1. #1

    Second hand game market; good or bad?

    I would like to have a discussion about the second hand market.

    Like many, when i was a teenager, used game shop were life saver for me. Could not afford breand new game or only a couple in a year, for birthday or christmas, most of my games came from those used game shop. This, and borowwing game from friend, allow me to try and play much more game that my finance could if buying new. So overall, used game market has been a godsend for my teenage years.

    However, i realize that anygame i bought second hand, absolutely 0 money was send to the developer/publisher that actually make the game to start with. Those are the people i wish to reward for making game i enjoy. Instead, the money i give to speculators of the game industry, buying low, selling high, making money on the back of game developers company. Is that fair?

    More importantly, i believe it is detrimental to the game industry. Because dev only make money on their initial purchase, they will come up with scheme to increase the number of initial sell like, multiplayer oriented game (COD), game lock to account (essentially PC though, Diablo, Starcraft, uplay and steamwork game), online pass (console version), it also incite those developer to shy away from creativity, to produce conventional game that sell well.

    Now that i have set the background, the real post start here.

    In it's life time, the game DVD may have several owner. Say that a game is seeing 3 owners (i believe this is an underestimation though), only the first purchase full price goes to the publisher, the other 2 to the used shop. So rather than making $60 on a single purchase, the publisher could make the same amount of money with 3 purchase of $20 each (minus some logistic of manufacturing and distributing). And let's be honest, at $20 the new game, second hand market are rarely lower, for newer game.

    If a game sold 3 times, once new and twice used, that there would be 3 consumers willing to pay money for the game. The problem is, if you sell a game $20 instead of $60, the second hand price might drop at $10 or $15. So the solution would be to block used game. that way, no unfair concurrence. Beside that way, consumer can keep their game.


    However, they are technical problem
    - how to link a game to a console/account? can it be done without always online scheme?
    - what if i change console because the old one stop working?
    - i would prevent the possibility to lend and borrow game between friend?
    - Would the game company do ther part and reduce the price of game to $20-$30 at least for AAA new release.


    The system is (mostly) working on PC thanks to digital distribution. The price of gaming i general is far cheaper, numerous sales on various digital distribution plateform. I own most 2012 title i want, the only missing are AC3 and FC3, and i never paid more than $15 for any of them. Bioshock infinite, for exemple, is only 28 € on GMG. Some company does not lower their prices for their newer game (activision, EA, ubisoft). but mainly because they are greedy.

    So yes, i think blocking used game would not be such a bad thing if, in counterpart, publisher accept to lower their price to at least $30 or even $20 for a brand new release.

  2. #2
    Second hand market did not kill any other forms of entertaiment. Fuck, you can get music/books/movies/magazines free from libraries and those markets didn't die off suddenly.

    There is nothing wrong with second hand game sales and will never be. If the harm was dangerous to the livelihood of a publisher, then there is something else going on than just sales of these products.

    What is harmful though, is game publisher practices towards customer rights to the product they have BOUGHT, not rented. A product they OWN, not "loan".
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  3. #3
    as long as the prices for unused games remain high, even when they are clearly past their prime (and PC games would have halved their price by then already), buying 2nd hand is good. However, if they get their act together and sell old games for like 20 bucks, I'd approve of some kind of locking out for used games.

    But certain games in their second run already are much cheaper than they were in their first run.
    I got Ar Tonelico Qoga for the PS3, new and unopened, for a mere 20€. On the other hand, if I wanted a new and unopened Ar Tonelico 1 (PAL version) for the PS2, I'd have to shell out like 55€. Thus, I don't approve and buy 2nd hand instead.

  4. #4
    So long as the publishers grossly overestimate the value of the games (60 Euros/Dollars for a 10-15 hour playthrough is extortion in my book) we need a second hand market. And by that I don't mean what GameStop et al do (buy used games for 3 euros, sell them for 25). I bought the disc. I should be able to do whatever the fuck I want to with it.
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  5. #5
    yes, that is excactly what i think about.

    At $60/60€/50£ price range, clear player need a second hand market if they are willing to wait a few month or years for a title
    However, i'm talking about a different business model. One that cut the middle man

    You could buy a used game for about $20 a years after it's release. Or you could buy the game brand new for $20 on release day. catch is, you can't sell it.
    This can only work if both game publisher lower their price and console manufacturer lock their system.

    When i used to be a console gamer, 90% of my games were second hand, i know the problem. However, i fond myself thinking i would be okay to lock second hand game if and only if, new game are a lot cheaper. In fact, i could play more game and sooner.

    ---------- Post added 2013-04-09 at 12:40 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sahugani View Post
    as long as the prices for unused games remain high, even when they are clearly past their prime (and PC games would have halved their price by then already), buying 2nd hand is good. However, if they get their act together and sell old games for like 20 bucks, I'd approve of some kind of locking out for used games.

    But certain games in their second run already are much cheaper than they were in their first run.
    I got Ar Tonelico Qoga for the PS3, new and unopened, for a mere 20€. On the other hand, if I wanted a new and unopened Ar Tonelico 1 (PAL version) for the PS2, I'd have to shell out like 55€. Thus, I don't approve and buy 2nd hand instead.
    i'm not talking about old game but brand new game, day one $20. nothing less. catch is, you can't sell it.

  6. #6
    Immortal Sigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    However, i realize that anygame i bought second hand, absolutely 0 money was send to the developer/publisher that actually make the game to start with. Those are the people i wish to reward for making game i enjoy. Instead, the money i give to speculators of the game industry, buying low, selling high, making money on the back of game developers company. Is that fair?
    The moment a game ends up on the stores shelves, and probably quite some time prior to that, any money that goes to the publisher / makers of the game has already been paid to them, Regardless of if it sells or not. Don't Fall for the "if you don't buy it we don't get paid BS"

    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    In it's life time, the game DVD may have several owner. Say that a game is seeing 3 owners (i believe this is an underestimation though), only the first purchase full price goes to the publisher, the other 2 to the used shop. So rather than making $60 on a single purchase, the publisher could make the same amount of money with 3 purchase of $20 each (minus some logistic of manufacturing and distributing). And let's be honest, at $20 the new game, second hand market are rarely lower, for newer game.
    Fair point, I would like to see the price drop on games by a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    If a game sold 3 times, once new and twice used, that there would be 3 consumers willing to pay money for the game. The problem is, if you sell a game $20 instead of $60, the second hand price might drop at $10 or $15. So the solution would be to block used game. that way, no unfair concurrence. Beside that way, consumer can keep their game.
    No, No, a thousand times No. This would kill people taking games round to friends, It would kill the used game market, and what would happen if you need to get a new console / online ID it is DRM of the worst kind. I bought the product, I should be alowed to do with it as I see fit. if that means selling it at a later date on ebay, trading it in against a new game, or Giving it to a friend, I should be allowed to. WHY is it that the games market is the only market that thinks it can demand money from second hand users. Not even the Music industry is that dumb (yet).

    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    However, they are technical problem
    1. - how to link a game to a console/account? can it be done without always online scheme?
    2. - what if i change console because the old one stop working?
    3. - i would prevent the possibility to lend and borrow game between friend?
    4. - Would the game company do ther part and reduce the price of game to $20-$30 at least for AAA new release.
    1. - Cant be done without some sort of online check against a database of accounts, Easist way is to have it check against a Serial number of the CPU of the console
    2. - Your fucked, buy the game again, welcome to DRM please! call again.
    3. - Yep, you would have to take your console to a friends house to play the game, Welcome to DRM, please call again.
    4. - Why would they, They know that people will pay £60 for a game, They have done market research on it, They know from this how many units they need to sell to break even,

    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    So yes, i think blocking used game would not be such a bad thing if, in counterpart, publisher accept to lower their price to at least $30 or even $20 for a brand new release.
    The blocking of used games is in my eyes, and in the eyes of a lot of people the single worst thing that any console company can do, Even if they where to lower the price of the original game and go ahead with blocking the used games it would not justify the unemployment it would create by the killing off of the used games market which a lot of stores use to get people through the door and then try to sell new game / consoles to.

    There is also the little problem of not being allowed to do with your property as you wish. If I buy a music CD I am free to do with it as I wish, I can lend it to a friend, I can sell it on ebay, I can trade it in against other CD's and nothing has ever been said about the artists not getting a cut of the secondary sale. You know why this is ? because they (the record labels) know that the shit storm that would follow if they where to try this would make it more hassle than it is worth. Yet the gamer market being a pretty small (by comparison to the music Market) lack the collective voice to say "No, We will not be treated like this"

    As I stated at the start of this post, Game Publishers get their cut of the sales profit when the company selling the game buy it wholesale. The "second hand" market for games in no way effects there income. Just as the Second hand market for music and movies has no way impacted the record labels, or Hollywood.
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  7. #7
    so your stance basically is, no change to the current business model, seems working fine.
    I guess you are right, this is a working system after all, but that does not stop us from discussing others.

    You can lock games to an account, like on steam, so changing console is not a problem.
    i don't think you necessarly need to be online, as i remember, you can still load your xbox profile while being offline. say you have a unique identifier associated to your profile. a one time online activation of game to a profile, you could then play it offline.

    from what i see, the only problem is the not being able to lend and borrow games from friend.

    I guess you could "lend" your account provided that financial information are separated (which they currently aren't, even on steam).
    So what you'd have to do is to have a game account and a financial account, one you can lend, other one you keep.
    Maybe you can have several game account, like a main and a "lending account" and you could move games around.

    Well, i'm just tossing ideas but the main point is, do we really need used game shop for console, we don't on PC. Why isn't it possible on console?
    Last edited by Vankrys; 2013-04-09 at 11:34 AM.

  8. #8
    Immortal Sigma's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    You can lock games to an account, like on steam, so changing console is not a problem.
    i don't think you necessarly need to be online, as i remember, you can still load your xbox profile while being offline. say you have a unique identifier associated to your profile. a one time online activation of game to a profile, you could then play it offline.
    Steam is still a form of DRM, regardless of if you can use your account on other computers, it is stopping you selling your games second hand, sure as a delivery platform its a great idea and works well, but your still locking all your games to you, forever. It comes back to the point I made earlier and is the main point a lot of people have. When you buy Something, its yours to do with as you please you should be allowed to do with it as you want. Any form of DRM is bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    from what i see, the only problem is the not being able to lend and borrow games from friend.
    I guess you could "lend" your account provided that financial information are separated (which they currently aren't, even on steam).
    So what you'd have to do is to have a game account and a financial account, one you can lend, other one you keep.
    Maybe you can have several game account, like a main and a "lending account" and you could move games around.
    There is nothing on the PC stopping you from lending your steam / Origin account to a friend for them to download a game and play for a while, I have in fact done this on several occasions to see if I like a game before deciding to buy it (but thats a whole other thread in itself) The game is still the property of the original person though. at no point can they say "you know, I used to like this game, But I have had enough of it it now im going to trade it in against another game" Where this possibility has always been an option on consoles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vankrys View Post
    Well, i'm just tossing ideas but the main point is, do we really need used game shop for console, we don't on PC. Why isn't it possible on console?
    its not a case of "dont have used game store on PC" there have been places which sell used PC Games, but they where always games with no cd key requirments or online portion to the game as people could (and would no doubt) simply write the CD key on a disk and sell the game, meaning that the new owner of the disk would not be able to get online even though they had the CD keys. The games market has always had some sort of DRM I remember a game called jet set willy on the spectrum. it came with a color card to make copying of the game a hell of a lot harder.


    Now I am not against security on a game to stop people from pirating a game, in fact I would welcome games that where not possible to copy however at the same time people should be allowed to be able to sell the game on to other people at a later stage. With the current way things are on PC with the likes of Steam and origin, and on possible future console's where games are tied to your account, it is impossible to sell your property and that then raises the following question.

    if you buy something, it becomes your property If at a later stage your not allowed to sell it was it ever your property ?
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  9. #9
    The Lightbringer Rukh's Avatar
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    Especially with the crap throwaway games they make these days. They're just going to create a huge piracy market.
    Still bitter.

  10. #10
    It's good for the consumer, and the copy right owners are being greedy whiny bitches like they are about everything that doesn't involve them making money.
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  11. #11
    A game that comes with a "you can't resell it" clause should be cheaper, but companies (should) have the right to make that clause before selling the game to the customers. I never bought a used game myself, but I used the rent games when I had a PS1.

  12. #12
    good(ish) for the consumer, terrible for the developers.
    If you were selling the game on yourself it is likely going to be a good deal for you but take it to a store to trade in and the take the piss with their prices...usualy less than half the price given for a brand new game and they turn round ans sell it for a few bucks less than new.
    In the case of Fifa or PES you get even less and come the next instalment you are lucky to even be able to trade them in.
    Personally i've always bought new unless it is on an old gen console and something i wanted popped up

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rukh View Post
    Especially with the crap throwaway games they make these days. They're just going to create a huge piracy market.
    Teach them a lesson. If they do this, they deserve to have a huge piracy market. Oh well.

  14. #14
    I like how the logic around this topic centers on someone losing money. The fact is, they got paid, when the first person bought the title. 9 times out of 10, if someone was looking at a used game, they weren't going to buy new anyways. All these new "features" lately are focusing on cashing in on that fact. They were never losing money from used sales. Imagine not being able to trade in your car because gm doesnt want used car lots around because they hurt the sales of new rigs......

  15. #15
    ...9 times out of 10, if someone was looking at a used game, they weren't going to buy new anyways.
    And how do you know that?

  16. #16
    Bloodsail Admiral foil's Avatar
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    I buy 2nd hand cars, i dont see the issue with 2nd hand games either.

    A 2nd hand car will work exactly like a new one (unless faulty) but i dont see the car makers trying to block 2nd hand car sales due to them not getting a 2nd or 3rd cut from payments from someone elses sale of it.

    Maybe we should block 2nd hand house sales too since the builders from 20 years ago wont get a cut of its resell..
    Last edited by foil; 2013-04-09 at 04:38 PM.

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