More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

February 15, 2011 -

A little digging on both Blockbuster’s and GameFly’s web sites shows that both companies are not renting DC Universe Online to its customers. It would be difficult to do more than one time unless they had a special deal in place with either SCEA or SOE to supply additional codes for these discs that come with one-time use codes.

We reached out to both companies to get a better idea of what their policies are related to renting and accepting trade-ins of DCU. Here are their responses:

"Here's how it works," Rachel Silverstein, GameFly's Vice President of Marketing told GamePolitics. "We offer trade-in to help our subscribers realize some value for the games they no longer want to play. Trade-ins do not become part of GameFly’s rental inventory. Whether to buy the game for subscription rental or to accept it as trade in are completely separate decisions."

"We do not comment on specific publisher programs or title purchases," Blockbuster Vice President of Games Merchandising told GamePolitics. "However, we obviously would not rent a product that was limited to a ‘first and only’ type of experience. Additionally, we do not take trades on products that are not set up in our POS for rent or sale."

On a related note, it appears that GameStop stores around the country are turning players away who are trying to trade in DC Universe Online, for obvious reasons. Over at Amazon.com, it looks like the online retailer is not accepting DCU as a trade-in either, but do list several used copies of the game from various resellers.


Comments

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

Before any new commenters come in and rant about how this is how MMOs have always been, let me ask you this:

Why does it have to be? Why can't they only use the game disk for the assets portion of the game and have a seperate account id? Why don't they just sell the game disk witha one time use account activation code which is no longer valid once used? Why not let someone give their game disk to a friend when they are done with the game, and let the friend purchase a new account activation code but still use the disk for the game assets? This would be exactly the same thing as EA Project 10 Dollars.

There is zero reason why this is not possible. The only reason they are doing this is the max out their income. They are getting $15 a month from every user and for some reason think that they should get a $60 down payment on top of it. I won't sy they shouldn't feel intitaled to it, but It is not necessary.

Also, before someone claims that the $15 month goes just to server costs, It does not cost Blizzard $15 million a month to keep their servers up and running. I doubt it costs more than $2 million a month. That is being generous.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

I highly doubt the disc is tied to the code.  Only the account would be tied.

Its a bit of a tough spot for consoles and MMOs.  It would be nice to see the client downloads be available for consoles and see codes go on sale.  <PC elitism>Should have gone with a PC :) </PC elitism>  

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

That is exactly what is being reported here. That there is a one time use code included with the game disk and can only be used with the disk it came with. You cannot purchase a second code to use with the game disk.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

If you are relying on this: "It would be difficult to do more than one time unless they had a special deal in place with either SCEA or SOE to supply additional codes for these discs that come with one-time use codes."

That does not mean the code can only be used with that one disc.  That is only them saying the code is a one time use and that if SOE actually sold codes, they could then put in a code into the case for resale.

However, yes, I do not think there is anyway of purchasing another code without the disc on PS3 (yay for client downloads on PC).  Either way, it would still cost $60, with or without the disc.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

"That does not mean the code can only be used with that one disc."

I don't think EZK is saying you can only use the code with a particular physical copy of the disc. Instead, he's saying you can only get a code with a new disc, which is effectively the same as tying your account to that game disc.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

What I am referring to is here:

http://www.gamepolitics.com/2011/02/14/why-you-shouldn039t-buy-dc-univer...

"Once the PSN key has been consumed with a disk it cannot be resold/replayed with the second user adding a sub – only the original consumer can use that acct."

SOE also said that the retail disc and the PSN code are one and the same, meaning it is completely worthless after that first use. Further, there is no way (currently) that a second hand user can obtain a new code.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

Still not completely convinced they meant the disc would be completely unplayable if trying on a different DCUO account.  It just doesn't make sense to me why they would do something like that.

The disc should only be a data gateway.  You would only be tying that code to a specific account.  You should be able to lend the disc to a friend, and they log into their own DCUO account (or if I wanted to, buy 10 copies of the game, throw out 9 discs and still be able to play on all 10 codes with that one disc).  Now if only my couple friends with a PS3 would get the damn game to confirm -_-;. 

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

See my reply to your post.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

"I doubt it costs more than $2 million a month."

Actually, as of 2008, it cost a bit over 4 million a month. I can only guess how much it's gone up since then. Given the fact that the bulk of WoW's subscribers are no doubt using the "pay-per-hour" method most often associated with Chinese internet cafes (something the linked article overlooks as well), I'm thinking you may want to reconsider your argument.

Honestly, though, I expect SOE probably will be giving away free trial codes at some point in the future. Most likely, the reason they don't exist right now (beyond the ones that were included in the CE) is that the game hasn't even been out for two months yet -- which is hardly any time at all in the average MMO's lifespan.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

"the game hasn't even been out for two months yet -- which is hardly any time at all in the average MMO's lifespan."

Except for APB :P.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

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There are only 10 types of people in this world, people who know binary and people who don't.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

Calling All Points Bulletin an MMO is an insult to Mortal Online, the Star Wars Galaxies NGE, Anarchy Online patch 12.6, and every other catastrophic failure that earned the right to be called part of the genre.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

Ok so $4 million a month. That still leaves $11 million a month that is not consumed by server costs. That change in numberstill does not invalidate my argument. They are still making more than double to triple the maintenence costs. Which means, they do not need that extra $60 per player to make a profit. Especially if people stick with the game for more than 6 months.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

World of Warcraft is a significant outlier (to say the least) when it comes to subscriber numbers, so I'm reluctant to generalize from its costs to the rest of the genre.

Really, it comes down to how well the numbers scale as the playerbase grows or shrinks. The linked article points out that the largest part of that 50 million a year goes to paying for customer support -- GMs, billing representatives, and the like. If customer support costs scale more efficiently than, for example, paying for the Internet connection for the servers, a higher population would cause the profit earned from the monthly fees to increase disproportionately.

It may also worth pointing out that the development costs of an MMO are generally far beyond those of your average game. Given the need to regularly provide updates to the game's content -- a need that does not easily fit into the release schedule for expansion packs -- it may be worth considering the costs of keeping a development team solely for one title. (I can't really tell if that's included in the numbers or not, since the original source is vague at best in that respect.) 

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

By your argument, you're suggesting that "good" mmo's REQUIRE a sub fee to pay their costs, even when shown evidence to the contrary.  If that's the case, care to explain Turbine's success with a hybrid Free-to-Play model, or ArenaNet's success with Guild Wars?  I mean, they're making Guild Wars 2 off the money they made from Guild Wars, and that game looks amazing.

Yes, MMO's are more expensive to make, and do have continuing upkeep costs.  However, most developers are learning there are better ways to serve their customers, by ditching the antiquated idea that "sub fees are the only thing paying our way."

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With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

The vast majority of free-to-play MMOs are dependent upon item shops, including Turbine's. Guild Wars is kind of a strange example of gameplay (which could easily affect the costs of running the servers), but even it has its own sort of item shop.

Whether it comes from a subscription fee (something that Turbine still offers in the form of VIP memberships, for the record) or an item shop, yes, a good MMO does often require some type of constant revenue stream

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

 well this seems like a huge DUH to me, haha. it's an MMORPG. doubt people are allowed to return WoW or other MMOs after using up the free 30 days.

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

Yeah, but in the past yearor so, common sense has kinda left GP behind, or perhaps it is the other way around.

Yes it's pretty damned obvious that you cant trade-in or rent an MMO, but apparantly when it happens on a console, it's complain-worthy. 

Re: More on DC Universe Online Trade-Ins

Except there's absolutely no reason why you couldn't trade in an MMO disc if the publisher allowed it, so if it's "obvious" to you it's only because you expect it. In fact, there's nothing particularly obvious about it.

Don't let that stop you from whining about people whining, though.

 
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