UK Retailers: Stop New Copy Codes and We'll Share Used Game Sales

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UK Retailers: Stop New Copy Codes and We'll Share Used Game Sales

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Game publishers' response to used games was to make new games more valuable, and retailers are willing to talk.

Used games sales are as much of a sore subject for retailers across the pond as they are here in the US. The topic boils down to the fact that the used game market has exploded in the last ten years, but videogame publishers make zero money off of used games. Some consumers only buy discounted used games, so the videogame industry has begun initiatives like EA's "Project Ten Dollar" to keep the value of new games high. Retailers - in the UK at least - have gotten the message and are willing to negotiate. But publishers like EA, Ubisoft, THQ and Warner Bros need to stop putting codes in new games for day one content.

"As a retail store, we would happily share part of the sale from a used game if we get something in return. Perhaps new games at better prices and no more online codes," said Gordon Crawford from independent shop Gamespod.

"If you want to stop these one-time codes then yeah, fair enough, we'll share revenues," said Julian Slater from Bits and Pieces, reminding us all that these small retail outlets are not billion dollar behemoths. "If publishers gave me a better deal, then maybe. The publishers are not the poor man here."

Chris Muckell from Xpress Games doesn't think publishers are going to agree to it any time soon. "We'd definitely like to do this [revenue share], but I don't see it being something publishers would implement," he said. "With new releases dropping in price after just the second week, I'd have thought their investments would be better in making money from DLC."

Source: MCV

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What suggesting EA and the corporate elite stop nickle and diming people and be reasonable?
Surely you jest!

Negotiate all you want, Cex will keep it's used games and people will keep on going buying them.

tmande2nd:
What suggesting EA and the corporate elite stop nickle and diming people and be reasonable?
Surely you jest!

Indeed.

I wonder how much it costs to buy all the games from the publisher and put them on shelves. If this is any indication, the Publishers may be charging retailers (in the UK at least) quite a bit. Which in turn causes used games to make sense. If they don't make much of a profit off new games, they NEED used sales so they don't completely fold.

and here we have a perfectly good solution that the publishers wont go for because 'they'd lose money' in their short sighted minds

mad825:
Negotiate all you want, Cex will keep it's used games and people will keep on going buying them.

Yeah, but Im kind of put off cex by the fact all the staff have terrifying beards that look like they could kill me...

OT: I liek the sound of cheaper games, and money getting to the devs, so I hope something nice happens.

I do feel good that retailers and game publishers are trying to work together instead of just being greedy jerks that makes life difficult for the consumer.

However I have a real problem with this solution, what it breaks down to is that a publisher owns the game at all time and the customer does not. Why should EA get paid for the same game twice?

My Car dealership doesn't get money when I sell the car that I paid them for to a different dealership or person. The record lable doesn't get more money when I sell a CD to a friend.

I bought the product, it is MINE. If i choose throw it in the river or resell it who has the right to say they deserve a peice of that?

I'm sorry EA that most of your games suck and that after playing them for 5 days people have beaten them, get no further enjoyment out of them and then get rid of them. But they still paid you for the game.

This goes to any game publisher, when you make shovel ware that provides limited amount of enjoyment of course it will be discarded. I still have my NES Super mario brothers cartridge, I doubt if it works but I did not get rid of it because I "Liked it".

UK retailers are certainly making a fair gesture to partnership with both gamers and game company's but while we play in the virtual world we live in the real world. In the real world once I BUY something you no longer own it, you don't get it back. if you want it back then don't sell it.

What I think game developers what to do is instead of selling games they want to get into the business of renting them. I for one, have no problem with this. They can then get paid for how many times a game is played, not sold because they still own it.

You can not have your cake and eat it too as my grandmother would say.

Kitsuna10060:
and here we have a perfectly good solution that the publishers wont go for because 'they'd lose money' in their short sighted minds

I disagree.

If the retailers were to suggest sharing revenue from used games in return for publishers ending the use of passes and codes that would be fair enough.

Asking for extra concessions is a bit much imo.

Granted, publishers are doing well but let's be honest, without the developers and publishers there is no product and even if it means they get rich from it I'd rather see them rewarded more than the retailer.

Factor in the mark up of a new game (around 25%-40% of the final retail price goes to the retailer) then once the game starts being traded in the overall gross profit from one copy of a game can be about 35% to well over 50% for the likes of Game/Gamestation.

Double post!

Sgt Pepper:

If the retailers were to suggest sharing revenue from used games in return for publishers ending the use of passes and codes that would be fair enough.

Asking for extra concessions is a bit much imo.

Think of it like haggling, that is the retailers starting offer ;) I'm sure they would settle for less if the publishers took up negotiating.

The main problem with this is, like you said, these are small outlets. If this was the GAME group, I think perhaps more publisher would take note. It's a novel idea, but unfortunately, for everyone, I don't think it's going to happen any time soon.

Indeed, why haggle with small businesses, when you've got lawyers to simply crush them?

Why come to a reasonable solution that benefits both sides, when you can simply throw piles of cash at something then blame other people?

Sgt Pepper:

Kitsuna10060:
and here we have a perfectly good solution that the publishers wont go for because 'they'd lose money' in their short sighted minds

I disagree.

If the retailers were to suggest sharing revenue from used games in return for publishers ending the use of passes and codes that would be fair enough.

Asking for extra concessions is a bit much imo.

Granted, publishers are doing well but let's be honest, without the developers and publishers there is no product and even if it means they get rich from it I'd rather see them rewarded more than the retailer.

Factor in the mark up of a new game (around 25%-40% of the final retail price goes to the retailer) then once the game starts being traded in the overall gross profit from one copy of a game can be about 35% to well over 50% for the likes of Game/Gamestation.

Why should a company get paid twice for a single product?

Apparently it's hitting home that this practice will likely be pretty much over soon after the new consoles hit as neither the console makers that want their cut, nor the developers that want/need their cut will live with this any longer (similar to how the PC market works) and now they're trying to look like the "good guys" after siphoning off large amounts of funds and getting rich on their backs/off their proceeds for over half a decade, well good luck with that xD

Irridium:

tmande2nd:
What suggesting EA and the corporate elite stop nickle and diming people and be reasonable?
Surely you jest!

Indeed.

I wonder how much it costs to buy all the games from the publisher and put them on shelves. If this is any indication, the Publishers may be charging retailers (in the UK at least) quite a bit. Which in turn causes used games to make sense. If they don't make much of a profit off new games, they NEED used sales so they don't completely fold.

Indeed XD

People like to put retalers up as this faceless presence but behind the scenes many of their margins can be tight. The relationship between retailers and publishers is a fraught one and i have had my suspicions that the price sores are sold new rleases for is quite high here in the UK.

For example the only people that can really afford to sell the games at £20-£30 price range are super special offerrs at the giant supermarkets simply to get people in store. This surgests that when all is said and done a retailer selling a brand new title below RRP is in danger of losing money or else we would see more of a price-war.

I've always said the same thing; games are too expensive. Used games are simply setting the price at a more reasonable level and customers are voting with their wallets. We don't see anywhere near the scale of even used Bluray films for instance because people are happy with the price to buy new. So Publishers need to sit down with retailers and try and work out a way to get something for the developers/ publishers for used games, even if it is just a litte OR they could man up and get control of their ridiculously inflated budgets and pricing.

4-5 hours and tacked on multiplayer for £50 is ludicrous when a bluray is around £11-15 and a DVD around £3-10.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Sgt Pepper:

Kitsuna10060:
and here we have a perfectly good solution that the publishers wont go for because 'they'd lose money' in their short sighted minds

I disagree.

If the retailers were to suggest sharing revenue from used games in return for publishers ending the use of passes and codes that would be fair enough.

Asking for extra concessions is a bit much imo.

Granted, publishers are doing well but let's be honest, without the developers and publishers there is no product and even if it means they get rich from it I'd rather see them rewarded more than the retailer.

Factor in the mark up of a new game (around 25%-40% of the final retail price goes to the retailer) then once the game starts being traded in the overall gross profit from one copy of a game can be about 35% to well over 50% for the likes of Game/Gamestation.

Why should a company get paid twice for a single product?

Because they can legally make project $10, project $20.

mad825:
Negotiate all you want, Cex will keep it's used games and people will keep on going buying them.

Remember when there was a market for used PC titles? If the publishers really want to kill used console game sales, they can. Consumers already let them get away with it once, so they know they can do it, and how to do it.

Of course that was one of several factors that helped drive the industry's center of gravity away from PC and back to consoles - there was that price to be paid. This time around there'll be nowhere for consumers to migrate to.

Some good old UK bloody common sense.

Stop twatting around with the codes, and we'll share some re-sale profits...

...win win.

I say that though I'm a PC gamer so it effects me like: - <-That much.
Last game I brought on Disk was the Fallout Collection (fallout 1, 2, tactics)

There is no way they will go for it, so no worries there.

The topic boils down to the fact that the used game market has exploded in the last ten years, but videogame publishers make zero money off of used games.

This puts the wrong idea out. I have been a gamer since the NES. Used games have always existed. The gaming market has exploded in the last 10 years. It's more popular than ever, so you are getting more people than ever buying used games. And it seems short sighted to think that the used game market has not had a hand in this. I mean, it hasn't been a thorn in the side of publishers for 10 years, only in the last generation has it become something they can't deal with.

Also, look at it from this angle, if they have to give publishers a portion of the money they make from the games, they will more than likely lower the amount of trade in credit a game gets. Once again, the publishers and retail outlets fight about this and the gamers lose in the end.

At some point, we're going to be purchased 25% of the game - slightly longer than a demo would be my guess - and the rest will be implemented with DLC. Want to fight the end boss battle? That'll be $12.
Remember when games came crammed with material - when I first got Metal Gear Solid for PSX, I nearly pooped myself when it had two discs.

I'm getting pretty annoyed with publishers wanting to leech off whatever profit retailers make from used games.

-Publishers: Make your game damn fun if you want me to keep playing forever. I still play with my SNES games because they're damn good.
-We don't see this happening with used car sales or anything else. if you buy a used car, I doubt a portion of that profit goes to the original dealership it came from, aka Ford, Honda, Chevrolet, etc. Even if the same car is sold and bought over and over again, the dealership gets no profit. That's life.
-It's not illegal in any way to sell used games. Stores do it, your cousin does it, you've done it, get over it.
-I understand they want to have all the profits from their products. Who wouldn't? But let's be realistic here. I'll point out my second point up there.

The truth is, you need use game sales to keep your games alive and raise awareness of your titles. As stated before, some people won't buy brand new games. They prefer to buy used, discounted games that are as equally fun but just a couple of months older. But if they buy your first game and like it, they might even think about buying your sequel because the first game was that good! So let's not act as if used games are the enemy here. It's a symbiotic relationship; they both need each other.

The one-time code was a huge dick move. Punishing your customers instead of giving them positives incentives to buy your game brand new? For shame. And again, a person who buys a used game is still your customer. And who knows? They might buy the game brand new later on.
However...

Baresark:

Also, look at it from this angle, if they have to give publishers a portion of the money they make from the games, they will more than likely lower the amount of trade in credit a game gets. Once again, the publishers and retail outlets fight about this and the gamers lose in the end.

...This. As it is, you get like around 10-30 bucks per game, and this assuming you're trading in a popular game that's not that old. Otherwise, you're looking at a 10 cents-5 dollars profit.

I just don't know what to make of all this. I have to concur, the clients will end up losing in the end somehow.

NOTE: This is my personal opinion. Don't you go around trying to flame me for it. You don't like it/agree with it? Ignore it. Jest it silently, if you want and that's it. Come on, no one likes trolls.
I just know how people get when someone defends used games. -_-;

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Sgt Pepper:

Kitsuna10060:
and here we have a perfectly good solution that the publishers wont go for because 'they'd lose money' in their short sighted minds

I disagree.

If the retailers were to suggest sharing revenue from used games in return for publishers ending the use of passes and codes that would be fair enough.

Asking for extra concessions is a bit much imo.

Granted, publishers are doing well but let's be honest, without the developers and publishers there is no product and even if it means they get rich from it I'd rather see them rewarded more than the retailer.

Factor in the mark up of a new game (around 25%-40% of the final retail price goes to the retailer) then once the game starts being traded in the overall gross profit from one copy of a game can be about 35% to well over 50% for the likes of Game/Gamestation.

Why should a company get paid twice for a single product?

Agreed.

And to top it off, I don't know what it is like where you are but the smaller independent store I used to work at paid 54 dollars for Batman: Arkham City and they sold it for $59.99. Most big retailers had a door crasher event blowing out the game on day one for $49.99 absorbing the losses with other products being sold. I don't know where that is 25% but you really have a different system there then. Here the retailer pays quite a bit.

The problem I have with it is that there is no cost to the publisher. The store has to take the risks for the game.

esperandote:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Sgt Pepper:

I disagree.

If the retailers were to suggest sharing revenue from used games in return for publishers ending the use of passes and codes that would be fair enough.

Asking for extra concessions is a bit much imo.

Granted, publishers are doing well but let's be honest, without the developers and publishers there is no product and even if it means they get rich from it I'd rather see them rewarded more than the retailer.

Factor in the mark up of a new game (around 25%-40% of the final retail price goes to the retailer) then once the game starts being traded in the overall gross profit from one copy of a game can be about 35% to well over 50% for the likes of Game/Gamestation.

Why should a company get paid twice for a single product?

Because they can legally make project $10, project $20.

Wait 'till it gets high enough that when game sales used and new suddenly dry up and both retailers and game producers are fucked over.

Merlark:
I do feel good that retailers and game publishers are trying to work together instead of just being greedy jerks that makes life difficult for the consumer.

However I have a real problem with this solution, what it breaks down to is that a publisher owns the game at all time and the customer does not. Why should EA get paid for the same game twice?

My Car dealership doesn't get money when I sell the car that I paid them for to a different dealership or person. The record lable doesn't get more money when I sell a CD to a friend.

I bought the product, it is MINE. If i choose throw it in the river or resell it who has the right to say they deserve a peice of that?

I'm sorry EA that most of your games suck and that after playing them for 5 days people have beaten them, get no further enjoyment out of them and then get rid of them. But they still paid you for the game.

This goes to any game publisher, when you make shovel ware that provides limited amount of enjoyment of course it will be discarded. I still have my NES Super mario brothers cartridge, I doubt if it works but I did not get rid of it because I "Liked it".

UK retailers are certainly making a fair gesture to partnership with both gamers and game company's but while we play in the virtual world we live in the real world. In the real world once I BUY something you no longer own it, you don't get it back. if you want it back then don't sell it.

What I think game developers what to do is instead of selling games they want to get into the business of renting them. I for one, have no problem with this. They can then get paid for how many times a game is played, not sold because they still own it.

You can not have your cake and eat it too as my grandmother would say.

The lawyers (read: douchenozzles) of EA claim that you buy a license to a game, and not actually the game. I'm not actually sure if this has come up in court yet, so no one really knows if they're right. Morally, they're dead wrong, and at the very least, you can always expect that from EA.

I applaud Gamestop for backing off right away used sales of New Game releases. They were undercutting games that only been out 1-2 weeks by selling the games for only $3-4 dollars less than a new copy. I know at least my local store, they having been pushing the sales of New games especially in the month or two after release, then waiting to sell the used copies.

I know there may have been some legal rumblings behind closed doors to make that much of a shift in GameStop policies. Vernor v. Autodesk, Inc. open a door that could make used software sales invalid.

May have worked in the UK retailers also.

Nothing would please me more than to see these "online passes" GONE. I hate them with a fiery passion.

I'm not entirely against this idea, yet at the same time I'm not seeing it as much of an improvement. It's not removing the online passes from existence, merely switching the "responsibility" from the game players to the game vendors. Publishers are still requiring payment for services already rendered.

Punishing customers looking for a better value is unheard of in every other business. Gas stations don't raise prices for anyone driving fuel efficient cars. Cable boxes don't shut off if there's a visiting relative on the couch who hasn't paid their "freeloader's fee." Used game players are not software pirates, they are consumers who were dissatisfied with the prices offered at retail. So they found more agreeable terms with someone who no longer desired a product that was already paid in full. Trying to muscle your way into this transaction is irritating, if not outright abusive.

If shops split used sales and publishers stop being big babies over capitalism, then some faith in our industry has been restored. This can go on to show developers that if we go on to sell their games second hand shortly after release, then it was within the spectrum of crap. In the mean time we as consumers wont be tied into buying new every time if we just want to 2test" a game out, and we can share them between members of the households' consoles too without having to dish out another £10 for every account that want to use the single copy online. No more codes and a fair way for trade-in? This is the best news this year, so far.

Kitsuna10060:
and here we have a perfectly good solution that the publishers wont go for because 'they'd lose money' in their short sighted minds

In a way your right, but I think publishers wont go for it because to them this is a sign of weakness, and that their plans to eliminate used markets is working.

Honestly, If you were a general, You had been loosing your war for years, but your scientists came up with a new technology that could turn the tide and when you implement it your enemy finally offers up a truce, what would you do?

All those shops involved are small independent businesses. The ones that matter are Game, Game station and HMV. HMV isnt even a games shop its dvds music and games.

Game was Electronic Boutique (still exists in America) EB and Game are both owned by the same people that own Gamestop and Gamestastion is owned by the same people that own Gamestop. So in overall...until the NO.1 Offender changes it tunes...It means nothing.

But...in my local Gamestation they've started putting codes and download cards to a few pre-owned cases. I saw the new Need For Speed pre-owned, with an online pass code card inside the sleeve for no extra cost.

Greg Tito:
UK Retailers: Stop New Copy Codes and We'll Share Used Game Sales

Instead, they'll just go for digital distribution. Problem "Solved."

Merlark:
Why should EA get paid for the same game twice?

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Why should a company get paid twice for a single product?

Retailers get paid twice for the same product, and they didn't even do anything to make it. How is that more right? Retailer buys original product for X dollars, and sells it for X+30 dollars or so. They just made 30 bucks. They buy the product back for 10 bucks, and sell it again not just for 25 dollars, but for X+25 dollars, making a total of X+45 dollars. Considering they didn't have to spend any money in making the game, that's pretty damned good.

Why is it okay for them to do it, but not the publishers. It doesn't seem like we've set up fair criteria here.

(Also, when someone buys a used car, they aren't buying the same car as the original. They're buying a version that is more deteriorated and depreciated through use. It has miles of wear-and-tear on it. And that's why they pay less -- because the manufacturer can offer new cars without the wear-and-tear and mileage. The consumer then has a choice -- pay more and get more, or pay less and get less. Both viable, sensible options.

In the case of games, however, data doesn't depreciate. So publishers have no way to make a new game worth more than a used game. Competition is solely based on price, and publishers can't beat used on price, because they bear the production/marketing/distribution costs.

So instead, publishers have added little things with one-time codes to ensure that new games are actually worth more than used games. People can still buy used -- Arkham City is just as fun without Catwoman, for instance -- and get the lower price they want. But publishers also have a real way to encourage people to buy new instead.

Dastardly:

Merlark:
Why should EA get paid for the same game twice?

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Why should a company get paid twice for a single product?

Retailers get paid twice for the same product, and they didn't even do anything to make it. How is that more right? Retailer buys original product for X dollars, and sells it for X+30 dollars or so. They just made 30 bucks. They buy the product back for 10 bucks, and sell it again not just for 25 dollars, but for X+25 dollars, making a total of X+45 dollars. Considering they didn't have to spend any money in making the game, that's pretty damned good.

Why is it okay for them to do it, but not the publishers. It doesn't seem like we've set up fair criteria here.

Well, they repurchased the game and so it's their property to sell. The publisher doesn't rebuy the game from anyone once they've sold it to a retail store, so it's not theirs to sell again. And since it's not theirs at that point they're not paying for and maintaining the location it's being stored at, the employees who sell and organize the products, or taking the risk that something they've paid for won't sell or will be stolen. If a publisher wants to buy my copy of a game from me, by all means they can profit from it's sale again.

There seems to be this belief among gamers that creation is the only act worthy of money. As if middlemen don't provide a beneficial service, especially those that are willing to pay you for things, even if the larger chains tend to underpay.

infinity_turtles:
Well, they repurchased the game and so it's their property to sell. The publisher doesn't rebuy the game from anyone once they've sold it to a retail store, so it's not theirs to sell again. And since it's not theirs at that point they're not paying for and maintaining the location it's being stored at, the employees who sell and organize the products, or taking the risk that something they've paid for won't sell or will be stolen. If a publisher wants to buy my copy of a game from me, by all means they can profit from it's sale again.

There seems to be this belief among gamers that creation is the only act worthy of money. As if middlemen don't provide a beneficial service, especially those that are willing to pay you for things, even if the larger chains tend to underpay.

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not against selling used. I'm simply calling out the logic that "a company shouldn't get paid for the same product twice," unless we're going to include used retailers in that category. Either way is fine with me, as long as we're consistent.

Also, I don't understand the irrational hatred toward the very idea of any content that is new-game-only. The constant claim is that they're "taking stuff out," but that is based on so many nested assumptions that it's practically meaningless. (If they weren't planning this strategy, it might be that they'd be given a smaller budget by the risk-averse folks in charge, and then couldn't have made that content at all, for instance.)

They're trying to find a way to compete with their own product. I can understand how tricky that can be. The consumer, generally, doesn't care about all that... but that doesn't mean it doesn't have to be dealt with.

(Now, what I am against is the insane mark-up on used games. Five dollars off? That's it? If people are bothered by what these codes can do to the prices of used games, they need to talk to the people setting used prices so bloody high, too.)

Dastardly:

Greg Tito:
UK Retailers: Stop New Copy Codes and We'll Share Used Game Sales

Instead, they'll just go for digital distribution. Problem "Solved."

And what die off from the lack of sales that follows? The means to make digital distribution work are not here yet. Mabey in ten or fifteen years but not now and not anytime soon.

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