Jaffe: Publishers Would "Sell Mothers to Taliban" For Profit

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Jaffe: Publishers Would "Sell Mothers to Taliban" For Profit

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David Jaffe has chimed in on the latest development in the used games debate, with colorful words as usual.

A recent appeals court ruling that held up a software maker's right to prevent resales of software it "licensed" rather than "sold" has fired up the used games debate once again. Industry veteran David Jaffe, of God of War and Twisted Metal development fame, has given his thoughts on the possibilities for the industry now, pointing out that while most videogame publishers are only out to stay in business, others would do anything for a buck.

Jaffe's take on the ruling is that the videogame industry should use it to force retailers to give them a cut of the used games market, creating a new relationship in the lucrative industry. He believes that any publisher against used games isn't necessarily greedy, but just concerned about trying to stay in business. "Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

However, there are some publishers out there that Jaffe thinks are just as evil as everyone thinks they are. He says: "Some game makers are very greedy and would sell their mother to the Taliban if they could turn a profit (and we all know who I'm talking about here). But most are not." I wonder which publishers he means?

He's right though, there's a huge difference between business and "sell your mother" greed. The used games market is an issue that publishers have to deal with because they have no definitive proof that it also provides a revenue stream to them through traded-in goods. As for publishers getting a cut of used games, that seems more complicated to me than GameStop flipping them a percentage because of various factors, such as GameStop taking all the risk. The ruling does raise questions of what could change in the next few years, should it have an effect.

Source: David Jaffe Blog

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At least the Taliban would call once in a while.

Nice headline.

"Gamestop" and "risk" are not words that should be mentioned within entire books of each other. (unless gamestop starts hosting RISK tournaments)

If gamestop stops being able to sell a particular game for even $25, they stop accepting trade ins at all. But the reality is typically the less money they can get from a game, the less they pay for the game, but its not proportional. If they can only sell a game for $30, they will only give it a tradein value of around $2. Which is more than twice the margins of games with tradein values exceeding $5.

As far as the line between business and greed... there isn't one. Its a purely semantic supposition.

Cynical skeptic:
snip

Well, obviously, the guy means pure greed. Pure as in liquid. The sort of greed that runs through Bobby Kotick's veins.

Hahaha. A few good jabs at Activision in this article. I like how Activision is the new EA when it comes to game publishing greed.

"Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

Of course it is greed! Why else would you want to make tons of money? You can say that they have an obligation to turn a profit for the shareholders, but why do you think THEY want money? Capitalism is fueled on greed.

Also I highly doubt used game sales are having that much of an effect on profits.

Bobby Kotick has a mother? That creature emerged from a human womb? No wai.

They want a cut of the profits? Re-sell your own games and cut out the middle man idiots!

laryri:
At least the Taliban would call once in a while.

-"Hey mom, how are you? Still covered from head to toe, illiterate, and held prisoner inside your own home?

-Splendid! How was my day? Oh nothing much, made another internet video denouncing America, planted a few I.E.Ds, poisoned a girls' school, then went home and beat my wife.

-Yes, mom I'm still living in that cave.

-No, I haven't driven the infidel from our home land yet.

-Well we're getting there. It's not that simple mother!

-How many times... I KNOW brother Salem has his own poppy farm! I was THERE when he murdered the previous owner! If Salem's so great, let's see HIM try to lead the insurgency then! He wouldn't last ONE DAY up here. SOMEONES got do this job mother and it aint him.

-I can't, I can't talk to you when you're like this. I'll call you back later.

-YES I WILL!

-Well It's HARD trying to get a satellite link up when your hiding from Predator drones. Honestly I don't know why I even bother." *click*

Blue-State:
They want a cut of the profits? Re-sell your own games and cut out the middle man idiots!

There's a difference between publisher and retailer.
Publisher's don't sell their games directly to the consumer, they sell them to the retailer who then sells it to the consumer at a profit.

Eukaryote:
"Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

Of course it is greed! Why else would you want to make tons of money? You can say that they have an obligation to turn a profit for the shareholders, but why do you think THEY want money? Capitalism is fueled on greed.

Also I highly doubt used game sales are having that much of an effect on profits.

By your logic anything greater then just what you need is greed.
Stop talking bullshit! Wanting more then what you need is not greed!

Demented Teddy:

Eukaryote:
"Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

Of course it is greed! Why else would you want to make tons of money? You can say that they have an obligation to turn a profit for the shareholders, but why do you think THEY want money? Capitalism is fueled on greed.

Also I highly doubt used game sales are having that much of an effect on profits.

By your logic anything greater then just what you need is greed.
Stop talking bullshit! Wanting more then what you need is not greed!

Actually, many of those shareholders probably do need the money. Remember Enron? Remember how horrible everyone thought it was that all of those people lost their savings? Well, those are the same "greedy" people who own shares in any other large corporation.

Well, Jaffe will get in where he can - although, his words do have a small ring of truth to them...if at least a ring

Eukaryote:
"Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

Of course it is greed! Why else would you want to make tons of money? You can say that they have an obligation to turn a profit for the shareholders, but why do you think THEY want money? Capitalism is fueled on greed.

Also I highly doubt used game sales are having that much of an effect on profits.

remove that "greed" you stop getting games, period.

He's right though, there's a huge difference between business and "sell your mother" greed. The used games market is an issue that publishers have to deal with because they have no definitive proof that it also provides a revenue stream to them through traded-in goods.

See this is where I have the problem. Do they not understand that all those games that are being sold were traded in in order to buy more games. Sure not all of the people or even most who traded them in in turn bought new games but alot of them did. Especially when you look at all the trade 2 or 3 in and get a new release free. Those deals attract alot of people to turn in their old games. Publishers are making money on the used market they just cant put an actual number on it because gamestop or whereever doenst give it to them.

It would actually be extremely easy to track how many new games were purchased with credit from trade ins compared to used.

Demented Teddy:

By your logic anything greater then just what you need is greed.
Stop talking bullshit! Wanting more then what you need is not greed!

Sorry to burst your bubble but

Greed - An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs

Wanting more then you need is the very definition of greed, quite literally.

This sums up my opinion:
There are some companies that are downright greedy. But people take it way out of propotion, saying ALL devlopers are greedy. Here's how I see them as different:
Regular:
"Aw, because of the used games sales, we aren't making as much money as we could have. Oh well, we're mad, but we'll get over it."

Greedy:
"Those selfish gamers DARE not pay full price for this game?! WE MUST CALL USED GAME SALES EVIL!"

I honestly don't think I'll ever buy into the argument against used games.
I'm sorry but so many things in the world are sold used, and videogame companies just want to be treated special, and at the rate we're going the probably will be.
And getting a chunk of a used game retailers profit? For what? What did they do specifically to earn a penny of that profit. They aren't investing money into buying the game back, the don't pay for the employees, they don't pay the rent, nor the electricity, etc. They just want a piece of the pie, that they should've invested in long ago, for free.

i think we all know who is that greedy ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96024-Zynga-CEO-Admits-to-Being-a-Scammer ) and acitivevison

Demented Teddy:

Blue-State:
They want a cut of the profits? Re-sell your own games and cut out the middle man idiots!

There's a difference between publisher and retailer.
Publisher's don't sell their games directly to the consumer, they sell them to the retailer who then sells it to the consumer at a profit.

Umm sorry but publishers do sell their games directly to the consumer. Seriously type in a random game company you know in google and damn near every one has their own online store that sells directly to consumers. Hell I got my copy of Halo Reach from bungiestore.com; I've bought games off EA, Bought games directly from valve etc.
Game companies can and do sell their games directly to consumers, they just jumped on the bandwagon of selling far too late and now other companies have a stronghold while most publishers just have their foot in the door.

What about the used books market, or the used CDs market, or the used DVDs market, why aren't we talking about those?

MaxPowers666:

He's right though, there's a huge difference between business and "sell your mother" greed. The used games market is an issue that publishers have to deal with because they have no definitive proof that it also provides a revenue stream to them through traded-in goods.

See this is where I have the problem. Do they not understand that all those games that are being sold were traded in in order to buy more games. Sure not all of the people or even most who traded them in in turn bought new games but alot of them did. Especially when you look at all the trade 2 or 3 in and get a new release free. Those deals attract alot of people to turn in their old games. Publishers are making money on the used market they just cant put an actual number on it because gamestop or whereever doenst give it to them.

It would actually be extremely easy to track how many new games were purchased with credit from trade ins compared to used.

Demented Teddy:

By your logic anything greater then just what you need is greed.
Stop talking bullshit! Wanting more then what you need is not greed!

Sorry to burst your bubble but

Greed - An excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs

Wanting more then you need is the very definition of greed, quite literally.

Fine, then everyone in the world is a greedy person.

Hey, what makes him think the Taliban will buy them mothers. They have problem controlling their own...

Where there is money to be made, greed is always present.

Yes they're businesses and need money. But this is life, and right now in life there's a shitty economy, so people are going to do all they can to save money. And guilting people for doing that is straight up bullshit.

Demented Teddy:

Eukaryote:
"Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

Of course it is greed! Why else would you want to make tons of money? You can say that they have an obligation to turn a profit for the shareholders, but why do you think THEY want money? Capitalism is fueled on greed.

Also I highly doubt used game sales are having that much of an effect on profits.

By your logic anything greater then just what you need is greed.
Stop talking bullshit! Wanting more then what you need is not greed!

It is greed by definition really, as it exceeds your needs. The key is wanting more than you need.

psrdirector:

Eukaryote:
"Yes, publishers want to make money and lots of it," he writes on his blog. "But that's just business. That's not greed."

Of course it is greed! Why else would you want to make tons of money? You can say that they have an obligation to turn a profit for the shareholders, but why do you think THEY want money? Capitalism is fueled on greed.

Also I highly doubt used game sales are having that much of an effect on profits.

remove that "greed" you stop getting games, period.

Not necessarily. Scientists would continue doing science if they didn't get paid for it. Video game development would happen whether it was profitable or not.

Also, guys, what's with the hostility? I'm only saying our industry, like all other industries, is run on greed; I'm not saying let's take arms against the capitalists. Yeeesh.

EDIT: oops, I guess other people already addressed this

Demented Teddy:

Fine, then everyone in the world is a greedy person.

Yup, some more than others. I think what matters is the extent you are willing to go to to satisfy your greed.

ciortas1:

Cynical skeptic:
snip

Well, obviously, the guy means pure greed. Pure as in liquid. The sort of greed that runs through Bobby Kotick's veins.

I actually feel sorry for bobby kotick. Hes the CEO of one of the larger, more recognizable names in video gaming, but hes nothing more than a glorified manager. He has whole corporations above him and insufficient power to tell anyone below him what they can do.

I'd go insane in that situation.

You call him greedy, but what the hell was activision supposed to do? Modern warfare 2 was ridiculously successful, but most of that money was pocketed by retailers and LIVE.

Its just funny how kotick is an asshole for trying, desperately to make activision near as much money as modern warfare 2 made retailers, while retailers are blameless.

Yea, hes done and said some ridiculous shit, but the industry is utterly fucking ridiculous right now. With gamestop trying to compete with the internet for widest scale distribution capacity, and pricing used copies as if they're in competition with new copies, everything is upside fucking down.

Eh, I dunno. The Taliban might not want Kotick's mom, they already have the guy from Zynga's mom.

Why would the Taliban even WANT to buy people's mothers?

dochmbi:
What about the used books market, or the used CDs market, or the used DVDs market, why aren't we talking about those?

Certainly in the UK the videogame retailing sector is quite unique.

If I go into HMV and take a CD or DVD to the counter I'm not asked if I'd like to buy a pre-owned copy for a couple of quid less.

Likewise, if I take a book to the cashier in Waterstones I'm not asked if I'd like to save a quid or two by buying a pre-owned copy.

However, it's quite common to take the box off the shelf for a console title in Game, get to the counter and be told I could save a few quid buying a pre-owned copy that they have in stock.

Books, CDs etc tend to sold from specialist second-hand stores and have little effect on sales of new books or CDs - they cater for those looking to pick up older or more obscure works or different formats such as vinyl.

They also cater to those who are bargain hunting or on tight budgets - people who weren't interested at that time in buying new. But in stores such as Game you have customers who are often prepared to buy a new game at full-price being persuaded to take a pre-owned copy.

Well I already sold my mum to the Taliban, could they take my sister instead? She knows how to build a nuclear bomb out of various Afghan plants and herbs. Just sayin'.

I like the way this guy thinks. He's quite right, this is an issue between the devs/publishers and the retailers and should be dealt with as such. None of this ridiculous crap foisted on the consumer like limited installs and restricted content.

I never thought it was wrong of the publisher to want to profit from the sale of their used games (even if nothing else, from dvds to books to cars seems to fall under this oddly), just that they were targeting the wrong people as the source of their woes.

Activision.

Wait a second here! He's saying that companies that make products and sell them for the sole purpose of making money are greedy?!

Well now I've heard everything!

dochmbi:
What about the used books market, or the used CDs market, or the used DVDs market, why aren't we talking about those?

Because each of those industries are not utterly reliant upon selling CDs or DVDs?

Cynical skeptic:

dochmbi:
What about the used books market, or the used CDs market, or the used DVDs market, why aren't we talking about those?

Because each of those industries are not utterly reliant upon selling CDs or DVDs?

Exactly, the publishing industry is reliant on selling books. Not CDs or DVDs.

Demented Teddy:

Blue-State:
They want a cut of the profits? Re-sell your own games and cut out the middle man idiots!

There's a difference between publisher and retailer.
Publisher's don't sell their games directly to the consumer, they sell them to the retailer who then sells it to the consumer at a profit.

EA and the retail section of their website would like to have a word with you.

Anyway, this is actually what they need to be looking at. If the current model doesn't work for you, innovate to get your slice of the pie. Oh, and by "innovate" I mean the kind of innovation you see in those feel-good fairy-tales about the greatness of capitalism and the American dream, not the sort of diabolical scheming that devised on-disc DLC and such.

This is actually one of the more logical angles I've heard; cutting used game sales out utterly would destroy the current market pretty brutally, and any company not totally up its own arse would understand that. Worse still, given the secondary market's long history, any boon in favor of crushing it won't hold up for long under extensive legal pursuits; that's just not gonna fly in a resale-friendly country like the US. The logical choice is to keep the secondary market in the game, but get a cut. Well, actually, it's something of a greedy option, but hell, if the legal precident says you can, go for it.

And to those above debating greed and not greed, etc... fark it. Greed is good. My idol said that once. ^_~

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