Noted Developer David Perry Adds Voice to Chorus of Used Game Whining

This week’s news that Amazon, Toys R Us and Best Buy are all jumping into the used game business apparently got well-known developer David Perry (Earthworm Jim) fired up enough to post a bit of a rant on his blog.

Like many others on the developer/publisher side of the business, Perry seems to feel that used game trades are drinking his milkshake. We don’t see it that way. Indeed, quite the opposite. Low cost game buying options help build the pastime.

In addition, Perry has specific trust issues with trade-happy retailer GameStop:

"Sure, [GameStop,] let me go make you exclusive content, let me advertise to send buyers into your store, let me pay to put standees and posters everywhere, so you can sell them used games and stab our industry in the back." Now you’ve shown that the industry won’t stand up to you, everyone else can copy this practice.

Trust me, I know these guys I’ve been in ALL their offices. I just don’t hide, and kiss their behinds…

Where the heck is the ESA when we need them? They should be all over this like a rash. Based on the emails I get, you already have the support of the industry!

At least Perry doesn’t seem to want to deny gamers the right to dispose of their used games in some fashion:

The gamers however have the right to sell their games to anyone they like, or trade them. I have no issue with that aspect. I’ve bought plenty of rare games on Ebay, and I have no problem with Ebay, because we’re not doing co-promotion with them. Ebay are not our retail partners.

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  1. questionmark1987 says:

    To be fair Gamestop behaves in a much more aggressive manner then any other used and new seller I’ve seen.

  2. Mouspotato says:

     It’s true that digital media is more prone to the used market,but I still don’t see this as a problem with the retailers or consumers. Many retailers sell used next to new and how the used market functions is not the retailers or consumers problem as long as they aren’t breaking the law.

    It’s a  function of the product being so disposable as it’s made. Games are turned over more often due to them being entertainment product. But at the same times it allows for the potential for consumers to buy new product more often. 

    People tend to keep other products longer so by the time they are ready to buy a new chair for example they don’t mind buying new because they have gotten great long term use and value out of their old one. 

    Again,game devs live by the sword and die by the sword. They get caught up in the endless cycle of pushing graphics and features so that each new games tries to make the last obsolete. This makes gamers abandon the previous titles for the shinier newer bobble,thus making new games less of a good buy. This is the downside. The upside is that the industry can make more profit by selling new product more often.

    It’s up to the devs to make a product that people want to keep longer and want to have in their lives so the new price is a less a problem due to it’s better long term value.

    The industry isn’t doing an adequate job up front to make their product sustainable enough,so now

    they want to punish the people on the other end that are just doing their part as retailers and consumers.

    The retail space and the way it specifically functions evolves from consumer demand,consumer demand evolves from the nature of the product. If you want to change the retail space and how works,you have to change the product itself and change how it affects consumer demand.





  3. Flavius says:

    To Flak & Mous:

    The problem is your biggest specialty retailer is selling used games right along with their new ones, and there are many reports of employees promoting the used titles over the new ones.  Do you walk into an Ethan Allen and find used furniture sitting next to the new furniture?  Do you walk into ATT and find employees telling you that the used Iphone is a new much better deal than the used one?

    To reiterate: the problem as expressed by Perry isn’t a secondary market for games.  Rather, his problem is Gamestop’s practices specifically, and the fact that publishers are investing money in an entity that turns around and stabs them in the back.  The problem is easy to see.  Personally, I think the solution is just as simple.

  4. FlakAttack says:

    I fail to see the problem with used games. Every industry has to deal with used goods sold very aggresively:

    Used cars
    Used appliances
    Used furniture
    Used computers
    Used cell phones
    Used books
    Used clothes
    Used stereos
    Used toys

    The list goes on and on… most manufacturing/production industries have to deal with this problem. Why is gaming any different?

  5. Mouspotato says:

    Aren’t most industries in the same boat though? Companies make stuff,they help to promote the product, it get’s sold ,they loose control. I keep wondering why the game industry is the only one you keep hearing whining about this? Why are they special and feel they need special protection?

    Could it be that unlike other indsutries they have created a business model that is not profitable enough to begin with?And so to support their unsustainable model,the free market and consumer must suffer and make special accomodations.

  6. divisionbyzero says:

    As a game developer, shouldn’t you be upset at the publishers who’ve overpriced your product to the point that the used game market is worth billions?

  7. starsrift says:

    I see his point. When I go to my local EB Games Canada and purchase a game, if there’s used copies in stock, that’s the first thing the fellow at the till asks me, is if I’d like to save $5 and buy the used copy. I typically don’t.

    (Either that, or in a singular shocking event, when I went to buy the Shivering Isles expansion for Oblivion, the store manager who was working till recommended that I pirate it instead…)

  8. questionmark1987 says:

    Whoa whoa whoa you totally missed my point. The content unlocked would not be necessary to play or complete the game, it would be bonus content, cool things that maybe you would normally pay extra for as DLC but instead the only way to get it would be to buy the game new.

    On your point of people waiting for the game to go down in price, that frankly is a MUCh better occurance for the devs then what happens when someone buys used, because the sale still generates a sale for the devs. This idea wouldn’t stop anyone from trading in their game, there just wouldn’t be the same value for someone to buy it used as buying it new, which frankly I think should happen. You SHOULDN’T get the same thing buying used you do buying new. Compare to any other item and it’s the same thing. Buy it used and you’re sacrificing quality, with games, especially from gamestop, they are usually gauranteed to work. Yeah you may have a damaged box or missing manual, but the game is the exact same, and if it does break most people probably take it back and exchange it.

  9. Wolvenmoon says:

    That’s already done with many games, and is actually the way they’re stopping used game sales.

    However, this has shown to be problematic as people will just say ‘screw it’ and pirate it instead of buying it retail OR used. Or, if it’s a console game, just not buy the game new until it’s equivelant to a used game’s price.

    The game companies need to take this stance : When money is exchanged, we do not control a single household’s use of that product any longer outside of this : If they buy one copy, they may sell that copy, or give it away.

    DRM, used game limitations, and this CD-keying system will only lead to consumer revolt-much like spore. This is the ‘true’ problem with PC gaming, they can’t ban modchips and when they do something that pisses off a huge number of people, they’re forcibly held liable for their actions. Console gamers don’t yet have a real motivation to overturn the modchip laws, but they’re about to.

  10. questionmark1987 says:

    Interesting idea I just had, what if you got a code when you bought the game new (not special edition just any copy new out of the box) that gave you some bonus content (IE not necessary to play the game but fun and useful) but once used that code no longer worked, so anyone who bought the game second hand could never have access to that content, but first hand buyers got it as part of their regular purchase?

  11. ecco6t9 says:

    I’d rather sell a game that has no intrests to me anymore rather than hit "delete file?"

    A game that comes back less than 48 hours wasn’t very good to begin with.

    Why are some of these dowloads the same price as the retail version?

    Used games help determine the actual price of a game.

    In store marketing really needs to go, how many people spend any time around that EA gondala at Gamestop? If your game is good enough it will market itself by word of mouth.

  12. Wolvenmoon says:

    Okay, guys, console gamers sat on their butts when modchips were banned. Could no one see this coming?

    Ban modchips-no indie developers, no game backups (Meaning : Use low quality CDs), no imports, no piracy (Potentially a good thing, unfortunately they’ve made it a bad thing for consumers.)

    Ban used game sales-No middlemen, no easy way to replace a game that broke, no reason to lower retail prices. Halo 4 will be 60 dollars at launch, and 3 years later it’ll still be 60 dollars.

    Then they continue their PC slash campaign about piracy (Which, in all actuality, is only a loss when it’s from gamers giving backlash to crappy developers, other times it’s people that literally don’t have the money. I.E. 13 year old downloading 200 dollars worth of games) and how bad piracy is hurting the PC gaming industry. If they manage to shut down PC gaming to a corner of the market, they’ll jack prices up on all their products, and/or charge hourly fees or subscription fees for every game out there.


    Sound like a conspiracy theory? Well, the third part is, the second part…not so much.

  13. questionmark1987 says:

    I don’t see his blog as a rant at all. He states the facts, points out why it’s happening and basically says "This is BS and will ultimatley hurt everyone!"

    ANyone else notice the posts at the ottom about how this whole move is simply encouraging publishers to move to DD only. What do you think the playerbase would do if the ONLY way to get any game was to download or order directly from the publisher. Guaruntee you the industry wouldn’t collapse, gamestop however probably would.

  14. Mycroft Holmes says:

    As a game developer I tell you the prevailing feeling of most of the people I work with:

    Good bye Gamestop, and any other store that resells games for huge benefits; we’re all glad to buy games over Steam and see the profits go dirrectly to the publisher/developers with out paying for packaging, shipping, storage and in-store advertising.  In 5-10 years, every new game is going to be available online; cutting out the brick-n-mortar middle man.

    Even better will be when publishers start to pass those savings to the consumer and the downloadable version is $5 cheaper then the Gamestop version.  🙂




  15. E. Zachary Knight says:

    When has GamePolitics cried foul over DLC in any form? I have never read him complain about DLC being made for a game.

    There is nothing wrong with DLC at all. Actually it is oone of the things that I have suggested in the past. Include a one time use code for new purchases and charge for it if they don’t have the code. Why you feel that has been attacked by Game Politics is beyond me.

    As for the condescening tone of your post. Glad to annoy you so.

    Here, I will help you out. Since October 2008, Gamepolitics has run 4 stories with industry officials talking about using DLC to add value to New games and bring extra income to the companies. In all three of these articles, Dennis never once said anything negative about that idea.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  16. Good Lord says:

    For the most part, a used game is not any worse than a new game, except maybe in the most trivial of ways.  Worst-case scenario, it doesn’t come with a manual or the original case.  Boohoo.

    Wrong. Worst-case scenario, the disc is scratched. A scratched used game is much different than a mint used game, which is not trivial if it affects your ability to actually, you know, play the game you bought.

    But hey, it’s in vogue to blame the consumer for industry-created problems right now, so go ahead and run with it.

  17. sheppy says:

    Well, gee.  Let’s look at how a company could adjust to how other medias have handled this whole used sales channel.  How about movies?

    A movie is expected to return the initial investment during it’s theatre run.  Usually, by the time the movie hits DVD, it’s pure profit.  But movie companies also receive money from television channels as they show that movie again and again and again.  So in essence, movies charge for those who watch it initially, charge for the actual physical copy, then charge anyone who wants to show it to their friends.  This profit system effectively stays true until the movie reches public domain so what you have is the ability to profit off a movie for 75 years.

    Now let’s see how video games could adapt this scenario.  They could charge people to play it before initial release.  Like make a version you have to pay to play for 3-6 months.  This will definately help consumers.  That way, by the time the game is released in a DVD/BluRay version, the developers have made their money.  Of course this means players have to shell out $8-$12 per two hour session on big holiday releases but hell, if any other industry could figure out how to make this work, why can’t games?  So for a big holiday release for something like Gears 2, in about a month we could buy a copy of our own to own and love and hug and treat it as our best friend.  Of course assuming the companies already turned a profit initially, we WOULD be looking at a $20 game at this point.  Of course let’s not forget VHS rental stores used to have to pay a HUGELY inflated price for the licensed copy of VHS that they could rent out.  We’re talking $120 for Terminator 2 here.  And that version would be exclusive to movie rental stores for a period no less than another three months but as I said, no other industry had this problem before.  This is a games exclusive to work out a profitability chain.

    Then, of course, if a friend wants to come over to play that game with you or you want to put a video of that game up on Youtube, you now owe the game company a bit of money everytime somebody clicks that video.  You’ll owe the game company this money for the next 75 years of course.

    OR, we could take a look at the fact that the game industry has basically two distinct routes to get a return on their money and both routes have been bashed by this site.  Because games, unlike movies, music, cars, or whatever lemons to giraffes arguement people love to bring up, do not have a sustainable tail system in place except for roughly .5% of the industry.  99.5% of the industry can piss off in a corner and cry (or whine?) themselves to chapter 11, fuck ’em.

    Of course there are also those two routes mentioned earlier.

    1.  Make exclusive content for users who buy the game new.  Seems like a fair shake, right?  Developers get their money, consumers get value out of the purchase.  Gamepolitics has already cried foul over this tactic.

    2.  Extended release DLC at a premium cost targetting the fans of the game.  Once again, heavily criticized by this site and the general concensus is developing this content is as simple as typing "make new shit" in the compiler.

    Both routes are looked at as shady practices by this site yet these are the better routes than most for companies to sustain profitability beyond the initial three month period.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  18. lumi says:

    I still think you’d need an act of god to make Gamestop try anything like this.  Seems MASSIVELY inconvenient for them, even if it really doesn’t end up affecting the consumer much.

  19. lumi says:

    Wow.  Don’t even know how to properly express my disgust at that metaphor.

    For the most part, a used game is not any worse than a new game, except maybe in the most trivial of ways.  Worst-case scenario, it doesn’t come with a manual or the original case.  Boohoo.

    If the game is sold four times…once new and three times used, for $50, $45, $40, and $40…and only the initial $50 goes to the developer while the remaining $125 goes to Gamestop…you don’t see why the developer would be upset by this?

  20. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Stating Dave Perry is joinging the "whining developers" is another thing entirely.

    I don’t know if that is the case. Did you actually read the blog post in question? It was 100% rant. He may be right and I may agree with him, but he is 100% whiny about it.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  21. E. Zachary Knight says:

    As I said below, I understand the industry arguments about contractural agreements and competition, but in your example, if used copies of a game starts pouring in only two days after the game’s initial release, is that the fault of Gamestop or the developer?

    What I find unreasonable, is that the games industry wants to put all the blame on used game merchants and are using gamestop as the whipping boy.

    The industry needs to do some soul searching and decide what they can do differnetly to extend the life of their games and make it worth it to not only buy new over used but also for the gamer to hold onto the game longer than a week.

    I also feel that Gamestop and other used game merchants should disclose the number of trades and sales of used titles. The yowe at least that much to the games industry. Proper disclosure of thse numbers in an NPD like format could go a long way in the games industry. The game companies could use those numbers to gauge when it is time to lower prices, revisit or reprint an IP etc. But I would stop short of implementing a profit sharing deal as that defeats the idea behind First Sale.

    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. Anthrax says:

    Nobody’s drinking his milkshake. It goes like this:

    He drinks the milkshake, and doesn’t have to share it with anyone. Then he regurgitates it onto a plate, which is then served to Gamestop. Gamestop distributes the already drank milkshake to the people, who enjoy it in a less refined form and trade it amongst themselves. Then Perry sees people enjoying the milkshake after he’s had the first taste of it, even though the first taste is the best. He’s already had his fill, but he wants the regurgitated stuff back so he can drink it a second time. So he whines. And whines. And whines.

    At least… I think that’s how it works.

    Esentially he’s getting butthurt because he can’t make people pay him three times for one game. What a baby.

  23. E. Zachary Knight says:

    It is not extremely impractical. I currently shop at several differnt stores. I buy from Target, Gamestop and several chains that deal mostly if not interily with used games. I know if what I want to buy can be bought new or if I will have to buy it used. By knowing that I know which stores to try first. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal for those who already shop around.

    What the current Gamestop model does is distract from new and that is what the major complaint is. Someone walks in wanting a new copy and finds a used copy in almost new condition for cheaper and buys that. That argument from the industry I understand.

    But you know which consumers are most affected by this? Parents. Parents who are buying a game for their kid and are not familiar with how the market works. They come in and all they know is that little Timmy or Susie wants game X and they will try to find the best deal for it. They are the most susceptable to the used game switch. These are also the type of people that will be less likely to travel around looking for the game their kid wants. They will walk into the new game only Gamestop and buy the game their kid wants new and not bother shopping around.

    Gamers who buy games regularly will get the game they want how they want it and are less likely to let a clerk talk them out of buying new over used. they are also less likely to be phased by Gamestop splitting its used and new business.

    So in the end, only those who are not sure if they want new or used or not sure about the market in general will be affected by the new and used business being split in this way.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  24. sheppy says:

    As stated below, this is a game developer talking about a distribution channel.  It really is like this.

    Say you are Bungie.  Your publisher just spent $30 million sending promotional material, bonus expenses, and advertising revenue solely to Gamestop.  Hard to imagine, I’m certain.  This sort of thing NEVER happens.  Now Halo 3 launches and Gamestop, thanks to preorders, sells a ton of copies but they still have a ton of copies left.  Two days later, the used copies start pouring in and people who bought the game for $60, are now getting $31 back.  Two days and they’ve lost nearly half their investment.  Now it’s in the system and the very next person comes in for a Halo 3 copy gets harassed to buy a used copy to save $5.  Why?  Because the computer tells the employee to do so and the employee gets penalized if they don’t.  Meanwhile Gamestop, as a company, wants to make $24 instead of the usual $10.  As all this is going on, Gamestop is meanwhile still under contractual obligation to advertise this game in their stores until the end of the month.

    Meanwhile, Gamestop has become a notorious retailer with not having copies of games available on launch day because their order of new games only went as far as how many were preordered.  Imagine for a moment this scenario.  Day 1 of Street Fighter IV and I want a copy.  Gamestop, a dedicated GAME STORE, only ordered enough copies to cover preorders and tell me I should have preordered.  I go to Target, a company that rarely has anything on time, and they have 20 copies ready to go.

    Now, that’s not the twisting of situations, that IS the situation.  That’s the scenario developers are looking at and that’s why they are pissed.  They don’t want to destroy the rights of the consumer but they don’t want to be cut out of the transaction by a business partner.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  25. sheppy says:

    Other arguements are one thing.  Stating Dave Perry is joinging the "whining developers" is another thing entirely.  He’s making blanket staements.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  26. Baruch_S says:

    That seems impractical for Gamestop and for consumers. Gamestop would have to pay for two separate buildings and keep employees in two buildings instead of one. Consumers would have to check out the used store to see if it has what they want and then go to the new store if it doesn’t.

    With cars, you already know if you’re buying new or used before you go to get it. With games, you go to Gamestop and then decide whether to get used or new based on the selection and the condition of the used games (original cases, manual, etc). Putting new games in one store and used games in another that will probably be on the other side of town is more expensive for Gamestop and extremely inconvenient for the customer. The industry would be the only group that could benefit from this, and even they might be hurt if people coming to get a certain used game don’t browse through the new games and pick one up.

  27. TheEggplant says:

    And the publishers have no one to blame but themselves for this situation. Yes it is too bad that developers get screwed by corporate short-sightedness, but that doesn’t mean we as consumers have to take it. The major game publishers continually gave Gamestop major exclusives and in store advertising even as Gamestop was creating a specialty monopoly. If you can take a stand as a developer then go indie and sell your games online. If you can’t then just don’t shop at Gamestop. The real solution for all this lies with consumers. Don’t go to them if you don’t like how they operate. It is really easy. Deny yourself the small convenience and shop elsewhere. It also means not taking any crap from the industry. They live and die by the consumer and it seems some individuals need to be reminded of this.



    ——————————————————————————————————————————— Hookers and Ice Cream aren’t free.

  28. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Lets see you sale at high prices that stagnate volume and and profits then whine about how used goods are traded…well I would whine as well you trade in a a 50$ game for 30-40$ and they can resale it for 10$ more.. and that’s just on the new games…… sure random old games can net a 20-30$ but just how many games can they sale at that price and not stagnate sales…. I think what it real issue is the industry is pissed retail has figured out how to maintain profit off game sales where as the “industry” has 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.

  29. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Any changes made to the distribution channel would have a direct affect on the consumer. So while I agree that consumers really have no place in the actual process of reorganizing distribution, they should be free to express their concerns and how such changes will affect them whether adversely or benificially.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  30. Flavius says:

    Fair enough, but he’s making a particular point, and I believe expanding the conversation under these circumstances only serves to unnecessarily dilute it.

    As for persons employed in the industry, I think you’ll find a much higher percentage of them are consumers as well.

  31. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I don’t think it is wrong to bring up other arguments that have been expresed into this debate. This article is a part of the larger used game debate. It would be impossible to confine the debate just to his remarks.

    Also, I would rather guess that 60-75% of the commenters are consumers. There are some people here that have previously expressed themselves to actually be working in the industry.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  32. Flavius says:

    I’ll hazard a guess and say that almost 100% of the people commenting on this post are game consumers.  That doesn’t excuse ignorance nor unnecessary inflammatory comments in response to what is, ultimately, a fairly succinct and rational comment by Perry.  As far as the strawmen arguments of used games driving up new game prices, or that selling used games isn’t fair, there’s a time and place for that sort of discussion, but not here, as Perry brought up neither of those points.

  33. E. Zachary Knight says:

    Someone above mentioned the used car market and that you do not walk on the lot and find new Camries sitting next to the used Camries. They have seperate lots.

    I think a good compromise would be for Gamestop to open up a chain of used game stores and all their trade-ins are shipped to those stores for sale while the Gamestops only sell new games.

    But of course, getting Gamestop to agree to that would be difficult as that would cost them a lot of money and some business.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  34. GameTrades says:

    See my reply above.  No one is arguing the rights of consumers.  NO ONE. This is a sales channel conflict, pure and simple.

  35. GameTrades says:

    The difference is that this is not a consumer issue at it’s heart.  No one is saying that consumers should not be able to buy used games or to sell the games they purchased.  Not a single person in the games industry is saying that.  What this does have EVERYTHING to do with is "channel conflict".

    GameStop is acting as both the distribution and competition point.  Again, this has nothing to do with consumer rights, it is a disagreement in the distribution channels.

  36. insanejedi says:

    He means that he doesn’t like retail chains that also sell both new and used games shoulden’t be selling used games. Mostly I think this is because of gamestop’s buisness practices. Everytime you buy a game they always ask "Do you want it used for 10$ cheaper?" That converts a new sale to a used sale, and that isin’t fair.

    Why don’t publishers just blacklist EB and Gamestop from sending them new games? If used games is SO horrible, theoretically, you will make more money with more new sales than with new+used sales. When people discover they cannot get their latest games from gamestop or gamestop never has them from Day 1. They will shop elseware for that game.

  37. divisionbyzero says:

    When someone in the industry can tell me why they want to ignore a long standing legal doctrine then maybe the debate can move forward. So far, I’ve heard nothing other than variations on "It’s not fair!" and claims that don’t make sense, such as the one that claims that competition from the used market somehow drives up new game prices.

  38. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I don’t really think that Dennis is being unreasonable on this front. If he is, he is no more unreasonable than many of those on the industry side complaining about the used market.

    The fact that he is immovable stems from that Dennis is mostly concerned about consumer rights on this issue. He is a game consumer. He does not produce or develop games himself so those concerns are not his own.

    I myself try to keep an open mind about used game sales and I find most of the industry side to be unreasonable in their expectations of retail. I have written some thoughts on this issue and have concluded that game developers need to give their games a longer life span through DLC and that retail should disclose numbers to the public. They don’t have to disclose finances, but they should disclose the number of trades andsales on the used game front.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  39. sheppy says:

    Query: Can GamePolitics cover this issue and even attempt at seeing "the other side?"

    Not too sure.  After all, anytime someone says ANYTHING in regards to thing, it’s editorialized as "whining."

    Game Politics is to Used Game Debates as Jack Thompson is to Rockstar Games, unreasonable, and immovable.

    Wall of Text Simulation- Insert coin to continue.

  40. beemoh says:

     >At least Perry doesn’t seem to want to deny gamers the right to dispose of their used games in some fashion

    And neither have most of the other industry types who have identified the second hand market as a problem. Your point?


  41. Flavius says:

    I’m not a big fan of Perry (at least, the post-Matrix version of Dave Perry), but if you’re having a difficult time understanding what he’s saying here, you probably need to invest in some remedial reading comprehension courses.   I also believe the "whine" label is completely inappropriate.  As others have suggested, this is merely Perry saying "why are we feeding the mouth that bites our hand?"  Exclusive content in the form of levels, weapons, and a special characters, and other cross-promotional events cost the publishers money.  Gamestop sells used games and makes an incredible profit to boot, and do not share their spoils with the publishers.  We now have three major retailers entering that same space.

    What’s so difficult to comprehend here?

  42. divisionbyzero says:

    "The used games business did not start in this generation, it really exploded during the XBox/PS2 generation when games were $10-15 cheaper new."

    Which matches nicely with inflation.

    "Why do consumers feel $60 is too much?"

    Because they do. Valve adjsted prices downward on Steam and saw unit sales jump between 300 and 36,000 percent. NFL2K5 had an MSRP of $20 instead of $50 and saw an 800 percent unit sales  increase over NFL2K4. That’s fairly solid evidence that the MSRP is too high.

  43. E. Zachary Knight says:

    The used markket has been around from the beginning. It was only during those eras that the debate was brought into the spot light as that was when the internet was coming around.

    Yes we did pay higher prices on average back then, but production costs were one of the key factors for that. It was more expensive to produce a cartridge than it is to produce a disk.

    I have never heard anyone say that all DLC should be free. I do remember that peopel feel the DLC should be worth the asking price.

    As for used games pushing prices higher, I don’t think it works that way. When faced with competition, companies generally try to compete by lowering prices/adding features not included in competetor’s products. If the higher price point is in response to the used market, they sure don’t understand economics very well.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  44. GameTrades says:

    Not true at all.  The used games business did not start in this generation, it really exploded during the XBox/PS2 generation when games were $10-15 cheaper new.  $5 is $5, regardless of the price of new games.  Why do consumers feel $60 is too much?  Hell, we were paying higher prices for some titles back in the SNES days! Consumers want more in the games, better everything, and free DLC to boot, but not raise prices?  Perhaps the lost revenue in GameStop pushing used copies next to new copies has helped force the price higher?

    Look, companies are in existance to make a profit, we all get this.  However, there is enough blame to go around as to how the prices went up.

  45. killatia says:

    "That’s not really true. The publishers are ultimately the ones creating the environment that makes used games sales so attractive by making the initial MSRP of games so high."

    Even if the do lower the MSRP people will still look around for a even lower price, new or used.


  46. Duffy says:

    Hoenstly I can’t quite decide personally if the resale scenario is bad enough to be an issue or not.

    Personally, I’ve traded in one game. Just one, now granted I know my tastes and pay attention to the game world so very seldom am I caught unawares by the quality of a title. However, given my style of buying the trade-in market discourages me from ever trading in, it’s just not worth it unless I made a colassal mistake; and even then I would try to sell it "used" for far more then Gamestop would give me before I relent to them.

    But the basic logic is that GameStop is the only one who realllly benefits from the whole thing, and thats what irks the Publishers/Developers the most. The consumer only gets 30% – 50% of the game’s price back at best, and GameStop sells them another title. As time goes on they get less and less for a title, but they also pay out less for copies. That’s not even factoring in their weighted scale for certain title’s and/or game types. Now granted, I’m not knocking the buisness sense here, it apparently works pretty well for them, kudos.

    But after considering how interlocked the retailers are with the publishers, and their product doesn’t lose value over time like most traditional wear and tear products, I can undertstand why Publishers/Developers are irked by all of this. Not to mention with enough data Retailers could figure out the point where you can buy less New copies due to the amount of turn ins you will receive for resale, once more "betraying" the Publishers/Developers.

    Do I have a solution? Not really, but I understand the points and sympathize with everyone’s positions. Everyone acknowledging each other’s issues with this issue and working together is the only way to solve it. This us against them mentality will not breed useful results in this type of instance.


  47. E. Zachary Knight says:

    I know most states have laws like that for electronics and the consoles fall under that law, but I have never seen any law like that for the actual games.

    When I worked at EB, we were not allowed to accept any console that hade the serial number removed. We also had to fill out a police report for it and had to hold the console for a week. While were not able to sell it right away, it did give us time to clean them if needed.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  48. E. Zachary Knight says:

    A handful of people returning a game in two days is not what Duffy was referring to. He was referring to having a lot of used copies on the shelf just days after release. Meaning having more than 25% traded back within the week of release. That was what I was getting at. If more than 25% of the people who bought the game new traded it back in within the week, it’s most likely not gamestop’s fault.

    E. Zachary Knight
    Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA

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

  49. Arell says:

    There’s always going to be a few people that buy a game and then return it immediately.  Even with great titles, not everyone is going to enjoy it.  So it’s not always the developers fault if their game isn’t liked by a small minority.  But it does seem a bit cheeky to put a used game up just days after the new copies went on sale.

    Perhaps they could get a casual agreement from the sellers not to put up used copies until a month or two after the offical release?

  50. Arell says:

    I suppose that makes sense from the developers’ perspective.  To the consumer, we’re only thinking about convenience.  To the makers of the games, they’re thinking of thier profits.  By having a middleman do resales on a mass scale, it’s good for us, it’s good for the store, but not so good for the developers of new games.  I can see how they’d feel like they’re getting screwed, especially after all the advertizing and promotions they do through those stores.

  51. divisionbyzero says:

    "However, GameStop is holding all the cards at the POS and they have set up an environment that is potentially hostile towards the publisher."

    That’s not really true. The publishers are ultimately the ones creating the environment that makes used games sales so attractive by making the initial MSRP of games so high. If publishers want to grab a larger share of the market they need to lower initial MSRP from $60. People will be much less likely to want to trade in a new game if they’ll only get $5 for it instead of $20.

  52. GameTrades says:

    I think publisher whining is a bit strong, although I can understand this perception from a consumer’s point of view.

    There is a reason that car dealerships don’t house used and new cars on the same physical lot.  I have NO problem with people trading their games in, of course they can, and should, do what they want.  I have no issue with retailers selling used games either.

    The issue is that to get placement in a GameStop store, the publisher has extra expenditure just to get visibility in such a cramped location.  GameStop places these fees on the shoulders of the publisher.  Then GameStop actively spurs on the trade in/sales of the used versions directly against the new release.  They are directly competing with the publisher, side by side, in the same physical space.

    If the consumer is going to get the SAME game, but the used one is $5 cheaper, how can you blame the consumer for saving a few bucks?  You can’t and I surely don’t.  However, GameStop is holding all the cards at the POS and they have set up an environment that is potentially hostile towards the publisher.  And video games are the only media I see that has this kind of aggressive stance at physical retail.  I don’t see used DVDs on the shelves at BestBuy, nor used CDs, etc.

    **IDEA** What about a financial compromise?  What if GameStop allowed publishers to pay for a delay in the sale of the used copies?  Add 10% to GameStop’s revenue share of new game sales in order to purchase a 1 month delay in selling the used copies?  GameStop gets added revenue, the publisher gets a chance to recoup more of their investment and the used copies are just delayed a few weeks?  Just a thought.

  53. Monte says:

     Not sure, but i think he just has a problem with used game sales where there is a middleman profiting from it all… As in, the resale profits of a used game should go 100% to the reseller… When you are dealing with something like gamestop, they buy the game from the cosumer for $XX, but then resell it for $XX+Y and thus make $Y in profit… essentially he feels it’s wrong for gamestop to be making a profit off of used games… i think that’s what’s he’s getting at anyway

  54. Arell says:

    I’m confused by his complaint.  Is he saying that he’s fine with Used Game sales, as long as it isn’t in the same store as New Games?  Or that it should only occur as a part of "auction" or "fleemarket" type websites?

    Seems a bit wishy-washy to me.

    Ok, I admit it.   I just wanted to use "wishy-washy" in a sentence.

  55. Solipsis says:

    I think this is actually the most reasonable used game complaint I’ve run across yet. I can completely understand why they don’t want to spend extra money on promotions, advertising and so forth when they know GameStop is going to just turn around and shove used games down the buyers’ throats.

    I think there must be a better way to structure the advertising so that they don’t wind up financing GameStop’s used game marketing.

  56. Geoff says:

    To me his major complaint seems to be the extra time and money some companies put into advertising for Gamestop to bring customers into their store and then Gamestop pimps their used games to all of them, which in turn leads to customers buying used games instead of new titles.  The end result is, theoretically, Gamestop profits from the used game sales while the gaming company suffers from lack of sales of their new title plus dumping all that money into the advertising to begin with. 

    Easiest solution that I can see is to not do that kind of business with Gamestop.  Let them sell your games, maybe put up a display, but nothing else.  Don’t give them exclusive DLC or any other special deals.  It’s not like Gamestop needs the extra advertisment. 


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

  57. playclever says:

    In ten years, when the transition to digital has been more or less made, this will not be an issue. At present, games are still largely physical items and are rightly traded as such. I personally would prefer not to see physical used game sales in retail game stores, but that’s just a preference.

    In the future games will be treated more as services, eliminating used game sales and ensuring that the vast majority of profits go to the developer. Of course, along the same lines as the music industry, there will still be pressure from freely traded alternatives. It will be up to the industry to keep prices low in order to keep legit games selling.

  58. DarkSaber says:

    I don’t see what’s wrong. He’s attacking Gamestop and their used game policies. $1-$3 off the brand new price is NOT a ‘low-cost buying option that helps build the pastime’.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  59. Duffy says:

    Hes not complaining about trading it, hes complaining that after it’s traded in two days after release they put it back on the shelf for $1-$3 cheaper then a new copy and thus "print" free money from that copy. Every 2nd hand resale is free money for Gamestop; that’s his complaint.

  60. HoRnO says:

    I have never understood this argument, having worked around the buying side of games retail I’m well aware of the type and sums of money that large retailers can ask for over space, adverts and posters within their shops.


    However they don’t pay for the games with the used titles, they don’t order 5000 copies of whatever the latest releases is and hand over old copies of fifa to pay (although I know sale or return agreements exist with some retailers)


    Boo Hoo if your old triple A title gets traded in a couple of weeks after it was released so that little Jimmy can get a bit of a discount on something else.


    The secret to getting around this has been covered by many other developers; don’t make it a game they can easily get rid of.


    If you create a 4 level wonder where the reviews are bought and paid for, but that lasts 30 seconds and has no replay value what-so-ever then you can damn well expect to see it up for sale second hand within a nanosecond of it going on sale!


    Look at games like the latest Call of Duty, where (In the UK anyway) retailers are practically begging for it to be traded in.


    Any developer that claims 2nd hand sales are destroying their business is probably guilty of releasing utter crap in the first place.


    If it was designed from the ground up to sit and get dusty on the shelf after a week then this problem is self made.


  61. MechaTama31 says:

    Yeah, sounds like his beef is more that they put extra time, effort, and money into promoting Gamestop specifically (posters, displays in stores, preorder exclusives, etc.) and then Gamestop reaps the benefits of said advertising while pushing people to buy a version of the game that doesn’t make any money for the publisher.

  62. Thomas says:

    I think I understand where he is coming from.

    He is saying, basically.. "if we are bending over to give you special advertising and merchandicising deals, like we do with many of these people.. don’t sell our stuff at huge markups and take all the profit by selling used games".

    And while I disagree with the industry stance on used games.. I understand that, sorta.

    Having worked in related retail industries, I know that these companies produce massive amounts of stuff and put it in stores free.. at cost to them.

    "We never paid any heed to the ancient prophecies… Like fools we clung to the old hatreds, and fought as we had for generations"

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