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Egg headed man sticks it to Jaffe over used game sales

JSnake

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So I was watching a live videogame stream and guy in the chat wanted someone to post this thread for them. So yeah, I agreed. Topic title is courtesy of them. Pretty interesting read though.

http://stupidevilbastard.com/index/...witter_fight_with_game_developer_david_jaffe/

I hadn’t intended to, but like many things on the Internet, it just sorta happened.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with him David Jaffe is one of the guys behind a number of popular titles on the Playstation consoles including the Twisted Metal series and, most notably, God of War, a game I enjoyed immensely. He also blogs (see link above) and is known for having a big mouth in the industry, which is something I can respect being a blogger blow-hard myself. He’s not, apparently, very good at people disagreeing with him. Which is something I did this evening.

The topic is one he’s ranted on before and it’s a topic I’ve touched on myself: The resale of used games by companies such as GameStop. GameStop makes a shit load of money off used games. Some used titles make them a 50% profit over sales of a new title. That’s caught the attention of several developers and publishers who have gone on to opine, and David Jaffe is one of them, that GameStop is somehow ripping them off and should cut them in on part of the profits from used game sales.

I’m going to repost the back and forth I had with Jaffe in Twitter below the fold in part because it’s lengthy and in part to spare those of you who don’t really give a flying fuck. I’ll also post some of my thoughts on why his argument doesn’t wash with me.

First I’m going to start with Jaffe’s tweets that prompted me to get involved in the first place. This will be a bit lengthy, but here they are:

Eventually someone is gonna have to provoke the wrath of Gstop. They can’t have it both ways. Either cut game makers in on used games and rentals or suck down digital distribution.

As I’ve said often, it’s not the consumers problem/business. But if Gamestop wants games to sell they need to play ball w/game pubs or soon the shoe will be on the other foot. Better to get in bed together now or be pushed out of business sooner than later.

@ArtGreen U are rite. BUT the practice hurts my industry and so my industry is find ways to get around it. Gamers suffer the most n meantime

People like u think this is a legal issue. Of COURSE you can resell your own property. But that is not what is at stake.

Used games hurt devs/publishers. Hurt devs/publishers go out of biz or find ways (dig dist; all content only on first sale) to stay in biz.

Gamer suffers. IF gamestop cut game makers into the deal, Gamestop could stay in biz much longer than they currently will.

It’s a pointless discussion tho. History is on game dev/pub side. Just look at music biz. We’ll laugh it was even an issue in 5 years.

@Joelvamp yes games are too much. And a player has EVERY right to get the best deal, including used. I would as well.

But again-all I can say is: look @the music biz. Games will follow suit. 4me, end of discussion. Stuff to do. 5 years it is all Dig Dist.


The above struck me as something you might hear from Tony Soprano. Say, that’s a nice side bidness yuse got wid the, shall we say, previously handled merchandice. It’dbeashame if something were to, say, happen to it.”

We can already see a couple of assumptions being made here that may not necessarily be true. The most obvious being similar to an assumption made about piracy: That every used game sale represents a lost sale that otherwise would’ve benefited the publisher. That’s not necessarily true. It’s quite possible that many purchasers of used titles may not have bought the game at all if a new copy at full price was the only option. I obviously can’t speak for all gamers, but the only titles I tend to buy used are ones that I’m not sure I’m going to like. If my only option was to buy such a title new at full price then I probably wouldn’t buy it. And, no, the $5 difference between a new and used copy of a popular title wouldn’t be enough to make me choose the used over the new. If there isn’t significant savings over a new copy there’s no point in buying it used. Are there gamers out there who always go with the cheapest copy? Probably, but is that the majority of used games sales? I would doubt it based on my experiences, though I can’t back that up with hard data.

The other assumption Jaffe makes is that the popularity of digital music is a reaction to used CD sales. At least that’s what he appears to be suggesting. I don’t know what planet he’s been on the last decade and a half, but as I recall the music industry had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age. They started putting out digital downloads not because B&M music stores were making a killing on reselling old CDs, but because their customers pretty much decided they were going to get their music in digital form whether the industry liked it or not. And while it’s true that the popularity of digital music sales is growing all the time it still hasn’t surpassed the revenue made by physical media. It’s estimated that’ll finally happen next year in the U.S. and the rest of the world by 2016. The music industry is far from being digital distribution only so using them as an example for his argument is pretty silly. Is it possible that the games industry could go to distributing only via digital downloads in five years? Sure, it’s possible, but I’d be very surprised if it were to come to pass. After all the first legally authorized digital music providers hit the net back in 2001. If digital sales do surpass physical next year that’ll be almost nine years before it comes to pass, and even then it probably won’t mean the end of physical media for many more years.

So that’s what prompted me to dash off a reply. Here are the resulting tweets:

Les: @djaffe What you say is a possibility. If it comes to pass then I may stop being a game consumer.

Les: If enough others do the same then Devs still lose.

Jaffe: if the main reason you game is to own a cd, then you prob should stop gaming, yes?

Les: That’s a helluva assumption to make. There are select few games I’ve bought digital. Only things I know I’ll play continuously.

Les: Most games do not fall into that category, God of War was one of them. I played it once, it was great, I’ve not touched it since.

Les: Luckily, I can sell it. Can’t do that with digital so if that was only format it was in you’d be out a sale.

Jaffe: Ah well, c’est la vie. If not being able to sell games keeps you from playing, don’t let door hit u on way out….

I was quite surprised by that reply. Jaffe basically told me to fuck off, which seems an odd thing to do to your customers. Things went downhill from there:

Les: I’ll be sure to remember that when you announce your next title. Thanks for making my decision easier.

Jaffe: dont buy it- you’d just resell the fucker anyway.

Les: So you think getting no cash at all is better than some cash even if I resell it? It’s your own wrist you’re cutting there. Smart.

Jaffe: I think ur philosophy&unwillingness 2 Cthe bigger picture implies that all games- mine included- can fuck off. It is what it is.

Les: I see the big picture just fine. I see is a dev who wants to limit people’s freedom to resell stuff they no longer have a use for

Jaffe: then u do not see big pic. I am always customer first. Resell all u like, I support it. I am saying stores need to cut in pubs


Here Jaffe repeats something he’s said before. He claims that he’s not against customers reselling their games, but he also wants to either make GameStop cut him in on the action or he’ll try to drive them out of business by going all digital and thus eliminating not only one avenue for customers to resell their games, but the customer’s ability to actually do so altogether. How is that customer first? Answer: It’s not.

Les: For the record I should point out that I’ve never sold to Gamestop myself, but I have sold stuff I didn’t need anymore.

Les: [This is in response to his Customer FIrst claim] Except you just stated that you’d rather I fuck off than buy your game if I’m going to sell it. Contradict yourself much?

Jaffe: No I mean YOU should fuck off- not the concept. You simply seem like an asshole.

Les: Why, because I disagreed with you and had the audacity to say so? You don’t even know me. Great way to treat your customers.

Jaffe: No, not that u disagreed. The language you used and the attitude you used

I think this is a first for me. Being directly told to fuck off by a game designer that I actually admire. What I find funny about that is the fact that he’s the one that started in with the asshole-ish comments right from the beginning. I made two statements of a possible outcome of going all digital and his reply was antagonistic right from the start. Somehow that makes me the asshole?

For the record, yeah, I can be an asshole, but that wasn’t my intent in my original tweet. I suppose it takes an asshole to know an asshole, though, so I’ll take it as a compliment.

Les: What cracks em up is I’m a long-time fan of yours. Loved GoW and I even bought Calling all Cars. Still play it too.

Les: Language I used? I believe you were the first to start swearing. Wow, your hypocrisy is amazing.

Jaffe: I took your tone and attitude as rude, yes. If it was not meant to be, then I apologize. hard 2 tell at times on twitter.

Les: I think it’s pretty rude to try and blackmail retailers, which is essentially the argument you’re putting forth. Pay up, or else.

Les: Well, this has been very eye opening. I see you in a different light now. At least it’ll make for a good blog post.

Jaffe: I think it’s pretty rude to resell a game I worked on with 0% degradation between used and new and not cut me in on the deal.

Les: So what’s the difference between Gamestop and, say, eBay or a Garage Sale then? Who’s next for the mafia tactics?


It was at this point that Jaffe decided he’d had enough. Can’t blame him, he was taking it from more than just me during this time as several other folks were also on his ass about it. He tweeted that he was going to do a video blog about it, but appeared to have some trouble getting it to upload to YouTube as the video wouldn’t play and the post has since been removed.

Oddly enough a fellow by the name of Robin Clarke, who appears to be a video game writer of some sort, decided to take up the argument on Jaffe’s behalf at this point answering my last tweet directly:

Clarke: Scale, organisation and a biz model based on of aggressively diverting gamer $$$ from buying new to spending in their system.

Les: So because they’re successful at it they should be punished? WTF?

Clarke: Nobody’s saying that. Just that retail giving pubs a raw deal encourages pubs to cut retail out altogether.

Les: How is it a raw deal? How is it any different than a used car salesman selling a used car for close to retail if it’s not that old?

Clarke: Bad analogy.

Les: How is it a bad analogy? Because it refutes your argument or because one is a game and the other a car?

Clarke: Because they are businesses that work in incomparably different ways. Comparing one aspect in isolation is meaningless.

Les: Do they now? A used car dealer buys used cars and sells them at a profit. A used game dealer does the same. How is that different?

Clarke: Gamestop isn’t a “used game dealer” for one thing… Anyway, we’ll see who’s right one way or the other in five years.


I have to admit this last tweet made no sense to me. GameStop sells used games. That makes them a “used game dealer.” Yes, they also sell new games. Most used car dealers are part of a dealership that also sells new cars and, yes, I’ve had the used car dealer direct me away from buying a new car to one of their used ones. That’s how we ended up with the 2004 Honda Civic.

Les: So, in other words, lacking an effective argument you’re just going to pull the “wait and see” approach. OK, I’m good with that.

Clarke: No, but I can see that you’re convinced that you know better than ppl who’ve worked in games for years, so stepping back. gg

Les: Ah, argument from authority fallacy. That’s an oldie but a goodie. In short, I don’t agree with you and you know better.

Clarke: I don’t presume to, but I’m assuming DJaffe has better data on how well the publisher/retailer relationship is working out.

Les: Perhaps he does, if so he hasn’t shared it, and it’s very presumptuous to assume I have no knowledge of the situation.

And that’s how I managed to piss off two game developers in one evening.


So you may be wondering just what my point is with all of this nonsense. It’s simple really: Video games are subject to the same First-sale doctrine as music, books, and movies. As such I fail to see what it is about a video game that makes it special compared to other forms of media and/or merchandise that can be legally resold as used. Jaffe apparently agrees with me on that point as he claims he’s all for people being able to resell the games they’ve bought, though it appears you should fuck off if you’re just going to resell one of his (or at least I should).

Where we disagree is over whether or not anyone should be able to make a profit in the resale process, which is essentially what GameStop is doing by using the old adage of buy low and sell high. I don’t see what GameStop is doing as being any different than car dealerships selling used cars or used book stores selling used books. The issue Jaffe and other publishers seem to have is that GameStop is making a decent chunk of their revenue from the practice and, quite honestly, it’s got them feeling a little greedy.

The folks over at Gamasutra did three articles on GameStop back in April of this year which attempt to shed some light on just how much the company is making from new versus used game sales. The first looks at GameStop’s revenue and gross profits, the second new and used software sales and the last how much of the market they control. All three are worth a read.

There is no doubt that GameStop is a force to be reckoned with in retail video game sales. As of fiscal year ending 31 January 2009 they had global revenues of $8.8 billion of which $2.3 billion was gross profit. The perception in the game industry seems to be that most of that can be attributed to their used game sales which GameStop aggressively promotes to its customers.

According to the Gamasutra articles it breaks down like this:

Depending on the year, used product accounts for somewhere between 41 and 46 percent of GameStop’s gross profit. In the last fiscal year, gross profit on used product almost reached $1 billion for the first time in the company’s history. (The exact figure was $974.5 million, or 42.9% of the company’s total gross profit.)

The next largest segment of GameStop’s gross profit comes from new software sales, which totaled $768 million in the fiscal year ending 31 January 2009, up from $582 million in the previous year. Gross profit on new software was 33.8 percent of the company’s total gross profit.

Because margins on hardware are razor-thin, the gross profit in that segment is tiny in comparison to the software segments. The gross profit on new hardware was only $113 million in the last fiscal year, or 5 percent of total gross profit.

This shouldn’t be at all surprising. Used products (GameStop lumps software/hardware/everything used in one category) have a much higher profit margin than new for a retailer. The average wholesale price for a new game is just $6 to $10 less than the retail price and hardware is even worse. Used games can have as much as a 50% markup if they are particularly popular or rare. Is it any surprise that GameStop would encourage folks to buy their used games? It’s pretty difficult to make a profit on sales of new games alone as is evidenced by this 2007 Kotaku article about an online retailer dropping game sales because the industry is, in their words, “dumb and greedy”:

Online retailer DVD Empire has announced that they’re getting out of the video game retail business, citing an inability to make a profit selling games under the current business model. In their explanation to current customers, they outline seven reasons why current business practices make it, in their words, “impossible for us to make money selling video games.”

The reasons? High wholesale prices on software—“they set the retail price at just $5 above the product cost (buy it for $54.99, sell it for $59.99)”—and hardware—“take a $400 console; we only make $5 on the sale—that is a .01% gross margin.”

Worst of all? Lack of price protection and rampant price drops on bad or stagnant titles.

The game industry releases many bad games, and word of mouth spreads fast to the consumer. All of those bunk games sit on our shelves. If we do end up selling them, we lose more money, due to the lack of price protection. They won’t let us return the bombs. Of course, if the video game industry produced quality games, we wouldn’t have this issue.

The only good news here is that DVD Empire is clearing out its entire video game stock at 20% off. Enjoy, cheapasses. Michael McWhertor

The fact remains that over the past several years 37% to 42% of GameStop’s revenue comes from sales of new software whereas the used market accounts for 22% to 28%. Yes, they make a good chunk of their profit from used products (41% to 46% versus 33.8% on new software), but that shouldn’t be a reason to threaten to drive them out of business unless they pay protection money. Especially when they’re not doing anything wrong.

OK, I’ve wasted enough electrons and time banging this out. I did it more because of my bemusement at being told to fuck off than anything else, but it was also a good excuse to write up my thoughts on the issue.
 

StuBurns

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Jan 9, 2008
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I really disagree with the non-Jaffe guy.
Jaffe's comments on the second hand market are fairly typical and are even conservative compared to many.

Game prices will be more flexible when retail is gone.
 

Gravijah

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stuburns said:
I really disagree with the non-Jaffe guy.
Jaffe's comments on the second hand market are fairly typical and are even conservative compared to many.

Game prices will be more flexible when retail is gone.

I'm hoping for online stores that sell DD versions for games on the cheap. Maybe over time they'll start selling DD games in physical stores, too. I mean, they could start printing them on discs and packing in manuals and stuff, too. That would be pretty awesome.
 

Xater

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Jul 28, 2007
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Didn't Jaffe say something about that in the past? I always understood it the way that just shops like Gamestop are the bad guys here. They are basically an organized reseller putting new games right beside used games for a profit. That's something totally different than a guys selling something privately through eBay.
 

StuBurns

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ShockingAlberto said:
I'd like to believe this, but aside from Steam, I feel like companies will bend you over any way they can.
Just look at the DD services at the moment, the App Store for example. Games on iPhone for $7 would be $30 on DS easily. The only reason Steam games are locked at retail prices because publishers don't want to piss them off. First parties still rely on retail for hardware. If they can make consoles next-gen with enough built in profit for retail electronics stores to carry them, as Sony is doing with the Go, then they can ignore retail's wishes for the most part. There will still be people who want the physical product, but they'll be the minority, and the first parties can just have them pay more.

Retail have not been fair to the publishers so far, and they know they're not in it for the long run, so they're raping them harder and harder. It's their own fault.
 
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If ever anything had the potential to bring down a second crash on the industry, it's going to be this whole affair. It's retailers vs game publishers/developers waging a war where they're both smacking their customers in the crossfire, and neither side seems to give a fuck about that.
 

Mash

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To me this just looks like boring melodrama but I can appreciate Jaffe's frustration over the used game market and the "Les" guy's dickishness. What a fucking obnoxious douche.
 

Pureauthor

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Jun 11, 2006
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To me this just looks like boring melodrama but I can appreciate Jaffe's frustration over the used game market and the "Les" guy's dickishness. What a fucking obnoxious douche.

Why should Jaffe be frustrated over the used game market?
 

-PXG-

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So. Jaffe would rather have me not buy his game at all, rather than buy it, and eventually sell it, when I no longer have use of it? What a dick. HE can fuck off.

I remember Cliff B making a somewhat related statement. He doesn't like the idea of people being able to share games (ie, renting, letting friends borrow, ect). These assholes already make a fuck ton of money. What else could they possibly want?
 
Nov 17, 2006
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Pureauthor said:
Why should Jaffe be frustrated over the used game market?
Because due to the poor way the larger part of the industry has conducted business, many publishers are now in financial trouble and desperately need something to blame instead of looking in the mirror and saying "we fucked up."
 

SolidSnakex

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Xater said:
I always understood it the way that just shops like Gamestop are the bad guys here.

They're his target, not gamers as this guy tries to make it sound. He doesn't like that these shops can rebuy a game for $20 or so and then sell it for $10-15 more and all the profit goes to them. All he wants is for publishers to get a slice of that profit. So he isn't against the idea of reselling games, he's against the idea of Gamestop and other shops like that making all the profit from it.
 

McBacon

SHOOTY McRAD DICK
Mar 7, 2006
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You know JSnake, you may have tarnished your reputation and invalidated your opinions and verdicts, but you're right.

That mans head looks just like a fucking egg.
 

Gravijah

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SolidSnakex said:
They're his target, not gamers as this guy tries to make it sound. He doesn't like that these shops can rebuy a game for $20 or so and then sell it for $10-15 more and all the profit goes to them. All he wants is for publishers to get a slice of that profit. So he isn't against the idea of reselling games, he's against the idea of Gamestop and other shops like that making all the profit from it.

But why should the publisher get money from something that has already left their possession?
 

Grecco

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May 3, 2006
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Segata Sanshiro said:
Because due to the poor way the larger part of the industry has conducted business, many publishers are now in financial trouble and desperately need something to blame instead of looking in the mirror and saying "we fucked up."


This.

I find it fascinating, how developers are now getting angry at not only used game sales, but rentals. Which have been available for over 20 years. 5, 10 years ago i don't remember such an issue. ( I think Nintendo might have complained during the NES era but cant really remember)
 
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Grecco said:
This.

I find it fascinating, how developers are now getting angry at not only used game sales, but rentals. Which have been available for over 20 years. 5, 10 years ago i don't remember such an issue. ( I think Nintendo might have complained during the NES era but cant really remember)
Nintendo tried to get renting games to be illegal like it is in Japan. The US courts had a good larf.
 
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-PXG- said:
So. Jaffe would rather have me not buy his game at all, rather than buy it, and eventually sell it, when I no longer have use of it? What a dick. HE can fuck off.

I remember Cliff B making a somewhat related statement. He doesn't like the idea of people being able to share games (ie, renting, letting friends borrow, ect). These assholes already make a fuck ton of money. What else could they possibly want?


More money. they're like little Lars Ulrichs, imo.

It's the industry's job to adjust to the market. It's not the consumer's or the retail sector's. The music and film industries fought tooth and nail (still kinda are) against various threats, but it wasn't until they adjusted and harnessed new tech in a way that is reasonably beneficial to customers that they recovered.

This is a capitalist society and gamestop is a legitimate business. You can't just cry and call them unethical for satisfying demand in a niche that the game industry couldn't, no, would never provide. It's amazing when people talk about the buy back policy as if gamestop should be hooking people up for free. "Omg they pay you $10 and sell it for $30." NO FUCKING SHIT. They're not your bros and aren't out to hook you up. :lol
 

bonesmccoy

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Mar 1, 2009
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Pureauthor said:
Why should Jaffe be frustrated over the used game market?

Why would 'Les' be so upset with developers and publishers battling for a piece of the used games pie? Because Jaffe and co. are doing a bit of sabre-rattling? Jaffe's concern isn't with private resales, but with a retail company that has a near monopoly on the used game market.

Comparisons to the used car market are unhelpful. We don't buy our video games (new or used) from retailers that have a direct connection to the publisher and developer.
 
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I'm sorry, I love Jaffe and everything, but he is just flat out wrong on this one. Should home builders get a cut of the resale of a house? Of course not, this is just the way things work. And yes used cars and homes are a perfectly fine analogy. If the industry makes it easier/cheaper to get games through digital distro, then so be it. Maybe I will purchase games this way. But as long as games are available as a physical product, people (and Gamestop) have every right to resell it. Jaffe, you are just looking like a greedy ass on this one, sorry.
 

Mash

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Pureauthor said:
Why should Jaffe be frustrated over the used game market?

I was careful how I put that. Jaffe's points may or not may not be valid, I don't know or care, but I can appreciate how seeing companies leech off your creativity with no return must be frustrating. I'm not saying second hand markets should start handing over cash to publishers or anything like that.
 

StuBurns

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Madman said:
I bought the id super pack for 35 dollars.
Exactly. They only rape you on current retail releases. At which time it's almost always the exact retail price. Second it's out of retail, it's totally flexible and a lot more like it'll be when retail is dead.
 

Noshino

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Segata Sanshiro said:
If ever anything had the potential to bring down a second crash on the industry, it's going to be this whole affair. It's retailers vs game publishers/developers waging a war where they're both smacking their customers in the crossfire, and neither side seems to give a fuck about that.

I have yet to see how publishers/developers are smacking the customers

Yes, they don't like the second hand market, but by going digital basically you are cutting the retail store of the deal and so decreasing not only on manufacturing prices but also the price of the game. But that's something they can't do BECAUSE of the current retail structure.

Not only that, but it is also easier to work with, indie developers don't have to rely on publishers to release games.

And well, you also have programs in place like Sony's in which you can share the game with 4 more people, some people are even getting together to pay for one game and then share between them.

So please, tell me, how are developers/publishers exactly "smacking" the customers?
 

todahawk

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SolidSnakex said:
They're his target, not gamers as this guy tries to make it sound. He doesn't like that these shops can rebuy a game for $20 or so and then sell it for $10-15 more and all the profit goes to them. All he wants is for publishers to get a slice of that profit. So he isn't against the idea of reselling games, he's against the idea of Gamestop and other shops like that making all the profit from it.

I understand Jaffe's (and others) concerns... but it's free market. How can you force someone to give you a cut of their profit just because you don't like your business? I see where he's going with the statement about publishers cutting them out of the loop but I don't see how that's a legitimate (legal?) option.

Can anyone else explain how the use/new car analogy isn't an accurate one? Seems a fair one to me.
 

Mithos

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Apr 26, 2006
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When/if retail is dead/dies its the end of gaming bargains.

Being able to pickup a brand new game $10-20 lower then full price just because stores are waging price war on each other will be GONE.

I fear the day it happens.
 

StoOgE

First tragedy, then farce.
Jun 8, 2004
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Jaffe is completely wrong on this.

His argument, whether he likes them or not is to limit or constrict consumer freedom. If they start forcing gamestop to cut them in on the deal than gamestop will either

1) charge slightly more for used games to offset their loss
2) pay consumers slightly less for used games to offset their loss.

Not to mention, the publisher has no right to the money for the sale of used games. Once you sell the product to the first buyer, they are free to do what they want with it as far as selling it goes.

Topps/Upperdeck don't get a cut of second hand sales of their cards.
GM/Ford don't get a cut of second hand sales of their cars
Furniture makers don't get a cut of consignment store sales, etc.

The game industry needs to do a better job of giving owners incentives to keep their games and/or buy them on day one. Free DLC every few months to keep a game fresh. Cool incentives to play the game early in it's life cycles (play to win contests, play with the developers things, etc).

They should work to incent gamers to hang on to their games longer.
 
Feb 14, 2009
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greenjerk said:
I understand Jaffe's (and others) concerns... but it's free market. How can you force someone to give you a cut of their profit just because you don't like your business? I see where he's going with the statement about publishers cutting them out of the loop but I don't see how that's a legitimate (legal?) option.

Can anyone else explain how the use/new car analogy isn't an accurate one? Seems a fair one to me.


new and used cars, new and used music, new and used movies, new and used anything--it's pretty much all the same deal. Jaffe thinks the game industry is special somehow.

No industry has ever gotten its way regarding used products, and that's an awesome thing. The idea is that competition and pressure are necessary to force companies to continue improving.
 

John

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May 13, 2009
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-PXG- said:
So. Jaffe would rather have me not buy his game at all, rather than buy it, and eventually sell it, when I no longer have use of it? What a dick. HE can fuck off.
No. He was just being an asshole to that other asshole. He's got no problem with used game sales among consumers.

I'm not sure what this egg-headed man is trying to prove with these tweets. He put much more effort into these blog posts and such than the other guys did by typing a hundred words. It's like he's talking to two game designers and trolling himself.

And Steam's got great prices all the time. Just not necessarily on brand new things.
 

Gravijah

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Dec 7, 2008
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Why not go with a mixed future of DD+retail? If DD benefits the customer so much, or if customers want it badly, won't the market speak for itself?
 

-PXG-

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May 20, 2008
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NJ
If they want consumers to by new games, companies need to give them an incentive to do so. Gears 2, for instance, came with five bonus maps. That's okay. However, there is a big difference between giving consumers an "incentive" and fucking them over, forcing them to by it new.

Let's use Gears 2 again as an example. What if all new copies only came with single player, but also included a voucher to download multiplayer mode/ Horde? One would be missing about half (depending on how much time you dedicate to the game) of the game's content if they were to buy it used. That's a big middle finger to those to consumers. If something like that were to happen, it would only make people want to buy a game used even more. It would be completely counter productive.

Companies need to come up with reasonable and fair methods in which to push new games, if they want to thwart used game sales. Include (SOME) extra content (maps, characters, weapons, missions, ect), reduce the price, include some swag (shirts, hats, art books, ect), coupons, what-have-you. But telling your customers to "fuck off" is only going to encourage people to A) not buy the game period, or B) somehow acquire the game without purchasing it as new. (buying used, renting, borrowing, pirating, ect)

Expecting consumers to just buy it new, because a company tells them to isn't enough. They are going to have to be more competitive if they want our dollar. Give me a good (and FAIR) reason(s) as to why I should buy it new, and maybe, I just might.
 
Nov 17, 2006
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Noshino said:
I have yet to see how publishers/developers are smacking the customers

Yes, they don't like the second hand market, but by going digital basically you are cutting the retail store of the deal and so decreasing not only on manufacturing prices but also the price of the game. But that's something they can't do BECAUSE of the current retail structure.

Not only that, but it is also easier to work with, indie developers don't have to rely on publishers to release games.

And well, you also have programs in place like Sony's in which you can share the game with 4 more people, some people are even getting together to pay for one game and then share between them.

So please, tell me, how are developers/publishers exactly "smacking" the customers?
Sure. They are removing the right of resale. They are taking away your ability to recover some of the money you paid for a game that turns out to be a turkey. This dramatically decreases the value of the purchase as you are essentially "stuck" with it after you buy it.

This would be fine if they would reduce game prices to the price of $(current game price - reasonable resale value) but they aren't doing that at the moment and I really don't see any intention in them to start doing it.

I've already noticed the result of this new business model on my buying habits. I was gunswild on buying DD games just like I do retail games at first, but after one or two turkeys, I absolutely REFUSE to take a chance on anything other than a sure bet, a known quantity. The quirky titles I would certainly give a chance to via traditional means, I will not touch with a ten-foot pole via DD. This is a loss all around.
 

Willeth

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Dec 5, 2008
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Was this entire argument/discussion conducted on Twitter? If he wanted to make a story of it, maybe he should have actually got in touch with Jaffe to have a proper interview.

EDIT: The reason being, meaning is hard to convey in 140 characters. Jaffe appears to be against reselling of product, here, whereas the truth (if I'm not speaking out of turn) is that the act of reselling allows the store to then sell that product again for only profit and deny a sale where the developer gets money. In this exchange it just seems like he's throwing his toys out of the pram because someone is reselling his art, which is not entirely the case.

For what it's worth, there is as much of an argument to be made that used game sales are supporting the industry more than killing it.
 

Kintaro

Worships the porcelain goddess
Jun 10, 2004
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Oh man. Jaffe came off really bad there. It takes some fucking audacity to believe you deserve a cut from used sales. Get the fuck over yourself. Goes for the rest of the developers and publishers as well.

John said:
No. He was just being an asshole to that other asshole. He's got no problem with used game sales among consumers.

He's got a problem with if you don't cut him in on the action. That was pretty clear.
 

StoOgE

First tragedy, then farce.
Jun 8, 2004
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Noshino said:
So please, tell me, how are developers/publishers exactly "smacking" the customers?

Have you seen the prices that they charge for DLC? For digital distribution games?

With the exception of Steam sales and a few quality pieces of DLC (Lost and the Damned) digital distribution costs more.

With digital distribution developers only have to compete with one another... which means if you have a hit game you can still charge the full price that a gamer would pay at retail (netting the publisher a cool 10-15 dollars more than selling at retail). If you really think those savings will be passed on to the consumer you are kidding yourself.

With retail the developers are competing with one another still for money.. but the retailers compete with one another which leads to situations where Fry's sells new games 10-15 dollars cheaper on launch day.. where circuit city used to give you 10 dollars in store credit if you bought a game on day 1, etc.

The extra level of competition for consumer money helped the consumer.

And yes, the ability to sell your games back to get part of your money back once you were done with a game is a huge incentive as well. And the ability to buy used games is also good for consumers who want to play game on the cheap and don't mind waiting to do so
 

todahawk

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Feb 25, 2008
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bonesmccoy said:
Why would 'Les' be so upset with developers and publishers battling for a piece of the used games pie? Because Jaffe and co. are doing a bit of sabre-rattling? Jaffe's concern isn't with private resales, but with a retail company that has a near monopoly on the used game market.

Comparisons to the used car market are unhelpful. We don't buy our video games (new or used) from retailers that have a direct connection to the publisher and developer.

I think most gamers concerns are that you can't resell a DD copy if you get sick of it, don't like it, etc.

Like the guy mentioned, i only buy cheap, good deals or games I know I'll love over DD. the biggest concern is that DD only will cut competition.
 

Raist

Banned
Jan 27, 2007
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Fyodor Dostoevsky said:
new and used cars, new and used music, new and used movies, new and used anything--it's pretty much all the same deal. Jaffe thinks the game industry is special somehow.

No, it''s completely different. You can't compare cars or houses with videogames, that's silly.
They're totally different markets, for parties involved, IP regulations, time on the market, etc etc.
 

spwolf

Member
Feb 15, 2007
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I love Jaffe... :lol
Guy was trying to be an dick and hence he gets fuk off :lol

besides, that guy is also stupid... car analogies dont work well there as car companies still make money on used cars....
 

Pureauthor

Member
Jun 11, 2006
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Raist said:
No, it''s completely different. You can't compare cars or houses with videogames, that's silly.
They're totally different markets, for parties involved, IP regulations, time on the market, etc etc.

And yet they all have a thriving resale market. What, exactly, about video games makes them unique enough to be different?
 
Apr 4, 2008
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Jaffe: No, not that u disagreed. The language you used and the attitude you used

No one else thought that this was funny?

Also I find it disturbing that Jaffe would ever allow himself to spell you as u.
 

SolidSnakex

Member
Jun 7, 2004
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greenjerk said:
I understand Jaffe's (and others) concerns... but it's free market. How can you force someone to give you a cut of their profit just because you don't like your business? I see where he's going with the statement about publishers cutting them out of the loop but I don't see how that's a legitimate (legal?) option.

They can't be forced. What's going to happen is what Jaffe said. The game industry is already looking toward digital distribution. Whether reselling games factors into the move is only our guess, but one things for sure, when it happens many of these gaming stores aren't going to be around anymore. Now what Jaffe is saying is that cutting them a piece of that used game pie could slow that move toward DD. They'd obviously be making more and more money off games as they'd have the new game sales as well as the used game sales coming in constantly.

So eventually you aren't going to have any way to resell your games anyway. And these shops are only helping speed a process that's going to put them out of business quick.
 

StoOgE

First tragedy, then farce.
Jun 8, 2004
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Raist said:
No, it''s completely different. You can't compare cars or houses with videogames, that's silly.
They're totally different markets, for parties involved, IP regulations, time on the market, etc etc.

The markets are not different when it comes to reselling a product you purchased. What if KB homes realized they would sell a lot more new homes if they could shut down the sale of used homes. The only difference is, game developers have a mechanism (DD) to actually prevent it.. and they are going to use it.

When you buy something you own it. You can resell it if you choose without having to worry about getting permission from the original seller to do so. Jaffe is just upset that Gamestop is very efficient as facilitating these sorts of deals