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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:47 PM »
By Michael Lowell
Published on November 1, 2010; rewritten and republished on March 30, 2012


http://www.the-ghetto.org/content/used-video-games-the-new-software-piracy
Quote
See, software piracy is the father figure of dead horses.  It’s been responsible for the impending death of the software industry since 1980.  Unless someone can find a way to control and monopolize software distribution (and also convince governments to begin shooting suspected software pirates), software piracy will exist on some level.  (Hell, even as the client-server game model grows in popularity, a game model that makes piracy and emulation of software exceptionally difficult, people still have full faith in their overlords to get them their unlicensed software.  It may take some time, but they can do it.)  In a universe where your mom can visit ThePirateBay and watch her favorite shows for free, a lot of people don’t believe her downloading habits constitute a lost sale.  Even those that think it does cannot agree on a price tag, so software creators have mostly lost the debate.  What about used video game sales?  That’s has a value, and from February 2009 to January 2010, GameStop sold 2.4 billion dollars worth.*  The video game industry has one thought on their mind: “That could be our money!”  And hey, what’s some bad publicity at the chance to either pilfer that lucrative side-market or eliminate it, leaving consumers to spend that money on new games?

So anyway, how did used games steal software piracy’s crown as king of the bogeymen?  All you need to do is follow the history of the medium.  Follow the twenty-plus-year history of second-hand retail.  Follow the integration of used game sales into the strategy of the de-facto choice for American video game retail.  Follow the game industry’s talking heads as they scrambled to profit from the dirty secret.  Follow where it could (and probably will) lead.  Let’s talk story time.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 11:53:35 AM by MichaelJLowell »
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PIES

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:56 PM »
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 3:07 a.m.

Genetic control. Information control. Emotion control. Battlefield control.

And he who controls the battlefield, controls history. War has changed. When the battlefield is under total control, war… becomes routine.

But anyway, “Three months later, Epic Games designed Cliff Bleszinski” Should be designer :P There as also a another typo or so that I found, but can’t remember where it is.

Good read though. Had no idea about some of the things these companies tried to do.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:40:14 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Casualty

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:56 PM »
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 5:42 a.m.

Too bad I sold my Starcraft 2 for 45 bucks AHOOOOYYYY!

They can keep trying but with the crap they release it is too hard not to pirate and or resale. Now when I play a good game that I get online for free I will buy said game(New Vegas). The yarg is doing them a service in letting people “rent” games.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:40:27 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Kelly

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:56 PM »
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 5:59 p.m.

My only issue with GameStop is that they only sell the used copy for $5 less when the game is still new. As it is only $5 more, I prefer to buy the new copy because that money does go to the creators. Then the GameStop employee tells me at the counter that I can get it used for $5 less. Then he asks me if I want to preorer anything. Then after I say no he starts naming specific things, like I might have forgotten about something. Then he wants he asks me if I’m a member and if I want to sign up, and then………

For the most part, if the game is still new and readily available, I buy new. But I love the used game market as it allows to me to find games that are otherwise unavailable. Buying a used game by a company that hasn’t made a new copy of it in 5 years is no loss to them.

The video game industry these days is finding so many ways to force every individual who wants to play their games to buy their own individual copy. my biggest complaint being games that lack split screen. If 4 friends want to play, they each have to have their own copy. Eliminates the days when only one friend had to buy Goldeneye for all of us to play.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:40:41 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Kelly

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:56 PM »
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 8:40 p.m.

Looking back I realize that last paragraph as is has little to do with the story, as each friend could buy a used copy… Unless, of course, you had to buy a code to allow the used game to played online.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:40:56 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Kelly

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 2, 2010 at 9:02 p.m.

You need an edit button so I can add things straight to the old comment :p

From the Gamasutra article on the EA’s pay-to-play-used-games-online:

” ‘People know bandwidth isn’t free, so the fact that we’re diffusing online costs isn’t seen as unreasonable.’

Brown said he saw charging used purchasers for online access partially as a way to combat used game sales and partially as a way to recoup costs associated with operating gameplay servers. ‘At least we know we’re being paid for the access to those servers,’ Brown said.”

From the comment box:

“If you sell a new copy for $60 to two people who both use the code and one person hates the game and sells it and someone else buys it and pays $10 extra to get the same functionality as the first person who bought the game new is enjoying. The problem is no matter what there will always only be two people online which means they already got the money needed to keep up with “Server Costs” since no one new is connecting its still only two people and they made an extra $10 dollars for no added bonus than the person who bought it with the code gets. (in case that wasn’t clear the original purchase should have covered all online costs for that copy of the game disc regardless of who controls it).

This is greed in pure form covered in a ‘We have extra costs we need to get paid…’ the first person to buy the game paid in full for that game to be online ALL THE TIME regardless of who is actually holding the controller.”

Point goes to the commenter.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:41:13 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

GameDrop

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

Everything has an inherent resale value. If I buy a car from Ford, and then in a few years I sell it, Ford doesn’t get a dime, and they shouldn’t. I bought the car from them; I’m not leasing it, and I’m not about to pay a tax to the original owner when I sell or trade it in a few years.

Digital media is on a very slippery slope; EULAs, lack of digital media, eroding of first-sale doctrine. And why does it work? Because the target market is now made up of millenials who may or may not understand what they are agreeing to when they sign up for iTunes, but more importantly, just DON’T CARE.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:41:27 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

GameGuuyPeter

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 7:14 p.m.

This is a fantastic piece. I’ve always wanted to put something together that showcased the industry’s move from acceptance of the used game market to its recent turn towards eradicating it.

The scary part is that the industry has a very good chance of winning any court case and the used game market will never be the same.

I can say that I have multiple tours of duty in gaming retail… working as a Funco manager, a GameStop keyholder, and in independent gaming retail. FuncoLand had it right. In the late 90s, they were the example; game demo kiosks, the ability to try out new games before buying, and presenting a wide array of platform choices. Under the GS regime, it’s a lot different. There’s no balance between the company and the customer anymore. Much like the general mood of the video game industry in this generation, it’s about the bottom line here and now… and customer experience is nowhere near the top priority it once was.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:41:39 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Mike Lowell

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 3, 2010 at 11:39 p.m.

@Casualty: What you’re talking about is the major issue for both piracy AND used video games. If you price the games reasonably, neither will happen in the numbers where they threaten your business model. Of course, none of this takes account for a terrible economy, which is wreaking havoc more than anything right now.

@Kelly: Oh, GameStop is quite complicit in perpetuating the used game cycle. They’ve made ridiculous amounts of money off of it. But that’s what I was hoping to address with the article: If this is such a horrible problem that it threatens the stability of the pay-to-own game model, why did you only begin to object to used video games after nearly twenty years of them?

As I also mentioned, “upkeep” is a bullshit excuse. Especially when it pertains to the modern online gaming model. You can’t strip consumers of the right to use the client-server model for their games, strip them of the ability to emulate their services, and then claim “we can’t make ends with online play unless you do X, and Y, and Z.” Developer/consumer relations do not work that way.

And as far as your request to allow you to edit comments, that would require a log-in system. If people would be interested in that (or if the amount of comments grows to a point where it’s simply necessary), I’d be okay with it.

@GameGuuyPeter: Thanks for the input. I actually decided to write this article the day of Louis Castle’s “retailers are thieves” and “Louis Castle announced announced his Guitar Hero knock-off” tirades. That set me off.

I personally have no experience going to FuncoLand (grew up on a Babbage’s that turned into an Electronics Boutique), but I had a friend who used to regularly get the catalogs. I figured most people who currently game don’t remember the days of competing retailers. Actually had to do a lot of research to find out about FuncoLand’s older days. Pleasantly surprised to see I got so many good leads.

And I absolutely agree with you on GameStop. I regularly go in there, but I haven’t bought a video game there since Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia came out. Got tired of them trying to hock all their purchases and when I was trying to make one at the counter. I considered trying to pick up a job (as much as a learning experience as anything), but I am not a “I’ll say whatever needs to be said to make a sale in order to protect my minimum wage job” kind of guy. Lots of people are, I’m not.

I wouldn’t shed a tear of GameStop went out of business tomorrow. But that doesn’t entitle the rest of the video game industry to victimize one company’s meal ticket because they’ve JUST DECIDED second-hand sales are an issue.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:42:48 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Kelly

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
@GameDrop:

Man, could you imagine what would have happened if when the Big Three Autos nearly collapsed they had gone after used car sales?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:43:01 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Mike Lowell

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 3:23 a.m.

@Kelly: I do get the point you’re making (though there obviously would have been no legal basis for banning the resale of automobiles). The only reason this is even up for debate is that computer software law is still such a new field and the distribution method that’s thrown many service industries into upheaval (the internet) is so new itself. It’s really only because “it’s gaming” that people aren’t up in arms about this.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:43:36 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Starshaped

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 3:39 a.m.

TL;DR

Just kidding, ’twas a good read.

^_^
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:43:52 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Kelly

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.

Gamers gotta defend themselves.

On another note, if companies want used game sales abolished so badly, the logical move is towards the digital distribution system. I buy a game and it is tied to my account and my console. I am unable to sell the game. I am unable to let my friends borrow it. I can’t even give it away for free. The only way I could would be to let my friends borrow my PS3, which is NOT happening. The only way for another individual to acquire a copy is to buy his own.

It is because of these reasons I do not prefer the method when it comes to console games. However, I do like downloading games on PSP, as it means carrying less stuff around (Why carry 10 UMDs when I can have those same games on my memory stick?)

However, digital distribution on consoles would be more favorable without a physical media to cannibalise. Games released on PSP as digital only are always cheaper then games that also have UMDs, because companies do not want to cannibalise their UMD sales with cheaper downloads. But I am not going to download a game for $40 when I can buy the UMD for the same price, and sell it later to recoup some of the costs. If companies were willing to sell full titles as download only for $30-40, I would buy them. I would only make about $20-30 dollars off of a resale anyways, so I haven’t lost anything. All I have is the regret that that game I bought that absolutely sucks will forever be attached to my account.

The method has already proven successful with Steam. If they really want used games gone that bad, then this makes sense as a logical move.

Eliminate used game sales, and don’t even have to go to court over it.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:44:08 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

AAA

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:57 PM »
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 2:00 p.m.

To note a few points:

“What we saw when we did the online charge for the second purchaser of UFC was we found a pretty good attach rate – it [author's emphasis added] confirmed our suspicion that there are a lot of people participating in used games,”

I read that as: “We found out that many people who actually bought our game, didn’t enjoy it as much that they would’ve wanted to keep it”.

As for a reply to “My only issue with GameStop is that they only sell the used copy for $5 less when the game is still new. As it is only $5 more, I prefer to buy the new copy because that money does go to the creators. Then the GameStop employee tells me at the counter that I can get it used for $5 less.”

I would like to note that in this point one should be smart enought to ask HOW MANY copies does the shop has as used games; if there is a very high concentration of the used games of a new game, that might actually indicate that the game is not actually worth buying as people do not want to keep it even if it counts as “new”.

And for piracy, and especially the current state of BNet, I would like to bring up the fact that people prefer to buy something better that they can’t have for free; if the battlenet sucks, and the alternative free online network is better, they would prefer to download the pirated copy that allows them to enter the better network that is not as limited and has the features the paid version does not have (and probably some will buy a copy of blizzard games as to clear their guilt, but still, where there are more opportunities, there are more users). I myself had considered of buying the SC2 after the prices come down, but as from what I’ve heard, I am not so willing to do that anymore.

In short: There is something called a quality/price median, that usually helps to decide if one withes to buy the product, and as for the current prices of new games, well, they have no resell value, and are more or less copies of the old themes, so I see no reason to buy “new” games… Still, on my Steam account, there are a load of interesting games that I have bought (with no resell value, and in danger to losing them all when valve collapses), but most of them are cheap indie titles with a proper nostalgic value, or with fresh new ideas, so why should I buy NHL 2K12 at full price if I had the 2K10 when I could have 5 to 10 games with all new fresh ideas instead for that price? (besides I don’t even like sports, and so I don’t own even the 2K10 or any other of that matter… I liked the Nintendo World cup tough. I wonder where I’ve put the cartridge).
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:44:24 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Lynn

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 7:09 p.m.

This was an interesting read. I’ve been on all possible sides of the debate. I’ve been a gamer, a EB Games/ Gamestop employee. and I currently work in the industry- and in the past worked for THQ, one of the publishers that now charge for online play on their used games.

I originally worked at EB that was then converted into a Gamestop. I’ve never liked Gamestop. I’m not really sure where to begin. I guess the first problem is that it was putting the retailers I did like out of business. The “real” game places. The ones that have them all, like even the older stuff. Where the employees where that they want and don’t push sales. It’s hard for those places to compete when Gamestop gets all buddy-buddy with the publishers who promise exclusive in game content . What’s even worse is Gamestops are poorly managed and often 1) don’t give their employees enough hours 2) stress their employees out because they don’t have enough time to get what they need to do done 3) don’t pay their employees enough- especially those who are only SGAs doing assistant manager work with out the pay or benefits. I worked at 3 separate stores over the years… it was like that at all of them. I can’t support a place that treats its employees like shit. Also- treats their customers like shit. Employees have sales goals. I know. And if you go to buy a game we have a used copy of giant red text saying “WE HAVE THIS USED” pops up, and makes sure that you really wanted to sell the new… we’re supposed to actively talk people out of buying the new stuff and buying the used stuff. To the point where customers get annoyed. I get they make more money off used… but irritating customers is never good business practices. Additionally, their used game prices are WAY TOO HIGH.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to rant about GameStop there.

As a gamer, I appreciate that used game sells can offer me lower prices, I really do. But I don’t really buy used unless I’m looking for a rare game or something not being pressed anymore. And sure, new games cost a lot. But, they cost a lot to make. They can be in development for years. Programmers aren’t cheap. Having a large QA staff to ensure a product is of quality isn’t cheap. I mean, like I said… it’s not like you’re getting a steal at GamesStop… why not spend the extra $5 to just support the studios? Is it really that big of a deal? I mean if $5 is making that big of a difference you probably shouldn’t buy a game anyway.

Finally, as a developer… I understand the frustration. It is sort of sucky when you work hard to make something that you want people to buy and then you walk into GameStop and see someone buying a used copy of your game. It’s like your work is being given away. I actually think the online code thing is a nice compromise. But maybe I’m just a jaded employee who’s been laid off before and will do anything to ensure that I get to keep my job I have now.

And legally it’s interesting. I don’t think used car analogy is a good example. You’re paying for the right to play the IP. So, in a way it’s like riding in a taxi. You aren’t paying for the car, but paying for a ride in the car. But you can’t turn around and sell the taxi. You paid for the transportation, not the car itself. Can you legally sell your right to play an IP to someone else?

I’m not saying used games are ruining the industry… but they probably aren’t helping.

@AAA: Oh- and one more thing. You said
“I would like to note that in this point one should be smart enought to ask HOW MANY copies does the shop has as used games; if there is a very high concentration of the used games of a new game, that might actually indicate that the game is not actually worth buying as people do not want to keep it even if it counts as “new”.”

Yeah- you can’t trust that at all. The store ships around game titles all the time. I remember one day being at work and opening a box up that was full of used Halo 3. The game had been selling really well so we have slower stores send us their Halos so we could sell them. Also, we get a huge influx of trades right before a sequel comes out. Like if game X is completely awesome, and game X 2 is just coming out/just came out the store will likely have a huge number of game X because they’re trading it in for game X 2.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:45:02 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Mike Lowell

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 4, 2010 at 9:18 p.m.

@AAA: Completely agreed with you. The problem isn’t used games. It’s the pricing model. If people want to argue that the price point allows developers to collect a greater percentage of the sales price (part of that money is going to the retailer, part of it is going to the publisher, part of it is going to the console licensees) and that lowering the price point allows developers to collect a smaller percentage of that money, that’s a debate I think we need to have. If those fees are inhibiting the ability for brick-and-mortar retail to price the games accordingly, that’s a debate we need to have. But I think a lot of people would agree that if video games were hitting the shelves at thirty or forty bucks a pop, people wouldn’t be so interested in paying five bucks less for a new video game; that if video games retained their value over months and years, people would be less likely to trade them in.

@Lynn: Thanks for the input. Nice to see we have someone with industry experience in the fray. I looked at the possibility of acquiring a GameStop job as kind of a learning experience, but I’ve heard way too many stories, and I’m not a shill. I can’t push products I don’t believe in. Would have been fired on the first day.

If I knocked something you worked on, don’t take it personal. My distaste for THQ as a publisher probably runs deeper than my distaste for Activision.

Hell, the distaste is probably the entire issue endemic to the developer perception of used games. There’s a reason I want nothing to do with the game industry other than “being the guy who rants about it”. It’s a completely thankless job. Yeah, the pay-to-own product IS a product. This is not a cheap hobby at all. But release a great game with a horrible camera? “This game sucks. I can’t play it. It has a horrible camera.” Sixty-plus hours a week to hear about how your efforts are irredeemable because of a single screw-up. And if you make it big, your bosses (guys whose previous careers revolved around maximizing the profit of a completely unrelated product) make all of the money out of your efforts. It’s bull.

So I can definitely understand the animosity over used games. Personally, I don’t buy them en masse. Most of my purchases are made at brick-and-mortar, and I can’t stand the way they abuse the packaging. I have no guarantee the game is going to be in good quality, and I don’t care much for the three stickers that have been laid on top of each other. And I’ll only go with used games on Amazon if they’re going to give me more than a couple of dollars of the new asking price. If not, I’ll go new.

As AAA mentioned, Battle.net cut into both piracy and used games by being the best option for the game’s multiplayer component. Sure, LAN offered better internet. But Battle.net sold “community” and sold it incredibly well. And then modders took that Battle.net model and parlayed it into ICCUP and Garena, smaller-but-superior emulations of Battle.net’s capabilities (namely in terms of latency).

Battle.net 2.0 comes out, and it’s an inferior version of Battle.net that’s more difficult for modders to crack. That’s it. Instead of making the service so good that you wouldn’t want to play anywhere else (as one of the Blizzard developers stated in interviews), they simply designed it so it would be a complete pain in the ass to crack.

The industry just can’t decide “well, this is now beginning to cut into our profits, so now we have a problem with it”. And it can’t decide “we’re going to eliminate the problem simply by revoking functionality”. Eliminating the problem isn’t the sort of creativity befitting of how this industry got to be what it is today. They should find a solution that benefits the consumer.

Rough comparison: The Korean e-Sports Players Association is the governing body for competitive gaming in South Korea. With their central support, they managed to turn Starcraft into a spectator sport. For the seven years prior to the announcement of Starcraft II, Blizzard Entertainment had little to no problem with this. They prodded them on a couple of things (told KeSPA not to sell tickets for its grand final), but for the most part, Blizzard didn’t care. Then they announce the sequel. And then all of a sudden, it’s about “protecting the intellectual property of Starcraft”. An intellectual property whose legacy was fueled by those very competitive leagues.

Have to see what happens. Assuming the Ninth Court ruling doesn’t get overturned, “retailers give a cut” seems more likely than “banned used video games” or “nothing changes”. If this had been a problem from the get-go, I’d probably sympathize and side with the developers (assuming the money made from this endeavor doesn’t skip the developers and move right up the chain to shareholders and corporate). But after ignoring it for fifteen years? No dice.

(By the way, if I knocked on any of your products, don’t take it personal. My distaste for THQ as a publisher probably runs deeper than my distaste for Activision. I can’t get behind a publisher that has that LJN vibe to it, the publisher that scrambles to secure a license on any popular television franchise simply because it has a chance of selling.)
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:46:28 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Bill

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 5, 2010 at 12:23 a.m.

Lynn you dont think the auto analogy is sound. Ok, how about the book analogy. A book is IP. You pay to read it. When you are done you can keep the book, trade it or sell it. The author does not get future royalties past the original sale. The industry has been around a long long time and seems to be going strong.

IMHO the game developers and publishers are overly greedy.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:46:44 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Thrawn

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 8, 2010 at 5:04 p.m.


Great article and interesting comments.

Part of me is happy that video gaming is becomming more common and mainstream in the US (via consoles), but the other part of me would smugly smile to myself as the console industry crashed and burned.

I build my own gaming PCs every 3-4 years, as well as for a few friends and family. I largely refuse to play any type of consoles since the N64 glory days of my youth (with the exception of smash brothers on the cube). I’d love to see a return to PC oriented and optimized games. The consolization of PC games for the last five years has been sickening.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:46:56 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

PIES

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 10, 2010 at 10:12 p.m.

^

indeed.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:47:10 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

greendestiny

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 13, 2010 at 2:57 a.m.

I actually support the copyright law. There is a catch, though – it’s supposed to protect the creator from ‘unfair competition’. That means you aren’t violating copyright law if you use the product for yourself (‘personal use’), only if you’re producing mass copies, and thereby *hurting sales*.

Another issue is that data isn’t physical. What I mean is that ones and zeroes of a game or software can easily be copied ad infinitum and without any effort, while a book requires paper, ink and such. You can steal my book, but if I copy a pdf from your computer to mine, is that stealing?
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:47:25 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Mike Lowell

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 14, 2010 at 3:36 a.m.

@Thrawn: We’ve been sitting on this for a while (the Wii has been primed to destroy video games since 2006), but it certainly isn’t crazy at this point. It’s not that people are buying the same games year after year. It’s that they’re not buying the oddballs. It says something when the copy-cat world of casual gaming is offering more innovation than the pay-to-own market. And if people aren’t buying niche titles, what happens when they stop buying Call of Duty every year?

@greendestiny: That’s the greater issue. This country does not make tangible goods anymore. And the increasingly-digital, no-you-dont-own-our-code nature of this particular industry is a reflection of that. Case-in-point: Contests that offer up virtual currency. The X-Box Live incarnation of 1 vs. 100 gave the winners Microsoft Points. Not real money. Microsoft Points. It costs Microsoft virtually nothing to enter that currency into reality, and it costs Microsoft virtually nothing for the player to reap the rewards of that currency. But if you asked Microsoft, I guarantee you they would insist that download has real-world value, no questions asked. And my own eyes wouldn’t necessarily agree that the transaction holds any true value.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:47:45 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Uhlrik

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 16, 2010 at 7:42 a.m.

If the developers continue on this course in their attempt to control distribution via EULA or digital download service I can’t help but assume they’ll alienate the very demographic they’ve worked so hard in recent years to court, that of the casual gamer. Behavior psychologists will tell you that humans have a threshold for money that above-which is considered enough money to seriously consider a purchasing decision, and anything below is chump-change. This phenomena partially explains the model of payment for upgrades on free content Zynga employs with its various games. When priced near or below five dollars for upgrades it is easy for most to scoff at five-hundred pennies and immediately buy the features or items they desire to achieve their goals in-game. Even though these transactions actually give the consumer real goods or services they are more than willing to engage in them. But, the prices that new games that are not browser-based, whether on console or PC require in order for the studio’s to break even is often above that threshold I discussed earlier. I don’t think that the love affair many “casual” gamers have with PC or console gaming is strong enough to survive that kind of environment. I think the level of control over distribution you describe will drive a large portion of the gaming market back to PopCap, Zynga, and their ilk. Eliminating the used game market cannot be a solution, do you know if any studies have been done concerning the amount of trade-ins towards new games? I know the is fallacy all over to attribute my and my friends behavior to a large group, but I have not known a soul to buy a new game in this economic climate without trading in games towards the new game’s value. I just can’t imagine removing that ability in gamers not effecting the developers bottom line in ways they may not be able to afford.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:48:00 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

Uhlrik

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:58 PM »
Posted on November 16, 2010 at 7:43 a.m.

don”t actually give the consumer*
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:48:13 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

The Earl of Sandwich

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:59 PM »
Posted on February 6, 2011 at 12:39 a.m.

Out of all of this chat. It is sad that no one seems to understand that this is the Role of Capitalism. It is not about people or ‘helping’ others. The function of corporations is to take and force you to submit and consume. No matter if you like it or not. Capitalism is the evil. It is built on greed and inequality. It has no loyalty to YOU, a Nation or anyhting else. All that matters is the Bottomline. And as more companies are being taken over by the capitalist fascist, like Disney and other ‘Brands’ that you have come to worship. They will have more and more control over you. The idea is that you will buy whatever they make. Even the way that you talk has been changed. You refer to people as ‘consumers’, you refer to Film as ‘Franchises’. The terminology reflects the slavery of the people. “Reboots” and “prequels”, where is the art in anything? Just churn out the next product yes? No matter if its good or not, they will buy it. And you all eat it up. The developers, the corporations, the advertisers, are all Capitalist scum. They are not your friends. They hate you. Perhaps one day you may wake up and realize that. Anyhow, the fact that you police yourselves is the most blatant Negative fact of this new society. before you even speak you have t oreassure ‘others’ that you ‘Legally’ bought a copy of this and that. Well, my question is… Who is watching? And why do you have fear that you are suspect? And why must you prove that you are not a ‘bad’ person? In the Third Rech many Germans continuously showed their loyalty to Hitler and the state by announcing and pledging their obedience to him with ‘Seig heil’. They too were fearful that if they did not they would be considered ‘bad’ or ‘criminal or worse. Sadly many Americans in particular are not even aware of the parallels between that and this new form of control. It is unfortunate. I like video games too. But Capcom and developers are not Gods. And neither are the corporations that rape young people’s minds and their pockets.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:48:43 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

iamKelly

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Used Video Games: The New Software Piracy
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2011, 02:35:59 PM »
Posted on February 11, 2010 at 6:17 p.m.

………………..wow.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 02:49:01 PM by Comment Cleanup Bot 72XX »

 
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