Does the pre-owned and used market kill the gaming industry?

BlazeV

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Just as the title asks does the pre-owned and used market ki;; the gaming industry, I don't think it does and it actually helps the industry by circulating games around and letting gamers sell their old games in favor for new ones.
 

Nathan Drake

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The simple answer: used sales hurt absolutely every industry where the sales of used items is possible. Even the video game industry is hurt. If you buy used, you aren't buying new, and the circle of profit is disrupted.
 

Just Another Gamer

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So its expected that the consumer pay the dev extra for an old product?

Its just the industry being greedy, they make enough money each year to survive for another 5 years minimum yet they want more money even when they don't deserve it anymore, when someone sells a game or console and someone buys it then shouldn't have to pay any extra so the rich companies don't complain.
 

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Just as the title asks does the pre-owned and used market ki;; the gaming industry,
Yes.

Though this is probably the kind of discussion where people don't change their mind no matter what, I'll elaborate nonetheless. Bear with me for some paragraphs...


Creating a video game isn't free. It costs lots of time, effort and knowledge. There are fees and licenses to be paid, software libraries to be bought and costs for manufacturing to be handled. All of those are facts. Making a profit with a game is, before the game is actually finished, shipped and in store, almost completely speculation.

Now...the difference between those two isn't to be taken lightly. On the contrary: with current costs on producing games, the far majority of people don't have this kind of money to invest. And I write "invest", but it's probably much closer to say "gamble".


And that's the culprit: it's all fine and dandy to taut that games aren't creative enough anymore and everyone's cloning everyone else...until it's your house that may be publicly sold to pay off your debts if the game you're making isn't selling well.
The end result: producers go for the certain money. If not for the big profit, then at least a net income.


You can probably already understand where I'm going with this. What makes games profitable? The actual content of the games vary (tactical 3D shooters are hot, lately), but in the end, it's the very simple "if it sells well" that matters.

When gaming companies complain about bad sales, they usually blame piracy. But while that certainly is an issue, I honestly think two other factors matter much more:
1. the actual game is bad. While obvious, I feel the importance gets underestimated. The reputation of a game, and even a gaming company, can spread very rapidly and easily undo no matter what amount of marketing gets thrown at it.
2. the second hand market. this isn't just a factor by itself, but one that ties in almost directly with the previous. Bad games get sold again much faster than the good games, and with gamestores that sell secondhand games pretty much next to the first hand ones (except they're cheaper), it's a no-brainer how bad games sell less copies (note: sales about games are always about first-hand games).

The only surprise in this isn't so much that bad games sell less copies, but that they're selling exponentially less copies. I haven't seen much figures about second hand sales, but it wouldn't surprise me if games with lower sales have relatively high second hand sales figures.


You're probably thinking "Hey...wait a second. What's wrong with bad games selling badly? Shouldn't this motivate game companies to make better games, if nothing else to avoid them being put in the litter bin?".

My answer: on the surface, you would be right. But let's not forget the reality of the producer. This threat of the second hand market (along with piracy, obviously) doesn't really motivate him to make a better game...only to sell more copies. And while these qualities overlap, they aren't the same. In fact, there are quite some parts of the latter that are used so thoroughly that it hurts the quality of the game:
-overly hype a game...you should be playing it NOW (hidden message: not later, when you get it secondhand)
-focus on multiplayer and social networking stuff
-add ons and DLC (to prevent you from selling the game)
-limited edition thingies

and most of all:

-an even more frantic urge to stay on the beaten path, going for the same elements that everyone else uses


It's this kind of behavior that thrives the companies these days. It's not that they're evil or greedy...they just want to make a profit. I may be overly dramatic, but I see the second hand market as a sort of accelerator of doom for the gaming industry. Even more so than piracy: not only is there no way to prevent it (let alone prosecute it), it's also considered more "ethical". I really wonder why: in both cases, the developer gets nothing for his/her work.
Either way: the way the industry is acting now isn't beneficial for the long-term health of it. That is why, in my point of view, the second hand market will, in the long term, kill the game industry.
 
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mehrab2603

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I may be overly dramatic, but I see the second hand market as a sort of accelerator of doom for the gaming industry. Even more so than piracy: not only is there no way to prevent it (let alone prosecute it), it's also considered more "ethical". I really wonder why: in both cases, the developer gets nothing for his/her work.
I have the same view. Have been wondering why used game sales is accepted and piracy not, when they both hurt the industry (used game sales more cause lots of people do it as it is not illegal and easier to do than piracy in most cases).
 

Rydian

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Would I be considered in the wrong for buying my neighbor's used lawnmower on the cheap?

Friend's moving and gives me his couch... oh shit I'm a detriment to the furniture industry, quick pass some laws to stop it!

I don't know why the entertainment industry is so self-entitled.
 
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Veho

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I don't know why the entertainment industry is so self-entitled.
Inorite? Like, last week, they didn't let my girlfriend and me into the movie theater with only one ticket. We told them she would sit in my lap and we would only take up one seat but they said no, we had to buy two tickets. What a bunch of bullshit. Entitled assholes.
 
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ThatDudeWithTheFood

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I don't know why the entertainment industry is so self-entitled.
Inorite? Like, last week, they didn't let my girlfriend and me into the movie theater with only one ticket. We told them she would sit in my lap and we would only take up one seat but they said no, we had to buy two tickets. What a bunch of bullshit. Entitled assholes.
Thats two people using the same thing at once instead of one person using one thing then selling it for someone else to use.
Difference pointed out.
 

mehrab2603

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I don't know why the entertainment industry is so self-entitled.
Inorite? Like, last week, they didn't let my girlfriend and me into the movie theater with only one ticket. We told them she would sit in my lap and we would only take up one seat but they said no, we had to buy two tickets. What a bunch of bullshit. Entitled assholes.
Thats two people using the same thing at once instead of one person using one thing then selling it for someone else to use.
Difference pointed out.

In the case of 'one person using one thing then selling it for someone else to use', it's 2 persons using the same thing too. The only difference is the transfer of money, which didn't go to the developer. My logic may be completely wrong but I'm trying to understand it better.
 

ThatDudeWithTheFood

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I don't know why the entertainment industry is so self-entitled.
Inorite? Like, last week, they didn't let my girlfriend and me into the movie theater with only one ticket. We told them she would sit in my lap and we would only take up one seat but they said no, we had to buy two tickets. What a bunch of bullshit. Entitled assholes.
Thats two people using the same thing at once instead of one person using one thing then selling it for someone else to use.
Difference pointed out.

In the case of 'one person using one thing then selling it for someone else to use', it's 2 persons using the same thing too. The only difference is the transfer of money, which didn't go to the developer. My logic may be completely wrong but I'm trying to understand it better.
Yeah but one is using it while the other isn't.
It would be the same to the movie industry I guess but honestly I doubt it hurts the gaming industry that much.
 

Elrinth

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I'd say no. Because you wouldn't buy the game at all if it wasn't cheaper.. So you buy it because it's cheaper pre-owned than new. If it was new, then you don't buy it at all. Games are most of the times at a very high price point which not everyone can afford.
However, buying games over the net sometimes can help this.
 

Rydian

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I don't know why the entertainment industry is so self-entitled.
Inorite? Like, last week, they didn't let my girlfriend and me into the movie theater with only one ticket. We told them she would sit in my lap and we would only take up one seat but they said no, we had to buy two tickets. What a bunch of bullshit. Entitled assholes.
Oh please, Veho. Goods Versus Services, which it seems many people today do not know. I know that the internet and digital distribution blurs the line somewhat when it comes to entertainment nowadays, but you can't consider only the end result (the viewing of intertainment), the production and way the consumer comes in contact with it are also important and up for consideration.

The fact that so many people don't know the fucking difference between goods and services is a big reason why companies can continue to rip people off and make unfair demands.

When discussing the transfer of used games, we're discussing GOODS, which is why my examples focused on GOODS.

Your examples focusing on a SERVICE are not relevant.
 
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Foxi4

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To answer this question all we need to do is ask another question: "What was first, the gaming industry or the second-hand market?".

People always sold or exchanged their games, it's just that now the process has been facilitated. What years ago took going on a convention and walking around with your casettes and disks now takes going to the game store and just pawning in your game.
 

Rydian

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Ah, that Good vs Service cleared some stuff up.
But I wonder what are games then? The disc is good, but the gameplay on screen is service, am I right?
No. Just like with movies, whether it's a good or a service depends on how you're getting it.

Going to the store and buying a DVD? That's a good. That's a tangible product that enters your posession (the DVD itself) upon payment. You're directly paying for the disc.

Going to the theatre to pay to see a movie? That's a service. You're paying for them to show you the movie, you're directly paying for their actions.

EDIT: So you can see how with things like Steam, the line is somewhat blurred... however since this thread is talking about used game sales, it's physical copies.
 
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Guild McCommunist

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I can't really think of any game that has gone under because of used sales. In order to get a used market, you need to have a large new market. Then that gets siphoned down into a used market. So a game will need to sell a lot anyway to get a lot of used sales.

Plus with DLC nowadays, companies are still profiting off used games. You may deprive them of a sale of Modern Warfare 3 but you may just end up paying $50 for map packs anyway.

There's also plenty of countermeasures against it anyway. The used market for the PC is basically dead because of digital distribution. Piracy is still there but a lot of people prefer buying games for Steam and multiplayer anyway. On the consoles, you have online passes and incentives to get new copies of the game (like DLC or something).
 
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mysticwaterfall

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The sales "lost" to used games are greatly exagerated. A lot of people who buy them wouldn't have ever paid full price for them. If there were no used games, the sale numbers wouldn't magically increase over night.

Now, I personally prefer to wait for sales or what not where I can get the game new for the used price. Lego Harry potter 3ds comes to mind. Never would have bought it for 40. Got it on sale for 20.
 

alphamule

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I say yes and no... Because the (used) sales of XXXXXXXX 1 will take money away from (new) sales of XXXXXXXX 2? And like what was said above, used games don't have any real effect until the game has been out a few months or in some cases, weeks to years. I know that I'll probably never sell my old Warcraft 2 or Total Annihilation games even now but most games people get tired of in less than a couple months?

But then people tend to go out and buy the sequel if they think it's better. I think the real killer is non-industry reviews. Remember the old days of Nintendo Power magazine or GamePro or... I swear they never posted a negative review unless the game was impossible to like and even then not a solid 0. Everyone tries to have (illegal) conditions in demos or betas or even full releases to not post unfavorable reviews. Yeah, good luck with that one if your game absolutely isn't worth the $60 (more in Australia) you ask for. I could see stuff like not wanting people to comment on bugs left in the demo or early prerelease versions but that's not what they usually try to protect themselves from.

And we all know that the reason downloads for Xbox games aren't like PCs is because it's much more convenient to just copy the entire hard drive which is what gets people selling modded Xbox's in trouble here in the USA... Advertising 50 commercial games without the original discs is surely a way to invite legal trouble! :D

A note about used/old release games: Popcap (makers of Bejeweled/Zuma/etc.) had a special where you could get a bunch of their older games with a brand new license that bypassed retail so was marked way down. Steam does the same thing. Price them low and stack them high? Sam's Club strategy, heh?

Regarding how used games are accepted and selling bootleg copies (piracy) isn't, think of a used car. The term is depreciation. The original customer paid a premium to get it 'fresh' and all the used buyer is doing is reimbursing the person who still has an interest in the product. That idea that not making the company profit is itself a crime is absolutely evil and a form of... well I won't go into politics but this reminds me of candlestick makers complaining about windows and electricity+light bulbs. Also, read up on the concept called a limited liability company (LLC) which protects your personal assets. But yes, once your investment in a company goes belly up, you're stuck with harder time paying bills which can cost you your home. :(
 

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Kill is a strong word, but it certainly isn't helping the developers, especially considering how expensive games can be to produce.
 

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