Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

July 16, 2009 -

A pair of video game websites weighed in on the controversy over used game trades this week.

Crispy Gamer serves up a well-reasoned two-parter by David Thomas:

The price of a game is, at the end of the day, exactly the balance point between what someone is willing to pay and what someone is willing to sell... The trouble is, the publisher wants back in on the deal, and goes out of its way to convince you that it still owns a piece of that junk you bought from it...

 

The used market, it turns out, isn't screwing [game] publishers... Instead, the used market helps keeps people in the game by letting them play games that they wouldn't otherwise bother buying... Used games help make game fans out of game tourists...

Meanwhile, Destructoid's Jim Sterling has a bit of a rant on the topic:

Have you considered what happens to a publisher when you buy a secondhand game? They lose money! Oh, you might argue that publishers already make money off the original sale of the game, but they don't! In fact, whenever a secondhand game is bought, the original $60.00 transaction disappears from our corporeal plane of existence, erased from history as if it never happened...

The main issue with secondhand games is that no other industry ever has to deal with a similar problem. Think about it -- have you ever bought a used car, or even heard of a store selling used clothes or music? Of course you haven't! The very idea is preposterous...


Comments

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

>isn't screwing [game] publishers

Nope, just players, by artificially inflating prices and reducing choice.

/b

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Do you honestly think that game prices would drop if the used market disappeared? I think you are a bit naive.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

If anything, prices would go up, as the new market wouldnn't have the used market to compete with.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Good point. I remember when I was younger, before the used game trade was an actual market, I bought a copy of Street Fighter 2: Tournament Edition for eighty-five bucks. I seem to recall copies of Final Fantasy 3 going for over a hundred in some places.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

 I was lucky with FF3. We had a local used game store called player-2, think Gamestop without so much gouging. I bought FF3 at the local flea market for 20 bucks, finished it, sold it to P-2 for 35, he slapped a sticker on it and had it on the rack for 50 and sold while I was still looking through their NES racks.

 

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Jim Sterling used a farce article to combat a farce of an idea that publisher's think used game sales is hurting them. I found this article to be hilarious. An equally valid argument goes to used books (even though GP has written on that, too). Used books get the out-of-print works to people. Even if they're still in print, it may draw a new reader into that author's works.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Pretty much my stance. Without the used market(or emulation, IMHO) titles that can no longer be bought new would pretty much just die out all together. It keeps a franchise alive long after it's time in the market.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Gah. I can't believe so many people missed that joke entirely. It wasn't even very subtle...

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

not only salvation army, but, good will, cd go-round, diskland, chepo records. Those are all places in my area that sell used movies, clothing, and cd's

 

 

WreckedSystems.com

WreckedSystems.com

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

I'm still waiting to see a valid arguement on why videogames are so necessary to someone's life that they should be allowed to play them without the people who made the game profitting from their enjoyment of the product.

Games aren't a right, it's a luxury that if you cannot afford it, you shouldn't be playing. The idea that the game industry would collapse if used sales were taken out of the mainstream market (gamestop, best buy, et al) is ridiculous. Leave the second hand sales to person to person and I might not object, but corporation X  being in business solely because they are able to leverage the value of used games over new ones is stupid and just flat out wrong. I don't care what free market economics says, if you aren't creating value in the system you shouldn't be getting value out of the system. Retailors like gamestop don't create value for the industry because a majority of their profit and sales comes from their used games.

Then again any consumers like myself who don't like it can simply choose not to trade in games, not to buy used, and if there is no other option not to buy period.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

This has to be the most ridiculous thing I've ever read. No one ever said games were a right. What does that have to do with ANYTHING? I'll bet you just liked how it sounded.

If I walk into a Target and shell out $60 for a PS3 game, guess what, I now own that copy of that game. Owning it, I can do with it what I please, including selling it. Also, you OBVIOUSLY have no idea what it means to add value. A lot of business doesn't add value to the product, but adds value to the customer. The increased value comes in when you go to trade in or sell the game, money you wouldn't have had access to after you were done with the game, and it also adds value for the person who is now able to buy three used games rather than one new one.

I can't believe people like you exist. So happy to piss your rights away (I'm talking about the right of resell, not some "right to games"). What is wrong with you?

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

What is wrong with me? Well I guess I value the companies that actually make the games I enjoy playing and therefore want to support them. So I choose to spend a whole $5 more and buy the copy of the game that will actually translate into a sale for THEM.

I have never decried anyone's right to sell their games, I just don't like the way Gamestop does it's business of selling new copies only when they absolutley have to and giving jack back for trade in. Sell your games on Ebay or craigslist, you'll make 3 times as much as Gamestop would be willing to give you AND you'll still be able to buy their used games, or god forbid actually buy a new copy and support the company that makes games that are apparently worth buying in your opinion.

 

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

It is okay not to like Gamestop and the prices they give for games.  Some people like the prices they give.  Now let me explain something to you kiddo.

 

Gamestop:  Buys the game for $15 in a day.

 

Ebay:  Game goes on a bidding war where people try to get the game as cheap as they can.  You may make more money, but you have to wait longer for it, and there is no set profit or guarentee of sell.

 

Gamestop:  Has made sure the game is playable and will exchange out if not.  30 day warranty.

 

Ebay:  No warranty, chance of being cheated, and no gurantee that the game will work.

 

Ebay can be cheaper, but there's the wait, you can't inspect the merchandice before purchase, and it's hell trying to get your money back if something doesn't work out.  Gamestop offers this service fast, easy, and realiable so they can make a profit and stay in buisness.  Increasing the sale of new games, and giving others a chance to get older games without worry. 

 

You're problem is with someone taking a chance, making a service easy and wanted, and earning themselves a profit at the same time.  Game Stop buys those old games with no gurantee that someone will buy them.  They give the original purchaser some of the money they spent on that game to buy a new game and take a chance to try and earn a profit.  This is a enterprise that has the right to do what they're doing, and I will support them in this right.  Especially since it helps the consumer as much as it does the retailer!

 

People who complain about used game sells are either ignorant, stupid, or greedy!  Sometimes all three. 

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Right of First Sale is a tradeoff given by copyright.

No right to resale, no copyright. Fair?

 

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Because under very old legal principles of property rights (which are slowly being eroded and this should be a grave concern to everyone), you have the right to do with your property as you see fit.

When I buy a disc I should have the right to give, sell or transfer that disc to anyone else I want. That physical disc and the content on it, that individual copy of the game is MINE.

Now, there are some restraints on alienation with which I am fine. I understand the concept of intellectual property and that I shouldn't be allowed to copy and distribute that content for free, that's fine with me, no problem.

But I should NOT be presented from transfering that content, in its entirety, to another person whether for profit or not, if I want to. I understand not being allowed to keep a copy for myself as well, that would be distribution, not alienation.

But how much restraint on alienation should we put up with? Should I not be allowed to alienate my car, DVD collection, books, House or any other property?

Why should games be treated any differently than any other property? Why shouldn't I be allowed to sell my games to a used game retailer but its no problem selling an old coat to a thrift store?

How long before somone decides to start applying this logic to PROPERTY in general.

"Oh, you didn't actually buy your house you know, you bought a license to USE the house. You aren't allowed to sell it to another person. The builder/retailer/developer still owns the physical house."

We're getting into this realm where we're saying that only the creator/builder/maker of something owns it and can do anything with it. When I buy something I'm buying IT, not some amorphous "license" to use it. I am buying THAT copy and I should be able to alienate that copy if I want. I should have the right to profit from the things I have paid money to own. I can't distribute them, but I should be able to alienate them.

That's what "private property" means, its yours, you can get rid of it if you want whether for profit or not, you aren't beholden to anyone in that regard.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

First of all, you can't usually buy used clothing, books, or cars in the same place where you buy new products. GameStop is the leading videogame retailer; they account for one third of the retail market. The used games sit right next to the new games, and they frequently ask if you'd prefer to buy used instead of new once you're at the counter—"You'll save X dollars."

They also have the trade-in value on the wall behind the cashier, just so you always know how much money you could be getting back if only you would sell them your old games.

Second of all, publishers don't make money when GameStop sells a game. They make money when they sell games to GameStop, and then they make more money when the game sells out, and GameStop has to order more copies. But since GameStop has access to a vast reservoir of used games, they have to make fewer re-orders.

So, my biggest issue with the used game business is simply that it exists in the very same building as the regular, new game business. They're constantly presenting a choice to consumers: "New or used? New or used?"

--

http://craigostrin.com

@scribl

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

"First of all, you can't usually buy used clothing, books, or cars in the same place where you buy new products."

As has been pointing out, that is probably news to every new car dealer in the country. It's probably also news to Powell's books, which racks used books right next to the new ones.

This is a ridiculous argument. I bought it, I can dispose of it how I see fit. The recording industry tried this argument over used album and CD sales and lost. Why does the game industry think they're special and different rules should apply to them?

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Because CD= $20 Game = $60+. They are acting like politicians.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

"First of all, you can't usually buy used clothing, books, or cars in the same place where you buy new products."

While it's already been pointed out that this isn't true for cars, it's also not true for books, music and movies.  Probably the only thing that statement is true for is clothing.  Though it wouldn't surprise me to find out if it isn't.

 

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

"First of all, you can't usually buy used clothing, books, or cars in the same place where you buy new products."

While this statment is true mostly about clothing and books, I have yet to see a new car dealership NOT have a used car selection on the lot, and a used car has no monitary value to the maker of the car.  Any profit made goes strait to the dealership (that's why they accept trade ins).

A new car dealer ship will accept a trade in toward the purchase of another one (many times new).  And for the loss they take on the new vehicle, they can then sell the vehicle they just took in at a profit.

To me this is the model that Gamestop uses.  You trade in a used game at a cost below what Gamestop can sell it for.  In return you get a credit to use on a used or new game. 

"Second of all, publishers don't make money when GameStop sells a game. They make money when they sell games to GameStop, and then they make more money when the game sells out, and GameStop has to order more copies. But since GameStop has access to a vast reservoir of used games, they have to make fewer re-orders"

If you get a new game with your credit (much like new car with a trade in) Gamestop ends up at a monitary loss.  They must sell the game you traded in to make a profit on the new game.  But the Game publisher (much like the car manufaturer) has made their full profit on that new game (or car).

"The used games sit right next to the new games, and they frequently ask if you'd prefer to buy used instead of new once you're at the counter"

New car dealerships have their used cars out for display near the new ones.  And at least in my town, they are the only vehicles visible from the street.  I have had many sales person try to sell me used first especialy if they have used what I'm looking for.

"They also have the trade-in value on the wall behind the cashier, just so you always know how much money you could be getting back if only you would sell them your old games."

That is the only way to know for a customer to figure out how much thier game is worth to Gamestop.  There is no "Blue Book" for games like their is for vehicles.

"So, my biggest issue with the used game business is simply that it exists in the very same building as the regular, new game business. They're constantly presenting a choice to consumers: "New or used? New or used?""

Which to me is no differect than the new car dealership.  They push the used vehicles because it makes them more money.  To me it is the same model.  Not very many people have this problem with new car dealerships, so why would they have a problem with Gamestop using the same model?

High Tech Redneck

High Tech Redneck

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Nice comparison. This really matches the used game sales well.

 

Also, the day someone tells me what I can't do with something I spent my hard earned money on (selling used games), or tries to get more money off something I already payed for, is the day I no longer do it!

---

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

I once had a dream about God. In it, he was looking down upon the planet and the havoc we recked and he said unto us, "Damn Kids get off my lawn!"

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Maybe having a poilicy of not selling anything second-hand that they have available new would help? After all, selling the cheaper version of the game first doesn't really help the retailer any more than the production team.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

I picked up Sturmovic some time after all the original Buzz had died down, I now have Pacific Fighters and some other expansions. The original game was second hand, the expansions were new.

This isn't about fairness, it's about Greed.

Let me give you an example. Supposing you buy a game, and, over the years, the disc gets scratched up with wear. Now, according to the companies, you have not bought the game, you have bought a license to play the game, fine, in that case, regardless of the state of the disc, you have a right to download the game or get a cheap second-hand copy, because you still have a right to play it.

However, the moment a situation such as that arrives, it's a case of 'oh no, now the Disc needs money to be replaced, you have to spend full money and buy another license to play the game! And that money has to go to us!'

Cake and Eat-It every step of the way.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

+1

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Can the publishers show how many used game sales translate as lost sales of new games?

I recently picked up a copy of Ace Combat 04 used. It is NOT a game I bought when it was new, it was not a game I would have bought when it was new.

Now I understand the publisher saying "we should get a cut" but the bottom line is that not every used sale is a loss of a new sale anymore than every pirated copy of a game is a "lost sale." You simple have no way of knowing if that game would have been bought new, so stop trying the "lost sale" argument. It isn't going to fly.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

How in the world do you understand the publisher saying they should get a cut? If you go to sell that old Toyota Corrola you bought in high school, should Toyota get a cut? 

If you buy something, you own it. You don't own the IP, just as you could make more Corolas or sell the blueprints or anything, but you can sure as shit sell the actual car just as sure as you can sell the actual game.

It makes no sense that they would get paid twice or more for the same goddamn product. This is why they are even bringing it up, so people will be convinced that maybe what they are saying isn't so unreasonable after all.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Think about it -- have you ever bought a used car, or even heard of a store selling used clothes or music? Of course you haven't! The very idea is preposterous...

I think the Salvation Army would disagree...

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

He's never heard of buying  a used car, clothes or cds?  Exactly what part of the US isn't littered with used car dealerships, consignment shops, or pawn shops?

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Jim Sterling was being sarcastic with that post.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Pelicans. Solidarity for the Saints = No retreat, no surrender. 2013 = Saints' revenge on the NFL. Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always.

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

joke------------------------------->

Your head -

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

At first I thought Jim was being stupid.  Now I hope he's joking.

 

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

"That's not ironic. That's justice."

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

90% of all Jims posts on Destructiods are mostly satire joke like the one GP referenced.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

I think we are just a couple of years to see videogames companies to make the sale of used games illegal, even faster than take down any anti-videogames legislation Jack Thomson-style.

The cynical side of videogames (spanish only): http://thelostlevel.blogspot.com/ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com/

Re: Games Sites Get Behind Used Game Sales

Well, you know they've already tried that, right? The courts have upheld the conumer's right to resell though, thankfully.

I really think it is the second hand market they were trying to tie up with that "limited activation" bullshit. These companies are all for the most part scum bags who deserve to die. The developers are great, but the publishers are pure filth.

 
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