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Used games: should we feel bad about buying them?

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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Used game sales for digitally distributed games aren't really necessary because it doesn't cost anything for the distruibutor to keep those games "in print". I can swing onto Steam and buy any game that has ever been availiable on the service ever.


    They may not be necessary for the distributor, but what about the consumer?

    When I buy a physical game, I know that I canget some kind of return on it in the end. That is a factor in to my determiniation of value.

    With Digi Distro, there is no salvage value. All I can ever do is get bored and delete it.

    Then I'd recommend waiting until the game drops in price, or buying the console port. I'm just looking at this from a "preserving the availability of works" standpoint.


    That's a fair standpoint, but you are also forgettingthe fact that price drops are a lot different with DD as well.

    With physical products, they take up shelf space, so you need to occasionally reduce the price in order to raise demand, and clear them out. With DD, there's no worries about shelf-space, so you can keep the price up high until it stops selling entirely before dropping it. Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    Hey, that happens with some retail games, too. I sure as fuck don't know why Gears of War is still selling at $60 everywhere given that it came out in 2006, but I know I wouldn't pay that much for it.

    Of course, with digital distribution, it's also really easy to globally change the price to whatever the market feels like bearing at the time. At least, I haven't noticed any major problems with Steam's model.

    Daedalus on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Used game sales for digitally distributed games aren't really necessary because it doesn't cost anything for the distruibutor to keep those games "in print". I can swing onto Steam and buy any game that has ever been availiable on the service ever.


    They may not be necessary for the distributor, but what about the consumer?

    When I buy a physical game, I know that I canget some kind of return on it in the end. That is a factor in to my determiniation of value.

    With Digi Distro, there is no salvage value. All I can ever do is get bored and delete it.

    Then I'd recommend waiting until the game drops in price, or buying the console port. I'm just looking at this from a "preserving the availability of works" standpoint.


    That's a fair standpoint, but you are also forgettingthe fact that price drops are a lot different with DD as well.

    With physical products, they take up shelf space, so you need to occasionally reduce the price in order to raise demand, and clear them out. With DD, there's no worries about shelf-space, so you can keep the price up high until it stops selling entirely before dropping it. Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    Hey, that happens with some retail games, too. I sure as fuck don't know why Gears of War is still selling at $60 everywhere given that it came out in 2006, but I know I wouldn't pay that much for it.

    Of course, with digital distribution, it's also really easy to globally change the price to whatever the market feels like bearing at the time. At least, I haven't noticed any major problems with Steam's model.

    Oh, I know it happens with some retail games, but imagine if it happened with even more of them.

    With digital distribution, you're dealing ONLY with MSRP. You lose the benefit of dealing with stores putting products on sale in order to get rid of their stock.



    It's not the death of sales and price drops, but it would definitely reduce them. Look at XBLA pricing, and how rare it is for a game to go down in price (it is a big deal when a game drops in price, as opposed to retail, where it is EXPECTED to happen.) It is essentially the inverse of how retail pricing works, in that regard.

    edit: and global rice changes are actually more of a negative than a positive. Local markets are not identical to global ones, and you're more likely to see the price staying higher when it would have dropped inyour area, rather than the price dropping even though your folks are still willing to pay more. Companies want to get as much profit as possible, which means leaving prices high as long as is profitable to do so. Taking away variable overhead costs means that's an even longer time frame.

    Evander on
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    Kuribo's ShoeKuribo's Shoe Kuribo's Stocking North PoleRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I am sure it's been said, but in no way will I feel bad as long as they want me to pay 60$.

    I don't even buy games period anymore at that price, I just borrow them from friends that do.

    man, if you grew up when the SNES was big, this shit would be a cakewalk

    I paid $80 for Toy Story.

    Kuribo's Shoe on
    xmassig2.gif
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I am sure it's been said, but in no way will I feel bad as long as they want me to pay 60$.

    I don't even buy games period anymore at that price, I just borrow them from friends that do.

    man, if you grew up when the SNES was big, this shit would be a cakewalk

    I paid $80 for Toy Story.

    And you brag about that?



    I once bought a Dream Cast instead of buying an N64 game.



    I DID NOT like payinghigh prices then; why would I now?

    Evander on
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    Kuribo's ShoeKuribo's Shoe Kuribo's Stocking North PoleRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    I am sure it's been said, but in no way will I feel bad as long as they want me to pay 60$.

    I don't even buy games period anymore at that price, I just borrow them from friends that do.

    man, if you grew up when the SNES was big, this shit would be a cakewalk

    I paid $80 for Toy Story.

    And you brag about that?



    I once bought a Dream Cast instead of buying an N64 game.



    I DID NOT like payinghigh prices then; why would I now?

    I'm not bragging by any means. Those days sucked. But $59.99 isn't really an issue for me. Especially since I only buy a new game every couple of months or so. But I also have no qualms picking up something used if it happens to be a game I want. The real problem I see is the fact that used games aren't really cheap enough to justify buying them over a new copy.

    Kuribo's Shoe on
    xmassig2.gif
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Used game sales for digitally distributed games aren't really necessary because it doesn't cost anything for the distruibutor to keep those games "in print". I can swing onto Steam and buy any game that has ever been availiable on the service ever.


    They may not be necessary for the distributor, but what about the consumer?

    When I buy a physical game, I know that I canget some kind of return on it in the end. That is a factor in to my determiniation of value.

    With Digi Distro, there is no salvage value. All I can ever do is get bored and delete it.

    Then I'd recommend waiting until the game drops in price, or buying the console port. I'm just looking at this from a "preserving the availability of works" standpoint.


    That's a fair standpoint, but you are also forgettingthe fact that price drops are a lot different with DD as well.

    With physical products, they take up shelf space, so you need to occasionally reduce the price in order to raise demand, and clear them out. With DD, there's no worries about shelf-space, so you can keep the price up high until it stops selling entirely before dropping it. Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    Hey, that happens with some retail games, too. I sure as fuck don't know why Gears of War is still selling at $60 everywhere given that it came out in 2006, but I know I wouldn't pay that much for it.

    Of course, with digital distribution, it's also really easy to globally change the price to whatever the market feels like bearing at the time. At least, I haven't noticed any major problems with Steam's model.

    Oh, I know it happens with some retail games, but imagine if it happened with even more of them.

    With digital distribution, you're dealing ONLY with MSRP. You lose the benefit of dealing with stores putting products on sale in order to get rid of their stock.



    It's not the death of sales and price drops, but it would definitely reduce them. Look at XBLA pricing, and how rare it is for a game to go down in price (it is a big deal when a game drops in price, as opposed to retail, where it is EXPECTED to happen.) It is essentially the inverse of how retail pricing works, in that regard.

    edit: and global rice changes are actually more of a negative than a positive. Local markets are not identical to global ones, and you're more likely to see the price staying higher when it would have dropped inyour area, rather than the price dropping even though your folks are still willing to pay more. Companies want to get as much profit as possible, which means leaving prices high as long as is profitable to do so. Taking away variable overhead costs means that's an even longer time frame.

    Global prices are all we have nowadays anyway. EBGames isn't going to have one store put a game on clearance if it isn't selling there but is selling elsewhere; they'll just cross-ship it to the store in the region where it's selling well.

    Honestly, while local markdowns are always nice to stumble upon, I can count the number of times I've seen one happen for something that wasn't coaster-worthy shovelware in the first place on one finger. It's not common enough nowadays to warrant worrying about.

    Daedalus on
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    Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    I don't need to imagine it, such is the pain of being both a cheapskate and a fan of Nintendo products. It's basically shut up and pay full price or wait for the Toys R US Buy Two Get One deals or other rare discounts.

    Xenogears of Bore on
    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
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    projectmayhemprojectmayhem Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I am sure it's been said, but in no way will I feel bad as long as they want me to pay 60$.

    I don't even buy games period anymore at that price, I just borrow them from friends that do.

    man, if you grew up when the SNES was big, this shit would be a cakewalk

    I paid $80 for Toy Story.

    I did. And I didn't buy them then ether, blockbuster ftw.

    projectmayhem on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Used game sales for digitally distributed games aren't really necessary because it doesn't cost anything for the distruibutor to keep those games "in print". I can swing onto Steam and buy any game that has ever been availiable on the service ever.


    They may not be necessary for the distributor, but what about the consumer?

    When I buy a physical game, I know that I canget some kind of return on it in the end. That is a factor in to my determiniation of value.

    With Digi Distro, there is no salvage value. All I can ever do is get bored and delete it.

    Then I'd recommend waiting until the game drops in price, or buying the console port. I'm just looking at this from a "preserving the availability of works" standpoint.


    That's a fair standpoint, but you are also forgettingthe fact that price drops are a lot different with DD as well.

    With physical products, they take up shelf space, so you need to occasionally reduce the price in order to raise demand, and clear them out. With DD, there's no worries about shelf-space, so you can keep the price up high until it stops selling entirely before dropping it. Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    Hey, that happens with some retail games, too. I sure as fuck don't know why Gears of War is still selling at $60 everywhere given that it came out in 2006, but I know I wouldn't pay that much for it.

    Of course, with digital distribution, it's also really easy to globally change the price to whatever the market feels like bearing at the time. At least, I haven't noticed any major problems with Steam's model.

    Oh, I know it happens with some retail games, but imagine if it happened with even more of them.

    With digital distribution, you're dealing ONLY with MSRP. You lose the benefit of dealing with stores putting products on sale in order to get rid of their stock.



    It's not the death of sales and price drops, but it would definitely reduce them. Look at XBLA pricing, and how rare it is for a game to go down in price (it is a big deal when a game drops in price, as opposed to retail, where it is EXPECTED to happen.) It is essentially the inverse of how retail pricing works, in that regard.

    edit: and global rice changes are actually more of a negative than a positive. Local markets are not identical to global ones, and you're more likely to see the price staying higher when it would have dropped inyour area, rather than the price dropping even though your folks are still willing to pay more. Companies want to get as much profit as possible, which means leaving prices high as long as is profitable to do so. Taking away variable overhead costs means that's an even longer time frame.

    Global prices are all we have nowadays anyway. EBGames isn't going to have one store put a game on clearance if it isn't selling there but is selling elsewhere; they'll just cross-ship it to the store in the region where it's selling well.

    Honestly, while local markdowns are always nice to stumble upon, I can count the number of times I've seen one happen for something that wasn't coaster-worthy shovelware in the first place on one finger. It's not common enough nowadays to warrant worrying about.



    You don't know what you've got 'til its gone.

    And that still doesn't cover the issue of a chain-wide markdown. Circuit City decides it has too many copies of Crackdown, as a whole, they mark down the price to get rid of them. If Crackdown is a DD title, though, thenthere's no need to get rid of copies.

    Evander on
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    DaedalusDaedalus Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Used game sales for digitally distributed games aren't really necessary because it doesn't cost anything for the distruibutor to keep those games "in print". I can swing onto Steam and buy any game that has ever been availiable on the service ever.


    They may not be necessary for the distributor, but what about the consumer?

    When I buy a physical game, I know that I canget some kind of return on it in the end. That is a factor in to my determiniation of value.

    With Digi Distro, there is no salvage value. All I can ever do is get bored and delete it.

    Then I'd recommend waiting until the game drops in price, or buying the console port. I'm just looking at this from a "preserving the availability of works" standpoint.


    That's a fair standpoint, but you are also forgettingthe fact that price drops are a lot different with DD as well.

    With physical products, they take up shelf space, so you need to occasionally reduce the price in order to raise demand, and clear them out. With DD, there's no worries about shelf-space, so you can keep the price up high until it stops selling entirely before dropping it. Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    Hey, that happens with some retail games, too. I sure as fuck don't know why Gears of War is still selling at $60 everywhere given that it came out in 2006, but I know I wouldn't pay that much for it.

    Of course, with digital distribution, it's also really easy to globally change the price to whatever the market feels like bearing at the time. At least, I haven't noticed any major problems with Steam's model.

    Oh, I know it happens with some retail games, but imagine if it happened with even more of them.

    With digital distribution, you're dealing ONLY with MSRP. You lose the benefit of dealing with stores putting products on sale in order to get rid of their stock.



    It's not the death of sales and price drops, but it would definitely reduce them. Look at XBLA pricing, and how rare it is for a game to go down in price (it is a big deal when a game drops in price, as opposed to retail, where it is EXPECTED to happen.) It is essentially the inverse of how retail pricing works, in that regard.

    edit: and global rice changes are actually more of a negative than a positive. Local markets are not identical to global ones, and you're more likely to see the price staying higher when it would have dropped inyour area, rather than the price dropping even though your folks are still willing to pay more. Companies want to get as much profit as possible, which means leaving prices high as long as is profitable to do so. Taking away variable overhead costs means that's an even longer time frame.

    Global prices are all we have nowadays anyway. EBGames isn't going to have one store put a game on clearance if it isn't selling there but is selling elsewhere; they'll just cross-ship it to the store in the region where it's selling well.

    Honestly, while local markdowns are always nice to stumble upon, I can count the number of times I've seen one happen for something that wasn't coaster-worthy shovelware in the first place on one finger. It's not common enough nowadays to warrant worrying about.



    You don't know what you've got 'til its gone.

    And that still doesn't cover the issue of a chain-wide markdown. Circuit City decides it has too many copies of Crackdown, as a whole, they mark down the price to get rid of them. If Crackdown is a DD title, though, thenthere's no need to get rid of copies.

    Honestly, I've saved more money from Valve's periodic sales than I have from clearances like Circuit City's regular purges. I see where you're coming from in theory but I don't think it works like that in practice.

    Daedalus on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Honestly, I've saved more money from Valve's periodic sales than I have from clearances like Circuit City's regular purges. I see where you're coming from in theory but I don't think it works like that in practice.

    Listen, if you turn out right, I definitely won't be complaining.

    But the difference with Steam, as cynical as it sounds, is that Valve cares. When you get companies like Walmart running DD outlets (believe me, it's coming) you won't see that sort of "compassion".

    Evander on
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    fearsomepiratefearsomepirate I ate a pickle once. Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I don't feel bad when I buy used cars, used books, used CDs, used clothes, used DVDs, or used furniture, and none of the people originally involved in the design or manufacture of those things see one red cent. Used goods are a basic part of any market. The reason game publishers think that they shouldn't have to deal with that is that it's an extremely immature industry, and as such, the major players think that the normal rules of life shouldn't apply to them. If a publisher can't survive in conjunction with the secondhand market, it means its business model is flawed, not that the secondhand market is fundamentally immoral. Lots of other industries have to deal with it, and game publishers are no exception.

    fearsomepirate on
    Nobody makes me bleed my own blood...nobody.
    PSN ID: fearsomepirate
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    Daedalus wrote: »
    Used game sales for digitally distributed games aren't really necessary because it doesn't cost anything for the distruibutor to keep those games "in print". I can swing onto Steam and buy any game that has ever been availiable on the service ever.


    They may not be necessary for the distributor, but what about the consumer?

    When I buy a physical game, I know that I canget some kind of return on it in the end. That is a factor in to my determiniation of value.

    With Digi Distro, there is no salvage value. All I can ever do is get bored and delete it.

    Then I'd recommend waiting until the game drops in price, or buying the console port. I'm just looking at this from a "preserving the availability of works" standpoint.


    That's a fair standpoint, but you are also forgettingthe fact that price drops are a lot different with DD as well.

    With physical products, they take up shelf space, so you need to occasionally reduce the price in order to raise demand, and clear them out. With DD, there's no worries about shelf-space, so you can keep the price up high until it stops selling entirely before dropping it. Imagine if EVERY game's price stayed at it's release point for a couple years before SLOWLY dropping.

    Hey, that happens with some retail games, too. I sure as fuck don't know why Gears of War is still selling at $60 everywhere given that it came out in 2006, but I know I wouldn't pay that much for it.

    Of course, with digital distribution, it's also really easy to globally change the price to whatever the market feels like bearing at the time. At least, I haven't noticed any major problems with Steam's model.

    Oh, I know it happens with some retail games, but imagine if it happened with even more of them.

    With digital distribution, you're dealing ONLY with MSRP. You lose the benefit of dealing with stores putting products on sale in order to get rid of their stock.



    It's not the death of sales and price drops, but it would definitely reduce them. Look at XBLA pricing, and how rare it is for a game to go down in price (it is a big deal when a game drops in price, as opposed to retail, where it is EXPECTED to happen.) It is essentially the inverse of how retail pricing works, in that regard.

    edit: and global rice changes are actually more of a negative than a positive. Local markets are not identical to global ones, and you're more likely to see the price staying higher when it would have dropped inyour area, rather than the price dropping even though your folks are still willing to pay more. Companies want to get as much profit as possible, which means leaving prices high as long as is profitable to do so. Taking away variable overhead costs means that's an even longer time frame.

    Global prices are all we have nowadays anyway. EBGames isn't going to have one store put a game on clearance if it isn't selling there but is selling elsewhere; they'll just cross-ship it to the store in the region where it's selling well.

    Honestly, while local markdowns are always nice to stumble upon, I can count the number of times I've seen one happen for something that wasn't coaster-worthy shovelware in the first place on one finger. It's not common enough nowadays to warrant worrying about.



    You don't know what you've got 'til its gone.

    And that still doesn't cover the issue of a chain-wide markdown. Circuit City decides it has too many copies of Crackdown, as a whole, they mark down the price to get rid of them. If Crackdown is a DD title, though, thenthere's no need to get rid of copies.

    Honestly, I've saved more money from Valve's periodic sales than I have from clearances like Circuit City's regular purges. I see where you're coming from in theory but I don't think it works like that in practice.

    Similar here, Valve's sales are very good.

    Plus if a title like Audiosurf had been sold in-store I'd expect it to go for at least twice the price that it does on Steam. Whilst there's no surplus stock to drop the price on, the lack of physical stock also means that there's lower overhead and less barrier to reducing the price when sales start to dip, both of which can lead to lower prices for the consumer.

    subedii on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    Whilst there's no surplus stock to drop the price on, the lack of physical stock also means that there's lower overhead and less barrier to reducing the price when sales start to dip, both of which can lead to lower prices for the consumer.


    Not really.

    Overhead doesn't keep prices up longer when a product isn't selling. At that point, whatever you've already spent is a sunk cost, and you just want to get it off of the shelves so you can replace it with a product that WILL sell.



    The only significant exceptionthere would be seasonal items, or items that otherwise naturally have some kind of cyclical demand.

    Evander on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    Whilst there's no surplus stock to drop the price on, the lack of physical stock also means that there's lower overhead and less barrier to reducing the price when sales start to dip, both of which can lead to lower prices for the consumer.


    Not really.

    Overhead doesn't keep prices up longer when a product isn't selling. At that point, whatever you've already spent is a sunk cost, and you just want to get it off of the shelves so you can replace it with a product that WILL sell.

    What I'm saying is that there's lower overhead (by quite a LARGE margin) in DD than in store sales. Which means that they can afford to sell for lower, and often do (hence, Audiosurf). At the moment it's a bit locked in though because companies still depend a lot on store sales, as such they can't undercut their brick-and-mortar suppliers.

    subedii on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Hopefully the tide will turn (quite soon actually) and when DD is more profitable on the whole than retail, publishers won't be afraid of undercutting retail.

    LewieP on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    Whilst there's no surplus stock to drop the price on, the lack of physical stock also means that there's lower overhead and less barrier to reducing the price when sales start to dip, both of which can lead to lower prices for the consumer.


    Not really.

    Overhead doesn't keep prices up longer when a product isn't selling. At that point, whatever you've already spent is a sunk cost, and you just want to get it off of the shelves so you can replace it with a product that WILL sell.

    What I'm saying is that there's lower overhead (by quite a LARGE margin) in DD than in store sales. Which means that they can afford to sell for lower, and often do (hence, Audiosurf). At the moment it's a bit locked in though because companies still depend a lot on store sales, as such they can't undercut their brick-and-mortar suppliers.

    First of, B&M isn't ever going away, so it's not just "at the moment".

    And secondly, just because they COULD lower the price, that doesn't mean that they would.



    Steam is a wonderful service, but it really isn't a good example of the business model. It is incredibly niche, and run by folks who are, themselves, enthusiasts.



    When DD takes off on a mainstream level, it will be run by companies that folks are already familiar with. Maybe it will be B&M brands like Walmart or Target, or maybe it'll be online brands like Amazon or Google, but the one thing you can count on is that prices will not completely reflect the dropin Overhead. People are already willing to pay a certain price for the software; it would be bad business to go and charge them a whole lot less. The decrease in price will be just enough to counteract any hesitation about the lack of a physical copy.



    If you want to look atthe future of DD, look at iTunes. THAT is the model, not Steam.

    Evander on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    LewieP wrote: »
    Hopefully the tide will turn (quite soon actually) and when DD is more profitable on the whole than retail, publishers won't be afraid of undercutting retail.


    Folks like to frame it that somehow "evil retail" preys upon the poor publishers.

    But it is very much a mutually beneficial relationship.



    Without having retail for folks to browse, and specialty gaming shops to carry more niche titles, the Gaming Industry as we know it couldn't survive.



    DD might take care of the niche title aspect, but not so much the browsing. It is MUCH more difficult to get people to make impulse purchases in a web portal, since there is no physical confinement.

    Evander on
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    LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Oh I didn't mean to imply that retail is 'evil' by any means, I just know that right now most publishers see it as more profitable to please retailers than to please customers, and I would certainly like that to lessen.

    LewieP on
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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You shouldn't feel bad about buying games used in general.

    However, I will say that there is something at play here...

    Sometimes there are small developers, independent developers, or developers with unique ideas. Often these people don't have the budget for a huge marketing campaign, or a publisher to do that for them.

    Sometimes, their product is just as good or better than some of the crap that gets promoted like crazy by huge publishers.

    Huge hype and marketing gets games to sell. Even if they are not necessarily good.

    It's much harder to get a game, good or bad, to achieve high sales when it doesn't have a huge marketing push.


    What that means is that a lot of the smaller/independent developers and/or ones with unique ideas that lack huge marketing budgets heavily rely on pulling in reasonably good sales.

    And not just sales over all, sales within the first month of release of their title. It's a major measure of their success.


    Buying used is fine. But I encourage people to buy new games from the smaller guys that are less likely to have the major marketing push of Assassin's Creed, or the guaranteed mainstream success of a Madden game.

    That money goes to support the developer, and it goes toward improving the metric used to determine their success in view of their and other publishers. It also shows how unique ideas can succeed.


    Especially when games are brand new, just came out - the benefits of supporting developers and supporting good games is extremely important upon release/first weeks/first month as measure of success. But also, when you buy Used when a game just came out, you're only saving $3-$5 at places like GameStop (ebay varies, but usually like $10). Sometimes you get a disc in great shape, sometimes in bad shape, whatever. But is saving $5 really worth it over buying new at release?

    The nice thing about buying Used is that it creates a second hand market; and where there's a second hand market, it allows users to buy brand New games with the knowledge that if they're tired of it, they can resell it. This knowledge that they may make some money back allows them to be more comfortable and more likely to buy New games.

    But also it allows people who buy new games to resell their old ones, and use that money gained from the sale to go out and buy another New game. It takes the money and puts it back into the industry.

    Now, of course, you might argue that if the person had just kept their game, they may have bought the newer one anyway, and the other guy would have ended up buying New. But that's not necessarily the case. I think most Used-buyers are bargain hunters and are less likely to buy New anyway.


    Laslty, I know what it's like not to have money. Not everyone can afford to buy everything they want, and everything they want to support, right when it comes out. So I tottally understand that not everyone has money flowing from their asses all the time. Buying used can be a good way for less money-having gamers to enjoy in this hobby and industry.



    tl;dr:

    Buying Used is fine and has real benefits. But it's less practical to buy Used when a game is just released, because the price difference is small, whereas buying new in order to support independent/smaller/unique developers goes a long way to helping them and their ideas succeed; whereas buying a Used Madden/Assassin's Creed isn't as significant with their enormous marketing budgets or mainstream consciousness.

    Buying Used serves the purpose of creating a second hand market which encourages new sales purchases, cycles money back into the industry, and allows less wealthy gamers to enjoy the hobby.




    -> No, we should not feel bad about buying Used. But I encourage buying New for unique/independent/small-dev games in order to support them and SHOW that there's a market for their product, and encourage good games from talented people without access to $5-$20M marketing budgets.

    slash000 on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    Evander wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    Whilst there's no surplus stock to drop the price on, the lack of physical stock also means that there's lower overhead and less barrier to reducing the price when sales start to dip, both of which can lead to lower prices for the consumer.


    Not really.

    Overhead doesn't keep prices up longer when a product isn't selling. At that point, whatever you've already spent is a sunk cost, and you just want to get it off of the shelves so you can replace it with a product that WILL sell.

    What I'm saying is that there's lower overhead (by quite a LARGE margin) in DD than in store sales. Which means that they can afford to sell for lower, and often do (hence, Audiosurf). At the moment it's a bit locked in though because companies still depend a lot on store sales, as such they can't undercut their brick-and-mortar suppliers.

    First of, B&M isn't ever going away, so it's not just "at the moment".

    I'm not saying it'll go away, but it most certainly is going to reduce in significance and hopefully reduce it's stranglehold on the market
    And secondly, just because they COULD lower the price, that doesn't mean that they would.

    I'm willing to accept that point.

    Steam is a wonderful service, but it really isn't a good example of the business model. It is incredibly niche, and run by folks who are, themselves, enthusiasts.

    REALLY disagree here. It's an incredible example of the DD model. They were the first ones to do it properly, and have established a really impressive brand with good functionality across the board, even extending to community features. As a business model it's been VERY successful for them and the companies on it. And there's no way that I'd call 15 million subscribers and rising a niche.

    If you want to look atthe future of DD, look at iTunes. THAT is the model, not Steam.

    I just can't see why you see Steam as some sort of minor exception here. I really can't.

    subedii on
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    YodaTunaYodaTuna Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »

    REALLY disagree here. It's an incredible example of the DD model. They were the first ones to do it properly, and have established a really impressive brand with good functionality across the board, even extending to community features. As a business model it's been VERY successful for them and the companies on it. And there's no way that I'd call 15 million subscribers and rising a niche.

    What do they define as a subscriber though? How many of those people just play CounterStrike? Or just bought Half Life 2? Both me and my girlfriend have Steam accounts and have had them for several years and I've never bought anything over it, including Orange Box. Sales figures would be a better indication of Steam's success, not subscriber numbers.

    YodaTuna on
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    I just can't see why you see Steam as some sort of minor exception here. I really can't.

    Because I'm not blinded by Wishful thinking? :P

    Steam is run by the same types of people that it caters to. It's like your local hoby shop, or comic shop, or whatever.



    I believe that Valve actually cares about their customers. That is NOT the norm in sales, at least not to that degree.


    Niche DD may well follow a steam-esque model for the indefinite future, but the majority of DD will be far more liek iTunes because there is simply more profit to be had there.

    Evander on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    I just can't see why you see Steam as some sort of minor exception here. I really can't.

    Because I'm not blinded by Wishful thinking? :P

    Oh thank you so very much for your knowledgeable contribution and retort. I'm glad we had this discussion. Look, if you feel I'm not worth your time, fine, just stop reading now and feel free to put me on your ignore list or whatever. YEESH.
    Steam is run by the same types of people that it caters to. It's like your local hoby shop, or comic shop, or whatever.

    Steam is fundamentally a business. If it's the equivalent of the local hobby shop then why is it in spite of big companies like EA and Gamespy getting in on DD, it's only been Valve that have really been able to pull it off so far?
    I believe that Valve actually cares about their customers. That is NOT the norm in sales, at least not to that degree.

    Like I said, Valve are a company, Steam is a business. I don't see what they're doing that is somehow adopting bad business practice here for the sake of the fans. They do a lot of stuff the fans like, but this isn't the same as sacrificing sales for happiness of the consumer, those actions on their part expand their market and increase their sales, which is good business practice.

    I don't treat Valve as some sort of benevolent organisation. They're a company out to make money. And they know how to go about it, judging by how well they've managed to pull it off so far.
    Niche DD may well follow a steam-esque model for the indefinite future, but the majority of DD will be far more liek iTunes because there is simply more profit to be had there.

    I think this is the crux of what I don't understand. What type of model do you see DD taking in future? How is it going to be so vastly different from what Steam is offering? They've got the DRM lockdown and the limitations, they've got the catalogue and the delivery system? Am I thinking in terms of technicalities here when you're thinking of an entirely different business process altogether or what?

    subedii on
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    143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    If I can sell a car I can sell a game.

    Although the whole discussion is more complicated than the point I'm singling out here (and I generally fall on the "fuck yeah, gimme used" side of things), I can't exactly buy a new game from a first- or second-party distributor and haggle on the price.

    Which, of course, could either be a good or bad thing.

    143999 on
    8aVThp6.png
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    minigunwielderminigunwielder __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2008
    solsovly wrote: »
    You should only feel bad about it if you buy it from Gamestop.

    Seriously, fuck Gamestop.

    I wish we could pay for anti-commercials.

    Someone needs to quote Khoo on the whole Penny Arcade Adventures thing.
    and totp it.

    minigunwielder on
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    Rigor MortisRigor Mortis Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    I try to maintain an inverse relationship between game buying and popularity.

    Niche games (No More Heroes, NeoGeo Battle Colisseum, Baroque, Persona3, Dai Senryaku Exceed, Castle of Shikigami and so on) I buy new so that I help raise sales totals and do my part to keep publishers interested.

    GTA, Tekken, Gran Turismo, Soul Caliber, Halo, and other major million seller series? They don't need my help to be hits, so I get them used.

    Rigor Mortis on
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    RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    YodaTuna wrote: »
    Digital Distribution and Direct Purchasing have their place, but they will not overtake retail sales. 1) People don't like to wait. 2) When people buy something, they want an actual copy of it. 3) A lot of people browse for games instead of already knowing what they are going to purchase, which is harder over the internet than in the store.

    I'm confident they will overtake retail sales in the long run. Broadband penetration is soaring and preloading or just having a game come in overnight is a reasonable alternative to driving to a store and fiddling with an optical disc and a long serial number. As for #2, it's just a matter of time for people's values to shift. A lot of people get warm and fuzzies from looking at their collection of game boxes, but that feeling can apply to seeing your library of Steam games. Also, browsing games on the internet isn't hard. You've got some featured games, then you can browse lists of games by genre. You even have meta-review information right there on the page. And you can play the game demos right there.

    So yeah, DD is absolutely going to win out long-term. Maybe not on consoles for a while due to hard drive constraints, but the only question is the time frame.
    Evander wrote: »
    DD might take care of the niche title aspect, but not so much the browsing. It is MUCH more difficult to get people to make impulse purchases in a web portal, since there is no physical confinement.

    If you've ever spent much time in our Steam thread you'll know that DD users are no strangers to impulse buys. I don't have data unfortunately but at least I know I've bought more stuff on Steam than I would have at retail. It's just so easy to put in your CC information then get another little icon added to your list, to play at any time with little hassle.
    Evander wrote: »
    Niche DD may well follow a steam-esque model for the indefinite future, but the majority of DD will be far more liek iTunes because there is simply more profit to be had there.

    Steam is the iTunes of gaming. They are by a wide margin the biggest digital distribution system. And it seems like you can't go a month without another major publisher getting on board. It's fast, stable, user friendly and a mature platform. You can do backups, gifting, re-downloads, autopatching, community stuff like friends and groups, even achievements.

    I'm going to echo subedii here: what kind of "iTunes" model do you see overtaking this?

    RandomEngy on
    Profile -> Signature Settings -> Hide signatures always. Then you don't have to read this worthless text anymore.
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    EvanderEvander Disappointed Father Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    Like I said, Valve are a company, Steam is a business.


    If that is the crux of your argument, you might as well stop now.



    Valve could be making a whole lot more money ight now by milking portal even more, which a company like EA would DEFINITELY be doing, but clearly they have other motivations as well.

    Evander on
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    MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    I think you are just buying the wrong games.

    I think you're an idiot. Now shut up.

    Not really. Seriously, pretty much all the stuff you've described the games industry has largely evolved away from by now. There are a few remnants here and there, but on the whole, cutscenes are skippable, training is either optional or unintrusive (see Half Life 2), and if you're genuinely finding the gameplay boring after that then guess what, you really are buying the wrong games. Either that or you're just not interested in games as it is.

    Why don't you list some of the games you did and didn't like recently and maybe we can help you find some good stuff?

    Well, since you're willing to discuss things rationally rather than call me an asshole for not being a corporate tool:

    Starting from the bad: Anything made by square since final fantasy 7. Sure, cut scenes might be skippable now, but still it feels like every game made by them is just a resume in video game format to get the designers noticed and hired on to make Shrek 4. Most of the time these plots are just soap operas aimed at teenage boys.

    Moving on, you might think that games like Bioshock, System Shock 2, and Doom 3 are a step in the right direction, but you'd be wrong. Picking up audio logs and listening to them on your own time might seem like a good thing, and compared to sitting through boring, shitty emotional...shit, it might be, but it still boils down to the fact that you have to endure a long, windy audio log in order to get a door code. It's been a while since I played Bioshock, but it might have been innovative in the fact that you'll automatically enter a door code if you have it. I don't remember.

    Now, in the realm of tolerable is valve's games. Half-life 2 made great strides in plot delivery technology by just letting you throw books, chairs, and small cactuses at NPCs while they vomit exposition at you in a locked room. But the fact still remains that you're locked in a room while plot is forced at you and unable to progress the game.

    Portal, finally, is a step in the right direction. Except for exactly a minute at the start of the game, there was no point where I was not allowed to progress without being stuck in a room to listen to some sort of monologue. The game allowed me to keep moving and I was able to absorb what I wanted of the story from my surroundings. Frankly, I don't like puzzle games, but Portal did keep me interested. Now, if things keep going the way of portal, I may just start buying video games again.

    Everything else being said, I rent these days. I'm just tired of not being able to try before I buy and there are very few, if no reviewers who look for the same thing I do in a game: action that doesn't stop until the game ends, along with an unintrusive story line, if there even is one at all. I've bought exactly three games in the last three years: Civ 4, Portal, and No More Heroes, and all of those were on the recommendation of friends who know my taste.

    Now, I know most people don't agree with me, and that's fine. I have the feeling, however, that I'm not alone in this. I know there are a few other people who really, really, think cutscenes suck. I know, because my best friends also hate cut scenes. We're not ADD riddled meth heads, we just prefer to keep out games and our movies separate.

    And back on topic: Not gonna buy new. Game designers can go starve. Especially Hideo Kojima. Hate that guy with the burning fury of a thousand suns.

    Metalbourne on
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    143999 wrote: »
    If I can sell a car I can sell a game.

    Although the whole discussion is more complicated than the point I'm singling out here (and I generally fall on the "fuck yeah, gimme used" side of things), I can't exactly buy a new game from a first- or second-party distributor and haggle on the price.

    Which, of course, could either be a good or bad thing.

    If I can sell a shirt, I can sell a game.

    If I can sell a piece of jewelry, I can sell a game.

    If I can sell a share of stock, I can sell a game.

    If I can sell a computer, I can sell a game.

    See how this line continues? The "intellectual property" restrictions, via EULA, only come in with video games and other computer software, and they're all horseshit attempts to restrict your right of first sale.

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    RoshinRoshin My backlog can be seen from space SwedenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    This is my take on this. If there's a game I want, I will buy it at full price. I do buy plenty of used games, but these are games that I would never buy at full price anyway, so I don't think anyone really loses out. If I stumble upon a series of games that I like, then I will buy the sequels at full price. I don't wait until new games appear on the shelf for used games, because I'm an impatient bastard.
    slash000 wrote: »
    Sometimes there are small developers, independent developers, or developers with unique ideas. Often these people don't have the budget for a huge marketing campaign, or a publisher to do that for them.

    This is true and something I try to keep in mind.

    Roshin on
    steam_sig.png
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    falsedeffalsedef Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    GTA, Tekken, Gran Turismo, Soul Caliber, Halo, and other major million seller series? They don't need my help to be hits, so I get them used.

    Those games also cost millions more to make.
    I am sure it's been said, but in no way will I feel bad as long as they want me to pay 60$.

    You don't want to pay for the price of the game, but then expect game prices to stay the same? It's just gonna get higher with time. Deal with it, unless you like more and more quickly produced, unoriginal shit.

    I think it's ridiculous that people think 60 dollars is too much to pay for a game. Games haven't been adjusting with inflation properly. Gamers have been getting bargain prices for years and don't even realize it.

    If you're making a decent living, I think you should buy new whenever you can and only buy used when the game is not available otherwise. If you can only afford used, then maybe you should just buy two new indie games instead, or save up for a game you really like. If you can afford a bunch of used titles, you can afford new games too.

    Reselling and rentals aren't killing the industry, but it's definitely not helping either. I'm all for cheap games, but be more realistic about your expectations for what you want and want to pay. It's one thing to buy an extra used game on the side, and another to go out of your way to buy a must-have game used.

    falsedef on
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    143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    143999 wrote: »
    If I can sell a car I can sell a game.

    Although the whole discussion is more complicated than the point I'm singling out here (and I generally fall on the "fuck yeah, gimme used" side of things), I can't exactly buy a new game from a first- or second-party distributor and haggle on the price.

    Which, of course, could either be a good or bad thing.

    If I can sell a shirt, I can sell a game.

    If I can sell a piece of jewelry, I can sell a game.

    If I can sell a share of stock, I can sell a game.

    If I can sell a computer, I can sell a game.

    See how this line continues? The "intellectual property" restrictions, via EULA, only come in with video games and other computer software, and they're all horseshit attempts to restrict your right of first sale.

    I know exactly how the line continues, and the reasoning behind it. I'm just saying that cars are a bad example.

    143999 on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Evander wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    Like I said, Valve are a company, Steam is a business.


    If that is the crux of your argument, you might as well stop now.



    Valve could be making a whole lot more money ight now by milking portal even more, which a company like EA would DEFINITELY be doing, but clearly they have other motivations as well.

    I could go on to argue that EA isn't out purely to run franchises into the ground wherever possible, but there's no point since you're not going to believe me anyway. That and it's straying from the topic. Let's just presume I agree with you for now.

    This still doesn't answer how you believe the fundamental business model is going to be so very different from Steam. Like I said before, they've got the DRM lockdown and the limitations, they've got the catalogue and the delivery system. What type of model do you see DD taking in future and how is it going to be so vastly different from what Steam is offering?

    And even leaving that aside, what about 1st party DD, which is becoming more prevalent? Companies like Stardock set up their own system to distribute games directly from themselves, for a vastly greater profit. Similarly the new Greenhouse system, although potentially being used for other games in future, was originally developed purely as a means of distribution for Precipice. PomPom games are a hit on XBL, but they originally started off doing their own distribution of Mutant Storm and Space Tripper on the PC, Mac and Linux, without which they wouldn't have been able to get anywhere in the games industry. What is your view on how those distribution models will evolve?

    subedii on
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    subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    subedii wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    I think you are just buying the wrong games.

    I think you're an idiot. Now shut up.

    Not really. Seriously, pretty much all the stuff you've described the games industry has largely evolved away from by now. There are a few remnants here and there, but on the whole, cutscenes are skippable, training is either optional or unintrusive (see Half Life 2), and if you're genuinely finding the gameplay boring after that then guess what, you really are buying the wrong games. Either that or you're just not interested in games as it is.

    Why don't you list some of the games you did and didn't like recently and maybe we can help you find some good stuff?

    Well, since you're willing to discuss things rationally rather than call me an asshole for not being a corporate tool:

    Starting from the bad: Anything made by square since final fantasy 7. Sure, cut scenes might be skippable now, but still it feels like every game made by them is just a resume in video game format to get the designers noticed and hired on to make Shrek 4. Most of the time these plots are just soap operas aimed at teenage boys.

    Moving on, you might think that games like Bioshock, System Shock 2, and Doom 3 are a step in the right direction, but you'd be wrong. Picking up audio logs and listening to them on your own time might seem like a good thing, and compared to sitting through boring, shitty emotional...shit, it might be, but it still boils down to the fact that you have to endure a long, windy audio log in order to get a door code. It's been a while since I played Bioshock, but it might have been innovative in the fact that you'll automatically enter a door code if you have it. I don't remember.

    Now, in the realm of tolerable is valve's games. Half-life 2 made great strides in plot delivery technology by just letting you throw books, chairs, and small cactuses at NPCs while they vomit exposition at you in a locked room. But the fact still remains that you're locked in a room while plot is forced at you and unable to progress the game.

    Portal, finally, is a step in the right direction. Except for exactly a minute at the start of the game, there was no point where I was not allowed to progress without being stuck in a room to listen to some sort of monologue. The game allowed me to keep moving and I was able to absorb what I wanted of the story from my surroundings. Frankly, I don't like puzzle games, but Portal did keep me interested. Now, if things keep going the way of portal, I may just start buying video games again.

    Everything else being said, I rent these days. I'm just tired of not being able to try before I buy and there are very few, if no reviewers who look for the same thing I do in a game: action that doesn't stop until the game ends, along with an unintrusive story line, if there even is one at all. I've bought exactly three games in the last three years: Civ 4, Portal, and No More Heroes, and all of those were on the recommendation of friends who know my taste.

    Now, I know most people don't agree with me, and that's fine. I have the feeling, however, that I'm not alone in this. I know there are a few other people who really, really, think cutscenes suck. I know, because my best friends also hate cut scenes. We're not ADD riddled meth heads, we just prefer to keep out games and our movies separate.

    And back on topic: Not gonna buy new. Game designers can go starve. Especially Hideo Kojima. Hate that guy with the burning fury of a thousand suns.

    I actually largely agree with what you've said. To a large extent there's a problem in gaming as to how you pass the storyline to the player without taking away their interactivity for a time. It's like, HL1 was an awesome game, but crap if I'm going to sit through the opening train ride again. It's a problem that's still being tackled, although it's getting better. People tend not to notice as much when HL2 locks you into a room for a while because Valve are actually good at telling a story people are interested in watching for the moment.

    In game cut-scenes have taken away some of the sting of this, but in some places they've replaced one problem with another, similar one, whereby the player is stuck waiting or running between locations whilst plot exposition occurs around them, and often because it's in-game it effectively becomes another un-skippable cutscene.

    To be honest though, I was a bit surprised when you mentioned No More Heroes, since I thought that game had a lot of stuff get in your way between the actual action.

    You might want to watch out for Alone in the Dark. They're doing some interesting stuff with what could be called the in-game equivalent of a "Fast Forward" button, allowing you to skip ahead in the game if you want. I'm not sure I can really explain it, but it sounds interesting. It might just be a chapter skip scheme, but it's better than nothing.

    You might also want to try more multiplayer oriented games, since they tend to naturally have less waiting around*. Even co-op games tend to be streamlined for this reason, and even if you do end up waiting for something, it's usually better with a friend so you can just talk to them whilst *big story* goes on in the background.

    *What I'm actually trying to do is brainwash you into playing TF2 with us. Seriously, it's awesome, go play. :P

    subedii on
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    RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Completely missed this thread.

    I almost always try to buy games used. I only buy games new when they are big releases that I can't wait to play. I just want to save money. If games weren't so expensive then it wouldn't be such a big deal to spend 10 less dollars. Most the games I buy used are usually not even sold new anymore.

    Here is a list of the most recent games I've bought new:

    Assassin's Creed (PS3)
    Guitar Hero 3 (PS3)
    Rock Band (360)
    EoJ
    MGS: PO
    FFT (PSP)
    Disgaea (PSP)
    FFVII: CC
    GoW: CoO

    Here are the used games:

    Daxter
    Mercury
    Lumines 2
    GTA: LCS (PSP)
    Champions: Return to Arms (PS2) Can't find this new anymore
    GoW II
    Uncharted: Drakes Fortune
    Lego Star Wars Complete Saga (PS3)
    Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
    Puzzle Quest (DS)
    Hotel Dusk
    Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga


    I'm sure I'm missing some games, but as you can see I buy a lot of games and the ones I paid for that were new were games that I knew I would like and that I couldn't wait to play, or you just will have a hard time finding used (Rock Band and EoJ).

    Ryadic on
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