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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1.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:19
1.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:19
Dec 8, 2008, 14:19
 
Game quality is already low enough, the real reason game quality is so low is because it takes millions and millions of dollars to develop a game. So developers play it safe and release the same shit one after the other.
2.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:26
2.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:26
Dec 8, 2008, 14:26
 
I don't buy the argument that used games increases support costs. If you sell a million copies of a game, you are supporting a million copies of that game. It doesn't matter whether the game is in the original owners hands or not. Yes, the new owner might be downloading patches, but on the other hand, the original owner isn't (i.e. if new patches are released or if the owner wants to reinstall the game).

Piracy I can see as an argument for increasing support costs, because you are supporting games beyond the number sold.

The quality argument I can sort of see. I'm curious how much game sales depends on marketing versus game quality. Lots of people flock to crap, if Hollywood blockbusters are any indication.
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3.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:27
3.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:27
Dec 8, 2008, 14:27
 
I agree with Caveman.

Looks like developers blame everything on piracy and/or used game sales, never themselves. When you program a turd, you program a turd, regardless of how pirated it is and if it's sold early second hand.

Developers seem to forget: good games (usually) sell well. Bad games (usually) don't. You don't see the makers of good games complaining, ever. But you do see Epic.

A pity about Braben. I respect most of what he has done, but he is dead wrong here.
4.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:34
4.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:34
Dec 8, 2008, 14:34
 
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.
5.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:35
5.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:35
Dec 8, 2008, 14:35
 
This is the same bullshit they try to use for piracy, by making up numbers, referring to the patch issue. This assumes that every time someone downloads and old game patch it's for a used game bought without any money going to the developers/publishers.

Clearly this guy is pulling these numbers out of his ass, to justify the bullshit he is trying to sell, i.e. the low quality of his games. There is no way he or anyone else could know this, first and most importantly since it's in no way true.

Secondly, as a matter of fact it's much more likely the original owner says to themselves;
"Most of these new games suck, especially David Braben's games. I am gonna reinstall some old time games that kicked ass. Oh crap wonder if I can still find all the patches? Oh sweet there are tons of fan sites that still keep patches, since most developers and publisher go out of business."

Full disclosure, I have no clue who David Braben is or worked on and sure as hell don't care to now.
Scorpio Slasher: ... What about you boy, what do hate?
Marcus: ... Bullies. Tiny d*ck egotists who hurt people for no reason, make people lock their doors at night. People who make general existence worse, people like you.
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6.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:35
6.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:35
Dec 8, 2008, 14:35
 
What the used games are doing is forcing publishers and developers to incur bandwidth costs for updates and support at least twice

If you didnt push unfinished shit out the door that requires patches to finish, then you woudnt be incurring any bandwidth bitch.
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7.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:36
7.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:36
Dec 8, 2008, 14:36
 
These guys need to stop their whining and accept that fact that there is a limited pool of money in the world devoted to lining their pockets and funding superintense next generation work. Braben, particularly, is an arse. Talk about a guy with no incentive to create - he's been living off the back of one title for two decades, in repute if not in hard currency. A stark contrast with his meek co-creator Ian Bell.
8.
 
Why stop with used game sales?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
8.
Why stop with used game sales? Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
 
I'm sure the auto industry would be much better off if people stopped buying/selling used cars too. Force people to only buy brand new vehicles from now on!

Using the logic in this argument, used sales of EVERYTHING and ANYTHING should be banned, because it is "hurting the manufacturers".

*heavy sarcasm intended to show how asinine this line of thought is from the people who are making this argument*
9.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
9.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
 
Obsolute BS. Find any list of the top rated games and you will see they sell well for at least an entire year, some like Half-Life will stay on the market for 5-10 years. The guy is arguing that today its worse than it was in the past? Has anybody seen any indication that is true? I haven't seen it, heck Spore the most pirated game out there is still selling massive copies of its retail version. (And its a pretty crappy game)
10.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
10.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
Dec 8, 2008, 14:44
 
I love this.

According to these morons there are only 2 things that affect the gaming industry this past 1-3 years:

1. Used game sales
2. Piracy

They are blind to the fact that most games suck in quality, lack QA, lack support, lack MP support, lack being even a 7/10. They will point fingers all day long - just an excuse to keep doing what they are doing.

Game development gets more and more like Washington everyday. I suppose, you inject money into ANYTHING, and it will get more and more like politics (or the attention of politics).....just the nature of things I guess....
11.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:45
11.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:45
Dec 8, 2008, 14:45
 
It's like bailout talk. Give the big 3 billions - even when Honda opens a plant in the US and is super successful! Nice going Washington - nice going.
12.
 
I agree
Dec 8, 2008, 14:49
12.
I agree Dec 8, 2008, 14:49
Dec 8, 2008, 14:49
 
Stop the whining. Ya gotta wonder what really is next eh? The greed and bottom line has been so focussed on, what we are gonna get more and more of, is crap game developement. The Dev community is seemingly constantly looking for ways to screw themselves over, cause in the end?

All their brainstorming is gonna come back and bite em in the azz. I guess after they have had enough of whining about the peeps who get their games by illegal d/l means, they now wanna go after LEGITIMATE buyers? Ya huh. Makes sense?

13.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:49
13.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:49
Dec 8, 2008, 14:49
 
Seriously, has David Braben/Frontier Developments done anything but Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 & Thrillville (basically a clone of RT3) in the last 10 years? When he 'was' creating proper games, the games industry was mostly bedroom coders, PC games retailed for £70 (& only ran on 5% of computers worth over £3000) and nobody bought them because Super Mario came out for the Nintendo... Talk about out of touch.

Seriously, blaiming used games for industry woes is horse-shit - At least blaming piracy has some legal precedence.
It's like the car industry claiming their current problems are largely down to used car sales. The real problem stems from spiralling labour/management/design costs and laziness on the part of the giant corporations that run them.
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14.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:50
Kxmode
 
14.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:50
Dec 8, 2008, 14:50
 Kxmode
 
Game quality is already low enough, the real reason game quality is so low is because it takes millions and millions of dollars to develop a game. So developers play it safe and release the same shit one after the other.

I assume "developers" means those assimilated by publishers like EA, Activision, and Take Two? Because indies like CD Projekt are putting out quality PC titles.
"Listen, Peter... with great horsepower comes... the sickest drifts..." - source
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15.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:50
15.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:50
Dec 8, 2008, 14:50
 
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.

LOL they needed to research to tell them multiplayer games are held onto the longest.
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16.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:57
16.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:57
Dec 8, 2008, 14:57
 
Christ I'm getting sick of developers and publishers whining. Is this just the new crop of industry professionals that grew up whining and screaming into their microphones in online games like 3 year old children?

They are make money hand over fist in one of the few industries that is actually growing in this recession, and has shown very little signs of letting up.

Used game sales have been around for 20+ years, as has game piracy...neither are going away anytime soon, and for the Pubs to get their stinking hands into the Used Game pot would be unlawful. I don't get why the game industry thinks they are somehow exempt from the same laws everyone else abides by.
17.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 14:58
17.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 14:58
Dec 8, 2008, 14:58
 
Used houses hurt building quality.
Used cars hurt automobile quality.
Used space shuttles hurt space travel quality.
Used condoms hurt contraception quality.
Good prequels (GTA) hurt sequel quality (GTA IV).

Stoooooooopid. It's like in a kindergarten: Yeah, mam, I shit my pants, but it's meant as a fashion statement. No, wait, it's not my fault, it's everybody else's fault, but not mine.
18.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 15:03
18.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 15:03
Dec 8, 2008, 15:03
 
I assume "developers" means those assimilated by publishers like EA, Activision, and Take Two? Because indies like CD Projekt are putting out quality PC titles.

Eastern European labor doesn't hurt

That being said, I'm surprised that publishers don't try to mimic the car industry in terms of used sales. Most car dealerships sell new and used cars... would it not, then, be in the publisher's best interest to get into the used market for their own titles? Might not be as good for margins as it is for GameStop, but if they can undercut the dominant player by offering to buy back and re-sell their titles through their website, it might help...
19.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 15:14
19.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 15:14
Dec 8, 2008, 15:14
 
forcing publishers and developers to incur bandwidth costs for updates and support at least twice

Ooooh, I see. So the solution would be for developers to make sure that their games aren't buggy piles of shit, so that they don't have to offer enormous patches, because if people download the patches more than once they will completely devastate the company.

Sounds good to me. All aboard the quality train!
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20.
 
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality?
Dec 8, 2008, 15:15
20.
Re: Used Games Hurt Game Quality? Dec 8, 2008, 15:15
Dec 8, 2008, 15:15
 
The sad thing here is that there's no good side to take. As obnoxious as this whining is, I sure as hell am no fan of Gamestop and their "Buy your game for five dollars store credit and resell it for five dollars under retail price" business model.

Oh, and this:

"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."

Well gosh golly gee! Maybe if you finish your fucking games before shipping them instead of shoving them out the door with the now-standard "we'll just patch it" rationale, you might not have to worry about blwoing bandwidth on updates! The entire reason for this absurd mentality is to make as much money as fast as possible anyway, so since its apparently not working like that anymore, how about, I don't know, you re-think your development process (and it's not like "finish the game" really needs much rethinking) to just cut out this factor?

Oh, and notice how he doesn't say anything about having to deliver DLC to the second-hand market. After all, DLC is all about the gamers, not more profit, and it's actually priced at a loss compared to the bandwidth used to deliver it. [/sarcasm] Give me a fucking break.

::Sigh:: Anyone remember that time before gaming became "mainstream" and the worst thing we had to worry about was the quality of arcade to console ports?

You know, the shit of it is, there's no way to win here. We can make all the valid points we want about ow ridiculously whiny this whole "used games steal from us! Wahhhhh!!!1!!!!!one!!!1!!!!eleven!!!!" attitude is, but they're not going to magically grow a brain and get a clue. We could have these people in the same room and it still wouldn't make a difference; the more used games are sold, the more they're going to be convinced its the devil's work and drastic measures must be taken.

Frankly, at the end of the day, my opinion on the matter is to not buy used games. Not for love of the industry's profit margins, but rather out of spite for Gamefail's horrible business model. All the morons wanking about used game sales do get one thing right; they're lining their pockets at the expense of consumers.
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