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Buying and selling used video games has become a fact of life for many consumers -- but if game publishers get their way, it's about to become a lot more difficult.

One 2009 estimate puts the size of the used game business at about $2 billion, representing about one-third of all annual game sales. That's a big deal, especially for market leader Gamestop, which is thought to get over 40% of its profits from reselling traded-in games. Major retail chains like Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon have all dipped their toe in this lucrative market over the past year.

But while it's a serious earner for retailers, it's a complete bust for game publishers, who make nothing from secondhand sales of video games. They're looking for ways to get a piece of the pie -- or, failing that, to take the pie away altogether. Here's a few of the tactics they're using to make buying and selling used games harder for consumers.

Single-use download codes

Were you one of the millions who bought smash hit space opera Mass Effect 2 last month? If so, you probably noticed it came with a card bearing a code that gives the purchaser access to the game's online "Cerberus Network," containing all manner of downloadable goodies. Buy it used, though, and you'll have to pay a $15 fee first. Ouch.

Multiplayer restrictions

But those are extras, right? You can still play the game without the Cerberus Network, if you don't want to pay. Nobody's actually removing features from games for used purchasers, are they?

Actually, yes, they are. Just-released PSP shooter SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3, which proudly trumpets "a robust competitive multiplayer component...continuing the franchise’s tradition of unparalleled multiplayer gaming," requires buyers to register online before they can access its online modes -- and that's a one-time deal. Buy it used, and you'll have to fork over an additional $20 (which goes straight into the publisher's pocket) if you want to play online.

Digital distribution

Buying games through Xbox Live, the Playstation Network, Steam, or other download channels is convenient. It's quick, it's easy, and because your purchases are tied to your account (Xbox Live ID, Steam username, etc.), you can re-download them easily in the future. But what you gain in convenience, you lose in value: there's typically no way to transfer ownership of these games without giving up your whole account. Want to sell just one digitally-purchased game? Tough.

Limiting installs

Think you can avoid that by only buying physical copies of PC games? Not so. Take Spore, one of the best-selling titles of 2008: if you have a physical, boxed copy of the game, you can certainly resell it. But the buyer won't actually be able to install the game without the username and password originally used to register it. Don't have that? Better hope you can convince the seller to cough it up, or else you're out of luck.


http://videogames.yahoo.com/events/p...market/1390305
 

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so they want to take their ball and go home? I mean they're here to make money so fine, but good god it feels like the customer is getting abused more and more these days. Want to play your game hassle free on the PC? You're probably better off pirating it, want to sell it when you're through (if you bought it that is)? LOL good luck. Just seems like a bunch of bitter people that are angry people can actually sell what is theirs.
 

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Originally Posted by Opeth07 View Post
so they want to take their ball and go home? I mean they're here to make money so fine, but good god it feels like the customer is getting abused more and more these days. Want to play your game hassle free on the PC? You're probably better off pirating it, want to sell it when you're through (if you bought it that is)? LOL good luck. Just seems like a bunch of bitter people that are angry people can actually sell what is theirs.
Are you remotely familiar with how gamestop works?

There's a 60$ game.

50$ used with EDGE card. - 10$ savings. Gaurenteed to work, else refund / swap. The game was probably traded in for 24$, that's 26$ pure profit from gamestop (Provided it doesn't have to be shipped out to be resurfaced, storage fees, moving to different locations and it actually sells).

NONE of this goes to developers. If you made something and you're selling it, you'd want to sell a license to each person, right? I sure as hell would.
 

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Originally Posted by justarealguy View Post
If you made something and you're selling it, you'd want to sell a license to each person, right? I sure as hell would.
You transfer your license to the buyer of the game.
 

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Maybe if there wasn't so many crappy games out there, I would have to resell em. Only reason I resell games is because they suck.

I'm surprised they aren't pissed at systems like Gamefly. Or do they give royalties to publishers besides paying for the copies?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by justarealguy View Post
Are you remotely familiar with how gamestop works?

There's a 60$ game.

50$ used with EDGE card. - 10$ savings. Gaurenteed to work, else refund / swap. The game was probably traded in for 24$, that's 26$ pure profit from gamestop (Provided it doesn't have to be shipped out to be resurfaced, storage fees, moving to different locations and it actually sells).

NONE of this goes to developers. If you made something and you're selling it, you'd want to sell a license to each person, right? I sure as hell would.
Well unfortunately for them it doesn't work like that. We have right to second sale and it has been upheld in the courts. They just want to make an end run around the law.

I find all this stuff reprehensible and only buy games that don't do this and don't have over the top DRM. I mean if Bethesda can make millions selling games that only require the disc to be in the computer and nothing else than surely Ubisoft and others can do the same.

These big publisher's attitude seems to be "screw the customer", well if that is their attitude then screw them too. I hope we have another big video game crash and these people have to actually pretend to care about their customers again.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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Originally Posted by just_nuke_em
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Maybe if there wasn't so many crappy games out there, I would have to resell em. Only reason I resell games is because they suck.

I'm surprised they aren't pissed at systems like Gamefly. Or do they give royalties to publishers besides paying for the copies?

so why would you buy a game that sucks in the first place?kind of your own fault you did not do your research.
 

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New games on the Internet often cost less than pre-owned in store. I don't think i've bought 2nd hand since the PS2 era.
 

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Developers hate used games.

Watch the next 360 they make, could have a online account registry for each gamer that tells Microsoft if they have payed for it, if not... they'll make them get out their credit card.

Most people seem hurt in bad places over anti-used games... well guess what? It's all fair and legal... deal with it.

SOLUTION.... make used games have to be activated on YOUR account still, but if it's a used game (disk only, unless it's Steam, then you could gift your license) let you have it at a lower cost... say -25% off current price. Also original owner of game has forfeited his license when going to... "Gamestop".
 

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Originally Posted by Mygaffer
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Well unfortunately for them it doesn't work like that. We have right to second sale and it has been upheld in the courts. They just want to make an end run around the law.

I find all this stuff reprehensible and only buy games that don't do this and don't have over the top DRM. I mean if Bethesda can make millions selling games that only require the disc to be in the computer and nothing else than surely Ubisoft and others can do the same.

These big publisher's attitude seems to be "screw the customer", well if that is their attitude then screw them too. I hope we have another big video game crash and these people have to actually pretend to care about their customers again.


Watch, this will be changed one day for sure if they push hard enough. Anyway, I see an easy work around for them. All games sold buy "Ubisoft, etc." now must be "subscription based". And you will have to connect to the internet to download the game for install, only way now. Don't have internet? Too bad, they won't care. They'll make enough money off of every person who buys each month.

Single player? Extra $2-10 the first month since you might not play it twice.

This is all sad but a possible future. I do not agree with it however I won't go running to the GOV and say help. I won't need/nor want to. WE will simply boycott en mass.
 

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This is liable for anti-competitive practices. Make new purchases more appealing, but don't nuke used copies. Like vicious_fishes said, the used car market is booming, always has been, and the new car market is still booming.

They're not allowed to do this and no-one should be supporting them if you're a gamer. Even if you buy all you games new, don't support this. It's bordering illegal.
 

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Originally Posted by justarealguy
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NONE of this goes to developers. If you made something and you're selling it, you'd want to sell a license to each person, right? I sure as hell would.

Are you serious? So when I sell my car, ford *needs* a kickback from that sale? NO hell no! They were paid the initial transaction amount , EXACTLY what their budget said was the correct amount for their product.
 

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this is the same BS that Garth Brooks tried to pull with used Cd's-he lost.
so when i resale my car-does ford get another cut-NO! (just noticed the post above me-lol, great minds think alike)
i only resale the games i don't like-MAKE BETTER GAMES THEN!!!!

i say once it is sold the first time and they get their cut, thats it.

my local game stores don't have many, if any, used PC games because of the hassle of the activation code-there are a s load of console games.

-dimwit-
 

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Well I don't support pirating of PC games but I SURE DO love me some cracked DRM and stuff so if (which is RARE) I do get a used copy of a game I can work around it.

And no, I feel zero guilt about this.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by justarealguy View Post
Are you remotely familiar with how gamestop works?

There's a 60$ game.

50$ used with EDGE card. - 10$ savings. Gaurenteed to work, else refund / swap. The game was probably traded in for 24$, that's 26$ pure profit from gamestop (Provided it doesn't have to be shipped out to be resurfaced, storage fees, moving to different locations and it actually sells).

NONE of this goes to developers. If you made something and you're selling it, you'd want to sell a license to each person, right? I sure as hell would.
I'll compare this to something. Say you buy a used car, the used car lot is going to make a bundle and can give you a warranty. By your logic, the original manufacturers should be getting a kickback? lol.

If I buy something, I want the right to sell it again.
 

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People don't generally sell games they have a lot of fun with as well as have replay value. I remember the days of expansion packs, after beating a game you waited years for it to come out, you held onto your copy so when the expansion came out you could install a whole new campaign. Now...all you get is some half wit designed DLC that adds swords and stuff.

I'll buy games multiple times if it's well made and isn't annoying to play. I own 2 copies of Baldur's Gate II, The Witcher, Dragon age, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory, Freedom Force, Giants Citizen Kabuto and the list goes on.
 
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