Question of the Day, August 28, 2010

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Question of the Day, August 28, 2010

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An inferno has been raging between game developers and consumers. Developers state that buying used games is just as bad as pirating a game, since they do not get any of the cut from the resale. Consumers, of course, enjoy purchasing a $60 game for half the price. What do you think? Are systems like Project Ten Dollar a good idea?

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I disagree, sure gamestop makes a lot of cash off this (and I do so hate gamestop with a passion) many small game shops actually need the used market in order to stay in business. The small stores make only about $8 of every purchase of a new game so the best way to make ends meet is from used games.(this is according to my local store I'm not quite sure about others)

Now as for the relationship between consumers and developers I think Shamus had the right idea. Developers should bring the price of games down over time.

Somebody is getting money from me buying the game, therefore it is not piracy. If no one was getting money, then I'd say you can call it piracy. But just because the publishers who sold the game originally aren't selling it again does not make it piracy. It makes it greed.

I chose the first option, but I'd like to clarify. It's not nearly as bad as piracy, but it shouldn't be encouraged behavior. Used games have their place, I'm just not sure what it is yet.

Wow, that poll isn't biased at all... I can be a dirty pirate or a cheapskate. Nice.

I quite like the idea, I always buy games new after I had a rather nasty experience with a used copy of Mass Effect. Never. Ever. Again. But I digress, it's nice to feel like you're getting something extra when you buy the game. Even if the money grubbing bastards at EA should have put it in the game anyway. And I'd say it adds something.

But! On the other hand, I have a friend who, is, shall we say, quite a bit more strapped for cash than I am, and so we're rather limited on the maps for say, Bad Company 2 we can play together on, which is bad, really. It doesn't break the game though, so I can live with it until he forks up for some more variety.

So, overall, I'd say I like the plan, I do wish it would include some more things though, given the rate with which EA churns out pointless DLC that could have been in the game from the beginning anyway.

And, EA, kindly stop milking my precious Dragon Age. I keep on spending my Microsoft points on more important things like Monkey Island which leaves me without my Leliana adorableness fix.

Is buying a used book the same thing as buying an illegal copy? Is buying a used movie the same thing as buying a pirated movie? Is buying a used car the same thing as getting a car that was made by parts from a chop-shop or stealing a car ?

So, is GTA V going to be about buying used cars? =D (actually not sure if the car analogy makes sense but it lead to the funny question to me)

Honestly. I view used games as being worse than piracy since here is this person who is perfectly willing to pay for game X but instead is choosing to not support the developers with money they are happy to part with anyway.

Don't get me wrong. After every developer blaming shitty sales on piracy when it couldn't possibly be because their game sucked, the invasive DRM and basically their douchebag attitude in general I am quite happy for people to buy used out of spite.
But just because I morally support used game sales does not mean I can not judge the difference from their point of view.

As for project $10, if it was done right then maybe it would be worth it. But mostly we get shitty little reskins or a extra weapon or two then all the decent DLC they expect us to pay for anyway so that extra $10 is getting wasted of worthless crap.

Don't you have an option of sees nothing wrong with used game sales, but doesn't actually buy them?

daftalchemist:
Somebody is getting money from me buying the game, therefore it is not piracy.

So if you donate to your private torrent site, that makes it OK?

The way I see it, the problem with piracy is that you can keep the copy you're giving away, while used games can't do that. However, both cases are JUST AS BAD for the developers. While they can point the finger to piracy, it's difficult to do the same with such an old practice, like buying and selling used items.

What we gamers need is lending libraries. Book publishers hate them (they really do), yet libraries are older than them, established within law and culture. Games came long after capitalism, so you can see how developers tried to make sure that no such thing as lending can happen legally.

So, there's a question for you. If libraries starting lending software and games, would you borrow from them?

PS: Food for thought: Many know (and many don't) that when you buy software, you are actually buying the license to use it. It is not yours by any means. You're not supposed to lend, sell or copy what is not yours in the first place. That is why I like Steam. The license lasts forever (ideally), while license for physical copies lasts as long as the DVD lasts (you try convincing EA to give you another copy of Dragon Age because your little sister broke the first one).

PPS: So, supposedly, you can back-up your game as long as you own the physical copy, you can sell it as used to someone else, but you cannot do both at the same time.

PPPS: Sigh...I guess software companies have the power to write the laws as they see fit.

PPPPS: Give us lending libraries, now! Digital ones, so we won't have to walk. With a small subscription fee. "Get the game for 2 weeks, renew it for another 2 if need be"! That would drive the developers insane...

If the game is used, who's to say the developer already got a cut when it was bought?

carpenter20m:

daftalchemist:
Somebody is getting money from me buying the game, therefore it is not piracy.

So if you donate to your private torrent site, that makes it OK?

The way I see it, the problem with piracy is that you can keep the copy you're giving away, while used games can't do that. However, both cases are JUST AS BAD for the developers. While they can point the finger to piracy, it's difficult to do the same with such an old practice, like buying and selling used items.

What we gamers need is lending libraries. Book publishers hate them (they really do), yet libraries are older than them, established within law and culture. Games came long after capitalism, so you can see how developers tried to make sure that no such thing as lending can happen legally.

So, there's a question for you. If libraries starting lending software and games, would you borrow from them?

PS: Food for thought: Many know (and many don't) that when you buy software, you are actually buying the license to use it. It is not yours by any means. You're not supposed to lend, sell or copy what is not yours in the first place. That is why I like Steam. The license lasts forever (ideally), while license for physical copies lasts as long as the DVD lasts (you try convincing EA to give you another copy of Dragon Age because your little sister broke the first one).

PPS: So, supposedly, you can back-up your game as long as you own the physical copy, you can sell it as used to someone else, but you cannot do both at the same time.

PPPS: Sigh...I guess software companies have the power to write the laws as they see fit.

PPPPS: Give us lending libraries, now! Digital ones, so we won't have to walk. With a small subscription fee. "Get the game for 2 weeks, renew it for another 2 if need be"! That would drive the developers insane...

How are there movies, TV shows, and music CDs at the library then? I mean if it is all about books being able to be borrowed from the library because it has been that way culturally for a long time, then how is those other newer forms of entertainment and art at them?

The fact that this question is even up for debate makes me incredibly unsympathetic to the game developers. It's getting to the point where I just don't want most of the big name companies making even a dime off of me. You reap what you sow, EA/Activision.

carpenter20m:

daftalchemist:
Somebody is getting money from me buying the game, therefore it is not piracy.

So if you donate to your private torrent site, that makes it OK?

The way I see it, the problem with piracy is that you can keep the copy you're giving away, while used games can't do that. However, both cases are JUST AS BAD for the developers. While they can point the finger to piracy, it's difficult to do the same with such an old practice, like buying and selling used items.

Developers are still getting money from the initial sale of the game. If I buy a game, it becomes my property. I can do whatever I want to do with my property. If I want to let my friend borrow the game, I will. Developers can pitch a fit about it all they want, but it's still my property. If I want to sell it to a game store to buy a different game, I will. Then it becomes the game store's property. That means they can do whatever they want with it.

If developers have such a problem with game stores selling used games, perhaps they should set up a system in which they'll buy back used games, polish them up and sell them as new. This way they can still get all the money they want for the game, and I can still get some money back for a game I already beat so that I can buy a new one. Otherwise they should back off and leave used game sales alone. They owned the game once, but it has already been bought from them and is no longer theirs to claim profits on a second time.

thenamelessloser:
How are there movies, TV shows, and music CDs at the library then? I mean if it is all about books being able to be borrowed from the library because it has been that way culturally for a long time, then how is those other newer forms of entertainment and art at them?

There are but in more limited quantities. But you never find software. You can't BORROW the latest Norton antivirus, nor any games. Digital property is a huge problem for lawmakers, companies and consumers alike, which won't be resolved soon.

daftalchemist:
Developers are still getting money from the initial sale of the game. If I buy a game, it becomes my property. I can do whatever I want to do with my property. If I want to let my friend borrow the game, I will. Developers can pitch a fit about it all they want, but it's still my property. If I want to sell it to a game store to buy a different game, I will. Then it becomes the game store's property. That means they can do whatever they want with it.

If developers have such a problem with game stores selling used games, perhaps they should set up a system in which they'll buy back used games, polish them up and sell them as new. This way they can still get all the money they want for the game, and I can still get some money back for a game I already beat so that I can buy a new one. Otherwise they should back off and leave used game sales alone. They owned the game once, but it has already been bought from them and is no longer theirs to claim profits on a second time.

The game does not become your property. The only thing you know is the license to use it (same with movies etc. actually). You are not allowed to lend, copy it and so on. If it did become your property, then torrenting would actually be legal, since pirates actually need a legit copy in order to crack it. Also, your second paragraph doesn't hold under scrutiny. Why buy back the games? The cost of the packaging is minimal compared to development costs. It is more expensive to buy them back than let the retailers just sell them. The point is that they want money from EVERYONE playing the game and that means that lending libraries, used games and pirating are equally bad for them. The only difference is that pirating is illegal, since it's a new practice, while the other two have been established since time immemorial in our culture.

carpenter20m:
The point is that they want money from EVERYONE playing the game and that means that lending libraries, used games and pirating are equally bad for them. The only difference is that pirating is illegal, since it's a new practice, while the other two have been established since time immemorial in our culture.

So then the point is that they're greedy assholes, and therefore I don't give a damn about what they want. They're making millions of dollars by selling games, I'm making $8 by pouring coffee. Screw them.

Do I have to phone IKEA everytime I sell one of their couches in a yard sale?

Do I have to send some money to Hasbro whenever I give one of their toys to charity?

Do I have to ask Toyota permission for me to sell my car to someone else?

HELL - NO !!!

That is all.

I'm sorry, what?

I'm buying a game from a legal and legit retailer. I'm not "stealing" the game from developers. Used games are still a legal copy of the game. Used games are not piracy. Developers are fucking fickle sometimes.

If I was to torrent a game, then yes, I would be a pirate. But since I'm buying the game from say... JB HI-FI or EB Games, then I am not pirating the game. I am not doing anything illegal by purchasing the game.

I generally buy used games because they're cheaper. Living in Australia, I can't afford to fork out $110+ each time a new game is released and I refused to be called a pirate for buying a used copy of a game.

No offence, devs, but 70 euros (yeah some games cost 70 now) for a bland shooter with a 4 hour campaign and uninspiring multiplayer is fucking expensive.

FUCK YOU, EA. I was kinda thinking yeah 10 dollars sounds good, but then I thought of DRM, bad games, online suscriptions for games I have already played full price for.... Kiss my ass, game devs. Make a game thats worth my money for a change and I might buy it new, you fucking cunts.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I almost forgot: "You thought buying games new was expensive eh? Well, how about I FUCKING KICK YOUR ASS AND TELL YOU TO BE ABLE TO ENJOY MULTIPLAYER PROPERLY YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DISH OUT ANOTHER 30 DOLLARS/EUROS FOR MAPS WE HAD FINISHED 5 MONTHS BEFORE RELEASE!!!! BWHAHAHAHAHAH!!!"

Fuck you game devs, FUCK. YOU. I fucking hope you greedy cunts get thrown in a fire made of expensive downloadable content and securom. You fucking pieces of shit. 8 dollars more for used games? Sure, lets just add that too the 60 euros some dude paid for it new, and the 60 euros for a year of xbox live. Then we got roughly 20-60 euros for downloadable content (bout 7 euros for a map on average I would guess eh) and you have totally convinced me to torrent every single game you ever make just too piss you bastards off.

/rage. Maybe. Might come back and rage again later.

No. It is not. The used game sellers are being payed for it, where as if you pirate it, no-one gets payed anything.
Living in Australia, new release games cost around $119 AU, which is way more than I'm prepared to pay. Developers, you were payed once for the game. The game retailer doesn't actually earn that much money from first-hand sales. If you remove the option for people to do that, there is a possibility of the retailers going out of business. This would mean that you lose the possibility of selling your games through them, and you would lose more money than you did in the first place from second hand games.

I think that makes sense, anyway.

...Oh, come o-
Do you guys WANT fights here? Angry disputes, boiling down to "Nah *you* suck"?
Welp, I will answer as I always do: In a place where games only start getting cheaper over time when they are used copies (that "new" copy of the PS2 Superman Returns being SEVENTY DOLLARS at Jb Hifi), I humbly reject the idea that used games are somehow as unethical as pirated copies. Hey, publishers, you know what? How about lowering those prices a few years after the games come out? I know that I'd rather buy a new copy if the second hand one was only a few dollars cheaper, as apposed to 30 (For older games, anyhow)

If used games ceased to exist, prices could start dropping, and quality/length could start increasing again.

Now, theres no point in lowering the price of new games because used copies would simply match the reduction. Not to mention, since most retailers operate on consignment, the only way to lower the shelf price would be for the publisher/developer to take a smaller cut. Even then, no guarantee the price actually drops.

And as far as comparing video games to anything else: No. You are wrong.

Project ten dollar is also a flawed concept. Reducing the value of each disc isn't the way to fix this problem. It just makes people wait longer to buy it used... if they even come close to caring about DLC (spoilers: most don't).

It's like people say.
You buy a chair. A nice and comfy chair. You place it into your room, you use it, as it is yours to use since you bought it.
Then one day, you find a new chair, so you buy the new chair. But instead of throwing it away, you decide to sell it to someone who might like the chair.
Not a single chair manufacturer complaints.

I really want to know why it is so different in the games industry? It seems some people might be desparate for money -and I wonder if they are the same people who said the entertainment industry is recession-proof back then.

Rochnan:
Let's say you buy a chair. A nice and comfy chair. You place it into your room, you use it, as it is yours to use since you bought it.
Then one day, you find a new chair, so you buy the new chair. But instead of throwing it away, you decide to sell it to someone who might like the chair.

Not a single chair manufacturer complaints.

I didn't realize a game contained all the various insects present in the original owners house and smelled like the original owner's ass and BO after they played it.

Which is the agreement made when buying used furniture.

Used games, on the other hand, are indistinguishable from new games. (mind you, the box, manual, and that [PRE-OWNED] sticker they sometimes stick on the disc itself can't be defined as "game.")

Not to mention, furniture is a fashion industry and fashion industries come out with different looking products every year.

It is not piracy. That is all.

Cynical skeptic:
I didn't realize a game contained all the various insects present in the original owners house and smelled like the original owner's ass and BO after they played it.

Which is the agreement made when buying used furniture.

Used games, on the other hand, are indistinguishable from new games. (mind you, the box, manual, and that [PRE-OWNED] sticker they sometimes stick on the disc itself can't be defined as "game.")

Well, there are games which only let you install them on x machines, right? And there's the condition of the disc (or even more fun, the cartridge).
So I wouldn't say it's completely mint in each case.
The reverse is true for furniture, usually they're still in pretty good shape, or they wouldn't be sold anyway -I should know, living above a shop that sells used furniture ;)

Evilsanta:
It is not piracy. That is all.

Exactly. Piracy actually helps the various affected industries by exposing people to more than otherwise, thus enabling them to make better purchasing decisions.

Its documented that pirates buy more, because they're exposed to more, and like more.

Rochnan:
Well, there are games which only let you install them on x machines, right?

Those are called PC games. There isn't much of a used PC game market.

Buying a game used is no more different than buying a film, cd or book used.
It is a product that can be resold just like any other. If used game sales are illegal then so are used car, book, etc. as well. That would just kill a lot of business that has been legal for several centuries (in the case of books).

And to those that say that you only buy a license: No, you buy a product with all the right that comes with that. No EULA can hold up to property laws (at least not in most of Europe. Don't know how it is in the states) and in fact the EULA are not a legally binding document in Denmark at least. Since you sign it after having paid and therefore it is not a known part of the deal and is void.

Used games are the only reason I go to EB Games anymore. (Because I don't have the money to buy a new 60$ game all the time) If there was no more used game market, part of my soul would die.

Xaryn Mar:
Buying a game used is no more different than buying a film, cd or book used.

Except film makes most it's money from cinema, music makes most it's money from concerts, and print is a very low investment venture.

These do not apply to the video game industry.

Quantum Star:
Used games are the only reason I go to EB Games anymore. (Because I don't have the money to buy a new 60$ game all the time) If there was no more used game market, part of my soul would die.

Well... if you don't care about supporting developers, why aren't you saving your money and pirating? At least then, no one could even pretend to have a claim to your money.

Edit: uh, sorry xar.

If the publishers slashed prices a year after initial release then the second hand market would virtually disappear, the only reason its so strong is that console games are way over priced.

Yes the developers need to recoup the high costs of development and yes they need a potential profit margin that justifies the risk of making the game in the first place, but letting the second hand market make a dent in your sales is just bad pricing policy.

Cynical skeptic:

Evilsanta:
It is not piracy. That is all.

Exactly. Piracy actually helps the various affected industries by exposing people to more than otherwise, thus enabling them to make better purchasing decisions.

Its documented that pirates buy more, because they're exposed to more, and like more.

I think there are more than one type of pirate, yes there is the consumer pirate who uses piracy to explore new material and even as a "try before you buy", and yes that can increase your appetite for media products and ultimately lead to you buying more... but then there are whole nations in east Europe and the far east where hundreds of millions of pirate copies are shifted and no one ever buys new.

Even in the west there are those who amass huge pirate collections and never buy new as almost a matter of principle.

dbl post - please delete.

Continuity:
I think there are more than one type of pirate, yes there is the consumer pirate who uses piracy to explore new material and even as a "try before you buy", and yes that can increase your appetite for media products and ultimately lead to you buying more... but then there are whole nations in east Europe and the far east where hundreds of millions of pirate copies are shifted and no one ever buys new.

Even in the west there are those who amass huge pirate collections and never buy new as almost a matter of principle.

Pirates that would never buy would, by definition, never be customers. So no harm, no foul.

Eastern European and/or third world piracy exists because the products are priced for the first world. You hear stories of legit copies of games going on sale in these places for the equivalent of $60... which could feed a family for a month. Its delusional and flat out insane to even think someone is going to starve his family for a month to play a video game.

Cynical skeptic:

Continuity:
I think there are more than one type of pirate, yes there is the consumer pirate who uses piracy to explore new material and even as a "try before you buy", and yes that can increase your appetite for media products and ultimately lead to you buying more... but then there are whole nations in east Europe and the far east where hundreds of millions of pirate copies are shifted and no one ever buys new.

Even in the west there are those who amass huge pirate collections and never buy new as almost a matter of principle.

Pirates that would never buy would, by definition, never be customers. So no harm, no foul.

You have a point that not all pirated copies are lost sales, that's a very important point that the anti-piracy lobby likes to overlook. However I think you take this too far here, there are people who are media junkies and dedicated pirates, people who without piracy would spend thousands on buying new and yet with piracy never buy new... these people do exist, I know one for a start.

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