Pre-owned increases cost of games, cannibalizes industry, says Dyack

"There's not going to be an industry," warns Silicon Knights head

Used games are a constant irritant for many in this industry - they're at best tolerated and at worst despised with a passion. Frontier Development's David Braben recently lashed out against the used games business, saying that it's effectively killed off single-player titles, and now Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has weighed in with his thoughts as well.

Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Dyack remarked, "From a consumer side, [in the last few years] we started seeing used games really come into fruition, and I believe that has caused quite a problem. I would argue that used games actually increase the cost of games."

The biggest problem is that used games have essentially cut off the revenue tail for most titles, Dyack explained.

"If used games continue the way that they are, it's going to cannibalize, there's not going to be an industry"

Denis Dyack

"There used to be something in games for 20 years called a tail, where say you have a game called Warcraft that would sell for 10 years. Because there are no used games, you could actually sell a game for a long time, and get recurring revenue for quite a while. Recurring revenue is very key," he said.

"Now there is no tail. Literally, you will get most of your sales within three months of launch, which has created this really unhealthy extreme where you have to sell it really fast and then you have to do anything else to get money," he continued, alluding to steps developers take like including multiplayer or launching DLC.

Dyack warned that if the pre-owned market continues unchecked it could threaten the industry as we know it.

"I would argue, and I've said this before, that used games are cannibalizing the industry. If developers and publishers don't see revenue from that, it's not a matter of hey 'we're trying to increase the price of games to consumers, and we want more,' we're just trying to survive as an industry. If used games continue the way that they are, it's going to cannibalize, there's not going to be an industry," he said. "People won't make those kinds of games. So I think that's inflated the price of games, and I think that prices would have come down if there was a longer tail, but there isn't."

For its part, leading games retailer GameStop has unsurprisingly come to the defense of its used games empire. The company's argument is that the money from used games and trade-ins ultimately fuels the industry as a whole.

"Remember that used video games have a residual value. Remember that GameStop generates $1.2 billion of trade credits around the world with our used games model. So, consider taking used games out of that, you'd have to find new ways to sell the games, and our partners at the console companies have great relationships with us," CEO Paul Raines said during the company's last earnings call.

"What we've done is created a way for that new leading edge consumer to dispose of their old games and that's what creates this great circle of life we talk about that so many try to imitate."

"People once again are saying we're going to have development costs that are two or three times of what they were last generation. I cannot see how that economy is going to continue"

Denis Dyack

Beyond the pre-owned problem, the games industry also faces a problem of costs for triple-A projects spiraling out of control.

"On the top side of the triple-A, highly-funded titles, you have $100 million games, and looking towards next generation people once again are saying we're going to have development costs that are two or three times of what they were last generation. I cannot see how that economy is going to continue," Dyack stated.

"I don't think as an industry we can afford $300 million budgets. I think some games can, don't get me wrong. For a game like Call of Duty, if they had a $100 million budget, or whatever their budget is, they can afford it. That's not the industry, that's sort of a one-off. But what is everyone else going do?"

Indeed, a mid-size developer could invest $40-$60 million in a triple-A project and if that title tanks at retail, it could truly wreak havoc on the company.

"It comes back to that tail I talked about, recurring revenue. We need a system with recurring revenue and that's why I think digital distribution is going to play a big role in things to come. That's why I am still very big on cloud computing," Dyack concluded.

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Latest comments (34)

Private Industry 10 years ago
I guess he knows a lot more about next gen than I don because I now 0, but don`t see how next gen games could cost 2-3 times more than what they cost now. There is simply no way at all that next gen will look so much better that it would have such an increase in production costs. PC has always the better maximum graphics simply because the hardware constantly improves. Would Crysis 2 or BF3 have been significantly cheaper if the PC would only match the console graphics? The jump in development costs from last gen to this gen was simply because it went from SD to HD, you couldn`t use your engine, model poly count singnificantly improved, the texture quallity singnificantly improved and you needed more people and you had to learn and improve your skills to to adapt to the HD games. We are too far away from 2k or 4k TV`s that are avordable or mass produced so I don`t think the next consoles will go for that resolution.

A game like the old republic is rumoured to have cost 200 million and that was developed over many many many years with a huge amount of people and I can`t see that a jump in graphics from HD graphics to better HD graphics can drive the cost for a 18 month dev cycle game to that price if the company is managed well and the dev process streamlined well.

Second hand market isn`t great and yes sure GameStop is going on about how much that second hand sales makes them, but so did GAME and we see where that went without support of the games industry. Nintendo, Sony and MS all need game sales to make money and I have the feeling before the second hand get`s out of hand and close to destroying the industry they will have switched to digital only and got rid of the boxed retail market since they and the publishers and developers need the money from game sales.

I don`t think DLC is a bad thing in general. Of course if you go the Capcom style and charge 30 bucks for on disc characters yes thats bad. But if you look at CoD, Fallout 3 and New Vegas it can be a very good thing. You buy your game and if you like it you are not stuck with the basic game, you can continue to play it and expand on it and expand the experience. You pay originaly 60 bucks you have something you enjoy to play for a month or 2 then DLC comes out and you pay 10 and get again a month or 2 of entertainment and so on or pay 50 for elite and get a lot of DLC spaced out over the year. DLC can be a very good thing for the devlopers/publsihers as well as for the consumer if the main game is good and if the DLC is good. If either of them isn`t good you won`t get people to keep playing your game or keep buying your DLC if the DLC is bad. If your game is good and people enjoy playing it they will be happy and buy good DLC that brings more to the game and makes it possible for them to extend the time they can spend in the game.

Just don`t sell horse armor, Gears of War weapon skins for 60 bucks or on disc characters for 30 bucks.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Private on 28th March 2012 1:32am

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Stephen Richards Game Deisgner 10 years ago
It's an unnecessary exaggeration to say used games will destroy the industry. Here are several reasons not to be terrified of used-game sales:

1) There are already many ways to distribute games only via digital platforms. It's the only way for smart phones and tablets, it's become the dominant distribution for PC and is increasingly adopted on current consoles (XBLA and playstation). No developer is forced to be a victim of used sales. And this brings me onto my second point:

2) Digital distribution will expand dramatically in the next console generation. The data cap on XBLA games, currently at 2gb, will increase by an order of magnitude, perhaps to 10 or 20gb. This'll make it possible for developers without $100m+ budgets to continue making cutting edge games that would, on this generation, qualify for boxed products. The larger IPs will still be released in boxed products and so still be susceptible to used sales. But these, I stress, will be the gaming giants (Call of Duty, Fifa, GTA, Assassin's Creed etc) which are all but guaranteed to make a huge profit.

Now while you can argue used sales will continue to harm the profitability of these games, this is isn't a killer blow to the industry. The developer-giants will continue to make huge profits on boxed games, and everyone else will be immune to used sales by releasing their games only digitally.
(I realise this point is mostly speculation on my part, but I'm fairly sure I'm right.)

3) The increasing risk of developing AAA games brought about by spiralling budgets has almost nothing to do with used game sales. If a high budget game isn't received well and gets poor sales, it's going to make a loss, with or without pre-owned sales. Certainly a minority of games will almost but not quite break even, such that they would have turned a profit without used sales. But again, this is not a killer-blow to the industry. The fact that used sales harm profitability is no more an argument that they are cannibalising the industry than the fact that used car sales make car-manufacturing less profitable. I'm not saying the cases are parallel or that I'm in support of used sales, but their significance should be kept in proportion. There's no causal link between the increasing point of break-even and used sales.

4) There's no evidence that used sales increases the cost of games. Certainly they make games less profitable, given that more people would buy first hand games if the second hand market was not available. But the hidden assumption is that if used sales stopped, developers and publishers would pass (some of) the savings made on to consumers by making games cheaper. I don't know if this'll happen with the move to digital distribution or not, but I think if consumers are to be respected it certainly should, given that it further reduces costs by cutting out the middle-man and not requiring a retailer. (We can be sad about the recent jobs lost at Game, but it's their wages we're not paying by buying games online.)

The alternative is developers/publishers seizing the chance to increase profits by selling consumers an inferior product for the same price. Whether this happens will likely depend largely on how 'open' the digital platforms of the next consoles are.

Sorry for the essay. I just don't think it's worth getting angry at a market that's not only temporary, but also that's increasingly open for any developer to avoid if they wish. The industry and its consumers are better off friends.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus10 years ago
Yet on the other side, we have Electronic Arts nickle and diming us and instituting a pay-to-win scheme in games you already have to pay $60 for, Capcom selling us on-the-disc "DLC", and Zynga being Zynga.

This goes both ways, homey.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Christopher Bowen on 28th March 2012 4:06am

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Show all comments (34)
They could also reduce the advertising dept costs by half. Some of the budget gets blown up thrice quite easily for a AAA dev cost
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Thomas Milne Studying Computer Science with Games Tech, City University London10 years ago
The old "games would be cheaper" argument simply doesn't wash. If it's true, why are 90% of triple A titles that are available to download more expensive than the boxed game?

Gears of War 3 is £50 on Xbox live, £20 new on amazon and £12 pre owned. Why would they charge that much if they can make a sale that cannot be traded in and carries no manufacturing and distribution cost?

Removing the preowned market will not reduce prices, they will stay the same or increase. The catch is that value of the product will have decreased as it retains no value after purchase.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development10 years ago
Regardless of development costs, it's naļve to think that removing pre-owned automagically means developers (and publishers alike) will make more money from more people buying brand new games.

Has there been a drop in total revenue for the games industry that coincides with the fall of the tail? If not then there's not even a shred of evidence other than straw-man thinking, i.e., "something is causing us to lose money, and that thing is preowned".

I'd rather see articles on this from economists, with varying informed opinions, as it's only economists who have the correct discipline to make sense of the information without distorting things with blaming anything that is involved. And I say economists because the absence of preowned is a completely different economic model that would result in different purchase habits that I believe would exclude the games that sell less, since gamers will clearly purchase less games if they are priced the same.

And reducing the RRP would not substitute preowned altogether, because there's still the issue of (a) the first sale at full price and (b) we've no idea how much the early buyers who trade their new games also use that money to purchase used games.

We need some more informed studies and a greater understanding not more fruitless opinions from notable faces.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 10 years ago
There is an argument that very many customers are only willing to pay the ridiculous high prices of boxed console games because they can play them then put them in as part exchange against their next purchase. In other words the secondhand market is an effective mechanism to reduce the cost of console game purchase to nearer to what it should be. So the publisher hasn't lost out. He has sold far more of the game initially than he would have without part exchanges meeting part of the purchase price. And the publisher also makes an inflated profit on the first sale because of over pricing. So it could be argued that the secondhand market actually increases publisher profits.

The big effect of the secondhand market is that it forces customers to only buy games that they know will have a high secondhand value. This distorts the market into a small number of blockbusters and acts as an economic mechanism against innovation.
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters10 years ago
I don't think it's hard to see that the current situation with retail has forced the following business model: Drum up so much anticipation for a game that gamers want the game on release day and extract as much money as possible from these people as possible. Gamers that think "I'll wait" are effectively out of the picture to publishers because by the time those people are ready to buy the game, retailers only have used copies left on their shelves. This polarises things to mean there's only "huge success" and "massive failure" because the middle ground revenue - the tail, where a game that wasn't a massive success but could at least slow burn to recoup some of its money over time - has been stolen entirely by retailers. With no middle ground, new IP becomes too risky, so you get nothing but sequels. The other consequence of this need for a mad rush to get pre-orders is games now need an enormous marketing campaign to get themselves heard during their tiny sales window.
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The irony I see with this, is that the price of games *has* come down - purely because people have the option of buying an "effectively" new (i.e. 2nd-hand) game, for 20%-50% of its value. One of the best DS games I played, I picked up for $5.

What would be ironic? Developing a game that "ages" or "wears out" a little each time its played. For cartridge-based games, this would be more than possible.

To a large extent, I think this is the retailers flexing their muscle over the publishers. The total revenue pool is the same - but the retailers get a bigger chunk of it via 2nd-hand.

And even if retailers stopped selling used games - that doesn't stop consumers from selling used games to friends (rather than the stores) like the good old days.

Here is an alternative model for thought:
1/ Publishers provide physical copies of games to retailers for "free" (shipping costs, etc).
2/ Retailers sell triple-A titles for $20-$30US
3/ Once a game is bought, the user must "register" the game on their console for $10-$20 before playing it.
Annoying for consumers, but it works for publishers/developers. Otherwise, just go digital.
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Joćo Namorado Project Manager, Portugal Telecom10 years ago
Dyack's arguments simply don't make sense. He says used game sales have risen in the last few years, increasing the cost of games, but we could argue that when current gen launched the price of games was increased and that caused an increased demand for used (cheaper) games.

Also, "There used to be something in games for 20 years called a tail": and now there is DLC. If you use it right it can increase your revenues.

And I won't repeat the arguments about digital distribution...
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters10 years ago
@Michael Shamgar - Since when have used games been 20-50% of the price? Last time I went in Game, for example, The Darkness 2 was £40 new and £38 second hand. Retailers are ripping off both their suppliers and their customers. Customers at least have a choice. They're only buying the game once, so they can just go elsewhere (Amazon etc), or wait till the price drops, but retail works as long as people are too lazy to shop around for a better price.

@Joćo Namorado - Games get cheaper without having second hand. If games were priced less, and that responsibility lies with publishers as well as retailers, there would be no need for used games.

You can't sell your mobile apps and games second hand on your phone, or your Steam games, and no one seems to mind. Putting a game on a disc is just a method of getting the 1s and 0s into the customer's machine, yet somehow people view it in a totally different mindset.
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Joćo Namorado Project Manager, Portugal Telecom10 years ago
@Dave Herod - My point exactly. I'm more inclined to think that an increase in used games sales is a result and not a cause of higher prices.

I'm also thinking of Alan Wake's American Nightmare, which seems like a reuse of the original Alan Wake's source material to make a totally new, standalone game that, although not being great, has an excellent value for money because of the lower price. I wonder how that is working out for Remedy.
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Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development10 years ago
And even if retailers stopped selling used games - that doesn't stop consumers from selling used games to friends (rather than the stores) like the good old days.
No way, I remember those days and they were awful because you have to not only negotiate the value of the games (which might not even be of equal value to yours), and that's if your friend even has the game in the first place, wants to trade it and also just happens to want your game at the same time you wish to trade yours. And it limits what you can do, for example you can't trade your game to get money off of a new game.

Have we even looked into how much money from pre-owned pours back into the gaming economy and funds future purchases of new games? And if pre-owned is making retailers like GAME so much money, why are they so short of cash? If pre-owned helps GAME stay open so that they can sell new games, isn't that a good thing to let them use those means to stay open and stock products? Or is it a sign that the retail games market is falling?

My main issue is that we seem to be approaching this with too much naļvety like a medieval witch hunt.
You can't sell your mobile apps and games second hand on your phone ...
Those typically cost 59p, hardly an argument at all, and the sales of steam say nothing about the people who wouldn't be happy with it (i.e. those who do traide their games). They're certainly not the same people who are returning their games (as you say), so they can't in any way be used to argue the acceptance of the people who do trade their games.

And are we not forgetting how much riskier purchases of new IP and games would be without pre-owned? If you received it as a gift you either return it immediately unopened with the receipt or you're stuck with it forever (unless you can find a sucker who wants it), and further more would you want to buy a surprise gift for someone who couldn't trade it in if they didn't want it. People might begin to buy only the most popular brands as presents, and the smaller studios could get the short straw.

There is the possibility of finding someone who does want it, but for anyone who has tried that in the past, it's really going to replace stores for preowned.

I can see some of the issues with preowned. Yes, there are issues, so we should solve the issues, not blindly replace the entire system. It's just like the thinking behind the prohibition of alcohol, short sighted.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 28th March 2012 1:29pm

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Hugh Payn Artist, Rockstar Leeds10 years ago
Why doesn't the industry use the same licencing model that almost all respectable software does? It's feasible to create a scheme (easily on the imminent next gen systems) that refunds the licence holder a "trade in" fee when surrendering a licence back to the publisher. It would allow publishers control of pre-owned, encourage upgrading to the next game, support boxed retail and digital distribution and has been proven to work for some time. Most of the software on my home PC works like this and best of all, gaming consumer habits wouldn't need to change.
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Michael Smith Artist, New Moon Games Ltd10 years ago
I always said that if the cost of a new game was less from the start, then more people would buy it brand new.
But the same goes for digital sales, if they're the same price as physical copies then chances are, you're gonna buy the physical one so you can trade it in.

I think the Steam midweek and weekend sales are good examples of hw to increase the 'tail' as I recently impulse-bought Civ 5 and Anno 2070 purely because they were 70% off and I wasn't prepared to pay full price without knowinf if I would like them.
Xbox Live sales also get it right sometimes, sometimes you get a decent arcade game half price and you know it's a limited time offer so you grab it, even if you won't play it just yet!

I love physical boxed games but I also love the wider range and random sales of digital.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus10 years ago
@Hugh - My guess is that the argument against this would be that it could make it more possible to pirate the game. It doesn't make sense, but the companies and their company men making these arguments aren't considering sense; they're considering that someone who buys the game used, in their mind, would buy it new if they were forced to. Any time you apply "force" to your business model, you're already losing.

I think the argument that used games are hurting the industry is naive and doesn't take into effect the true cause for damage. The right for me to, say, lend my game to someone, or sell it on eBay, isn't the problem. Big retail - in the US that's GameStop, on High Street it was GAME and the grocers - turned it into their entire business model. GameStop was described as being a "glorified pawn shop", accurately I might add, because they actively discouraged buying new games, instead virtually forcing the average consumer to purchase used to make them increase their profit margins (we all know new product has razor-thin profit margins with high risk), and enforcing it on pain of the ground-level clerk's job if they didn't get high enough numbers. They took the process of trading games and institutionalized it. THAT is what hurt more than anything, and what bothers me the most is that in the pissing contest between publishers and what you all would call High Street, consumers are the ones getting wet.
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If lower costs of production ever successfully transferred to consumers perhaps the argument would hold some merit, but the reality is lower production costs equal higher profits for shareholder's, not lower costs for consumers, digital games generally higher prices reflect this.

As a gamer as well as a games dev, I appreciate the existence of budget games, but nevertheless if you simply lower the price of your title then your "trail" will see sales from years to come, initial release prices are often over-inflated many gamers don't buy games new they stay 6 months or a year or 2 years out of date in order to purchase the games at prices they can afford, imagining that all the "sales" of lower price stock are lost full price sales you could have made is the same mistake as believing every pirate download is a lost full price sale, the market for used games if removed would not lead to equal numbers of higher prices sales.

Indeed in my opinion it would just encourage these budget gamers to take a look at less traditional games from smaller companies or pricing models such as free to play, it's easy for board room executives to look at every used sale as lost profit but frankly if you really want to get the sales directly, then lower your price to undercut or match standard used rates, perhaps using digital services to encourage better value from your sales then used, say 3 months after release if truly sales drop of that quickly, which seems unlikely, then you will get 100% of what you could get from the titles, and infact may even make more sales then normal in total as players who don't buy pre-owned and weren't prepared to pay the initial asking price for your title, may be interested in a cut-price official copy

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Alexander McConnell on 28th March 2012 5:42pm

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Nélio Codices Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Battlesheep10 years ago
@Joćo Namorado, you can't compare the tail with DLCs. DLCs require additional development costs and they may ultimately tank. Yes, they may increase your revenue, but so does a whole new game (although with higher dev costs).
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Robert Baxter Game Designer, Far Vista Interactive10 years ago
According to wikipedia...

In 2004, the U.S. game industry as a whole was worth USD$10.3 billion.
In June 2011, the global video game market was valued at US$65 billion.

Maybe not the most reliable of sources, but those numbers make me think that used games are just a drop in a very big pool. Kind of like how piracy is responsible for billions in lost revenue while the music industry and film industry is experiencing record returns.

Frankly, I'd like to see some serious analysis of the impact of used games sales on the market place. And if you're really worried about used game sales, bypass the brick and mortar.

There are plenty of studios making games that never see the inside of a boxed store yet enjoy bountiful revenue.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 10 years ago
I find Dyack's argument to be quite myopic. If you look at Nintendo's software sales over the past 9 years, you will see that they worked hard to produce a range of evergreen games that sell well beyond the time of release.

Reason for this? People see value in them and don't trade them in or treat them as disposable media. Games like Mario Kart Wii and New Super Mario Bros don't tend to get easily traded and they continually sell for years (Mario Kart Wii was in the top 30 Japanese chart this week).

I would tend to agree more with David Braben who claims that single player experiences are finding it hard to survive in a market with pre-owned. And frankly I think it's because they have less value.
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Joćo Namorado Project Manager, Portugal Telecom10 years ago
@Nélio Codices - I'm not saying they are the same. Just saying that there are new ways to further monetize your game. DLC requires more work and costs some more money but much less than developing a new game, as you mentioned yourself.
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James Ingrams Writer 10 years ago
Let's be honest, the car industry isn't bothered about second-hand cars,the housing industry isn't bothered by used house sales, yet this industry, having first gone after piracy and producing onerous DRM on huge budget very average AAA games has now decided second-hand games is the enemy!

Games like Two Worlds 1 and 2, all the Gothic's, all the STALKER's and Metro 2033, all from Europe, were brought to market for under £15 million and made huge profits, selling multi-million units, in many cases PC only with no DRM. None of these games were bad and some were very good and continued to sell months after release. Many sell for £29.99 as a new release,rather than the £39.99 of the big U.S. AAA titles!

I would say,quite simply, that the success of second-hand sales and sites, like, as well as a growing indie market, just show how people are moving away from expensive "seen before" U.S. AAA titles and going for the more original games of 1990-2005. All this before the "Next-Gen" multiformat market came along and games started to be very similar in terms of shooters and RPG's, etc, and every game seemed to needed to be part 1, part 2, par 3 before the next IP was announced, meaning if you didn't fancy Dragon Age or Mass Effect, Bioware weren't you're company for a few years! But in the 90's? Well, Bioware had a whole range of different PC RPG's, and everyone of them were very original, so in the same 3-4 years, rather than 2 games, we saw around 6!

So second-hand sales? It's a cop-out! It's all about how games sales are down because quality is down and development cost is up!
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Gilberto Najera Cloud Consultant, Sm4rt Security Services10 years ago
If you don't want your game to be sold by user after finishing it, you have to make it enjoyable to play one time and another. This is the problem with today's games you buy it, you finish it, you won't play it again. I can play age of empires II or worms every day and not get bored, I've finished Arkham asylum once and I have no reason to play it again. Most of today's games have little or no replayability once you finish them (why must you finish them, at first), specially if you are not a big fan of some specific franchise.
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Alex Holt Artist 10 years ago
I have several large problems with the drive against second hand sales. I've gone through them before in detail, so I'll just give the brief versions.

1) Getting rid of 2nd hand sales undercuts retail which in turn undercuts the industry as a whole, particularly the games which are not the AAA which are widely distributed in supermarkets. Digital ordering and downloads do not reach the whole population yet.

2) Much as publishers/developers have right to IP, they do not have the right to a physical object that is sold to a consumer. The film, music and book industry do not make any claim on resold physical objects, what justification does the game industry have for claiming to be different beyond entitlement?

3) If you are not happy with the returns you get on an investment, that signifies that somewhere along the line your have either spent too much developing a product to get the returns, there is no demmand for a product or you have priced yourself out the market. That is not a consumers fault, and there is strong precedant that when games are reduced to a price range where they are an impulse buy, they sell significantly better.

4) At its most basic, customers will buy new when they think something is worth buying new. You are not entitled to people pruchasing your product at the price it is set because you think it is worth that. Either make sure people want your product enough to buy it at full price, or reduce the price so that peoples consideration of merit/price is less steep.

Secondly, there seems to be a considerable amount of arrogance in the industry as to who owns physical products. Yes, developers and/or publishers own the IPs for a game. That does not mean that they own the physical disk they are on or have any say one what an individual choose to do with said disk.

There is also the issue that new games are priced in a way that actively prevents impulse buys in most people. If a game costs under £10 then if it seems like it could be potentially interesting I'll likely buy it. If a game costs £40 or higher, unless its something I'm sure I'll be interested in - a trusted brand or trusted developer. This is
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Shawn Clapper Programmer 10 years ago
The long tail of sales can't be directly compared to used games. I believe it's affected more by the increasing number of games being released and the quality/replayability of those games.

I remember a time when I would buy a multiplayer game and have servers full of people ready to play a year or more after launch. Now it seems if you don't get in on the action within the few months, there is a ghost town waiting for you when you boot it up. That has nothing to do with used game sales, it just has to do with people moving on to the next thing, which would also explain your tail.
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Private Industry 10 years ago
Why always the car comparisons? Does GM offer a free update to the new and used cars and keep working on the cars to make them better, employ people who keep making the cars better and the facilities neccessary to do this? Nope you buy your car and unless it breaks you don`t get anything from GM afterwards. So the games industry unlike cars, books and so on have costs after launch for patches, servers and DLC.

Also most car dealers operate under a brand so who knows maybe they get money from second hand car sales?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Private on 28th March 2012 10:48pm

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James Verity10 years ago
@Alex Holt, so many people in the industry don't understand all the points you have made (or admit to those faults)... they are just happy to blame everyone else for their game that has little replay value (let alone the first play value 7-10hrs if your lucky) or the software is just plain broken (quite a few seem to be released in this state)

lets face it the Video Game industry is out to destroy itself, because it is so dumb to see its own faults...

Edited 3 times. Last edit by James Verity on 29th March 2012 12:23am

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Private Industry 10 years ago
James if you had a NES or SNES and bought a Mario game you spend more money for that game than any new released game now while it cost a lot a lot a lot less than what games cost now to develop and it can be finished extremely fast. So you where ok with the fact that you bought a game that you could finish in under 10 minutes and payed more than for games now that are at least 7 hours or a lot more and offer a lot more value? A game doesn`t need to have replay value to be good or worth the price. Uncharted 2 is an amazing game and even if it would have no multiplayer it would be worth the normal retail price because it offers a great experience and great entertainment. You are charged 15 bucks for a movie ticket where the movie lasts 2 hours so whats the issue with charging 45 bucks for a game that lasts for 6 hours or more?

I don`t know why people always bring up movies, books or music. Movies the team is finished once a movie is done and contracts for the people are over while the movie company gets money from cinema, DVD/Blu Ray/Digital sales and then again money from TV licenses. How many people work on a book need to get paid and whats the production cost of a book? Music switched heavely to digital download and before that during disc / mp3 times they made a lot less money compared to what they made before disc / mp3 piracy times or what they make now and let`s not forget there are royalties when a song is played somewhere.

You want the games industry to follow and work the same way as other entertainment business? Go ahead and do that, give 90% of your staff only a contract until submission day, don`t offer any post release support for the game, no servers and only hire people again once you start production of the next game so after you finished fully your game design and script and only give them a job for 12-16 month and then send them away again. If you do that you don`t have to care in 3-6 months if you still sell new copies or not because you don`t have to pay any costs anymore anyway, you don`t have servers, you don`t support the game anymore and you got rid of your staff. Happy days.

By the way who is doing the technical part of the website because the commenting system seems to have a bug as I had to rewrite a sentence where I used CD in it before it go posted with the following error that`s in the sentence where I had to replace CD twice with disc.


You don't have permission to access /articles/1470570/comments/40741/edit on this server.
Apache Server at Port 80

Edited 9 times. Last edit by Private on 29th March 2012 1:13am

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Chris Wood Lead Game Designer, Waracle10 years ago
@ Werner - To be fair most Car Manufacturers wouldn't ship a car with only 3 wheels, dodgy steering and that broke down every time you indicated right. If a car is found to be defective, the manufacturer will recall the cars and replace parts (most of the time for free) Compared to most games now a days which are released riddled with bugs (hence the need for Patches) and DLC (which people PAY for)
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Private Industry 10 years ago
A defective car is a health and safety risk for the driver and all others around. Sure they can be sued if you crash because of that if they knew about the defect. You pay lets say 20k for your basic car if you want extra stuff you need to pay more. For a long time you had to pay extra for air conditioner.

We all know you cant make a game bug
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Liam Farrell10 years ago
Funny thing is, the gamer gets caught up in the middle. And gets made to feel like a child in the middle of a custody battle. Publishers tell them they're ruining the industry and game shops give them a pittance for their game, yet enjoy the huge mark up they get from pre-owned sales (like GAME does/did)
I think if publsihers tried to be a bit more competitive with their pricing sometimes and stopped acting like buying a pre-owned game was a crime, it would encorage more people to their brand in the long run.
For example, I was hessitant to by War For Cybertron at launch. It's a transformers game, it could be that good I thought. I saw it cheap pre-owned and took a chance and really liked it. Now I'm gonna pre-order Fall Of Cybertron
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Isaiah Taylor Writer/Photographer 10 years ago
I'll say this, my mom has leased and purchased cars from the same manufacturer for the past twenty years and she's had recalls and repairs installed for free. Some were a health hazard, others were just general feature that the car should have come with [last week the in-car roof light died, they repaired if for free, because it was a known problem].

The odd thing is, I didn't like the car comparison to the games industry until now. Maybe the games industry needs to look at the auto industry [lessons learned], 'lest they become it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Isaiah Taylor on 29th March 2012 1:45pm

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Sean Warren Inspector 10 years ago

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Sean Warren on 2nd April 2012 2:46am

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Jeremy Stein Game Designer, MocoSpace10 years ago


When was the last time Dennis Dyack said anything reasonable or insightful?

Do you remember? I don't. All he seems to do lately is fight with Epic, make bad predictions, and produce terrible games.

This title should read, "Crazy Dude Who Made X-Men: Destiny Has New Poorly-Informed Opinion."

As Molyneux is to over-promising, Dyack is to prognostication. Both get a lot of ink, but only Molyneux still makes decent games.
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