollars, bringing the cost down from $60 to $40, to mean that it would require a full million to raise that amount of money. Do I think that the difference between $40 and $60 would be enough to double the sales of any game that wasn't already going to generate gagillions of sales from the brand name (like Halo or Smash Bros)? You bet your ass I do, especially if it's competing against games that cost twenty dollars more.

    Of course, in reality, the cuts taken by the retail store and console manufacturer scale based on the MSRP of the game, which is why Platinum Greatest Player's Choice Hits titles can still generate enough profit to be worthwhile when sold for twenty dollars, so sales would in fact not need to double. But I still maintain that they could anyway for any game that isn't some AAAAA title guaranteed to reach Madden-like market saturation on launch day.

    Daedalus on
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    djklaydjklay Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I've never once felt guilty about buying a used game. However if the game is within $10 and still a new priced game (ie $60 or whatever) I'll buy a sealed copy. If they're going to sell as used make it worth my while, a $5 price difference when the game is $25 isn't going to entice me to buy used. I also think games should drop in price sooner, I would buy a lot more games if they were in the $30 range as long as it wasn't the ones I have to buy new that I'm too impatient to play. As for some of the hot titles *cough*GTAIV*cough* I'll be picking that up ASAP but many others I have no problem waiting the 10months till they've lowered the price or become greatest hits whatever. The other thing is with live games online sometimes you have to pick them up at release otherwise the community may be dead, Shadowrun anyone?

    If the publishers are that worried about 'lost sales' of used titles then they should lower their price once sales have bottomed out or sharply declined. I prefer my games new but if it's priced $20used and the new is $30, I'll pick up the used, save 50% or however you want to look at it. Sometimes there's that B title that no one really liked that you just want to try and for some reason you can't find a cheap copy for ages and ages, just makes no sense.

    djklay on
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    vdanhalenvvdanhalenv Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    An important point to consider is that used game sales are not a recent phenomenon and have infact been around for ages and they have yet to drive any game company that i know of out of business.

    vdanhalenv on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    vdanhalenv wrote: »
    An important point to consider is that used game sales are not a recent phenomenon and have infact been around for ages and they have yet to drive any game company that i know of out of business.

    Think of any game company that has gone out of business. Don't let other reasons fool you, they went out of business purely because of things like the secondary market, it's true.

    Now you know how truly destructive this practice is to the industry.

    subedii on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Jesus christ people do you feel bad when you buy a second hand car as well?

    Blake T on
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    zilozilo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    This is also entirely bullshit. Every goddamn used games thread we hear the argument, over and over, that retail stores don't make more than $5 or so on a $60 new game. If $10 goes to the console manufacturer (in reality it scales based on the game's retail cost, but that'd just further my argument so whatever) and bulk shipping is cheap, then we're still looking at at least $40 going to the publisher for every copy sold.

    We're venturing dangerously OT here but I must point out that your figures are just plain wrong. Retailers take more like $15 to shelf a copy of a game, not $5. Cert for console games runs $10-12, leaving around $30-$35 for the publisher. And FWIW, Doom 2 was $50 (or more, MSRP was $70) at retail. Doom 1 was $40 shareware, sure, but you had to pay shipping ;) I remember working in games retail in the 90s and marveling at how horribly expensive a hobby it was.

    Games are cheaper now than they've ever been, by a comfortable margin.

    zilo on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Why the hell should I fell bad about it?
    It's akin to buying the game off a friend, only instead it's a soulless mechanized corporate machine.
    Besides, if having the card and buying a new game used saves me $10, that's awesome because I'm already broke, and games sure as fuck ain't cheap.

    Local H Jay on
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    ArcibiArcibi Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I can't believe this argument is even being made

    April Fools was two days ago, people

    Arcibi on
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    KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    vdanhalenv wrote: »
    An important point to consider is that used game sales are not a recent phenomenon and have infact been around for ages and they have yet to drive any game company that i know of out of business.

    Think of any game company that has gone out of business. Don't let other reasons fool you, they went out of business purely because of things like the secondary market, it's true.

    Now you know how truly destructive this practice is to the industry.

    There is so many things objectionable about your statement I wouldn't know where to begin.

    Kagera on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Used games lie somewhere between pirating and buying new for yourself, when it comes to impact on the developers. By contributing to a used market you are making new copies more enticing for people willing to resell. So essentially you and the person who bought the game originally have each bought part of the game (and added some overhead). The more times it is resold, the more sales you've cost the owners of the game.

    So in my opinion if you can afford to buy new and buy used just because you can, you should feel a little guilty. And I don't think that the ability to sell your game to someone else should necessarily be a fundamental right. It doesn't really make sense when you consider the reason intellectual property laws exist. I say this mostly about the case of digital distribution, where the traditional impediments to a used market (hassle and quality degredation) do not exist.

    I disagree entirely. If you buy a game, thereby purchasing a license to use the software an infinite number of times, play it once and decide you wouldn't care to play it again, you should be allowed to sell your right to play it to another person. You paid $60 for something you no longer want, but you're not allowed to resell it because the maker wants to sell more? That sounds really unfair to the customer.

    It's not the job of the law to fix broken business models. If game companies want to combat used games from taking away sales, offer a single-play game or a non-resellable rental period for less money. Or just make the goddamn game good enough so that most people don't want to sell it!

    Why should you be allowed to resell it, other than you think you should be able to? If a game company wants to sell its games as licenses to people, that's a perfectly acceptable model to create incentive to make games. Is it really so bizarre a concept that they want you to give them some amount of money for playing their game, rather than letting the same copy get played by a multitude of different people? What's unfair about exchanging money for an enjoyable gaming experience?

    Anyway I'm arguing all this mostly to defend the model of digital distribution of games, which mainly does not let you move games from account to account. A lot of games you enjoy for a few days, beat and don't play it again. Being able to transfer games from account to account would be a complete disaster here. You'd buy a license for a game on ebay, say $10 below the Steam price, or whatever. You play for a while, then sell it back for essentially the same amount of money, effectively enjoying the game for free. The same concept applies with trade-in sites or swapping services. As I mentioned earlier, the absence of hassle in getting a game to someone else and the fact that the quality of the game is not degraded at all by being "used" would cause the used market to dominate, undercutting the publishers and developers and deeply cutting into their revenues. Not to mention the fact that the distributor has to foot the bill for bandwidth every time the license is resold.

    They are under no obligation whatsoever to allow this kind of market to exist.

    RandomEngy on
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    EddEdd Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Can we at least agree that the print of certain games is kinda...asinine? Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops comes to mind.

    That would have been a guaranteed new sale if I could find the damn thing.

    Edd on
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    HembotHembot Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Honestly...who cares if a game company goes out of business? There's two reasons this could possibly happen in today's market.

    1) Your game ain't worth sh*t and the internet gives us the opportunity to read thousands of reviews and know it isn't worth the price you labeled it as.
    2) A flawed business model.

    Who gets the profit from things resold in pawn shops and used car dealers? The engineer who designed that car or that tuba? No. Making the "devs aren't supported" argument is like making the "things shouldn't be sold 'used' period" argument. The tradeoff of not getting something brand new is that you have to wait. Maybe it's because you humans are mortal, but time is often an inherent factor of how things are priced.

    I can say for certain based on empiracle evidence that the industry has not collapsed and games are still coming out that game developers are hurt no more than any other industry (music for instance) by the sales of used product. In fact, it's harder to rip copies of console games than CD's. Not to mention PC games often have key codes. If anything, these guys are suffering less than the music industry when it comes to the distribution of actual product in relation to sales.

    I, and I'm sure many of you, buy the games we're hyped about when they first come out. The line for WoW:The Burning Crusade snaked around the interior of the mall at the midnight special to pick the darn thing up. We know this happens and the industry knows this happens. If their sales are poor the real messages being sent to developers are like:
    "Don't give us a piece of shit for 50 bucks or word will get out and you will be poor."
    and
    "What's the game called? Your marketing department sucks. Fire them."
    ....Of course they can hide behind the facade of pirating or used sales.

    Besides...do game companys really need that much money? I hate to use Blizzard again, but lets look at WoW. It's a 10 million subscriber game. at $13 bucks a month that's $130,000,000 in revenue each month. Don't get me wrong, WoW is a great game for the masses...but does it feel like it's getting as much love (updates, content etc.) as the company is profiting? It's more like they're running off a great foundation and huge IP and cashing in. Despite this...there are still 10 million players and likely millions of pastey faced, sun fearing addicts.

    Sony's a big enough corporation that if gaming wasn't making them money, they wouldn't be in the industry. Most large corporations don't keep every division that makes a profit, they cut the slower ones out to someone else who wants to run it. So why does Sony persist in the gaming environment? Their CEO and stock holders just happens to love games so much they can't part with it?

    As for used games dominating the market....we like our technology. It gives us newer and prettier games. So no, it doesn't dominate the market unless the game is that good and in so deserving of its resurfacing in the annuls of gaming history. That being said, the programmers of that game problably demand a premium for jobs they hold later in their career from the game's noteriety don't they?

    Hembot on
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    DisruptorX2DisruptorX2 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Htown wrote: »
    Welcome to capitalism, bitches.

    You just summed up the issue perfectly.

    I know there's lots of people here who want to be big business' bitches, but most of us like our consumer rights. When you buy something its yours to do as you see fit. Including selling it. Especially in the case of relatively expensive items like video games.

    I don't buy used unless its an out of print item because I'm OCD about the quality of my disks. But do I support people's rights over their own property? Hell yes.

    DisruptorX2 on
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    BrueBrue Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Edd wrote: »
    Can we at least agree that the print of certain games is kinda...asinine? Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops comes to mind.

    That would have been a guaranteed new sale if I could find the damn thing.

    Ya, same with about every Atlus game... but we are all aware of it now, so we buy them new.

    Brue on
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    emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    As I hear it, renting games is not possible in Japan.

    And don't forget, there aren't used copies of popular game's the week of release. It'd take weeks after release for a game you want to show up in number on, say, goozex, and then you have to wade through a queue. There's plenty of convenience to be had when buying new.

    emnmnme on
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    That_GuyThat_Guy I don't wanna be that guy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I have a big problem with used games for Gamestop. When someone trades in a game (hell even a good game) the trader only gets a small fraction of the price that they turn around and sell the game for. If it is a good new game that people are itching to buy, the person may get half what the store gets when the sell it used. Plus, the discount on used games will be 10% to 15%, which is not worth it IMO.

    That_Guy on
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    VytaeVytae Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    lets tell a story!

    Video games because huge,with massive shiny bling. All those fucking useless CFO's from Hollywood and/or Music industry naturally filled many of the available slots as its a somewhat similar media/product. And much like Hollywood and the music industry,the greedy fuckers actually have no clue on who their customers are and fucked everything up.

    A biased Cliche,but fairly true. What it comes down too is this : Any company in any industry that produces a desired commodity will profit. The gaming market has in many many cases hemoraghed its credibility. To get really deep and off topic it comes back to the way society is these days (all around the world,west/east/middleeast). This sort of fucked up industry shit isnt happening to just the gaming industry. But ive babbled enough.

    Never feel bad for buying a used copy of a game. because if they REALLY wanted your money they wouldve A: made it affordable for the mass market to buy and B: Made sure they made enough fucking copies were made. Did i pirate a bunch of roms back in the day? Maybe (FF6 im looking at you!) would i have bought the snes version if possible? Unhesitatingly. I can't buy something i cant get. Note im not advocating piracy,but i am in no way believeing its killing the industry. I mean,how long have people been shipping shit around the world and its been getting pirated? well over 2k years.

    And to go back to the Stardock thing,he basicly said developers are being stupid,and all trying to be fucking rockstars (no pun intended) and expecting to sell millions of copies,and budgeting like they will. SofSE sold over 500k games,and still made a large amount of profit because costs were low,and the niche was right. Think walmart. Volume > High profit low sales.

    Vytae on
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    ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    That_Guy wrote: »
    I have a big problem with used games for Gamestop. When someone trades in a game (hell even a good game) the trader only gets a small fraction of the price that they turn around and sell the game for. If it is a good new game that people are itching to buy, the person may get half what the store gets when the sell it used. Plus, the discount on used games will be 10% to 15%, which is not worth it IMO.

    And that's fine. But it is money back, so if you have games taking up space, why not sell them? I've made hundreds of dollars from games I no longer play. Yeah, trade-in rates are low, and yeah, Gamestop sells them back for a huge profit. But you don't have to trade in games if you don't want to.

    Zombiemambo on
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    See, I don't get people who trade games into Gamestop. Or rather, I get why kids might do it (desperate for cash, not able to use other methods), but I don't get why an adult would sell games to Gamestop when you can get a ton more money selling them via other methods like ebay or trade them on Goozex for other games.

    Just recently, a friend of mine traded in 3 games to Gamestop in a desperate attempt to round up some money for a preorder on MGS4: No More Heroes (Wii), Super Swing Golf (Wii), and The Red Star. They gave him $27.50 for the lot ($20 for NMH, $5 for SSG, and $2.50 for RS). On Goozex, he would have gotten 1850 points which would have allowed him to trade for some good stuff (most new popular games go for 1000 points on the system).

    RainbowDespair on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    See, I don't get people who trade games into Gamestop. Or rather, I get why kids might do it (desperate for cash, not able to use other methods), but I don't get why an adult would sell games to Gamestop when you can get a ton more money selling them via other methods like ebay or trade them on Goozex for other games.

    Just recently, a friend of mine traded in 3 games to Gamestop in a desperate attempt to round up some money for a preorder on MGS4: No More Heroes (Wii), Super Swing Golf (Wii), and The Red Star. They gave him $27.50 for the lot ($20 for NMH, $5 for SSG, and $2.50 for RS). On Goozex, he would have gotten 1850 points which would have allowed him to trade for some good stuff (most new popular games go for 1000 points on the system).

    Yea, but then you gotta wait for shipping and all that shit and how's your friend going to get a new copy of MGS4 off Goozex? Or what are the chances he's going to get a used copy from Goozex any time within the first 3 months that the game is out?

    YodaTuna on
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    Mace1370Mace1370 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    The only people who feel bad about buying used games are anti-capitalistic and generally ignorant. Seriously, if you <3 developers so much and hate Gamestapo then send a check and a letter of undying love to the developers and stop shopping at Gamestop.

    Why is this even a debate? If you feel bad about it then don't do it.

    Mace1370 on
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    True, but on the other hand, he could have just sold them on ebay. Even taking into account listing fees, he could have made noticeably more money. Metal Gear Solid 4 is over 2 months away after all, a week or two delay shouldn't make much difference now.

    RainbowDespair on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    True, but on the other hand, he could have just sold them on ebay. Even taking into account listing fees, he could have made noticeably more money. Metal Gear Solid 4 is over 2 months away after all, a week or two delay shouldn't make much difference now.

    Never underestimate the power of instant gratification. Still eBay is a pain in the ass even if you have time.

    Post auction -> wait 5 to 7 days -> hope you make money -> Box up, send out -> Transfer money from paypal account -> Hope nothing fucks up.

    And that's the short version, if someone doesn't have an eBay/Paypal account, have fun using an hour to set that up. It's just a pain in the ass especially for Joe Everyone who just buys cheap used games and sells them back, which is the majority of GameStop's business.

    YodaTuna on
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    ZackSchillingZackSchilling Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Used games lie somewhere between pirating and buying new for yourself, when it comes to impact on the developers. By contributing to a used market you are making new copies more enticing for people willing to resell. So essentially you and the person who bought the game originally have each bought part of the game (and added some overhead). The more times it is resold, the more sales you've cost the owners of the game.

    So in my opinion if you can afford to buy new and buy used just because you can, you should feel a little guilty. And I don't think that the ability to sell your game to someone else should necessarily be a fundamental right. It doesn't really make sense when you consider the reason intellectual property laws exist. I say this mostly about the case of digital distribution, where the traditional impediments to a used market (hassle and quality degredation) do not exist.

    I disagree entirely. If you buy a game, thereby purchasing a license to use the software an infinite number of times, play it once and decide you wouldn't care to play it again, you should be allowed to sell your right to play it to another person. You paid $60 for something you no longer want, but you're not allowed to resell it because the maker wants to sell more? That sounds really unfair to the customer.

    It's not the job of the law to fix broken business models. If game companies want to combat used games from taking away sales, offer a single-play game or a non-resellable rental period for less money. Or just make the goddamn game good enough so that most people don't want to sell it!

    Why should you be allowed to resell it, other than you think you should be able to? If a game company wants to sell its games as licenses to people, that's a perfectly acceptable model to create incentive to make games. Is it really so bizarre a concept that they want you to give them some amount of money for playing their game, rather than letting the same copy get played by a multitude of different people? What's unfair about exchanging money for an enjoyable gaming experience?

    I think I should be able to because that's how everything else works and has always worked and I think it's a damn fine system that doesn't need exceptions for games, movies, music, books, or any other kind of intellectual property.

    HOWEVER

    If a company wants to go with digital distribution or something and try non-transferable licenses, that's fine by me. They just need to realize that people pay $60 for a game largely because the license is transferable. Because they can loan it to a friend or sell it off for cash. In fact, that is a very non-trivial component of the value of their product. I don't buy anything that costs more than $10, maybe $15 in non-transferable form for that very reason.
    RandomEngy wrote: »
    Anyway I'm arguing all this mostly to defend the model of digital distribution of games, which mainly does not let you move games from account to account. A lot of games you enjoy for a few days, beat and don't play it again. Being able to transfer games from account to account would be a complete disaster here. You'd buy a license for a game on ebay, say $10 below the Steam price, or whatever. You play for a while, then sell it back for essentially the same amount of money, effectively enjoying the game for free. The same concept applies with trade-in sites or swapping services. As I mentioned earlier, the absence of hassle in getting a game to someone else and the fact that the quality of the game is not degraded at all by being "used" would cause the used market to dominate, undercutting the publishers and developers and deeply cutting into their revenues. Not to mention the fact that the distributor has to foot the bill for bandwidth every time the license is resold.

    They are under no obligation whatsoever to allow this kind of market to exist.

    My god, what am I supposed to say to this?

    First, let's throw out digital distribution. You keep bringing it up but its basically irrelevant to this discussion. You're right that digital distribution makes it so the publisher has to foot the costs of license transferal, but the pricing scheme has already absorbed this in, along with the fact that you can't transfer licenses. It's a different market with different rules and people treat it differently. The value is shifted all over the place. To even compare it to the matter at hand, retail console game resale, is pointless because of this.

    Next, your entire point of view hinges on the idea that the entire value of a game, or most of it at least can be absorbed in one brief play before you resell it to enjoy the game for "free". That's not true at all. People pay for games to have them and play them whenever they want, not just receive all the content enclosed and move on. Ask people here, not just me. The people who buy games new, play them once, and sell them get exactly what they paid for: a fun, fleeting experience at the price of about $3. Similar to a rental.

    And what about other products that are basically one-time use but are physical goods? Things like phone unlock cables or Nintendo DS homebrew flashers? What about people on a forum passing around a small, special screwdriver that lets them mod a console instead of each buying their own? It took time and money to design and make those products! The specialized screwdriver could have easily cost more in overhead than materials, just like games. Why aren't you crying out for those people to make more money?

    ZackSchilling on
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    cliffskicliffski Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    If you really want to help the DEVELOPER, then where possible buy the game direct from them. I know I get at least 5x the money from a direct sale off my website than I do from a box in a store, sometimes its even more exaggerated than that.
    The sooner everyone starts buying direct the better.
    Why the hell can't I order wii games direct from nintendo?

    cliffski on
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    RatheRathe Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    Æthelred wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    I will also add this -

    Just because we as individuals have no need to feel bad about buying used games does not mean that there are no problems with video games retail industries, and it does not mean that there is nothing that we can do to improve the situation for gamers and developers.

    The line I have to draw though is when devs start piping up about how the 2nd hand industry is killing them when books and DVD's have the same issue, if not worse. I mean, what the heck is a library except a government sanctioned organisation where you can make personal use of copyrighted works of art for free? How on EARTH did J K Rowling survive?

    Authors get paid to have their books in the library system.

    How does that work? Is it on a book by book basis, usage statistics, or some sort of flat fee over the years or what? And how does this work in cases where authors come from other countries? Or are deceased but the work itself is still copyrighted?

    This is for Canada, I wouldn't be surprised if there are places that do usage fees or a higher purchase price(which makes the most sense to me) and a fair number probably do nothing.

    The Public Lending Right Commision once a year vistis ten different public libraries(I have no idea which ones). They go with a list of books published by Canadian authors and every time they find one of those books the author gets $40. So for one title you can get a max of $400 dollars a year.

    Authors from other countries as far as I know receive nothing for being in a Canadian library other then the initial purchase royalty.

    Being deceased should have no effect as long as the copyright term hasn't passed yet, like other assets I believe you can have it pass onto someone else.

    Not sure if we do it here but in the States I believe they have an agency that also collects small royalties from places like libraries to cover things like work reproduction and photocopying. Obviously this part is untraceable to specific books and authors.

    Not 100% sure how ebooks work for them. I know libraries generally will pay a yearly access fee or something and authors probably are supposed to receive some sort of royalty for this(probably a yearly one). Authors quite often get fucked here, neither contacted for their permission to transfer to another medium or paid anything.


    So I am partially on topic:

    There is nothing ethically or morally wrong with purchasing used games instead of new ones. You are a consumer and have the right to attempt to receive the greatest value for you dollar.

    It does hurt the gaming industry though, much like buying anything used hurts the industries that produce the initial product(so yes buying a used car does hurt the auto manufacturing industry for example too). I'm not saying there is an equality where 1 used game sale means 1 lost new game sale but there is a proportional loss. People have a certain amount of disposable income and spending money on a used game no matter how great a deal you get or even if its out of print means you have less money to buy new games, have to a degree already satisfied your want for buying games so are less likely to buy a new game. The effects of less money for game companies is pretty self explanatory. I can't say if a company has gone bust due to used game sales but its pretty likely. I imagine it hurts small startups the most(stardock being an exception) which sucks because these guys are the ones that will probably bring the most innovation if they can exist for awhile.

    Now the damage from buying used games is partially offset by:
    1. Increasing the number of people that get into gaming because of the cheaper prices and may in the future buy new releases
    2. People that will buy a new game knowing there is some resale value to the game when they are done with it.
    3. People buying a used copy of a game that they normally wouldn't buy and enjoying it so much they decide to buy new copies of any sequels.

    As far as people complaining about game prices for new games. Game companies like everyone else want to make money, you go to work you want to get paid, you make an investment you want to get some sort of return on it. They probably aren't much greedier then you or I am.

    Rathe on
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    KageraKagera Imitating the worst people. Since 2004Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    That_Guy wrote: »
    I have a big problem with used games for Gamestop. When someone trades in a game (hell even a good game) the trader only gets a small fraction of the price that they turn around and sell the game for. If it is a good new game that people are itching to buy, the person may get half what the store gets when the sell it used. Plus, the discount on used games will be 10% to 15%, which is not worth it IMO.

    Yeah, until there's a coupon for 10% more off of used games or $5 more trade in credit for trading in games.

    It's a person's choice to trade in their games, no one's forcing them to. Free market forces, supply & demand, etc.

    Kagera on
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    phamtqphamtq Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    At last years PAX I went to one of the panels (growing older & gaming or something) and someone brought up the question about buying used games. The developers on the panel didn't have a problem with it and the way they responded seemed like it was a non-issue to them.

    phamtq on
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    DashuiDashui Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    phamtq wrote: »
    At last years PAX I went to one of the panels (growing older & gaming or something) and someone brought up the question about buying used games. The developers on the panel didn't have a problem with it and the way they responded seemed like it was a non-issue to them.

    It's probably the publishers who don't especially like it.

    Dashui on
    Xbox Live, PSN & Origin: Vacorsis 3DS: 2638-0037-166
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    cliffski wrote: »
    If you really want to help the DEVELOPER, then where possible buy the game direct from them. I know I get at least 5x the money from a direct sale off my website than I do from a box in a store, sometimes its even more exaggerated than that.
    The sooner everyone starts buying direct the better.
    Why the hell can't I order wii games direct from nintendo?

    Because stores would have a frikkin heart attack, that's why. They do not want to be selling your game in-store when you're selling directly to the customer, especially if you manage to knock a few % points off the selling price. Can you imagine if people could directly download their games from Nintendo instead of having to queue up for them at the store on release day?

    I mean, look what happened to "Precipice" there.

    subedii on
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    PancakePancake Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    cliffski wrote: »
    If you really want to help the DEVELOPER, then where possible buy the game direct from them. I know I get at least 5x the money from a direct sale off my website than I do from a box in a store, sometimes its even more exaggerated than that.
    The sooner everyone starts buying direct the better.
    Why the hell can't I order wii games direct from nintendo?

    Because stores would have a frikkin heart attack, that's why. There's no way they'd be willing to sell your game in-store when you're selling directly to the customer, especially if you manage to knock a few % points off the selling price.

    I mean, look what happened to "Precipice" there.

    But a lot of publishers/developers sell their games from their own online stores.

    Nintendo is kind of breaking the mold by refusing to do it, for better or worse. Or do retailers only care about Nintendo somehow?

    Pancake on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Pancake wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    cliffski wrote: »
    If you really want to help the DEVELOPER, then where possible buy the game direct from them. I know I get at least 5x the money from a direct sale off my website than I do from a box in a store, sometimes its even more exaggerated than that.
    The sooner everyone starts buying direct the better.
    Why the hell can't I order wii games direct from nintendo?

    Because stores would have a frikkin heart attack, that's why. There's no way they'd be willing to sell your game in-store when you're selling directly to the customer, especially if you manage to knock a few % points off the selling price.

    I mean, look what happened to "Precipice" there.

    But a lot of publishers/developers sell their games from their own online stores.

    Nintendo is kind of breaking the mold by refusing to do it, for better or worse. Or do retailers only care about Nintendo somehow?

    In general 3rd party distro doesn't like the competition. And Wii games are a big seller.

    Either that, or Nintendo just don't like money. *shrug*

    subedii on
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    Lave IILave II Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    There is no significant difference between a new and second hand copy of a game to me. Except one is far more likely to be in the price range I'm willing to spend on a piece of insular, geeky transitory entertainment.

    I bought these games new at these prices.

    Picross £20
    EDF £20
    Endless Blue £20
    Sonic ATSRs £20
    Excite Truck £20
    CoD4 £22.50
    Bioshock £25

    If I had to have paid RRP for CoD etc, I wouldn't have bought them. So developers can have my money if they price to me. If they choose not to well fair enough. Capitalism man.

    Lave II on
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    cliffskicliffski Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Nintendo should absolutely sell direct. And they should just tell the stores if they don't want to stock nintendo stuff, that's fine with them.
    In the long run, the stores are dead and its direct sales all the way. The stores must know this, they would be mad to hasten it even more.

    cliffski on
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