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Volition staffer champions anti-used game systems

Tuesday, 7th February 2012 06:09 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Volition design director Jameson Durall has said rumours of an anti-used game system in the next Xbox console sound “fantastic” – and not in the way that means “unbelievable”.

“Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them,” Durall wrote on AltDevBlogADay.

“The used games market is significantly impacting the revenue we receive. I think what most consumers don’t realize is that every time they buy a used game, there is ZERO money making it back to the Game Developers. All of those profits are going directly to the re-seller and making it more and more difficult for us to continue making higher quality products.”

Durall said action must be taken against the second hand trade or the games industry “is going to fall apart”.

“People often don’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don’t seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing.”

The designer said remedies like DLC and online passes don’t do enough to return revenue to developers, but acknowledged that blocking used games would also disadvantage gamers, by putting an end to lending games between friends and rentals.

Thanks, CVG.

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14 Comments

  1. unacomn

    Say, Volition man, you know what else hurts game sales and developers? Red Faction Armageddon. Remember? It’s that stinkfest you suckered me into buying because Guerrilla was awesome.
    If you’re saying I can’t sell it, to get at least part of my money back, I’m going to come to your house and hit you over the head with the game disk, until I feel that the 60$ dollar entertainment value is satisfied.

    Sincerely,

    A sucker

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Judicas

    To Volition: Cry me a river.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. chipvideo

    Game sales would tank if you couldn’t sell used games and use them on another console. People would more likely not blind buy anything anymore. They would only buy their must haves. I bet sales would fall in half at the minimum. Prices on games would go up as less people would be buying them and the dev costs would not change so it would cause more banrkuptcys and shit like that. Simple economics blended in with a little human behavoir.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. fearmonkey

    I think this guy REALLY understimates how many people trade in their games for new titles. So, by killing used games, you take away the money from the guy who was going to buy your game buy selling his old titles.
    Not only that, but at $60 a pop, and no way to sell that game to someone else, then people are going to buy titles that they know they really want, and won’t take chances. This will be bad for the industry, as if I know that i won’t give games that im on the fence about a chance, so I can get the games I know will be awesome.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Ghil

    Let’s kill the specialised market while we are at it. While Ebgames/Gamestop/Games and the like are definitely not angels, they survive on used sales (the margin they make from new games is ridiculously low).

    Killing the second hand market is a direct return to people buying games only at places like Wal-mart who can funnel the cost of operating the store into other areas. Brick and mortar game stores will collapse one by one.

    This guy really doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. FabioPal

    Well, seeing “used games” sold for 5% less than the full price in the local GameStop makes me want them to close, honestly.

    It’s a rip off.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Fin

    Ye really are ignorant. Prices on games would not go up, as there would be significant extra income from consumers, as every game would have to be bought new. Overall sales would not go down as those who play used games would know have to buy them new. More money to the developer again.
    One guy I know trades 2-3 old games to get one new game. If you couldn’t trade games, he just wouldn’t trade the old games (meaning 2-3 more new sales for developer), and would buy the new game anyway.

    @5
    “Ridiculously low”, like 50%? I think you mean to say the margin they make from used game sales is insane (100% less cost of buying the game). If I recall, Gamespot gets about 60% of its income from used games. Of which, the developer gets a big ‘oul zero.

    The games industry was able to survive in the late 90s before retailers constantly pushed preowned games. Specialist stores might have to reduce their number of shops to stay functional, but I’d have no issue with that. In my local Game, the shelves for games consisted of 1-2 for chart, 3+ for new, 1 for preowned. Now it’s 1-2 for chart (which is also stupid, but a story for another day), 1 for new (only stocking games made in the last 6 months to a year), 3+ for preowned. Nobody can tell me that’s a good thing for developers and the industry.

    Overnight online passes would cease to exist. There’s a reasonable chance paid DLC (especially that already on the disc) would become more infrequent.

    I’d prefer to have half of specialist shops close down, along with pissed off gamers, instead of an industry where only the biggest studios (that produce the best games, that people have to buy new instead of used) survive.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Ghil

    Is it?
    Think about the fact they give back to the customer who brought this game upward of 30 bucks, and they make about 20 on the game (less, if the client has their card. I don’t know what GAME has for promotions, but it must be similar).

    Combine that with the original new game, where they didn’t really make a profit on it, and they have half the original price in profits. I’d hardly call that a rip off.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Fin

    @8

    To be honest, if specialist retailers have to reduce in number, that’s fine by me.

    “Oh hi, I want to buy this game”
    “You know you can buy it preowned for cheaper?”
    “Ur, no”
    “You know you can trade it in when you’re finished?”
    “Ur, no”
    “You know you can get a strategy guide?”
    “Ur, no”

    I looked it, retailers make about 25% on new game sales, v probably 60%+ on used. Again, if they were once able to survive on just new games, they can do it again.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Joe Musashi

    @8 The retailer typically takes the largest margin of all those involved in the chain – publisher/distributer/retailer etc. They take the largest cut and provide the least work/investment.

    The revenue the retailer earns from second-hand is huge and that revenue stops at the retailer. Which is why you see retailers putting so much focus and space on selling second hand games for a fraction below the first-hand RRP. Or, as I’ve seen once or twice, selling 2nd hand for MORE than the first-hand price.

    Retailers have basically been doing this for years and flipping the bird to the rest of the industry. The rest of the industry is now doing something about it.

    JM

    #10 3 years ago
  11. FabioPal

    @10 Exactly what I think about it.

    Buying an used game for 5% less than the new one, and finding out that it requires an online pass that costs me MORE than that 5% without the shop saying me anything is, actually, a rip off.

    Should they sell the used games for, at least, 20% less (or however, on a regular basis, VAT% less) maybe I can agree with them.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    This already exists in effect – Games On Demand, or digital distribution. What they need to do is be a bit more realistic with digital pricing and add in some innovative features. Think about how and why people buy games and how you can meet those needs, not how you can best price gouge people. For example buying digital – or a game which can’t be sold used – means you can’t bring it round a friends place. How about selling digital version with two codes – one for you and one for your friend. You could sell it at a premium and you meet the requirements of the consumer – which is after all what you need to do to make money.

    Digital on consoles needs to catch up a lot with digital on PC.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. IL DUCE

    Anything that gives us better video games, and puts the money back into the proper hands of the developers/publishers who deserve it from making the game is fine with me…half the time the price difference between buying a new and used game is negligible (New CoD – 60, used CoD – 55) plus it would eliminate the need for online passes…GameStop does nothing with the extra cash besides earn free money for essentially doing nothing except giving you 50% or less for what they turn around and sell the game for…pretty sure PC gamers have been just fine without for the duration of gaming history as were all other gamers prior to last gen or this gen whenever the used games market really became popular

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    How about making games that are actually worth buying new, instead of blaming everybody else for wanting to save on their games?

    It’s not exactly the customers problem that a developer feels like he isn’t getting paid what he “should”. Ditto a publisher. And it’s an incredibly poor PR strategy to make yourself seen as the guy trying to trip people up.

    Make a game that’s worth paying for, and people will usually reward it. Don’t be a bitch when people don’t want to pay full price.

    The whole reverse entitlement schtick is pretty pathetic.

    If they hate used games so much, go digital. People have been waiting for that for ages anyway.

    And since when are brick and mortar retailers making a killing? They’re getting killed, for obvious reasons.

    #14 3 years ago

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