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  • bosamba - April 5, 2012 12:24 p.m.

    I'll chime in briefly with two points that haven't been addressed yet by other commenters. 1. If we're still going to be using plastic discs to store games on next generation, what will happen to them when the original owner is finished with the game and has no desire to keep it in their collection? That's right, it goes to a landfill, where plastic doesn't decompose until several thousand years later. Is this an environmentally smart move by videogame publishers? How about creating a program where the consumer can drop off the unwanted game and give a discount on future purchases as an incentive to not just chuck the game in the trash. Oh wait, we already have that now, it's called trade-ins. 2. Remember the Id way of distributing games? They'd allow you to download the first part of the game free as shareware and if you liked it, you'd have the option to buy the rest of the game through a download. This won't take away development on making a separate demo and it gives consumers a chance to sample the game for themselves. How many of you read "meh" reviews of a game, only to play the demo for yourself and realize that you actually enjoyed it enought to purchase the full game?
  • Beartoe - April 5, 2012 9:34 p.m.

    you talk about used game disks as a new problem but what do you think happens to all the old unsold used or new games that are out there now. do you really think that trading in a game will make it more environmentally friendly? and 2 games are already doing that now. if you've played a PSN or XBLA trial recently, you would see that most games will give you the option to unlock the full game.
  • gazzc - April 6, 2012 6:21 a.m.

    Unfortunately recycling little circles of plastic is not a big concern for big game companies. Trading a game in does not affect the fact that the piece of plastic had to be manufactured and 1 day will still end up in landfill somewhere.
  • jrex13 - April 5, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    Companies do not succeed if they make profits by hurting their consumers. Ignoring the fact that the widely popular game EULA is still a legal gray area and what you're proposing would get many companies into very expensive legal battles; and ignoring the fact that this article blatantly ignores the fact that the high speed internet connection required for things like "always on" isn't nearly as prevalent as people assume it is, if you can only make money by taking rights away from your customers you are doomed to fail. I'm astounded that, less than a year ago I saw articles on this very site talking about how much better it was that games are so much shorter now, that I should be happy that games get an average of five hours of game time, and now I'm getting quotes complaining about how quickly people sell back their games? Astounding. There is no upside for anyone with this proposal. Game sales will hurt if only by people who refuse to buy a DRM riddle box. Gamers are hurt in multiple ways, an entire industry would be destroyed (don't forget, people have jobs at these places!?!?!), and I can't begin to imagine the amount of bad publicity these companies would drown in. You want to cut cost, bring down production costs, simple. As for me, these rumors alone are almost enough to forgo the cost of next gen consoles I NEVER ASKED FOR and just spend a fraction of the price on a new graphics card. At least I can play indie games.
  • KingMiedus - April 5, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    I'd be completely fine with games being one user only if the price was significantly cheaper (like 2k did at the end of last gen with its $20/$30 brand new games). But PC games are one user only and you save a whole $10 (this is in Canadian/US $) with them being released at $50 vs. $60 for 360/PS3 games. As it stands now though, it costs less to buy at $60 on the console and resell it than buying it for $50 on the PC. Also, instead of having to have an always on internet connection, just make it like a PC and have a one use code you enter (like the Online pass) and if you don't have one give the option to purchase right there on the screen, I'm sure that would increase sales (while hurting physical stores I guess). I'd be down with $40 for a game with a one use only code. Get on that Microsoft / Sony.
  • roryking1981 - April 5, 2012 7:05 p.m.

    Id have no problem with the no used sale thing if the prices would be lower. As i see it, that will never happen again. Look at how money hungry they've all become. All those things that used to be included and unlocked...paid dlc. I just don't trust many publishers anymore. It seems like they just try to see how far they can screw the customer. Im hoping for a bright future, but all I see are dark clouds rolling in.
  • Boonehams - April 5, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    If this is where the market goes, where all games are tied to a single account and there are no ways to buy used games or even rent games to try them out, then all games--without exception--must come with decent demos or they can count on a lot of gamers just abandoning ship. I don't buy used games (unless if they're from last gen or older), but I like the idea of renting them or borrowing them from friends. There have been a lot of games that I've rented at my local library that I ended up buying, but I never would have bought them without that opportunity to try them out. With that possibility gone, I'd be a lot more hesitant to ever buy a game. And I mean ever. I have a decent enough library as is, so I guess I'll just keep what I've got and be thankful for the hours of enjoyment video games have given me. But if that's the future, so be it. I'll stay right where I am, thank you. Now get off my lawn, you hooligans! *shakes cane*
  • pr0tostar - April 5, 2012 8:38 a.m.

    Honestly, as a legit consumer who goes out and earns money to buy the games I want new, I try to discern these claims and try to sort the genuine shortcomings of the industry from the obscure fingerpointing. First, that concept of eliminating pre-owned sales crossed my mind just before I got to it in your article and I stopped to think on it. It seems way more feasible than this near-totaliristic idea of binding sales to accounts, as in my opinion, it infringes on private use rights. So ok, do away with trade-ins. Aside from what that makes me think of the chaos that would bestow onto ebay (unless they agreed to prohibit used game sales; HIGHLY unlikely), there is the potential for publishers to lower MSRPs, or in worst case scenario, maintain them in lieu of next gen development costs/economy. But I ask myself; WOULD they? People like Bobby Kotic and the lunatics at NIS tell me through their actions "lolno." There's only so much blame the industry can put on consumers and retail when this very problem can be logically traced back to Microsoft and their ambitious shoving of the entire industry into online-enabled gaming. Maybe I'm just stuck in the 90's, but video games were created on the foundation of personal entertainment. Gaming with others was principled by direct social activity, or "couch multiplayer" as well cal it now-a-days. But now that playing basic action/FPS/Non-MMO games with anyone around the world at any time is the norm, OMG there's suddenly this huge crisis and the industry is collapsing. And it seems the only solution is to point fingers and punish the consumer with online passes and the like. But it goes deeper. The rise in DLC I've seen since last Fall makes me gag. Especially all these microtransaction items that where games like League of Legends are using intuitively and responsibly, it seems evident to me that the greater industry is ABUSING them. Content is already on the disc that the consumer has purchased and must pay more to access? Add-on content amounts to MORE than the launch MSRP of the game itself? (I'm not kidding, look up any of NIS's games on PSN, Hyperdimension Neptunia mkII ($50) will have ~$70 worth of DLC by the end of the month, and the production quality of the game is like par with $15 download titles. Real freakin classy for a game that's plot is straight anti-piracy propaganda. And no, I'm not raged about that game, it's a very popular trend.) Forgive my amassing wall of text here, but what I'm trying to say is that all this nickel and dimeing is more evident of online functionality abuse than economical desperation tactics, which the latter would probably be entailed by more "consumer friendly" marketing approaches. And in relation to this article, I'm just sick of the industry pointing fingers at its consumers and retail, when it only has itself and Microsoft to blame for the whole freakin mess. Videogaming should just go back to the good old days where we called three of our buddies to come over to keep us company play Goldeneye and on the weekend, but it seems it will only maintain its course of enabling 12 year olds to get on CoD at 3AM to fuel the internet hate machine while their grades slip and the future generation gets dumber and lazier. /rant. Thanks For the article, Justin, was nice to contemplate.
  • ParagonT - April 5, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    Too awhile to read this but nicely put.
  • CreepingDeath666 - April 5, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    I think it's extremely naive to believe that there would actually be a price drop on games if the used-game market was killed. People are greedy and if they can force people to buy new copies, they will force them to pay top dollar. Look at Call of Duty, Activision put the RRP up on that game "because they could" and it's publishers like that who would ensure prices don't go down even if the used-game market is kiled. Does anyone really think that blatant money-making schemes like DLC would stop if people could only buy new copies? I have no problem with DLC, it's the person's choice whether they want to buy it or not. What I have a problem with is things being left out of games and then sold to you for extra. If I buy a game on day 1, why should I have to pay extra for things developed at the same time as the main game? Probably the best method for publishers to get some money from the used game market is the "Online Pass" and day 1 DLC model. If those things are free to people who buy new then that is good and if you choose to buy a used copy you pay a few quid to unlock that stuff. But when whole chapters are left out of a game and later released as paid for DLC then you drive people away.
  • andy-simpson - April 5, 2012 8:27 a.m.

    The problem with tying the game to one account is that it may make people more cautious in buying games in the first place. Who'd spend £40 on a game with so-so reviews, that they can't sell on if they don't like it? I can't count the number of games that I've took a chance on, either at pre-owned prices or in the knowledge I can at least make some cash back. I did first think that it might trigger more demo releases, but as games get bigger, they get harder to demo, so....
  • Shinard - April 5, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Hmmm... I don't particularly mind the locking to one account feature, and I'm sure I could get used to it in time, but I just have a couple of problems with it. 1) The prices of new games need to drop. In my opinion £40 is not a valid amount to spend on every new game, and so I nearly always buy pre-owned (£30 for a just released title, down to £20 and below for titles only a few months old). If they kept that price and shut out pre-owned, I would avoid buying any game until at least a few months after it has been released (also so I can get the DLC included on disc, which saves some cash as well). And 2), my internet just isn't good enough to keep a constant connection for every time I want to play a game. Steam is great, but I've been unable to get into it and play my games on many occaisions, which is why I still have games on disc for my PC or I download the whole game from bundles, for example (though that's reliant on the internet remaining up while it is downloading).
  • DannyMB - April 5, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    The "used-game" market really got going when I was in my teens, and at that time it was great. I didn't have much money, so the only way I would ever get a game would be to sell a load of my games and then buy a pre-owned edition of the game I was after. I rarely had more than 3 games in my library at any one time. But as I got older and got a job, the monetary issue of buying games faded for me, and cost isn't the huge issue it used to be when I was younger. So personally if used-games died, it wouldn't hurt me all that much. I don't think I've bought a used game in years thinking about it. BUT! I still remember how much it sucked trying to scrounge together money for games, so if used games go, prices HAVE to drop, by at least 30-40%. As they stand now, games are just not affordable enough for young people or people who don't have as much money. And even though I can afford them, I wouldn't complain if games were a lot cheaper. The question of course is whether a price drop would happen. I doubt it. Publishers are greedy (to be expected, they're not charities of course) so they will pipe us all kinds of crap like "games cost more to make, so we have to pass this cost on to you". So, rather cynically, I wouldn't be surprised if used-games get screwed, and consumers will still be paying £40/$60 for games, even when/if they're digital only releases. So in short, death to publishers! Bring on the SteamBox! Anything that cuts out the middle-man and lets me just play games at a reasonable price.
  • Kermit1970 - April 5, 2012 7:55 a.m.

    Tesco just want to take over the world. The bit of their slogan which is never said is "...our shareholders and our plans to dominate your lives and make you buy everything from us. BWAHAHAHA"
  • KidKatana - April 5, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    Interesting. I don't like the idea of locking games into an account - while I don't personally trade in old games as I occasionally like to replay them, I think it's a hard sell to ask people to hang onto a £50 piece of media that they likely won't touch after 2 weeks. Another reason I don't bother trading in games is because playing the newest games doesn't bother me - I'm happy to wait for a few months til a game's RRP drops. I'd buy a game straight out the gate if it was £20, but seeing as new games are £40-£50 and I have a backlog of games I'm interested in, I don't mind waiting. This begs the question - would pre-owned be such an issue if the cost of games was much lower? If games were £10-£20, gamers probably wouldn't feel the need to trade them in to get their money's worth. £20 is about as much as I'm happy to pay now for games that I'm never going to trade in, and that price limit would be the same for a console that prevented me from selling them on. Sadly, I can see that if the preowned market was wiped out then there would be little incentive for retailers to drop prices after a few months, and with an increased focus on digital distribution consumers would probably end up getting shafted on the price due to the lack of alternatives. I can see the 'locking games to a user account' model becoming a means of gouging consumers.
  • Cyberninja - April 5, 2012 7:38 a.m.

    If a games is going to cost a ridiculous amount to make then don't make it, not everyone will have the ability to play the game. remember when crysis first came out 5 years ago not many people had the ability to play the game and the sales reflected that, really I don't see the obsession with graphics, when they know not everyone will be able to enjoy them at the fullest, they are wasting resources developing them which is harmful to originality. Like in this generation alone which system excluding PC had the most unique games? the answer is wii (games that were on wii first) and I am saying this as a ps3 owner. the wii had the most original games, like epic mickey, madworld,the wii series(music,fit,etc),boom blox,just dance,Xenoblade Chronicles, Rhythm Heaven and many more,and can you tell me why the wii had the most unique stuff? its because they didn't have to worry about making games with ultra realist graphics, so people could be more creative. Honestly if its going to be a problem to sell a game because they are spending to much to make it, that means its time to look back to the past when no one had this problem because they weren't spending ridiculous amounts to work on the visual aspects. minecraft show that games today dont have to look super amazing to sell if the gameplay is good.
  • FireIceEarth - April 5, 2012 7:11 a.m.

    games get returned and resold five or six times?! wow. how can you know that though? sounds like it makes a lot of sense though :) I always hate trading in my games; you always get shafted by Game and Blockbuster, the return price is always measley, considering that when they sell it, its normally just a few pounds less than the brand new copy, and all that they're doing to earn that money is to put a sticker on it.
  • Sinnott - April 5, 2012 7:10 a.m.

    They sell games at full retail in Ireland's Tesco, With games as bad as Nukem being sold for €50/60


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