PS3 News: David Braben: Used Game Market At Fault For High Prices - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

David Braben: Used Game Market At Fault For High Prices

Some hardcore gamers aren't too happy with the explosion of multiplayer and the fact that single-player adventures seem to be taking a back seat. On top of which, players often complain about the cost of games.

And Frontier Developments founder David Braben says if you feel games are too pricey, and you feel single-player popularity is on the decline, blame the used game market. In a lengthy Gamasutra interview, Braben said he won't buy a pre-owned game "on principle" and in fact, the used game market is "killing the core games."

"The real problem when you think about it brutally, if you look at just core gamer games, pre-owned has really killed core games. In some cases, it’s killed them dead. I know publishers who have stopped games in development because most shops won’t reorder stock after initial release, because they rely on the churn from the resales. I won’t buy a pre-owned game out of principle."

For years, publishers and developers have been complaining about used games, as they only result in more profit for retailers, but not another dime for the companies that actually produced the title. Furthermore, Braben added that day-one sales are no longer an automatic indicator of success, and this goes double for single-player-oriented games.

"But it’s killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk. I mean, the idea of a game selling out used to be a good thing, but nowadays, those people who buy it on day one may well finish it and return it.

People will say ‘Oh well, I paid all this money and it’s mine to do with as I will’, but the problem is that’s what’s keeping the retail price up — prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells."

Strong statements. What do you think?

Tags: used games, preowened games, david braben, gaming industry

3/19/2012 12:02:24 PM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (80 posts)

Oyashiro
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:16:02 PM
Reply

"I won’t buy a pre-owned game out of principle."

David Braben and I seem to have the same principles. :)

Agree with this comment 6 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:16:57 PM

Indeed, I too share such principles. Confuses the hell out of the gamestop drones.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Oyashiro
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:25:43 PM

Tell me about it! Its like there lives depend on making that used sale.

Do...Do their lives depend on them now? I'm not up to date on GameStops employee policies.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:28:54 PM

Based on their desperation I can only conclude that GameStop pays commission to their employees based on the number of used titles that they can sell instead of new. They probably have 'conversion' rate targets for staff demanding that they convert a certain % of new game sales to used game sales in order to achieve a performance bonus or something.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:28:56 PM

"Error 637 - Entitlement factor returning a null value in line(s) 3, 7, and 48. Infinite loop detected in logic. The following comments are not up to standards and are not objectively secure. Please try again at a later and/or grownup age."

At least that's what I get on my screen when I scroll through the comments sections of these types of topics. Nothing so far, though.

Anyone else get it? I'm using Mozilla Firefox.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/19/2012 12:31:06 PM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Palpatations911
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:19:05 PM

I'm getting that error message too.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 9:53:09 AM

Wow, I was expecting to get downvoted to kingdom come...

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough? You all realize I'm agreeing with Highlander and Oyashiro, right?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:16:29 PM
Reply

You know what I think.... ;)

One thing to add though. i wish we were hearing Braben's name in conjunction with a new Elite game instead of this. As important as this topic is, I want that new version of Elite.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 12:37:37 PM
Reply

I sort of see this as chopping at the branches and not at the root of what's actually going on. Many arguments can be made to explain why gaming is in the the state it is, I know, I've been on message boards for a while. I don't doubt that in the current system we have now, where a commodity can be bought and resold freely, with businesses having the capacity to choose to market this product on their terms, allows for this sort of sub-market of revenue.
Over the last week, or so, the next-gen has really turned into a downer for myself. The next-gen I invisioned. This technological arms race in making bigger more realistic looking games is killing off niche games. While I have yet to read a NG3 review not written by a biased idiot, I have little doubt the dumbing down and whoring out to blood lovers has something to do with trying to stay profitable. So while we can be all upset about the re-sale market, I think it's wise to consider, under the budget limits of the last gen, a wide variety of high profile niche games appeared to survive just fine even with Gamestop's skimming money off the top to sustain their own market that, in turn, does create much more accesibility and visibility of gaming in the market place.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/19/2012 12:38:06 PM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:25:26 PM

GameStop is not "skimming money off the top", they are gouging holes in the revenue sheets of small and large game makers alike. When Gamestop's revenue from used game sales represents a significant fraction of the annual gaming market (which is does). More than 2 years ago, Gamestop reported billion of USD in revenue from used games alone. I don't have the up to date figures, but I know that the amount of revenue generated by used games has been increasing for them to the point where it is now their primary revenue stream and dwarfs their revenues from selling new consoles and games. GameStop is essentially in the business of selling used items, and has a side line of premium 'new' item sales. That's hardly "skimming money off the top" is it?

Agree with this comment 3 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:27:21 PM

I have to apologize on behalf of Ryan Mccaffrey's US OXM review of NG3. His seemed to read legit enough and not like an editorial with a score attached at the end of a subjective opinion piece.
CVG and IGN should both be ashamed.

And what's with UK OXM using a screenshot with a massive screen tear slicing through it... lol

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:11:32 PM

Well, I haven't looked at any numbers, Highlander. But in regards to the topic, I think its wise to look closely at many variables that could be contributing to why gaming is the way it is. I don't doubt whatsover that single player gaming, in the state it's in right now, is probably suffering as this guy states it. And while you seem to be looking at Gamestop's used game protitability, I have to ask you. Do you know of Amazon's, eBay's or other used outlets as having grown or declined over the last few years in game sales? Could Gamestop have won over their users with their aggressive marketing? Has the used game market actually grown or shrunk as a whole? Do we know that? How does online offered DLC and digitally distributed revenue help balance out revenue streams? How has the explosion of iOs and Androids this gen affected people's buying trends? How has the economic recession affected the buying budgets of gamers? How has the explosion of online gaming contributed to the decline in single player gamer interests.

These are the kinds of questions I ask myself concerning this matter before I'll form any hard opinions.

Personally, I like having the option, used or new, based on my terms; freely chosing how I engage this free market. Trading, lending or selling as I see fit. I know many who do it, and I know many who don't do it through Gamestop. And I'd like that not to change.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Havoc
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 6:10:18 PM

Why wouldnt the people who make the games not want to be able to make really cool looking games. Its like making a little big Planet lvl, its more enjoyable because it can look so good graphicly.

It seems laughable to suggest that the industry (which has games on phones that look better than last gen games) should keep thier console tech old just to do what let more games be made each year. Cause last year had so many incredible pretty games it was hard to keep up with them all.

Keepem coming prettier and prettier I say.

Tried to reply to your comment above I dont know how I got on this one.lol

Last edited by Havoc on 3/19/2012 6:13:27 PM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 8:27:12 PM

I know Havoc. I want incredible looking games as well. Escalating budgets to generate huge realistic worlds, or massive set pieces, is proving to be precarious to the health of many publishers and developers. The more realistic and more open games become, the more coding and asset creation becomes necessary. This may be all well and good for the major studios, like EA and Activision. But as medium and smaller sized pubs, like THQ and Tecmo Koei, try to maintain their footing, they appear to have to take less risks with their product offering to compete. I know there are exceptions this gen, Demon's SOuls, for one. But really, if the next-gen begat a 7x increase in production over this gen(as we have seen similarly from the past), all for the sake of production expense, are we really going to be winning in the long run with games that play little more than simple, pick-up and play, interactive action movies? With ample amounts of stimuli for very little player investment. Sorry, but if that becomes the dominent state of gaming for the next gen. I think at that point, I'd just as well watch movies and not waste my time pushing buttons to get the experience. I'd probably pay a lot less, too ;)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 9:39:38 AM

Temjin, I know you're being genuine, but come on, be serious. the used gaming market has never been more significant. The chunk of revenue that is represented by used game sales at retail outlets has grown year on year over the last decade, especially the last 6 years or so.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

frostface
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:27:32 PM
Reply

One game I never see appear on shelves 2nd hand is Red Dead Redemption. It's because Rockstar believe that if you make a game so good and keep supporting it long after it's release, people won't want to trade it in.

Instead of moaning about the used game market, make some bloody games people will want to keep. I'm not saying that people don't also trade in good games but they're a hell of a lot more likely to keep it and support the developers if they don't feel like they're being shafted 50/60quid.

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:29:23 PM
Reply

Really there is a fairly simple solution to this, though it won't work for everybody. With the leap in HDD sizes available to say the PS3, these devs need to keep their eyes on Gamestops and other stores like it and keep the digital version of their games slightly cheaper then what Gamestop offers for its used copy. Mind you there would need to be a timeframe in which the game still holds a higher price for the first say month or two. Also when it comes to the digital copies make sure they are cheaper than the physical media, this should be common sense.

The Mom and Pop store I use all the time offers coupons for 5 to 10 dollars off of new copies of games, and they sell like hotcakes. I really don't see the used market as an issue, since the devs/ publishers have in my eyes backed themselves into a corner. Just look at the Shivering Isles Expansion on the PSN it is still 30 dollars, and it has been out for how many years? No wonder people will buy the used physical copy from Gamestop, hell I DID. And really as time goes buy I feel less and less sympathy for these publishers, as they don't want to change with the times, they just expect used game stores to shut their doors or the goverment to step in and make used copies illegal, rather then find a work around in which they can both survive and make money.

Trust me, I know some of you will hate my post/thoughts on the subject but it is my opinion. The used game market has been here since day one and now we have a multi-billion dollar industry, it is not the used game markets fault that these devs have forgot how to make a good game with a smaller budget in which they could then maximise their profit.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 5:06:33 PM

I agree with several of your points =)

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Helghast
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 1:30:26 PM
Reply

I buy used games BECAUSE of the high price of new games. I do buy most of my games new because I buy them just after release, but I do buy some used; and I keep ALL of the games new or used, forever. I have never sold or traded a single game. I have all of my games all the way back from the PS1/N64 days when I first started gaming. Make the price of new games lower, or even decrease them by $10 per year after the release and maybe I would stop buying used games. If the price of new games was lower, used games would have to be sold for less and retailers would would not like that. If a new game is say $50 and a used copy costs $35 or $40 I would spring for the new game just to support the developer, but at the current price of games the money saved buying used can be too good to pass up.

Last edited by Helghast on 3/19/2012 1:34:46 PM

Agree with this comment 7 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:39:28 PM

Right on... Its not like people are buying used games $5 or $10 cheaper. Most WOULD buy the new at that price. Its the $20 and $30 games (and cheaper) that supports the used game market.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Palpatations911
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:03:40 PM
Reply

Maybe he should occupy gamestop. What a whiner.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 5 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:09:49 PM

Nah. That won't work.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:32:15 PM

lol

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 4:57:02 AM

companies are going broke, families are going without dinner, all because of this, and hes the whiner!?
god, i cant believe how selfish people have become these days!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

CrusaderForever
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:09:24 PM
Reply

Couldn't agree with him more. The only thing I disagree with is the day 1 sales. I have bought many games 4 or 5 months after they were released brand new. Resistance 3 will be another. Probably picking R3 up this summer. Sorry to have to say it but an all digital world is the only way to go for the developers. I really wonder if the X720 will ban used games. Now that's an interesting thought.

Last edited by CrusaderForever on 3/19/2012 2:10:30 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:35:43 PM
Reply

I don't see the connection he's trying to make. There's no evidence that the used game market caused the multiplayer trend which in turn caused the decline of single player.

Game prices are actually very good considering what goes into them, and furthermore the loss of core games is actually due to the popularity of the faster and dumber mentality currently trending.

Agree with this comment 7 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:41:11 PM

Oh... you mean it might have been the ADVERTISING selling all those copies of COD ?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

coverton341
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:47:30 PM

Yeah, I can't really make the logical jump from "used game market" to "decline of single player".

I can however see how used games keep prices high. I think the real decline of the single player games has been the desire of developers and publishers to fall lock-step in line with COD and other franchises that have fared extremely well on their multiplayer offerings.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:55:36 PM

I'm not sure I follow you about advertising wack, I think that CoD sells because it manages to be both hardcore and casual while appealing to the "constant action" crowd.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:36:20 PM
Reply

I find it funny that the ones who make the most noise about the used game industry hurting gaming are the ones with the most to gain money wise should the used game industry fall.....



Agree with this comment 2 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:07:13 PM

Well.... yeah.... of course... Gamestop's not gonna complain about the used market. Why would the people up to LOSE money promote losing money? The people who want change are the ones that are going to voice wanting change. No surprise there.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 9:56:45 AM

Was actually meaning gamers and most non CEO programmers arent the ones complaining. Its the presidents and CEO's of these companies coming out complaining. The ones who truely make the money of the games.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Norrin Radd
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:40:37 PM
Reply

The real issue for gamers, as I see it, is what do I do with this game when I'm done with it? Not everyone wants to collect. Some of the collections I've seen from people on here are astonishingly large - and take up an entire room in a house! With a wife and 3 kids - I ain't got that kind of room.

Perhaps if the publishers offered a buy back program and the selling of refurbished copies for less than new, they could eliminate the third party "used" game market altogether. Just a thought off the top of my head, so sorry if it seems crazy. I'm not a fan of $60 games (although I recognize the bargain in that price compared to when I started home gaming on my PONG - I am not kidding) - that's a LOT of dough. Believe me - if they cost $40 or even $50 a shot, they'd be much easier to justify in a family's monthly budget. As it is, I buy fewer games each year. WIth 3 young kids, that means every LEGO release and few others for dad (thank you, Rocksteady, for giving me some games that last for months!!!).

In any event, I wonder if digital copies are the answer. Are they easier to pirate and use than hard copies? If no - then maybe they ARE the answer. All I know is I've been gaming a long time and the games now are more engaging and fun than they ever have been. I have been LOST in Batman AA & AC for the last couple of weeks and will be for weeks more to come. I love the games this gen - Uncharted? Awesome. Dead Space? Smokin'! You get the idea. I want to have happen whatever it takes to propel the industry forward with excellent games. If that means killing the used market - in whatever means necessary - is required, then do it!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

wackazoa
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:52:14 PM

Good ideas. The buy back thing I dont think so as they want to keep your money not give it back..


How about making sequels to game DLC instead of a new disc. That way the game could continue as you had played it, or expand that world. Not have to recreate the feeling you had playing through the first.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Squirrelicus
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:53:25 PM
Reply

I don't buy used games, not on principle or anything like that. I just don't see the logic in spending $54 for a used game when I can buy it new for $59.99
Honestly I don't know how Gamestop stays in business. There are three right next to each other over here. One in the mall, one across the street from the mall and one in the strip mall next to bestbuy that shares a parking lot with the mall. But I suppose when you charge $54 for a game you paid $5 for you can afford to open a store every thirty feet.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:47:54 PM

Squirrelicus,

As a hardcore gaming collector, I seriously doubt you'll ever frequent as many GameStops, or as often, as much as I do, so believe me when I tell you this......

So please....stop spreading that $54 vs $59 because for the most part, it's mostly misleadingly false, & utter bullshite.

Only most of the COD's stay at $54 for any length of time.

Almost every other USED game quickly drops to around the $35 range within just a few months time, and you get another 10% off if you get gameStop's own PowerUpRewards(PUR) card.
Examples....(yesterday's actual prices)
Catherine now $34.99 (PUR price $31)
Shadow of the damned now $24.99 (PUR price $22)

Plus, PUR card holders can also D/L money off coupons from their rewards card points that they've accumulated.
Example.....And just yesterday, I used my PUR card to get 10% off L.A. Noire, plus a $20.00 off PUR coupon too, making my L.A. Noire purchase only $4.80. And that price included the tax too.

BTW, I actually wanted to buy L.A. Noire new but being out of work without the needed funds, plus factoring in that I just recently spend over $400 for my G3 Vita & it's games, & another $40 for Red Dead Redemption:GOTY brand new at Amazon, I really had no choice, otherwise I wouldn't be play L.A.Noire at all for quite a long, long while.

PS: And what if Gamestop is on almost every 5 blocks???
There's 5 GS's localized in a 10 mile radius around me, so that just leaves me 5-times more chances of finding a huge variety of used games to add into my older gaming collections.


Last edited by BikerSaint on 3/19/2012 3:55:46 PM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:30:28 PM

"So please....stop spreading that $54 vs $59 because for the most part, it's mostly misleadingly false, & utter bullshite."

Sorry Biker, but it's not BS. I was just in GameStop two days ago and most of the newest titles that they had used were retailing for $5 less than the MSRP for new copies. It wasn't just Call of Duty. I even found a few used Wii games that they were selling $5 to $10 more than you could get the new for on Amazon. Epic Mickey for example is going for $30 used at GameStop. I got it new at Best Buy for $20. GameStop drops there prices when develeprs do but they are pretty consistent in keeping them $5 less than the new prices. Whether it be $59.99 vs $54.99 or $29.99 vs $24.99.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 10:24:57 PM

Jawknee,

OK, I can't vouch for the Wii games cause I rarely buy them anymore for my collection, plus there's so many shovelware games for it.
And also because no matter what I do to fix my Wiimote's sensitivity, I still can't calibrate it enough so that I'm not constantly spinning around instead of doing anything else.
And because of that alone, I've really learned to hate on my Wii.

But as for both the PS3 & Xbox games, you're absolutely wrong, because over 90% of those new games drop to around $35 within a few months.

Matter of fact, if you've noticed, a few of the 360 version titles price drop even faster than their same PS3 counterparts, just because the Xbox crowds seem to turn the same ole, same ole, titles, and in a much quicker rate.
So GS has tons of the same ole used 360 overstocked titles that they're trying to turn over quicker than PS3 stock.

BTW, I'm quick to bitch by email about "console discrimination to Gamestop's upper management whenever I see a used 360 game that's $5 to $7 dollars cheaper, than it is for the PS3.
It may not be getting anything done, but at least I'm getting the satisfaction of firing away at them about some of their shady practices.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 12:32:28 AM

I'm not wrong. I sat in there for an hour comparing and contrasting and just about 80% of their used games were $5 less than the new copies they had. What I am saying is even if a game at Target drops to $35 Gamestop will drop their price to $30. They stay within $5 of new prices whether it be a Greatest Hits that goes for $19.99 new, Gamestop sells it $14.99 used. The games you are collecting are likely older games or games that aren't sold new or hard to find so there is nothing to compare it too. The games I am talking about are ones that are still in stores like Target, Walmart, Best Buy etc and those prices are generally $5 higher than what Gamestop is selling them for.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 1:35:20 AM

Jawknee,
I do the same comparison shopping between different brand stores too, & you'd be right if I were talking about that very subject.

But I'm not talking about comparison brand shopping in my post above, I'm only talking about GS & GS alone.

At the very least, I've been in 2 of my 5 local GS's almost daily for years now, just to see what used titles might've popped in.

So you can bet I'm always price-checking current games while I'm there and the vast majority of the PS3/360 games(sans COD & a very small fistful of others) definitely do drop to around $35 within a few months.

Anyway, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on this point.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

slugga_status
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 2:54:32 PM
Reply

I agree with him to an extent. My thing is that you can't directly relate the lack of SP games due to the used game market. Sure it happens with some games and/or devs. I know that much..but not all.

I still believe if you make a high quality SP game then people will buy it. You can't seriously put out a average SP game or ofcourse people are going to buy it used. Seriously who wants to pay top dollar for a game that isn't worth it?

You give me a Alan Wake, La Noire, DMC series, MGS, etc. then you have my money. It's the quality that counts. It amazes me that some devs have such a enormous budget but then put out crap and wonder why they're not making money

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Palpatations911
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:00:54 PM

Good point. This guy isn't responsible for any games of the caliber you mentioned. According to Frontier's website, they make games like Kinectimals and Disneyland adventures. I could see the challenges with selling them for $59.99 to the audience that buys those types of games. That audience being children.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:10:19 PM
Reply

Just a general comment about this whole thing about used copies and whether people can justify a game in their monthly budget and whether people collect their games or not.

Gaming today is different to me. two decades or more ago, people didn't buy a new game every week or month, you might have got a new game once a month if you were well off, or perhaps once every other month - because they were expensive. You didn't trade in your games, although you might lend them to friends or whatever, but mostly you played them and played them. Relative to that time, thanks to the effects of inflation, games are relatively cheap now. But I think that people play games for less time now than they used to. Once they complete their play through they don't want to replay they want a new game. no attention span, attention deficit, call it what you will, but people don't play games for the length of time they used to, and that feeds more product into the used market.

The used market is hugely significant in terms of retail game sales now, and no matter what people want to say, it does truly represent a significant amount of revenue *lost* by the developers and publishers.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:12:48 PM
Reply

Well, as a non-rich but serious gaming collector I'm in a much different boat than non-collecting gamers, so I have no choice but to buy some of my games used in order to fill in my collections.
And at 59, there's just no freaking way I could have ever accumilated even a 1/3 of the 2,325 game I have in all of my different console/handheld collections.

FYI,
I try to buy smart....
I will always buy new for the games that "I want to play", just by waiting a while for either a price drop, a sale, or a Buy 2-Get 1 free deal(Example: I got Duex Ex:Augmented Edition for only $47 when it was selling for $89.99).

For all others that I don't have much of an interest in playing(such as sports, RPG's, RTS), then I'll buy those genres as used games & only when they're old, super cheap, or in the bargain bins. And yes, even at thrift shops for $3 each.

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:13:33 PM
Reply

I agree with World, and Slugga, and a little bit the guy mentioned in the article.

The cold hard fact is that the used industry definitely needs change. I think there's more than enough evidence out there to show the used market is hurting the industry. A secondary market should -NEVER- in any market have this much power over a primary market.

However, used sales are a cost effective thing for buyers that still needs to stay. There are disadvantages to buying used, hence the smaller price. (At least there should be) But they need to stay. However, in it's current state, it's definitely toxic.

Change is necessary... but not necessarily for the exact reasons this guy states. I think there are many better arguments than what he raised. (Although, there are a few good points)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

jimmyhandsome
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:24:00 PM

I agree with you that a secondary market should never be more profitable/powerful than the primary market its in. Change is needed in that sense.

I don't however agree with his comment about single player games being a casualty of the used game market. I think that has a lot more to do with the rise of multiplayer, and as Highlander pointed out, lesser attention spans of gamers. For most, a single player-only game better be either really good, really long, or both to justify a day one purchase. And thats because of the preceived "lack of value" of not having any multiplayer by today's gamers. I guess some correlation can be drawn from the used game market, but I don't think its the direct cause.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 7:43:18 PM

Yeah, that's why I say despite an occasional good point, I didn't think it was necessarilly for any reason he states and that there are better arguments to support his point than what he raised. He just didn't have anything to refer to for support. It's a nice thought, but it sounds like it is a conclusion he came to after a series of different thoughts based off the previous thought, but never on any objective measurable.

Know what I mean? (All of us have done that on some topic in our lives at one point or another)

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

comicozi
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 3:40:21 PM
Reply

as long as used games are cheaper then new ones i will be buying used... dont have much money to spend on games to begin with.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:02:40 PM
Reply

I don't buy used games. I'll wait until I have the money to get it new.

Digital downloads are probably the only way to stop it, but I don't want my entire library to be sitting on a hard drive.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:05:46 PM

I'll only support digital downloads over disc when there is a 20% or better discount on the digital copy vs the physical one. Digital copies should never cost the same as retail.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:11:35 PM

I'll only support D/L version of games I want, when there's no other disc-based option(From Dust, Escape plan. etc).

And we should be getting a lot more of their D/L overhead savings passed on to us too, than just a paltry $5 to $10.
IMO, D/L games should be 1/3 off.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:32:14 PM

What is BS about digital titles is most of the PSP games are still $30 on PSN while their $19.99 at retail. Like FF: Dissidia and MGS: Peace Walker for example.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:38:49 PM

I think that the problem is that the games on PSN will march their price in relation to the publisher's MSRP for the game. If retailers discount the game before the publisher does, the price on PSN won't look right.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:41:34 PM

With Peace Walker the UMD version is a Greatest Hit. It's inside the red packaging and everything. Doesn't Sony set the prices for those?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 5:04:16 PM

lol, I don't know, you should probably ask them. Sounds like a screw up, but since the version of the game for DL is not the greatest hits version (yeah I know, this is a weak reason) the price hasn't changed.

I've seen this before on PSN. There was a version of Valkyria Chronicles 2 that included all the DLC for something like $20, when the game along was still listed (on PSN) at the full retail price.

Sometimes the left and right hands have no idea what the other is doing.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 4:06:40 PM
Reply

David Braden = yada, yada, yada!

All I really noticed from David Braden's comments is how he ISN'T stating whether he'd charge 1/2 price for a D/L game or not, especially seeing how there's been that much burden of financial overhead eliminated from the whole disc-based equation.

Yeah....I thought not!!!!

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Rogueagent01
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 5:18:35 PM
Reply

One other factor I forgot to put in my previous post is how all the publishers decide to release all their AAA titles in the same month(spring and late fall). How do they expect people to not buy those games used when they release anywhere from 200 to a 1,000 dollars worth of games in a remarkably short time period.

I really wish a few of the big name publishers would start releasing their games throughout the year, rather then all at the same time. It hurts the consumer which in turn hurts themselves and yet I don't think that they see it. Plus one major advantage to doing this would be that developers wouldn't be on such a strict deadline, as they could push the game back without a huge amount of backlash. With the current business model a lot of games that get pushed back can get pushed back a full 6 months when all they probably needed was 2(obviously a guess, and not a fact).

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Squirrelicus
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 5:26:37 PM
Reply

BikerSaint

You as a collector are not the missed sales that this industry guy is complaining about. They're referring to a wider demographic then collectors or even hardcore gamers. You would agree that $54 vs $59 is not BS on New releases or popular games like CoD. But the $5 difference is pretty consistent on Greatest Hits titles as well. $19.99 new $14.99 used. Discounts and promos aside, a five dollar difference on a game is not enough to make me buy used.
Now if I was looking for a hard to find game (especially if it's a couple years old) buying used would be a completely understandable option.



With that said, people who buy games used are usually doing it because they are unable to buy it new. So if tomorrow they were to stop selling used games EA or Activision would not see a significant spike in sales. But they would probably see a loss in DLC profits.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 10:50:41 PM

Squirrelicus,
Well, you might be right as I've been looking at used games through the eyes of a collector.

My 59 year old mindset tells me to wait out new or even used games till their price-point is more to my liking of $39 or less new, & $3 to $10($20 tops) for any used game.
So I just can't see paying for a used game only one week after launch that's only $5 less for the 1st 2-3 months.

I'm guessing that maybe it's the twitcher mind-set crowd that's keeping GameStop in all that unnecessary extra profit????


BTW, another reason I'll probably have to start buying used games soon over new titles I want to play, is that at almost 60, I'm already closing in on decade number 2 of my 2nd 1/2 century of pulling Mother Nature's foot out of my a$$.

Translation: This old rooster is starting to loose that "Spring Chicken" feeling of health & has no idea how much time still have left to peck away on Ole McDonalds farm. LOL

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Neo_Aeon666
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 5:54:42 PM
Reply

Well if they remove used gaming they have to give a bigger % share to the retail stores. The cost price on games is only about 4-9$ difference from the retail price :( Meaning when I sell a new game at 60$, the store gets 5$ in its pockets.

Now when a store sells a used game... Even with the cost of re-sending for inspection, cleaning and wrapping, the profit is over 50%... They will have to make a deal for stores to stop it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

gray_eagle
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 7:00:36 PM
Reply

i know this is mainly about new realeases,
what about older games? for example, fallout 3/goty. the only
i was able to buy it, was used.

i don't see how used games hurt sp games. heavy rain, la noire etc.
have done well with out mp.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Raze22
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 8:50:09 PM
Reply

So I was thinking, if game developers just sell them on their own wouldn't that hamper gamestop?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ZenChichiri
Monday, March 19, 2012 @ 11:48:36 PM
Reply

I think we're forgetting the most important thing. When you buy a new game you get the amazing new game smell that comes along with it. Who wants to smell a used game?

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 1:48:34 AM

LOL, I've never bought a used game that someone's wiped their butt with.

Both new & used games & cases smell the same to me, although I find it's only the "new" coverart and/or manual(if one was made) paper & ink smell stronger.

BTW all my freshly bought used games get a hands-on nspection before I buy it, and then a vigorous polishing(if needed) and cleaning before they ever get into my consoles.
And then again another quick cleaning each & every time I play it after that.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ZenChichiri
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 11:53:09 PM

Maybe I'm addicted to sniffing ink then. Uh oh...

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 5:03:09 AM
Reply

thats exactly the problem!
the price of making games has gone through the roof and sales are going through the floor.
publishers could and should drop the prices, that would help push out more copies on launch.
but then that creates a expense of manufacturing and distributing more copies, more containers, more shipments, more expense, and it also risks more trade ins.
thats exactly why so many games have turned to multiplayer because allot of people finish a campaign and never go back to it!
unless theres DLC for it, which is why i cannot understand why so few games are doing it.
DLC is the best way to stop people from trading in a game, so why are developers ignoring it?
expansions use to be the biggest market out there what the hell happened!?
thats what developers like insomniac and mean when they say the industry is going to turn into a service.
you sell the customer a game, same game we get now.
but then instead of that developer splitting and small goes onto DLC and the rest go onto a sequel or new project.
instead of that they all go onto DLC, some on MP and some on expansion packs.
and i say expansion packs because the term instigates a high amount of content which is what you need, a extra mission worth 1 hour is not going to cut it!
it needs to add new worlds to explore and hours of content like fallout 3s expansions!
i honestly cant understand why developers are not doing this yet!
there investing tens of millions of dollars into a product and saying goodbye to it after day one sales!
its suicide!
they need to hold onto it and release more content for it that way customers will do the same.
not only do they keep it stopping trades, they also fork out a small amount of cash for the expansion packs.
so developers profit for the game sale instead of loosing out because it was preowned, and they profit from the DLC.
win win!
developers stop used game sales, and us gamers get more content!
and more value out of our games, nothing worse then paying 120 bucks for a 6 hour campaign and boring or unplayable cough KZ3 MP!
THATS how you stop game trades!
not this blocking molarky im hearing!
all thats going to do is piss people off into piracy.
talk about putting out a car fire, but creating a oil rig fire in the process.
yea, i think ill stick with the car fire thanks…….

another big problem is developers are getting too small the candy.
allot of contracts these days the developers are in a much sweeter position then what the developers are, which is just not fair!
plus developers bonuses allot of the times rely on meta scores.
not how well it sells, not the feedback from the fans, meta scores.
i cant think of a WORSE way to do it!
20 years ago when you had to know what you were talking about to review a game and get a score included it would of been ok.
but now where every man and his dog has access?
F*CK NO!
IGN for instance, how many decent games have they given really bad reviews latley?
NG3 for instance, im sorry but that i NOT worth a 3!
its not a great game, maybe worth a 6 i doubt higher, but no where near a 3!
publishers are singing high and dry driving RRs to work, and one for the misses, and one for each kid, and one for the mistress.
where developers are driving half way to work, then pushing the reliant robin the other 50% because it broke down.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Beamboom
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 5:33:37 AM
Reply

All experience so far in the world of commercialism indicates that the lesser the competition, the higher the prices. There are NO proof of the opposite.
In fact it's one of the basic rules of market price mechanics.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/20/2012 5:35:01 AM

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 9:45:32 AM

You're using truisms as fact and theoretical laws as immutable laws when reality really does not support you. But the simple question here for me would be what competition are you referring to? Used games competing with new? That is not, not has it ever been a valid form of competition for the sale of copyrighted goods. The simple problem here is that unlike in times past when copyright laws were created, the used goods for sale do not come with a significant disadvantage over the new goods. So there are no checks and balances to restrict used sales ability to damage new. At least there was not until multi-player and online passes came along. Which is one reason - as Braben says - that multiplayer is being foisted upon us at every juncture. Game makers are being forced to compete against their own product being sold 'used' at a total loss to them, in competition with their 'new' product.

Last edited by Highlander on 3/20/2012 9:46:37 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 12:15:53 PM
Reply

Absolute rubbish. A publisher bringing down prices if they sell more product?

Either he thinks we are all mugs or he's on a different planet.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Laguna
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 @ 8:44:47 PM
Reply

By all means, keep on raising prices. I will respond by buying more used games and games on sale.

Gaming is expensive, and I have a better slice of gaming by being patient.

Waiting for games to drop in price makes things really easier on your wallet.

As awesome as skyrim looks, I can wait for the GOTY edition.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Spanky
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 8:32:33 AM
Reply

Did the used car market bring down the auto industry? Is there a correlation?

Did the used book industry or Public libraries bring down the big publishing houses?

Did Wikipedia bring down Encyclopedia...oh wait.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 9:53:52 AM

You suck at rationale.

You need to read more clearly. None of this is or has ever been about the -existence- of the used game market. It's about it's current set up. About how it's run and how it currently works. Everyone agrees there should be a used or affordable market of some kind. But it needs a lil' fixing.

You seriously need to see this from a deeper point of view. It's not a black and white issue.




And... uh... how the hell is Wikipedia anything like a used game market?

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/21/2012 9:57:06 AM

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

D1g1tal5torm
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 @ 4:14:01 PM
Reply

It is remote I'll give it that but wiki is a direct cause of e. Britannia having it's last print run.

He was being facetious

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Crabba
Thursday, March 22, 2012 @ 11:32:43 PM
Reply

You know what I think is funny? The video game industry has NEVER been as big as now, and games have NEVER sold so many million copies, and yet I have never seen so much complaining from the video game industry about how much used games are hurting the industry, and still the video game companies have never been greedier than they are today: Digital manuals, Online Passes, day-one DLC nickle & diming (or rather dollar & ten-dollaring) the customer to death, not to mention all the additional DLC they can come up with to milk it for all they can.

Question is when will they ever be happy? Probably not even if every single purchase was done day one at full retail and bought every single piece of DLC they have... They'd just think of something else to complain about...

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

fresh4life10
Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 12:39:16 PM
Reply

The only reason I will buy a used game (not from GameShit, but amazon or ebay) is simply because I don't truly support the developer or publisher. MW3 I bought used because Infinity Ward fails to make a solid, not glitchy, silly perk having (dead mans hand) game. I bought Assassin's Creed Revelations new and I am going to do the same with AC3. I buy new for those I support, used for those I could care less about.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ather
Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 4:20:02 PM
Reply

People buy used because it's cheaper. Lower prices would turn them off. But hey, companies wnat moeny, go itno resale themselves. We e-mail you our addy, yous end us prepaid nevelope, we mail back our games. You then sell used games back to people. Too ahrd for you to do? Lower prices or don't complain.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

SS4
Friday, March 23, 2012 @ 6:59:20 PM
Reply

The problem is that ppl buy game fro a few days instead of renting them... On my NES, SNES, Genesis, Saturn and Playstation, i bought game i intended to keep and rented the ones i wasnt sure about.

I don't remember game devs complaining about pre owned before and they existed then too...

I think both the consumer and devs changed but not in ways that works well together...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

richfiles
Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 2:49:43 AM
Reply

I for one DO appreciate used game sales.

I also do NOT buy the bull from developers.
DLC is not resalable, and with as much DLC is out there, I find the claim of losses absurd. Every resale is a chance to sell virtual content to a new user.

Instead of trying to violate the right to sell something I paid for and don't want anymore, how about you offer enticing DLC and make up the difference there. If I like the game, I might spend $100 instead of $60. If I don't like it, i might sell the game, and someone else spend $40 on that DLC, and then if they decide they don't want to keep playing, maybe they sell it again, and someone spends $20 on DLC.

I think companies are just jealous of the Pawn/Gamestop style companies, and are just trying to place a burden on them to eliminate a market that competes with their shareholder's desire to rake in 100% of the cash.

If a developer is willing to screw it's customers, then I couldn't CARE LESS if they lose sales. I'll seek my games from a company that doesn't have contempt for me.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

richfiles
Saturday, March 24, 2012 @ 3:09:22 AM
Reply

Reading some other comments...

I have to agree. Video Games are bigger than EVER!!!
They make more than they ever have.
And now they complain more than ever.

They have added DLC, which adds to the user experience.

They have also added online passes, which are nothing more than a way to punish both resale retailers and people who buy preowned.

I tend to buy a LOT of games day one, but I also reserve the right to DITCH a game I don't like. Likewise, if I learn a game was in fact awesome, and I did not get it new, I like to know I can still seek it in the used market.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Joltmar
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 @ 5:26:30 PM
Reply

I don't have the money to buy games day on most of the time. I've only got 100$ to toss around after paying rent and making sure I got proper food stuff now that I'm forced on a diet due to heath reasons ... So when game stop have a sell like buy two used games and get one free of lesser value or stuff like that I'm all over it.

I remember a few years back when they had their big used game sell I had 80$ to blow I walked out of there with about 20 different games I always wanted to play but never had the money to buy then new and the prices for them new was still pretty hefty (some of these games was a few years old to) .. I wouldn't have been able to get all of them if it wasn't for used games.

So the publisher needs to find a way to handle it... Like some people said start lowing the price of the game new after so long or have some kind of buy back program

Or offer a digital choice thats 10-20$ cheaper or something like that than a pys. copy .. That way you still can have people that want to collect the pys. copy and add it to their collection and have the people that don't care about the box .. cd and what and still make money .. I'd hands down buy more games if there was a cheaper digital copy.

Last edited by Joltmar on 3/27/2012 5:28:23 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed Xbox exclusive, and...
...I'm so pissed, I can't see straight.
...I'm annoyed, but I can be patient.
...I'm not caring much at all.
...I think it's actually a good thing.

Previous Poll Results