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Traditional & Video Gaming

 Posting a reply to post #92287

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92287 No.92287

>Penny Arcade's Jerry Holkins wrote today. "If I am purchasing games in order to reward their creators, and to ensure that more of these ingenious contraptions are produced, I honestly can't figure out how buying a used game was any better than piracy. From the the perspective of a developer, they are almost certainly synonymous."

>From the the perspective of a developer, they are almost certainly synonymous.

/cog/'s thoughts on this?

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Wow, imagine what would have happened to the book industry if the same type of mentality was prevalent.

Well, it's true.

More or less true. The only difference from their perspective is if the game has multiplayer which pirates are locked out of. In this case, the used game players add to the multiplayer player base, thus strengthening the game's draw.

No shit. Devs/Publishers should create incentives for people to buy new games.

At least Atlus and Aksys are trying. Most developers are pretty much "Here's a heap of data that you can easily torrent and save yourself hours worth of money. Please don't do that."

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>Why won't people buy our shitty WWE games at full price?

>My reaction

Depends on whether the game is still in print.

When a game is sold used, that physical copy is removed from the original owner and given to someone else.
In piracy, many illegal copies are made and people enjoy something that was never meant to be distributed.

That's the core issue of copyright law. Not who gets the profit from the original sale.

Buying them used from Gamestop and such sucks because Gamestop sucks. I'm a bit more iffy about getting them from other sources, though.

Also, if you have the money to buy the game and you pirate, you're a dick.


>implying print isnt a dying industry


You'd be making a valid point if books cost more money after the initial investment (upkeep, maintenance, additional development, server cost, marketing, etc). Which they don't.

Or if books regularly cost the consumer $60 (for fiction), which they also don't.

Everything in this article is a valid point. Whether there are valid counterpoints remains to be seen, since I don't exactly care one way or another. I'm just saying, there were no leaps in logic.

It's actually more analogous to books than you'd think. The whole issue came up because publishers were putting features in their games that were only available to retail purchasers.

To paraphrase one of the people who commented at Penny Arcade: If I buy a book used, it's understood that I do so with a loss of quality in the product. Books that are like new are nearly full retail price and books with damaged pages, spines, or covers are priced lower. In a way, game publishers are trying to emulate the book industry. Since the conceptual content of the game doesn't change with age, the only loss of quality that can be incurred is the loss of features.

Now, I only partially agree that buying used console games is the same thing as piracy. I get what he's saying, that both of them move the game around without the publisher seeing money, but there's a long-established standard that piracy involves the copying of a product, while used console games are tied to a disc.

We buy books used, does that mean we're terrible people? We buy shows used, does that mean we're terrible people? We buy clothes used, does that mean we're terrible people? Same thing for technology, cars, toys, furniture, equipment, etc


I don't think there's any moral judgment at work here, just pointing out that as far as the developers are concerned, either one has the same effect for them.

For the record, he went on later to reiterate that he's not saying that buying used is the same as piracy, he was just saying that it doesn't support the developers any more to buy used than it does to pirate their game.

used game market is a fucking abomination and i would love to see it finally die.

you realise if gamestop et al stopped ripping off customers and developers alike by focussing on used sales we might finally see new game prices come down?


I have never known a market where getting rid of competition has lead to the reduction of price for a product.


used games market is not competition, its scalping


This is probably true. But so long as it's legal and the price of new games remains so absurdly high, the used market will always exist.

Bit of a chicken-and-egg situation.


No, but what he's trying to get at is that it costs developers money that they're not getting back. So their overhead costs are getting the better of them.

Especially with something like a WWE game where, you're likely to find MOST of the customers are children, and who wants to spend $60 on a game for your little brat who may wipe his ass with the disc? So people buy used, retract from making their money back, and get less incentive to keep up their online services, or develop new content or sequels.

The used game market also contributes to the stagnation of the videogame industry. Why try something new when there's a chance you won't come CLOSE to making back your initial investment? It's also why I love the downloadable game market, they spend less on development, so they take risks, and the distribution is cheap enough that indie game developers have a chance to strike it on their own.

Would Minecraft have even made a dent on a console? Psychonauts, although great, taaaaaanked. Happens every day.

I'm just playing devil's advocate. I don't think he was calling used game customers pirates, just saying the two are analogous. Which, to a developer, I can totally understand.

PS, I'm not sure how coherent this post was, I am a little out of it. I will reread it later to make sure I made an ass of myself. B)

>>92317 >>92288 >>92323

I second most of these sentiments, and offer this one as an explanation for the lingering questions:

Authors, creators of the book industry, embraced the parallel economy (ty PA for new word) of book resales by accepting that a worse thing than not being paid for their books is NEVER HAVING THEM READ.

Why, you probably ask, can't game developers embrace the same concept of better their games to have been played at all than never purchased?

Because while publishers of books are dependent more upon selling the AUTHOR than the BOOKS themselves, publishers of games are currently primarily fixed soley upon the end product.

The next question we should be asking is "Can this change?"


>used games market is not competition, its scalping

I don't see the rational behind this argument. Care to elaborate and provide a specific definition of "scalping"?

Bu...but they have gone down. If you take inflation into consideration, games sold 15-20 years ago would cost almost $100 (or more in some cases) retail today.

>The next question we should be asking is "Can this change?"
Only a little bit. Certain game companies have their followers who buy everything they put out, like Nippon Ichi or Valve or Treasure. But there are only a handful of game designers who have followings for those designers specifically, like Sid Meier, Tim Schafer.

The problem is, big games are made by committees, and there's really no other option for making them. There's always going to be a lot of changeover amongst the crew making any given game, and that makes it harder for them all to share a single "voice" even when made by the same company. Without that voice, it's difficult to develop that singular following that authors get.


The cost of publishing a book is also significantly lower... If your book is a flop, which chances are it will be, the publisher's only out a few thousand minimum. If your videogame is a flop, you could be out 100,000,000 (APB).

Videogames sort of brought this upon itself with stuff like the Madden series in producing cheap titles or quick succession of sequels that don't really improve on the formula and simply milk a fan base dry. For every gem that deserves money there are hundreds of shovel ware, movie games and general garbage that shouldn't be sold for 5 cents let alone $60. Not to mention the horrible mess other aspects of games are like advertisement with Videogame "journalism" and less reputable companies and teams like 3D Realms dicking around the playing field. Buying used might be killing the industry but to me it’s like Ford complaining Hummers didn't sell until dealerships were giving them away. There’s more bad business involved then just GameStop.


That, and direct digital download is allowing publishers to sidestep the issue altogether.

The inability to resell games on Steam is only going to remain unchallenged for so long. Someone's going to sue them on first sale grounds eventually.

Not in the US most likely. Or at least they most likely won't win if they do. The most recent court rulings (in a case with Autodesk) hold that software isn't sold, it's licensed, and therefore not eligible for First Sale protection.

Which is bullshit, but the precedent is on the books officially now.

>>92798 >>92802

That, and the fact that they aren't actually SELLING YOU THE GAME. Surprised? Because they're not, it's even in their T.O.S.

They're selling you a 'licence key' to use software that VALVE actually has a licence to. Not you. Sure, it may be installed on your system, but it's still not technically your game.

Steam is sacrificing certain rights for certain benefits. We've always known this, big deal.


Any piece of software, regardless of distribution, is legally sold in the same way.

These free flash games sure are fun. And free.

Well, to be honest, the difference between buying a used game and pirating is quite simple; so simple I don't think it's anything to worry about:

They already received the money for that copy of the game.

When developers sell their games to retail stores THEY ARE ALREADY PAID FOR IT. That's an important thing to note. From there we are ONLY PAYING THE RETAILER.

Your argument is stupid.

>They already received the money for that copy of the game.

>When developers sell their games to retail stores THEY ARE ALREADY PAID FOR IT. That's an important thing to note. From there we are ONLY PAYING THE RETAILER

But...thats not how retail works at all.

The point is, if 1.5 million people played a game and only 800,000 actually bought it, regardless if that's because of piracy or used game sales, the publisher is going to view that game as much less successful than it reasonably should be. A game that was actually pretty popular could be deemed a flop, thus preventing more games like that from being considered a good investment in the future.

It's not just a question of reciprocity. It's also a question of voting with your dollar. Buying a game used is essentially a vote against that game.


Things that don't get sold get returned to sender for a refund, bro.


Or credit so they can buy new stuff from the same publisher.

Most of the time I only see really horrible/bad sellers sit on some stores shelves for years and stubbornly clinging to the same price they paid for it, like Alpha Protocol at $60 in certain retail stories.

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