Silicon Knights Boss Says Used Games Drive Up Prices

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT
 

Silicon Knights Boss Says Used Games Drive Up Prices

image

Silicon Knights chief Denis Dyack says the rise of the preowned games business has actually increased the cost of videogames.

Depending on your perspective, the used games trade is either a godsend or a vicious kick in the junk. Gamers who have ever traded in old games to help pay for new ones tend to be pretty enthusiastic, as do the retailers who benefit from the relatively huge margins afford by preowned sales. Publishers, on the other hand, see no revenues from used game sales and thus take a somewhat dimmer view of the whole thing. But Denis Dyack says that even gamers, the supposed beneficiaries of the business, are ultimately suffering because of it.

Videogames used to have a long tail, he explained, which meant that a game put on the market could maintain decent sales and generate revenues for several years. But the rise of used games effectively destroyed that aspect of the business, meaning that games must now earn the vast majority of their money within the first three months of release, and publishers who might otherwise thrive on relatively flat but steady "recurring revenue" suffer as a result.

"If developers and publishers don't see revenue from that, it's not a matter of, 'Hey, we're trying to increase the price of games to consumers, and we want more,' we're just trying to survive as an industry. If used games continue the way that they are, it's going to cannibalize [the industry], there's not going to be an industry," Dyack told GamesIndustry. "People won't make those kinds of games. So I think that's inflated the price of games, and I think that prices would have come down if there was a longer tail, but there isn't."

I don't think that industry complaints about the negative impact of the preowned games trade are entirely without basis, but I do take issue with some of the anti-used rhetoric that's occasionally tossed around. Dyack's assertion that games have become more expensive is especially off-base: In 1985, The Bard's Tale sold [around these parts, at least] for $76.95, while in 2012, Legend of Grimrock goes for 15 bucks, and even less if you preorder.

Dyack did state that he thinks "digital distribution is going to play a big role in things to come" but even at the retail level, new game prices have stayed virtually flat for at least a quarter-century. What other business can say that? Can you remember how much you paid to see The Terminator? I can guarantee you it was a whole heck of a lot more than it cost to see Terminator Salvation - used copies of which are on sale now, by the way, at Amazon.

Permalink

That actually......
Makes alot of sense i agree on that huge used games stores have destroyed the possibility of slow sellers.

rolfwesselius:
That actually......
Makes alot of sense i agree on that huge used games stores have destroyed the possibility of slow sellers.

yeah he is right about that. Which surprising because most publishers/developers try to demonize used game. Denis Dyack see why average gamers like ourselves buy used games and that digital distributions will help curb used game sales

i saw 'silicon knights' and my first thought was 'so .... a company that makes shitty games is bitching now? good for them, hate see them waste time on making a game of theirs good'

meh, just another dev whining about not getting the cut from a sale they have no claim to

ForgottenPr0digy:

rolfwesselius:
That actually......
Makes alot of sense i agree on that huge used games stores have destroyed the possibility of slow sellers.

yeah he is right about that. Which surprising because most publishers/developers try to demonize used game. Denis Dyack see why average gamers like ourselves buy used games and that digital distributions will help curb used game sales

Yeah online passes and the like are trying to do the same, recreate the revenue stream gamestop stole.
But digital distribution looks like the better solution.

Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

Lunar Templar:
i saw 'silicon knights' and my first thought was 'so .... a company that makes shitty games is bitching now? good for them, hate see them waste time on making a game of theirs good'

meh, just another dev whining about not getting the cut from a sale they have no claim to

Did you actually even read it?
He says that syndicated used games sellers like gamestop removed the possibility of long term sellers.
THAT IS A BAD THING.

So Mr Dyack believes that if game makers got money they are neither legally or morally entitled to that game prices would drop? There are two options here. The first option is Dan Dyack is a total fucking helmet wearing, mouth breathing, idiot and actually believes the nonsense he's spewing. The second is he's just spouting the same old tired propaganda we've heard over and over. I'd wager the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

The video game industry isn't hurting. It's posting profit increases most any other industry would kill for in the worst economy we've seen since the great depression. So it's rather disingenuous to claim that the industry is hurting in any way shape or form because of used sales or anything else for that matter.

If anything I'd say that consoles thrive largely because of used sales. Just look at what eliminating used sales has done to PC gaming. It's all but barren compared to what it used to be. If you remove used sales from the console market you will be removing a large stream of revenue that goes directly into the sales during those early days of a game's release as people will no longer be able to recycle their old titles as a way of paying for the brand new titles.

The fact of the matter is that the gaming industry is being cannibalized by greed and an unreasonable desire for more and more control over the product far more than it is being cannibalized by used sales. They should stop blaming other people for problems they are bringing on themselves.

Furthermore, even if used sales were to vanish entirely game prices wouldn't go down. Companies aren't going to lower their revenue simply because they are suddenly making more money. Prices would very likely either stay the same or possibly even go up as there would be no alternative.

So fuck Dan Dyack and fuck anyone in the gaming industry that wants to keep bashing used game sales. If they can't appreciate just how good of an industry they are working in then they should find new lines of work. Maybe being jizz moppers would be more up their alley.

Oh lord...here we go again...

I really have trouble taking Dyack seriously after the two bombs Silicon Knights made, X-men Destiny and Too Human...

All I can say is, if companies expect people to pay full price for a game that only lasts a handful of hours, they need to make something better that justify the price of that game. Tacking on some half assed multiplayer modes and online components don't help either...

A bad game doesn't deserve to have "a long tail" or any "tail" anyways, so why would I ever buy them in the first place, used or new...

...that's my opinion atleast

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

They still sell games for full price on DD because they are forced to by retailers.
If CD projekt sold the witcher 2 on Gog.com for 40 dollars No store would store the hard copy.

More talking with very little said. It's just another scapegoat. It's piracy, it's used games, it's people expecting too much from games, it's Gamestop, it's... it's you, you extreme fucking morons. How about you don't invest $20 Million into a game that is 6 hours long with a shitty little tacked on multiplayer experience? Oh wait, you already do that. How about you make a game with some longevity to it? Gaming wouldn't exist as it does today if not for those used game sales. And the companies keep feeding the monster they created by making shitty games.

Also, no one should listen to a guy who's company hasn't made anything worth while in 10 years or so. It's safe to say he is out of tough with reality.

PS. The advertisements as part of the "Captcha" security is fucking stupid.

The poor multi-billion pound games industry is just trying to survive, huh? I think I would be banned for coming up with an appropriate response to that.

Yes, the games industry might get more money if used sales didn't exist, but so what? They'd also get more money if we all just started throwing cash at them, but it's not going to happen. We don't owe them anything, we pay for their products if we think they're worth buying, and then we have the right to sell them on if we want. Once they have sold a game it is no longer theirs, and they are not somehow entitled to the money if it is resold.

I just don't get the people who side with them on this. If you're so bothered by the plight of poor game publishers, why don't you just start mailing cash to them? Don't ruin things for those of us who are still sane.

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

Well actually if developers and publishers did get a cut from resales we might see the price come down again.

Though if they stayed the same, everything you said would be justified.

rolfwesselius:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

They still sell games for full price on DD because they are forced to by retailers.
If CD projekt sold the witcher 2 on Gog.com for 40 dollars No store would store the hard copy.

Since you seemed to miss the future tense in which I wrote my post let me clarify.

When all games are digital downloads only publishers will still charge obnoxious sums of money. It won't matter.

Used games have always been an option. Now since many of us are buying games digitally with no option to resell, there are actually less reselling options available to us than any time before.

So why are companies starting to complain now, even though things are already tilted in their favour?

My guess is because they've just begun to taste what they can do with DRM and online passes and stuff, and they just want more.

MrBrightside919:
Oh lord...here we go again...

I really have trouble taking Dyack seriously after the two bombs Silicon Knights made, X-men Destiny and Too Human...

This, my first thought was "why are people listening to this chump?"

gigastar:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

Well actually if developers and publishers did get a cut from resales we might see the price come down again.

Though if they stayed the same, everything you said would be justified.

This excuse was used already. They said that online passes would help fight used games and would keep servers up longer. Which they don't. They won't drop the prices of games. Anyone who thinks they would is just lying to themselves. I almost never buy used games, but I'm all for them because it's used games that benefit the consumer the most. They exist because someone can offer them a product for cheaper with the same experience. To me that says they might sell more new games if the prices were cheaper.

I like how these arguments consistently neglect to take into account the growth of the demographic. There are a lot more people buying games new now than there were ten years ago.

rolfwesselius:

Lunar Templar:
i saw 'silicon knights' and my first thought was 'so .... a company that makes shitty games is bitching now? good for them, hate see them waste time on making a game of theirs good'

meh, just another dev whining about not getting the cut from a sale they have no claim to

Did you actually even read it?
He says that syndicated used games sellers like gamestop removed the possibility of long term sellers.
THAT IS A BAD THING.

i skimmed it.
well for them its bad, but then again, i pretty much just use steam now, so, i couldn't really care less about what ever lame 'rewording' they wanna use for they're crying over, again, 'not getting a cut of sale they have no claim to'

sides, with all the crap most devs and publishers pull on us, i find it hard to care when they start bitching like this

Kroxile:

rolfwesselius:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

They still sell games for full price on DD because they are forced to by retailers.
If CD projekt sold the witcher 2 on Gog.com for 40 dollars No store would store the hard copy.

Since you seemed to miss the future tense in which I wrote my post let me clarify.

When all games are digital downloads only publishers will still charge obnoxious sums of money. It won't matter.

But if we go digital only there will be more than just publishers.
Look at how indie games are doing and looking better and improving they will soon probably match AAA games.
If we go DD it will be good for everybody and the publishers will lose purpose.

gigastar:

Kroxile:
Bullshit.

The only thing that increases the cost of new videogames is greed. Plain, simple, cut, and dried.

When the medium does eventually go to digital distribution publishers will still charge $60+ dollars for their games. It won't matter. Piracy, Used Games, etc are just fall guys that these companies use to justify their greed and piss poor treatment of their customers.

Well actually if developers and publishers did get a cut from resales we might see the price come down again.

Though if they stayed the same, everything you said would be justified.

Why should they get a cut? In order for the game to be sold used it had to have been bought new at some point.

The publisher already got theirs. They have no right to anything after that. If you had a garage sale how would you feel if all the designers and creators of the stuff you were selling showed up demanding a cut of everything you sell?

As a couple others have already said: I find it hard to give a flying fuck that publishers and developers are crying about profits in an industry that has turned profits as much as this one has in the current economic situation.

If Dan Dyack wants revenue from used games sales, the NYSE tag for Gamestop is GME. It's about 25 bucks a share, and posted a 15 cent dividend per share last year.

Lunar Templar:

rolfwesselius:

Lunar Templar:
i saw 'silicon knights' and my first thought was 'so .... a company that makes shitty games is bitching now? good for them, hate see them waste time on making a game of theirs good'

meh, just another dev whining about not getting the cut from a sale they have no claim to

Did you actually even read it?
He says that syndicated used games sellers like gamestop removed the possibility of long term sellers.
THAT IS A BAD THING.

i skimmed it.
well for them its bad, but then again, i pretty much just use steam now, so, i couldn't really care less about what ever lame 'rewording' they wanna use for they're crying over, again, 'not getting a cut of sale they have no claim to'

sides, with all the crap most devs and publishers pull on us, i find it hard to care when they start bitching like this

But he said that digital distribution is a great thing!
He said that the loss of long term sales sucks and force publishers to sell allot of copies early.
But some dev's can survive on low selling over a long time but that has been stopped by gamestop.
Tough luck for them sell a million copies in a month or die! it goes now.
Steam is an example of selling in the long run.
Digital distribution returns the long term sales that the industry lost back in the early 2000's

Damn you Mr Chalk. Thanks to that Amazon link I'm ordering dirt cheap blu rays of T2 and The Thing and I find myself searching for more!

OT: Digital distribution would probably play a much larger role if they actually gave us more incentive to use it. Charging me the same price as a physical copy with no real bonus is ridiculous.

Kroxile:

Since you seemed to miss the future tense in which I wrote my post let me clarify.

When all games are digital downloads only publishers will still charge obnoxious sums of money. It won't matter.

And people won't buy it so they'll fall in price.

If they did that they would be fucking idiots like all the people attacking everyone who even dares to say anything against used games.

PC games don't have used games. Portal 2 fell from 40€ to 20€ in less than a year. A game without any way of second hand sales.

TsunamiWombat:

MrBrightside919:
Oh lord...here we go again...

I really have trouble taking Dyack seriously after the two bombs Silicon Knights made, X-men Destiny and Too Human...

This, my first thought was "why are people listening to this chump?"

I wouldn't call him a chump. His company has made good games in the past. Not sure why they aren't these days...

Lunar Templar:
i saw 'silicon knights' and my first thought was 'so .... a company that makes shitty games is bitching now? good for them, hate see them waste time on making a game of theirs good'

meh, just another dev whining about not getting the cut from a sale they have no claim to

Just to add to your point. "A company that got a huge government grant, made an incredibly shitty game with it and laid off a bunch of employees. (possibly pocketing the grant money because it sure as hell didn't go into the game?)" Anyways yeah, not a whole lot of respect for his opinion either.

I think a lot of people are missing the central fallacy of Dyack's argument, which is that game prices have gone up. They haven't. Maybe they haven't gone down, but neither has the price of gas, food, hookers or anything else we spend money on every day. A major, triple-A release cost me 60-70 bucks 25 years ago, and it costs me 60-70 bucks now. That's actually kind of amazing.

And the used games market may be bigger than ever now, but back in Dyack's imaginary future, PC game rentals were a thing too. Can you imagine someone trying such a thing now? The market has changed, absolutely, but this constant worry about its imminent collapse, when all measurable indicators say that the videogame industry has never been healthier, leaves me baffled.

TheKasp:

Kroxile:

Since you seemed to miss the future tense in which I wrote my post let me clarify.

When all games are digital downloads only publishers will still charge obnoxious sums of money. It won't matter.

And people won't buy it so they'll fall in price.

If they did that they would be fucking idiots like all the people attacking everyone who even dares to say anything against used games.

PC games don't have used games. Portal 2 fell from 40€ to 20€ in less than a year. A game without any way of second hand sales.

Hrhr, ad hominem makes you smart.

Really, though... you underestimate the stupidity of gamers? Have you missed all the "boycotts" that only turned around and made record sales?

Where have you been during the entirety of the Call of Duty franchise? Hell, how about Madden?

Yeah, gamers are pretty stupid with their money and spineless to boot. Don't think that for one second that the publishers don't know that.

When a good company, like Atlus, says something...let me know.

Crappy companies can go bone themselves.

Kroxile:

Hrhr, ad hominem makes you smart.

Really, though... you underestimate the stupidity of gamers? Have you missed all the "boycotts" that only turned around and made record sales?

Where have you been during the entirety of the Call of Duty franchise? Hell, how about Madden?

Yeah, gamers are pretty stupid with their money and spineless to boot. Don't think that for one second that the publishers don't know that.

Let's be fair: Unlike CoD Madden changes stuff from iteration to iteration. And be it just a graphical overhaul and change in mechanics (CoD did not have the first in it's last game).

Well, many gamers are spineless. But on the other hand, many are not. Franchises like CoD will keep their prices (like they also do on Steam), other franchises with less idiotic fanbase will go down in price to keep the sales high (like about every game that is not CoD on Steam. Hell, Batman AC could be aqquired for 50% off several times now. Many publisher already realised that keeping prices high won't keep the profit high (or even get it high).

Wow, I thought Yahtzee was just cracking jokes when he described Too Human as, "The game Silicon Knights have been making instead of Eternal Darkness II, possibly out of a crippling fear of money and success." But no, apparently he was spot-on, and they really are that dumb.

Andy Chalk:
Videogames used to have a long tail, he explained, which meant that a game put on the market could maintain decent sales and generate revenues for several years. But the rise of used games effectively destroyed that aspect of the business, meaning that games must now earn the vast majority of their money within the first three months of release, and publishers who might otherwise thrive on relatively flat but steady "recurring revenue" suffer as a result.

If I'm not mistaken, these are the very same geniuses who claimed to absolutely loathe having their titles put on the ten dollar rack -- in other words, the very same "long tail" they now wax nostalgic about.

News Flash, Bernanke: I almost never buy used games, principally because they're overpriced. I could get the new game for $60.00, or the used copy for $55.00. Are you fscking kidding me? A lousy 10% discount is what you get on new merchandise on obscure holidays like Arbor Day, not on a second-hand copy of unknown provenance.

I don't know how to solve the GameStop problem, either, but an excellent first step would be to acknowledge that your problem is GameStop and is not used games themselves.

Dyack did state that he thinks "digital distribution is going to play a big role in things to come" but even at the retail level, new game prices have stayed virtually flat for at least a quarter-century.

Okay, this is just a flat-out lie. I remember new games going for $30.00 less than 20 years ago. Then they nudged up to $40.00, then $50.00, and now here we are at $60.00. Even adjusted for inflation, that's nowhere close to flat.

So the console market could be like the PC market, where there is no used market and where the prices are going up to match console game prices. This guy is living in a fantasy world where companies would pass on to the consumer the saving they made by not having a used market. Never going to happen.

It's funny since your company has yet to MAKE a game that's WORTH $60.

Notice that you can't make a used game out of a digital copy. So why are we still paying high prices for them? By this logic a full move to digital distribution (which will happen eventually) would mean a price drop (greater than that which we should already expect due to lowered distribution costs). Well here's hoping...

 Pages 1 2 3 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here