God of War’s David Jaffe Rants on Used Games & We Rant Back

We don’t always agree with famed God of War designer David Jaffe, but the guy is never boring.

And so it is with Jaffe’s just-posted video rant on the merits of used game sales. While Jaffe acknowledges the game consumer’s right to take advantage of the best deal, he lost us by saying that the consumer has no place in the larger debate over used games:

Whenever this [used game] stuff comes up gamers get excited and upset. Developers get upset… there’s all this kind of tension on the internet between developers and gamers and publishers…


The customer’s always right, and look… if there’s somebody out selling them legally a game for $5 whether it’s a used copy or whatever, go for it. Get the best deal you can get. It’s not your job to look out for the developer or the publisher or anybody except yourself…


The issue really has to do with publishers and developers and retail. I don’t mean this in a mean way, like it’s none of the consumers business. But literally, it’s none of the consumer’s business. It should not affect the consumer at all. All the consumer should worry about is. "Can I get the best deal possible…?"

GP: But, David, if you take away the used game option, how can the consumer save a buck in an industry where new product prices are de facto fixed? How can the consumer get any value out a disappointing $60 game without the option to trade it in?

Have you ever seen a young mom walk into GameStop with a little kid who is clutching maybe five bucks? It’s a huge treat for a child like that to pick up a used GBA cartridge or two. The game may be old, but it’s a brand-new experience to him. Who’s to say that kid’s only option is to buy a new game? At $19.99, maybe that new GBA game doesn’t get purchased. Maybe that kid never really gets into gaming.

And, hey, while I love your work and your willingness to engage, I find your "the consumer has no say in the matter" view to be rather arrogant – even if you are just verbalizing what a lot of industry insiders are thinking. 

The gamer, though, is the most important person in this equation. Publishers, retailers, developers come and go. We’re currently waving goodbye to Midway. Circuit City is in the rear view, and yet gaming carries on. If consumers ever decide to move on to something else, however, it’s over.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. Mouspotato says:

    Every used market functions differently, and so what. No one is forcing gamers to buy used games.If you have an ethical issue with it ,don’t buy them.

    There’s nothing immoral or illegal about selling a used product which you own.

  2. lumi says:

    But there’s a difference between games and those products.  You’re not selling your chair back to Ikea to sell again for $5 less than a new one.  Ikea also isn’t trying to force used chairs down your throat as soon as you walk in, discouraging the sale of new chairs.  The chair manufacturer isn’t pouring money into promoting Ikea.

  3. Mouspotato says:

    On the issue of whether the used game market is the consumers business,I feel the opposite of Jaffe. It’s entirely and only the consumers business and none of the game industries business.

    Just like what I do with my used book is non of Stephen Kings business,or how what I do with my used chair is non of IKEAS business,or like what I do with my used Macbook is non of Apples business etc. etc.

    This is the way the market works. You design and build something into physical form and put it up for sale and once someone buys it,it’s not your’s anymore and you have no right to dictate what others can do with it.  This is the way it’s always worked and I don’t see why the game industry should be given special rights that other industries don’t get. The consumer won’t accept any restrictions, and will find a way around any restrictions if they were to ever be put in place.


  4. lumi says:

    I would venture a guess that more consumers suck it up and buy the whole package for $60 ($50, really…what the hell are you people buying?  I can’t remember the last time I saw ANY game for more than $50, and most of my recent purchases have been less than that, new), and just ignore the parts they don’t want, than refrain from buying a package deal because they only want one part.

    I wonder how many copies of The Orange Box were sold JUST for Portal?

  5. lumi says:

    Only hurting yourself there, GoW is an amazing series. 

    It’s frustrating to see the ridiculous kneejerk reactions from this site.  I cannot believe I’m actually seeing posters here using piracy to argue in favor of used game sales…how hypocritical is that, after all the debate that’s gone on here over that very topic?

  6. Jonyblayze says:

     Yea, I had tried to have him realize that, but he just keeps saying it obviously makes no difference, since he sees so many games just sitting around the warehouse that are already paid for. I figure he’ll never get it.

  7. Mouspotato says:

     Well I don’t know the stats on how much demand there is for SP vs MP. I do know good SP only games still sell well. And who knows how many people buy a game Resistance 2 for example mainly for the SP portion dabble a little bit on the MP and return.

    But the point is that maybe a lot of consumer like myself are not buying because the entire package is not good value. Maybe if they offered the SP only for a reduced rate you would turn a tonne of renters into buyers. Same might be the case for MP.

    At least if they offered a broken up selection,they could could get a more accurate gauge as to exactly what the consumer wants.

    But really I’m not trying to argue what people want more,I just think being able to be selective from a consumer standpoint could bring in more purchasers. Like Itunes and how it let’s people select only the songs they want where previously they might not by a CD at all because they might only want 1 or 2 songs from the entire CD.Or they might have turned to piracy.

    Gamers are not one big block of monolithic consumers that all want the same thing, yet the one package suits all for one price model of how games are currently sold,treats us as if we are.


  8. State says:

    If a game sells well then the retailer will buy more stock from the suppliers, so if the retailer keeps selling second-hand games they are not going to the supplier they are buying them from gamers, therefore they are not giving any more money to the developers.

    The point about not worrying about supporting developers because they are not American is pointless patriotism.

  9. Loudspeaker says:

    I second that proposal!

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  10. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Blu-Ray has some sort of tech that can do it from the disc itself if I remember correctly. But this is something that could be done on any system that has an HDD.

  11. Mouspotato says:

    I haven’t read any of the comments but I’m going to give my perspective in issue.

    I mainly rent games. I think I’ve only purchased a few games in the last few years. Some off PSN,others at retail. But I’ve played dozens of games on PS3.

    The reason is because I only like the single player portion of games. Some people only like the MP portion,others like both. A $60 CDN retail purchase just doesn’t offer great value for money for me. Even if I rent the game for a few weeks it still costs me far less then buying the full game. By renting the game I get the game experience exactly as I want it,no more no less. And I don’t have to worry about what the trade in value might be.

    I think the current retail model of throwing everything but the kitchen sink into one package and shipping it at one price is too rigid and alienates gamers who might not want the full package.

    All this talk of system power seems to focus around graphics,but part of the power of these new systems is that have hard drives and can connect to the net. I would LOVE to see games like Killzone2 not only offered as a full download,but also parted out in portion so gamers could buy exactly and only the portion they want.

    So for example instead of buying the full game for $60 I could download just the single player portion for $25-30. Some people could buy just the multiplayer portion for $30 or some could buy the entire package for for $50-55. Whatever you want. Like the Itunes model.There is a value in owning. It means I can take my time and play the game as often as I want and revisit it later

    I think the game industry instead of being angry at things like used games,piracy or rentals,look at them and seek to understand why they exist and what they offer that is taking money from devs/pubs. Flexible pricing,flexible distribution. Choice choice choice. This is what the game industry is failing at,so the seconday market is filling in that gap.

    And if the retailers don’t like it for now the industry could give retail disk version an exclusive relase for the first ew weeks,then after that offer it up for download.


  12. Keith K says:

    FIVE BUCKS?! TWO GAMES?! Where the fuck do you people live?!

    Where I come from, a used game costs as much as new one! Valkyria Chronicles used: $75! Fallout 3 used: $60! The consumer AND the developer are being raped!

    The only place i can get a game for $10 is through digital distribution, period!

    Jaffe clearly stated, he didnt have an answer, but admitted that if retail continue to rape the publisher, the publisher will push back by taking away their revenue stream. It’s a catch-22 that retail and publishers have to work out between themselves in order to PROTECT the consumer.

  13. Jonyblayze says:

    Has anyone else heard this weird argument that a friend of mine has laid out to me? He says that because the developers get paid up front for the games to be shipped out to retailers, they shouldn’t give a shit about used games sales, since they had already gotten money for the new copies that went unsold anyway and they’re just bitching about not getting money on those games that are sold 2-3 more. He says he knows this because he works at a UPS shipping warehouse or something and that he deals with tens of thousands of dollars of games that just sit around there while Target and other retailers fail to claim them. The reason that developers are closing according to him, have nothing to do with bad game sales, just the bad economy in general. He also says our president recommends we buy used games, as most publishers are from overseas (something i definately had to correct him on with Blizzard, Valve, EA etc) and we shouldn’t support them at all.

    I dont’ know, but I’m gonna guess that its a bit more than just that simple.  They obviously lose money some way if games go unsold, maybe the retailers just won’t buy as much stock from them next time? What’s everyone elses insight on this theory?

  14. questionmark1987 says:

    The problem is the publichers are in a catch 22. They would have to work out some heavy deals with stores like Walmart and Best Buy to have them order more stock. Right now those big name stores order less because stores like gamestop have so much of the market shopping through them instead. Case in point I have a gamestop by my house, it’s next to a walmart and only a few blocks from a best buy. Arguably you can get better prices on new games at either big store, but almost no one buys their games there.

  15. State says:

    So is that why Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo are selling old games for download, and that they generate lots of sales?

  16. questionmark1987 says:

    What you’re describing (the everything but the kitchen sink part) is more a trend in the consumer choices than anything. People just aren’t buying single player only games anymore. It probably has a lot to do with the shift in the market to a more casual base (make no mistake hardcore gamers are not the target demographic for most companies anymore) and the increase in online and multiplayer technologies built into the systems.

    Basically your best bet if you enoy single player games is to go out and look for something that was developed with single player as it’s main mechanic (most RPGs and about 35-50% of the FPS genre for example). Renting is a good way to check that.

  17. rma2110 says:

    I think more people would be willing to shell out a game’s $60 price tag if they new they could sell it used latter. Cheaper used games halp people try the games they nevr would have tried otherwise.

    I hate Gamestop and the idea of any retailer pushing used games over new ones. I still support the usd game market all the way. Things like books may keep for a long time, but game cd and DVD get scrathched and th graphics get dated. How many gamers still enjoy Monkey Isand or Gabriel Knight? How many still play the SNES version of Super Mario Brothers or Street Fighter? Not many.

  18. Galthromir says:

    Hmm, I would say that when no third party is involved, its all good. Its the gamestops, etc. that are annoying since they already get a cut of initial sales. So they force used because they get 100% of the profit, plus they tend to rip the crap out of customers. And, like others have said, they really force it on you. Ebay is a wonderous wonderous thing 🙂

  19. TJLK says:

    Yea, I totally support Steam, Impulse and DRD.  Its a different cycle of trade.  Basically when you are talking about second hand trade you have to discuss ownership of property.  When is ownership of a unit transfered.  When you purchase a game, do you own it?  If you sell a game, does that person or party then own it?  Can you charge fees or require payment during the transfer of ownership if you are both not the oringal or future owner?

    I probably won’t finish it tonight because I have a lot of resources to cite and even some people to ask questions to.  There is quite a bit of information to sort out if I want it to be good.  It started out as a reply but when I threw it into word for grammar/spelling/structure editing it was already 2 pages long.  So I figured i might as well cite some sources, ask some qualfied people a few important questions and compile it into a respectable essay.

    Essentially my argument is that developers and publishers are not involved in the second hand trade cylce.  They are involved in the initial trade cycle but after ownership is transfered they shouldn’t have any power over future transfers of ownership.  It is all about respecting an individuals property and their ability to control it.

  20. TheEggplant says:

      This argument always seems to come back to Gamestop. Zero Originality anecdotally showed what a shitty place it is to shop. I haven’t been into one in 6 years and it is so easy. Shop online, go to big box, Gamestop isn’t worth your time. If the big corporations really wanted to do something about Gamestop they easily could. Freeze’em out and see how fast they change. Gamestop depends on game sales Wal-Mart/Best Buy do not.

       Don’t fucking tell me I can’t buy used games however! I get mine off of ebay or Amazon Marketplace and almost everytime it has been a great experience. The fact is if we ever do get to digital distribution only the amount of games I purchase will drop significantly.
    This coming from someone who has 80+ on Steam, a dozen more between Impulse and Playgreenhouse, and always on the lookout for great indie titles. (CrypticComent, BitBlot, Wadjet)
    It seems appropriate to regurgitate an oft repeated phrase. Amazing how much loyalty people give to corporations who couldn’t care less either way.
    By the By these comments are directed at the people across the internet who are screaming about industry killing used game sales, not at Jaffe.


    ——————————————————————————————————————————— Hookers and Ice Cream aren’t free. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/stolen-pixels/5137-Stolen-Pixels-12-T

  21. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I propose a compromise. Gamestop and any other retailer that deals in used games, discloses all their numbers. Games traded in and used games sold. Prices they were sold at, etc. By publishing numbers in an NPD style format, publishers can better determine which games need a price cut to boost sales and which games need to go back to print to satisfy the demand.

    While the publishers are not getting more money off used sales they are geting information that would allow them to make more money. Gamestop etc can continue selling used games. Consumers can get the best price they can find on games. So everyone wins.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  22. Galthromir says:

    Well, you might want to factor into that that some sources there is no resale (Steam, Impulse, and D2D). If you are going for that angle.

  23. TJLK says:

    I think we are reading his comments correctly. The consumer has every right to be in the discussion because it is OUR MONEY and its infringing on a relationship between the retailer and conumser.  It also calls into question as to if gamers actually OWN the game or not.  If gamers truely own the game then the devs/pubs argument is dead in the water.  If we are leasing or renting the game then they might have an argument.

    This has motivated me to write an essay tonight.  Its going to be titled "Relationships in the video game trade cycle."  I’ll post a link here after Im done.

  24. PHOENIXZERO says:

    I’m sure it’s been mentioned but unless they start binding games to consoles in a similar fashion to CD-Keys only being used on one computer or whatever then there’s really no issue since publishers can do nothing to prevent used games. There are already statutes in place for this sort of thing.

  25. sqlrob says:

    The gaming industry has NEVER been about the consumer, and as an elightened consumer I feel no need to be at all about the gaming industry.

    Why did you put sarcasm tags around that? That was exactly his point.

  26. Galthromir says:

    Actually, piracy is a large reason that those games that arn’t OMG hits don’t get sequals. A case in point being Titan Quest, whose target number of sales to gain funds for a sequal was 1 million. They sold 985,000. It was one of the more pirated games of that year…if just 15,000 people had bought it they could’ve enjoyed playing a sequal.

    But I digress. I think the thing is that most people are completely misreading this guy’s comments. What he is trying to say is that it is no one’s buisness other than devs, publishers and retailers to get into the nitty gritty of used game sales (royalties, fee owed to one another, etc.). What he is not saying is that used game sales are bad! Or that he wants to eliminate the market! While his wording certainly could’ve been better, his message is not that which everyone seems to be ralling against.

    And to the few people who claim that the big bad gaming industry is trying to screw people into buying inferior games, guess what? We’re not (at least, every dev. I’ve worked for, with, or known)trying to rip people off. In the end devs. work crazy hard so that the product is excellent, since not only is it a source of pride, but good product=good profit (mostly).

    Woa, that was a bit of a rant now wasn’t it >.>

    Oh and if you want to blame publishers, go ahead 😉 Sometimes THQ makes me want to punch a baby.

  27. Loudspeaker says:

    Okay I believe a few economic ideals have been skipped in this discussion so far, but a few seem to have shed a bit of light on the subject.  This argument that used video game sales take away from the revenue streams of the developers is honestly just as absurd as trying to eliminate piracy to increase sales.

    Before I get flamed let me explain why…

    A used game copy cannot be purchased unless someone purchased the game new first.  So at some point, someone shelled out $XX for the game.  Now, whomever purchased that game used payed less than the original price for the game because they didn’t see the value in purchasing the game for the original $XX.  If you eliminate the used game market, that individual will NOT purchase the game for $XX.  It will simply be someone who didn’t purchase the game at all.  So, the net impact to the end developer is the same.

    Still believe the used gaming market is bad for developers?  Well then you’d best go eliminate the game rental market as well…  EXCEPT that would require a new system for trying out a game before you buy it since general policy on games(in the PC software market) doesn’t allow one to return a game when it’s a piece of junk.

    If the video game developers HATE the secondary market soooo much then why don’t they take a page from the music and movie industries and buy into it?

    Yeah I’m not seeing the downfall of gaming due to the secondary market.  Just as piracy hasn’t destroyed gaming either.

    Bury the red herring and lower the game prices if you really want more sales in the primary retail market rather than the secondary OR give those who purchase in the primary market more value.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  28. Wolvenmoon says:

    Wow! What an enlightening position! I agree wholeheartedly, it is none of our business to spend any sort of money at all on any product put out by a game company even debating the qualities of the used game industry-or interfering with it.

    The gaming industry has NEVER been about the consumer, and as an elightened consumer I feel no need to be at all about the gaming industry.


    <Response to David Jaffe’s comment>

    Congradulations, you arrogant bastard, you are now a cow to be milked solely for my entertainment and not given a dime. If I buy a frisbee, it is my perogative whether or not I sell that frisbee to someone else after I’m done with it, and unfortunately many games sold today have less entertainment value than a solo game of frisbee.

    Ending the direct response to HIS comment…

    Or I would say that if I were a heartless bastard and didn’t know there were innocent devs caught in the crossfire between consumers that can think (Unlike some, who act much like these seagulls : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXRgpum7OUo …that’s a whole ‘nother rant about jocks and gaming though) and greedy executives. Until they clean up their acts, I won’t spend a penny on their games-nor will I even give them the bandwidth or the blank DVD to pirate them.

    PC gamers are taking down EA over this securom BS, gamers are safeties off fire at will with lawsuits right now, go ahead-try to stamp down on used game sales. I *DARE* you. ( I don’t like this site as anything more than information on the lawsuits, but I’ll source it anyway : http://www.reclaimyourgame.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=116&Itemid=57 )

  29. Adrian Lopez says:

    "The issue really has to do with publishers and developers and retail. I don’t mean this in a mean way, like it’s none of the consumers business. But literally, it’s none of the consumer’s business. It should not affect the consumer at all. All the consumer should worry about is. ‘Can I get the best deal possible…?’"

    But it does affect the consumer. If I can’t buy used games I will have to buy them at full price, and there’s no guarantee that prices will go down for the lack of used games.

    With no competition from the used games market, customers are very much affected and it is — "literally," to quote Mr. Jaffe — very much their business.

    Heck… even if it didn’t affect me personally it would still be my business: as a human being I have the capacity for empathy, and I happen to be on the side of those who support the first-sale doctrine.

  30. JustChris says:

    People buy uses games more because….well, go into a Best Buy and find a 5-year old movie or TV series you’ve been putting off to buy, and it’s probably not hard to find it. Now try to find a 5-year old game, NEW, in that same store. Where are most of those games? Even the big hits get relatively short shelf life because space for games is more competitive.

    The problem with regulating the used games market is that retail store chains pull video games off the shelves quicker than they do with their video or music. So the consumer is going to have less options to get the game new. Try finding the original God Of War in new condition at a BB, Target or GameStop, David. 


  31. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The distribution model makes a criminal out of everyone that dares question copy right. (IE legit backups ,lending,ect,ect) without limited copy the time distribution model will rape consumers rights and ensure that thousand year copy rights are enforced at gun point.

    The distribution model only works when media can only be shared through paper once you get into thought like infinite copies letting the emdia mafia hold such power is not good.

    Instead focus on profit include donations and ad rev if its not ran like a non profit with public access to bank records and other info then it should be closed down. We need a real hard look at how information is shared and yes media/art is information we do not need corporate claiming rights to thoughts,ideals,words or our very own DNA…

       Now with that said what of 2nd hand, well all physical goods should be allowed to be re traded infinitely however "used" digital goods would not.

    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  32. sheppy says:

    Gamestop currently lists Crono Trigger used for $35… and you’re not going to definately get the case and manual with that (online purchase).   Only place you get a fair shake on used games is Slackers, Ebay, Goozex, or Craigslist.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  33. Praetorian says:

    I can see how someone saying the used games market _might_…a very strong might hurt the market, but then again — I’m a PC gamer first and foremost and once in awhile I will play a DS game. On the chance I do decide to go out and purchase a game I loved on SNES, Chrono Trigger to be exact, I’m not going to pay $40 dollars for that game _again_ when I could get it used at a Gamestop or other some such place for $10 to $15 bucks.


    "I’ve been told I’m the resident skeptic, but I wouldn’t believe that."

    ECA Seattle Chapter


  34. sqlrob says:

    The customer’s always right, and look… if there’s somebody out selling them legally a game for $5 whether it’s a used copy or whatever, go for it.

  35. test_432 says:

    That’s a good point. The used games market trains kids to buy games instead of pirating them. What’s that worth to the industry?

  36. DaveG says:

    That’s true, but if you sell your game for $30, which is still cheap. BINGO! you’ve just made yourself $25 million!

  37. test_432 says:

    NFL2K is not Madden. NFL2K4 and NFL2K5 were competing with the Madden ’04 and Madden ’05 titles.

  38. Haethos says:

    IP-wise, plenty is involved. EA has exclusive rights to the NFL IP, and also exclusive rights to use the names of the players in the NFLPA. The price elasticity of demand is irrelevant when there is no other real competitor with, in this case, the Madden franchise (on retail shelves). 


    Economics Major

    University of California at Davis

  39. PHOENIXZERO says:

    Not to mention there’s several revenue streams for movies. From Boxoffice, to DVD to TV rights and many others.

  40. questionmark1987 says:

    Movies are a bigger market because they appeal to a broader audience then games, it’s not just about price point it’s about comfort with the technology. It’s shifting but games are still a far smaller market then movies.

  41. test_432 says:

    And we’d expect that the movies would have a larger market if the games market was being restrained by a price point that’s too high. If that’s the case then we’d expect that when prices are adjusted we’ll see unit sales move upward dramatically. And we did see that with NFL2K5 and we are seeing that with a large number of titles on Steam.

    This isn’t just me saying this, it’s Gabe Freakin’ Newell. That’s not a guy I’d want to disagree with unless I really, really, really knew what I was talking about.

  42. test_432 says:

    And again why is it that movies, with largely the same sized budgets, labor costs, marketing campagins and so on can manage to break even or make money when they only charge $12 for a ticket and $20 for a DVD?

  43. Galthromir says:

    What I’m saying if that you have to factor in those things. If a game costs 50 million to make (I’m talking the big big big AAA titles here) and it sells 2.5 million copies at $20 guess what, you just broke even. Now these three other titles that don’t are costing you money you don’t have. And sales are indeed a good idea, after the primary wave of purchases have been made. Sales are for the people you describe, the "want but don’t want enought to pay $60" for.


  44. test_432 says:

    Why is that a bad example? I’m not talking about production costs, licensing or anything like that, just raw unit sales. Game at $50 sells 360,000 units. Game at $20 sells 2.5 million. That’s nearly an 800 percent increase. Mechanics, IP issues have nothing to do with it.

    At any rate what about Left 4 Dead? Mount and Blade? Eets? Everything that Valve has put on sale has seen unit sales go through the roof. 600 percent to 36,000 percent. That’s not normal. Those kinds of sales increases indicate that something else is going on.

  45. Galthromir says:

    Oh definatly. Dead Space was one of the best s/h games I’ve played, and its use of atmosphere,sound effects, and story to almost make the player hallucinate was amazing.

  46. insanejedi says:

    But with regarding the quality in the games they put out, it has massively increased compared to the past.

  47. Galthromir says:

    Sports games are a bad example. Not only does one not need to drastically change mechanics, but IP wise nothing is involved. And they sell like candy, well, football games at least.

  48. test_432 says:

    Except that movies do the same thing with similar sized budgets yet they manage to do it without charging $60 for a movie ticket or DVD. And NFL2K5 did it without compromising quality. NFL2K4 sold around 360,000 units, $18 million in gross sales, while 2K5 sold over 2.5 million or about $50 million in gross sales.

    It’s called the price elasticity of demand and it’s something the industry needs to learn quick.

  49. Galthromir says:

    Its more of a *glare-into-time-machine-at-2004-EA* than recently. Tho I still hate them for pushing DRM. Us devs hate it as much as anyone else…I don’t see why corperate doesn’t listen >.<

  50. bgmnt says:

    Fair enough on the car/furniture analogy.  You make a very valid point.

    Due to your last points, I’d like to offer a rebuttal of two points.  1) Why should game manufacturers work to make their product less valuable to their customers?  If resale value is part of the value to me, isn’t that a good thing?  Typically, high resale value is good.  The argument they make is that it denies them the ability to make first sale money.  Perhaps, but this would be easily mitigated I believe with a graduated pricing scheme.  This is something they have been unwilling to do in any well understood scale.  "DLC " for the first time buyer only is just a backdoor way to try and control the value to me and make it less useful for me in the resale market.  This is a shallow ploy, and one that is annoying at best.


    2) "the used market needs to change".  Why?  Are video game manufacturers hurting?  Are they not enjoying record profits?  Record sales?  There is no actual problem here.   The only problem is that, while earning millions in profits, they identified an area they think they could earn even more money if they worked against their customers and started treating their customers as competitors.  This is a stupid business decision.  Customers don’t like being treated this way.  They should enjoy their success.  Perhaps, rather than some "knee jerk" moronic competition, they should find a way to offer actual value back.  How about this:  For an extra $5, they’ll give you a new copy of the manual, a fresh DVD case, and a guaruntee on the disk.  How about they keep releasing DLC that makes their game mroe valuable in the future and I don’t WANT to sell it used.  How about they lower the price of the game by $10 every month for the first four months so that after 4-5 months it only costs $10-$20 (obvious exceptions around Christmas).  

  51. Good Lord says:

    Not true. Used copies of games are often scratched, missing manuals, have DLC offers used up or expired, etc. A scratched game quite often does not play like a new game.

    This is why you pay more for a used game in "mint" condition than one in "used" condition.

  52. daronicus says:

    If my interpretation is correct, you have touched on a subtley different area.  The discussion is not about buying a used copy of RE4 over a new copy of RE5, but rather a used copy of RE5 over a new copy of the same game.  The used copy has no difference in value (technically) from the new one, and that’s where the issue lies.

  53. Michael Chandra says:

    Games might not become worse like cars, but technology gets better. As a result, standards increase. Also, a special gameplay system gets less fresh as time goes by, because other games use it as well or you already heard a lot of it. A game of a year ago is often noticably disadvantaged visually and gameplay-wise compared to a game now with equal scores. Not because the game loses quality like a car, but because the definition of quality becomes stronger.

  54. insanejedi says:

    The problem with it stems from the fact that you need an internet connection. For people that don’t have internet connections to their console, this causes big problems in the future implementation of this plan. The idea for developers will obviously be taking out content from a game and offering it back "free" to the purchaser if he has purchased it new. If you are taking out data and putting it back agian with the requirement of internet access, people that don’t have internet cannot acess that data even if they have purchased it new. This problem has been avoided by making it so that the content provided is only multiplayer content, but even then that causes problems as I have ran into many games of Gears of War where no one could play the flashback maps because a person was either too lazy to download the maps or just didin’t have the codes. It wrecks it for everyone online and those maps might as well not exist.

    The best way to do this is to incentivise the consumer purchasing new copys of the game without actually taking out content. There could be a new program either from Sony or Microsoft (nintendo isin’t on the banwagon for this one) where every purchase of a new game comes with a code that discounts future DLC content by 25% 50% or even free. This helps sony and microsoft whoever does this because it will make people purchase the PS3 or 360 version over the other because of the value incentives in it. It will benifit the publishers because then people will see extra value in the products, so they will buy it new. And developers are happy because they get their due. .

  55. Galthromir says:

    Yea, I suppose the biggest problem would be the transitionary wave of games. But still, I like the idea (though it’s not gonna help us devs argue with publishers lol).

    The latter suggestion would depend on the genre and developer. I know one of the titles we are working on wouldn’t work at all for that, while the other might. For FPS, an included map pack I think would be an excellent idea. Too bad I’m just a lowly artist and not an exec.

  56. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Its like getting the bonus tracks with a new purchase of Rock Band.

    As for cost, it probably wouldn’t be that big of a deal as long as it was budgetted in from the beginning. If it is a last minute decision, then yeah it could strain development a bit.

    One thought that just came to mind, often developers have to cut levels before finalizing a game, perhaps offer some of the better levels as bonus DLC along the same lines as deleted scenes in movies.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  57. Galthromir says:

    Hmm, that is indeed an interesting idea. I might mention that if the opportunity presents itself. The only problem I could see is how to form the DLC…does one take out content thereby weakening the product? Or add more content, thereby increasing strain on an already taxed developer? I dunno, but it is certianly an idea I’ve never heard before.

  58. E. Zachary Knight says:

    You know, I have never heard anyone complain about free DLC with a new purchase and having it available for a price to used buyers. I have never heard anyone complain about it. I personally think it is a great idea.

    However, what  Ihave heard people complain about is the idea (it has never been implemented as far as I know) that used buyers must pay to actually finish the game. Again, this was only mentioned in passing and as far as I know has never been implemented.

    Just so I know I am clear, free DLC is fine as long as it is not essential to playing the game.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  59. lumi says:

    A "$100 collectible game" is the exception, not the rule.  Trying to sell a used game on eBay for $45 bucks that retails for $60 isn’t that big a deal, assuming you’re not trying to gouge the buyer on shipping (which is a whole other idiotic matter).

  60. ZippyDSMlee says:

    I have watched a 100$ collectiable game be on ebay a year and it still did not sell.

    Thats about 2 bucks every 10 days, ebay is a nightmare when selling stuff over long periods.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  61. lumi says:

    DS games work on both the DS and the DS Lite.  The improvements are made to offer a better product, and to entice people who might have been on the fence to take the plunge and buy Nintendo instead of Sony.  You know many people who just threw away their DS when the Lite came out and bought that instead?

  62. lumi says:

    This is such a strawman…name an instance of a new console coming out within three YEARS of the same company’s previous generation, let alone 3 months.  How is this at all relevant?

  63. ZippyDSMlee says:

    They are forcing you to upgrade if you want to keep playing, they are mishandling the "updates" and locking out sections of the game library(360/PS3’s BWC issues,DSlite/DSI lack of a GBA port) they are the ones setting themsefls up  for the fall because people want that compatibility and if they do not offer it the populace will gain it one way or another. The consumers need to consume will be fed despite petty legalities.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  64. State says:

    You’re moaning that you’ve decided that you have to keep on buying every upgraded console. The simple solution is not to. Of course companies want you to spend money, but it’s your fault if you decide that you have to have every upgrade. You have a simple choice, stick with the old console and keep your money or keep spending money on upgrading. They’re not forcing you to upgrade.

  65. catboy_j says:

    Don’t be a daft asshole. I still have my original ps2 and never upgraded to a slim. But Things like the DS lite which have brighter screens and better battery life. And don’t even think they don’t WANT you to upgrade every time they put something new out.

    And what’s wrong if you want a decent sized hard drive? Especially if you use your console as a multi media machine.

  66. State says:

    Well they must love people like you believing that you have to keep on buying the latest upgraded console. No solution isn’t even trade-ins, it’s sticking with your original console. What do you really get out of it apart from a bigger hard drive?

  67. catboy_j says:

    On a semi related note game developers clearly can’t expect us to do things like

    Buy console, 3 months later they announce an improved version. Then you buy that and 6 months later they announce ANOTHER improved console. If you bought all of them brand new then you’d be broke likely. Thus tradeins.

  68. lumi says:

    "You’re missing something in your equation. I cannot afford to buy new games regularly and am often disconserted by how bad they are. I.E. Izuna stopped me from buying any DS games for a long while. If I had bought Black new at the price of 50 bucks I would of screamed and gone back to the companie to slit someones throat with the broken pieces of the game in my dreams I hate that game so much."

    Which also means that the developers of these games never get a dime of the money you spend on them – Gamestop is getting it all.  This doesn’t strike you as a problem?

    A portion of used games sales should go to the developers.  If they make a game that is still worth buying three years after release, they deserve compensation for producing a quality product.  If the only way a particular consumer can possibly afford a game is to wait for it to available used, then so be it, but some amount of the money they spend on that used product should go to support the developer.  The games that do sell, sadly, do have to support the (many) others that don’t.

    The problem with this is that obviously Gamestop (or whomever) would raise the prices of used games across the board if they were ever made to pay devs for used sales.  But why is the used game retailer deserving of more profit off of games than the developers that create them?

  69. questionmark1987 says:

    I buy out of print games rarely, last one was an old dreamcast copy of House of the Dead 2. Like I said I believe in that post, out of print no harm no foul, but if you’re going to say you’re doing it for money’s sake, be responsible and don’t encourage the biggest retailer in the game industry to continue screwing over the devs. Buy from amazon or ebay, you’ll get even better deals and won’t hurt the market nearly as much. WHen you’re ready to buy new buy from wherever.

  70. JC says:

    Simple, first sale doctrine is absolute. Customers have no obligation as to what they can do with something they bought. If it was reserved for games that are no longer in print then all used game sales can be voided by a company’s claim that they are still in print and aren’t obligated to keep them in print and can’t force a retailer to order new stock. This effectively voids first sale doctrine in an interesting way.

    Do you see the problem now?

  71. catboy_j says:

    Way to totally miss the point.

    Firstly The gaming stores dont’ just not order in new copies and only buy old copies. They just don’t order in sufficient new copies and take almost any used game in the right condition.

    As far as Resident evil goes. I was never able to afford them full priced at the time and I had grown out of the whole zombie interest by the time resident evil 4 came out. So the choice between buying Resident Evil used and Final Fantasy new At the time. If I had enough money that day or was going to in a month I would of opted for Final Fantasy tactics. But I wasn’t going to so I bought the incredibly cheap copy of Resident Evil. From that stemmed Brand new purchases of

    RE1 Gamecube, RE4 (Gamers choice) and a few used ones. Additionally TWICE I’ve loved a game so much, and fear my stuff getting broken, that I bought used copies to backup two of my favorite games. So later when some of my stuff got stolen I was quite fortunate to have done so. Something I coulnd’t of done if I was rebuying those games full price.

    Also you said you buy ONLY new games, thus you don’t buy out of print games used and appeared to not support it at all. And I say yes, if I had bought Dead Aim brand new for RE I would of lost all faith in the series. BTW I did look at the reviews for Black and preview the first level. I wasn’t able to properly identify issues and what total BS the game was until I had further played through the game. And as far as waiting for the price to fall, what fall 5 dollars? Good games prices don’t fall for over a year a lot of times. Some companies got into the habit of pushing back the date of a greatest hits release during the ps2 cycle just so they could sell a few more copies of the full priced game.

    As far as dualing new/used copies. Not everyone is going to go for used. I like to own stuff new when I can, but I just can’t afford it all the time. IF the price is five dollars cheaper and I can get it new, fuck that I’ll wait and get 5 more dollars and get it new. Most people seem to feel the same way. The consumers aren’t just out and about to rip off gaming companies.

    BTW There is a game I did pirate once then bought. SRW OG. I played it emulated, loved it so much, I made it my mission to buy it. And as far as ordering in obscure games, Gamestops service is shit.

    "Do you have Growlanser?"

    "What the fucks a Growlanser?"

    "Why don’t you try looking it up and seeing?"

    "We have Xenogears."

    "I want Growlanser."

    "Well our computer says that’s out of print we can’t get it for you."

    "But you have Xenogears?"

    "I don’t know man."

  72. questionmark1987 says:

    I agree this is fine but why does the second hand market have to be used to directly counter new sales (Buy used for $5 less)? Why can’t it be reserved to games no longer in print?

  73. questionmark1987 says:

    Games that are out of print don’t fit into the equation at all. The company had stopped making them new so of course there’s no way for you to buy it new, there’s no way for you to give that company money for the game so I don’t really see that as hurting anyone.

    As far as making bad choices buying something (IE this game sucked hard I regret buying it) that’s the danger of being a consumer of anything, you take that risk buying and if you think it sucks remember the dev name and don’t buy from them again. This is also where reviews, demoes and word of mouth comes in, videogames aren’t anymore limited then any other market in this regard so you can’t use that as an excuse. Be a smarter consumer and look up previews, play demoes or rent the game before you buy it.

    As far as specialty games go, stores often change what they stock based on sales, gamestop is famous for not only it’s used sales but also it’s willingness to order in obscure titles for it’s shoppers. You can also buy online. Not using those options is not the developer’s faults. It’s interesting that you use the fact that the store DOESN’T buy new copies (doesn’t support the companies making the games you want) as a way to justify not supporting the companies that make the games you want to buy.

    Finally as far as your point about RE that’s great, but would your love of the game series be any less if you had paid more? Would it have been seriously hindered by just waiting for the new copy price to fall? This doesn’t support either side. Except that if RE hadn’t sold enough new copies the company would never have made sequels for you to enjoy.

  74. hellfire7885 says:

    "But Wild Arms 3 I would of never been able to play had I not bought it used because It was out of print and no one had a new copy."


    If it wasn’t for the used market, certain titles would be just gone, no way anyone would ever be able to get them or enjoy them.

  75. catboy_j says:

    You’re missing something in your equation. I cannot afford to buy new games regularly and am often disconserted by how bad they are. I.E. Izuna stopped me from buying any DS games for a long while. If I had bought Black new at the price of 50 bucks I would of screamed and gone back to the companie to slit someones throat with the broken pieces of the game in my dreams I hate that game so much.

    But Wild Arms 3 I would of never been able to play had I not bought it used because It was out of print and no one had a new copy. So by buying only new games I not only would of missed this, one of my alltime favorite video games, I would of never bought Wild Arms 4 new. And I would of never bought the special edition of Wild arms 5 new at the time of release even though it was quite a dissapointment and has led me to believe the quality of releases have been deteriorating. Many times when I buy used games they also allow me to guage a franchise. If I had not bought several Resident Evil games used, I would of never even bothered with RE4, one of my favorite games of all time and my motivation to save up for a console and get 5.

    So essentially used games have sold a console to me when I get the cash. And trust me nothing else so far has convinced me to buy one before I heard about some of the special stuff in 5 like offline co-op.

    Also my collection of games is heavily anime based as well. I’m a major fanboy and love Gundam and a few other series. But the Game Stores often don’t order them in in more then a couple copies because they are "specialty" games. So My options are buy it used, or hope walmart or amazon or ebay has it. Game Crazy initially only ordered a few copies of .hack//Gu and Infection in this area, and even though they’re almost always sold out of their "speciality" games, they never consider ordering more in at a time. And I just use Gamecrazy as example so much cause it’s the closest game store. The others are hour or two away.

  76. questionmark1987 says:

    I just realized where my typo was and apoligize, I meant to say that the people buying used will return for credit and buy more used copies, not new. I would wager that a larger portion of the used games in gamestop have been returned more then once then the games that were only returned once. Can’t prove it but it’s my guess based on the behavior (buy used, return, buy used again because it makes the credit go farther, return buy used again) that most gamers who use the trade in system exhibit. If you tend to keep games you might buy them used but you won’t be returning unless it’s really bad.

    To simplify the people who trade in are obviously also the ones who will buy used more often to make their trade in go further. Rarely will they buy new and when they do it will still most likely go back into the used cycle. The end result is that the "money" going into the system is lowered more and more as the game is out longer, and since gamestop has this amazing habit of having used copies of a game on release day I can see how it seriously inhibits their need to buy as many new copies as they might.

    Now consider that each game developer is a different entity and that these consumers are most likely not only buying from one dev/publisher then the amount of money they are giving to the industry from themselves only ever comes from at most a slight (I would guess 30-45%) percentage of their purchases while the rest goes only to gamestop. Because credit is more often used to purchase used games then old (it saves the consumer money) not even the small offset amount is going back to the devs or publisher because gamestop isn’t selling new games and purchasing more.

    That’s why I only buy new, I know my purchase is going to prompt them to buy more new copies and support the devs.

  77. ZippyDSMlee says:


    Patches and bonus stuff can be seperated and distrobuted as need to have and soemthign sellable.

    The trouble is the anture of the indutry dose not allow for change easily that and the indutry is sue to hit and run tactics after a game is released…


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  78. questionmark1987 says:

    I would disagree, at least depending on the patch. Fixing a bug yes but a lot of patches now include new content. Frankly the future I think is going to be no free content ever. Developers are going to start (in fact they already have) leaving things out that aren’t necessary to the game and only allowing you to access them if you buy the extra downloadable content. Consumers will hate it but frankly we’ve made our own bed with this.

  79. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Patches are a whole different ball game. Patches would be like a car’s factory defects that are repaired under warrantee and the manufacturer eats all costs. Patches should never and never will be an added cost to game consumers. Any company that tries to sell the patches will most likely fail shortly after introducing that policy.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  80. questionmark1987 says:

    And when the companies start charging for patches to pay their developers to work after the game has released what will the masses say?

  81. Galthromir says:

    I think this is becoming more and more true with the rise of DLCs, and I think its a damn good thing. 

  82. JC says:

    I can give one simple example of how the second hand market keeps them in business. The fact that many buyers factor in the tradeback value towards buying a copy of the game. Yes, they spend $60, and make $20 back, $40 lost and they are satisfied with their purchase. If they couldn’t trade it back in, most likely would just hold out or stop buying altogether should they get burned. Perhaps most just simply wait on the price to drop.


  83. questionmark1987 says:

    Yes consumers drive the market I agree, and publishers and devs make mistakes too. But you cannot make a case that used game sales help keep the publishers or developers in business. They don’t. At most it can be shown that used games keep the retailers in business but that’s about it.

    What needs to happen is publishers need to set more varied price points and start using other forms of marketing (toys, mini-games, DD, etc.) and consumers need to man up and shop to support the devs they want to see stay in business. But you can’t expect companies to stay open when they continually don’t make the money back they put in to make the game because people aren’t buying it new and sending them that money.

  84. JC says:

    Everyone is hurting the market in some way if you make such a claim. DRM, huge licenses fees, publisher fees, IP, copyright, retailer practices, distribution methods, lack of universal console, high deveopment costs; all of these things can be argued to hurting the market.

    Consumers drive the market.

  85. questionmark1987 says:


    Pirating, buying used copies of games which send no money back to the devs, those things have no effect on whether companies can afford to hire highly skilled people and pay them for hundreds of hours of work. Not at all.

    The consumers never do anythign to hurt the market. FACEPALM

  86. Bigman-K says:

    Well i remember saving up money from my paper route which was roughly $5 to $10 a week when i was younger to buy games for the NES and SNES that were $100 or more plus taxes. Don’t see much of that anymore do you.

    "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  87. test_432 says:

    See my other comment for the AAA game production costs vs movie production costs.

    As for kids, do you know kids? They have terrible impulse control and tend to move on quickly if they can’t get what they want. A good portion of kids, say at least a quarter but probably closer to a half, aren’t going to say "Oh, gee! I just have to save up for six to eight weeks to get a new game instead renting one or getting one used. This is a good chance for me to learn the value of hard work and delayed gratification!" They’re going to say, "Well, what can I get for my twenty bucks?"

    Do you think that the market will gain or loose kids if the used and rental market goes away? Do you know what happens when kids give up on something? Do you think they come back as adults? How much of the under-18 market can the gaming industry afford to give up?

    (Answer key: Loose. They tend to stay away forever. No. None.)

  88. Stealthguy says:

    "None of your money is going to the big three to help recoup their costs on consoles (wondering why the price on the PS3 hasn’t dropped yet?)"

    Personally I thought it was because they were too pig-headed to realize the system was over-priced. They still got our money didn’t they? Then I traded it in to help buy an Xbox-360 elite. I’m definitely supportin’.

  89. ZippyDSMlee says:




    The insipid nature of corporate mentality is what is driving up prices,driving quality down and breaking the market they are trying to grasp at things they have no right to and if they keep on grasping at all the wrong things they will implode on their own arrogance.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  90. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Since we are talking about cars, let’s talk.

    Let’s think about where car companies actually make their money. Surethey make a large part of it through replacement parts, but you forgot another part of their income, a major part. Upgrades.

    You heard me right. Upgrades. Not every car that rolls off the lot is the same. Some people have new rims installed, a dvd player, multi disk changers, new mufflers, better speakers etc. All that is more money in the pocket of the car companies.

    Now think about that and compare it to games. Do you think every owner of Rock Band or Guitar hero has the same song list? Sure they have the same basic songs that came with the disk, but they have downloaded a purchased differnet tracks from the store.

    This can happen for more than just music games. Any games that have levels or really anything can be expanded and allow the customer to customize their playing experience in some way. Plus if you have a standard way of created said content, its cost is minimalized.

    So why is this a good thing? For one, it adds longevity to the title. And two, it adds an income stream that is immune to the used market.

    Let’s see it happen.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  91. catboy_j says:

    I don’t entirely understand. What you’re saying as I understand it is that used games and credit and coupons don’t support the game industry because they help out the store.

    When you buy a game there is no percentile funneled back to the game industry (to lump it all together). The store buys Games, and they will continue to order them reguardless of rather you use coupons or used game credit. When you buy from them it’s considered supporting the industry because they will order more from the gaming companies. You rarely call a gaming company up and order directly from them to avoid markup for store profit.

    Also it’s different with a game then a movie. Demos rarely turn out to be actuall reflections of the games, and when you buy a game you have at least 24 hours with it usually. So if it’s a bad game it’s not like you’ve just spent 10 dollars on a bargain shelf and you’re getting the semi new title that sucked. It’s just an hour and only 10 dollars. You’re magnifying that a lot with games.

    And as far as "reinventing the wheel" consumers are allowed to not want total rehash crap shoved back in their face. Neither the companies, nor the consumers would be anywhere without each other. Which is why the customer should support things they like, but they shouldn’t just go GAMING INDUSTRY WE LOVE YOU LET US GIVE YOU ALL OUR MONEY!, and the companies should work hard to put out quality.

  92. questionmark1987 says:

    I stopped buying used games precisely because buying used games is part of what drives prices so high. Developers and publishers put their eggs in the basket upfront with no guarentee that they will reap the money back. If a game fails, publishers take the hit and the developer will be more scrutinized and controlled next time. If it succeeds developers win and publishers win and consumers win. The bad thing about this is that the gaming market is very finnicky. Movies, music, books, are all older mediums that have very set base fans that are easy to peg and please. Often making a near carbon copy of a movie will generate enough sales and theatre seats to make up the cost.

    Make a carbon copy of a game and people likely won’t even rent it let alone buy it. Developers talk about constantly having to reinvent the wheel because as consumers we consistently demand new, exciting innovative content. On side effect of that is sometimes not so fun games make it through even from brilliant developers. When a good dev makes one bad game, it can often be the end of the company (and if you don’t believe the game companies are closing and cutting workers you are sadly sadly mistaken.) Consumers buy used games because they are a better cost for them, but what you have to realise is that same consumer is more likely to go return the game for credit and use that credit to buy a new game. If in your last ten purchases less then 5 of them were new, guess what, you’re NOT supporting the game industry. You’re supporting gamestop sure, but gamestop is not the game industry. It’s a retail industry that happens to sell games. None of your money from used sales is going to help the publishers and developers make new games, good or bad. None of your money is going to the big three to help recoup their costs on consoles (wondering why the price on the PS3 hasn’t dropped yet?)

    Consumers want the best deal but they don’t want any responsibility in the equation unless it’s sticking it to a company you don’t agree with. They don’t care if their favorite developer shuts down because they know others will rise to take it’s place. Car companies survive in large part not from car sales but from sales of parts for cars people already own. Once they make that ONE sale to you you’re buying things that are licensed, made, manufacturede or designed by them, and while you CAN buy used parts, most people who can afford it don’t because they are of intrinsicly lower value. Games don’t follow this model, devs don’t get extra money for patches. Perhaps developers should. Maybe since consumers like to use the car industry as a model for them they should follow it. Next time you buy a game and it crashes, don’t worry, you can download a patch to fix it like a car repair, only $9.95.

    No the truth is that developers and publishers go above and beyond for consumers in this industry. You’ll find few others where the general public is allowed a chance to use the material for free before it’s released (betas). On top of that games are the highest bang for your buck entertainment out there right now. What we need are consumers who are more willing to pay what the product is worth, and less entitled individuals who think they deserve to have something for next to nothing.

  93. questionmark1987 says:

    I see, basically your point is it doesn’t matter what actual evidence there is that second hand sales hurt developers, develoers and publishers are all greedy bastards who evilly target their audience for scam cash so they can’t possibly claim any negative side effects and the facts don’t matter.

    Now really, who’s being faceitous?

  94. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Thats not really the issue its the mindless bottom line mentality corporate has they think if they force people to buy stuff then own it for a limited amount of time combined with infinite CP they will make more money.


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  95. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Your missing something in that last paragraph. It is not just $25 from Gamestop and $45-50 from ebay. It is a guaranteed $25 from Gamestop vs a possible but very unlikely $45-50 from ebay.

    Selling online requires waiting and hoping. I have tried to sell things on ebay and uless you have something posted at just the right time for that person who absolutely wants it, you are wasting time and money.

    Is $25 within the hour not worth more than $45 five weeks after you listed it? Especially when you want to buy that new game today?

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

    E. Zachary Knight
    Divine Knight Gaming
    Oklahoma Game Development
    Rusty Outlook
    Random Tower
    My Patreon

  96. sheppy says:

    My take is this.  If I go into a used book store, and find a new book for sale as many around here do carry the latest paperbacks, I will not catch crap if I want to buy a NEW book.  Why is this important as we are all once again bashing the hell out of developers for their stance on this?

    Of my past 4 trips to Gamestop (none recently because I was frankly tired of this scenario), all four had high pressure sales of used copies despite my insistance to buy the new copy behind them.  This is a problem with lots of used game based stores.  I still consider a last minute trip to a GameCrazy as the pinnacle of why I hate used game stores nowadays.

    I needed a copy of Rock Band 2 for PS3 and they were the only ones in town with a copy readily available.

    Me: I know you have this game used, do you have it new, perhaps?

    Him: Used is better than our new copies, dude.

    Me: Yes, yes, but I like this developer and want to support them, got any new copies?

    Him: Well yeah but supporting them doesn’t make a difference, dude. 

    Me: Okay, fine, I also want the 20 free songs.

    Him: I bet you haven’t even heard of half those bands.

    Me: Most of those bands either work at Harmonix or have toured with the bands that work at Harmonix.

    Him: Songs still suck…

    Other Employee: Yeah, songs suck hardcore man…

    Me: Doesn’t matter, I like the bands, I like the developer, I would LIKE to buy a new copy if you have any.

    Him: We have a new copy, sure but you’re making a mistake.

    Me: Already made one…

    *walks out of the store*

    That above ACTUALLY happened.  So insistant on the used sale that they blew the entire sale.  Which is funny because I also went in for an XBL yearly sub card.  They BLEW a $110 sale instantly.  The problem with games isn’t the resell market.  Devs don’t give a shit about Ebay or Craigslist.  To answer this above…

    " How can the consumer get any value out a disappointing $60 game without the option to trade it in?"

    Gee, get $25 for your $60 or get $45-$50 on Ebay for your $60 blunder…. wonder which one is more consumer friendly.  Fact of the matter is these stores control a HUGE amount of the market that they are actively attacking with tactics as described above.  And if a developer says anything about it, they are under the crosshairs from sites like this.  I mean, if a dev complains about pirates, are they suddenly anticonsumer as well?  And I don’t see resell value to iTunes or Steam purchases.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  97. sqlrob says:

    At least from that quote, I see used games being supported. It’s just a rephrasing of "It’s not the consumers responsibility to support your business model"


  98. questionmark1987 says:

    Here’s the problem, just like eliminating second hand sales does not mean every second hand sale will become a first hand sale. Lowering price does not mean there will be any jump in first hand sales. GS will still offer 10% trade in and $5 off the new price and consumers will still buy it used. And devs and publishers will just lose out that much harder.

  99. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Boohoo hoo dev boo hoo hoo, you forget one simple and vital thing you can not artificially force consumers to buy your products forcing limiting sales forcing high prices all of these are artificial means of gaining profit if you do not get the product out their as widely as you can as fast as you can you make your self illrevleant to the needs of the populace you seek to sell too.


    Its comeing to the point you might sell 10 if not 100X more by halveing that 50$ price that has trouble selling milloins of copies now and then, short and long trem it only takes selling twice as much to break even thats easily done at near half price and if you are a copentant publisher and offer world wide day one you’ll sell more than 2X and that means you’ll make a profit.

    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes of transportation of story and thought, to take them from society you create a society of children and nannys, since adults are not required.


  100. Geoff says:

    Agreed with you up until the last statement.

    $20 games are only a reality for indy titles or portable games.  Big, triple-A titles can’t be that price if for no other reason that it requires the company to employee too many people and buy too much equipment.  You have to pay for (and I’m probably leaving some out):

    -Dev kits, both for the devs to use and for QA to test on

    -Programmers (level designers, graphic artists, and all other forms)

    -Artists (for concept art)

    -Voice Actors

    -Musicians (game needs a rocken’ tune after all)

    -QA (probably hire more of these guys than anyone else, though they don’t get paid much)

    -PC parts (if you’re going to port it to the PC)



    And on top of all that the company has to try to make a profit, some of which is then shifted to other aspects of the company to help pay for other projects and/or is used to start working on the sequel.

    As for the kids part.  Well sure Timmy can’t afford a $60 dollar game, at least not all the time.  His allowance is only 10 bucks a week for cleaning up the yard.  But Timmy’s dad can shell out 60 dollars for a game.  And with Timmy’s birthday coming up…

    You see where this is going.


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

  101. Galthromir says:

    The simple fact here is that it doesn’t quite work that way. Publishers price games based on the fact that for ever Halo or what have you, there are 3 Too Humans. They need a way to recoup lost capitial from hits to minimize loses from misses. Considering the massive price tag of games these days (we currently have an 8 and 23 million in progress) the increase is naturally passed to consumers. Would $20 games be nice? Hell yea. Is it feasible to do so without compromising quality? Not really. And considering consumer expectations for games are higher than ever, quality is not something to skimp on…ever. *Glares at EA*


  102. test_432 says:

    At the risk of repeating myself Jaffe and nearly everyone on the publishing side doesn’t understand economics. The success of the used game market, the huge spike in unit sales on Steam when they put games on sale and the increase of unit sales between NFL2K4 ($50) and NFL2K5 ($20) all point to demand on games being elastic.

    Price games at $20 and the used market won’t matter nearly as much. Make sure that games are priced at $60 and watch your most price sensitive consumers, kids, leave gaming in droves. Mostly for good.

  103. thelobbyist.net says:


    David isn’t saying that gamers cannot weigh in on the issue. You are infering your own thinking into his comments.  He is trying to communicate that the issue is a business issue between developers, producers, and content re-sellers.  That being the case, the end user hasn’t entered the equation.


    thelobbyist.net – live it, love it, debate

  104. shalinor says:

    The trouble with the car argument (which always, always comes up in these debates) is that new/newer cars have a higher intrinsic value than used cars.  Parts wear, seats tear, fuel ecnomy drops, etc.  Products of the Intellectual Property class have no such value falloff, which is why they’re understandbly concerned about the used market – it undercuts them in a way that cars (or furniture, or any other solid product) are not.  There is a clear incentive to buying a new/newer car that isn’t there for games – a used game, at worst, might have a damaged instruction manual, and almost no one reads those anyways.

    The solution, given what you pose, is that the IP makers should include content that has intrinsic first-time value.  Some have tried this, with things such as pre-order / new-game-included DLC which is then available for purchase by anyone that buys the game used (because it was already redeemed by whoever bought it new).  This makes the IP products mirror physical products in terms of valuation, and yet this brought yet more complaints.

    Thus, which is it to be?  Either IP developers need to give their products a value wrt. new vs used, or the used market needs to change, but one or the other is likely to happen to bring games more in line with the markets of physical products.

  105. bgmnt says:

    Some industries brag about their resale value.  Some industries are excited when their product is so useful, so well designed, has such staying power that a secondary market opens up to promote their product.

    Imagine a product so cool, you can use it and then recoup some of your value out of it, usually then used to buy MORE of that product.

    Apply the attitude of these "industry insiders" to any other industry and their rediculous viewpoint is exposed for what it is.  Heck, the automobile industry ADVERTISES a used product market.  Do you hear furniture, musical instrument, or tool companies complaining about Craigslist? Is the fact that I can purchase previously owned movies decimating the DVD industry?  

    FACT: Video game sales are now HIGHER than they have ever been.  So, please don’t try and tell me publishers are "losing money". 

    These attitudes are unique to manufactures of Intellectual Property based products.   Publishers of Books, Music, Video, and Video Games apparently think they have the right to dictate how their products are used and valued by their customers.  Mr. Jaffe, you do not.  Your job is to build a good product that people will buy.  The same as a car manufacturer.  The longevity and secondary market for your products is a positive reflection of the value of your product, not an opportunity for your greed to find another way to profit from every use of your product.   Manufacturers of consumer products do not get to participate in all secondary and tertiary transactions of those products.  I’m sorry you don’t like that.  Welcome to the U.S.A.

  106. Galthromir says:

    Actually I think he’s refering to the pain in the ass used games are with regards to publisher/developer deals. Do you get pain royalties on used game sales? Do they count towards target sale goals the publisher sets? It is really a mess. I think what he’s trying to say is try and find the best deal, but don’t worry about the inner machinations, cause they suck. And the last thing we need is to deal with is angry letters from customers while we are busy fighting the publisher over our contract details.

  107. catboy_j says:

    I don’t quite get what he’s saying at the end. Look out for yourself and get the best price, but stay out of your favorite companies dealings.

    If it effects your getting the best price which you’re supposed to be doing say out of it? If you have stock in Gamestop (do they have public?) you’re still supposed to stay out of it? If the gaming industry suddenly gets used games essentially outlawed stay out of it? o.O How is getting screwed over not your buisness?

  108. catboy_j says:

    Yeah but I’m poor and I wouldn’t play most games if I couldn’t of gotten them used. Sometimes newer games, sometimes older. Same with Renting.

  109. insanejedi says:

    I think he means that it’s none of the consumers business as in the discussion of publishers and developers vs. Gamestop really has nothing to do with you. Your only concern as a consumer is getting the best deal possible and getting the most enjoyment out of what you purchased.

    It’s worded pretty poorly in the end, but I kinda (emphisis on kinda) get what he’s talking about.

    But I feel that I am a consumer that supports the artistic visions of the developer and even publisher at times. I purchase all the latest games new because I support what they do and encuraging them to do more of it. I could have purchased Battlefield: Bad Company at literally half the cost used, but I want to support DICE and what they do. Same with Dead Space and Street Fighter 4.

Comments are closed.