Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

November 22, 2011 -

Some publishers and developers think that the practice of buying a used game is like committing an act of software piracy, so it comes as no surprise that a company like Blockbuster - who rents them to consumers and gives a portion of that revenue to game makers - has support for many in the game industry. Blockbuster believes that what it does is a way to reduce used game sales too. By offering what they consider reasonable game rental terms.

Recently Blockbuster's commercial director Gerry Butler said as much to MCV:

"We have ramped up the rental side of our business and we have got an awful lot of support from publishers," said Blockbuster commercial director Gerry Butler. “Publishers like renting as it takes away from trade-ins. The problem with trade-ins is the publisher doesn’t get any money. The advantage of renting is that they get quite a lot of money."

Butler doesn't talk about the use of online passes, but given that they are paying a fee to publishers one would assume their customers don't have to worry about that... at least for now.

Source: IndustryGamers


Comments

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

If Blockbuster chooses to include the codes, it is only for the first time renters of the title. Wanna rent MW3 a week after it came out? Well, you are SOL for getting online!

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

The problem is a 60$ game is not worth the investment make it 20-30$ double your market and make used sales moot. If not keep raising prices and lowering quality  will just make the used market that much more worthwhile.

I buy used and wholesale and wholesale prices tend to be as cheap as the used prices and your buying new there, so buying new is a misnomer.

 

Also the publishers punish rental more than retail so I do not know why BB defends them.

 

BTW I don't pay more than 20$ for a used or new wholesale game.


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Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

I have rented video games in the past from both Blockbuster and even Redbox. I sill buy used games  nearly 80%-90% of the time. The only new game I plan to buy is Grand Theft Auto V. I am hoping it will come out next October. I support used game sales. New games are too darn expensive.

 - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

I think used games are too darn expensive too.  They're usually only $5 bucks under what a new copy is going for.  Unless it's a game I have to have right now (Zelda: Skyward Sword), I typically wait until the price drops to at least $30.  Sure, I could get that same game used for around $25 but I'd prefer to spend the extra $5 to make sure I get an intact package with manual and whatever else is supposed to be in the box.  Plus, I prefer having my money go in a direction that helps facilitate the production of more cool games I want to buy.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

I admit that the games I am buying is between $14.99 and $29.99. So the games are not THAT recent. Sorry. - W

Consumer responsibility is just as important as Corporate responsibility. So, be responsible consumers.

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

Word.  Most of the people I see defending used games do their best to ignore the fact that GameStop doesn't make games.  Not to mention all the fundamentally flawed comparisons to other used items such as cars or furniture, which have physical wear and tear that results in a real decrease in the item's value, and provides an incentive to buy new instead.  Provided the disc isn't damaged, there is no difference between the ones and zeroes on a new game and those on a used one.

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

So once a game publisher releases a sequel you would be all too happy to see anything before it vanish from the face of the earth to never be enjoyed be anyone else.

To me that's a big big part of the used market, keeping older games, the good and not so good of them, out there for people to enjoy after no more discs are being produced.

I suppose you would be perfectly fine if publishes began mandating that each time they release a sequel a patch be put out to disable any existing copies

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

No, but I hope you enjoyed beating on that straw man.

What I have a problem with isn't used sales themselves, not exactly.  As you said, it keeps older titles in the market.  That's obviously a good thing, and if there were some kind of delay imposed for used sales, so they were only for old/out of print/difficult to find games, that would be peachy.

What gets my goat is the way GameStop pushes used sales within mere days/weeks of a game's release, and pushes hard.  That cannibalizes from new sales of the game, no matter how much people would like to deny it.  There are all these people who are apparently willing to pay $55 for a game when it comes out.  You can't tell me that very many of them would be unwilling to pay $60 for it, if there were only new copies available.  So used games, as GameStop does them, definitely hurt sales of new games.  And that means less of the money that game pulls in goes to the people who will make more games, and more of it goes to GameStop, so they can keep up their racket of paying a pittance for, and raking in huge profits from, the used copies.  I think that's bullshit, and the games industry is worse off for it.  It's not that used game sales are inherently bad, it's that GameStop is abusing them at the expense of publishers and developers.  I, for one, would rather see the publishers and developers succeed and keep making games for me to enjoy.  So that is where I try to direct my money.

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

Personally, I love the idea of used games primarily because it acts as a check on the high prices of games. A persona can sell or trade their old games in order to more easily afford new games. If a new game ends up not being worth $60 to someone who buys it new they can sell or trade it to bring the total cost of that game to a more reasonable $30-35.

Gamestop is doing a favor for the gamer by allowing for trades on games and they make a profit reselling those games. Contrary to many people's opinion, Gamestop has no goal to end the new game market or to undermine it. Doing so would kill its overall business. New Games are still the primary draw for customers who shop at Gamestop. Used games just raise the profit margin enough to make that worth it.

Gamestop doesn't have the luxury that big box retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy have. Those stores sell more than just games and most of what they sell has a higher profit margin than games. Gamestop does what it needs to to keep in business. The fact that it provides a demanded service to customers is just a perk.

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

As someone who always buys new, I disagree with you. The game product (disk, packaging, the works) is just as subject to physical wear and tear as any of the other products you mentioned. May as well say that provided pages aren't damaged, books aren't subject to wear and tear, or that provided the car still functions, those scratches in the paintwork don't count as wear and tear. The drawers still open on that chest of drawers, so that dent on the inner panel? That's not wear and tear either.

Second-hand bookstores don't write books either. Neither do second-hand car dealerships make cars. And while used game sales may not DIRECTLY result in profit for the original IP creator, most of the time any money made from selling old games goes straight back into buying new ones. Even people who only buy used are indirectly enabling people who buy new and sell on to keep on buying new. The industry is waging a war against a phantom.

Besides, once the product is in the buyer's hands, the fact of the matter is that the games industry do not own that copy of their work anymore. What is done with it is none of their business.

Re: Blockbuster: Publishers Support Our Game Rentals

Now I feel guilty buying my car second-hand. Maybe I should have rented it.

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