The Entitlement of Publishers: Used games sales pt2 - Destructoid

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I think it should be pretty clear that since I'm here, I'm a gamer and I would love to discuss them. Just like everyone else, I have my opinions about the current state of gaming and how I think it's good in one way and bad in another way. Quite frankly, I think the gaming community in general is pretty awful, like with console fanboys, but Destructoid looks to be different. However, don't expect to find me on the forums since I plan on sticking to the main site and the c-blogs. I should note that I'm very opinionated about stuff. I can easily find flaws in just about anything even if others don稚 agree with me on them. To an extent, I'm also a perfectionist.

I own the original PS2 model, a Wii, 80GB PS3, Pro model 360, and the original DS and PSP models. Just because I own all of them doesn't mean I value them all equally. I don't own too many games and I rarely buy them. I mostly play games by renting through GameFly since even the really good ones don't keep me playing long enough to justify buying them. I'm not just able to easily replay a game a second time through even if I really enjoyed the first time. I tend to only buy games that I feel will have great replay value, which usually means getting a game on the PC that can be heavily modded.

I知 also rather lonely when it comes to my friend lists on the 360 and PS3. Anyone mind helping out?

The following games I'm looking forward to playing off the top of my head include:

Crackdown 2
Fallout: New Vegas
Metroid: Other M
ModNation Racers
Super Mario Galaxy 2
The Elder Scrolls V (although not officially confirmed yet)

Game(s) that I知 playing now:

Bioshock (PS3)
Left 4 Dead 2 (360)
Red Faction: Guerrilla (360)

Game(s) that I'm currently waiting for GameFly to ship out...

Nothing right now...

Last updated: 04/26/10
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For the second half of this c-blog, I値l go more into depth when it comes to the various arguments from people, mostly other gamers, to defend the lengths that publishers will go to try to kill off the used game market.

鄭 used game sale is a lost sale for the publishers.
I feel this is an age old argument that applies to other subjects as well that doesn稚 hold water very well. This argument assumes that if someone couldn稚 buy a game used, then they would have brought it new. Now granted, some people would buy a game new if they couldn稚 buy it used. On the other hand, many people would just wait till the price drop, which would be less money for the publisher than if the customer brought the game sooner. Others would rent the game, trade it for another game, or simply not get the game at all. So in other words, publishers may only get some extra sales if buying a game new were the only option. A small difference, but not quite as big as they seem to be hoping for.

I feel that this is a form of entitlement. Publishers tend to act like they deserve every last penny of their games if someone as much as plays them. I have a feeling this might be a pretty big factor in why certain current gen games don稚 feature multiplayer on the same console, even if previous games in the series did. They said that some games are too powerful to handle split screen. They expect us to believe that?! How does that kind of downgrade happen for something that痴 been common even going back to the beginning of video games? So the almighty PS3 and 360 can稚 do something that the Wii can this generation?

It痴 like they want to reap Capitalism for all it痴 worth, but as soon as Capitalism works against them, they want nothing to do with it. Instead of taking the bad with the good, like customers tend to, they only want to take the good and not deal with the bad. Why do publishers deserve to get a cut of the profiles off the same game disc more than one? As far as I know, other industries have to deal with this as well, but they don稚 seem to be up in arms about it unless I wasn稚 paying attention. I feel this comes down to quite frankly, whining. Because the system doesn稚 always work like how they went it too, they throw a hissy fit at customers that used the system in a way that didn稚 totally favor them.

Some have even gone on to say used game sales are worse than piracy. WTF?!

泥evelopers need the money to keep releasing great games.
Well, maybe it値l be a wakeup call to consider what they池e doing when it comes to development. This could mean they値l have to do more with less, like figuring out how to make great games without putting millions upon millions of dollars into each game. Putting more money into a game doesn稚 automatic make it better, especially since a lot of that money is used for graphics. I知 not saying graphics are not important and shouldn稚 matter, but less money means they would have to focus more on game play if they want high sales. Not every game a developer makes have to be a huge blockbuster with a development time of three-five years. Square Enix must have spent tons and tons of money on FFXIII, but they managed to release lower budgeted games as well. So not every company has the money or manpower to develop multiple games at once, but the ones complaining about used game sales the most usually are big companies. If $10 or $15 games can prove to be great fun and cost a lot less than full blown retail games, why can稚 they do something similar on a larger scale?

的f you can稚 buy a game new, you don稚 deserve to play it.
Excuse me?! What right does a customer have to tell another customer what they can do and can稚 do with their money? The money from a used game may not go back to the game industry, but it doesn稚 mean a customer still isn稚 allowed to use other legal means to get it. What, are gamers supposed to be saints that give fully back to every single game they play? If publishers don稚 like it, they can always find another business model; instead of acting like they can do no wrong and that anyone who buys a used game is the poison killing the game industry. In fact, they already are working toward other business models that become more of a reality day by day.

天ideo games have a shelf life of a few months compared to other products.
Compared to movies, books, and other media that people keep interested in a lot longer even many years later, video games tend not to do that, likely due to the rapid advancing nature of it. Even that痴 not completely truth since there is the whole retro fever going on these days and older games being sold as downloads. On the other hand, how likely are you to find new copies of games from even five years ago, especially GameCube or Xbox games? Really, are you supposed to not just buy them because the developers and publishers won稚 profit from them? Are you supposed to wait years and hope for a re-release, something that only a select few games will get?

釘uy our games new and there will be cake.

填sed games don稚 have the same wear and tear issues as other used products.
People often mention that used video games can work just as fine as new ones. Yes they can, but not always. Just like how used movies are not risk free due to how the disc can skip parts of the movie, used video games are not risk free either, even to the point of failing to read the disc properly, making the game unplayable. Cartridges had it worse back in the days.

典he developers are just being nice to those that support them by giving extra content.
Oh yeah, the same way that Microsoft is nice to Gold members by offering downloads a week sooner. Oh wait, Silver members just get the downloads a week later. The same way that content already in the game, but costs money for the 108kb download, is a way for customers to support the developers. Not to mention the 田hoice to pay for cheat codes that were free a generation ago. I had no idea being nice meant not offering the full game for full price.

Publishers will pass off the download codes that come with the DLC as extra content. Come on now, let痴 be realistic, is everything people say 100% truth? Of course not! It痴 more like 鍍his always was part of the game, but we blocked it off with a unlock key. Business, especially when greed is part of the mix, isn稚 100% honestly. So between the time that the game gone gold and reached retail, developers had enough time to put in content worth $10?

The way I see it, publishers have been testing the waters for years, slowly building up to where we are now and where they plan to go. They are slowly getting people to accept spending far more on games or dealing with having less content for full price.

You could do a swordless run till you reached Ganon

典he content that was taken out and put up as DLC isn稚 vital to the game experience.
Yes, that痴 what the publishers want to hear, people being okay with slowly losing bits and pieces of a game that wasn稚 brought new. Why not just keep removing content till everything that isn稚 completely vital to the core experience costs more? Why not just take out all the side quests in RPGs for those that didn稚 buy it new? Brought Call of Duty used? That値l be $5 to unlock multiplayer. Rented God of War III? $10 for the non-standard weapons. Want that fancy car on the cover of a racing game? Buy it new or hand over $5.

Keep going and you could have a bare base game if you didn稚 buy a new copy and end up downloading the rest of it for $30 or $40. People may argue that it won稚 get to that level, but even now, would we have been discussing something like this five years ago? Who would have thought back in 2005 that small bits of the core content would be missing for non-new copies? This reminds me when Michael Capps, president of Epic Games, got mad at used game sales and wanted to charge $20 on used copies in order to face the final boss in Gears of War 2. If you seen the final boss, would you want to pay $20 for a 澱attle that lasts around that amount in seconds? This could become a reality in Gears of War 3 at the rate things have changed between now and late 08.

泥on稚 like it, don稚 buy it. / 鉄peak with your wallet.
I don稚 think many people consider that if enough people do just that, than how will the developers make enough money to break even, yet alone make a profit? As proven by the boycotts alone in the previous year, many gamers don稚 resist buying something they said they wouldn稚 buy. I feel that publishers will keep seeing how much money they can get from people till they had enough. They need us, we don稚 need them, since without people buying their products, they値l go out of business, but we値l just find other games or means of entertainment.

Often, this is just said as a cop out argument to not actually want to discuss things. All after, it痴 much easier just to act like people who don稚 like something don稚 have a right to talk about it than to actually debate the issue. When that痴 all people can say without anything else to backup their words, it痴 a pretty good sign that their saying 的 don稚 like what you池e saying, so stop saying it because I have the right to tell you what you can say and can稚 say. Combined this with 渡o one cares, which is often when it痴 an opinion someone doesn稚 like, clearly does care if they give extra attention to it, and you have one of the many reasons I don稚 have that great of viewpoint toward the gaming community in general.

Even simply not buying a game won稚 get the message across to many publishers. They値l find some other kind of excuse if their game(s) don稚 sell like they expect them too. They may push even further to get more money out of fewer sales. They could even fall back on developing 都afe games. Should that fail, they could always pled to gamers to buy their games, act like victims, and act like something is wrong with their customers for not buying their games. At the end of the day, they値l still be greedy to the point of turning heads.

At this rate, I have a feeling that we値l be looking at another video game crash down the road unless the greed is toned down. In fact, I think there already are examples of core content (and not minor stuff) being put up as downloads. I feel like it値l be a matter of time where physical copies of new games cease to exist and publishers play entirely on their own terms by going full digital to cut out the middle man and without ever worrying about people re-selling. I would like to see more great games, sure, but I also fear my favorite hobby will become super costly and tear apart the gaming community even further.
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