the second hand game debate

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  • Jazzy_Geoff 20 Mar 2013 22:37:02 7,767 posts
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    I was just reading yet another article about the new microsoft console and it's rumoured blocking of second hand games(note: not pre-owned, since when was that considered proper English?)and a few things struck me.

    1. The games industry has every right to protect themselves from the second hand market, which is essentially parasitic. As a consumer, you can choose not support that protection but you can't pretend that it's somehow immoral.

    2. If the second hand games market did not exist, new games would be cheaper.

    3. As an alternative to DRM, which is antagonistic, why don't publishers offer discounts on new games if you can somehow prove you still own older titles. YOu want Uncharted 4? You've already got Uncharted 3? 15 off, another 5 for Uncharted 2 and 2.50 for Uncharted 1. Price to you Sir, on launch day, 17.50. restrict the supply, carrot instead of stick.

    I'm bored with this now
  • Carlo 20 Mar 2013 22:40:40 17,948 posts
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    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:
    1. The games industry has every right to protect themselves from the second hand market
    In terms of 'rights', I think they actually don't.

    "Right of first sale" or something isn't it?

    PSN ID: Djini

  • Deleted user 20 March 2013 22:41:59
    Games wouldn't be cheaper.

    N64 games 60, no real large second hand market then.

    Call of duty rrp 55, sells 20 million.
  • RobTheBuilder 20 Mar 2013 22:44:29 6,521 posts
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    1. People have legal right to resell items they buy. Should people be banned from selling cars? Or banned from selling plates at car boot sales? It's possibly illegal by European law as well.

    2. Rubbish. Game shops make their profit on used games, they wouldn't be able to afford big discounts on new games without used ones. Publishers aren't going to lower prices unless forced to, if anything they want to put them up but the option is used games keeps them down.

    3. Actually a good idea.

    In addition:

    1. No trade ins means people have less money for new games (I've seen the sales data that proves how important trade ins are on new sales).

    2. No trade ins means people will be less likely to choose original creative games because they cannot sell them on if they don't like them.

    Why the publishers cannot agree a simple re-sale fee with retailers is beyond me. It's publishers desperate to claw extra cash at the expense of customers and it fucking stinks.
  • Triggerhappytel 20 Mar 2013 22:47:42 2,667 posts
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    The option to trade in games affects the spending habits of those buying new. If these rumours are true (and I think it's more of an online pass feature for every game, which can be acquired direct from the Xbox Marketplace if you buy used) then MS have obviously decided that it's a risk worth taking to shut out the second hand market. I'd love them to try it, and for it to fall flat and destroy their market share, as they're being way too aggressive with what they charge consumers for.
  • Jazzy_Geoff 20 Mar 2013 22:54:26 7,767 posts
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    Pepsipop wrote:
    Games wouldn't be cheaper.

    N64 games 60, no real large second hand market then.

    Call of duty rrp 55, sells 20 million.

    What on earth are you talking about? There was a second hand market back then same as there is now.
  • RobTheBuilder 20 Mar 2013 22:56:03 6,521 posts
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    @Jazzy_Geoff they still wouldn't be cheaper
  • Syrette 20 Mar 2013 22:56:26 43,057 posts
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  • Cappy 20 Mar 2013 22:59:40 11,826 posts
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    I wouldn't want to go back to the way things were before used games were available on the high streets, it was absolutely horrible.

    Low print run game? Didn't have the cash that particular month. There were two games you wanted that month and you couldn't get both. Tough luck! We aren't getting anymore copies.

    When you missed something it wasn't easy to find.
  • Jazzy_Geoff 20 Mar 2013 23:01:15 7,767 posts
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    Re price.. Publishers will set whatever price makes them the biggest profit. More expensive is not the same as more profit. Marginal cost on games is almost zero, to they can reduce price by say a third and sell to twice as many people now the second hand market no longer exists,profit will rise. If they just keep prices the same, sales will fall because people won't have trade in cash to mitigate the day one premimum RRP, the market will force the price down. It comes to the same thing.

    Finally the video game business in not analogous to cars, plates, books or anything else.
  • mal 20 Mar 2013 23:02:11 22,329 posts
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    Yeah. Most of my n64 games are second hand. Although to be fair apart from a couple of them, I wangled and inherited most of them after I'd bought a gamecube.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Syrette 20 Mar 2013 23:02:21 43,057 posts
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    Jazzy_Geoff works for Microsoft, everyone. That's why he's so defensive.

  • Jazzy_Geoff 20 Mar 2013 23:02:22 7,767 posts
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    Cappy wrote:
    I wouldn't want to go back to the way things were before used games were available on the high streets, it was absolutely horrible..
    When was this?
  • Madder-Max 20 Mar 2013 23:04:01 11,618 posts
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    2. Are u kidding?!! They will go up as there will be no cheaper alternative other than new retail price variations, which will dimimnish due to cartelism.

    I bought battlefield 3 pre owned and then spent money on dlc and the online pass. Ea have had about 50 odd quid off me. (Had borrowed mates copy and bought online pass with that then preowned copy when I gave his back)

    99 problems and being ginger is one

  • Deleted user 20 March 2013 23:04:13
    The rise of high-street trade-ins (at least for the big stores) was around 2002/3ish. Smaller ones have been doing it since the Spectrum days.
  • Dirtbox 20 Mar 2013 23:05:19 77,453 posts
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    If the hardware licensing didn't exist, games would be cheaper.

    That's the meat of that one.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • mal 20 Mar 2013 23:05:28 22,329 posts
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    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:
    Finally the video game business in not analogous to cars, plates, books or anything else.
    Yes it is. Books are sold in shops on the high street. I can buy them online. I can rent them (from my library). They're even electronic media these days, as e-books. Granted, they're not interactive as such, unless you include those old choose-your-own-adventure books. Publishers publish books, and authors develop them. Seems a pretty good analogy to me, no?

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Syrette 20 Mar 2013 23:06:22 43,057 posts
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    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:

    Finally the video game business in not analogous to cars, plates, books or anything else.
    How is it not?

    If I own something and then don't want it any more, then I'm within my rights in most cases to trade it with other people, for cash or other goods. Games are the same. Not everyone collects games.

    Blocked used games would also complicate things from a rental standpoint. If Microsoft don't allow rental games then they will never ever see my custom. Unlike they will anyway because the next Xbox doesn't sound good to me as far as speculation goes for it.

  • mal 20 Mar 2013 23:07:11 22,329 posts
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    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:
    Cappy wrote:
    I wouldn't want to go back to the way things were before used games were available on the high streets, it was absolutely horrible..
    When was this?
    When W H Smith and Boots sold games and computers.

    Cubby didn't know how to turn off sigs!

  • Deleted user 20 March 2013 23:11:22
    mal wrote:
    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:
    Cappy wrote:
    I wouldn't want to go back to the way things were before used games were available on the high streets, it was absolutely horrible..
    When was this?
    When W H Smith and Boots sold games and computers.
    And the internet didn't exist.
  • Deleted user 20 March 2013 23:11:45
    I still think there's money to be made in putting indie game download codes inside cassette tape boxes and stacking them on whirligig stands in newsagents.
  • YoshiMcTaggis 20 Mar 2013 23:13:04 2,780 posts
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    Haha you're living in a dream world if you think banning used would make new games cheaper. Quite the opposite would happen.
  • Jazzy_Geoff 20 Mar 2013 23:14:11 7,767 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:
    Finally the video game business in not analogous to cars, plates, books or anything else.
    Yes it is. Books are sold in shops on the high street. I can buy them online. I can rent them (from my library). They're even electronic media these days, as e-books. Granted, they're not interactive as such, unless you include those old choose-your-own-adventure books. Publishers publish books, and authors develop them. Seems a pretty good analogy to me, no?
    Because books are significantly cheaper. Most people wouldn't bother waiting around for a used copy of a book they wanted, they'd just buy it for eight quid or whatever, who cares? How many second hand book shops do you see these days?
  • Deleted user 20 March 2013 23:15:45
    If there was no second hand market I would own about a third of the games I do. Sad, but true. But I've bought dlc based on these second hand games and bought sequels that I wouldn't have normally bought as I wouldn't have necessarily bought the originals had I paid full whack. I think a second hand market can be healthy and encourage you to try games and developers you wouldn't normally, getting you ready to pay more for the next release. I don't really view it as parasitic.

    Say I sold you a cd for two quid second hand. You buy it because it's cheap, having passed on it full price. You love it, so you end up paying to see the band live and after that buy their next release when it's out, paying full price. If you hadn't taken a chance as it was cheap you would possibly have never heard the band and never payed the subsequent money to them.

    That's how I justify it anyway :-P

    I don't think it should be stamped out.
  • RobTheBuilder 20 Mar 2013 23:21:12 6,521 posts
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    @Jazzy_Geoff

    There is some logic to that argument, but if you go by the current and past actions of publishers, there is not a chance in hell they would put prices down unless forced to by declining sales (which is a possibility).

    Sales won't go up by much because people won't have trade in cash to put towards game, so will buy fewer titles. For example: How many people trade in FIFA 2011 against 2012, then 2012 against 2013... loads.

    Let's try cd's, vinyl records, dvd's instead. Exactly the same.
  • RobTheBuilder 20 Mar 2013 23:22:21 6,521 posts
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    @BillCityfingers Same here. Not only would I buy fewer new games, I would be less likely to buy into new series because I can't trade it if I don't like it.
  • Rodney 20 Mar 2013 23:33:50 1,835 posts
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    Without the actual data all these arguments are just anecdotal evidence.

    Having said that, I think the second hand market is having a negative net affect on the industry. What was the figure for Dead Space, 8 unique online players for every unit of the game sold? Something like that.

    Now we have exclusive DLC, online passes and all the other bullshit. Unfortunately, I think even if the second hand market was removed thes practices would remain
  • Rodney 20 Mar 2013 23:37:45 1,835 posts
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    RobTheBuilder wrote:
    @BillCityfingers Same here. Not only would I buy fewer new games, I would be less likely to buy into new series because I can't trade it if I don't like it.
    Fewer games per consumer but sales for publishers could still increase. If second hand sales to purchase new games was 1 for 1 then you'd have a point but now we have the situation where second hand games are traded in for new games and a single game unit being sold second hand many times over
  • RobTheBuilder 20 Mar 2013 23:38:41 6,521 posts
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    @Rodney I've seen internal sales figures from a major gaming retailer that show how trade-ins affect new game purchases. There's no coincidence that new game sales go up as trade-ins go up.
  • Jazzy_Geoff 20 Mar 2013 23:41:25 7,767 posts
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    mal wrote:
    Jazzy_Geoff wrote:
    Cappy wrote:
    I wouldn't want to go back to the way things were before used games were available on the high streets, it was absolutely horrible..
    When was this?
    When W H Smith and Boots sold games and computers.

    I can remember trading in NES games, was it before then?
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