Publishers Nudging Buyers Away from Used Games

Although consumers love to have the option, used video game sales by retailers such as GameStop have long been a point of contention for publishers who feel that they are losing out on sales of new games.

Now, as reported by Victor Godinez of the Dallas Morning News, some publishers are taking steps to dissuade consumers from buying used games:

…each copy of Gears of War 2 will ship with a unique, one-time-use code for downloading extra multiplayer levels. Once the code has been used, subsequent owners of that copy of the game will be unable to download the levels.


And NBA Live 09 will include a similar free, one-time code for accessing daily roster and stat updates. If you buy a used copy of NBA Live 09 and the previous user has already redeemed the code, you’ll have to pay $20 to get the updates.


The question now is how gamers will respond… It’s also possible that used game buyers will stop buying used games in protest or buy the used game but do without the disabled features. All in all, I don’t think these efforts by game makers are going to garner much loyalty from gamers, but if they add to the bottom line, the game makers probably won’t care.

GP: As a game consumer, this issue is a sore point with me. First, you’ve got the fabulously profitable, "recession-proof" video game business, and they need to squeeze every last nickel out of their customers?

Moreover, if this is implemented widely, the publishers will put the screws to the business model of GameStop and other used game retailers. Note to publishers: those retailers also push one Hell of a lot of your new product, too.

Finally, the publishers are dreaming if they think that every used game buyer will purchase a new game instead. Cost-conscious gamers will risk buying a lower-priced used title because, frankly, a fair number of $60 games don’t offer good value. That’s polite-speak for "they suck." And, for those who do opt to take the $60 new game plunge, the notion of being able to trade it in later is a reassuring suck insurance policy.

UPDATE: Shacknews has a lot more on this issue, including info on Rock Band 2 content.

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  1. emong says:

    If you want to be a responsible citizen of the gaming industry you would want to take advantage of used games retailers to help the industry.   Used games are a good way to check if the game is really worth it’s new package price. If it is worth the price of a new one, return the used game and buy the new one.  If it is not worth the new price tag and you like the game keep it  and don’t buy a new one.  This will help used games retailers to stay in business.     It’s not like publishers are locking the used game you just won’t get any additional stuff unlike buying a new one.  If a game is not worth 60 bucks i doubt that the additional downloadable content is worth it as well. If the game really sucked return it and tell your friends it really sucks.    Point is let’s give credit to those games which are real worth their price and drop those which are not worth 60 bucks.  Let’s utilize  used games retailers to help us out sort the good tomatoes from the bad ones.  If the publishers are confident that consumers will buy new games if it is worth the price they rather put more heart into making a 60 dollar worth game than publishing stupid policies like this one.   Remember abuse of trying to get more for less (for both game developers and consumers) are the seeds of discontent between consumers and game publihers. This discontent engcourages consumers to resort to piracy and the game publishers to release non-consumer friendly policies such as this one.

  2. Wise Guy says:

    That seems like unlawful business practices to me. If they are repackaging used games as new that’s false advertising. Especially in this case where NEW and USED are very distinct things.

  3. DarkTetsuya says:

    Indeed. If it kills me, by God I’m going to get ‘SecuROM’ in all the virus definition databases…(Which ironically, most viruses aren’t that hard to get rid of, so I hear.)

    — "Jack and listen are two words that don’t go together…just like Jack and sanity, Jack and truth, Jack and proof, Jack and win…" — sortableturnip |

  4. JC says:

    I don’t agree it will make it less viable for them to sell used copies. This will likely just have more customers calling the companies wondering why their bonus content is already used up.

    Yes, most of us hate GameStop’s practices, but you’re probably unaware of their gutting practice. And this doesn’t really stop them from selling "used" they just package it as new, and without informing it was. A code built onto the disk will likely make this more worrisome since it will not be noticeable in-store.

    Then at that point, you’re hurting the new game sales even more, by discouraging people from going for newer titles. To make it worse, they may think all game retailers practice this.

    Whatever happened to promotions of little figurines or plushies or extra disks that had this extra content on it? I still have my Mumbo Jumbo plushie from pre-ordering Banjo Kazooie so long ago. :X

  5. shady8x says:

    Thank you gaming companies for once again ecouraging piracy… May the death of your own making take you sooner rather than later so that companies who’s CEOs actually have brains could replace you and save the market while there is still some chance of doing that…


    Hey I got a great idea!!! Cars who’s engines have to be registered to the purchaser’s social security number… only the original puchaser may have the engine repaired!!! non compliance means jail time for repair men… and perosn trying to have his car fixed…

  6. GoodRobotUs says:

    I’d say, considering the latest round of DRM, that they are trying to do more than Nudge, I’d say ‘Force’ would be a more appropriate word.

  7. Wise Guy says:

    The disc doesn’t become unplayable once you use the code.  There is still value in the game used.

  8. Wise Guy says:

    I don’t know how you’ve come to this conclusion.  A code for additional content is not the same as locking the game, especially if that content is downloadable and not actually on the physical disc.

  9. Wise Guy says:

    I don’t know what everyone is freaking out about.  This is the kind of approach I would like to see publishers taking to help discourage used game sales and piracy.  It’s much better than more stringent DRM solutions.

    This approach doesn’t really hurt anyone.  The people who buy the game new get an extra bonus for buying the game new.  The people who buy the game used still get the game but may miss out on some content.  I’m sure the publisher isn’t going to miss out on an opportunity to get these people’s money so they will probably sell the additional content to them.

    This isn’t going to totally destroy the used game market anyway.  What it will do is make it less viable for big stores like GameStop or Electronics Boutique to sell a used game for $5 less than a new copy and keeping all the profits for themselves.

    This is the kind of creative approach that I’d like to see more publisher take.  Giving more value to customers who pay for a new copy of a game is a good thing.

  10. Helpless_writer says:

    I hate this policy since basically its like DRM… And I bet one day thats how it will all be… Enter a code to play the game and if it transfers systems you get this message "The game you are trying to play has been registered to a different gaming console. Please insert the disc into the original console."

    Then you may have to go to Gamestop or whoever just to get a new code if not from the publisher themselves… All this DRM business is far to experimental and doesn’t benefit anyone. It pisses the people who buys the games off and presents a challenges to pirates and of course if its high profile like Gears of War II they will find a way no matter how long it takes. So the company still will get screwed.

  11. sheppy says:

    Content purchased for the Wii ties itself to that hardwares serial number.  However, should you need your system repaired or replaced, Nintendo vetoes the validity of the software on the other system and validates it for the new system.  In your transaction menu, you can redownload anything you purchased an unlimited number of times.  Three times an hour should you wish.

    PSN purchases are tied to a master account as for transaction history.  This content can be downloaded on up to five different consoles but this content never "phones home" again so households with multiple PS3s can have Stardust HD on five different consoles without limitations.  Only Warhawk places a limitation on that where the account that purchased the game is the only account that can play the game.  This, however, doesn’t hold true for expansion packs of Warhawk where the five install limit reapplies.

    Microsoft now has a tool kit to completely transfer ownership between consoles.

    In other words, your fears are hysterical fears as all companies are moving swiftly towards a better system more steamlike.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  12. ecco6t9 says:

    First you do have the right to see the disc before the transaction is done.

    Secondly this is nothing but bad times if I spend $60 on a game I can trade it in and usually get between $20-$30 for it but if it becomes gimped then it’s worth about as much as an Atari 2600 Cart floating around a Goodwill.

    These insane rules(Coupled with shovelware and 60000000000000000 different 360/PS3 Skus) will cause the industry to crash again mark my words in 10 years games will be dead.

  13. sheppy says:

    1.  Smaller companies are doing it.  Epic, for example, is a small studio of only around 100 people.  Media Molecule is doing preorder bonuses.  Atlus, etc.  You WIIL see this a lot more in the future, trust me.  It’s just when EA does it, it’s instantly evil and immoral.
    2.  The music industry licenses out the music and the musical artists, in fact, see their biggest cut from concerts and such.  Music industry is nothing like the games industry.
    3.  If a game doesn’t qualify for Greatest/Platinum hits, what then?  Isn’t the value of certain games (Radiant Silvergun, Pikmin 2) stemming from titles that never went into a second run?  Likewise, many many games don’t become eligible.  THUS, the first three months, as a rule of the industry, is their only chance to turn a profit.
    4.  Actually Ebay’s increasingly large bite out of the transaction with fees IS becoming problematic along with Ebay scammers which Ebay tends to side with the buyers rather than the sellers.
    5.  Burnout Paradise was sooooooo worth the initial cost and was a critically acclaimed racing game.  The value they added later was to make sure Burnout Paradise would have sales beyond the three month period as confessed by one of the design leads on Gamasutra, dubbing 2008 the "Year of Burnout" with the planned bonuses.  As to how hard adding this kind of content is, let’s just say you should probably take a class or something.  In game development, there is no magic command line in your dev kit that reads "Make this shit cool and bug free."  Just like there has yet to be a 3D modeler discovered that could make a Burnout car in under an hour.  These assumptions just prove you know little about game development.
    6.  So this relates to the issue at hand HOW?  You’re talking profit from EA and that’s kind of a "no shit" point at this time.  What about Koei and Tecmo?  Two recent companies that merged just to survive.  Not everyone is EA, so destroying my point with EA stats is really disrespectful to all the Volitions, FASAs, and Free Radicals of the world.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  14. V4nI114 Ic3 says:

    to be honest, this doesnt concern me in the slightest.

    i hate buying used games, #1, because i dont like to run the risk of dropping 30 someodd dollars on a game only to find out it is scratched beyond belief, making it unplayable and thus necessitating a second trip to the store.

    the second reason i hate buying them is because, well, 5 dollars off a title that just came out is not worth it.  im already spending 55, might as well make it easy and pay with 3 20s and GTFO.

    also, i hate gamestop et al’s trade in policy.  im never trading a game in again in my life.  too many times have i dropped 40+ dollars on a game that pretty much sucked beyond any resemblance of fun, only to take it back to trade it in, even if the game is only a month old, and getting 8 bucks out of it.  screw that, that hardly pays for the taxes on a new purchase.

    having said all that, the only way i would support this idea is if it meant that a) the quality of games coming out now increased (soul caliber 4 is pretty crap-tastic); and b) the price of games went back down to 30 or 40 dollars for a new title.

  15. insanejedi says:

    I like how some of you people are still somehow trying to get your axe grinding with EA on this issue. While they are perhaps being the most consumer freindly on this issue. How does EA do it? They release stuff for free. By doing this it makes sure that the number of used copies that goes out on market lowers. Burnout Paridise, and Bad Company were the examples of this where it makes people keep the game because support keeps comming in. I think some of you should give EA props for doing this since it’s including features to a game after release and not cutting off features of a game before release. And the Rock Band stuff? Rock Band 2 has over 80 Songs already! That alone is worth the $60, but adding 20 others? I was just thinking, they gotta be outta their minds! EA isin’t the example you should be fighting against, it’s infact the example you should be fighting for with this issue since it treats the consumer better than all the other companies.

  16. Canary Wundaboy says:

    Those bastards at Epic, trying to give us free stuff!!!

    Sometimes….I wonder at the intelligence of gamers as a whole.

    Seriously, I understand how used gamers are losing out here, but they pay less, AND they end up with a copy that could have been anywhere. I always buy new for the feeling of ripping off the shrink-wrap, if publishers want to give me free stuff to encourage me to buy the game new, then hooray! Gimme.

  17. JustChris says:

    Games, like other entertainment products, are final goods. What I’m not sure of is that when you sell a video game, is it still considered a final good? Because you are no longer the final consumer of the game. I think this is what some publishers are trying to get at, and implying that you can never tell when a consumer good is truly "final" or at its end of its purchasing history because it could go on indefinitely. And these game codes are their way of saying "this truly is a final good" as you are the only person to get the full benefits of the game.

  18. dukrous says:

     I have no problem whatsoever with what the industry is doing.  The choice is still left to consumers with a bonus for original sales.  Fine.

    I have no problem whatsoever with an owner selling a used game.  Once you bought it, it’s yours to do with as you please: sell it, torch it, molest it, use it as a coaster; it’s yours do with it as you please.

    Where I have to draw the distinction is a game retailer who makes it purposefully difficult to buy new games in favor of their used games business.  They pay $20 (not even cash, you get a store refund!) for a newish used game and sell it for $50, so thats $30 straight cash.  To prop up this business, they make it difficult to find new stock on their shelves unless you preordered it.  Gamestop is a blight on this industry and whatever the publishers can do to cripple their business of taking advantage of unknowing gamers is a positive step.

    Sell your game on eBay for real cash, trade it with friends as a 1:1 swap, do whatever else you can but do NOT sell it to Gamestop.  In the end, you will lose out.

  19. SithLibrarian says:

    This is not cool by any means. Say what you will about GameStop, but being able to get some great used AAA & AA titles for almost half the cost is really nice. I was able to buy 6 (good) used games for $70 just a few weeks back because of their Buy 2 Used, Get 1 Used free sale. Like hell I’m going to see that go away – especially when a lot of current gen titles suck.

  20. Anthrax says:

    Fuck Gears of war 2, I’m not putting up with this if it’s how they’re going to treat their customers.

  21. Zen says:

    The 360 THANKFULLY has some work-arounds for that issue where they fix it if they have to replace the system, or you can, once a year, move all of your downloads to one main system so you don’t have to be online.  The Wii on the otherhand does not have this.  You do have to re-buy anything if the system is replaced.  The PS3 is going back and forth on what you can and can not do (usually dependent on which game). 

  22. kagirinai says:

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned how this will screw over people who buy new.

    Consoles fail — it happens. We can ignore 360 failure rates — ALL consoles fail at least some of the time. But if you need to replace the console, will it know that you’re the same gamer? We can point at the games downloaded from the XBox marketplace which can only be played if you’re logged in after your system bricks. I’m not aware of the Wii letting users ‘sign in’ to verify what they’ve downloaded, and I don’t know if the PS3 can keep track of these things either.

    So, now, these games with ‘One Time’ content, will be missing content for any player who misfortunately has failed hardware.

  23. Bennett Beeny says:

    How will customers respond?  Well I know how THIS customer will respond.  If this becomes a reality I will stop buying new PC games for good.  These days, due to DRM practices and the overall lack of really good games, my PC gaming time has been reduced drastically anyway.  It won’t take much to persuade me that PC gaming is not worth it anymore.

  24. Dragunov765 says:

    First of all, the desire to rake in a percentage of the used game sales is pure corporate greed.  Any business with a decent pricing model recognizes its income based on the initial sale of the game to the individual consumer.  They can’t really scream about the presence of a used game on the shelf because they’ve already been paid for it.

    For every used game you see on the shelf, that’s a new game sale that has already gone to the software developers.  That’s simple economics.  After the original point of sale, the developer has no further claim to what happens to that disc provided that the software isn’t copied or tampered with.

    On the flip side, if a developer wants to add premium content to their first time buyers, that’s their option.  It’s their product.  If a gamer wants to get the content, then he can pay the extra cash.  If he wants to buy used and skip the content, it shouldn’t matter because someone else had to buy the game new in order for it to become used.  The video game companies aren’t losing anything, they just aren’t making as much as they’d like to.  Keep that in perspective.

    There’s an undercurrent in their thinking that seems to be trying to equate used game purchases with piracy and that’s just way out of whack. 

    What I’m curious to know is how this decision will affect video game rental companies like Blockbuster, Gamefly and Movie Gallery.  Will the first person to rent the game get the content as part of his rental and everyone else can shove off?  Or will software companies create specific game discs that can be sold to rental companies (often at 3-4 times their shelf value) without the content even being available…?

    If a game is good enough to stand on its own, then people will pay to buy it new.  If it sucks, then it will sit on the shelf next to a trove of used copies of itself as gamers try to recoup some small percentage of their losses…

  25. DeepThorn says:

    1. Smaller game companies dont do things like this to keep their business alive, only the bigger companies are doing it.
    2. The music industry is most like the game industry.  I was going to say software, but there is no resale value for most software, but this isn’t for work, this is for entertainment. (You can’t sell a used pencil very easily…)
    3. I buy just as many games when they hit platnum or whatever and are cheaper as I do used and new games.  So it isn’t like their sales disappear after 3 months.
    4. GameSpot is not a good company and does rip off consumers overall, but Ebay is another story.  Overall GameSpot makes huge profit off of preorders and used games, when they could be making half of that profit instead and still be in good shape, just the CEO wouldnt be as over paid.
    5. What Criterion does is please their consumer where the initial product is not worth the initial price in all reality, and they go over that a little bit, but it doesn’t take that much to do what they are offering for free.  Seriosly, if the game is made correctly, it doesnt even take a day for a artist to create a new car to put into the download bin for burnout, most idiots can do it in about 1 hour with the pre-built tools they most likely have.
    6. EA makes $4 billion a year, which translates to something like $400,000 on average for every employee after taxes.  The people I know that work there make far less than that, and throughout the entire dev team $75,000/yr is great pay for most of them compared to what they make.

  26. Geoff says:

    Meh, this is only a short-term problem.  Within the next 10 years I expect the industry standard to be digital distribution, for better or worse.  Even for consoles.

    Think about it.  DD first appeared on the PC and has proven to be very successful, especially Steam.  Many of those reports that show PC sales being "down" usually don’t take DD into account.

    It is only a matter of time before consoles follow suite.  What do you think XBLA or PSN are?  They are testing the waters to see if console players are interested.  So far both networks seem to be doing exceptionaly well.  Granted XBLA/PSN titles aren’t "retail quality" but the next logical step would be to include full retail games.

    They’ll start off by copying the PC’s current bussiness model; they’ll release the full game in retail stores but also will release it as DD on the console’s network.  So long as they make a large enough profit off of the DD sales it’s really only a matter of time before the standard is DD.

    Place yourself in a CEO’s shoes for a moment.  You’re looking at figures of potential sales loss due to used copy sales.  You take a look at the XBLA and PC market and see that DD is selling rather well.  Hard drives are only getting larger and cheaper.  More people are connected to the internet than ever before and the number of net users can only increase.  Digital distribution seems like a rather tempting and profitable alternative, doesn’t it?


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  27. jadedcritic says:

     I’m inclined to think that people tha take this sort of thing too personally are taking it too seriously.  The markup on used games is HUGE.  Last time I was in a gamestop comparing prices on the game I wanted used versus new, it was a 5 dollar difference. (You cannot tell me that they paid whomever sold them back that game, 50 bucks.  20 if they were LUCKY).  On 60 bucks 5 bucks isn’t worth it.  So frankly, if the publishers want me to buy more new games, I don’t have a huge problem with that.  It’s true that some of the older, more obscure titles, once they stop selling come down to a reasonable price point where used becomes worthwhile, but when games get old enough that they hit that price point, it’s a good bet they’re old enough that the publishers won’t be offering special incentives on new copies anymore either.

    I guess my problem is that I don’t see the used market as a huge opportunity for consumers so much as the rental market.  Used is really more a place for the retailers to exercise their super-markup powers, and as such, it doesn’t really worry me if the publishers encourage people to try to stay away from it.

  28. sheppy says:

    I’d say unless the ads generate SIGNIFICANT revenue, which they more often than not don’t, I don’t see how we should expect that to be the difference between a $60 copy of Dead Space and a $30 copy.  As long as the ads are not invasionary, I don’t have issues.  It’s just the invasionary ads I get annoyed at (GH III).

    To me, throwing ads in the game ensures the latest release isn’t a make or break proposition for the studio.  So I don’t mind ads if it means that, should Dead Space not do as well as hoped, the studio doesn’t shutter up like EA Chicago.

    Fact of the matter is, games are now costing many times the amount they ran when PS2’s gen was around and we only saw a $10 increase.  Eventually something is going to have to break and if new game bonuses to discourage used game sales in that VERY important three month cycle is one of the things, bring it on.  These aren’t things being withheld from the game or kept permanently out of the hands of used buyers after all.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  29. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Well, I agree with you. But Ford itself does not profit off the purchase and reselling of used cars. The dealer who buys and sells the used car profits. Same situation, but different responses from car manufacturers and game publishers.

    Let’s look at the movie industry for a moment. They have a nice income structure that is unrivaled by any other industry. They make back almost all if not all expenses at the theatre. But most often that is not where the real profits come. The real profits come from DVD sales. In this industry, they basically sell you the same thing twice. They funny thing is, the cheaper experience is actually the better experience. For half the price of a DVD, you get to watch the movie on a 50 foot screen with 20 speaker surround sound. For the price of the DVD you get to watch it at home on your 36 inch tv with 5 speaker surround. But people buy the DVDs because they can continue to watch the movie. Consumers are happy with this.

    Now in the video game industry, we have one way to make money. Sell the game. There is no other way to make money off of that one game. The only way to make more money off a game in the game industry is to expand the experience. They need to sell DLC and expansions. If a franchise is really popular, your real profit would come from expansions and DLC. In this situation, it wouldn’t matter if a game is bought new or used, because people are buying the extra goodies. The only problem is that consumers are not happy with this without some change. They are paying full price for the game and then having to pay extra for content. What should be happening is the game should be sold at a much lower price than it is now and people would be more willing to buy the extras.

    Next we have advertising in games. Gamers expect to receive somethign in return for havingto be subjected to ads in games. Look at tv. The yhave ads and the content is free for the viewer. But gamers have to pay full price for games riddled with ads. Can the price not be dropped any for ad supported games? The ycould still make money from the advertising and gamers wouldn’t mind because they paid less for the game than one without advertising.

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  30. Sigvatr says:

    I’m starting to feel ashamed for game players and purchasers because they haven’t caught on yet that the game industry is big business trying to make money.

  31. sheppy says:

    You know, rather than ranting how the sky is falling, the sky is falling, by christ someone install some supports, let’s look at this logically.  First, comparing the game industry to any other industry is instant failure in your arguement.  Auto companies buy the used cars because that often gets people into NEW cars.  Movies can make money for 90 years.

    Video games?  Three months.  The average game only has three months to recover the monetary investment.  Bonuses like this are how companies make those ends meet.  What’s the difference between this and preorder bonuses?  All this does is add value to the new game purchase.  And is this a direct blow at Gamestop?  Yes, actually.  Let’s put it this way.  Which version of a game is Gamestop pushing?  It sure as hell isn’t the New copy.  In fact, Gamestop notoriously underorders new games to drum up scarcity on hotter titles.  Thus their warning, "you gotta preorder duuuuuude."

    Now, this move?  Dickish on the surface but think about it.  Criterion has been adding booku content to their game for free and seeing little money in return for it.  Gamestop is the one profiting on the used copies sold.  Now imagine you’re working at Criterion and all your hard work is fattening the wallets of a company that has openly said New Game sales aren’t their priority, wouldn’t you be pissed?

    Now take a look at Rock Band 2.  Both used and new copies have 84 songs but the NEW copies will have a bonus 20 songs.  Now, the USED copy of Rock Band 2 is $55, the NEW copy of Rock Band 2 is $60… no brainer, don’t you think?  All in all, it’s an industry with a much smaller sales life than any other industry directly combating their biggest threat.  If you like games and the industry as a whole, you should be applauding this move since THIS is what keeps companies from going under.  After those three months are up, the new bonuses won’t matter.  Most companies will likely make the features free.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  32. tjamezw says:

    Might I say this is a stupid idea, a lot of people i know like to rent new games so they know whether or not they actually want to buy the game… If a game has a code that can only be used once then how would you be able to rent games to play so you know if you like it,


    And what about 3 years from now when someone want to buy a used game that has been out for a couple years already and you cant buy a new copy’s of it and if there is a code on all of there games then how will we play it.


  33. Nocturne says:

    I can understand why they get annoyed when a used copy is up for sale next to a new one on the first day/week but the games stores are only organising and running whats been going on for years anyway, and it’s not like they can regulate ebay or your local car boot sale.

    Also if it’s more than a few months old often the only way to find a copy at all is to buy used, especially if it wasn’t a hugely popular title.

    If they really want to stop people from buying used they should go the stores, steal some of the instruction booklets and use the cases as cigarette trays. Gamestation in the UK already seem to be running this policy.

  34. KayleL says:

    I still buy brand new games. Most of the used games I buy aren’t for sell anymore because they don’t make new copies.

  35. Adamas Draconis says:

    Gods I remember that debacle. Alot of my friends *Gasp* WENT SEGA over that mess and didn’t even LOOK at their SNES’s until Nintendo gave up.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  36. Adamas Draconis says:

    Hadn’t heard about Moviestop, I usually check my local Gamestops (3 within reasonable drive) to see if they have a used copy of a movie I want.

    Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

  37. Iwa says:

    "DVDs are a good comparison though.  Why don’t DVD stores put such emphasis on second hand discs as game stores do?  There’s surely a market."

    Well, Gamestop has this covered already.  They created a similar store for movies, called Moviestop.

  38. jazduck says:

    You always have the out that you do not agree with their EULA. At least where I am I can buy a game, disagree with the EULA and be issued a full refund on return of the game. After all it is an agreement, not just the software company dictating terms.

  39. GrimCW says:

    i think its rather possible actually as Ubi faced numerous BBB charges that were upheld by the BBB and forced Ubi to release a fixed patch for R6V awhile back when it wasn’t working correctly on a large number of systems that it should’ve worked easily on.

    Ubi wasn’t going to make the patch, and it shows since said patch was over a year late, but people got responses back from the BBB looking into the matter rather quickly.  far to late to save the PC version of the game, but it did show the system works.

    i dunno bout flatout lawsuit, but they do have to provide full support for their product if it isn’t working right.

    at least to operate in the states they do that is.

  40. sirdarkat says:

    Since they are trying to kill the used game industry does that mean when their product fails to run on my pc or fails to deliver on what it promised that I am allowed to take it back and get a refund? 

    I also always wondered if someone can’t claim false advertisement when a game doesnt run on their pc but they meet the requriments listed on the box, or if the game doesn’t deliver on the experience it is suppose to have.

  41. JC says:

    I think their approach will leave some people making yet another market of selling those codes online or disappointed gamers buying "New" and finding out it was a gutted title.

  42. Spartan says:

    Given the current best practices of the industry especially from companies like EA and Acti I think my fears are more than warranted. Now with that said, I fully support Epic for its creative approach to improving first sales and wish it a shitload of success.   


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  43. sheppy says:

    And you have no evidence this will be the case.  None.  What you have is speculation and a lame attempt at outrage for Epic making five map remakes in Gears 2 exclusive only to people who buy New.  That’s not a core element in the slightest.  This is a DLC meant to promote new game sales.  No more, no less.

    Might as well start bitching how Rare has the balls to give away Banjo-Kazooie on XBLA for free to people who preorder Banjo: Nuts and Bolts.


    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  44. squigs says:

    To be fair, cars are a bit different.  Resale value is a consideration when you buy one. 

    DVDs are a good comparison though.  Why don’t DVD stores put such emphasis on second hand discs as game stores do?  There’s surely a market.

    As far as I can see, the differences are a higher proportinal retail markup for DVDs and a large number of extremely cheap older movies.  My suspicion is that the real money is in selling the cheap stuff quickly rather than the high ticket prices. The sapce given over to special offers supports this.  There are no cheap older games.  Even very old budget games are rarely less than £9.99 (over in England.  I imagine similar in the US).  I can often find decent enough movies for £5.  Sometimes as low as £3.  Makes an impulse purchase much more likely. I bet there are a lot of impulse buys. 

    The game retailers need to find the cheap easy to shift items.  That would be the used games. If older, unused games were sellling close to the used price for games the developers would be getting a chunk of the profit themselves.  People prefer buying new. 

  45. beemoh says:

    I don’t know what it’s like in the US, but in the UK there isn’t a second-hand music/movie market of any significance- what there is is not on a massive scale in HMV, Zavvi or any other big-name, high street entertainment retailer, but in the backstreet indie stores, charity shops and eBay- not by any stretch of the imagination the replacement for new stock that seems to be making up the majority of product available in the larger game retailers.

    As a result, those industries are shifting more new units and are able to sell their wares at a lower price. However, every second-hand game sold means that they’re selling fewer new titles- be it the same game, or a different one there was no shelf space for- which means the cost of development needs to be spread across fewer copies, which means higher prices. They sell more, prices go down- this is the first thing they teach you in high school Business Studies.

    Consumers need to deal with it. It is a part of consumer life. Companies will lower prices when they know they can do it and still pay their costs.

    Are there better ways of doing it? Probably. Are they feasable given the current, second-hand focused, state of games retail? Not really. This is a back-and-to thing, and the issue isn’t going to go away on the actions of one side alone- and if you’re not going to play the game, you can’t coplain about the rules.


  46. DeepThorn says:

    Yeah, they want to piss off their own consumer…  It sounds about time for me to start making PC and console games instead of just Flash games…  This is what happens when you have greedy A-holes running companies instead of people who have passion for the industry… 


    "It’s also possible that used game buyers will stop buying used games in protest"

    What type of logic is this?  I am not going to buy the USED game in protest that publishers wont make the game correctly?  Yes, lets punish the second hand stores who give the publisher no cut instead of punishing the publishers…  I support piracy at this point…  Publishers are just getting out of hand, and this is becoming complete BS…  I thought EA’s DRM was an issue, but they are spreading it to console games…  So when and where is the protest at?  I will pay for 5 people’s plane tickets if we get 10,000 people there.  I am sure we can get other people to pony up the same idea, like GameStop, haha. (Even if I do hate GameStop since their buy price is too low and used sell price is higher than what I care for… [Ebay is better with that gap])

    I can not rationalize why they would be doing this when piracy is not really that common until they do shit like this.  We seriously need to figure something out, because this is beyond out of hand.  ECA with the consumers needs to act, and they need to act now before it is too late.

  47. E. Zachary Knight says:

    When was the last time the Movie and music industries complained about used sales of their products? What about the auto indutry? Computer industry? Any industry that has nothing to do with games?

    The video game industry just needs to deal with it. It is a part of consumer life. They will buy new when the price of the new product meets or excedes the perceived value of the product in the consumer’s eyes.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
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    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  48. DeepThorn says:

    EA makes $4 billion a year and only has 8,000 employees.  I think they make enough money to take care of their cost.

  49. Austin_Lewis says:

    See, when I get a multiplayer game, first thing I do is beat it on single player.  I learn the controls, learn the game, learn the map layout, etc.  If, by the time I’ve beaten single player, I’m not having fun, chances are I won’t want to unlock those things for multiplayer play, where the most important things are the best weapons, maps, etc.

    Of course, I own Battlefield Bad Company, but I manned up and bought the cheaper version for Xbox360 and unlocked everything myself, unlike some people I happen to know.

  50. Zen says:

    This bothers me the most because I will purchase a game new if I feel it is worth it, but I also host LAN parties at my house so I own multiple (read USED) copies of some games like Gears and the Halo Series so multiple people can play together even if they don’t have the game.  I can mostly afford to do this with some of the used costs when the games come down a bit, but I also depend on what content is free vs pay for them as well.  Halo 2 and 3 made most of their maps free after a set time and Gears had maps that were sponsered so they were free from the get go so I could afford to add that for everyone and make the games that much better.  But if I have to buy 12 copies of a game BRAND NEW just to add the content that they would have already been paid for by the other 12 original owners so that it will work, I’ll just scrap the whole LAN party idea completely.  It’s this kind of logic that makes me thing gaming is becoming the new music industry where they only watch for themselves and not for their customers, who are being turned into criminals for just playing the games. 

    I took my kids to see a movie at the Dollar Theater the other night which the movie industry doesn’t make anything off of (they just buy the old films fom the other theaters so those theaters make a bit back on the original purchase on top of other profits) so should I have the end of the movie cut because I didn’t pay the higher price and enter a code at my seat?

    Jeremy Powers, aka Zen
    Panama City, Fl.

  51. GrimCW says:

    i don’t think this sorta thing will work.

    i’ve never seen a games "locked for pre-order users only" content NOT go free or pay to get by non-pre-order users after a time.

    and in the rare instances it did last forever without a gripe, it didn’t stay that way long with pirates cracking the codes to the number generators and putting the info up in a handy .exe that’ll give ya your own code.


    + if they lock content like that from one set of users but its there for others, then those that have it probably won’t use it cause they might have a buddy who doesn’t have the active code or something.

    this could kill sales of future games faster than it’ll make more sales really, and begin to hurt retailers and publishers alike.


  52. Dragunov765 says:

    Best option presented so far, but I could easily see them designing the additional content to be pivotal to enjoying the game (best weapons, puzzles, maps, etc.)

  53. Austin_Lewis says:

    So if you buy a game, don’t activate anything that comes with it until you’re sure it doesn’t suck.

  54. Neeneko says:

    That progression is what worries me.

    What they are doing now, I actually have no problems with.  If they want to offer a carrot to people who buy games new, that is ok.  They get more profit form first sales and it is within their rights and interests to encourage people to buy new,.. and if they can do that via extra rewards to people who benifit them more then that sounds fine.  Esp if they offer the same benifits at a seperate cost to people who DO want to buy the game used (who can then deice for themselves if the extra content is worth the money to them)

    Now, if this transitions to a stick approach by locking out key content then we have a problem.  Still, slippery sloap is considered a logical falicy so let’s not assume that it MUST happen.

  55. Spartan says:

    Yep it starts with "special" things to promote sales then logically progresses to core elements of the game under the guise of "protecting customers".


    "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" – Herodotus

  56. Conejo says:

    actually, the RB2 download was due to time constraints with the early-exclusive launch for the 360.  they promised the songs, but failed to get them on disc in a timely manner.

    it’s for the 360 only, as far as i’ve been informed, and the other versions should have those 20 songs properly loaded onto the game without need for download.

    Here are we — and yonder yawns the universe

  57. DorkmasterFlek says:

    EA has already started doing this too (no surprise there).  Rock Band 2 on the 360/PS3 (and probably the Wii as well) comes with a code in the manual to register for an extra 20 free downloadable songs (as yet to be announced/released).  While I’m all for an extra 20 free songs, limiting it only to new copies of the game is a pain.  I understand their perspective, they’re not getting any money from the people buying used games, but at least make the content available for a fee to those who don’t have the codes or whatever.  I suspect this is the diretion it will go, as less tech savvy consumers may be upset when they discover that the content advertised on the back of the game they just bought used isn’t actually available to them.

  58. GrimCW says:

    ya know, i think this could also stem from a want/need to block people who want the games, but are on a roundabout boycott against certain companies, from getting the games used, or wanting to get them used.

    its just another form of DRM really.

  59. TBoneTony says:

    This would suck for the people who are used-game gamers or second hand gamers.


    With the age of the internet I guess the Game Publishers will try to do anything to save a dollar.


    I used to be a 2nd hand gamer in my younger life trying to find games for cheep.


    But because of the CD’s or DVD disks being scratched I just skipped on that and tried to get all my games new when they came out.


    I had to save allot of money that way, but I was lucky.


    I don’t think any casual person would be able to be as forgiving as I was when it comes to 2nd hand games.


    Even then, unless if the 2nd hand gamer really cared about acessing levels from online bonus content I guess the buying public may not know until a Wii Sports game has downloaded content and THEN they will start to realise that something is up.


    Either way, I don’t feel good about the download content being used once for a game,


    What about when the console crashes and you need a new console?


    Those are the things I would be more worried about when it comes to using online code once on a game.




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