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  (Source: Fox)
Rant takes issue with Microsoft backing down from its most strict DRM plans for the Xbox One

First Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) let the rumor mill buzz.  Then it came clean -- it was going to let third parties ban used games on the upcoming Xbox One and institute an "always on" requirement that forced the console to "phone home" to check digital rights management permissions, making it unplayable offline.  Then amid a public backlash Microsoft abruptly dropped most of those plans, earning its upcoming console the humorous nickname "Xbox One Eighty".

I. Policy Changes are a BIG Mistake, Says Alleged "Microsoft Engineer"

But did Microsoft make a mistake?

That's what a self-purported "Heartbroken MS employee" (apparently an Xbox engineer) is claiming in a post to PasteBin, an anonymous document-posting site.  The document, first spotted by The Verge, starts with a diatribe on how he blamed the loss of "great" always on features he worked on his coworkers, and secondly on the media.

He comments, "Being part of the team that created the entire infrastructure to include the POS (point of sale) mechanisms I must say that I am extremely sad to see it removed.  But the consumer knows what is best, I can place the blame on no one but us here at Microsoft.  We didn't do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.  We spent too much of our time fighting against the negative impressions that many people in the media formed."

Xbox One Eighty
An alleged "Microsoft employee" isn't happy with the reversals. [Image Source: Imgur]

Going on, he bemoans the "evils" of used games, stating:

While publishers have never come right out to us at MS and say "We want you to do something about used gaming" we could hear it in their voices and read it in their numerous public statements.  The used gaming industry is slowly killing them and every attempt to slow down the bleeding was met with much resistance from the gaming community. 

I will admit that online passes were not well received nor were they well implemented, but I felt given time to mature it could have turned into something worth having as a gamer much like DLC (we went from pointless horse armor to amazing season passes like Borderlands 2!).  Videogame development is a loss leader by definition and unlike other forms of media videogames only have one revenue stream and that is selling to you the gamer.  So when you buy a game used you're hurting developers much more than say a movie studio.  Many gamers fail to realize this when they purchase these preowned games.

It is impossible to continue to deliver movie like experiences at the current costs without giving up something in return.  It's what gamers want and expect, the best selling games are blockbusters, the highest rated are blockbusters, the most loved are blockbusters.  How can developers continue to create these experiences if consumers refuse to support them?  Many will argue the development system is broken, and I disagree.  The development system is near broken, it's used gaming that is broken, but regardless I think more emphasis on this from both us at Microsoft and publishers would have gone a long way in helping educate the gamer, but again it is us who dropped the ball in this regard for that we're sorry.

In other words, he's arguing that games are too expensive to develop these days to allow customers to resell them at third-party marketplaces that don't give developers a cut.

II. Family Sharing Demos and "Natural Social Network"

He then goes on to leak details of two key programs he fears are scrapped -- or may be scrapped -- in light of the policy reversals.

First he describes family sharing plans.  He says the plan was to give gamers a "shared" library that they could put their games in.  Gamers could then self-identify their family members.  Those members would have access to the game "regardless of where they are in the world."  

Oh but there was one tiny catch he admits -- "When your family member accesses any of your games, they're placed into a special demo mode. This demo mode in most cases would be the full game with a 15-45 minute timer and in some cases an hour.  This allowed the person to play the game, get familiar with it then make a purchase if they wanted to.  When the time limit was up they would automatically be prompted to the Marketplace so that they may order it if liked the game."

Microsoft thought family (demo) sharing was caring. [Image Source: Amazon]

In other words, he's claiming that Microsoft wanted your family members to have to repurchase games (enforced by DRM) in order to play them (you couldn't just bring the disc to their house and leave it with them anymore).  But he argues this is a good thing -- he says that a store demo wouldn't save your progress, but the family share demo did, in case you chose to buy it.

Regardless of the authenticity of the broader document, The Verge confirms that their sources at Microsoft say a family sharing feature limited to one hour was discussed.

He also writes about an undisclosed "Home space" in a user's Xbox Live account that would have (or will?) act as a "natural social network", complete with "robust voice to text capabilities" via the Kinect 2.0 sensor.  He said the Xbox One social network would free the gamers from the "difficulties" of having to use their PC or tablet to access their social network, eliminating the need to "wrestle with keyboard add-ons."

The Social Network
Microsoft was reportedly planning a "natural" social network. [Image Source: Columbia]

He concludes:

We at Microsoft have amazing plans for Xbox One that will make it an amazing experience for both gamers and entertainment consumers alike.  I stand by the belief that Playstation 4 is Xbox 360 part 2, while Xbox One is trying to revolutionize entertainment consumption.  For people who don't want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it's called Xbox 360.

The entire account is worded in a way that makes us a bit suspicious we may be being trolled.  But if it is someone trolling, whoever wrote it was someone who had access to inside details on how some rumored programs like family sharing worked.  And the statements in the file don't sound that much different from those of folks like Xbox chief (Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment Business) Don Mattrick -- so it's entirely possible the document is indeed a disgruntled Microsoft engineer.

Sources: PasteBin, The Verge

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College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 10:38:59 AM , Rating: 3
We didn't do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.

Benefits to consumers: none.
Penalty to consumers: massive.

The used gaming industry is slowly killing them and every attempt to slow down the bleeding was met with much resistance from the gaming community.

Give me one good reason why video games should be treated different than EVERY OTHER PRODUCT IN THE WORLD. First-Sale doctrine is clear. *Everything* you buy can be resold/traded/gifted at will, and BY THE LAW OF THE LAND OF EVERY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD the copyright holder has no interest in the transaction past the first sale. If First-Sale rights are "killing" the video game industry, why aren't they also killing the automobile industry? The housing industry? The clothing industry? Ummm...every other industry?

It is impossible to continue to deliver movie like experiences at the current costs without giving up something in return.

Bullsh1t. You do not "have to" take away basic rights of American citizens in order to improve your product. Please now go f%ck yourself for being so stupid as to even say that.

How can developers continue to create these experiences if consumers refuse to support them?

Ummm...the same way developers continue to create blockbuster movies. Which people buy, then sell and trade later. How the f%ck are you any different?

In other words, he's arguing that games are too expensive to develop these days to allow customers to resell them at third-party marketplaces that don't give developers a cut.

In other words, he's a lying fascist tool who wants to destroy the basic rights of American citizens to line his pockets with our money.

For people who don't want these amazing additions, like Don said we have a console for that and it's called Xbox 360.

Yeah, and there's that gem again.

As noted in the article, maybe this guy is really a troll. But frankly I find the whole thing pretty believable. Given the recent past with MS, I don't find it to be unreasonable that this *is* an actual rant from an actual MS developer.

If it's just a troll, then it's just a troll, and f%ck it. But if this guy is legit, not only does he need to get fired the same way Adam Orth was, but MS needs to do some serious soul-searching and clean house. They weren't great to start with, but they are getting worse every day.

RE: College of Stupidity
By guffwd13 on 6/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: College of Stupidity
By spamreader1 on 6/21/2013 11:01:53 AM , Rating: 5
Games do depreciate in value over time as well though. Why else would games start out selling at $50 and after a year drop to $20 or less? Also as tech improves older games are often left to little/no use.

I still have a handful of my old dos games sitting on a folder on my pc. I haven't even opened that folder in years unless you count backups. Clearly the entertainment value has deprecated over time. When was the last time you played f15 strike eagle?

RE: College of Stupidity
By polishvendetta on 6/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: College of Stupidity
By wempa on 6/21/2013 12:33:02 PM , Rating: 3
Digital media does not depreciate. Depreciation has nothing to do with your percieved value of something. If DOS machinese were still in demand today your F15 Strike Eagle would be worth the same amount of money as it was when you first purchaced it.

Wrong. Look up the definition of depreciation. It is not limited to just "wear and tear". Let's say you buy a $60 game and don't play it for a year. Then, it gets released for $20 as "Platinum Hits" or whatever they call them. Your original game now has the same value as the $20. It has depreciated in value by $40. Also, as for your PC argument, have you forgotten that a console is not a PC ? People expect ease-of-use out of consoles. The DRM that MS had in mind basically eliminated the ease-of-use and would have created a lot of confusion among consumers. They also could still offer people the capability to play without a disc. They just don't have to force it on everybody who would rather keep things simple.

RE: College of Stupidity
By othercents on 6/21/2013 1:02:23 PM , Rating: 5
Where the Microsoft crybaby is wrong is when they compared Games to Movies. Rentals don't kill the movie industry. Online streaming doesn't kill the movie industry either. Reselling your movies doesn't kill the movie industry. Producing a piece of crap movie that no one wants to go see kills the movie industry.

Maybe tastes are changing from blockbuster games to cute little iPhone games, but create a great game and expect that you make back the costs in the first 3 months or the game could be considered a flop. Don't expect residual income from games or movies for each time someone starts to play it.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Samus on 6/22/2013 12:42:19 AM , Rating: 5
Right. So let me get this straight. Used games are just now killing an industry that has grown to be around 50x more profitable over the past 3 decades, while used games have always been available?

Where is this guys logic?

RE: College of Stupidity
By Dug on 6/21/2013 12:51:20 PM , Rating: 2
"Digital media does not depreciate. Depreciation has nothing to do with your percieved value of something. If DOS machinese were still in demand today your F15 Strike Eagle would be worth the same amount of money as it was when you first purchaced it."

You contradict yourself. You say IF DOS machines were still in demand. That's the key, the software isn't in demand either, therefore it has no value. If F15 Strike Eagle Ultimate Edition comes out and it's better than anything before it, it's cheaper than the original, then how much is the original worth? It's a perceived value. It's only worth what someone will pay for it.

Even if you bought a car and didn't drive it, it would still diminish in value, due to the fact that newer models will be released. Depreciation has everything to do with perceived value. Items and services are only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for them. (Rare exclusions exist in any form)

RE: College of Stupidity
By Argon18 on 6/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: College of Stupidity
By jimbojimbo on 6/21/2013 3:55:52 PM , Rating: 5
You just don't get it. Since you believe this way, can I sell you a copy of Warcraft for $50?? In your mind it still costs exactly the same since the digital data is still pristine.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Argon18 on 6/24/2013 11:39:09 AM , Rating: 1
You just don't get it. To answer your question, yes you can resell that copy of warcraft. If it's still shrink-wrapped, you ought to be able to get the same as retail for it, or nearly so.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Jakeisbest on 6/25/2013 5:18:40 PM , Rating: 2
Looking on EBAY for sealed copies of warcraft 3 proves your statement to be false.

They are selling for $6 - $10.

RE: College of Stupidity
By MindParadox on 6/21/2013 12:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
When was the last time you played f15 strike eagle?

Actually, I FINALLY beat F-15 Strike Eagle 2 the other day, been wanting to do that for a very long time :P

Oh, sorry, I actually play on my old machines regularly :)

RE: College of Stupidity
By spamreader1 on 6/21/2013 12:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I keep them for nostalgia. I've been known to once a year or 2 to grab an old game and run though it on a virtual pc. (note I never was much of a console gamer) I'm not necessarily saying that old games/software lose all value, just that like all things value is simply fluid and does change, up or down. Software happens to be one that generally goes down. Who knows old game media could be the next collectable. I know several old Atari and NES games and devices are worth more now today than they were originally.

RE: College of Stupidity
By domboy on 6/24/2013 8:16:26 AM , Rating: 2
Just because a game is new doesn't mean it's better. There a lot of older games that are still plenty fun. If you're looking for the best eye candy you can find than sure an old game may be less satisfying, but if you're just looking for fun (which is what a game should be) than an older game may just be the ticket. I don't have a lot of $$ right now so I've been looking for older games that I missed on the cheap. I've had a blast so far...

RE: College of Stupidity
By Reclaimer77 on 6/22/2013 8:07:02 PM , Rating: 2
Siiigh I soooo miss the days when combat flight simulators were all the rage on the PC :(

*looks at flightstick combo in closet collecting dust*

RE: College of Stupidity
By JKflipflop98 on 6/23/2013 12:33:56 AM , Rating: 2
It's no flight sim, but there's a bunch of space-sim-shooters on the way like Star Citizen and X:Rebirth. Give you an excuse to dust off the HOTAS anyways.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2013 5:41:21 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah the Wing Commander dude making a new game! I heard about that, ty.

RE: College of Stupidity
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/21/2013 11:49:07 AM , Rating: 3
Properly cared for, books don't significantly degrade over reasonable time spans (decades).

RE: College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 12:10:14 PM , Rating: 1
I still play games that are decades old on occasion. On disk. Like Heroes III.

I still have the first CD I ever bought, which at this point is like 25 years old. Works fine.

And of course you can make backup copies too.

Anything that requires any server of any kind will some day just go away. Some day Blizzard will turn the lights out on WoW, and then all the money you spent on that game will just be lost.

Same would go for the XBO if they kept the origninal model. Some time after the XB2 came out, they'd turn off the servers for XBO. Then *poof* - gone.

RE: College of Stupidity
By HoosierEngineer5 on 6/21/2013 12:48:59 PM , Rating: 2
I played Starcraft Brood War last night. I'd pay GOOD MONEY for more expansion packs. But not with DRM. Just sell me the disc.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Reclaimer77 on 6/23/2013 12:21:22 AM , Rating: 3
Anything that requires any server of any kind will some day just go away. Some day Blizzard will turn the lights out on WoW, and then all the money you spent on that game will just be lost.


It's an MMO. The money you've spent on it is to play on Blizzard's servers. You aren't "losing" anything when the game goes offline except the ability to use their servers and play the game.

Look I don't support everything MS was trying to do with the XB1, but your rhetoric is a bit much. They were trying to bring the "console" (which is now basically a PC) experience in line with what we've had on the PC for like a decade now.

Frankly I don't see why both camps can't be catered to. If you still like juggling around with discs like it's 1990, that's fine for you. If people like the Steam-like experience of digital downloads, that should be an option too.

Same would go for the XBO if they kept the origninal model. Some time after the XB2 came out, they'd turn off the servers for XBO. Then *poof* - gone.

Again that makes no sense. XBox Live uses the same servers regardless of console. So no, there would never be a day where you could not authenticate/play an XBO game.

And of course you can make backup copies too.

Which our court system says is illegal because it violates "IP", horaaay. So everything isn't super consumer friendly in the land of physical media...

RE: College of Stupidity
By BifurcatedBoat on 6/22/2013 7:17:01 PM , Rating: 3
Another difference is that the primary value in a house is the house. The plans had some development cost, but it's relatively minor - minor to the point where it's almost inconsequential. You may buy plans for $2,000 but the house with the land it's on is over $300,000.

Media is very different because it's basically free to consume, but has a huge upfront development cost. So we have these law systems to try to help figure out a way that those development costs can be recouped by spreading the burden of paying for them out across a large number of people that found the media to have value. They're definitely not perfect of course, but they're what we've got.

If one person were to buy the whole videogame franchise - for 30, 50, 100 million, maybe a billion dollars, then of course you could resell it as you want. So if you're going to make a comparison between buildings and videogames, it would be a much more valid comparison to compare how you might buy and sell a whole game franchise to building and selling a large building, rather than buying and selling an individual copy of the game vs. buying and selling a house.

RE: College of Stupidity
By tng on 6/25/2013 7:00:14 PM , Rating: 2
Media is very different because it's basically free to consume, but has a huge upfront development cost.
Not really.

How many of you people really have to look at your business and understand the costs that are incurred just having the lights on, a phone, an ISP, AC, employee related costs, etc...

What does your GM on a product have to be to pay for all of that? You think that companies like MS, Blizzard and EA don't have all those figures down to the tenth of a cent? They know exactly how many games they need to sell at a price point before they reach payback and profit. No company that is successful can ignore the numbers.

The whiner in the article makes it sound like they are selling for a loss and it is the developers that are not getting paid. The fact is that if you sign the contract to help develop the game and you got paid the contracted amount, you were treated fairly, if you feel different, it is no ones fault but your own.

If used games are such a drain on the industry you would probably see these companies going to the used market and slowly buying back old used discs and destroying them. That is common practice in other industries.

RE: College of Stupidity
By FITCamaro on 6/21/2013 10:58:42 AM , Rating: 1
If First-Sale rights are "killing" the video game industry, why aren't they also killing the automobile industry? The housing industry? The clothing industry? Ummm...every other industry?

Well home developers are pretty much on life support right now. Why? A glut of existing homes.

Automobile industry? Also hurting. Only helped by the fact that financing rates for used cars are higher than the 0-2% loans that new cars are sold with. And the higher costs of used cars as a result of cash for clunkers.

Clothing industry? Hurting. But people will always need new clothes. JC Penny makes money 2 months a year. The rest is a loss for them. At least that's what I've been told.

Every industry that sells something is hurt by a customer reselling a product that was originally bought new. Some it affects more than others. Movies have the advantage of not only making money off the initial "purchase" (theaters) but then home sales on DVD. Decent to awesome movies typically make their money back just from the first few weeks. Only complete bombs don't. Then there is all the merchandising around the movie as well. Video games get far less merchandising and its only possible usually for blockbusters.

Bullsh1t. You do not "have to" take away basic rights of American citizens in order to improve your product. Please now go f%ck yourself for being so stupid as to even say that.

He didn't say that. He said they can't keep making AAA games at ever higher quality for the same price. Either the price has to go up or the model has to change. I somewhat agree on this point. Higher quality art, epic story lines, complex gameplay features take talent and talent costs money. Games are at or fast approaching movie budgets.

Yes there are a lot of indie developers making awesome games that cost far less. But you'll notice they often either sacrifice on graphics or story. An indie developer couldn't have made Mass Effect. They just don't have the resources.

In other words, he's a lying fascist tool who wants to destroy the basic rights of American citizens to line his pockets with our money.

Or maybe he's a guy who sees his job potentially threatened because of an industry disappearing because it can't stay profitable for long. We either have to be willing to pay for great games, be willing to allow developers to get some chunk of used game sales, or not have games. This is assuming the dude is legit to start with.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 11:15:06 AM , Rating: 5
Sorry FIT, you lose. If you think there's any POSSIBLE way to justify giving game publishers a "cut" every time a used game is sold, then you have to justify doing the same for every other industry in the country. And then our economy collapses.

This is fascism. Pure and simple. Corporations destroying basic rights of citizens.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 12:43:15 PM , Rating: 3
This is still not really clear. The latest case I know about is Vernor vs Autodesk and the courts ruled in Autodesk's favor. Yes I know about other websites that sale used software, but some EULAs aren't written like the Autodesk agreements which have limited ability to transfer license of the software.

If we stick with the idea that if you pay for and download software then you own it, we have some real complications with how the whole enterprise computing business currently works.

Are you saying that it is not within a companies rights to license software?

RE: College of Stupidity
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 1:16:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's the idiocy of consumers that's the problem, not corporations.

RE: College of Stupidity
By tigz1218 on 6/21/2013 7:00:23 PM , Rating: 3
Hey Moto,

I know we got into a back and forth battle in another article, but guess what? I'm with you 100% on this one.

If somehow this behavior was accepted for the game industry, it would set a precedent for every other industry to start complaining... and then we can say goodbye to ever owning something ever again.

This is why Microsoft and all the other d-bag companies are pushing the cloud so hard. This way you never own the product; you get stuck paying continuous fees, basically like renting it forever.

Fuck the cloud, and fuck Microsoft. My next build will be Linux.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Aloonatic on 6/25/2013 2:17:00 AM , Rating: 2
Sadly, you all seem to be missing something.

Clothes makers, house builders, car manufacturers.... They would all do exactly what MS is doing if they thought they could get away with it, and the technology existed to make it possible. They only reason why they are not is because they can't, for now.

Just wait until your car becomes more and more automated, and "secure" and it has to be always on the internet for route guidance and security reasons, and then you might find something similar happening there too.

This is just MS seeing a chance to squeeze more money out of people, and increase their bottom line. It's business, it's capitalism, it's what we fought the Russians for, enjoy :o)

RE: College of Stupidity
By AEvangel on 6/21/2013 12:18:34 PM , Rating: 1
All those industry are hurting not from resellers but because the fiat currency they based their incomes on are failing and people's income is unable to keep up with the inflation.

RE: College of Stupidity
By quiksilvr on 6/21/2013 12:36:56 PM , Rating: 2
A very strong counter argument, however flawed. The auto industry is far from hurting. Last time I checked, GM and Ford have been having strong quarters and the Japanese automakers have no problem with used vehicle sales.

Same with the clothing industry. Selling clothes used is a very, VERY small market. Most of the time people donate them to charity after they are done wearing them.

"Hurt" implies that they are overall losing money annually. This is far from the truth. Games are getting more expensive, sure, but last I checked the major developers are doing just fine.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 12:47:37 PM , Rating: 5
The problem actually has nothing to do with whether or not any given industry is "hurting" at the moment.

The problem is that if you're going to declare that video games are no longer subject to first-sale laws, and that game producers are entitled to a perpetual stream of revenue from used game sales, you have to do that for EVERY industry.

You can't just say that the gaming industry "needs" perpetual revenue from the constant resale of old product, and then at the same time say that the same isn't true of any other industry. Any argument you make in favor of such a thing for one industry applies equally well to any other industry.

Every time someone buys a pair of Levis at a thrift store, Levis should get a cut, right? Every time someone buys a used Pinto, Ford should get a cut. Every time someone buys a used copy of Avatar on disk, the movie company should get a cut. Every time a house is resold, the original builder should get a cut. Every time an old comic book/trading card/whatever is resold as a collector's item, the publisher gets a cut.

Where do you think you're going to draw the line, and how are you going to justify it? Most old Nintendo games (original NES) can be bought at various retail locations for like $1-5 these days. Put this in force and Nintendo gets $1 from that $5 sale. What about the NES games that are highly collectible, and sell for like $10,000 on eBay? Does Nintendo get $2,000 for the sale of that old collectible video game? If I inherit a mint copy of Action Comics #1, and sell it for a million dollars, do I have to send $200,000 to DC?

The argument people make in favor of ditching First-Sale rights isn't just stupid. It's sociopathic.

RE: College of Stupidity
By JediJeb on 6/21/2013 4:27:13 PM , Rating: 2
Another problem with doing away with the First Rights model is that people would no longer own anything at all. In a sense you would not own your house ever, or your car, or your cloths. Then you get into the legal problems of if the consumer no longer owns things, who is legally responsible for those products? If my home burns down, am I responsible for replacing something I don't own, or is the original builder responsible for replacing it for me? If the water pump goes out on my 16 year old truck, should I be responsible for fixing it or should Ford? Should Sony and Lucas Arts be forced to reopen the servers so I can continue to play Star Wars Galaxies or should they refund my purchase price for no longer supporting the product I purchased? Should Microsoft be forced to continue to support Windows 3.1 for anyone who wants to use it or compensate them for any work they lose if their income is tied to using the old software?

As for games, if the publisher retains all rights to the game and rights to all successive sales of that game, is the publisher also responsible to making sure that game will remain playable forever? If I purchase a copy of F15 Strike Eagle(already own it but for instance)now, should the publisher have to ensure that it is playable on current systems or somehow ensure that I can enjoy that purchase that they are making money from?

A lot of things to consider when looking to change current ways of doing things.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/23/2013 1:33:24 PM , Rating: 1
We could simply say it applies to products that were digital distributed. After all to resale something like that you effectively have to create another copy on someone else's device, thus violating Copyright law.

And with your example of console games being sold, why not just limit the fee so it can't exceed the original MSRP? Seems simple enough.

RE: College of Stupidity
By TSS on 6/21/2013 12:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
I call bullsh1t. In total, they benifit from used consumer sales. It forces them to have less money and in turn it forces them to come out with a new, BETTER product which will make them more money then continuing to siphon off the old stuff. Because unless it's better you'd just buy a used older version, right?

If they're hurting it's not because of used sales it's because of cheap uninmaginative products OR, yknow, there's a crisis on.

Total consumer credit outstanding in 2013 according to the federal reserve is $2,8 trillion. That's $300 billion higher then in 2008. Maybe the consumer is just tapped out and that's why used sales are thriving because nobody can *afford* something new?

RE: College of Stupidity
By Keeir on 6/21/2013 8:13:59 PM , Rating: 2
Confused by this post.

Home Developers : Overcapacity killed industry, not inability to profit on resell.

Automobile Industry : Regulation Cost + Overcapacity killed industry, not inability to profit on resell

Clothing Industry : "Fashion" dictated. Nice job picking the department store in trouble (JCPenny is barely in the clothing industry). Guess, Gap, Urban Outfitters, etc typically have around a 10% operating margin. Which is pretty good! Don't really see them suffering from the mass amount of clothing people already own/could sell.

He didn't say that. He said they can't keep making AAA games at ever higher quality for the same price. Either the price has to go up or the model has to change.

Hm. I think the issue is that many publishers feel they can pour X amount of dollars into a project and out pops Y amount of dollars. But games are like movies to a certain extend. Sometimes no amount of Z dollars can make a fundamentally poor concept profitable. Instead of attaching thier customers, they could do many things differently:

1.) Better screening of concepts
2.) Less "cross" platform games (but "cross" concept)
3.) More unique packaging/extras included at POS

90%+ of people are willing to pay a fair price to be entertained. If game makers feel like people are buying used games would just switch to buying new games, they have another thing coming... If I buy a "used" game, its almost certainly because I didn't value the game enough to buy it within 4 weeks of launch... which means I am unlikely to pay anything for it until it hits the bargin bin (if I haven't forgotten about it by then).

I doubt game makers would see the type of rise in revenue they project if they strip the ability to resell games... then new games would be worth even less to me.

RE: College of Stupidity
By wallijonn on 6/24/2013 3:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
He said they can't keep making AAA games at ever higher quality for the same price. Either the price has to go up or the model has to change. I somewhat agree on this point. Higher quality art, epic story lines, complex gameplay features take talent and talent costs money. Games are at or fast approaching movie budgets.

How much has Spec Ops and Battlefield 3 sold or made? About $1 billion. The publishers want to cut out the middle man: the stores that sell the game, the disc producers and packagers (if they don't already do it), the transporters of the game. If they decrease their prices to where the middle-man costs are mitigated, then they still make the same amount of profit. What lower prices will do is make the game appeal to more people. And that is what the rental/used game market does. Kill the rental market and you're left buying a pig in a poke. It's what almost killed the music industry - too much product, only loyal buyers buying blind, high prices. Just as the case can be made that piracy increases sales, so the same argument can be made for rental and used sales. The only leg left for the developers/MS is to say that the reason for the DRM was to wipe out piracy. So the vast majority gets inconvenienced.

Rhetoric: if movie ticket prices went to $60 would you ever want to watch it? Movie profits don't count the concession sales.

Yes, games are becoming more movie like: better graphics, more cut scenes, etc., but they are also becoming sorter and shorter. At least the single player game. Guess the bucks are in multi-player. But if one is going to invest thousands of hours on one game then that means that they won't be buying other games. If you've been playing WoW for the past few years then you've been paying subscriber rates. Guess you've been killing the game market since you haven't been buying new games.

Ridiculous, right? It's the same argument. Every game comes out at $60. Months later it's at $20 (unless it's the blockbuster Spec Ops or BF3 - then you'll have to wait for sales for it to go to $40. And a week later it's back up to $60. And they're still selling out of the game.)

How can used games be killing the market when demos aren't? Because you only get to play 1 level or 15 minutes. It doesn't give you enough time to find out if the rest of the game is bad or not.

RE: College of Stupidity
By asgallant on 6/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: College of Stupidity
By polishvendetta on 6/21/2013 11:29:55 AM , Rating: 2
Show me proof I can give my itunes collection to someone else in Europe.

I seem to recall Bruce Willis willing his iTunes collection to his daughter and Apple came forward and said it was not possible.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 12:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Uh-huh. And where does Bruce Willis live? Europe or America?

However, in Europe, the European Court of Justice ruled on July 3, 2012, that it is indeed permissible to resell software licenses even if the digital good has been downloaded directly from the Internet, and that the first-sale doctrine applied whenever software was originally sold to a customer for an unlimited amount of time, as such sale involves a transfer of ownership, thus prohibiting any software maker from preventing the resale of their software by any of their legitimate owners.[3][4][5] The court requires that the previous owner must no longer be able to use the licensed software after the resale, but finds that the practical difficulties in enforcing this clause should not be an obstacle to authorizing resale, as they are also present for software which can be installed from physical supports, where the first-sale doctrine is in force.[6][7] The ruling applies to the European Union, but could indirectly find its way to North America; moreover the situation could entice publishers to offer platforms for a secondary market.[4]

RE: College of Stupidity
By FITCamaro on 6/21/2013 12:31:40 PM , Rating: 1
Europe's policies are also why few companies want to be based there. Who's destroying who's economy again?

America ain't perfect. But one of the ideas that it was founded on was that people own the fruits of their labor. And can license and distribute their works however they like. If you don't like the terms of the license, don't buy the product. I choose to vote with my wallet, not a lawyer.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 12:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
^This. You're not advocating protecting First Sale doctrine, you're advocating taking rights away from companies that produce digital works. You just have trouble seeing this.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Motoman on 6/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 2:03:54 PM , Rating: 3
The courts already ruled that if a company can prove they licensed you software, and you agreed to said license that you don't own the software. Since First Sales Doctrine only discusses your rights for things you own this is not advocating against consumer rights.

I don't expect this to sink in or you to listen to reason, but for anyone else that might believe your dribble I feel obligated to respond to your tantrums.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 2:05:01 PM , Rating: 2


RE: College of Stupidity
By Piiman on 6/22/2013 3:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
There is a problem that I’m not sure has been challenged in court yet, That being many times, actually most times, you don't see the license until after you have opened the box and at that point ,again in most cases, and always with games, is that even if you don't accept the "agreement" you can't return the software.

RE: College of Stupidity
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 1:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
Of course they have the right to do so. I'm arguing that it's wrong, and it's up to me if I support them.

Sadly, with the near total of MS target market being dumbed down, group thinking mush-heads... Voting with my wallet is about as effective as wielding a BB gun against an Abrams m1

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 1:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's not wrong. It's not what you want. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. You can vote with your wallet, and you can be upset about the consequences of it working or not working. It should remain a free market however.

RE: College of Stupidity
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 12:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
Call my purchase whatever you want, when I buy a game, I have the right to do whatever I want with it. This is how it's always been.

You also seem to forget, we have to buy a $500+ dedicated piece of equipment to play the game. Did you have to shell out that much on a 'dedicated' device for Steam or PlayStore? No.

And up until now, what has the industry done if I damage my media? Kindly send me a new 'means to enjoy my license'? No, they say tough luck.

Your argument fails in just about every possible way. It's appalling to see someone with such an immense naivety telling someone else to grow up already.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 1:06:56 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. It could be argued the license to play the game followed the physical media it came on. Thus you lost or destroyed your copy, you lost your license. Microsoft was going to tie the license to your online profile instead of the physical media it came on.

RE: College of Stupidity
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 5:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
Then it can also be argued that if the license follows the fragile piece of media, and it's up to me to carefully maintain it... then it should also be up to me if I want to pass the fragile physical license along to a friend or sell it.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 6:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
That's how it currently works. License follows the physical media of console games, thus you can sell them, but if you lose them tough luck.

Licenses stored in the cloud that are tied to an online account though will be accessible through the internet regardless if you lost the original media. However that media is just treated as an installation medium.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Magius on 6/24/2013 2:05:41 PM , Rating: 2
The issue is control. When I have the physical media I control the license. When it is placed on the cloud it is no longer under my control. I cannot decide to transfer it unless it is on the terms of whoever controls the cloud and if the host decides to terminate the account or the service there are no tools available for me to reclaim my licenses.

RE: College of Stupidity
By inighthawki on 6/21/2013 4:18:02 PM , Rating: 2
You also seem to forget, we have to buy a $500+ dedicated piece of equipment to play the game. Did you have to shell out that much on a 'dedicated' device for Steam or PlayStore? No.

Uh, if you own a computer then you paid for a device that can use it. If you own an iPad, you paid for a device that can run games from the app store. If you own an android device, you paid for a device that runs android apps. There is no difference.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 4:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
That's why he used the word 'dedicated', that's flawed anyways though since newer consoles are more than just gaming machines, and I did pay $500 for a nvidia GTX680 video card just for games.

RE: College of Stupidity
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 5:53:16 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that newer consoles have additional functionality is irrelevant.

Firstly, these new features are not driven by consumer demand, in fact many are unwelcome by a good percentage of consumers.
Secondly, while these features may be used, they are entirely secondary to gaming. In other words, no one is buying an XBO to Skype.

My point still stands, the game console is a dedicated, highly specialized piece of equipment. You even add to this point when you mention your $500 GPU... because that's where the majority of the money is going towards when you buy a console.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 6:45:59 PM , Rating: 2
It is relevant, it isn't a dedicated machine for gaming if it does more than gaming, even if that's your only intended use for it.

You basically were saying that PC gamers don't understand paying $500 just to play games, but most PC gamers have to run windows and have a dedicated GPU. I've spent a little over $700 to play games on my PC.

RE: College of Stupidity
By BRB29 on 6/24/2013 10:02:40 AM , Rating: 2
It is relevant, it isn't a dedicated machine for gaming if it does more than gaming, even if that's your only intended use for it.

What? A gaming console is a dedicated gaming machine. Additional functions are exactly what it is "additinoal" or added feature for many reasons. Dedication depends on your intent and how you use it. The only console in history that people bought without intent as a console was the PS3 because Sony decides to sell its inferior BD players for $1500 and a PS3 for $600. In that case, the PS3 was simply bought because it was a logical cheaper alternative.

If I buy a machine purpose built for gaming with the intent for gaming, how could you say it's not a dedicated gaming machine?

RE: College of Stupidity
By Digimonkey on 6/24/2013 10:53:02 AM , Rating: 2
You're right. I sometimes mix up what things mean in general and what they mean in the IT field. This was a case of that.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Piiman on 6/22/2013 3:52:16 PM , Rating: 2
"You also seem to forget, we have to buy a $500+ dedicated piece of equipment to play the game. Did you have to shell out that much on a 'dedicated' device for Steam or PlayStore? No."

Actually yes
My PC's video card alone cost 599.99
My Cell phone was 649.00 off contract

I take it you don't have a cell phone of a PC that can play highend games?

RE: College of Stupidity
By Totally on 6/22/2013 6:53:28 PM , Rating: 2
And up until now, what has the industry done if I damage my media? Kindly send me a new 'means to enjoy my license'? No, they say tough luck.

Not true at all, as far as I remember, as long as you can prove that you owned physically the game and packaging(damaged medium, case and manual), you could mail it in and get it replaced for about 15$ + S&H. Did it a few times with a few games with the original playstaion. In one case all they asked me to send in was the game manual booklet with the check and they sent me a brand new sealed game as a replacement.

As for PC, only thing you need is the Software key, and you could always reinstall the game from a digital copy, or a backup in any form.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Argon18 on 6/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: College of Stupidity
By Magius on 6/24/2013 2:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
There is a big difference. The vast majority of games I purchase on Steam are $5-$15 for what was an AAA games 6 to 18 months before. Games I have purchased on IOS and Android retail from free to maybe an extravagant $4.99.

Most of those can be considered impulse purchases. If the publisher would take the authentication server down it would upset me but at $5 or so I can live with the loss.

Even then Steam allows me to make a backup and play offline.

Will digital games on the Xbox One(80) cost less than $60 for an AAA title? What happens when MS moves on to the next platform, do we keep perpetual access to all our games or will they point back to the 360 yet another time?

RE: College of Stupidity
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 12:35:37 PM , Rating: 2

They must think we're stupid.

If this paste is legit, which I wouldn't be surpirsed if it was, just confirms that their ideas for killing used games isn't cancelled, it's just been put on hold until they sell enough of the systems.

RE: College of Stupidity
By rsmech on 6/21/2013 2:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like he should be working for Apple not MS. Apple consumers are already trained to accept things like this. MS users like to control their experiences, Apple users need to be told what's good for them.

RE: College of Stupidity
By InsGadget on 6/21/13, Rating: -1
RE: College of Stupidity
By fortiori on 6/21/2013 5:48:47 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, what a flawed argument.

Hurting the retailer and shirt maker? Say WHAT? Is this a joke? They run an organization where they'll happily hurt their customers by overcharging them if they can. It's called business. Nobody owes them anything nor do they owe anybody anything.

So you're saying if I personally make shirts for a living and sell them to someone for profit who buys it and then sells it again, that I am being hurt by that person, or that i have a claim against them?

Let me let you in on a little age-old wisdom: When you "sell" something, you don't "own" it anymore.

Read that a few times and let it sink in. It is not for the seller to control the market after he makes and sells his warez and if it were, we'd all be fucked. If the producer can't survive then the problem is with their business model and not ownership.

Claiming that we're hurting them by buying used is like claiming they're hurting us because they don't give us free shirts. I mean, they've got the shirts and we sure could use them - Without them we might freeze. So how dare they hurt us by letting us freeze.

Also, you wouldn't be advocating that we throw away perfectly good shirts - further depleting the dwindling finite resources of our planet - just so we can be sure that the shirt producer is guaranteed a profit from selling new shirts, would you?

RE: College of Stupidity
By Piiman on 6/22/2013 4:09:08 PM , Rating: 1
With that logic throwing away an old shirt also hurts the retailer and shirt makers. Should we never throw anything away either? When will it end?

If I buy a shirt and then sell it to get back some of my money and then I go spend that money on a new shirt or other product how in the world is that hurting them? Its called an economy that’s how it works. You buy things, you sell things, you buy more/new things, you sell more/used things, some people actually buy USED things and sell used things (I have a nice used car that I'm sure Toyata didn't get a dime for from the used car dealership), why should the orignal seller get anything? After all they sold it to me.

The software world however thinks they are different and don't sell you stuff they just license it..I say BITE ME.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Sivar on 6/21/2013 3:13:36 PM , Rating: 2
Every once in a while, a post on DailyTech is genuinely well thought-out and well written. Your post is one such example.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Scrith on 6/21/2013 3:25:52 PM , Rating: 1
The original idea, that everyone who wants to play a game has to pay something to the developer, is broken with used games.

You can say that it isn't fair that you can't sell a used game, that that is the way every other product in the world works, and so on. But the response from the games industry is going to be to simply move to a different model.

So, I'm guessing you'll see things like games that you must pay to download, either as a whole or as small pieces (e.g. for each level), or which can only be downloaded by people who have paid some sort of subscription (either for a single game, like World of Warcraft, or for a set of games), or various other strategies.

The end result is that within a few years you won't be able to buy a game on a physical medium, and you won't be able to transfer a downloaded copy because it will be linked to an account.

This isn't some evil plot, it is simply a strategy to keep the business of developing games viable. The business has taken a huge hit thanks to used, not every game developer is suffering from the current model, but the industry isn't what it used to be. The current solution is to raise prices, so people who buy the game pay more for it than they should in order to subsidize all the people who buy a used version. The good news is that a fairer system, where everyone must pay the developer if they are going to play their games, will probably result in lower costs for gamers who are currently buying non-used games.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Magius on 6/24/2013 2:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
This isn't some evil plot, it is simply a strategy to keep the business of developing games viable. The business has taken a huge hit thanks to used, not every game developer is suffering from the current model, but the industry isn't what it used to be. The current solution is to raise prices, so people who buy the game pay more for it than they should in order to subsidize all the people who buy a used version. The good news is that a fairer system, where everyone must pay the developer if they are going to play their games, will probably result in lower costs for gamers who are currently buying non-used games.

Being greedy is not inherently evil, I can agree with that.
This is a simple plot to move from a sporadic income model to one that would be more stable and gain more control over the end product.

That is what it is.

You are right the industry is not what it used to be. It is bigger and hungrier now. Perhaps the real problem lies in artificially inflated salaries, bonuses, and bottom ends?

Subsidize people buying used games? Can you prove to me those people would have bought the game, full price, if used games were prohibited? Are publishers now going to pile up "lost" used game sales alongside piracy figures? Because we all know used game buyers and pirate would actually purchase the full games if they did not have any other choice.

Got some news for you. Some of those guys/gals cannot afford the $60 price tag all, if any, of the time.

And if you believe the price of games will fall if the industry moves to this model, well, all I can say you are either really young, naive, or work for the industry.

RE: College of Stupidity
By BifurcatedBoat on 6/22/2013 7:05:43 PM , Rating: 2
It's a little bit different, because if you compare it to film, you can resell a DVD or Blu-Ray, sure, but by that point the studio has already made most of their money on the film already at the box office - and you can't resell movie tickets after they've been used.

I work in the game industry, and agree with the goal of trying to eliminate used game sales, but not the way that MS was trying to do it. It can be done in a way that will benefit gamers and the game-makers at the same time.

Consider this - for all the flexibility you get as a gamer in being able to trade in the game, still most of the money doesn't go to you or other gamers. It goes to GameStop. GameStop doesn't make games. Does it really make sense for them to end up collecting half or more of the revenue on a title over its lifetime, when they didn't incur the risk, and don't have to pay back a $50 million development cost?

So I think it is a good idea to try to move customers away from used games, but I think it has to be done as an option, and in a way that customers will actually appreciate. For example, Steam-style automatic digital downloads at a $10-15 discount.

Under that model, you can still buy a physical disc for the normal price and trade it if you want, but if you go with the digital download option, you get what GameStop was going to give you for trading it in anyway up front, and because you're not trading it in you get to keep the game - plus you never have to go to the store. If there's a highly anticipated game coming out, it could be preloaded onto your system, so at 12:01 AM on release day, you can just start playing.

RE: College of Stupidity
By Wolfpup on 6/25/2013 1:00:19 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I love that "we didn't do a good enough job explaining the benefits". Geez, umm...yeah there are no benefits to us.

By BRB29 on 6/21/2013 11:10:20 AM , Rating: 2
Sure development costs have skyrocketed but so has the number of gamers. If you did not sell enough copies of your game then you made a bad game. Games pretty much sell themselves these days without a whole lot of marketing. Magazines and websites are willing to review your games for free. Indie titles are very well received with almost no marketing.

This just sounds like a poor excuse for "I'm not competitive in this market but I don't want to blame myself"

COD made billions selling basically the same game every new version. WoW is still racking in billions. Elder Scrolls made massive profits despite being only single player. Even a simple game like TF2 is making millions. I don't see what developers are complaining about used games for. I use the value of used games to judge how good the game is and its replayability. It's the most accurate way.

By tamalero on 6/21/2013 1:44:29 PM , Rating: 5
they complain in the same way the MPAA does..
they cry and complain because their random XXX crappy movie didn't do well in the boxoffice.

Instead of blaming themselves for making a goddamn awful game.. they blame it to consumers and "pirates".

By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 2:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
The number of gamers is rising, but not really for AAA titles. I believe we are reaching market saturation and it's why this topic is kind of hot now.

The cost will definitely go up with the quality increases of games as it takes more time and/or employees to make bigger and more detailed worlds. At some point you'll reach the limit at which you either have to raise the price of games, do something about used games, or just keep the quality the same or decrease it...which will probably be mostly be done through heavy recycling of game assets.

By BRB29 on 6/22/2013 11:59:05 AM , Rating: 2
The number of AAA titles actually increased if you do the count. There is just a lot more competition now with big budgets to work with. Just compare the number of developers today vs the previous generations.

Even if everyone made high quality games, there can only be 10 games in the top 10. People can only play 1 game at a time. It's most likely going to be something in the top 10.

By Digimonkey on 6/23/2013 12:36:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not talking about the numbers of AAA titles, I'm talking about potential customers of those titles. The console market did not grow very much in the past two years and may be set to even shrink in the years to come.

I would not be surprised to see games go up to around the $80 mark this new console generation.

By Digimonkey on 6/23/2013 12:47:28 PM , Rating: 2
This article lays it out better than I can here. I understand where a lot of people are coming from in the comments to this article, but unfortunately there is a grim reality for us.

By BRB29 on 6/23/2013 6:26:42 PM , Rating: 2
MS just said games will be $60.

By BRB29 on 6/24/2013 9:46:34 AM , Rating: 2
The number of gamers is rising, but not really for AAA titles.

I'm not talking about the numbers of AAA titles


The console market did not grow very much in the past two years and may be set to even shrink in the years to come.

this happens towards the end of every console generation. In fact, this generation has been 2+ years longer than usual.

By Digimonkey on 6/24/2013 11:01:36 AM , Rating: 2
I was talking about the number of gamers in the market for AAA titles, not how many AAA titles were in the market. These are two separate things, though related yes.

Perhaps that's the case. Only time will tell if there is a bigger picture. I used two years, most articles I've read say it's been a 4-5 year slump. Not sure where they are getting their data though.

By BRB29 on 6/25/2013 12:06:01 AM , Rating: 2
The 4-5 year slump is accurate. The gaming console generation is usually 5 years. The first 3 years will get peak sales while the last 2 years shows a decline. In this case we have 8 years already. So 4-5 year slump should be expected.

By Da W on 6/21/2013 1:24:09 PM , Rating: 5
I make, say, 50000$ a year. After spending for my house, my car, my kids and my wife, i have little leftover in discretionnary spending. Say i allow myself to spend 500$ in videogames a year, BOTH in hardware and software. I hope i don't have to teach you that videogame spending cannot be the priority in your budget.

I buy 10 games at 50$ and i'm done. I buy 8 games at 60$ and i'm done. With canadian taxes it's more like 6 games at 75$. I won't buy any more, money doesn't grow in trees. that's all you get, developper.

With the used game market, i can buy a game at 75$, finish it in 2 weeks, and resell it while it still have value for, say, 45$. My total cost of usage is 30$, still expensive, but that's because of canadian taxes. Yet, now, i can buy 16 games that i resell, instead of 6. I have a new game every 3,25 weeks to finish. And you still get 500$ a year from my pocket, divided amongst more developper, promoting indie games and the like and not throwing every dime i make at EA's crap.

Now, as far as the only way to make money for the developper is by taking our money, the same can be said for the guy would built my house or the factory that built my car. How is your industry any different? Should we ban used car sales? Close down libraries? Can i say the next time your fu&*&??* BING NEWS app posts an article from my newspaper I sue your ass, cause i make a living from people buying MY newspaper?

Used game sales makes stores like gamestop exist, which wouldn't otherwise. It takes money from point A and put it to point B, but how is this guy trying to make a living less important that you? He certainly makes much less that you do, so i'd be inclined to helping HIM first and YOU second. Most customers spend much less than me on games, which is why they buy used games in the first place. Most of them wouldn't even buy a console if it weren't for used game, they couldn't afford it.

Last but not least, elasticity of demand would not be the same (bing it, keyword: elasticity). It means from a profit maximising monopoly like yourself, you can charge 60$ for a game because i resell it and it costs me 30$ net. If i could not resell it, i would not, or could not, pay the full price on that many games. In equilibrium, prices would go down, the market would need to integrate all those cheap bastards who buy cheap used games only and offer a new profit-miximising price for the whole game market. Look at steam and all the crasy sales they always do.

Bottom line you wouldn't make a dime more!

Last sign that your intentions are evil, only a monopoly can incorporate an anti-used game policy. As long as you have competition (Sony for now), your schemes will fail, as it did in the past.

By In2Boost on 6/21/2013 2:11:46 PM , Rating: 3
Well said. Most of us have these things called "budgets," Microsoft.

It sounds like no one on the XBone team ever grew up as, or knew anyone underprivileged.
I know I must sound like a broken record on this point. Growing up, I had friends who weren't as well off as I was. That was the only difference between us. They still loved to game and in my opinion deserved to game as much as anyone else. Used consoles and used games allow those who cannot or whose parents cannot afford to purchase new ones, to game just like their friends do.
-- They. will. not. be. left. out. --
They may not have the game on release day, but at least the potential exists for them to own, borrow, and play them later down the line. I think we all remember what it's like to be left out of social situations if say, you didn't see a movie, or play a game back when we were in school.
Their friends can loan them their new games to play as long as they want, not limited to forty-five minutes. Forty-five minutes. Greedy. Slime. If that doesn't make you sick, nothing will.
Funny how when corporate monkeys are stricken with greed-itis, they forget the human factor. They forget the children. Children who will one day grow up and decide whether these sleazeballs deserve their support. Speaking of sleazeballs, wasn't it found that cigarette companies directed their advertising at children years ago? They knew who their future clientele would be. Suck it, Microsoft. Slime.

It's sad that Bill Gates' philanthropic vision and efforts, seemingly do not apply to the policies of the company that he built.

By japlha on 6/21/2013 3:07:49 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your sentiments but if buying video games is out of a person's budget then they should not be buying them. If the gaming industry moves to the model proposed by Microsoft, that is, the consumer pays ~$60.00 per game, requires a fast internet connection, no reselling or buying of used games and charges a yearly subscription fee then that is the way it is. Nobody has the "right" to play video games. It's a luxury item like living in a mansion or travelling in a private jet.

However, I don't believe the gaming industry is unsustainable as it is. I believe it's simply a matter of companies doing whatever they can to make more profit and increase stock value.

By In2Boost on 6/21/2013 3:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
A used console or game whose cost is sixty percent of a brand new one may allow that to fit in someone's budget. The same may be said of both being given as gifts by relatives or friends.

Whether it's a luxury or not is immaterial. By that line of thought, anything other than food, water, clothing, and shelter is a luxury. It's easy to say that kids shouldn't have games or toys on an internet forum if they are deemed a "luxury" item (and I apologize for picking on you), but try explaining that to a youngster's disappointed face in real life. From a parent's perspective.

We live in a civilized country and we, as parents, want the best for our children.
We want to make them happy and do not want them to be left out.
We want their childhoods to be the best they can be.

This type of corporate greed will deny them that privilege. It will create a social divide where one has not existed in the past.

Much more can be seen and realized when a little time is taken to think a decision like this through.

I fault them for either

A: Not taking the time to think this through


B: That they are aware of this ramification and decided that dollars are more important than bringing happiness to a generation of youngsters or those unable to fit the relatively high cost into their budget.

When this type of thing comes from a global, multi-billion dollar company, the only words that come to mind are thoughtlessness and greed. That is what makes me sick.

By japlha on 6/21/2013 5:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
It sickens and saddens me as well. It's not fair that some people will never experience life's pleasures in the same way others do. Greed being one of the factors that dictates who experiences these "luxuries".

Trust me, I have a soft spot for kids too. We want to make our children happy. However, after visiting less developed countries and seeing how they live, this "first world" problem of used videos games seem quite trivial by comparison.

Life is not fair. But we deal with our situation the best we can. Providing everyone on the planet with enjoyable recreation and meaningful lives is a worthy goal but we're not there yet.

By inighthawki on 6/22/2013 8:17:07 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could wait until digital games have sales like the steam summer sales and get AAA games at 66-75% off. Cheaper than used games, and the developers get all the money.

Used games are ruining gaming?
By hpglow on 6/21/2013 10:53:21 AM , Rating: 5
If used games are slowly killing your profits then you have a piss poor business model. The budgets on these AAA games are out of control and that isn't the consumers fault. Quit spending so much on features that don't matter hoping to appeal to a broader audience and focus on the damn game. If indie game studios can make good money making fun games then you can do it too.

RE: Used games are ruining gaming?
By Fleeb on 6/21/2013 1:00:27 PM , Rating: 2
True but now how else would they maximize the next generation consoles' potential if they won't spend that much on it.

Maybe the WiiU can be an exception - not so much technical art but good gameplay.

RE: Used games are ruining gaming?
By Bateluer on 6/21/2013 4:48:48 PM , Rating: 2
With budgets for AAA games rivaling that of major Hollywood movies, I'd say they can easily streamline their budgets. Jon Peters for 15M for Man of Steel, and he wasn't involved in the project at all, allegedly, he was banned from the set.

They're paying 7 figure salaries for executives at EA/Ubi/Activision, they're paying for advertising, they're paying for DRM licensing, they're paying for online infrastructure for single player games, etc. I'd wager that easily half their total development cost could be cut if they removed the BS.

The developers of Serious Sam and Metro are working in the armpit of the world and still deliver better games than most US companies.

By Aloonatic on 6/23/2013 5:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
Totally agree. When will these entertainment industries look at both sides of what makes a profit, i.e. the cost side too?

It's like Daniel Craig, dressed in his dinner jacket, making an add saying don't pirate my bond movie kids, look at Phil the lighting guy, or Dave the microphone boom operator who we can't afford to pay the wages for because we don't make enough movies.

Why does he and everyone else involved not think for a second that they don't need to be paid millions of dollars for pretending to be a spy running around going pew pew pew with their guns, and 6 figure salaries for deciding what movies should be made, when they can't get that right more than 50% (being generous) of the time?

(Interting link One fun thing from this, Bruce Willis's private jet tab ($450,000) on The Sixth Sense was three times the entire cost of Haley Joel Osment ($150,000).)

The people who pirate movies and buy used games (not pro pirating but am pro used games, not trying to compare the 2 things in that way) are real people who live in the real world, not members of the privileged elite who live in some rarefied strata of society who think that they can dictate everything.

Developers & movie makers, if you are not able to support your huge, overblown wages, ridiculous riders, and "costs" are too high, then maybe you need to look at, erm... your costs? If you think that you deserve all this just because you say so, well, the market says other wise, and I think that MS will find that out the hard way.

If they go this route and Sony don't I can see that Sony will have a hit on their hands with the PS4. Not one parent that I talk to at work who have a 360 has said anything other than "MS can go and reproduce with themselves" when I've told them about this plan to stop resold games being possible.

Calcuated risks
By japlha on 6/21/2013 10:52:25 AM , Rating: 2
If they think eliminating the used game market would have made them more profitable then they should have just stuck with it. Operating a business is a risk. If it fails, then sorry, welcome to the free market. This isn't the banking or auto industry.

RE: Calcuated risks
By FITCamaro on 6/21/2013 11:00:01 AM , Rating: 4
Those should have been allowed to fail too.

RE: Calcuated risks
By Motoman on 6/21/2013 11:15:50 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, they should have. And if a game publisher or console maker can't find a way to stay profitable, they should go bankrupt too.

RE: Calcuated risks
By japlha on 6/21/2013 12:58:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes I agree. I just threw that in there out of spite. :D

Used is used
By Dug on 6/21/2013 12:30:45 PM , Rating: 2
Could you imagine if you couldn't sell your car after you bought it new without paying the manufacturer? Or buy a used car without paying the manufacturer? Or let someone else drive your car?

Sounds ridiculous, and so is the software market that thinks they can get away with this.

RE: Used is used
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 1:13:47 PM , Rating: 1

Retard 1: "Duuuuude!!! Uhm my dad got me a Mustang!!!"
Retard 2: "That's like really like kewl!!, can I drive??"
Retard 1: "No, uhm you need like a license."
Retard 2: "I like have a license."
Retard 1: "No, you need uhm a license for this specific car."
Retard 2: "Oh, uhm, like I guess that's fair."
Retard 1: "Uhm let's like go to Chilis!"

Our could you imagine Ford allowing Retard 2 to drive it if they could prove they were friends for 30 days?? Hilarious.

Retard 1 and 2 think Ford is doing them a huge favor by selling someone a car, much like a few of the people here on DT.

RE: Used is used
By tamalero on 6/21/2013 1:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
that sounds awfully close to the cult movie "Idiocracy" :(

RE: Used is used
By half_duplex on 6/21/2013 5:56:15 PM , Rating: 2
Sadly... that's where the uneducated mass of humble consumers is leading us.

We already have BIG ASS NACHOS and Jack Ass: The Movie.

RE: Used is used
By Digimonkey on 6/21/2013 9:16:25 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that uneducated consumers are a bad thing, but really your examples include two really great things. You're just coming off as pretentious now.

The anti-used-game argument
By GatoRat on 6/21/2013 12:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
is the same as the anti-music-sharing argument and contains the same fallacy; namely that people would buy the new game were the used game not available.

Moreover, blaming used games for killing sales of crap is disingenuous. Hollywood pulls this nonsense all the time--they make a crappy movie that nobody wants to see and they point fingers at everyone but themselves. (This isn't just blockbuster style movies; art house movies are even worse. Intellectuals get all upset that nobody wants to see/hear/read their preachy crap.)

Ultimately, pissing off customers and blaming them for your own failures is a really shitty way to run a company. This holds true in professional services as well--I just did an eval that failed. The vendor blamed us. We told them to drop dead. Whether it was our fault or not, that vendor lost a potential half million dollar sale by being arrogant. No doubt, they will blame "asshole" customers when they go bankrupt, not their own shitty software.

By linconmaples on 6/21/2013 1:38:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah the whole idea of customer service seems to be lost on the video game industry as a whole.

Christ most of the time we can't even get the bugs patched.

And they wonder why we may want to low ball them by buying a used game....

I can't get away with this crap in my industry. Just kinda indicates that the video game industry still has some growing up to do.

Used Games vs Used Cars?
By xstylus on 6/21/2013 12:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
Have used cars killed the automotive industry? No.

Are used games going to kill the game industry? No.

Someone PLEASE explain to me what makes the game industry so damn special that they need a way to block used products like NO OTHER INDUSTRY has the capability to do.

RE: Used Games vs Used Cars?
By inighthawki on 6/23/2013 10:29:09 PM , Rating: 2
There is a huge difference. In the games industry (and software industry) the entire cost of the product is up front in development costs. Once the game is made, duplicating it and making new copies to sell is pennies, if that. In the car industry, a lot of the cost is the vehicle itself. The manufacturing costs, materials, etc, and a lot of that is made back on a car by car basis. The games industry is not alone here, most of the software industry attempts to follow this same paradigm of selling non-transferable licenses, because it affects all of them.

Disconnected Reality
By KFZ on 6/21/2013 1:18:24 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, so your industry can't afford to make $20-200m titles and stay profitable? How is that our problem?

Please explain why SWTOR had to cost $200m and wasn't the best game ever made. Just admit that turning games into movies and trying to pass behemoths onto the consumers that need to sell millions of copies to avoid a loss is any justification for this asinine policy that ends such a fundamental relationship with the consumer and from the consumer to their products.

And you know, while movies are different, and while other industries may be "hurting" because they can't force everyone to buy brand new, is there any justification, or even logistic/practical solution that would allow a clothing designer to stay in business if it wouldn't let you donate one of its sweaters? This is beyond evil.

Fix your business model. Stop making it sound like you're a victim being pushed into a corner. Good grief.

RE: Disconnected Reality
By Breakfast Susej on 6/23/2013 2:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
SWTOR should be a case study of exactly what is wrong with the thinking of developers making these AAA games. All that money sunk into a game that still lacks the simplest of features that would make the hugest of differences. All in favor of what? That's right millions of dollars worth of voice overs.

Put simply, the games they say are being killed off deserve to die. Cliffy B has been commenting on this a lot and I can't think of a better example of the kind of game that deserves to die out than his gears of war games.

Six hour rail shooters with bloated development costs will not be a big loss at all.

By brucek2 on 6/21/2013 2:43:53 PM , Rating: 4
Publishers are already receiving a benefit from the consumer being able to resell their games. This ability directly adds to the number of consumers able and willing to pay $60 for a new game in the first place.

There's a significant segment of the market (i.e. teens) that is very cash-limited. Their ability to trade in that old game to support the purchase of the new game directly impacts the number of games they can purchase.

More broadly speaking, the ability to loan, trade, resell is also an important factor in keeping the video game space viable and enjoyable as a hobby overall for them. If the economics were locked down such that they were now realistically only able to play a few games per year, many might instead end up at zero games and no money wasted on a console.

Video game demand is very elastic (meaning it changes with cost.) Microsoft is dreaming if it thinks the same number of total games could be sold at full price if trading, loaning, etc all went away.

The man has a point!
By stm1185 on 6/21/2013 8:25:30 PM , Rating: 2
Wake the f$%^ up. AAA is failing. RIP THQ, ATARI, 38 STUDIOS, LUCAS ARTS...

Sony and now MS deciding to continue on as if nothing is happening to appease vocal idiot's on the internet is ultimately going to hurt them in the long run. And by them I mean the vocal idiots, as MS and Sony will move on to pushing other media, hell Netflix is already the number #1 console activity!

Free to play hell is what is waiting around the corner if people continue to support the Gamestop business model. Crytek already plans to go solely F2P. Others will follow suit.

RE: The man has a point!
By 1prophet on 6/22/2013 8:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
Free to play hell is what is waiting around the corner if people continue to support the Gamestop business model. Crytek already plans to go solely F2P. Others will follow suit.

You want to sell $60 games in a stagnant economy where more and more people are ending up on food stamps or some sort of partial welfare.

Sorry, the corporate mentality that drives wages down while telling (brainwashing) consumers cheaper is better (example made in China) is coming back to bite hard,

the gaming industry is not immune to the fallout from this race to the bottom.

There is no 1 to 1 corrolation
By linconmaples on 6/21/2013 1:28:25 PM , Rating: 3
I think the biggest fallacy in this logic is the same one the record industry used to justify litigation.

One used game sale does not equate to one lost new game sale.

You can take away the ability to buy used games but that doesn't mean people are going to go out and buy just as many new games as they did old. If they want to sell this logic then new game prices need to come waaaaay down.

I think overall, used games can have a positive effect on game sales. This is especially the case for sequels and series. Let me catch up on the series with used games and maybe just maybe you can convince to buy that great new assassins bleed 12 that you just released for 60 bucks.

I have done this on netflix many times. Catch up on the series on instant watch and then go ahead and buy the new episodes else where.

MS and these developers just want the easy way out, and they want us to foot the bill.

By Creig on 6/21/2013 11:07:06 AM , Rating: 2
Used car sales are slowly killing the automobile industry! Ban used car sales!

Used home sales are slowly killing the housing industry! Ban used home sales!

*rolls eyes*

If second hand sales...
By ballist1x on 6/21/2013 11:45:01 AM , Rating: 2
.... were killing the industry, how come it isnt already dead?

Second hand games have been in existance since the beginning of gaming surely?

It's like, do second hand car sales kill the car industry? not really tbh.

Used games
By crimson117 on 6/21/2013 11:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
It's their own relentless incremental sequels that cause people to sell off the old version!

Gamers sell Madden 2012 back to Gamestop because Madden 2013 made it obsolete.

Why don't they try making games that people want to hold onto instead of games that get stale?

Or take Madden 2012 and sell roster upgrades or new game modes and features as DLC, rather than introduce Madden 2013 as a new standalone game?

By chromal on 6/21/2013 12:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
What a steaming pile of crap. Its rare you see such greed and hubris together. Used video games have been around for at least 35 years, and I guess schemers and marketoids have been dreaming about double-dipping on a sold game just as long. Disgusting.

yeah right
By Ammohunt on 6/21/2013 2:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
Overpriced craptastical games are killing the industry they need to bring back a value proposition. i.e. i have no need to resell my games because the ones i buy <$30 are affordable by even the most broke college student.

We all pay, one way or the other
By Scrith on 6/21/2013 3:41:38 PM , Rating: 2
The response of the games industry to used games is to raise the price of new ones. When the industry shifts to a pay-per-download, subscription, or buy-games-per-level system the end result will be that the games actually end up costing less for the people who are currently buying new games (because the development cost will be spread out among everyone who plays the games, rather than just those who bought a new copy).

This guys
By bc4393 on 6/21/2013 4:31:50 PM , Rating: 2
What it boils down to is this. As the CONSUMER who spends MONEY on games I'm telling you (Microsoft guy) flat out you won't have as many of my dollars in your pocket with DRM. I'll be considering spending my $500 on the console now where I flat out refused when I heard the news before. I'm not tied down and I've got a lot of Xbox veteran friends who were ready to jump ship as well.

It's not my fault you're trying to make movies instead of quality games. Maybe someone better re-evaluate what makes a good game, ya think? I'd spend 60 bucks on Command and Conquer Red Alert or Tribes again in a heartbeat because I know how many hours of fun I'd get out of it. DRM is like a fancy bait and switch. Sure I have the means and the know how to pirate games, everyone does nowadays but it's too much trouble. If you impress me with gameplay I'll buy what you're selling, because I have those means as well...

change the model
By ssobol on 6/21/2013 5:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
All the game companies have to do is change the model (which they are trying to do). Instead of selling you the game, they grant you a license which has various conditions. The license says what you can and can't do. You do something the license forbids and you face the consequences (perhaps). If you don't care for the terms of the license, purchase a license for a different product that you can live with. The market will determine which business model survives. There is no right that ensures anybody has the right to play video games or to freely sell them to others.

There are plenty of other companies that are trying to leverage their IP in ways similar to what the game industry is trying to do. People don't like it, but it is probably here to stay.

By p05esto on 6/21/2013 6:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
yea, I totally don't care about any of that. Would not buy the system if I had to buy every game new at $60.... forget it, no way. I might buy a couple games at that price, but then buy the rest on ebay after a year for $15 or so. They need to find a way to make games cheaper. That will make up for profit by the quantity of games sold. People would buy right away instead of waiting for a year on ebay. It's so simple really. I would rather buy the game new at Target or whatever, but not at $60. Keep dreaming.

No money? Keep Spending!
By TRYthisONaMAC on 6/21/2013 8:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't Cali broke? Why even buy Ipads at all?

Simple solution.
By JeBarr on 6/21/2013 10:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
All the publishers/developers ever needed to do was take control of the used game sales by purchasing the physical media back from gamer for credit on their next game purchase. This could have been done through the mail right from the start of vidyer gaming. Hindsight is 20/20, of course :D

Here's a thought:

How about the publisher and/or developer use this same idea for digital distribution. Credit the gamer when they're ready to remove game from the system.

Killing The Industry
By btc909 on 6/21/2013 11:15:24 PM , Rating: 2
Stop charging $60 for a new title. Otherwise you WILL train buyers to wait to buy the game USED!

Lame crap
By Mr Joshua on 6/23/2013 7:27:04 AM , Rating: 2
This is the same lame crap we've been hearing from the music industry re buying used CDs and MP3s. What rubbish. If they can't set up a business model that allows for their products to pass legally from one owner to another, they should just get the hell out of the gaming market. As it is, I will never buy an X-box or any other gaming unit that requires me to phone home or that does not allow me to sell my games if I don't use them any longer.

Poor video game developers
By MagicSquid on 6/23/2013 8:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
Those poor video game developers. I can see how used video games might be seen as a threat and loss of revenue. Now they'll probably have to sell all of their Gulf Stream 6s and downgrade to just Gulf Stream 5s. I hear the Gulf Stream 5s don't even have a remote control for the theatre system! Poor poor game development companies. :(

On a sidenote: I have hundreds of games and I've never sold one of them because I purposely buy games with high replayability. If they put more replayability into games, then no one would want to sell them as used. Whoa... And no, I don't mean tossing some gimmicky achievements on at the last minute.

Less sales? You sure?
By hau101 on 6/24/2013 5:06:32 AM , Rating: 2
If I have $90 and spend $60 on a new game I can't sell, I can't buy another. If I can sell it for $30 then I got enough for a second game. Win-win.

You can't have it all
By Nevets97 on 6/24/2013 9:21:22 AM , Rating: 2
It is interesting to read all the debate over consumer rights and our rights as a US citizen because it seems that a few key things are usually either forgotten or not paid attention to.

First , with the whole comparison of video game content to movies , it really isn't an apples to apples comparison. With movies , the makers of the movie have the ability to recoup their development cost in multiple ways. The first being the money generated at the box office. The second being money generated from the sale of the movie on DVD. Also not to mention whatever money might be generated from sources like Redbox , Netflix.

The funniest thing though is all of the indignation that people spew over their rights being trampled on when it all really boils down to the fact that, at every step of the way and in every facet of our lives we all want more money , lower costs , more value , etc. But with everyone wanting the same thing , it just isn't possible.

The video game companies and developers wanting more revenue is NO different than each individual wanting a raise at work.We all are ( for the most part) driven by the pursuit of wealth and buying power. So why should any of you expect corporations to be any different? After all corporations are run by people... not altruistic entities.

Even if a particular corporation is run by someone that would be seen as a fair and consumer rights friendly individual , this individual will still have employees that expect their compensation to constantly increase over time.They will also have to answer to shareholders that expect their income stream to constantly increase as well.

To complain about companies being greedy is the same to complain about all of your fellow countrymen and to complain about yourself.

I give props to Microsoft. While they may have originally planned to institute DRM restrictions , after hearing the voice of the consumer they at least changed their intent to something more consumer friendly. They are caught in the middle to an extent between all of us consumers and the developers. At least Microsoft listened....

used games
By talikarni on 6/24/2013 4:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
So if no one bought new games, how would there be any used games to be bought and sold? They try to make excuses and use circular logic.
They want to force everyone to buy new games since "they are going to buy the games anyways".
They fail to see the break in the circle when people realize they cannot buy or play used, or borrow games from friends. So therefore they either stop playing or sell the console, and end up buying an unlocked system like PS3 or PS4.

Same goes for current Xbox 360 systems since its release: once so many people found out they cannot play friends online, watch Youtube, watch Netflix or even use the web browser without being forced into paying for the Gold subscription, they turn around and either take the system back, or sell it to someone else and bought a PS3 (exactly what I did). This is why after a few years of both being out, PS3 console sales have continued to climb and surpass the 360, while 360 console sales have started to drop off.

MS thought that if they can con so many people into paying their monthly fee, they could con them into an always on connection, the pay to play subscription and the "no used games" process. So far they dropped one of the 3, lets see if they wise up and drop the other 2 as well (doubtful).

Then stop putting out crap.
By overlandpark4me on 6/30/2013 12:30:28 AM , Rating: 2
Did they think everyone would throw out their own games when they were tired of them? No, you try to get something for them to lesson the money hit you pay for the overpriced product they put out.

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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