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Egg headed man sticks it to Jaffe over used game sales

woodypop

Member
Oct 28, 2008
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rainking187 said:
I seriously doubt any new unheard of vendors are going to have any effect on the prices of games from huge well known companies. Maybe there will be some competition among smaller DD games, making the prices go from $15 to $10, but some company no ones ever heard of before releasing a war game is not going to cause Activision to panic and drop the price of whatever Call of Duty game happens to be out at the time.
This.

More vendors doesn't necessarily mean more blockbusters produced to compete with existing blockbusters. It is, after all, the blockbusters that command the higher prices, oftentimes corresponding to their higher budgets. I foresee a deluge of small budget puzzle games/tower defense clones/etc. or shovelware that won't have any effect price-wise on the likes of Final Fantasy, MGS, Halo, Mario, etc.

In other words, with DD-only I don't believe there will be a lower ratio of blockbusters to simple games (EDIT: or even bad to good games) available, or at least not enough to drive down the retail price of blockbusters. Konami's not going to say,"Super-Tetris Clone costs $5, maybe we should rethink our pricing of MGS 6 at $60." Apples to oranges.

MedHead said:
As bad as the digital market is now, I think its wishful thinking to believe it will get better should the main competition disappear. Digital games don't currently have to worry about the used market, a driving force in the reduction of prices on physical copies. Once used games stop being a problem, there isn't much reason for a digital game to drop in price.

Sure, game companies could lower their prices to be competitive with other digital services, but that's putting too much confidence in these businesses. I'd rather have the current system, where I have a little more power and choice in my purchasing decisions.
Yup.

When I hear it bandied about that DD-only will provide even more flexible pricing options (exercised by one entity), you'll have to forgive me if I'm a little skeptical that it will necessarily result in better pricing for the consumer, especially in contrast to current physical media.

Case in point: Just a week ago I purchased Metal Slug 7 DS. At that time, some of my immediate options were:

1) Gamestop used - $17.99
2) Gamestop new - $29.99
3) Amazon new - $24.99
4) used via GAF buy/sell/trade thread - $13.00

Guess which option I chose? (And that doesn't even factor in the Craigslist and Ebay possibilities.) All of those different price points were available to me simultaneously. To me, THAT is pricing flexibility.

With DD, I'd be at the mercy of the whims of the single distributor. I'd have to wait god-knows-how-long for a price drop, if any at all. Whereas with physical media, I can count on legitimately getting a game at less than retail within weeks, if not days, upon release. And as the above example illustrates, at a variety of prices. (Yes, MS7 is an older game, but what I've said even holds true for newer games.)
 

slayn

needs to show more effort.
Jun 6, 2004
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This thread has been an interesting read. I eagerly await the DD days. I always buy all my games new and never sell them in the hopes that as much of that $60 is going to the devs as possible.

I'm also continually blown away that console games haven't moved to a software license model yet. I find it funny that people get all pissy and demand that the used marked exists and that they have a right to it when really it seems like they should be praising whatever god they may or may not believe in that its even still possible to sell games nowadays.

As a dev at a software company, if you told us you should be able to resell our software when you were done with it we would laugh at you until you went away. We don't want people selling it used so we don't let them. And it becomes more and more curious to me with each passing year that console publishers haven't yet done the same.

In fact the only thing I can possibly think of is if the whole used game thing isn't nearly as big a deal as others make it seem. It keeps making me wonder if when we hear about this we are hearing from a vocal minority and publishers as a whole don't actually give a shit.
 

Tellaerin

Member
Jun 10, 2004
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slayn said:
This thread has been an interesting read. I eagerly await the DD days. I always buy all my games new and never sell them in the hopes that as much of that $60 is going to the devs as possible.

Would you like a cookie?

slayn said:
I'm also continually blown away that console games haven't moved to a software license model yet. I find it funny that people get all pissy and demand that the used marked exists and that they have a right to it when really it seems like they should be praising whatever god they may or may not believe in that its even still possible to sell games nowadays.

Yes, we should be praising the gods that our corporate overlords haven't completely extinguished our rights as consumers yet, and enjoy what little time remains to us. Wonderful.

slayn said:
As a dev at a software company, if you told us you should be able to resell our software when you were done with it we would laugh at you until you went away. We don't want people selling it used so we don't let them. And it becomes more and more curious to me with each passing year that console publishers haven't yet done the same.

As a consumer, if you told me that I shouldn't be able to resell your product if I no longer need or want it, I'd tell you to go fuck yourself. Does your company develop business or technical apps for corporate clients, perchance? Because when you're trying to sell entertainment (read: nonessential) software to the average consumer, attitudes like that don't fly. A magazine can't function without image editors and word processors, but the average gamer can live just fine without another FPS or platformer.

slayn said:
In fact the only thing I can possibly think of is if the whole used game thing isn't nearly as big a deal as others make it seem. It keeps making me wonder if when we hear about this we are hearing from a vocal minority and publishers as a whole don't actually give a shit.

I think publishers just see the used game market as a massive lost opportunity. It's a big pie, and they feel they're entitled to a cut, even though that couldn't be further from the truth.
 

Wolves Evolve

Member
Sep 11, 2006
3,655
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Does anybody read this thread and think:

"Used game markets! I want some."
"Just take a slice, Egg-Man, jesus christ just stop shouting."
"Used game markets!"
"Take a slice, you you..."
 

LegoDad

Member
Feb 26, 2008
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davidjaffe said:
This is the problem with the internet. No matter how clear you make yourself, people simply ignore what you have to say. And so I will now forever be the guy who opposed to used game sales (which I am not).

One day I will learn that it's just not worth saying a damn thing. Which really- to be fair- is the smart way I should be doing things. Let's make a deal Neogaf...right here, right now. Let's see if I can JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP for the next 6 months. No Twitter, no blog. The accounts will stay open cause I wanna go back to it I'm sure. But next time you hear from me will be announce of our game. Deal?

And I promise, the first 3 people who call me on it if I open my mouth in a non-game announce way (or in an official interview way or something official or on our official EAT SLEEP PLAY blog) get a free copy of the game we are making (assuming it goes retail vs. PSN, in which case, I can't get you a freebie).

Deal?

David

ps. and to be clear on this- what I am saying is interviews and press stuff and official EAT SLEEP PLAY biz, I am fine to do. I gotta do that stuff, it's my job. Catching me doing that sort of stuff doesn't get you a free game. Just my personal blog and twitter. Ok, cool. Bye!

Well I guess you cheated, because you closed your twitter, and the blog is either closed or you have to be invited to read it, so now I can't catch you for my free game (Twisted Metal)....

:(
 
Dec 17, 2006
15,949
2
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looks like David Jaffe picked up where Dennis Dyack left off - except Jaffe uses ad hominems where Dyack had Nietzsche quotes; i love how it takes days/weeks/months before the PR people decide to tell them to shut the fuck up and go away.
 

daegan

Member
Dec 22, 2004
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slayn said:
This thread has been an interesting read. I eagerly await the DD days. I always buy all my games new and never sell them in the hopes that as much of that $60 is going to the devs as possible.

I'm also continually blown away that console games haven't moved to a software license model yet. I find it funny that people get all pissy and demand that the used marked exists and that they have a right to it when really it seems like they should be praising whatever god they may or may not believe in that its even still possible to sell games nowadays.

As a dev at a software company, if you told us you should be able to resell our software when you were done with it we would laugh at you until you went away. We don't want people selling it used so we don't let them. And it becomes more and more curious to me with each passing year that console publishers haven't yet done the same.

In fact the only thing I can possibly think of is if the whole used game thing isn't nearly as big a deal as others make it seem. It keeps making me wonder if when we hear about this we are hearing from a vocal minority and publishers as a whole don't actually give a shit.

How many people buy, say, MS Word? How many people steal it? There you go, get off at the next exit. If people pay for something it should be theirs to do with what they please. The notion that you or anyone else has the right to tell me what I can and can't do with something you've made is ridiculous.
 

Version 3.0

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Jun 18, 2005
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slayn said:
I find it funny that people get all pissy and demand that the used marked exists and that they have a right to it

We do have a right to it. That's not an opinion, that's the law. Not to mention common sense. Of course, laws can be changed, but the day my government decides that I don't own what I buy is the day the revolution comes.

Feel free to not own what you buy, though. Of course, you're really just a hypocrite since I'm sure you don't apply this high-and-mighty principle of yours across the board.
 

Vinci

Danish
Oct 12, 2007
22,075
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AdventureRacing said:
Well they can go ahead and try it. If devs think they are losing money from used games just watch their profits shrivel further if they move to DD only next gen.

Gamestop wont be the only ones in trouble. Devs are already struggling as it is.

What's ridiculous is this whole perception that 'your used games policies are pushing us towards DD faster.' That's bullshit. DD is going to happen as soon as it's fully possible, be that in the near or long term. Gamestop is going to have a problem when it finally arrives, but it's not like devs and pubs are going to factor Gamestop into their profits when DD allows them to separate from the company entirely even if, you know, Gamestop was so nice to extend the same courtesy earlier. Which GS won't. Why should they?

And yeah, devs are in deep shit even with DD if they don't start getting a handle on the aspects of this equation they can control. Opiate's posts earlier are dead-on regarding budgeting and the type of games being made.
 

slayn

needs to show more effort.
Jun 6, 2004
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Leondexter said:
We do have a right to it. That's not an opinion, that's the law. Not to mention common sense. Of course, laws can be changed, but the day my government decides that I don't own what I buy is the day the revolution comes.

Feel free to not own what you buy, though. Of course, you're really just a hypocrite since I'm sure you don't apply this high-and-mighty principle of yours across the board.
Currently, yes, but only because console games aren't sold as a license. And its the fact that they aren't that surprises me. I would have expected console games to become more like PC software by now if this were as serious an issue as its made out to be.

I guess the thing that interests me is, I've heard this complaint come from devs/publishers a few times now but I haven't really seen them take an active move to stop it. It seems like if publishers as a whole wanted to obliterate the used games market it could be done in like a year by locking games to the console and selling a license to use the software rather than selling the game. And if a publisher felt they had to stop used game sales to survive, I would have expected them to have already made such a move.

Its the fact that they haven't made such a move that actually serves as the biggest proof to me that this is nothing more than a money grab. It can't be that they think the used game market is hurting the industry or they would have crushed it. The only explanation left is that they see a revenue stream and want to thrust their way in.

Were it me and if it were a serious problem, I think I might try coming out with two versions of my next game. If the standard price is $60, come out with a $50 that can't be resold/is locked to the console, and a $70 version that can be resold and see what happens. I'm sure there would be all kinds of people writing pissed off blogs and message board posts but I'd be extremely curious as to the actual sales.
 

crazygambit

Member
Jun 4, 2007
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slayn said:
Currently, yes, but only because console games aren't sold as a license. And its the fact that they aren't that surprises me. I would have expected console games to become more like PC software by now if this were as serious an issue as its made out to be.

I guess the thing that interests me is, I've heard this complaint come from devs/publishers a few times now but I haven't really seen them take an active move to stop it. It seems like if publishers as a whole wanted to obliterate the used games market it could be done in like a year by locking games to the console and selling a license to use the software rather than selling the game. And if a publisher felt they had to stop used game sales to survive, I would have expected them to have already made such a move.

Its the fact that they haven't made such a move that actually serves as the biggest proof to me that this is nothing more than a money grab. It can't be that they think the used game market is hurting the industry or they would have crushed it. The only explanation left is that they see a revenue stream and want to thrust their way in.

Were it me and if it were a serious problem, I think I might try coming out with two versions of my next game. If the standard price is $60, come out with a $50 that can't be resold/is locked to the console, and a $70 version that can be resold and see what happens. I'm sure there would be all kinds of people writing pissed off blogs and message board posts but I'd be extremely curious as to the actual sales.

I think it should be pretty clear by now by reading the thread that there the use market has 2 effects on the sale of new games and that these effect oppose each other. First, the ability to trade games in obviously helps the new game market by making those games available to people that otherwise wouldn't have enough money to buy them. On the other hand new games have to compete against cheaper used games, that unlike other industries (namely the car industry), have no physical depreciation, or you can easily identify it (you can see the scratches). There's no adverse selection in this used market, which makes it very interesting. There's a wealth of literature about how adverse selection affects the market for new goods and the incentives manufactures might have to decrease durability when such effects exist. None of that happens in the use game market, which is why developers and publishers call for a share of used games profits (which is still insane IMO).

What we don't know is the net effect of these 2 forces. I suspect it helps some games while it hinders others, but clearly more study is needed. I think noone knows for sure, which could explain why developers don't just simply eliminate the used game market like you said.

I find your proposed experiment in pricing extremely interesting from a purely academic standpoint, but I think it would be impossible to put in practice simply from a PR point of view. You'd never get away with it, people already resent DRM enough (hell we all do), the backlash would be massive, which would affect the results of the experiment.
 

IrishNinja

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May 12, 2009
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slayn said:
As a dev at a software company, if you told us you should be able to resell our software when you were done with it we would laugh at you until you went away. We don't want people selling it used so we don't let them. And it becomes more and more curious to me with each passing year that console publishers haven't yet done the same.

youve already been corrected on the legal right of resale, but i gotta ask: how hard do you think your company needs to laugh at ebay to make it "go away"?
because i dont know what legal standing you believe you have in regards to "letting" anyone do anything with your product, if its a physical one sold on the open market.

*edit: read your bit about selling as a license...im not sure what software your company works on, but i dont think making it analogous to game sales is wise. you're endorsing super restrictive DRM that's already unfavorable/hampers sales before we even create a market loaded with untreated buyer's remorse.

i think the obvious answer to why the game industry hasnt "crushed" the used one is clearly not that they dont desire a piece of the pie - we're hearing more and more of that lately - its that they know what theyd potentially be doing to their sales. people with a lot more time and money directly invested in this than us have clearly not made a move in this direction for such a reason.
 

Ca1amity

Neo Member
Apr 16, 2007
169
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0
Toronto
davidjaffe said:
This is the problem with the internet. No matter how clear you make yourself, people simply ignore what you have to say. And so I will now forever be the guy who opposed to used game sales (which I am not).

One day I will learn that it's just not worth saying a damn thing. Which really- to be fair- is the smart way I should be doing things. Let's make a deal Neogaf...right here, right now. Let's see if I can JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP for the next 6 months. No Twitter, no blog. The accounts will stay open cause I wanna go back to it I'm sure. But next time you hear from me will be announce of our game. Deal?

And I promise, the first 3 people who call me on it if I open my mouth in a non-game announce way (or in an official interview way or something official or on our official EAT SLEEP PLAY blog) get a free copy of the game we are making (assuming it goes retail vs. PSN, in which case, I can't get you a freebie).

Deal?

David

ps. and to be clear on this- what I am saying is interviews and press stuff and official EAT SLEEP PLAY biz, I am fine to do. I gotta do that stuff, it's my job. Catching me doing that sort of stuff doesn't get you a free game. Just my personal blog and twitter. Ok, cool. Bye!

Its too bad he'll never read this thread to reply, but I wonder if he realized the irony of placing this caveat, with respect to the larger discussion. The fact that it goes towards supporting so much of whats been said in this thread boggles my mind.

Nah. I'm sure he didnt.
 

Mario

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Ca1amity said:
Its too bad he'll never read this thread to reply, but I wonder if he realized the irony of placing this caveat, with respect to the larger discussion. The fact that it goes towards supporting so much of whats been said in this thread boggles my mind.

Nah. I'm sure he didnt.

I'm not sure why he even said that given he could surely get download codes for a PSN version of any game he creates (you even get an allocation by default).
 

Yagharek

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Mar 3, 2007
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slayn said:
Were it me and if it were a serious problem, I think I might try coming out with two versions of my next game. If the standard price is $60, come out with a $50 that can't be resold/is locked to the console, and a $70 version that can be resold and see what happens. I'm sure there would be all kinds of people writing pissed off blogs and message board posts but I'd be extremely curious as to the actual sales.

This is an evil idea and no-one but ivory tower types would ever consider it.
 

Zaldin

Neo Member
May 8, 2009
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Forgive me as I have only read the first and last pages of this thread.

It's because of UGS(Used Game Sales) that publishers and developers are trying as hard as they can to get DD as the only form of purchase. Now theres some downsides to having DD as the only form of purchase(Consumers not being able to sell there old/unused games). But what other choice do pubs/devs have? The current retail model totally screws them over.
Now if they got a cut from UGS they would be less eager to go fully digital.

It seems that if Gamestop and other big retailers gave pubs/devs a cut of used game sales everyone would benefit.

1.The Consumer : Consumers will still have the choice to sell their games and have the choice to buy second hand 5-8 years from now.

2.The Retailer : The retailer will still be in bussiness 5-8 years from now as publishers will be less likely to put the final nail in the retailer coffin by going fully digital. Publishers would never stop distributing to retailers if they were getting a constant stream of revenue from UGS.

3.The Pubs/Devs : Well duh!

Now for the elephant in the room:
Why do developers deserve the cut from used game sales?
I think they do because of the work they do but in reality they don't. BUT it would be in everyones best interest if they did see 1,2,3 above.
 

whitehawk

Banned
Jan 27, 2008
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I just sent a message to David Jaffe telling him that he opened his mouth, only to realize that he posted that challenge in this very thread..



:(
 

DDayton

(more a nerd than a geek)
Jun 8, 2004
14,245
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Zaldin said:
But what other choice do pubs/devs have? The current retail model totally screws them over.
No it doesn't. They still get their share of the profits when they sell their games to retailers. That's all they've ever gotten.

Now for the elephant in the room:
Why do developers deserve the cut from used game sales?
I think they do because of the work they do but in reality they don't. BUT it would be in everyones best interest if they did see 1,2,3 above.
No, it wouldn't be in anyone's interest. That's like saying it's okay to give the Mafia a cut of your weekly income because if you didn't, they'd burn down your house.
 

Massa

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Jan 16, 2009
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slayn said:
Were it me and if it were a serious problem, I think I might try coming out with two versions of my next game. If the standard price is $60, come out with a $50 that can't be resold/is locked to the console, and a $70 version that can be resold and see what happens. I'm sure there would be all kinds of people writing pissed off blogs and message board posts but I'd be extremely curious as to the actual sales.

Sony already tried that. The DD version of Warhawk was supposed to be cheaper and forever locked to your own PSN account. Gamestop simply refused to sell the disc-based more expensive version and Sony eventually gave in and priced them equally.