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EU to Allow Digital Software Resales?

This document (Adobe Acrobat format) outlines a legal ruing in the EU that seems to open the door for resale of digitally distributed software (thanks Joao). Here's a bit:

Where the copyright holder makes available to his customer a copy tangible or intangible and at the same time concludes, in return form payment of a fee, a licence agreement granting the customer the right to use that copy for an unlimited period, that rightholder sells the copy to the customer and thus exhausts his exclusive distribution right. Such a transaction involves a transfer of the right of ownership of the copy. Therefore, even if the licence agreement prohibits a further transfer, the rightholder can no longer oppose the resale of that copy.

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98 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 3.
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58. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:30 Kajetan
 
Slashman wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:15:
You think a small indie could put out a Just Cause 2 or Skyrim? I'd like to see the 15-man team that could manage that.
Hehe, perfect examples ... i dont like the Just Cause games and Bethesda RPGs i find boring since "Arena"

But when i look at a RPG like "The Witcher", with very high production values, but made for a considerably small budget ... i dont need the majors to get games, which play AND look well. Really, Ubi and EA and ActiBlizz can go to hell. Video gaming will not only survive, but profit from this change in the long run.
 
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57. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:28 Julio
 
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:29:
Games are more complicated now than they've ever been. Team sizes have increased.

Gaming was better in the past than it is today, so I'm more than happy to move to less complicated games that have much stronger design and more interesting concepts. Bigger teams, spending money on useless frills like high priced voice acting doesn't make better games.

There's countless expensive terrible games being made, and if a shakeup is needed to see better decision making by EA, Actiblizzard etc then so be it. Smart business will make money, poorly run dinosaurs like the big gaming companies can die out.
 
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56. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 19:28 Devinoch
 
nin wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:48:
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:29:
Games are expensive to make. You know why you don't get patches? Because people didn't buy the game. If people don't buy the game, there's no money incoming to improve the game.

While I totally agree that budget have become astronomical, not supporting a game post release as you describe is biting the hand that fed you. And believe me, we remember that for years later, including when you switch studios/projects.

To screw the people that spent the most to play your game is suicide. And I don't shed a tear for studios that do that.

It's not a question of not wanting to support the game post release - it's a question of not being paid to do so. I know everyone thinks developing games is just one nonstop party, but I hate to be the crusher of dreams here, it's a job. It can often be a fun job, but it's still a job. And if people aren't paying you to do your job, you shouldn't be doing your job.

Developing a patch, releasing a patch, these are things that take time and money, and if the studio's closed, or your team has been rolled onto another product, there really is very little you can do about it. Patch the game in your spare time? Would you do your job for free, in addition to doing your job for pay? That's like asking a guy at McDonalds to come in and put in another 4 hours off-the-clock after he's just pulled an eight hour shift, so as to not "screw the people."

I'm not arguing that game development isn't busted. Believe me, I know better (far better) than most people, but when you blame a whole studio for not supporting a game that sold a handful of copies, when they're trying to make another game that hopefully will sell more than a few copies, so they can continue to put a roof over their head, well, you're missing the forrest for the trees.

The business of making games desperately needs to change. But so do the consumer expectations of "well, I bought this game, so I can do whatever I want to with it." Used game sales seriously hurt game studios. I've made this argument before, and I'm sure I will again. But expect AAA games to play it safer and safer, expect to see more and more sequels with less and less innovation, and expect the studios making them attempt to nickel-and-dime you for every little penny they can get from you. Day one DLC, online passes... they're only getting started. The micro transaction assault is coming, because guess what? MW3 had hundreds of people working on it. All AAA games do. And that many engineers, artists, designers, audio guys, marketing guys, localization guys, qa guys... it adds up.

I suspect most people who complain about games have no idea how much it costs to made a video game these days. I can assure you, just adding up salaries alone... it's not cheap.
 
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55. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 18:48 nin
 
Devinoch wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 18:29:
Games are expensive to make. You know why you don't get patches? Because people didn't buy the game. If people don't buy the game, there's no money incoming to improve the game.

While I totally agree that budget have become astronomical, not supporting a game post release as you describe is biting the hand that fed you. And believe me, we remember that for years later, including when you switch studios/projects.

To screw the people that spent the most to play your game is suicide. And I don't shed a tear for studios that do that.

 
http://www.nin.com/pub/tension/
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54. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 18:47 Mr. Tact
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:42:
The economy surrounding media can't be directed related to material manufactured goods. The design, manufacturing, costs and restrictions are just to different to use this sort of logic.

Video games can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000,00 to design, product and distribute. My numbers are a little arbitrary but imagine comparing the development of Braid to the development of Assassin's Creed. Taking that situation, you'll sell copies of Braid for $10 a piece but copies of Assassin's Creed go for $60 a piece. Apply that to bookends and that doesn't seem fair. If one bookend cost 6,000 times more to design, develop and distribute than another, you'd expect it to cost at least 6,000 times more.

Then take into account that a large amount of the cost in developing the bookend lies in its manufacturing, materials and shipping whereas with media you have all of the cost bound up in design with the rest being very minor and you begin to see the difference and reason why these aren't the same situations and need different regulations.
Maybe I'm dense or just plain missing something but I don't see any substance in your argument. You are right, the cost to develop software (games or otherwise) varies widely, as do the prices for that software. How is this any different than manufactured goods? Toothpicks cost less than a penny a piece, a brand new Rolls-Royce is hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Are you saying if I am able/allowed to resell my software it makes the software business no longer viable? Also, to the earlier point by someone else about the longevity of software -- while something like Steam increases that longevity, my physical copies of software do actually deteriorate over time. CDs and DVDs do not last forever.
 
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53. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 18:29 Devinoch
 
necrosis wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 17:34:
They are charging more for games and doing LESS to make them work properly.

Yes, because it takes the exact same amount of code to make Assassin's Creed as it did Pac Man. /sarcasmoff Games are more complicated now than they've ever been. Team sizes have increased. The amount of work it takes to put together graphics has increased. They aren't doing "less" to make them work - they cost more to make work, and at some point, developers run out of money, and need to ship a game just to be able to pay their staff so they can eat.

Games are expensive to make. You know why you don't get patches? Because people didn't buy the game. If people don't buy the game, there's no money incoming to improve the game. It was easy to QA games in the Atari 2600 days. Now there's so much content in games, it's nearly impossible for anyone to have seen it all once, much less the 50-100 times it takes to properly QA it.

But I can sense we're arguing with someone who doesn't understand business, or why there have been over a dozen major studio closures a year, each year, for the last 5 years. Better get used to everything being free-to-play and micro-transactions, because those are currently the only revenue models that make sense from a business standpoint. The gamer in me hates that, but you know what? The stomach in me needs to eat more than my sense of pride.

This is the future you wanted. So, please, do us all the favor and don't ever complain when we try and find ways to keep on eating and making games for a living. Because you clearly don't get it.
 
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52. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 18:15 Slashman
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 17:50:
jdreyer wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 17:00:
So, most publishers are really struggling these days, and once the COD and WoW fascination wears off in a couple of years, Acti-Blizz will be too.
Good to hear. THIS part of the industry i gladly like to go away and vanish for good.

No you actually wouldn't. Unless you are one of those people who ONLY play small indie games.

Most of the popular games that are both good and top quality could not be produced without the help of a publisher. Period.

You think a small indie could put out a Just Cause 2 or Skyrim? I'd like to see the 15-man team that could manage that.
 
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51. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 17:50 Kajetan
 
jdreyer wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 17:00:
So, most publishers are really struggling these days, and once the COD and WoW fascination wears off in a couple of years, Acti-Blizz will be too.
Good to hear. THIS part of the industry i gladly like to go away and vanish for good.
 
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50. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 17:34 necrosis
 
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 15:57:
necrosis wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 15:52:
So it is perfectly OK for them to charge us more and more while removing features left and right? Dumbed down games that are shitty ports? Buggy as all hell at launch? $60 games on PC is bullshit and you know it.

Woosh, the point went right over your head. Regardless of your opinions on the quality of the games, the cost to create them is higher than ever. Increasing costs must, at some point, be passed on to the consumer in some form or another. It's not even a complex economic model, it's simple math.
How is it "woosh"? They are charging more for games and doing LESS to make them work properly. If they are charging more and the games actually WORKED and they kept in features that were once there I would have no problems with it and accept the fact it costs more to do things.

But once again, we have to pay more for games and are getting a total piece of crap product. Features ripped out, content stripped from the game to sell as DLC, game breaking bugs at launch (not to mention sometimes zero patches to fix said issues), games that are a shadow of their predictors.

Paying more and getting the same is one thing. Paying more and getting less is just bullshit.
 
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49. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 17:00 jdreyer
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:18:
The emotional dependancy on games is strong enough that publishers can do ANYTHING and still make billions.

Game publishers are making very little profit these days. This story gives the breakdown:

- Ubisoft made $48m on $1.4b in revenue, or profit margin of about 3%. The profit came mostly from Wii games and digital downloads.

- EA made $76m on $4.1b in revenue, or a profit margin of about 2%.

- THQ had a loss of $276m.

- Activision Blizzard is only discussed in quarterly terms: $384m profit on $1.2b in revenue, by far the best at 25% or so. This is due mostly to massive COD sales and WoW subscriptions. This article shows annual profits: $4.76b in revenue resulting in $1.2b in profit.

So, most publishers are really struggling these days, and once the COD and WoW fascination wears off in a couple of years, Acti-Blizz will be too.

This comment was edited on Jul 3, 2012, 17:08.
 
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48. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:54 SimplyMonk
 
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:35:
If it was as simple a New and Used button on Steam like I used in my example, publishers would flock to F2P Cash Shops like preteen girls to a Justin Bieber concert.

Hmm... I don't know. I might actually prefer it if I had to pay $2.50 to proceed to the next chapter in some games if the initial buy-in was like $10. That would save me a lot of cash as I would be paying purely for the enjoyment I got.

Chapters 1-2 - $10
Chapters 3-10 - $2.50 each

Not feeling like you are getting your money's worth? You are out $10 at most. Not sure what this would do to the economy of design and development, but from a user's standpoint I'm not sure that sounds too bad.
 
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47. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:42 SimplyMonk
 
Mr. Tact wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:22:
Bookends -- I have bookends on my shelf that are as good as the day I bought them. Are they not mine? Can I not sell them?

The economy surrounding media can't be directed related to material manufactured goods. The design, manufacturing, costs and restrictions are just to different to use this sort of logic.

Video games can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $30,000,00 to design, product and distribute. My numbers are a little arbitrary but imagine comparing the development of Braid to the development of Assassin's Creed. Taking that situation, you'll sell copies of Braid for $10 a piece but copies of Assassin's Creed go for $60 a piece. Apply that to bookends and that doesn't seem fair. If one bookend cost 6,000 times more to design, develop and distribute than another, you'd expect it to cost at least 6,000 times more.

Then take into account that a large amount of the cost in developing the bookend lies in its manufacturing, materials and shipping whereas with media you have all of the cost bound up in design with the rest being very minor and you begin to see the difference and reason why these aren't the same situations and need different regulations.

Hell. Just wait until 3D Printers become mainstream. Then you'll see all this shit coming about with manufactured products as well. LEGO will throw a bitch fit about people making their own.
 
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46. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:35 NKD
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:23:
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:13:
Who the fuck is gonna press New?
All those people who buy new games for fullprice to "support" their holy devs?

That's like ten people. As I said, most people don't care about that. They don't care if they are biting the hand that feeds them, they just want the cheapest price.

Then let the publishers have a holdback period on reselling new games for ... a month? Can you live with that? Since the majority off all revenue is generated in the first few weeks, this should be enough to calm their fears.

I think that would work pretty well actually if they could get retailers online and B&M to go along with it. The problem is the first month is also when retailers make the most bank off used game sales because they can resell it for damn near full price, and there is nothing publishers could ever do to stop it short of implementing forms of DRM to make it technically impossible or impractical.

Digitalfiend wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:22:

Yes but there will be a limited supply of "used" licenses, so that "Used" button might not always be available. You still have a 1:1 relationship between number of licenses and number of license holders.

Right, but after 3-5 days, there will be tons of people selling their "used" copies for like 5 bucks under full retail price. So only the very, very impatient will ever get suckered into paying full price. After that, available used volume reaches critical mass and new sales stop.

I'd have no problem with publishers providing first-time purchasers of a license with additional extras, within reason (e.g. extra maps, "behind the scenes" videos, etc), that will not be available to second hand owners. That way there would still be an incentive to buy a new license.

They are trying that a bit now, but people hate that too. At some point people are going to have to decide what they hate less, because publishers are going to find some way to make their money. If it was as simple a New and Used button on Steam like I used in my example, publishers would flock to F2P Cash Shops like preteen girls to a Justin Bieber concert.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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45. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:31 jamiedj99
 
steam and origin can counter this a bit so can other companys by not givng you a cd key and incorperating it into there software and stating there softare cant be used by you to redistrubit the games you own. other companys can follow suit by releasing there own software platforms making this law mute and pointless  
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44. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:23 Kajetan
 
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:13:
Who the fuck is gonna press New?
All those people who buy new games for fullprice to "support" their holy devs?

Then let the publishers have a holdback period on reselling new games for ... a month? Can you live with that? Since the majority off all revenue is generated in the first few weeks, this should be enough to calm their fears.
 
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43. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:22 Mr. Tact
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 14:42:
What's actually ridiculous is silly comparisons between physical goods that wear and tear versus media files that are the same on day one as on day 10,000, and offer the same experience used or new.

Media is not a couch or a hammer. Media is media. Even an uneducated consumer should realize that different types of products require different types of laws.
I'll grant there are differences between buying a hammer and buying software. I can't make a copy of my hammer the way I can software. And I totally support laws saying I can't duplicate software and distribute it without permission. But to say software isn't mine, and that I can't sell it is silly. By your logic, anything that lasts long enough can't be purchased. Where is the line? How long is too long? Bookends -- I have bookends on my shelf that are as good as the day I bought them. Are they not mine? Can I not sell them?
 
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42. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:22 Digitalfiend
 
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:13:
Let's boil this down to its simplest form. You go to buy a relatively new game on Steam, there are two buttons:

New: $60
Used: $45

Who the fuck is gonna press New?

Yes but there will be a limited supply of "used" licenses, so that "Used" button might not always be available. You still have a 1:1 relationship between number of licenses and number of license holders.

I'd have no problem with publishers providing first-time purchasers of a license with additional extras, within reason (e.g. extra maps, "behind the scenes" videos, etc), that will not be available to second hand owners. That way there would still be an incentive to buy a new license.
 
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41. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:18 Kajetan
 
SimplyMonk wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:08:
...
I understand the troubles one can have with Gamestops business practices. But really, the solution to that is to prevent any re-selling at all? Why not just buy Gamestop and have their share of profits.

Videogame publishers (and some devs) are just stupid. The only thing they come up with is once again: Make the life of the customer more miserable! But looking at the majority of the customers publisher have ... well, they deserve it. The emotional dependancy on games is strong enough that publishers can do ANYTHING and still make billions.
 
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40. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:13 NKD
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:02:
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 15:57:
To those people I would ask: Where does the developer or publisher make their money in this utopia?
From selling games like they do now.

I am baffled by the level of paranoia and hysteria regarding used games or reselling games. There is a distinct lack of simple economic understanding fueling this paranoia. Used sale are natural part of the videogame industry since its humble beginnings and now, suddenly its worse than piracy? Come on ...

Scale, accessibility, and perceived value matter bro.

Let's boil this down to its simplest form. You go to buy a relatively new game on Steam, there are two buttons:

New: $60
Used: $45

Who the fuck is gonna press New?

It's not like retail where there is perceived value in a shiny new package, and a disc that won't be scratched to all hell. It's a 1:1 transfer with literally no differentiation from a new copy.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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39. Re: EU to Allow Digital Software Resales? Jul 3, 2012, 16:08 SimplyMonk
 
Kajetan wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 16:02:
NKD wrote on Jul 3, 2012, 15:57:
To those people I would ask: Where does the developer or publisher make their money in this utopia?
From selling games like they do now.

I am baffled by the level of paranoia and hysteria regarding used games or reselling games. There is a distinct lack of simple economic understanding fueling this paranoia. Used sale are natural part of the videogame industry since its humble beginnings and now, suddenly its worse than piracy? Come on ...

Completely anecdotal on my part, but before GameStop came around, I never saw a situation where a brand new game I wanted to purchase was on the shelf for $50 new and then right next to it the exact same game for $45 used, 5 days after the release date.

Yeah, used game sales always existed, but I think the scale that we now see them being sold has changed since GameStop pushes them as their bread and butter and has pretty much eaten up most of the other Video Game Retailers having an estimated 60% of the market. Except for the Omni-Stores like Walmart and Best Buy that is.
 
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