Epic President Dumps On Used Games, Piracy

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Epic President Dumps On Used Games, Piracy

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Epic Games President Michael Capps says the reason you're not seeing Gears of War 2 on the PC is - get ready for a shocker - piracy and the used game market.

In an interview with GamesIndustry, Capps said the used game market is a "huge issue" in the U.S., which has resulted in the growing trend toward activation codes and installation limits. "We don't make any money when someone rents it, and we don't make any money when someone buys it used," he said. "Way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it."

He's reluctant to blame gamers for the popularity of the second-hard market, although he does point out that Epic has a "rule" against its employees buying used games. He also comes very close to equating used game sales with piracy, saying, "If people are playing games without buying them, then the games aren't going to keep coming."

"I think a little bit of it is education so people realize that the reason there's no PC market right now is piracy," Capps said. "I mean, Crytek just put out some numbers saying the ratio was 20:1 on Crysis, for pirated to non-pirated use. So guess what? That's why there's no Gears of War 2 on PC, because there's no market, because copying killed it - and that's gruesome to a company like ours that's been in the PC market for so long."

Perhaps his most interesting statement refers to legitimate used game sales, which he readily admits is the most profitable part of the videogame retailing business. "Our primary retailer [GameStop, perhaps?] makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales," he said, "And so you're starting to see games taking proactive steps toward that by... if you buy the retail version you get the unlock code."

Why would Capps support actions that are essentially designed to punish his "primary retailer?" Digital distribution is growing by leaps and bounds but it's still far from ready to assume dominance over regular retail sales, yet Capps doesn't sound too worried about cutting his main distribution point off at the knees. Profit margins on new games and gaming hardware are incredibly tight, and unless that changes no game retailer is going to survive without rentals and used game sales. Why does this seem so hard to understand?

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OK, Seriously??!!

I'm sorry to say it but Capps is a fucking idiotic tool.

The second hand games market is much larger for console games then it is for computer games. And please can some more developers get this into their heads? Piracy is not the problem you make it out to be! Yes it's bad, but no way near as bad as everyone makes it out to be. 95% of people pirating the game would never have bought it in the first place so they aren't really losing a substantial amount of income.

And there are better ways to combat piracy, there are success stories out there. Learn from them!

Capps needs to sit down,stop drinking the Crytek kool-aid and ride the brumak with Ted Price back into reality.

What he means is: The PC market oustside of Steam is impossible. We can't compete against their near non existent distribution costs, so we're not going to bother and blame piracy. Look, here's that figure Crytek plucked out of thin air to back me up.

I believe that's pretty reasonable really.
If I created a game who I was selling, I would probably too be pretty pissed if more than half of it's users were playing pirated versions.

It's quite a clever move to not sell in on PC.

Right it's the piracy, not the fact that most games out there are mediocre piles of shit. Not to knock on consolers, but a lot of the stuff on the console lacks the depth we would have seen on the pc 5 years ago. So they see the consolers eating that shit up and think they can put out the same mediocrity in the pc world.

Just stop making generic pieces of crap for the masses.

Simski:
It's quite a clever move to not sell in on PC.

Not really, they're opting out of a market because they feel too many people stole it. Given that they have no way to accurately measure the number of games pirated (nor does anyone else for that matter) they can just create a figure that sounds really bad and hope they are believed.

I think it has more to with Gears 1's mediocre PC sale, since much like Halo when it arrived on Pc it didn't seemed very special at all.

I can't remember the last time that I saw a shop that rented out PC games...

I guess those companies that manage to turn a profit on PC exclusives escaped his notice.

PC games are never rented and PC games are never sold used. I know that I'm generalising it a bit, but I am a whole lot more correct than he is right now.

Simski:

It's quite a clever move to not sell in on PC.

That's clever? You're being sarcastic, I hope?

First of all, I've never even seen a Gamestop that sold used PC games, has anyone else? I even worked at one for a month and I never saw it happen. Secondly, why aren't people up in arms about Xbox 360 piracy? Is it a trend they're going to ignore until it's too late? Do they have a plan for that? If they're that concerned with it, why not only release it for the PS3?

Just not releasing a title for PC is anything but clever. It's idiotic and it's a trend that can ultimately go nowhere.

I'm going to give you guys some copypasta from shacknews:

Personally, I find this ridiculous. While retail secondhand sales are pretty shady and deplorable, selling games secondhand is not a real problem.

Look at the music industry. They are whining about pirating, but they don't give two craps about secondhand CD sales. And if anyone has a real problem with the loss of sales due to secondhand stores like GrayWhale, they are sure not piping up about it.

Epic's method of capturing "first sales" is.... okayish.... however, they have guaranteed broken map to map online experiences because of it. It's either "SEE YA!" if you bought the game off eBay or something, or online people simply don't play the maps anymore because half of the people playing won't have them. Personally, I see this restriction on the Flashback Pack going away within 12 months.

If developers want to do this to attract first-sale buyers for a month or two after a game comes out, I see no problem with that. However, saying "Hey you! Pay $20 if you want to see the end of the game!" seems to me like "Hey buddy, I know you bought this car from your neighbor, but you're going to have to pay 100% more than you paid for the car to be able to drive it. Sorry! Should have bought new!!"

This kind of attitude is what turns people off to developers anyway. This disconnection from what everyday, casual gamers are dealing with only makes it seem like our industry is even more stuck up and snobby than it needs to be.

In my opinion, every game developer should be trying to connect with their fan base on a regular basis by any means necessary. The farther a developer gets from "We love games" and into "We make games", the lower the quality of their games gets and then we start to see whining about piracy and secondhand sales.

Thank you "Sir_Brizz"

fix-the-spade:

Simski:
It's quite a clever move to not sell in on PC.

Not really, they're opting out of a market because they feel too many people stole it. Given that they have no way to accurately measure the number of games pirated (nor does anyone else for that matter) they can just create a figure that sounds really bad and hope they are believed.

I think it has more to with Gears 1's mediocre PC sale, since much like Halo when it arrived on Pc it didn't seemed very special at all.

Surely they measured it a way other than guessing.
Why would the number matter to us anyway, it's their choice not ours.
If they're that terribly wrong about the number, then they'll just have to blame themselves for missing out on these sales.
I trust they know what they're doing... not that it matters to me really.

Also if the Pc sale of the first gears on PC was mediocre, then why risk it again?
I will still say that it's a clever move.

runtheplacered:

Simski:

It's quite a clever move to not sell in on PC.

That's clever? You're being sarcastic, I hope?

First of all, I've never even seen a Gamestop that sold used PC games, has anyone else? I even worked at one for a month and I never saw it happen. Secondly, why aren't people up in arms about Xbox 360 piracy? Is it a trend they're going to ignore until it's too late? Do they have a plan for that? If they're that concerned with it, why not only release it for the PS3?

Just not releasing a title for PC is anything but clever. It's idiotic and it's a trend that can ultimately go nowhere.

Don't know about gamestop, don't have them around here where I live...

Never the less, 360 piracy is most likely alot less of a concern than PC piracy.
Why?
Because 360 piracy is firstly terribly risky as it gets you banned if you're caught, secondly it's much more complicated than regular PC piracy.

Also I doubt they'd switch from Microsoft to Sony just like that.

Nimbus:
PC games are never rented and PC games are never sold used. I know that I'm generalising it a bit, but I am a whole lot more correct than he is right now.

I rarely see PC games sold used except on eBay and Amazon, and never see them available for rent. The model for the larger games tends to be sell full price for a while, then re-release as a budget edition a year or so down the line - this way the publishers and developers do see some money from the people who are unwilling to pay full price but still willing to buy the game.

Skrapt:
OK, Seriously??!!

I'm sorry to say it but Capps is a fucking idiotic tool.

The second hand games market is much larger for console games then it is for computer games. And please can some more developers get this into their heads? Piracy is not the problem you make it out to be! Yes it's bad, but no way near as bad as everyone makes it out to be. 95% of people pirating the game would never have bought it in the first place so they aren't really losing a substantial amount of income.

And there are better ways to combat piracy, there are success stories out there. Learn from them!

It is true about the 95% of pirates not buying or not even playing the game for more then an hour or so.
GIVE US FREAKING DEMO VERSIONS TO SEE THE FREAKING GAME YOU HYPED FOR 2 YEARS OR SO AND YOU WILL SEE PIRATING DECREASE.

Oh look, It's the ol' insert a statistic someone pulled out their ass to make my argument seem valid trick.

Funny how if I tried to pull that I'd fail the project or paper I'm writing, while he gains credibility with all the uninformed nitwits that take a company Presidents words as that of a god.

*faceplam*

So apparently everybody at Epic has their heads up their butts from success.

Epic Games has become the Metallica of game developers - it doesn't matter what the actual quality of their product is, they've become such pompous jackholes that we wish a Brumak would sodomize them just to shut them the fook up!

I'm currently playing thru Gears of War 2 and it is quite impressive. However, this does nothing for the fact that UT3 was a half-assed, unfun, bugfest that was unstable at launch and totally broken and useless now on my PC. It was the worst $50 I spent in 2007 and Dude Huge, Tim Rein and everyone else at Epic needs to get stuffed IMNSHO for their arrogant laziness. Screw 'em!

There are two ways for game devs to act and Epic is doing the wrong one. The first is to treat the gamer as a valued customer to whom they are dedicated in providing a quality product, assured in the knowledge that they will be appreciated for their good will and rewarded with purchases. The other way is to treat the gamer as a thieving parasite who should be thankful that the dev is even bothering to make them something to play. Then they bitch, piss and moan about how people are trying to save a few bucks by buying used and that they DESERVE that money, too. "GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!", is the motto of these tools who resent retailers and gamers for wanting to make or save a buck.

Simski:

Never the less, 360 piracy is most likely alot less of a concern than PC piracy.
Why?
Because 360 piracy is firstly terribly risky as it gets you banned if you're caught, secondly it's much more complicated than regular PC piracy.

Also I doubt they'd switch from Microsoft to Sony just like that.

He wasn't talking about piracy. In fact, only one paragraph even had a mention of piracy.

Nimbus:

Simski:

Never the less, 360 piracy is most likely alot less of a concern than PC piracy.
Why?
Because 360 piracy is firstly terribly risky as it gets you banned if you're caught, secondly it's much more complicated than regular PC piracy.

Also I doubt they'd switch from Microsoft to Sony just like that.

He wasn't talking about piracy. In fact, only one paragraph even had a mention of piracy.

What?

Are you talking about OP or the guy I was responding to?
The guy I was responding to complained about piracy so I responded with why I believe they don't care much about it.

I don't know anything about gamestop because we don't have them around here,
I responded to his question of "Why don't they just change it to ps3" with the simple statement that, it would be of of them to just leave Microsoft like that.

And I didn't respond to the last phrase because it was a mere opinion that I rather ignore.

Now... what the hell are you talking about?

Steam does seem to be the way forward, such tiny distribution costs compared with packaging, burning the discs, paying for SECUROM or other DRM designed to stop people buying your game anyway, getting it to stores, then months later, dealing with the returns, scratched discs, misprinted cd keys, etc.

With Steam its 'Here's $30, oh my new game is on the way, and it'll just work'.

I know there's people still anti steam, but when it comes to distributing a game cheaply and low risk, surely its one of the better ways forward.

I have to ask, why do we only hear from the huge successful companies about how piracy is destroying them, seems smaller companies are too busy knocking out good cheap games that work and just taking the money, instead of complaining that they're losing 95% of a mystical sum of money that never existed.

Introversion, the Darwinia guys, they KNOW Darwinia and Uplink and the like got the hell pirated out of them, but they still sold, and once it hit steam, sold well, too. They've probably lost tens of thousands to piracy, but they prefer to look to the sales, not the imagined losses. They're not happy about piracy, who would be , about having your creation stolen from you, but they're still queueing up more to come and say the PC is their favourite platform. (Go buy Multiwinia!).

Lets not forget Popcap, Bigfish Games etc, are all doing just fine too, despite games like Bejeweled and Peggle being on just about every PC in the world. In fact because of that, because if 1% of people who had played peggle paid for it, they're doing ok for cash! ( was a masterstroke , slipping it into the Orange Box, too.)

Yes, piracy hurts the industry, yes piracy loses the games company money, I agree.

To stop releasing games on PC because piracy happens is like disconnecting from the internet forever because you got rickrolled. There's bad things out there, there's lot more good stuff, like honest game players who want to buy your game (but maybe don't want to have to move into EA's offices and play it with a security guard watching when they do want to play it).

As for second hand PC games, I'd be amazed if more than say, 5% of all PC games see a second person. What they seem to be getting at is 'here, look at this new game, try it out while you're here, mate' and going 'omg he's played it, he owes us $50'.

Also, as the above guy stated, demos, don't hide it behind the hype and expect us to hand over sizable piles of cash blind, let us see what we're getting.

Also, recently.

On Steam, weekend offer.

GTA1,2,3,Vice City, San Andreas all together, about £20.

That's how you deal with old games that you don't want to see end up in the second hand market.

I think the second hand market can be good anyway, someone picking up up 3, or VC, for example, may well pick up 4 for their new machine.

I think this could be the first steps down a path to no big games coming out for PC from the big publishers, unless they can Steam them.

Of course, this could be a blessing in disguise, do we really need a team of 50 people working on sound in a game? Do we need to spend $10 million making a single game?

I see a lot of people saying the Crytek number is wrong. Did Crytek not give that number out? If Crytek doesn't know their own usage numbers, who does? Why are we doubting them?

Andraste:
I see a lot of people saying the Crytek number is wrong. Did Crytek not give that number out? If Crytek doesn't know their own usage numbers, who does? Why are we doubting them?

Because wishing will make it so.

Most of those objecting strenuously are heavily-invested in PC gaming themselves and don't like any argument used that doesn't reward PC use. Specious or not, these guys are going to challenge anything that challenges their hobby.

Conversely both Crytek and Epic have vested interests in making piracy loom large, so I can understand some skepticism of their use of figures without some impartial references used to fact-check.

-- Steve

All I have to say to Epic and companies like them who complain, "stop whingin' and cheer the fuck up!"

Cookie for anyone who gets the reference, chocolate chip if you know the actor or character.

Anton P. Nym:

Andraste:
I see a lot of people saying the Crytek number is wrong. Did Crytek not give that number out? If Crytek doesn't know their own usage numbers, who does? Why are we doubting them?

Conversely both Crytek and Epic have vested interests in making piracy loom large, so I can understand some skepticism of their use of figures without some impartial references used to fact-check.

-- Steve

Mostly this, It sounds far-fetched.

Who knows? Maybe it's true and I'm underestimating the number of pirates. I'm open to the possibility, but I expect some facts or data to back it up, not just another statistic put out by a company that has something to gain by making piracy look bigger then it is.

Crytek and Epic are full of shit. Crytek in the past just guestimated numbers on piracy with no proof.

DRM is just further nonsense, they blame piracy to cover up the fact its really used to stop second-hand sales with the install limits. Many retailers used to do second-hand PC games, but hardly any do it now.

Even if a game has a dozen install limits they won't take it because they don't know how many have been used. This stops the game being sold again and now they are looking to do it for the consoles also.

Greedy lazy fucks.

all i can say is i wished i would have bought gears 2 used, as it sure as hell is not worth the $64 i paied for it.

maybe $40 maybe, but i do think this is the last "epic" game i buy they "epic" are not as good as they hype themselves to be, out of all the games that came out in the last 30 days or so ( i bought them all. Fable2 fallout3 farcry2 gears2 WaW ) gears2 does not even make it in my top ten for the last 5 year. it certenly is not even worth a mention for GOTY.

in short they should just be happy that people buy their games, if it wasnt for these people then they really would not have anything to bitch about as they would be out of business.

Andraste:
I see a lot of people saying the Crytek number is wrong. Did Crytek not give that number out? If Crytek doesn't know their own usage numbers, who does? Why are we doubting them?

Hmm giving out a number is good; Telling how they came up with that number is even better; I mean how did they measure that?

On a side note::
I can't wait until someone comes up with the idea "Games as services"

DirkBelig:
Epic Games has become the Metallica of game developers - it doesn't matter what the actual quality of their product is, they've become such pompous jackholes that we wish a Brumak would sodomize them just to shut them the fook up!

There are two ways for game devs to act and Epic is doing the wrong one. The first is to treat the gamer as a valued customer to whom they are dedicated in providing a quality product, assured in the knowledge that they will be appreciated for their good will and rewarded with purchases. The other way is to treat the gamer as a thieving parasite who should be thankful that the dev is even bothering to make them something to play. Then they bitch, piss and moan about how people are trying to save a few bucks by buying used and that they DESERVE that money, too. "GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!", is the motto of these tools who resent retailers and gamers for wanting to make or save a buck.

Agreed.

I've already said this in another thread of similar subjects, but game developers/distributors don't seem to grasp consumer rights or what they're really selling.

A single purchased copy of any game, can be played by as many people as the purchaser will allow on his computer. The purchase legally entitles one game to be played, and has no restrictions on how many people, only that the one copy can only allow one person at a time, except in cases of hotseat multiplayer.

Therefore, if 100,000 people bought Gears of War 2, and 200,000 people played it, only 100,000 X-Boxes were running the disc at any given time, so there's no legal or even ethical grounds to gripe. There is no obligation that everyone who plays owns their own copy, even less so on consoles. These fuckwits in the games industry honestly believe a family with three children should be required to buy three copies of each game if all the kids are to play it, and that my friends, is not a reasonable thing to do, and the law backs our side of that situation.

Khell_Sennet:
I've already said this in another thread of similar subjects, but game developers/distributors don't seem to grasp consumer rights or what they're really selling.

A single purchased copy of any game, can be played by as many people as the purchaser will allow on his computer. The purchase legally entitles one game to be played, and has no restrictions on how many people, only that the one copy can only allow one person at a time, except in cases of hotseat multiplayer.

Therefore, if 100,000 people bought Gears of War 2, and 200,000 people played it, only 100,000 X-Boxes were running the disc at any given time, so there's no legal or even ethical grounds to gripe. There is no obligation that everyone who plays owns their own copy, even less so on consoles. These fuckwits in the games industry honestly believe a family with three children should be required to buy three copies of each game if all the kids are to play it, and that my friends, is not a reasonable thing to do, and the law backs our side of that situation.

For now...

Hopefully game companies won't be able to sponsor legislation to change all that in the future, but you never know.

Sirisaxman:

Khell_Sennet:

Therefore, if 100,000 people bought Gears of War 2, and 200,000 people played it, only 100,000 X-Boxes were running the disc at any given time, so there's no legal or even ethical grounds to gripe. There is no obligation that everyone who plays owns their own copy, even less so on consoles. These fuckwits in the games industry honestly believe a family with three children should be required to buy three copies of each game if all the kids are to play it, and that my friends, is not a reasonable thing to do, and the law backs our side of that situation.

For now...

Hopefully game companies won't be able to sponsor legislation to change all that in the future, but you never know.

Keep pirating so that they won't have the money to lobby our politicians!

But then again the politicians might be angry at the American people for not allowing the game companies to lobby to them.

GTA1,2,3,Vice City, San Andreas all together, about £20.

That's how you deal with old games that you don't want to see end up in the second hand market.

Thank you!

Also, is steam legal?

Then they bitch, piss and moan about how people are trying to save a few bucks by buying used and that they DESERVE that money, too. "GIMME GIMME GIMME!!!", is the motto of these tools who resent retailers and gamers for wanting to make or save a buck.

The thing is that, when we save a buck, they get nothing. I don't know how much a game maker gets from a new sale of a 60$ game,but even if it's 10$, we're saving 5$ if we're buying from their primary retailer and they lose 10, is that fair?

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