Poll: Should Publishers/Developers Receive a Cut of Used Game Sales?

Earlier this week, Ready at Dawn Studios boss Ru Weerasuriya opined that retailers not sharing the profits generated from used game sales with the publisher/developer is not fair.

"You can't make a living at the expense of everybody else," he said.  "Unfortunately, they're not just making a living at the expense of developers but also the consumers because the consumers will see less and less games come out if developers can't get revenue to make more new titles and keep going as a business."

Now, Mr. Weerasuriya isn't suggesting that gamers should pay more for used games, only that used game sellers should share the wealth with content creators.

Does that sound fair to you?  Should publishers or developers share in the monies of a second sale or is the dough they earn on the first sale all they should have a claim to?  Vote in the poll and let us know!

If you feel your thoughts can not be properly expressed in the form of an anonymous poll, please make judicious use of the below comments section or send us an email at SuperPACpodcast@gmail.com.  EZK and I will discuss this topic and your opinions on the next podcast.

Until then, eat your veggies.

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    GiffTor says:

    First, I'm not sure where you're getting that part about the HOA – the builders of my house sure don't get a cut of my dues. Second, using homes as a comparison to games is, at the very least, not a particularly good example, mainly because of life cycle. A house may go through multiple owners (with no payment back to the builder) over the course of decades. A game's life cycle is much shorter; when you have these pay-to-the-builder clauses limited to a year, it hardly makes sense that a product with so much of a shorter life cycle would have a disproportionately long pay-to-the-developer clause. 

  2. 0
    Yuuri says:

    Those clauses were to 'fight' flippers in developments that were still being built. They do expire after a period of time/residency. From what little I've been able to find, around a year is the typical time for the clause. And the builders have to pay into, not get paid out of (unless they are actively building something for) the HOA.

  3. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    The general consensus may be they aren't ENTITLED to those things, but buy a house from the first owner that was built a few years ago – part of that loan is going to the builder.  A lot of home builders are putting riders into initial sales contracts akin to a "caretaker" clause.

    Also, see "homeowner's association" fees.  These, too, go to the builder.

  4. 0
    greevar says:

    Yes, parts, which is a new product entirely. Not the cars themselves. They aren't getting a cut of the sale of used cars, they're selling new products that increase the value of said cars.

    House builders are not getting a cut of the sale of houses they build. There was a big fuss about it, but the general consensus is that they are not entitled to such things.

    Record companies? You mean stores? No, stores can resell used music at their whim.

  5. 0
    GrimCW says:

    and oddly enough these games are often the biggest sellers that become most well known.

    but hey, those mass sales numbers don't mean jack apparently, gotta tie things down and accuse all customers of being pirates right? then whine about additional "lost" sales over used titles…

  6. 0
    Sam-LibrarIan Witt says:

    Absolutely not. They received money for the copy of one game sold to one person. Transaction over. When someone resells their copy, they are relinquishing ownership and passing it on to someone else, which is legal per the First Sale Doctrine. The game companies act like used games are a part of piracy, as if reselling games creates more copies or something. There aren't more copies, they are just trading hands.

  7. 0
    GrimCW says:

    Yes and no tbh.

    Used games are how franchises get born. Otherwise new IP's don't live long if no one is willing to try them at full price (hint hint)

    Raising the prices to pay the extra will ward off more buyers, or turn more people to area's where used games can be purchased without the middle man. Such as EBay.

    Thus the developers would have MORE to worry about, would they not? New IP's fail = they go out of business, old IP's go stale, = they go out of business. And old IP's are only held by a few to begin with, so where would the new devs go?!

    If they intend to survive they first need to make a game worth getting, and then improve on it. Sadly most are so generic, or straight knock offs.. this doesn't happen often enough.

    Best bet is to start allowing the trade in/resale of digital titles, they can def regulate that easier, and/or open a specialized digital pre-owned market. 

    Problem is finding someone willing to play middle man that isn't going to skim too much off the top.

    But as long as Physical sales exist (and all hell shall break loose if they stop) theres no way to regulate it that well. Even the supposed praise of the PC game market is flawed since used sales still continue outside the boundaries of the developers reach. MMO and steam accounts get sold off, cd-keys can be re-used, etc…

  8. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Homebuilders often do get some sort of reparations for you selling a house they built nowadays, and have for a couple of decades now.

    Auto manufacturers get a HUGE cut on parts for that used car.

    In order for record companies to sell used CD's and tapes, they oftentimes have to pay a license fee to record companies based on their volume of used sales.

    The fact is, I see no reason retailers like GameStop, who do everything they can to make sure you buy a USED copy of a game – and mysteriously happen to have used copies of popular games on launch day, should be kept from giving a portion of the millions of dollars a year they make to developers.

  9. 0
    Cormic says:

    Should a home builder get a cut of the home they built for you that you just sold to someone else?  Should Honda get a cut of the monies I receive when I sell my used Civic to the neighbors kid for his first car?  Do the record companies get a portion of the monies when you bring your music CDs to a second hand store and sell them who in turn sells them to someone else?  First sale says that once you buy something, it is yours to do with as you please.  Burn it, seal it in carbonite, bury it, put it on the shelf, and yes.. even sell it, and there is nothing the original creators of said product can do about it.  Mind you, that is strictly regarding the physical media itself, they have been wising up and using one time codes and serial key registration to tie the media to one specific person and so far the courts have said that is perfectly fine.

  10. 0
    MechaTama31 says:

    I think a more appropriate solution would be to have a certain period of time around the launch window when retailers will not sell the game used.  Similar to the delay between when a movie releases and when rental places get it.  This way the developers and publishers aren't having their launch sales gutted by GameStop, but everyone will still be able to trade that game in and get it used, just not right away.  Seems fair to me.

  11. 0
    Neeneko says:

    If not for the fact that this topic comes up for pretty much ever new media and market.. I would dream of the wonderful day when this old debate dies the horrible death it deserves.

    It also keeps reminding me of one of the problems with small business owners.  They get good at making money so they think they understand economics.

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