Used Games Hurt Game Quality?

As Recession Deepens, Used Games Get More Painful on Gamasutra is another analysis of used game sales, quoting developers and industry analysts expressing more of the now-familiar consternation over the impact of pre-owned game sales on the industry. The article quotes a survey suggesting these sales will increase, saying: "According to his survey of 2,000 gamers earlier this year, one in four buyers who hadn't bought any used games in the past year says they plan to buy a pre-owned game in the next 12 months." Significantly, that survey was conducted before the global financial crunch hit, so the numbers quoted could be an underestimation. One of the developers quoted heavily in the report is Frontier Developments' David Braben (Elite), who takes issue with used games, saying: "What the used games are doing is forcing publishers and developers to incur bandwidth costs for updates and support at least twice -- once for the game's first owner, then again for the owners of the used versions." There's also a portion excerpted separately where Braben claims that used game sales are a disincentive for quality: "Five years ago, a great game would have sold for a longer period of time than for a bad game -- which was essentially our incentive to make great games, but no longer. Now publishers and developers just see revenue the initial few weeks regardless of the game's quality, and then gamers start buying used copies, which generates money that goes into GameStop's pocket, nobody else's." Following up on that, they cite research indicating that single-player and action games drive the resale market, while games with a multiplayer component tend to be held onto the longest.
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79.
 
Re: Used Games vs Quality?
Dec 15, 2008, 14:21
79.
Re: Used Games vs Quality? Dec 15, 2008, 14:21
Dec 15, 2008, 14:21
 
Game companies already now this and are planning accordingly. We may find that the next versions of game consoles will have user-based copy protections that will annoy gamers more than anything happening on the PC now....

I'm expecting someone to try and offer "codes" with new games sales that unlock features of a game that are not offered to 2nd hand buyers at some point. I think it would be a good way to reward gamers for buying new games and it wouldn't be something that a 2nd hand copy of the game would be able to access.

You could easily lock out content for 2nd hand buyers and renters of games if you rewarded buyers in some way.

I'm not sure the 360's online component is really setup to handle this level of account info. If games could somehow get a unique code assigned to an account and the first time that code was used would be the only legit customer they would support, ie they get the content updates, they get the patches, etc.

This is essentially what Stardock does. The core game will work for anyone, but the additional content is only offered to first time buyers. It works, they offer alot of content and their games cost a reasonable price.

It can work for consoles as well. It has to actually. Because you can't force a console to be online to authenticate, the games need to work on a console. What you can control is access to additional content so that only buyers of new games get to see it. This would so mean that people who buy the game to play offline wouldn't ever see this content...

It's not a perfect solution but the free content for Gal Civ 2 has been outstanding, if more companies did that I'd bet you'd see people lining up to be paying customers.
78.
 
Re: Used Games vs Quality?
Dec 11, 2008, 08:56
78.
Re: Used Games vs Quality? Dec 11, 2008, 08:56
Dec 11, 2008, 08:56
 
Obviously, consoles games have to go pure 100% digital download in some future version game console before game companies can prevent/constrict the retail selling of used console games (think of how Live Arcade works now on the 360). Game companies already now this and are planning accordingly. We may find that the next versions of game consoles will have user-based copy protections that will annoy gamers more than anything happening on the PC now....
77.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 10, 2008, 11:08
77.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 10, 2008, 11:08
Dec 10, 2008, 11:08
 
Ahh round two of this debate. Round one they tried to claim that since the objects don't loose value (something along the lines of the bits don't degrade), their industry is unique, and the right of first sale should be tossed out the window.

That went over like a brick (being tossed out a window).

This time around, the argument is "We have to support the game for patches". I like how they're positioning patches as a value add for a product, not as them rectifying mistakes on their part.

As others have pointed out - make a better product. And when you screwup (patch - developer , recall - auto), you are expected to support whomever the current owner is.

Others have also pointed out that their are products out their whose gameplay is so short that a person can purchase your product, play it through, then sell it back a day or two. Maybe that also has something to do with the quick transition from a new to used market.

Round two's arguments don't seem any better qualified then round one's arguments.
76.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 22:30
Kxmode
 
76.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 22:30
Dec 9, 2008, 22:30
 Kxmode
 
Buy a new one, ofcourse!

Duh!

This comment was edited on Dec 9, 2008, 22:30.
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
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75.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 22:29
75.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 22:29
Dec 9, 2008, 22:29
 
Waahhhh piracy. Waaahhhh used games. Waaahhhh videogame rentals.

Ricieiteeoelllooo, is that you?

Creston
Avatar 15604
74.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 22:27
74.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 22:27
Dec 9, 2008, 22:27
 
When a game lasts for 10 hours, has no multiplayer and cost $60, wtf do they expect us to do?

Buy a new one, ofcourse!

Creston
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73.
 
There is, ofcourse, an easy solution
Dec 9, 2008, 22:14
73.
There is, ofcourse, an easy solution Dec 9, 2008, 22:14
Dec 9, 2008, 22:14
 
to this whole problem.

Stop making console games. Since Gamestop doesn't do used sales for PC Games, the entire problem vanishes. Taddaaaaa.

Oh wait, but then you couldn't all run to the consoles because you're far more interesting in making shovelware code and selling a million copies rather than make a great game.

Also, Braben is a fucking moron. The large majority of patches are downloaded from places like fileplanet and filefront, which the publisher don't pay a single fucking DIME too.

Finally, a guy who hasn't released a goddamn decent game in twenty five odd years whining about used sales really epitomizes the word douchenozzle.

Creston

This comment was edited on Dec 9, 2008, 22:26.
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72.
 
ya wanna know the REAL issue here... dud
Dec 9, 2008, 18:08
72.
ya wanna know the REAL issue here... dud Dec 9, 2008, 18:08
Dec 9, 2008, 18:08
 
"They'll think of any fucking excuse to pump out shitty games and then cry about sales"

this makes a great smokescreen for.... an industry who is all used up as far as ideas is concerned. The game industry is losing its creativity, or rather... they are fast running out of creativity.

Hence the shit games. Yet there are still peeps who feel PC gaming is on a high right now. Are not. And has not been for a few years imho. I miss when the Indy Devs were many. We used to get some really coolazz games.

Cool games, and lots of em. That is what tells me the PC gaming is awesome. Well, we do not have coolazz games and lots of em. What we do have is an industry out to squeeze every sheckle it can muster from the mediocrity they are pervading us with.

And you can bet they are not gonna blame themselves, oh no. It is you and I, the evil haxors, and the used game sellers. Ahuh. I bet they are hard at work not on cool games, but more on ways to end any kind of over the counter sales of games. They will make em all d/l content, and you`ll be lucky IF you can reuse your reg key more than 1nce.

The idea of making cool games, forward thinking interesting fun mindblowing virtual experiences? It is almost too hard to remember those kinda games. It has been way too long since I played any like that.
71.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 11:01
71.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 11:01
Dec 9, 2008, 11:01
 
"THIS PERSON PLAYED THIS GAME TWICE BECAUSE IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY TWICE (rare occasion) BUT HEY! THEY ONLY PAID ONCE! THAT MEANS THAT WE ARE LOSING $$$ BECAUSE THEY AREN'T BUYING TWO COPIES, OR ARE SPENDING TIME REPLAYING THE SAME GAME WHEN THEY COULD BE BUYING ANOTHER GAME.
"

yup, enter World of Warcraft...
70.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 08:28
tgr
70.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 08:28
Dec 9, 2008, 08:28
tgr
 
Correct. You own the package and its contents, but the software itself on the CD/DVD remains the property of the developer that you're, in-effect, renting.

Not quite. There's this thing called "first-sale doctrine". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine if you're interested.

Basically it gives you the right to sell your copyrighted material on, and nobody can say you can't do so (well, except maybe in a few states in the US, I think). Microsoft tried to do that in one case, and that didn't quite work.
69.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 01:46
69.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 01:46
Dec 9, 2008, 01:46
 
Correct. You own the package and its contents, but the software itself on the CD/DVD remains the property of the developer that you're, in-effect, renting.

While technically correct, I don't give a shit about the licensing laws regarding games, the games I bought are mine and they are staying mine unless I decide to sell them on or do whatever else I want with them and there is nothing anyone can do about it, especially as I don't buy games with limited install DRM.

Maybe Mr Braben should consider a different line of work, maybe a move to one of those many other industries where revenue from used sales is passed on to the original developer.
68.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 01:06
Prez
 
68.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 01:06
Dec 9, 2008, 01:06
 Prez
 
That was a very good impression of a videogame publisher!!!
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67.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 9, 2008, 00:26
RP
67.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 9, 2008, 00:26
Dec 9, 2008, 00:26
RP
 
Waahhhh piracy. Waaahhhh used games. Waaahhhh videogame rentals.
66.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 22:08
Kxmode
 
66.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 22:08
Dec 8, 2008, 22:08
 Kxmode
 
renting

licensing
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
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65.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 22:01
65.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 22:01
Dec 8, 2008, 22:01
 
My understanding with software purchases is that you don't actually buy the software

Correct. You own the package and its contents, but the software itself on the CD/DVD remains the property of the developer that you're, in-effect, renting.
"Van Gogh painted alone and in despair and in madness and sold one picture in his entire life. Millions struggled alone, unrecognized, and struggled as heroically as any famous hero. Was it worthless? I knew it wasn't."
64.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 21:58
64.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 21:58
Dec 8, 2008, 21:58
 
What a bunch of bullshit. I'm sure any industry would love to get rid of the used market.

I'm sure authors would love it if books burst into flames as soon as you finished reading them.Clothes manufacturers would love it if clothes could not be handed down or given to thrift shops.

Grandma's car, house and furniture would all detonate as soon as her heart stopped.

But no, much to their chagrin there is a thing called 'used'

Greed pure and simple.

Spot fucking on. Fausticle FTW!

And by and large, it's not like used games are any great bargains. Look at any newer used game from EB Games and they only knock off 5 bucks, maybe 10 - and that's console games only - most of which I just rent these days.

And there's so much crap for PC games these days I'm a hell of a lot more selective what I buy.

And as always, games are overpriced. Drastically. $50-70 on average - not including CEs for several hours entertainment is a lot a money - particularly with the economy of the last several years and the next several. Drop your prices and go for a larger volume. I really don't see why games should be more than 20 bucks.

"Van Gogh painted alone and in despair and in madness and sold one picture in his entire life. Millions struggled alone, unrecognized, and struggled as heroically as any famous hero. Was it worthless? I knew it wasn't."
63.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 21:55
63.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 21:55
Dec 8, 2008, 21:55
 
what a load of shit

whats next?

THIS PERSON PLAYED THIS GAME TWICE BECAUSE IT WAS GOOD ENOUGH TO PLAY TWICE (rare occasion) BUT HEY! THEY ONLY PAID ONCE! THAT MEANS THAT WE ARE LOSING $$$ BECAUSE THEY AREN'T BUYING TWO COPIES, OR ARE SPENDING TIME REPLAYING THE SAME GAME WHEN THEY COULD BE BUYING ANOTHER GAME.

They'll think of any fucking excuse to pump out shitty games and then cry about sales.
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62.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 21:51
62.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 21:51
Dec 8, 2008, 21:51
 
it is amusing to see the game industry come up with pseudo arguments about used games. Impossible to take seriously.
61.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 21:13
Kxmode
 
61.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 21:13
Dec 8, 2008, 21:13
 Kxmode
 
My understanding with software purchases is that you don't actually buy the software. What you're buying is the license to use the software (e.g. End User License Agreement). The tangible product (e.g. software discs, booklet manual, cloth maps, and so forth) comes with the product license. I think there's a clause in the Agreement that says something like only YOU own the license until you give up your rights to it when you give (or sell) it to someone else. Right?

So there's nothing wrong with selling used games as long as the EULA transfers to the new owner. In most Windows software the EULA is usually found in the installer. So where's the EULA in console games?

This comment was edited on Dec 8, 2008, 21:21.
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
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60.
 
Braben? Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 20:39
60.
Braben? Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 20:39
Dec 8, 2008, 20:39
 
The same Braben associated with RCT3? The one who literally broke the game with the third expansion? That Braben?

Where does he come off talking about quality?
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