used games

I read an article today on Gamasutra about the used games “issue” (http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20061020/qotw_01.shtml). Don’t know if it is just me, but I can’t see why such a big fuss is made.

A game is a product, just like a book, a piece of furniture or a car. Just like the game developer doesn’t get money for a sold used game, the car manufacturer also isn’t involved in used car sales.

If Toyota or Ford decides that they should get some money if you sell your car, would that be ok? No, people will not allow that. Why then should it be different for games?

People usually sell their old car to buy a new one. The money from the used car sale is used for the new one. If a gamer sells 3 of his (or her) old games to buy a new one, doesn’t the used game money also then contribute to the game developers?

Should games be treated differently than other products? What do you think?

I think the whole issue here is that unlike a car, you can easily make a backup of a game, and then turn around and sell your original. As an amateur game developer, I can see were this would be a problem. I don’t know if charging for selling a game is a solution though. If your game is a quality game, nobody should want to sell it. I think most game developers get upset at the idea that they would only get profit from the original sale, while a single copy could be sold a half dozen times.

I think that is fair that the resellers pay a fee to the game companies. These resellers are already making a profit from the used games, so why not share it with the creators. This doesn’t solve the copying issue, but it does help to bring in money to game developers.

Well, those are my two cents.
–Trevin

I heard a rumor sony wanted to BAN sales of their PS3 games as “used”… this is ridiculous for the reasons stated above, not to mention it would probably reduce their console sales significantly: if I have to buy a $70 ps3 game (they could go up to $100 apiece) and then I am BANNED from reselling that game it would make me mighty upset. this is one case (of many) where’s sony’s greed could really shoot them in the foot. one of the worst ideas ever, used game sales are HUGE portion of the industry’s revenue, directly and indirectly.

I would never buy a Second hand PC game. Shearly on the fact that the game can be copied onto the drive and cd-key. So I could loose out especially if its mainly multiplayer.

Console games I’m more willing to buy 2nd hand as there is hardly a chance of me lossing out. However I would normally buy 1st hand as companies generally sell 2nd hand a few £’s cheaper than 1st hand. So I’d rather be under some sort of garunte for faults etc.

I think in some respect it’s fair - why should companies like game stores be able to profit quite generously by reselling games twice or even more with only paying the game devlopers once?

Everytime a second hand game is sold, then the game dev’s just lost out on one “first hand” sale? where’s the fairness and equality there?

On the otherhand, I feel as though people should be able to pass their games onto other people within reason without added royaltys, as they are not making profit from it, and ripping the game dev’s off, and all that happens is, they usally use some of that money toward buying a new game, possibly the sequel and a circle of “recycling” begins again.

I’d like to know to whom the money will go. If Sony (for instance) were to be paid a small fee for reselling their games, does that mean that their developers will be paid more? Or perhaps the developers of the games will get royalties? I doubt it. It seems just another way for a given company to reap profits.

I would honestly be surprised if the employees who actually create the end product would see a raise just because the game they worked on for a year and a half resold and netted their company a tiny bit more profit.

I would agree with this if it could be proven that the designers and developers were getting paid royalties by their company for the games sold, instead of the money going straight into corporate pockets.

I think that this is kinda stupid that the companies want to limit sales of used games. what about thrift store? should everything being sold there be charged a fee depending on the CO. that made it and stuffs? NO!

Don’t get me wrong, I would like to support the developor of some of the games but they need to make a game good enought to get me hooked on it. Cause the CO. can’t make good games steadily (or just being greedy), the general public shouldn’t be held responsible and get charged for every used game transactions. In reality, if this “rule” is set up, then the companies involved will lose ALOT of money since most friends and I are willing to buy new games only because I could afford it once I trade it in for another games.

I also HATE the fact that they are trying to make it so I won’t have a TOTAL ownership of my games. a response from the link reflect pretty much exactly what I feel about this,

This is why I often compare borrowing CDs from your local library to pirating. There’s a fuzzy line with the only difference being that one is government sanctioned and the other isn’t. The effects on the “victims” are the same.

Borrowing a cd and then making your own copy before giving it back is obviously piracy. I can’t see anything wrong with borrowing the cd, listening to it for 2 weeks and then giving it back. It is just like borrowing a book.

Back on the games topic. The only non “evil” way that will make people keep their games and not sell it, is by making good games. If I feel that I will probably replay a game in a couple of months or years, I will not sell it.

I don’t see how bying a game and selling it after you get bored with it is any different from you bying a car and selling it later. After all the car company doesn’t whine about it even though they lose a potential customer, why should game developers be treated any differendly?

Forcing someone to buy something new when there’s old but still working stuff aviable is completely and utterly stupid. Think about the amount of waste it would generate, if people could no longer sell their games/cars/books/music CDs/etc…

I usually buy games that I’m sure that I’ll be playing later on. I’ve only sold two games this far, I didn’t like either of them after I finished them once. They would’ve been just waste for me, if I would not have been able to sell them further.

People have a fundamental right to sell something they own. Taking away this right is just pure BS.

I apologize for my language.

Ultimately the concept of ownership is false, and while our capitalist world order maintains this concept, real-life conflicts such as this one quickly reveal the artificiality of ownership-ness… and all that the concept is built upon, in turn.

If Toyota or Ford decides that they should get some money if you sell your car, would that be ok? No, people will not allow that. Why then should it be different for games?

because when you buy a game you buy a license to USE it, this doesnt mean that you own all of the content on the cd/dvd. unlike when you buy a car you own the right to use any part of it as you wish, within reason of course.

if they want to slow sales of used games they should just all start using Steam, once your games key is registered to an account nobody else can use it (i learned it the hard way). but i seriously hope that nobody does this, ever. i hate steam.

There are some pretty bitter views among the game developers in those answers. Some seem to see the whole deal in complete black and white, while some others seem to see other colors in the spectrum as well. It seemed, that most bitter views come from the biggest developers/publishers, while the smaller houses see the benefit.

Personally I’ve bought used games, though usually from flea markets, not from game stores, and will buy used games, as long the game prizes are insanely high. And the games I’ve usually bought used are old ones, that you don’t find anywhere, especially in Finland, or if I have some reservations about the game. It’s hard to get mad to a game you paid under 5 euros. I would have been pretty pissed, if I would have paid full prize from Diablo 2.

personally I have nothing against it. I mean its not like the industry is short on cash!

The problem isn’t reselling a game, it is reselling a game while keeping the original. This problem isn’t as big as with console games, but it is easy to copy computer games. The disks can be easily burned so extra copies can be made. While many companies take measure to stop this, people get around their efforts with hacked keys and no-cd patches. Comparing reselling a game with selling a car only works when there are no extra copies involved. I haven’t heard of any cases where somebody buys a car and easily makes a copy of it in order to sell the original. Most of the time, when somebody resells a product, they are selling the original, and there is no way for them to have a copy. Game companies are just try to get some of their lost revenue. They would charge you to sell a game to a friend, but problems crop up when stores will buy old games to resell them. This promotes pirating because it is an easy way to save money. I am not saying that it is wrong to buy used games, but I believe that the system is too easy to take advantage of.

To anyone who has ever sold a game to a store…you know how little you get for it. It hardly equates to saving money. If anything, you get a little closer to buying that new game you want.

I reiterate my point…Developers are getting scammed out of some money because people are reselling their games. Show me that a company that could freely charge for reselling a game would pass that money onto the very developers that are “losing” money because that game would be resold instead of bought new and I will crap my pants.

Seriously, if companies start charging for reselling games, the money is going right into corporate pockets, not back to the developers who have every right to whine about losing money to the reselling industry.

It is only a ploy for the companies to reap larger profits.

“Oh, we and our developers are losing money because of the reselling of our games. Let’s start charging people for the right to do so.” I don’t see how this results in fewer lost profits for the developers. Again, show me a company that will put those proceeds into their developers pockets and I promise I’ll crap my pants.

how about, instead of refusing users to sell their old games, have a re-buy policy, so that if you no longer want the game, the developers will buy it back, and repackage/sell them as “used” versions. then, they still get money, as do you. as far as i know, this method wouldn’t be illegal, and might actually promote consumer confidance, as they know that they can be reimbursed if they wish to get rid of a game. is this idea to crazy? how many of you would object to such a policy?