More publishers to begin charging used game buyers to play online

Game publishers have been complaining for a long time that they aren't getting their fair share of the second hand game market. They feel that they should be given a piece of the second hand game sales pie. The co-founder of Blitz Game Studios, Andrew Oliver, even went so far as to say that used games are worse than piracy.

Now it seems the publishers are starting to find ways to tap into the used game by charging gamers access to play online after they've bought a used game.  It started with EA and Project Ten Dollar; all future sports game are going to come with a one time use code which allows you access to online play, features, and bonus content. When you buy the game used you won't have access to the content or features unless you pay EA ten dollars for an access code. EA will be starting Project Ten Dollar with Tiger Woods 11 and soon after NCAA Football 11, NHL 11, Madden NFL 11, NBA 11, FIFA 11, and EA Sports MMA will all have the one time access code in the new game box.

According to GamesIndustry.biz THQ will be the next game publisher to start charging used game buyers extra to play their games online. They will be starting the one time use codes with UFC Undisputed 2010, if you choose to buy the game second hand it will cost you five dollars to get an access code that enables online features. The access code for UFC Undisputed 2010 turns on a mode called Fight Camp which allows up to 40 players to train online together.

GamesIndustry.biz also said Ubisoft CFO, Alain Martinez was on a conference call and stated that they will be likely following EA's plans to charge extra for online content and features. "Most of the games that we release next year will have from the start downloadable content available," said Martinez. "And we are looking very carefully at what is being done by EA regarding what we call the 'ten dollar solution' and we would probably follow that line at some time in the future"

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Would this not bring down the price of the game, originally ?

Or will games still be extortionately over priced for the first person to buy ?

This is a bunch of crap - they game was paid for in the first place, and damn them if they want more money for it later on! They should be glad people pay for it in the first place.

Advancer said,
This is a bunch of crap - they game was paid for in the first place, and damn them if they want more money for it later on! They should be glad people pay for it in the first place.

+1

Publishers may feel the timing is right to start squeezing more out of customers because of government support. We've all seen the courts (govts) worldwide give in to the entertainment industry big time lately. Look at the "Hurt Locker", **** movie and now they just go after thousands of people than NEVER would have gone to see it, but will deliver big $ nonetheless.

Personally, I've played many pirated games that I absolutely never would have bought and some I've liked enough to buy to play online, which I also never would have bought without playing first.

Pay what you want has just proved it can work, offer a good product at a good price and everybody wins.

It's more money, they'll use any justification that works. Right or wrong, fair or unfair have absolutely nothing to do with it, just business.

They may find extra profit in some titles and lose out with others, time will tell if it's a good long term decison, a cheap enough price and most will accept it, quietly, gouge like movies and music and it's a different story.

huh?

The price of a game is set by what the market will bear, not by any realistic metric. Companies will keep raising prices until the market responds by buying alternatives or by refusing to purchase the higher priced product.

If you think these megacorps are in this business because they love games or even play games, you don't understand megacorp business 101. It is ONLY about the revenue stream for them...the ancillaries...the ROI for stockholders, etc.

thats dumb to pay more for for the same thing, these publishers are just getting too greedy that buying there games is not worth it especialy if you gotta pay more for something that you just bought.

I guess they're right, to some point.

When they sell it for the first time, the publishers already have statistics on average how much a person is going to play that game. They estimates their costs for a long term how much it's going to be played online (let's call it game-life). Let's face it, not everyone plays every single game all the time. You eventually get bored. That's part of the statistics. So when you sell the game, that new player will start from scrath the game-life again, but the publisher didn't earn anything new. So the estimated cost they had already analyzed just doubled (assuming the new owner plays just as much)

This whole debate makes me sick. The fact is us XBOX live (and PSN soon) users already pay for online sevice. So you mean to tell me if i buy a used game or someone gives me a game or whatever the case may be, i cannot play online? But i pay $50+ a year for this service. If the SW publishers belive this will increase profits they are wrong. people will buy less games. rental companies will go under (places like blockbuster buy millions of games per year). moves like this only hurt the consumer and the industry will sufer

>>It started with EA and Project Ten Dollar; all future sports game are going to come with a one time use code which allows you access to online play, features, and bonus content<<

Greedy *******. I will laugh if someone can figure out how to hack video games next, to enable online play.

Also ... 2nd hand games are not illegal, wth ?

It doesn't cost the game company any more money if the game was is being used by person A than changed hands to person B. It's just a different person.

Depack said,
It doesn't cost the game company any more money if the game was is being used by person A than changed hands to person B. It's just a different person.
no but they have lost a potential sale.

Depack said,
It doesn't cost the game company any more money if the game was is being used by person A than changed hands to person B. It's just a different person.

If it costs 10 dollars for Person A to play the game 40 hours online and thats it, then yes it does cost more. Person B is now using online time that wasnt paid for.

SputnikGamer said,

If it costs 10 dollars for Person A to play the game 40 hours online and thats it, then yes it does cost more. Person B is now using online time that wasnt paid for.


But it paid the the gold membership why would we sacrifice anymore money!!??

SputnikGamer said,

If it costs 10 dollars for Person A to play the game 40 hours online and that it, then yes it does cost more. Person B is now using online time that wasn't paid for.

You saying that if A person plays over 40 hours hi need's to pay 10$ top play more f*** that. I pay 70 euro for game and on top of that i need to pay 10$ f*** that. I don't think i buy EA games if they do payment other genre games.

So what they are saying is that I spend $60 on a game and get one online activation? My sons eah have a PS3 and tend to share alot of games. If they really like it then they both buy it. But for a so-so game I'm stuck with it on one console?

Bottom line is it's a little greedy. However I would be willing to accept this new model if the content was good that was tied to it. Whether or not Project $10 existed I would wait until November for Madden to drop to $40, but I would be completely satisfied with an amazing online offering for the $10 fee.

good bye *waves* to the stupid companies who think of this crap. You will fail even more when you keep stepping over your customers.
How they think they deserve a profit from something they already sold once is beyond me... I wish I could get the resell value of the items I sell to customers that they then sell to someone else. But I can't and I won't ask, because it is just stupid.

I don't see the issue. Then again, out of the 24 Xbox 360 games I own, only one was purchased used, so it's not an issue for me anyways. In general I do think devs deserve something for second-hand purchases anyways.

People come up with all these excuses and stuff but the fact is that people have the right to sell what is theirs and thats that by doing this game companies are trying to eliminate the selling of used games this is basically stealing our freedom from us.

The only way I see them doing this effectively without a total backlash from the gaming community is taking the route that Bioware took with mass effect 2 and the Cerberus Network. New copies came with an access code for CN or it could be purchased through 360 marketplace. With access to CN also came access to the free DLCs that they released.

This is very greedy specially when you think and probably know that the game will not drop in price there just going to tell you to pay for online play ontop of the regular price which is a total rip off! All this is going to do is annoy gamers and make them look for ways around this either by looking for unlicensed servers, hacked servers or anything else. What there trying to stop will actually become a bigger problem and issue imo.

Game £40
Online play £10
xbox live if its xbox ?? - never paid for it and experiencing it for the first time this month, but if i have to pay to play a game too... why pay for live?

Too bad they won't see money from me, I don't really play online so I won't be affected.

Sad thing is, as history has proved again and again, there will always be fools willing to part with their money and will pay for this.

Take the Modern Warfare boycott for example, those who were highly outspoken against the game still bought and played the game online, then there are those who just won't care and will pay anyways.

So in the end, these corporations still win as long as there are those willing to pay or piracy is able to be used as an excuse. The end result is more corporations jumping on board with the idea, in the future expect to pay monthly subscriptions for all of your legally bought games, even to play the single player campaigns.

There is no reason for this other than greed and corporations continuous hunger for profits, I suppose they need to pay for their private jet's, luxury cars/limousines and luxury condo's somehow..

Watch this encourage more piracy, you may as well download a cracked game you can't use online, only the same as buying it second hand and getting no online play. I HATE THIS.

People that think this is greedy, if you had a car and sold it would you give some of the money to the original manufacture ? As this is exactly the same scenario except your doing it with games.

"Game publishers have been complaining for a long time that they aren't getting their fair share of the second hand game market."

Their fair share is zero. That's what their getting. Case closed.

Look, game publishers should just allow gamers to host games locally on their computer which will minimize their cost for servers and allow games to be continued to be supported as long as there is a community of gamers to support it. It is greedy for publishers to charge extra for used purchases -- there's solutions to the problem that choose not to explore because they rather seek profit. The gaming community will have the final say on which companies they will support and as with any other industry greed will ultimately be their downfall.

Nah. Any game store would just need to put a sticker on the used game case that says "online play fee required" and lower the price of the used game disc/cartridge.

you know i gave it some thought and realized on important thing.
this almost brings console gamer up to par with PC gamers.
except PC gamers can't even resell/trade in their old games ever.
but pc gamers have had to deal with using a single code for online use for years, and it was no big deal when companies started tying those codes to your email to enable online play.
ofc console gamers still don't have the standards of features and such that PC games have, which hurts PC gamers more when those poor standards are transferred to PC ports of console games.
heck most of the time i can't even gift old PC games i have discs for because just to patch for single player the person i would gift to would have to use my email address to sign into the publishers' website.

Imagine you buy a used graphics card from, say, AMD, and you go to download the driver for the card and AMD says "sorry, you have to pay us $10 if you want do download that", all they would be doing is reducing the resale value of their hardware by $10.

This is no different. The problem is, the people that buy used games aren't going to run out and buy new games instead just because they have to pay that $10. All that'll happen is they'll wait for the price of the game to drop to the used price if the online component is important to them. But, if it does work out for the game companies, that's not their fault, their job is to make money. If you don't like them reducing the resale value of your games, don't buy their games at all.

New game buyers buy new games. Used game buyers buy used games or wait for the new price to drop. Take me for example, I've only bought 3 games in my life for over $30. But then, I don't have this odd desire people have to play the latest and greatest as soon as it's available (like movies, I wait for the rental).

It's not greedy customers trying to screw them, it's people that can't afford the newest games, or don't care to pay the premium for the latest and greatest (or not so great these days, it seems) but still want to game. I don't think people in the business of making money get that.

prime2515102 said,
It's not greedy customers trying to screw them, it's people that can't afford the newest games, or don't care to pay the premium for the latest and greatest (or not so great these days, it seems) but still want to game. I don't think people in the business of making money get that.

What business people get is that GameStop has flashed their profits all over the place from reselling used games. Honestly, I'm surprised it took Publishers this long to see what GameStop had going and wanting to cash in on it.

prime2515102 said,
Imagine you buy a used graphics card from, say, AMD, and you go to download the driver for the card and AMD says "sorry, you have to pay us $10 if you want do download that", all they would be doing is reducing the resale value of their hardware by $10.

This is no different. The problem is, the people that buy used games aren't going to run out and buy new games instead just because they have to pay that $10. All that'll happen is they'll wait for the price of the game to drop to the used price if the online component is important to them. But, if it does work out for the game companies, that's not their fault, their job is to make money. If you don't like them reducing the resale value of your games, don't buy their games at all.

New game buyers buy new games. Used game buyers buy used games or wait for the new price to drop. Take me for example, I've only bought 3 games in my life for over $30. But then, I don't have this odd desire people have to play the latest and greatest as soon as it's available (like movies, I wait for the rental).

It's not greedy customers trying to screw them, it's people that can't afford the newest games, or don't care to pay the premium for the latest and greatest (or not so great these days, it seems) but still want to game. I don't think people in the business of making money get that.

Then don't expect the people in the business of making money to give you access to something that costs them money continuously to provide to you.

I'm just waiting to see the fallout of this new paradigm once rental businesses like Gamefly or Blockbuster go out of business. Publishers will get even less money then they are now and probably come up with a new way to screw their customers. It's going to be awesomely terrible.

spacer said,
I'm just waiting to see the fallout of this new paradigm once rental businesses like Gamefly or Blockbuster go out of business. Publishers will get even less money then they are now and probably come up with a new way to screw their customers. It's going to be awesomely terrible.

This article left out the 7-day trial. Any game will come with 7 days of online play before you need to pay $10.

You guys are very near-sided.

soLoredd said,

This article left out the 7-day trial. Any game will come with 7 days of online play before you need to pay $10.

You guys are very near-sided.


And you're just ignorant.

soLoredd said,

This article left out the 7-day trial. Any game will come with 7 days of online play before you need to pay $10.

You guys are very near-sided.

The difference is that the reason services like GameFly are successful is that they're not on a seven-day limit. I pay my $25/mo., and in return, have up to two games at a time for as long as I want. That is the reason the service is worth my money - I work full time, and don't necessarily have a week to sit down and beat a game, but the fact that I can hold on to say Bioshock 2 for a month or even longer makes it worth it in the long run for me. This change alters the contract from "keep up to two games as long as you want" to "keep up to two games for a week at a time", which dramatically changes the end value of such a service.

In the end, I see this change potentially making services like GameFly not worth the cost, and therefore, as a result, I'll end up playing (and eventually buying) less games.

While I recognize the used market takes away from the development industry's profit margin, I think that this change more dramatically affects the rental market, and will cause poor repercussions across the board.

valiscariot said,

The difference is that the reason services like GameFly are successful is that they're not on a seven-day limit. I pay my $25/mo., and in return, have up to two games at a time for as long as I want. That is the reason the service is worth my money - I work full time, and don't necessarily have a week to sit down and beat a game, but the fact that I can hold on to say Bioshock 2 for a month or even longer makes it worth it in the long run for me. This change alters the contract from "keep up to two games as long as you want" to "keep up to two games for a week at a time", which dramatically changes the end value of such a service.

In the end, I see this change potentially making services like GameFly not worth the cost, and therefore, as a result, I'll end up playing (and eventually buying) less games.

While I recognize the used market takes away from the development industry's profit margin, I think that this change more dramatically affects the rental market, and will cause poor repercussions across the board.

It will have a down side to the rental market for games that you actually play online. Bioshock 2 doesn't have online gameplay does it? Never played it so wondering if this even has an effect on a game like that. Either way, the publishers of the games dont care about the renting service in the long run as their profits come from the sales of the games, not rentals. I guess a good question to ask is if the extra charge from second hand players will offset the loss in any profits they may or may not get from rental places paying fees.

SputnikGamer said,

It will have a down side to the rental market for games that you actually play online. Bioshock 2 doesn't have online gameplay does it? Never played it so wondering if this even has an effect on a game like that. Either way, the publishers of the games dont care about the renting service in the long run as their profits come from the sales of the games, not rentals. I guess a good question to ask is if the extra charge from second hand players will offset the loss in any profits they may or may not get from rental places paying fees.


Trust me... there will be lawsuits whether the publisher cares or not about game renting services...
I bet you work for one of these publishers as you seem to be very very VERY in favor of this...lol

SputnikGamer said,

It will have a down side to the rental market for games that you actually play online. Bioshock 2 doesn't have online gameplay does it? Never played it so wondering if this even has an effect on a game like that. Either way, the publishers of the games dont care about the renting service in the long run as their profits come from the sales of the games, not rentals. I guess a good question to ask is if the extra charge from second hand players will offset the loss in any profits they may or may not get from rental places paying fees.

Bioshock 2 does in fact have a multiplayer aspect, but again, I only mean multiplayer games (as these are the ones this move is specifically targeting). Single-player games will (hopefully) remain relatively unaffected, but given the fact that I (and as a result I presume many others) rent many games to determine whether or not they're worth an actual purchase, removing the ability to determine that at my leisure (which GameFly gives) will certainly affect the bottom line of sales, at least in regards to myself and I assume many others.

Will that loss be ineffectual in terms of the revenue created from the dipping of the used games market? Time will certainly tell how that will factor financially, but I will add that this type of approach does leave a bad taste in my mouth in terms of my studio/publisher respect, and while I realize that in that, at least, I am in the minority, it does matter at least somewhat. When I feel slighted by any business, be they games, movies, publishers, or even foodstuffs and general toiletries, I do what any sensible consumer would do in a capitalist society - I vote with my dollar. I'm certainly not planning on any drastic-type "boycott" at the moment, but I do have a wary eye open to the future. I'm not in the habit of being very forgiving of anyone who inconveniences me for the sake of money, even when they deliver products that I love.

It all makes sense to me. $10 seems fine... Publishers don't make any money on used-game sales. Plus it would help legitimize pirates.

Then again, I almost never buy used games.

ok so my friend buys a BMW new from the dealer. he then wants to sell it and I want to buy it... it would be OK for BMW to get a chunk of that money (16% roughly of the amount of the original price) because they are not making money out of that car anymore? come on... seriously...

chisss said,
ok so my friend buys a BMW new from the dealer. he then wants to sell it and I want to buy it... it would be OK for BMW to get a chunk of that money (16% roughly of the amount of the original price) because they are not making money out of that car anymore? come on... seriously...

does the car cost bmw money to keep it running past the deal of its original sale and warranty? no because the warranty transfers. does a game cost the publishers money to keep it running for the second owner. yes because its an online game with continues running costs to the publisher. come on... seriously... use your head

SputnikGamer said,

does the car cost bmw money to keep it running past the deal of its original sale and warranty? no because the warranty transfers. does a game cost the publishers money to keep it running for the second owner. yes because its an online game with continues running costs to the publisher. come on... seriously... use your head


I understand it costs money to run the servers but I don't see Sony charging for PSN... they make their money via downloadable content... instead of charging users $10 to be able to play again why don't add content to the game itself to generate revenue that way?
I think this whole $10 fee is not going to take off... especially because of the game rental services

djpailo said,
What happened to buying a game and just being abale to play it on a console/PC/online.

That literally NEVER happened. Ever. Okay so maybe for a week, but in the 1980s there were ring-based decoders and copy-prevention in the wild and crazy days of the 80s.

schiz-o-phren-ic said,
The future for gaming looks grim. Hello corporate gaming.

I'd be damned if I bought a used car and had to give the maker a cent.

The difference is that a used car doesn't continually cost the maker money the way an online game does.

SputnikGamer said,

The difference is that a used car doesn't continually cost the maker money the way an online game does.


yes it does if it's under warranty...

chisss said,

yes it does if it's under warranty...

that doesn't cost the car maker more money because that warranty was already paid for. when you purchase the car used with a warranty, it doesn't start over, it finished out what is left on its term. when you buy a game you do the same thing except that people resell there games after they beat it which means they have used up the "warranty"

Edited by SputnikGamer, May 21 2010, 3:04pm :

SputnikGamer said,

The difference is that a used car doesn't continually cost the maker money the way an online game does.


It doesn't cost the game company any more money if the game was is being used by person A than changed hands to person B. It's just a different person.

Xilo said,

It doesn't cost the game company any more money if the game was is being used by person A than changed hands to person B. It's just a different person.

Yes it does. Realize that if a game has 20-40 hours of online gameplay and the company expects to see an individual to spend 60 hours online at max, that cost gets calculated into their budgets. The second a second person plays AFTER the first player and plays it just as long, it cost them more money.

If what you say is true, then why doesn't the second owner of a car get a new fresh 60,000 mile warranty the same way the first person got a 60,000 mile warranty. that car should get a 120,000 mile warranty? makes sense. i see your logic......

Edited by SputnikGamer, May 21 2010, 5:31pm :

Xilo said,

It doesn't cost the game company any more money if the game was is being used by person A than changed hands to person B. It's just a different person.

+1

It is funny how many people on a tech news site have no idea what it takes to keep these games profitable and working online.

Lets break down the cost of a game for how it makes money for both the publisher and the reseller. These numbers will obviously be assumptions but look at the logic behind it, not the numbers.

Borderlands was a $60 game. Lets say in order for Gearbox to make profits at all from the development costs, the game has to sell for $20 first hand on every copy. Then in order to make the money back for advertisement, production, and shipping to retailers, the cost goes up $15. We are now sitting at a $35 game. This number may be high or may be low, it really doesn't matter for the sake of this argument. Add another 5 dollars of profit for Gamestop for selling the game. The last $20 are nothing but pure profits for Gearbox if that copy is never played online. Player 1 owns that game for a given amount of time and costs the company $10 over the course of a year($10 is based on what the companies in the article want to charge). That copy has now only made the Gearsoft $10 in profit. Player 1 sells the game back to Gamestop for $15 who turns around and sells it for $30 to Player 2. Gamestop has just made $35 on that copy. Player 2 plays it and used up the last $10 through his use of the servers from Gearsoft. Now Gearsoft hasn't even made a profit on that copy anymore. The game gets resold to Gamestop and then bought again. Now Gamestop is reaching $50 on a copy of a game while the people who made the game are paying for people playing it.

Sure some of this is greed, for instance how EA games closes servers to force you to buy the new game, but some of these companies are actually losing money. Not sure why people are complaining about the cost because in the end, to you the cost will be the same. People are not going to buy a used copy of Borderlands for $54.99 and then get charged $10 for online gameplay when they can buy the new copy for $59.99. The price of used games will go down so that it will actually be cheaper for anyone who doesn't want to play online at all.

Considering the vast majority of companies doing this...including EA... are hemorrhaging money at this point.... so calling it greed might be a bit unfair...even if it sucks to their customers, a lot are shutting down development house after development house and firing lots of people over the last year.

Are you insane? They are laying off people for the stock price. Games, as with all forms of entertainment, have remained recession proof.

For example, Hollywood studios have made record profits this past year despite the recession and yet they used that excuse to drive down wages and thereby maximizing profits even more.

Edited by excalpius, May 21 2010, 2:23pm :

excalpius said,
Are you insane? They are laying off people for the stock price. Games, as with all forms of entertainment, have remained recession proof.

For example, Hollywood studios have made record profits this past year despite the recession and yet they used that excuse to drive down wages and thereby maximizing profits even more.

Yeah, no, EA currently oppearates at -677.00 Mil profit.

Sony? -451.27 Mil

THQ, a small house is losing -9.02 Mil a year.

one of the few houses TURNING a profit is Activision, which is making 300.00 Mil a year, but that's hardly a safe bet.

Steam is successful (games totally linked to your account)
App Store is successful (Apps (games) totally linked to your account)

The only reason why they are starting to do this is because a fair amount of people have moved onto the more restrictive digital distribution model. This quite frankly is just trying to force things along.

The PSP Go failed because Sony tried to force people onto a download model when pretty much everyone was used to buying UMDs. I bet the PSP2 will be download only and yet people will buy it (me probably included) since it's a new system that at least starts from scratch as download only. Sony will then be very, very happy.

Only way to change this is to stop buying from the App Store/Steam/Xbox Live/iTunes Store/Playstation Store etc. etc.

It could be worse - at least they aren't following Nintendo by linking downloads to a specific device...

Fillado said,
Steam is successful (games totally linked to your account)
App Store is successful (Apps (games) totally linked to your account)

The only reason why they are starting to do this is because a fair amount of people have moved onto the more restrictive digital distribution model. This quite frankly is just trying to force things along.

The PSP Go failed because Sony tried to force people onto a download model when pretty much everyone was used to buying UMDs. I bet the PSP2 will be download only and yet people will buy it (me probably included) since it's a new system that at least starts from scratch as download only. Sony will then be very, very happy.

Only way to change this is to stop buying from the App Store/Steam/Xbox Live/iTunes Store/Playstation Store etc. etc.

It could be worse - at least they aren't following Nintendo by linking downloads to a specific device...

That's not worse. You can sell your Wii with the WiiWare/VC games at least since they're tied to the console and not your Club Nintendo account or your credit card.

This is just another attempt to cut down on piracy, speaking on the terms of the xbox 360 that is. If you pirated a copy of Bad Company 3 (I know its not real but just for example) then you would not be able to enjoy the online features of the game because of this. The codes that are included in the game can only be used once so once one person gets the code, all those who pirated it would not be able to play online because the code for that copy would already be used. If you ask me this is a smart idea to cut down on piracy. Believe it or not a few years ago i was actually discussing something like this to a few friends of mine and now here it is.

Actually no. The current system keeps people from playing online without a valid code. And this does nothing new to stop people from generating a fake key to play the game in single player/local to the PC mode.

It's only about greed. Trying to milk as many $'s out of each point of sale. It's what happens when game companies that are supposed to be making games that are fun get bought up by megacorps run by MBAs, accountants, and suits who've never even played a game.

Man, thank goodness I don't play online. I tried once but then an 11 year old told me I could go f myself and eat s---. Then I tried to keep playing online and people would quit before I could win the game or otherwise complain loudly over a mic. Now that I think of it, I haven't even touched my 360 in months. I think I spend more time playing NES games on the Wii than anything else. NES games.... now THOSE were great video games

I have made it my resolve to boycott all game publishers that engage in this practice. This way the studios get less revenue than they would otherwise, because they're not making the first sale in my case.

The consumers have the power in the industry. Fight this by joining the boycott.

dotf said,
I have made it my resolve to boycott all game publishers that engage in this practice. This way the studios get less revenue than they would otherwise, because they're not making the first sale in my case.

The consumers have the power in the industry. Fight this by joining the boycott.

They run a monopoly to begin with, boycott won't do anything to their enterprise.

I stopped buying EA Sports games when they started shutting down game servers for titles less than a year old! Last straw was Madden09 we had just bought and was enjoying...sure it had been out for 8-12mths but to close down its online features because they want ya to buy Madden10 etc ?

Well their plan to force this user to buying the new game failed! I no longer buy FIFA, Madden, tiger Woods golf etc etc nope EA can go jump

$10 for 2nd hand access to online mode ? lol they will probably shut the server down 2 mths after you hand over the money.

Baked said,
I stopped buying EA Sports games when they started shutting down game servers for titles less than a year old! Last straw was Madden09 we had just bought and was enjoying...sure it had been out for 8-12mths but to close down its online features because they want ya to buy Madden10 etc ?

Well their plan to force this user to buying the new game failed! I no longer buy FIFA, Madden, tiger Woods golf etc etc nope EA can go jump

$10 for 2nd hand access to online mode ? lol they will probably shut the server down 2 mths after you hand over the money.

Probably not if the second hand players keep coming in. Those players would be paying for that server to stay online.

Baked said,
I stopped buying EA Sports games when they started shutting down game servers for titles less than a year old! Last straw was Madden09 we had just bought and was enjoying...sure it had been out for 8-12mths but to close down its online features because they want ya to buy Madden10 etc ?

Well their plan to force this user to buying the new game failed! I no longer buy FIFA, Madden, tiger Woods golf etc etc nope EA can go jump

$10 for 2nd hand access to online mode ? lol they will probably shut the server down 2 mths after you hand over the money.

And you can take into account that all new sports games are is a graphics update. There will still be players with certain ability rankings, the same plays will be there, just now the super wide-reciever from '07 is a different name on a different team in '10.

Baked said,
$10 for 2nd hand access to online mode ? lol they will probably shut the server down 2 mths after you hand over the money.

+1

I think it's just pure greed. You don't tool manufactures like DeWalt and Craftsman charging pawn shops, Craig's list, or garage sales being assessed a charge to those people! If game publishers want to get a piece of this pie they need to create better games with longevity and figure out another way to get into the used game market. This is just a thought but why don't they create a platform where gamers can sell their used games. Why don't the publishers come together and make their own used game store either brick and mortar or online. This reminds me of when mp3s started to become big and how musicians and music companies reacted. And look at how fruitful all of those early efforts have become....

I've said it before and I say it again. Offer 2 versions of games, singleplayer and multiplayer. Charge less for the singleplayer edition so the people who do not play online can get those games cheaper! Why should single player users have to pay for development and resources of multiplayer servers?

Emil Valsson said,
I've said it before and I say it again. Offer 2 versions of games, singleplayer and multiplayer. Charge less for the singleplayer edition so the people who do not play online can get those games cheaper! Why should single player users have to pay for development and resources of multiplayer servers?

And how does the publisher get his money out of 2nd hand sales for the multiplayer version? Won't work.

testman said,

And how does the publisher get his money out of 2nd hand sales for the multiplayer version? Won't work.

There suppose to make a game people want to keep buying and playing, they made there money as part of the initial sale.

So, does this 'fee' apply to those who have multiple accounts on their PS3? For instance, I buy an online racing game that both I and my son enjoy to play. Does this mean I would need a 'key' for both his account and mine? Or does the key get locked to a unit. Because, if that's the case, I see far more problems with this than the 'second hand' market.

Intrinsica said,
Hm, I hadn't thought of that. I wonder how this will be handled...

I have a bad feeling that is how they will handle it, each account will need it's own 'key'. That would be absurd, but we have begun seeing these tactics for PSN titles.

SaltLife said,
So, does this 'fee' apply to those who have multiple accounts on their PS3? For instance, I buy an online racing game that both I and my son enjoy to play. Does this mean I would need a 'key' for both his account and mine? Or does the key get locked to a unit. Because, if that's the case, I see far more problems with this than the 'second hand' market.

you mean the accounts you are legally required to say you only have on of?

SaltLife said,
So, does this 'fee' apply to those who have multiple accounts on their PS3? For instance, I buy an online racing game that both I and my son enjoy to play. Does this mean I would need a 'key' for both his account and mine? Or does the key get locked to a unit. Because, if that's the case, I see far more problems with this than the 'second hand' market.

I doubt they've considered that. They appear to be looking no farther than the potential $10 bil flapping in their faces.

AgentGray said,

you mean the accounts you are legally required to say you only have on of?

I'm not quite sure I follow what you mean? I have my own 'master account' my son has his own 'sub account' since he is a minor. This is well within my legal rights according to the TOS stated by Sony. He is under my account. However, and I'm going with Activisions TOS on my MW2 disk, it states that I am allowed to use this program solely for my personal use. Hence, my PS3, my master and sub accounts.

My concern, is will this change now affect this part of the agreement.

Also, I don't understand where people are coming off saying if I sell the game.. it states clearly that you are not allowed to sell, rent, distribute or transfer without their consent.

It's really shameful because companies such as Gamestop, Bestbuy, Gamefly, etc.. All pay site fees as it is, so now we have to pay as well.

Colin-uk said,
I guess people will just sell their accounts along with the game then

Hey, I have individual game accounts for any game I pay full retail for, if I want to re-sell it, I will.

Hmm. It's not as if this'll encourage piracy on some games or anything. I guess it depends on whether a game has online multiplayer with key validation e.t.c.

And surely the ability to "deactivate" a machine when uninstalling a game means users can circumvent this easily.

smooth_criminal1990 said,
Hmm. It's not as if this'll encourage piracy on some games or anything. I guess it depends on whether a game has online multiplayer with key validation e.t.c.

I'd say good luck, but I wouldn't mean it. These systems are generally being used by Xbox Live and PSN, and likely won't really be affected by key passers, except, of course, on the PC.

The best that people can do is create a key generator, which will inevitably be done for some games, and use up someone's code before they get the chance too. This problem is not as simple as it used to be because you can't just decompile the code that processes the key because it resides on the server. But, if you get enough people together, then you can probably start to figure out the formula/hash used.

smooth_criminal1990 said,
And surely the ability to "deactivate" a machine when uninstalling a game means users can circumvent this easily.

There is no ability to deactivate a machine to circumvent this procedure. You are permanently linking a one-time use code to some account, such as your Xbox Live or PSN account. Assuming a PC, you would probably have it linked to your EA account (actually, I think this happens anyway, even on the Xbox at least). So, uninstalling/deactivating means, yes, it can be installed somewhere else, but it does not mean they can reuse your key. Of course, on the PC, the executable can be modified to surpass the key check, or otherwise validate it (there are many ways).

Edited by pickypg, May 21 2010, 2:03pm :

pickypg said,
Of course, on the PC, the executable can be modified to surpass the key check, or otherwise validate it (there are many ways).

Not viable as they are not idiots to allow software without a key to connect to their server. Ever played Diablo 2 with a fake CD-Key that by all rights shouldn't work? Tried connecting to Battle.net with it? Well, there you go.

Metodi Mitov said,
Not viable as they are not idiots to allow software without a key to connect to their server. Ever played Diablo 2 with a fake CD-Key that by all rights shouldn't work? Tried connecting to Battle.net with it? Well, there you go.
Just because Blizzard got it right does not mean everyone else will get it right. I can happily say that I have not tried to use a key generator to get onto Battle.net.

With that said, in games that do not require a persistent connection to the server, it can very likely be worked around in most cases. And, unfortunately for the developers, it's not because they were necessarily idiots about their approach, but in many cases the pirates are extremely creative. For instance, look at what people did with Ubisoft's DRM, which I thought was a stretch to require for single player. Blizzard was smart about it, and you play through their system and the server is always phoning home to talk to Blizzard's servers. Now, if you take the example of a modern Quake game, there is no where that it needs to phone home too, except maybe a master server list. Chances are that your game isn't in contact with the company's servers, except maybe during map transitions, and if you fail to correspond properly then the worst they can is tell the server to stop hosting you, which could also be modified to ignore the request.

These are not easy changes because it requires deciphering the decompiled components handling this information, but with enough will, then they will be found eventually and it does happen quite frequently (a lot of Ubisoft counter solutions are to create your own fake DRM server and have your copy of the game phone to that--this can of course all be done without any code changes through a hosts file change, but the server was reverse engineered).

pickypg said,
Just because Blizzard got it right does not mean everyone else will get it right. I can happily say that I have not tried to use a key generator to get onto Battle.net.

With that said, in games that do not require a persistent connection to the server, it can very likely be worked around in most cases. And, unfortunately for the developers, it's not because they were necessarily idiots about their approach, but in many cases the pirates are extremely creative. For instance, look at what people did with Ubisoft's DRM, which I thought was a stretch to require for single player. Blizzard was smart about it, and you play through their system and the server is always phoning home to talk to Blizzard's servers. Now, if you take the example of a modern Quake game, there is no where that it needs to phone home too, except maybe a master server list. Chances are that your game isn't in contact with the company's servers, except maybe during map transitions, and if you fail to correspond properly then the worst they can is tell the server to stop hosting you, which could also be modified to ignore the request.

These are not easy changes because it requires deciphering the decompiled components handling this information, but with enough will, then they will be found eventually and it does happen quite frequently (a lot of Ubisoft counter solutions are to create your own fake DRM server and have your copy of the game phone to that--this can of course all be done without any code changes through a hosts file change, but the server was reverse engineered).

True, it can be done. Additionally, battle.net and WoW have also been cloned to achieve that result, but in most cases those servers have crappy support, rules that make the game boring (i.e. lvl-ing to 50 in WoW in under 5 minutes) or very low population. Either way, it's not worth the time to try and play the game that way. Still, people do exist who do it and then brag to the world about their great achievements on some random server. I say... let them go at it, as I certainly wouldn't want someone with that kind of attitude anywhere near me.

Even so, Blizzard's old battle.net (prior to merging WoW and battle.net) used to allow multiple clients with the same CD-Key too and they didn't seem to bother too much about it either, for instance you could connect to US East with your CD-Key, and a friend of yours would freely be able to connect to US West or any of the other servers. No accounts or CD-Keys got banned due to it, even though I'm pretty sure they were aware of the problem and it would have been easy to compare logged in CD-Keys between realms.

I'll admit, I used to download games off torrents and such, but it was usually to see if I liked the game well enough to buy it, and I always buy new, so I really don't care about the $10 for second hand users to be on-line, it's just amusing to watch game companies trying to get more money out of it and even more so to watch people defending them.

I don't know.. In a way they are and then they aren't. They are greedy by killing the point of used games...10 dollars of a fee while a new game does not have the fee. But then they are truely losing money and at least they do permit cash unlike Apple where they restrict what you buy so you cannot make profit from reselling iPads...

Arcanevoid85 said,
Greedy

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

It like this solution because it will bring the cost of used games down. My local gamestop tends to sell games that just hit the market but were returned as used for only 5-10 dollars cheaper than new. By doing this, it will force them to bring the price down further because after the extra charge, the used would have costed as much as the new. I played Borderlands but never online. I would save money by buying it used because I had no need for an online charge.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

Not really.

When I purchase the game, it's expected that, if I wanted to, I could keep playing online until the disc fails or the game goes offline, whatever, because included in the price was what the company felt was a reasonable fee to cover the future associated costs of me playing online.

If I choose to give up that disc to someone else to play online, they're not consuming any more resources than if I kept it and kept playing.

Your food analogy is flawed. It's not as though once you loan the disc out you can BOTH play online. You're not consuming twice the amount of product or service or whatever you want to call it.

Conjor said,
not really... think about it like this: ...
I might change the analogy a little: A person purchases a pass for a buffet from FoodStop and eats there all day. When he gets tired of the food, he decides to sell back his ticket to FoodStop for some amount of money, at which point FoodStop resells the same ticket. Now, two people are getting the buffet from the same ticket, and FoodStop profited twice--the second time quite heftily even though the "used" ticket is cheaper than a new ticket. Who would buy a new ticket?

ronchie02 said,
When I purchase the game, it's expected that, if I wanted to, I could keep playing online until the disc fails or the game goes offline, whatever, because included in the price was what the company felt was a reasonable fee to cover the future associated costs of me playing online.
You're quite right, but by selling the barely reduced price used (usually, as Sputnik pointed out, it's barely even $5-10), the second person, who otherwise would have bought it new, can now demand support for their game. Not to mention, with the more-and-more common persistent worlds, now companies are storing a lot more data because each disc corresponds to more than one user. I realize most people don't think about data as being expensive, but it's not cheap to run a data warehouse because you are forced to have data backups, multiple drives, etc; infrastructure quickly adds up.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)
...

Bad comparision as the buffet is limited to the person ordering it and you can't "pass your right" as stated by restaurant rules (I'm pretty sure that 100% cover their ass with this). But nothing prohibits you to "pass your right" on a game. If I buy a game and happily gives it to a friend, I didn't sell it so why should they receive money, again? If you sell your car, goods, house, ... you think that the original manufacturer has a right to claim money on it because of "lost of sale" ??? Time to start to pay them back then ...

The problem with this is that it will be a new trend, not only on games but someday dvd, consumer goods, ... .

pickypg said,
I might change the analogy a little: A person purchases a pass for a buffet from FoodStop and eats there all day. When he gets tired of the food, he decides to sell back his ticket to FoodStop for some amount of money, at which point FoodStop resells the same ticket. Now, two people are getting the buffet from the same ticket, and FoodStop profited twice--the second time quite heftily even though the "used" ticket is cheaper than a new ticket. Who would buy a new ticket?

You're quite right, but by selling the barely reduced price used (usually, as Sputnik pointed out, it's barely even $5-10), the second person, who otherwise would have bought it new, can now demand support for their game. Not to mention, with the more-and-more common persistent worlds, now companies are storing a lot more data because each disc corresponds to more than one user. I realize most people don't think about data as being expensive, but it's not cheap to run a data warehouse because you are forced to have data backups, multiple drives, etc; infrastructure quickly adds up.

Another thing to look at is that games these days are expected to last one gamer about 30-40 hours game play max with the exception of games like MW2. So the first player spends 60 on the game when it is originally purchases, allowing for that calculated 30-40 hours of game play. Lets say he only plays 20 hours and then sells it. That means about another 20 hours of game play are covered with the original purchase. But then a third player gets the same copy after that. Now the game is being played more than it was payed to be played on the server. If the original cost only pays for one person to fully play the game, the second person then does cost the company money which is the case with games like MW2 and many EA games that store everything online.

You guys are looking way to far into my analogy.... I wasn't going for a 1:1 correspondence here, just another way of looking at the situation. The game industry thinks of their product as something that isn't consumed when used or sold (like the "rights" to a buffet), so when someone who is done with their "buffet", if they pass it to someone else, that's viewed as a lost sale, just as a restaurant would view a passed "right" to a buffet as a lost sale.

Maybe a better analogy would be buying a years pass to a theme park - many of which are non-transferable. Say, for example, I have riden all of the rides in the park, and its only been 2 monthes. Theres still 10 monthes left on my years pass. Do you not see a problem of me selling that pass to another person? I have paid my dues to the park owner to go on those rides. The other person has not. Regardless if I have given up "my entitlement" to go on those rides, and passed those rights onto the next person, there is something intangable that you are not passing on to the next person...

When you purchase a game, aside from actually paying for the content (like getting into the park to see the rides), you are paying for an experience, the actual enjoyment of the content. This is not something that the producer (or park owner) can control once you have experienced it. It is yours, and you cannot sell it or get rid of it.

What these game producers want is to better control this "experience" factor that players get when they play the game. A big part of playing a game is getting this "enjoyment / experience" out of it. Once you have enjoyed the game, there's really no need to play it again, which is why people sell them. Its also a major driving point to BUY the game.

When you buy a game, you are not only paying for content, or access to that content (which many people tend to think is the main issue here) - you are buying the experience of that game. This is what the producers are charging that 10 bucks for, the EXPERIENCE, not THE CONTENT.

SputnikGamer said,

Another thing to look at is that games these days are expected to last one gamer about 30-40 hours game play max with the exception of games like MW2. So the first player spends 60 on the game when it is originally purchases, allowing for that calculated 30-40 hours of game play. Lets say he only plays 20 hours and then sells it. That means about another 20 hours of game play are covered with the original purchase. But then a third player gets the same copy after that. Now the game is being played more than it was payed to be played on the server. If the original cost only pays for one person to fully play the game, the second person then does cost the company money which is the case with games like MW2 and many EA games that store everything online.

30-40 hours? Are you serious? What about Blizzard and battle.net? By all means, they got shafted big-time with WarCraft III, StarCraft, Diablo 1 and 2 as those games are still being played years after their release and they are still being allowed to connect to battle.net.

Conjor said,
Maybe a better analogy would be buying a years pass to a theme park - many of which are non-transferable. Say, for example, I have riden all of the rides in the park, and its only been 2 monthes. Theres still 10 monthes left on my years pass. Do you not see a problem of me selling that pass to another person? I have paid my dues to the park owner to go on those rides. The other person has not. Regardless if I have given up "my entitlement" to go on those rides, and passed those rights onto the next person, there is something intangable that you are not passing on to the next person...

When you purchase a game, aside from actually paying for the content (like getting into the park to see the rides), you are paying for an experience, the actual enjoyment of the content. This is not something that the producer (or park owner) can control once you have experienced it. It is yours, and you cannot sell it or get rid of it.

What these game producers want is to better control this "experience" factor that players get when they play the game. A big part of playing a game is getting this "enjoyment / experience" out of it. Once you have enjoyed the game, there's really no need to play it again, which is why people sell them. Its also a major driving point to BUY the game.

When you buy a game, you are not only paying for content, or access to that content (which many people tend to think is the main issue here) - you are buying the experience of that game. This is what the producers are charging that 10 bucks for, the EXPERIENCE, not THE CONTENT.

Except for the part that the game is completely resell-able, the only issue second-hand owners would have is the ability to play on-line. I don't know about you, but I prefer experiencing the single player campaign and the story of the game before jumping in on-line play. Sometimes I don't even bother with on-line play at all... probably why my SC 2 beta is just sitting there right now. Still, even without getting charged those $10, you can still experience the game, just not on-line. Your point still doesn't make sense as giving your theme park access pass does not allow you entry into the theme park, period.... whereas buying a second hand game would pretty much mean that you can get into the theme park, and even use the rides, just not with others at the same time unless you pay an additional fee.

Metodi Mitov said,

30-40 hours? Are you serious? What about Blizzard and battle.net? By all means, they got shafted big-time with WarCraft III, StarCraft, Diablo 1 and 2 as those games are still being played years after their release and they are still being allowed to connect to battle.net.

Guess you never noticed the advertising the do inside of bnet? Also notice how those games are actually hosted. None of those games are technically played online. You play them on your machine or connect to someone elses machine. Console games on the other hand are rarely played on the console itself. They run on the game servers. The cost of an online host doing nothing but posting IP's for you to connect to is nowhere near the cost of running a machine that plays hundreds of games at a time for all the games connecting into them.

Again, don't look for a 1:1 correspondence with every thing I'm saying. All these companies want is for every person who owns the game to pay for the "experience" of the game.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

Not quite right...it would be more correct to compare to buying a car, reselling it and the manufacturer charging the new owner a fee for driving it on the streets.

sviola said,

Not quite right...it would be more correct to compare to buying a car, reselling it and the manufacturer charging the new owner a fee for driving it on the streets.

No because a car doesn't cost the manufacturer money to keep running. A game costs the maker money every time it gets online.

SputnikGamer said,
No because a car doesn't cost the manufacturer money to keep running. A game costs the maker money every time it gets online.
Usually, but with newer cars, you can get things that actually does cost the manufacturer money and you do need to buy into, even as a rebuyer.

Rebuyers need to register (pay) with the manufacturer to get features such as OnStar working again, even though it's usually free for a couple of months/years for the original owner. OnStar is analogous to online play.

ronchie02 said,
Your food analogy is flawed. It's not as though once you loan the disc out you can BOTH play online. You're not consuming twice the amount of product or service or whatever you want to call it.

I think his analogy is quite accurate. Don't forget that you alone own the right to play the game, not the game itself. And in this case your right is not transferable. And it's same thing as in his analogy.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

When I buy something...ANYTHING...I have the right to do anything I want with said purchace. There is no reason a third party should get involved weather it is a car, a dish, or a game.

jkrupa128 said,

When I buy something...ANYTHING...I have the right to do anything I want with said purchace. There is no reason a third party should get involved weather it is a car, a dish, or a game.

So your saying Gamestop shouldnt get any money because they didn't do anything to make that game? The publisher is the one you are buying rights from, not Gamestop. You are using the publishers servers to play that game online. Not Gamestops.

SputnikGamer said,

No because a car doesn't cost the manufacturer money to keep running. A game costs the maker money every time it gets online.

Not correct: when I bought my car I got 4 years/50,000 miles of free manteinance; if I sell the car the remaining time will be used by the buyer. If publishers wants to cherge more they shoul clearly state on the box: the game will be playable online for XXXXX.
As it is right now is just a scam.

Fritzly said,
Not correct: when I bought my car I got 4 years/50,000 miles of free manteinance; if I sell the car the remaining time will be used by the buyer. If publishers wants to cherge more they shoul clearly state on the box: the game will be playable online for XXXXX.
As it is right now is just a scam.
Unrelated, but I would bet that a lot of the non-core warranties are only valid for the original buyer. Besides, those warranties that do stick around (generally the ones based on mileage and age of the car), those have no effect on the manufacturer (e.g., publisher) until you have a problem.

The exact same can be said about games. Single player is the warrantied part (now, I agree, when we're only talking about single player, pre-loaded "D"LC is never reasonable to me), but it should be, and is patched for used copies, just as warranties and recalls cover used copies. However, like I said earlier, extra bells and whistles that require continued, unpaid support, such as the multiplayer servers and the persisted data (like in Battlefield 2, your rank), requires an additional fee for after market purchasers. The exact same thing happens with cars, and it should be expected because suddenly it's a new user, and they have to track even more information. Once again, this infrastructure is not free.

Arcanevoid85 said,
Greedy

Economically it doesn't make any sense for a few reasons...

1) If I pay for a new game, I benefit from the online services. It's considered a free perk. If I sell the game, the publisher doesn't have payment revoked - they still have the same amount of money to pay for that free perk as they did when I bought it. It shouldn't matter to the publisher who owns the game - only that the game was paid for. If they can't offer long term services to all for the price of the game, they should charge more.

2) The online service that keep a game "fresh" such as new DLC's and the ever-changing in-game experiences of online gaming enhance the demand for old games - and the resale value for me. As I mentioned in 1 though, this should really have nothing to do with the game studio.

3) If I'm selling a game, it's because it sucked (this includes games that get stale for lack of DLC or online play that's fun in the long run) and I want to liquidate the crappy asset at a loss so that I can replace it with a better game. Why should a game studio get paid more when they make a crappy game that causes it to be re-sold than when they make a good game I want to keep forever?!? This makes no economic sense and results in market incentives that encourage developers to make crappy online games that people will re-sell so they can double-dip with online play fees.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

This is a terrible analogy. A better analogy would be one comparing apples to apples, intellectual property to intellectual property, such as CDs or DVDs. Imagine you buy a CD and listen to it. Then you sell it to a friend. Does it make sense for the music studio to charge your friend a fee before he or she can listen to the CD?

Conjor said,

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

Glad you asked if you were right, because you're not.

When you go to a buffet you are on the property of the store, sitting at their table (renting a seat). You're not authorized to sublet your set to your friend because those are the rules on the property of the buffet operator. Nothing prevents a buffet owner from allowing "tag-team dining" and honestly it probably wouldn't impact the bottom line much since I'd rather eat with my friends than after them. From physical standpoind though, an organized tag team could consume far more of the service than a single customer otherwise would. This is not the case with online games though.

When I buy a game I am purchasing physical media. The online capabilities are a bonus extension to what usually amounts to a stand-alone game that has inhrent value as a stand-alone game. The online capabilities keep it fresh through DLC's, ensure that I have something to do when I beat the "story", and IMHO increase the resale value a little. If I sell game to someone, I simply transfer my prepetual access to the online component - I don't use up more of the online services than I otherwise would.

So if you insist on a buffet analogy, it'd be more like a "Diner's Club" where I have a membership to an all you can eat buffet club of some sort, then I sell the access card to you and you now have access to the same buffet. The club already got it's mony for the membership, and serves no more food per meal than it would have otherwise.

Also, keep in mind that presently I can rent a game, loan it to a friend etc. and try the game's full feature set before I buy. This scheme is promoted as "recouping lost sales from the used market" but it's really a scheme to make renters and borrowers pay for online services as well. Once again though, when I rent or borrow a game I'm not putting any more burden on the game producer than a normal owner could.

So my answer, go ahead and let a few game studios try this approach - let consumers encounter the hindrance of not being able to play borrowed, rented, second-hand games, and watch these studios see flagging sales as a result of this attempt to bite the hand that feeds them.

SputnikGamer said,

It like this solution because it will bring the cost of used games down. My local gamestop tends to sell games that just hit the market but were returned as used for only 5-10 dollars cheaper than new.

GameStop isn't paying that much for the used games. If you want cheaper games then do the work GameStop is doing for you currently - find someone with the used copy of the game and buy it from them directly. You will always be able to get it cheaper that way - if you're willing to put in the effort. GameStop puts in the effort of finding used games and people to sell them to - and the markup goes to pay for that effort, infrastructure, and payroll.

pickypg said,
I might change the analogy a little: A person purchases a pass for a buffet from FoodStop and eats there all day. When he gets tired of the food, he decides to sell back his ticket to FoodStop for some amount of money, at which point FoodStop resells the same ticket. Now, two people are getting the buffet from the same ticket, and FoodStop profited twice--the second time quite heftily even though the "used" ticket is cheaper than a new ticket. Who would buy a new ticket?

That's a bad analogy - it's more like if I buy the pass that is punched for each meal. I eat one meal, get it punched, and sell it. That person cannot extend the same meal, but they can go in and get it punched for subsequent meals. And hosting a game server is far cheaper than providing a buffet. Food is physical property. Online gaming is a service. So a good analogy would compare a service to a service.


pickypg said,
You're quite right, but by selling the barely reduced price used (usually, as Sputnik pointed out, it's barely even $5-10), the second person, who otherwise would have bought it new, can now demand support for their game. Not to mention, with the more-and-more common persistent worlds, now companies are storing a lot more data because each disc corresponds to more than one user. I realize most people don't think about data as being expensive, but it's not cheap to run a data warehouse because you are forced to have data backups, multiple drives, etc; infrastructure quickly adds up.

If the companies are concerned about extra consumer data floating around, I invite them to delete mine if I haven't played in a while. Next time you find someone in the field of marketing, please record a video of you pitching the idea of them voluntarily deleting consumer data of any kind "to save disk space" and link it here so I can watch them laugh at you!

Avalanche said,

If you sell your car, goods, house, ... you think that the original manufacturer has a right to claim money on it because of "lost of sale" ??? Time to start to pay them back then ...

Interestingly, under the "Fair Tax" proposal (http://www.FairTax.org) any used goods would be tax free (includig cars, houses, property, airplanes, video games, whatever). It promotes recycling.

SputnikGamer said,

Now the game is being played more than it was payed to be played on the server.

This falls into the category of "Not the consumer's problem." Tell the gaming companies to hire some decent actuaries if their games are too cheap to pay for the resources used.

The market pressure forces the gaming companes to do more with less. This is accomplished through the process of creativity and innovation. If your competitors succeed and you fail at this then dreaming up ways to charge the cosnumer more won't fix your creativity problem and will only hasten your market exit.

Keep in mind, these bloated gaming companies are taking up space in the market that a new, more creative upstart could be taking up. So the longer one of these gaming titans hangs around with their stale ideas and whining about not making enough money, the longer we have to wait for someone better to take their place.

Avalanche said,

Bad comparision as the buffet is limited to the person ordering it and you can't "pass your right" as stated by restaurant rules (I'm pretty sure that 100% cover their ass with this). But nothing prohibits you to "pass your right" on a game. If I buy a game and happily gives it to a friend, I didn't sell it so why should they receive money, again? If you sell your car, goods, house, ... you think that the original manufacturer has a right to claim money on it because of "lost of sale" ???


+1

[quote=Neb Okla said,]

This falls into the category of "Not the consumer's problem." Tell the gaming companies to hire some decent actuaries if their games are too cheap to pay for the resources used.

The market pressure forces the gaming companes to do more with less. This is accomplished through the process of creativity and innovation. If your competitors succeed and you fail at this then dreaming up ways to charge the cosnumer more won't fix your creativity problem and will only hasten your market exit.

Keep in mind, these bloated gaming companies are taking up space in the market that a new, more creative upstart could be taking up. So the longer one of these gaming titans hangs around with their stale ideas and whining about not making enough money, the longer we have to wait for someone better to take their place.[/quote

First you say its not the customers problem and then at the end that it is. make up your mind

SputnikGamer said,
First you say its not the customers problem and then at the end that it is. make up your mind

Eh? Where did he/she do that? All that was mentioned was that companies shouldn't whine about not getting enough money off their products.

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

+1 - Nice way of putting it

Conjor said,

not really... think about it like this:

Say one person goes to an all-you-can-eat buffet (the original game buyer). He can sit there all day, eating the same food over and over, and never have to pay more than he originally did for his seat - he can keep going back for more if he wants (he can keep playing the game all he wants)

Now lets say one of his buddies (the second-hand buyer for the game) comes in and wants some of the buffet. It would be stupid to think that the restaurant would allow the first person to pass off his rights for more of the buffet to the second person. Am I right?

The second person has to pay for his seat at the buffet. This is exactly what these game producers are doing. They don't want the first person letting the second person in on his rights to the buffet. Just because the first person is full and can't eat any more doesn't mean he can let the second person take his place.

It's nothing like that. If you buy a game second hand that means the other person no longer has it. So it's not 2 people sharing the rights, it's one. It's only ever 1.

thommcg said,

It's nothing like that. If you buy a game second hand that means the other person no longer has it. So it's not 2 people sharing the rights, it's one. It's only ever 1.

+1

It's not like they sell 200,000 games, and when they all sell there games and know there's 400,000 potential could be online.