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Used game sales: Is it really a problem?
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Pilot
^^ That was me just generally raging at the phrase, not you.

Second hand markets help to keep the physical retailers that sell the new games open too. I highly doubt EB would manage too well without them, it's a core part of their business model. If it were to all go online a lot of business would be lost just there, you can't charge online what you can in a store.

In other words, it ain't broke. Second hand markets aren't a piece of your pie EA, and they never were.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I would have no reason to visit any gaming store should the 2nd hand market be capped or otherwise. Given financial situations and finances inherently bleeding with physio's, chiro's masseuses (my personal favourite mind you) and several prescriptions over the years, I simply have not had the funds to buy anything new, let alone items worth 3 figures. As such it was a conscious decision to play a generation behind with regards to gaming, emulate / read up to make an informed decision on the products available during the generation and then purchase on the cheap through trade ins or clearance stock.

When I had money to spend, I was more than happy to benefit the developer and publisher for a product I enjoyed, sure I bartered at times (cash vs card and attempted bundle deals, yeah, those types of people...) but ultimately, I like quite a few I imagine just can't keep up with all the expenses, that if the market shifted to buy new or an increase in price /lack of availablity or otherwise a negative impact on the 2nd hand / used / rental markets it would effectively force me out of the market, it would stop me today trying to source PS2 and Cube titles from people who mass trade in to "update" and it would ultimately limit the consumer base to draw from.

Mind you, I would also laugh pretty bloody hard from someone trying to buy my sale with DLC, does not interest me in the slightest, so I'm also well aware that the market would also be pretty happy if I was pushed out of it as well.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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pom013
GooberMan wrote:
So, logically, if you make new games cheaper then they'd sell more.


I diagree. If you lower the price of new games, used games will lower too and you'll just end up losing money.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Yes, reducing the cost of new games will just lower revenue. Gaming publishers are going to need to find a balance of when to discount titles so that they capture the cream of the market at launch and then keep driving sales by discounting to the lower value markets. In theory that should also place pressure on 2nd hand retailers to buy games at lower prices to ensure that they don't pay more for the game than the title will be selling for retail in 6-8 months, lowering the volume of people who want to trade in games.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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It's not a problem for anyone but the publishers. I haven't bought a new game for 3 years. 95% depreciate so fast that it feels like Im just throwing money away. Buying the latest FIFA game at launch is the equivelant of burning money. Customers aren't as stupid as the industry wishes, and more and more seem to be buying second hand. I say good.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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The big problem I see are the shops buying games off customers for a pittance and then selling them for only $10-20 less than new copies. That means that they're gonna be pushing used games which they're making much more on per unit. That's both bad for the publishers and the customers (although it's your own fault if you're willing to get ripped off on tradeins).

I don't really understand people talking about how much they save on used games. I very rarely spend more than $30 on a game (pretty much unless it's a CE or comes with hardware) and I have a pretty reasonable set of both 360 and Wii games, thanks to sales, clearances, pricedrops and imports (and a good chunk from the big Game sale). But then I don't really care about playing games on release or even close to.

And I wonder if 'pre-owned' was market researched or focus grouped to determine that it was the most appealing term for such a market. It's clearly so much more appealing than 'used' or 'second hand'.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Fyuusii
Nova Prime wrote:
The big problem I see are the shops buying games off customers for a pittance and then selling them for only $10-20 less than new copies. That means that they're gonna be pushing used games which they're making much more on per unit. That's both bad for the publishers and the customers (although it's your own fault if you're willing to get ripped off on tradeins).


That's how shops make their money these days. Without a second hand market, there wouldn't be many specialty stores around. There isn't much money in new games.

As for customers who want to sell for low prices and buy at high prices, that is their choice. I can't perceive that as bad.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always had a problem with the used-game-argument (I'll preface this by saying I'm for used games. Also I'll say that I doubt anyone will read my entire post but ah well). I find that people who are against used games and aren't a publisher tend to be incredibly self-righteous and pious.

Take this comic from Penny Arcade (and the accompanying news). Tycho equates (as so many people have done before, strangely) the used game market to piracy, all the while presenting the used game buyer as a churlish oaf. Now, I love PA and I realise that the representation of the used gamer (the term fits, I suppose) is for entertainment products but the self-righteousness that comes with such an act annoys me greatly.

In his post, Tycho talks about meeting a game developer and changing his mind about being a used gamer. Yet the actual sales of a game don't affect the money that a developer will see after a game's release (assuming you're not self-publishing, obviously). So taking on this elitist view that by not buying used games you're personally helping a developer out is pointless in real terms. A publisher will either fund a development from the beginning or will pay for the final product. Funds generally don't feed back to the developer through the publisher after the release of a game.

I don't buy a lot of used games. I might have bought a handful in the last few years. I do like to support the publishers - but not because they actually need my support. Unless you're buying a game in its first month or so of shelf life (or even better (for the publisher), pre-ordering the game), you're likely making very little difference to the publisher. If I go out and buy MW2 new tomorrow, that purchase will be entirely overshadowed by the sales of the game in its first week. It's the same for almost any AAA game. The first month (being generous; I lean towards week) is where the sales actually count. It's when the dedicated people buy the game. Otherwise the sales are just extras. If a game doesn't make back its budget in this time, it's naturally considered a failure. So even if I was helping the developer directly, in the dire situation that a game doesn't sell well early in its life, the publisher still wouldn't work with the developer on another game.

Something that I've yet to see any data on is how many used games are actually being sold in comparison to new games (it would be nigh impossible to show a proper trend without data from every store in a region). Invariably, the amount of used games has to at least equal the number of new games sold (in the game's life time, not at any given moment). You can't sell a new game as second hand, after all. In other words, the sales number a new game reaches has to be substantial before there can be "many" second hand games. If there are only 11 copies of a game sold ever then there can only be 11 pre-owned copies of the same game ever sold yet if there are 11 million copies of a game, there can be 11 million pre-owned copies.

The above might not seem significant until you consider it from the point of view of the publishers. If they have sold 11 million copies of a game then you've made back your budget, big time. If you only sell 11 games then your worry isn't with second hand gamers but with the quality of the game and in that case, you have a maximum of 11 copies that could possibly become pre-owned games. In short, the only time second hand games would become a problem for a publisher is when the game hasn't sold well in the first place, which means it isn't going to sell well later in its self-life (as distributors are less likely to restock and therefore new games aren't even being sold).

I just don't get the big real about pre-owned games.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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So the appeals court in America has struck a serious blow against there first sale doctrine (The right to resell anything they purchased legally) by ruling that software is actually sold as a license instead of property.
(In this case for some copies of Autocad)
Basically this opens up the flood gates for game publishers to make re-selling your games (At least in the US) illegal.

[EDIT]
Whoops forgot my source
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100912/12212110968.shtml

However treating software as a license opens up some interesting possibilities. After all, if we've paid for a license then we should be able to get replacements for our physical copies if they are damaged etc
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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From what I understand, software has always been under a license model, but it hasn't really been enforced for non-business software.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Benza wrote:
However treating software as a license opens up some interesting possibilities. After all, if we've paid for a license then we should be able to get replacements for our physical copies if they are damaged etc

You assume too much. Unless the licensing agreement specifically states something, you won't get it.

Sounds like there's more appeals to come though

Scrav wrote:
From what I understand, software has always been under a license model, but it hasn't really been enforced for non-business software.

Well that's what the software sellers want you to think with the EULAs and such



What I never understood is why the EULA is never presented as you purchase (license?) the software. What happens if I don't agree to it? Can I return it for a refund?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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grim-one wrote:
What I never understood is why the EULA is never presented as you purchase (license?) the software. What happens if I don't agree to it? Can I return it for a refund?


Not sure about games and stuff, but I know you can with Windows! A few years back there were a couple of cases where people bought laptops that came with Windows but they didn't want Windows, and it was ruled that they could get a refund on the Windows part of the purchase if they hadn't opened the discs/accepted the EULA or whatever yet.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Jedi_Amara wrote:
grim-one wrote:
What I never understood is why the EULA is never presented as you purchase (license?) the software. What happens if I don't agree to it? Can I return it for a refund?


Not sure about games and stuff, but I know you can with Windows! A few years back there were a couple of cases where people bought laptops that came with Windows but they didn't want Windows, and it was ruled that they could get a refund on the Windows part of the purchase if they hadn't opened the discs/accepted the EULA or whatever yet.

Yeah I remember people got refunds from Dell and such.

But a lot of the EULAs aren't presented until you attempt to install the software - by then you've broken the sealed packaging and most stores would never accept it as a refund after that.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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grim-one wrote:
Jedi_Amara wrote:
grim-one wrote:
What I never understood is why the EULA is never presented as you purchase (license?) the software. What happens if I don't agree to it? Can I return it for a refund?


Not sure about games and stuff, but I know you can with Windows! A few years back there were a couple of cases where people bought laptops that came with Windows but they didn't want Windows, and it was ruled that they could get a refund on the Windows part of the purchase if they hadn't opened the discs/accepted the EULA or whatever yet.

Yeah I remember people got refunds from Dell and such.

But a lot of the EULAs aren't presented until you attempt to install the software - by then you've broken the sealed packaging and most stores would never accept it as a refund after that.


This wasn't an issue in the old days, but it certainly is theoretically now. Developers realise that it is pointless to file a complaint against a customer, as it would be too costly. It is different with big business, as you can make money from that. So these days, we have DRM and cd keys to mitigate that scenario. Consequently this has made reselling pc games almost a dead market.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Well, whether it's a problem or not the US Court of Appeal has deemed it is and this one could now have wide ranging ramifications for all of us.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30370/Court_Of_Appeals_Ruling_Threatens_Sale_Of_Used_Games.php

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Court Of Appeals Ruling Threatens Sale Of Used Games?
by Simon Parkin
September 13, 2010


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has upheld the right of software companies to deny consumers the right to resell their products.

The ruling came as the result of a long-standing case involving used computer software sales on eBay, but its wide-ranging implications could threaten the resale of all digital content, including video games.

The case involved the sale of copies of AutoCAD, software that defendant Timothy Vernor had picked up in an architect's office sale. Vernor then put the software up for sale on auction site eBay, complete with serial numbers and a reassurance that no versions were currently installed on any other machine.

However, AutoCAD's developer, Autodesk, claimed the End User License Agreement (EULA) that users agreed to before using the software stated that the program was merely licensed, not sold, and that the user's license was non-transferable.

Furthermore, the agreement specified that, if the user upgraded to a new version of the software, the old version had to be destroyed.

Autodesk claimed that the copies Vernor had obtained should have been destroyed. Vernor counter-argued that, as he had not agreed to any license, he was free to sell the copies on and, on the verge of being banned from eBay, sued Autodesk to protect his business.

The court affirmed Vernor's right to sell the used software in 2008, but Autodesk appealed and last week the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the earlier decision.

The ruling aims to distinguish between when a piece of software is sold and when it is merely licensed, with the user potentially unable to resell if it's the latter. The judge presiding over the case said: "We hold today that a software user is a licensee rather than an owner of a copy where the copyright owner (1) specifies that the user is granted a license; (2) significantly restricts the user’s ability to transfer the software; and (3) imposes notable use restrictions."

The ruling could have severe implications for other forms of digital media that are subject to license agreements, potentially preventing users from selling on their used video games. Indeed, Electronic Arts' standard EULA, while not mentioning resale policy, explicitly states: 'This Software is licensed to you, not sold.'

Libraries that loan digital media could also be subject to restrictions following the decision. The American Library Association, fearing that publishers could now forbid rental or lending unless libraries agree to more expensive licenses, filed an amicus brief in the case, which the judges reportedly showed some sympathy for, before concluding that they were forced to follow precedent.

The Court did, however, state that: "congress is free... to modify the first sale doctrine and the essential step defense if it deems these or other policy considerations to require a different approach."

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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TamTam79 wrote:
Well, whether it's a problem or not the US Court of Appeal has deemed it is and this one could now have wide ranging ramifications for all of us.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/30370/Court_Of_Appeals_Ruling_Threatens_Sale_Of_Used_Games.php


check about 6 posts up icon_razz.gif
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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