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Author Topic: "Retailers are 'Parasites and Thieves'"  (Read 11990 times)

« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2010, 02:43:18 PM »
Uh, what?

« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2010, 03:16:50 PM »
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

Glorb

  • Banned
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2010, 06:57:05 AM »
Guys, you all need to step your game up. I don't want Weegee to get POTY this year.
every

TEM

  • THE SOVIET'S MOST DANGEROUS PUZZLE.
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2010, 08:18:49 AM »
The solution to these problems are to create your own publishing/development companies and do things the way you think they should be done. Clearly your ground-breaking ideas will send your businesses straight to the top.
0000

« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2010, 03:21:38 PM »
You don't want to read the survey I recently sent Gamestop. P= (Buy from Play N Trade.) Gamestop and everywhere else neglects to give the developers, nor the Publishers any money when people buy their games used. This is a bit sticky considering many people buy used copies more frequently to save a few bucks. There is an issue here that I do see. See if you can guess it.
ROM hacking with a slice of life.

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2010, 05:33:10 PM »
There isn't any issue anywhere. You seem to forget that GameStop is a business, not a tool of the game companies. Clearly their tactic of suggesting you buy a used copy to save money (and ultimately give them more money than they would get if you bought new) works, and as long as the consumers let it work, the game companies can't do a thing about it, short of selling used games themselves (or following the new trend of making part of the game paid DLC that's included for free with a new copy).

Play N Trade doesn't give publishers money from used sales either. No non-GameStop video game stores do, so you're not exactly doing anything to support game companies by buying used games at stores that aren't GameStop. If you want to actually support a company without shopping at GameStop, buy new games online (preferably from the company's own store).

Something else to keep in mind whenever you want to say something about how the retailers should give the publishers money for stuff: usually the publishers collectively let themselves be the retailers' *****. (See: retailers' stance on things like the A-O rating and "anime" (read: Japanese) games, and how easily game companies cave in to retailers' demands in those areas.) And they don't really have a choice, since for the most part gamers still want to be able to play a game the day they buy it rather than waiting for it to come in the mail, which means shopping at a brick-and-mortar store rather than buying online, or going through a digital distribution channel (which, for new retail games, is currently only applicable for PC [and occasionally PSP, if Sony can be assed to make a game available on PSN when it comes out rather than two weeks or more later]).

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #21 on: August 23, 2010, 01:33:38 PM »
How much do publishers make off games anyway? The devs are the ones who should get the most (for new copies only), but the publishers, distributors, and retailers all make a cut (retailers actually get a pretty small percentage of the new sale price though, judging from the cost of games where I work).
I really don't mind stores selling used games because that is their main avenue of profit. And they are making that money exclusively off their willing customers. The devs aren't really being hurt that badly when someone buys a used game that someone else sold. The people losing the most money are the people selling back their games to the retailers.

(I buy new games from GameStop. I am annoyed though at how the guy working there managed to scratch my Ys Seven box in the hour or so he had it in store before I came to buy it. What the heck.)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2010, 01:38:34 PM by Chupperson Weird »
That was a joke.

« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2010, 02:02:49 PM »
The devs aren't really being hurt that badly when someone buys a used game that someone else sold. The people losing the most money are the people selling back their games to the retailers.
Yes, those people are losing the most money. But think about it: if you were to work tirelessly for months and months creating a game, then finally you release it to the mass market, only to discover that only a small portion of the people buying your game are buying it new, then basically it means most people are paying someone else instead of you for the product you made. It just doesn't make any sense. If you're the kind of person who gains satisfaction just knowing that thousands of people are using and enjoying your product, then I guess it's a non-issue. But in most cases, the idea is to get paid for your work.

I believe there are a few solutions to the used game problem, possibly the easiest of which is going full digital distribution. Ignoring piracy, which plagues every entertainment industry, I can see no downside to this solution.

Another one would be to simply lower game prices. I'm not sure how feasible this one is, because I don't know how much of a margin there is between the cost of making a game and the new game price, but one would think that by lowering the price, more people will be inclined to buy it new, so there's no real loss of profit.

Lastly, Tycho gives his thoughts on the subject and Gabe polls the general public.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2010, 03:33:35 PM »
But think about it: if you were to work tirelessly for months and months creating a game, then finally you release it to the mass market, only to discover that only a small portion of the people buying your game are buying it new, then basically it means most people are paying someone else instead of you for the product you made. It just doesn't make any sense. If you're the kind of person who gains satisfaction just knowing that thousands of people are using and enjoying your product, then I guess it's a non-issue. But in most cases, the idea is to get paid for your work.
Lots of people worked tirelessly to design the car you bought used from a guy down the street too. Why do video games get an exception? Buying used CDs from FYE and Amazon and eBay hasn't killed the music industry yet, even with how much more prevalent piracy is in music (especially considering most CDs don't even try to stop you from copying them).

One reason that the music industry is still around in a post-digital age is because artists are increasingly getting the majority of their revenues from live performances. They could have just kept on fighting a losing battle against pirates with more and more restrictive DRM, but it wasn't until they switched to a solution focused on making consumers happy that they could have ever eked out more than a stalemate. Video game developers and publishers can clamor for restrictions on selling used games if they want, but I think the ones who instead come up with a solution that makes people happy when they do what developers and publishers want, rather than trying to **** off their customers -- who are, in a sense, their employers -- until they conform to the way they want them to be, will be much more successful. For example, one possible solution (for some genres) would be to make the game worthwhile enough that the player actually wants to keep it. Maybe one reason there's such a big market for selling back games is because they've become such disposable experiences (obviously this wouldn't work for all genres -- an Ace Attorney game is always going to have less replay value than an F-Zero game -- but it's something to keep in mind).

I believe there are a few solutions to the used game problem, possibly the easiest of which is going full digital distribution. Ignoring piracy, which plagues every entertainment industry, I can see no downside to this solution.
Even discounting (for obvious reasons) the ability to sell your games back to a store or to a friend or someone on Craigslist (which is a significant portion of the value for many people), how about transferring all your games when you get a 3DS Lite? Or when you buy a second 3DS Lite for the color but still like the original color too and use both of them depending on the mood you're in that day? What about lending games to friends (in terms that developers and publishers might like better: free advertising)? Or passing games down to younger siblings? What about the millions of people in flyover country who aren't going to be getting high-speed access any time soon (the video game industry in 2010 cannot afford to entirely remove vast swathes of demographics from their market) -- or alternatively, assuming every single one of those people gets high-speed access, what about the massive new stresses that would be placed on infrastructure just from adding all those people (let alone that using those connections to download 20 GB games), the huge costs of which could end up pushing out smaller publishers and creating even worse oligopolies than we have now? What about people who don't want or aren't old enough to get credit cards, and don't live nearby a store that sells points cards? What if changes are made to a game after it's released, say for censorship purposes, and you want to play the original? What if the developer loses the rights to a game or just doesn't care about it anymore and you can't download it anymore -- and what if that also deletes it off of your system?

For the hardcore market, most of these aren't major issues, but the hardcore market is an increasingly tiny, unsustainable niche out of a huge market. But even if you only care about the hardcore market, one word: importing. No Japan-only games ever again... unless you pirate them. Don't discount the impact of imports. Without the ability to import games, Elite Beat Agents would not exist (and Ouendan 2 might not either). And also don't discount the importance of piracy. Piracy would skyrocket in a digital distribution-only world, quite possibly enough to wipe out any gains you'd get from eliminating the used game market.

I won't go into a full-on romanticist lament for the experience of having actual discs and cartridges, but it still stands that most people are not going to go for the complete elimination of physical media. I think one reason so many are willing to opt into digital-only for music (and the opting-in is a big part of that -- there's still a big market for CDs and vinyls, and the option is still offered to those who want it) is because of how easy it is to back up your music collection on a hard drive, transfer it to a new computer, and maybe rip some songs off of YouTube once in a while. Video games feel insecure enough already without the ability to make backup copies (a right that fair use laws seem to strongly imply we're supposed to have), but at least now you know your cartridge or disc isn't just going to disappear overnight at the whims of the publishers. You might lose it, or someone might step on it, but if that happens, it's your fault. If the publisher decides to stop letting you play it because they don't like the way you're using it or because they lost distribution rights to it or whatever, that removes any feeling of ownership the consumer may have had, which can majorly impact the value -- meaning you'd have to lower prices anyway.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2010, 03:55:48 PM »
Cars are in a completely different price range. I imagine auto makers make a great deal more money per car sold than game developers make per game sold, especially when you consider the cost of making a game vs. the profit earned per unit sold.

Music is a different subject as well, mostly because digital distribution is pretty much mainstream there. Plus I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone buying a used CD, especially since the typical price of a new one is $12-15.

As far as transferring games to a new console/handheld in a world of digital distribution: of course, Sony and Nintendo would need to come out with some sort of system similar to Steam and Xbox Live, by which I mean, tying the purchases to an account and being able to download the game on any piece of hardware from said account.

Lending games to friends would suffer slightly, but just invite them over to your house. If you reach a point where you're handing your games down to your siblings, just give them your password.

But I mean, of course game discs won't actually become extinct. Using the music industry as an example, the vast majority of people buy their music online, but stores still have racks and racks of CDs for people who enjoy the physical aspect of purchasing music or need CDs for one reason or another. Lending games, importing, people who can't access internet and all those other things that rely heavily on disc-based gaming will suffer, sure, but won't become impossible. All I'm saying is, digital distribution should become the mainstream format of game purchasing because it's simple, effective and a great way to combat used game sales.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2010, 04:39:18 PM »
But I mean, of course game discs won't actually become extinct. Using the music industry as an example, the vast majority of people buy their music online, but stores still have racks and racks of CDs for people who enjoy the physical aspect of purchasing music or need CDs for one reason or another. Lending games, importing, people who can't access internet and all those other things that rely heavily on disc-based gaming will suffer, sure, but won't become impossible. All I'm saying is, digital distribution should become the mainstream format of game purchasing because it's simple, effective and a great way to combat used game sales.
I don't think this is a valid comparison unless you are solely talking about computer games.  CDs work on almost all computers, DVD players, Blu-ray players, car stereos, and of course, CD players so they don't depend on a specific home console to play them.  Once console makers go digital there won't be other players to take up the slack for people without internet.  Besides, most gamers are early adapters anyway.  Still, I agree with your conclusion that digital distribution will eventually take over; I just think it'll happen with games (probably in Japan first, then Europe) before it happens with CDs.  I'm already there.  I have an extreme amount of games for VC, WiiWare, and the PSN store.  I just wish/hope Nintendo goes to an accounts based system soon. 

Note:  I have not yet read the link in the OP. 

In other news, there are several companies that are going to open account based digital systems for books, music, and video that can be accessed anywhere.  I think this is the future paradigm of distribution. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2010, 05:52:22 PM »
to bob:
Mainstream music as it stands right now is almost a zero-profit industry for the actual performers unless they manage to make it really really big. Most record companies are essentially pure evil and tend to take all the money from your record sales. I will be working tirelessly for months to create albums of music that unless I get a really great record deal or create my own label or something, will probably never see profit from. (Of course I intend to do something that doesn't require me to succumb to evil record labels, but this is an example to counter your argument.)
Also, I work in a store where we sell hundreds of used CDs every day. What happens when the album you want is out of print? You can't find it online or on iTunes or whatever and you can't walk into Target and buy a new copy. You have to find a physical copy. This works even better at some awesome place like Amoeba or something where they have like every CD.

Lastly, digital distribution is epically lame. I keep using Ys Seven as an example, but it's a really good one. I bought the premium edition new because I am a fan and a collector, I want to support Falcom actually bringing the game stateside, and I want to possess those extra physical bonuses that came with it. I could have waited and bought it online, but what fun would that be? That's almost like not even buying a copy of the game and just downloading it instead.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 05:54:21 PM by Chupperson Weird »
That was a joke.

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2010, 06:08:39 PM »
I could have waited and bought it online, but what fun would that be? That's almost like not even buying a copy of the game and just downloading it instead.
I can see your argument here, but think that once digital downloads become mainstream your view will go the way of the dinosaurs. 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2010, 06:11:35 PM »
people who can't access internet ... will suffer, sure, but won't become impossible.
I think you're underestimating this. So we're clear: the majority of people in the United States do not have broadband Internet access. As CrossEyed said, publishers aren't just going to lock out massive demographics like that (except for companies who are doing the whole "Internet connection required to play" thing for single-player PC games, but PC gaming isn't that big a market anyway).

Furthermore, as CrossEyed also pointed out, games are just getting too [darn] big for digital distribution, which is reason enough for physical media to remain the standard. Not to mention, people still just want to be able to play a game the day they buy it, rather than having to wait (and as far as infrastructure getting clogged, you don't really have to look further than Steam's servers going down every time a new Valve game comes out to see how bad it already is, and that's just on PC - imagine how bad things would be if you had everyone downloading the new Halo game).

And yeah, with digital distribution, you don't get things like cool limited editions (/me looks at his Big Daddy statue and Raiho plush) or always being able to play games on their release date (see: PSPgo owners usually have to wait two weeks or longer to be able to play stuff after it hits retail). And if you try to go all-digital, what happens to games like Rock Band that require extra peripherals? People are going to be annoyed if they have to make a trip to a store just to buy controllers for a game, moreso than they would be if they went to buy the game itself along with the controllers.

Chupperson Weird

  • Not interested.
« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2010, 06:54:18 PM »
The only advantage to downloaded stuff that I see is the ability to have more than one game on your handheld at a time. If they did something cool like the 360 install feature and let you copy your physically bought games to your handheld system legally then I wouldn't want to download games I could physically buy at all. Unless it was something super uncommon that I didn't feel like paying $100 to play (legally).
That was a joke.

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