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Ubisoft is on a secret mission to assassinate their customers' wallets with used game fees.  (Source: Ubisoft)
And retailer Gamestop is perfectly fine with it; they say they don't care if customers are charged more

One hot current debate in the video game industry is the topic of used games.  While this may seem surprising as used game sales -- both private and commercial – have been around for years, video game makers are now turning on the time honored practice, looking to make some extra money.  Some developers have said used games are worse than piracy.

Electronic Arts unveiled a controversial plan earlier this month to lock players out of online content in used games unless they paid a $10 fee.  Now Ubisoft CFO Alain Martinez CEO comments, "Regarding ... monetizing used games or downloadable content … most of the games that we will release next year will have downloadable content available from the start.  We are looking very carefully at what is being done by EA regarding what we call the '$10 solution,' and we will probably follow that line at sometime in the future."

With Ubisoft, publisher of the best-selling 
Assasin's Creed and Splinter Cell franchises on board, many think the industry could shift as a whole to charging users anywhere from $5-$20 extra on used titles, on top of the $10-$40 they already pay for the game itself.  Publishers are also looking to use a transition to digital downloads to make customers less able to sell titles in the first place.

Some customers are circumventing these restrictions by creating one time accounts on services such as Valve's Steam and selling them to effectively sell the game.  This technique is less effective on consoles like the Xbox 360, though, where month billing is attached to your account.

GameStop's Paul Raines praised EA and Ubisoft's decision to charge customers more.  He states, "We support the creation of added downloadable content for popular franchises, as we see that as extending the life of titles and broadening the base of game players.  We do not anticipate an impact to our used margins due to this program. The amount of used game buyers currently playing online is low, and as it grows, our proprietary models will manage trade and sale pricing to reach margin goals."

He adds, "Lastly, we believe that the online pass process will allow publishers to better leverage their IP content through DLC sales to both used players and new game buyers."

GameStop owns IP related to an online billing and content delivery system for used titles.  The company posted record sales in the first quarter of 2010.

While game companies have vowed to utilize the new used game markups to provide "extra content" to the customer, they have provided no hint to what that content might be or if it even exists at all.



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Heh...
By iFX on 5/21/2010 9:44:34 AM , Rating: 5
So I have a game and I sell it to someone else, a private transaction. Ubisoft, an unrelated third party feels that although it has no interest in this transaction it deserves an additional $10 just because. Sounds a lot like government sales tax.

Hey Ubisoft - shove it. You have lost a customer.




RE: Heh...
By leuNam on 5/21/2010 9:57:29 AM , Rating: 2
it's all about the money... and they say "it's for the environment! You do not need to dispose things you don't use...it's much greener earth" - green $$


RE: Heh...
By Mitch101 on 5/21/2010 10:47:26 AM , Rating: 2
They are reducing the value or used games and GameStop is happy with this? Does GameStop expect to sell more new games because of this?

How many users will return a used game they purchased because they didnt, arent expecting, or werent told about the back end fee when they try to activate it?

The only way to send a clear message to the game companies is dont buy them. They will run off and blame piracy but just wait until the game is $10.00 on steam or one of the 48 hour deals on GoGamer.


RE: Heh...
By quiksilvr on 5/21/2010 11:05:47 AM , Rating: 3
It's pretty obvious that GameStop is getting paid under the table to approve this. They are one of the biggest game stores in the country.


RE: Heh...
By raumkrieger on 5/21/2010 1:02:03 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think the payoff is under the table at all. Gamestop has really sold out and it's sad.

But that doesn't shock me. The "Preorder now at Gamestop to unlock xyz" proved that neither game developers nor Gamestop actually care about their customers, they just want to become filthy rich while continuing to produce substandard content.

They pull crap like this and then they complain about pirates...


RE: Heh...
By Taft12 on 5/21/2010 1:36:12 PM , Rating: 3
The only "payoff" is the delay of a transition to online-only purchases. That will be the end of Gamestop (and make no mistake, that day is coming) so of course they will support any move that doesn't completely cut them out of the equation.

They have no choice but to be the lapdog of the content industry.


RE: Heh...
By naris on 5/21/2010 11:08:27 AM , Rating: 3
GameStop knows that the Publishers are going to do something about used games. They are happy that the "solution" is a fee and not doing something to shut down used sales completely, which would put GameStop out of business...


RE: Heh...
By MrBlastman on 5/21/2010 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 5
Perhaps they should be a little wary of a fee like this after all--both Gamestop and the Publishers...

I have a lot of games that I have bought over the years, too numerous to count actually. Many of those games I haven't even beat yet, as generally one or two multiplayer games dominate my time (Team Fortress 2, StarCraft etc.). If they start forcing ever increasing methods of fees and DRM on us, what am I going to do?

Play all those older games I have sitting around, that is what. Oh wait... I paid for those years ago, that means no more revenue going into their pockets.

What are they going to do about that?

Suffer. I have enough games to play for years and with all the user-made content on older PC games (mods etc.,) I can literally go years playing new content on these older games that in many instances, bring these games up to modern spec... for free.

Piss of your customers and you piss your revenue down the drain.


RE: Heh...
By bodar on 5/21/2010 8:25:34 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you. My back catalog is pretty steep, and I don't even buy that many games -- usually just the Steam Specials. I just have less time than I used to.


RE: Heh...
By erikejw on 5/22/2010 7:28:17 AM , Rating: 2
"Oh wait... I paid for those years ago, that means no more revenue going into their pockets.

What are they going to do about that? "

Time expiration?
You do not own the game, you have bought a license to use it for 1 year and then booom, it will selfdestruct.
You better not try to use it after one year, then your console or pc might get bricked due to your refusal to comply with our terms.

Our solution to your problem is then to buy new hardware.

It wouldn't surprise me if we end up there one day.


RE: Heh...
By Chocobollz on 5/22/2010 2:48:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Time expiration? You do not own the game, you have bought a license to use it for 1 year and then booom, it will selfdestruct. You better not try to use it after one year, then your console or pc might get bricked due to your refusal to comply with our terms.
Our solution to your problem is then to buy new hardware.
It wouldn't surprise me if we end up there one day.

No no. If that's the case then he wouldn't have bought it in the first place. And if that's our future, I'll just play the good ol' ping-pong with my friend! :D


RE: Heh...
By Zoomer on 5/25/2010 12:30:30 AM , Rating: 2
Step 1. Set the date back in BIOS.
Step 2. Play Game
Step 3. ???
Step 4. Profit!


RE: Heh...
By The Raven on 5/21/2010 11:34:54 AM , Rating: 2
Good point.

This will invariably reduce the number of games out there and simultaniously reduce the amount of crap we have to wade through to find a great game. It will be more quality and less quantity.


RE: Heh...
By geddarkstorm on 5/21/2010 1:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Somehow... I doubt that. But it is a beautiful dream.


RE: Heh...
By sp33dklz on 5/21/2010 7:40:55 PM , Rating: 3
I'm done... seriously.

I will not buy Ubisoft, I will not buy EA, and I will not buy from Gamestop. I will purchase games through Steam from now on and if something comes up that is worth playing, I'll buy it from a different store.

I swear, they make playing games more complicated than it's worth...

I buy a 360. In order to play online, I need to set up an xbox live account. In order to use this account with the correct package to play online, I now need pay for this account. I purchase a used game from EA / Ubi, and now I must set up another account and pay $10.00 just to play the game on my 360 that I'm already paying a monthly fee for.

No wonder they're doing shitty... People are already too broke to buy games with the economy in a mess, lets charge more and screw it up a bit.

http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?tick...

http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=UBI.PA+Interact...

-Josh


RE: Heh...
By MozeeToby on 5/21/2010 10:03:20 AM , Rating: 3
They lost me for PC titles when they started requiring a constant internet connection to play single player games. I pay for a high speed, always on internet connection but that doesn't stop the neighbor from turning on his microwave and destroying my wireless signal.


RE: Heh...
By Mr Perfect on 5/21/2010 6:42:25 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. They've already pissed the PC buyers off with their DRM, I guess they had to after the console players too.


RE: Heh...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 5/23/2010 7:05:19 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, they have you ANY TIME you need to download something to make the game function. ANY DRM is evil. If they mess up your download, I doubt they are on the hook to refund your cash. Buyer Beware.


RE: Heh...
By mmntech on 5/21/2010 10:03:06 AM , Rating: 4
Ubisoft lost me as a customer after the Assassin's Creed 2 DRM Hunter scandal.

It's not right to be charging people extra. As a friend of mine put it, them saying used games are killing their business is like GM saying used cars bankrupted them.

I'm seriously considering just stopping gaming all together with all the BS legitimate customers like me have to deal with. Not worth it IMO.


RE: Heh...
By Golgatha on 5/21/2010 10:25:26 AM , Rating: 3
Although I'm not defending this BS from EA and Ubisoft, I would just like to point out the analogy would be more fitting if it was used car dealerships selling new cars at used car prices. It's not like the bits of data on a disc are going to become used and break down completely over time.

I seriously think this issue of including codes and such should be challenged at the Supreme Court level. This is a blatant disregard for the First Sale Doctrine and it stomps all over the consumer's right to resell a copyrighted work, a right which we as consumers have enjoyed since 1976.


RE: Heh...
By naris on 5/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Heh...
By Jaybus on 5/21/2010 12:24:09 PM , Rating: 5
You are mistaken. US copyrights, trademarks, and patents were established by Article 1,Section 8 of the US Constitution, giving federal courts jurisdiction over copyright law. Federal law 17 USC 109 codifies "first sale doctrine", and basically says that the owner of a legal copy is entitled to sell or otherwise dispose of that copy without the consent of the copyright holder. A case based on 17 USC 109 would begin in a US District Court, which after appeals could indeed be heard by the US Supreme Court.


RE: Heh...
By zmatt on 5/21/2010 12:50:21 PM , Rating: 2
owned! I look forward to the big game trust being put in their place. Not only do they sell a non essential commodity, but one that quickly becomes obsolete at that and loses it's value. if they want to make more money how about stop making bad games and make ones that I want to buy. It's been awhile since I have bought a new title actually.


RE: Heh...
By Thelookingglass on 5/21/2010 1:32:54 PM , Rating: 2
Read the whole thing. There are special exceptions for computer programs. AKA video games.


RE: Heh...
By iFX on 5/21/2010 1:33:56 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed.


RE: Heh...
By NullSubroutine on 5/22/2010 2:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong, Timothy S. Vernor v. Autodesk Inc


RE: Heh...
By afkrotch on 5/24/2010 12:54:38 AM , Rating: 2
They aren't stopping you from selling or disposing of the copy. They are simply making the game not play online, but it can still play offline. From a legal standpoint, my guess would be that EA and Ubisoft would be in the clear.

They are simply charging the next owners the right to use EA or Ubisoft's resources to play online. While the original owners already paid that price in the original MSRP.

I still think it's a stupid idea. I'm already shying away from Ubisoft with their persistent internet connection crap and EA seems to be wanting to move to that too.


RE: Heh...
By JediJeb on 5/21/2010 11:37:58 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Although I'm not defending this BS from EA and Ubisoft, I would just like to point out the analogy would be more fitting if it was used car dealerships selling new cars at used car prices. It's not like the bits of data on a disc are going to become used and break down completely over tim


But that would be like saying that Win95 is just as good now as it was back in 1996. Just because the bits of data don't degrade does not mean that the software they make up does not depreciate with age. Would you even pay the same price now for WinXP as for Win7? Or even the same price for WinVista as Win7?


RE: Heh...
By chagrinnin on 5/21/2010 2:06:04 PM , Rating: 5
FOR SALE: Windows Millennium Edition, Grandmother's computer; Played Solitaire every other Sunday; Must sell; Like new! $139.99! :p


RE: Heh...
By theArchMichael on 5/21/2010 3:16:46 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed... almost all products experience a devaluation after they've been released because it is assumed that newer products released thereafter are more advanced, updated... and therefore better... unless your the lucky owner of a shelby mustang of course :-)
But for a video game I think especially with the crap they put out nowadays they should be grateful to get $10.00 on steam a year later. Its almost a novelty item since some of the games just take advantage of more updated and prettier graphics.


RE: Heh...
By fic2 on 5/21/2010 12:46:18 PM , Rating: 3
The analogy is more fitting with new and used books. I buy used books all the time. Also one of the reasons that I won't get a kindle since AFAIK they don't allow you to sell a used e-book to someone or even give it to someone.


RE: Heh...
By Aikouka on 5/21/2010 1:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
Golgatha, I don't like what EA and Ubisoft are planning as much as the next guy, but the problem with your statement on it possibly infringing upon our right to sell the product is that... well, it doesn't.

You are still selling the original product that you paid for, but the extra code has already been used. This is no different than when you buy a new game that comes with some shiny extra (like the Golden Guns with Red Dead Redemption) and you use this. When you sell the game, this extra cannot be sold with it, because you have already redeemed the code.

So in other words, the original game is still being sold as-is, but as per the usual, you are unable to transfer DLC with the game license/medium. Unfortunately now, the DLC in question is something we almost expect to come with a game.

Also, we cannot forget that technically EA and Ubisoft own the game servers (we definitely know EA does with their recent closing of old game servers). I haven't exactly gone and read any of EA's ToS/EULAs lately, but I'm fairly certain that there's nothing in them that state that you will get online play by default nor that they must provide you with it.

I think one negative aspect that has been overlooked in regard to using the online component as DLC... DLC DRM mechanics. In the case of the XBOX 360, the DLC is locked via two methods: the registering user and the console it is registered on. To actally use the DLC, you must match at least one of those credentials. If you bring the game to your friend's house, you must log in on your XBL account to play multiplayer. If you switch to another 360 in your own home, you must ensure that you use the correct account.

Some users may never run into an issue with DLC DRM mechanics (and I'm not sure what the PS3 does), but there are some people that may simply be screwed over by this.


RE: Heh...
By Thelookingglass on 5/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Heh...
By iFX on 5/21/2010 1:44:40 PM , Rating: 3
Uhhh, no.

DRM is a huge PITA especially for PC users. I don't pirate games, but I would like to be able to install the game more than a handful of times before I max out my installs. Lots of gamers are changing their hardware OFTEN and reload their OS OFTEN.

I also hate having to have an Internet connection for some games OR have some satellite/content manager open to play games (like Steam - it sucks ass).

As for stopping gaming? Uhhh, you betcha I'll stop buying games with ridiculous DRM.


RE: Heh...
By derricker on 5/22/2010 6:29:52 PM , Rating: 3
If you are a legitamate customer there's hardly anything you have to deal with.

No, on the contrary, as a legit user I have to deal with all the crap they care to throw in my face.

Now if you want to make illegal copies, illegally share it, illegally sell it, buy it in a way that get around paying the company for their property or anything else that breaks copyright and intellectual property laws then yea you will run into some problems.


daaaaa!!! wrong again!!! it's so much easier to use an illegal copy of whatever media you can think of.

There's a large difference between a car and an intellectual property.


Some would like to make the rest of the world believe so, the fact is, there is none.

When "legitimate" customers complain about things only pirates deal with then I can't help but laugh.

Well, when you care to crawl from under the rock you have been living for the past 20 years or so, maybe you will notices that legit user complain because pirates don't have to deal with a single thing.

And you're not going to stop gaming. Stop being melodramatic.

No, he won't, companies will, stop being so melodramatic.


RE: Heh...
By Omega215D on 5/21/2010 5:05:38 PM , Rating: 2
I wanted to pick up the new Splinter Cell having been a fan since the first one but I decided against it once I saw the new restriction: "A Permanent Internet Connection Is Required"

So basically if my internet ever goes down for whatever reason I will not be able to play the single player campaign until my connection gets back up. Ubisoft is being a prick in this one.


RE: Heh...
By jonmcc33 on 5/21/2010 10:29:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I tend to throw my used games away if I no longer play them. An example is the Aliens vs Predator (PC) game that came out recently. Nobody plays it online, the games doesn't support dedicated servers. So I just gave up on it and threw it away.


RE: Heh...
By TSS on 5/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Heh...
By iFX on 5/21/2010 11:10:49 AM , Rating: 3
Actually you do in fact own the license and said license is fully transferable under the law unless specified at the time of purchase.


RE: Heh...
By HotFoot on 5/21/2010 11:18:38 AM , Rating: 2
Even if it is specified otherwise at the time of purchase, such specification is not lawful.


RE: Heh...
By iFX on 5/21/2010 12:09:35 PM , Rating: 2
It depends wholly on the licensing agreement and the intended use of said copy.


RE: Heh...
By HotFoot on 5/21/2010 11:17:39 AM , Rating: 5
First-sale says otherwise, as have the courts, so far. Legal president is that you have the right to sell used copyrighted works. The EULA may include a term contrary to this, but such a term has not stood up in a court of law.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobbs-Merrill_Co._v._...

Copyright says you may not copy and distribute. You can always re-sell a legal copy you own.


RE: Heh...
By tmouse on 5/24/2010 8:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
Your right although Timothy S. Vernor v. Autodesk Inc is a better example (I believe it's still in appeals though).In Bobbs-Merrill Co. v. Straus it was a book so the issues of license versus sales do not apply. Now even under Vernor these companies could remove the ability for online play. The "rights" as it were would only apply to the first holder and just as EA could not stop the sale the new owner has no rights to make EA honor online play, they would have to deal with the first owner who can do nothing. The key is the courts deciding the absence of a use or yearly fee and the ability to keep the program in perpetuity constitutes a sale which is perfectly reasonable. I think most software manufactures will move to a yearly fee or a use fee with the software being on their servers or on a cloud distribution. This would clearly be a license and not open to first sale provisions. Personally I like owning my software but I fear that will be going the way of the dinosaurs.


RE: Heh...
By room200 on 5/21/2010 12:36:15 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this the "Free Market" at work that so many on this board champion so often?


RE: Heh...
By Steve1981 on 5/21/2010 12:49:03 PM , Rating: 5
Yup, and this is the free market's response:

quote:
Hey Ubisoft - shove it. You have lost a customer.


Works for me.


RE: Heh...
By room200 on 5/21/2010 1:16:45 PM , Rating: 2
Then why are some of the same people talking about laws, constitution, all the other things they're complaining about?


RE: Heh...
By Steve1981 on 5/21/2010 1:28:00 PM , Rating: 2
Presumably because Ubisoft's plan may be against US law.


RE: Heh...
By bug77 on 5/21/2010 1:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong from the very beginning. You do nit have a game. You have licensed the right to use the game, on Ubisoft's terms.

You see, that's the big scam these days: while you have games, music and video "stores", you can't actually buy anything from them. You may only license stuff.


RE: Heh...
By gorehound on 5/21/2010 4:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
I will never purchase a game that makes you pay extra money as in downloading content and paying additonal money as in what this post is about.
P2P is what i will do for the few games i actually play in a year.this behavior is wrong.if i buy a used game i play it not pay more.


RE: Heh...
By Hiawa23 on 5/21/2010 5:54:12 PM , Rating: 2
Thank the housing crisis for this. The economy is bad, gamers are looking for more deals, buying used games more, & devs want their cut as they are scrounging for every nickel now, whereas in previous years when the economy was better used games sales really wasn't that big of an issue as they are now. I buy most of my games from Gamefly, I guess I understand where the devs are coming from, as their profits are down, & many are just trying to keep the doors open, so this is not an issue with me, but it seems this may backfire. Saw it coming.


RE: Heh...
By trumpeter001 on 5/21/2010 10:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't this the same thing as an automotive manufacturer saying,” Wait a minute, you can’t resell that car unless you give us $1000.” Well guess what, I bought the game, short of copying it and redistributing copies, I can do whatever I want to with it.

We’ll see if this even flies. I have a feeling there will be legal battle over this one.


carry on...
By pro5 on 5/21/2010 10:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
keep driving more and more players AWAY from buying. On a system like PS3 for example (zero piracy) we are STILL charged a lot for games, always told 'the cost of piracy does this' (yet there is no piracy on ps3). So now legit customers can't even 'invest' in games and do an easy sell on (i've sold lots of unused 360/ps3 games on and bought more games) - this won't force hard up people to cough up more money, it will just stop us buying games. And where possible, I suppose more and more will seek other 'means'. Again, turning willing-to-pay customers into either pirates (especially with stupid DRM) or into people who start to realise their rent is more important than another 6 hour so called 'AAA' game from one of the big publishers.

I've noted how game quality has taken a slide, even while production and marketing quailty has ramped up. It's not enough that barely any game comes complete anymore? DLC is fragmenting games as investments and as enjoyable single entities. And a move to pure digital distribution will certainly make me think twice before paying $50 for a download. For that money I like to at least feel like I own something that *I* can choose to sell on (even if just for a fiver at a car boot/flea market).

I don't care about the ins and outs, and rights and licenses to play versus 'ownership' - all I know is it's more and more obvious that the majority of big developers left in the industry are ONLY after our money and are not trying to create amazing new experiences with the player's best interests at heart.

Bring on a video game industry crash please, maybe they will learn not to push punters too far in future.




RE: carry on...
By pro5 on 5/21/2010 10:23:22 AM , Rating: 2
Correction: I meant PUBLISHERS not developers of course. However, the blame has to start somewhere and it's the developers who sell their souls to these mega-corps who are ruining their creative control and player's entertainment.

I think a bunch of the best devs should form a truly independent publisher and self publish. If the talent is removed from the 'mainstream' then sobeit (it's happened to music, and I've given up on mainstream music for at least 10 years). So smaller niches, more underground, higher quality - for MUSIC and GAMES. It's the future, it's all we have - thankfully the internet has made it possible in some ways to bypass the mega-corps.


RE: carry on...
By The Raven on 5/21/2010 11:31:32 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree. These leaches claim that they are doing these people a favor by getting their games out there, but in the age of Facebook and blogs, there really isn't a need.

Go around them, a la Infinity Ward. Infinity Ward has such a strong following that they don't even need to advertise to make a gazillon dollars.


RE: carry on...
By JediJeb on 5/21/2010 11:58:39 AM , Rating: 2
I think this practice may be the thing that actually makes that happen. People get fed up with the big guys making tons of money and delivering poor games and they will rather turn to the small guy who puts out a good game at a low price. Most of the big developers got their start this way, but they lose site of how they began and the next upstart will knock them off the pedestal just as they did someone before them. Every small company that has made it big has gone through the same thing, and end up having to try to bully their way to stay on top. Eventually they will either learn to return to their roots or more commonly they just die off. Not gaming related but just look at the progression of Sears, KMart, Walmart, Costco, each starts small, runs hot, gets big, then the next small upstart follows suit and knocks the former off the pedestal.


RE: carry on...
By Golgatha on 5/21/2010 10:30:22 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, if we go to digital download only consoles, that's the day I'll be severely limiting my purchases or just finish the backlog of games I have to play and never buy another game once I'm done. If Sony, MS, and Nintendo want my dollars, my right to resell needs to be shown some respect.


I don't get it.
By The Raven on 5/21/2010 11:14:42 AM , Rating: 2
If they want more money... why don't they just charge more for the new games? They system is so screwed up and the only publisher that I know of to step out of the box (if only for a brief moment was 2K when they sold their sports games for $20. How is it that games with lasting appeal (i.e Counterstrike or any quality FPS) is sold for the same price as a game like Madden where you have to get a new one every year to keep current rosters.

The whole entertainment system is screwed. Be it movies, music or whatever. I blame the IP laws.

How is it that a game that you spend 50x the time playing costs only 3x as much? The parity is way off.

And furthermore why does it basically cost the same price for a CD as a DVD. '4 guys making noise in a garage' vs. 'Peter Jackson flying to Austrailia and gettting top talent to make one of the most expensive epics ever.' And the movie lasts maybe 4x the CD to boot.

It is clear to me that we have cried too much about the value of art and not we are seeing the effects of this crap. I will never donate to any artist benefits or some crap like that because if I want something I will invest in it in a specific manner. Not some hail mary in hopes of some dreamer to create something that I find of worth.

Simply put, I want the entertainment industry to just be honest with us and charge what they think is fair. If they really need more money; then charge us for it. Someone out there will buy COD7 for $120 (hell, they sell the limited editions for that much now) and I'll gladly pick it up for $60 used. If you want to play the volume game, don't cry about it with these idiotic tactics. Just be honest with us. Hell, I'll buy COD7 for $120 if I need too. But don't expect me to pay $60 for 3 new maps and 2 old maps that I already own. /rant Sorry.




RE: I don't get it.
By sviola on 5/21/2010 4:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they want more money... why don't they just charge more for the new games?


Because people won't buy it. Not only they won't be able to afford games at the 120 price tag you mention, but I don't think people perceive the value of games to want to pay that amount (also, on a 199 arcade version of xbox, the game would be priced at 60% of the system value)

quote:
Simply put, I want the entertainment industry to just be honest with us and charge what they think is fair. If they really need more money; then charge us for it. Someone out there will buy COD7 for $120 (hell, they sell the limited editions for that much now) and I'll gladly pick it up for $60 used. If you want to play the volume game, don't cry about it with these idiotic tactics. Just be honest with us. Hell, I'll buy COD7 for $120 if I need too. But don't expect me to pay $60 for 3 new maps and 2 old maps that I already own.


Well, I'm not sure they'll be able to push $120 games. I for one never buy $60 games, I wait for them to lower the pricing (and nowadays, I only buy games on steam - usually on sale or games that are cheaper than $30). And probably, most of the people won't be able to spend that amount in games (someone that can only buys 1 $60 game in a month would need 2 months to buy the same game if it costs 120, which means that they sales would take twice as long to happen, therefore impacting their revenue and profits)

quote:
And furthermore why does it basically cost the same price for a CD as a DVD. '4 guys making noise in a garage' vs. 'Peter Jackson flying to Austrailia and gettting top talent to make one of the most expensive epics ever.' And the movie lasts maybe 4x the CD to boot.


Well, don't know how often you see LOR (or any other movie you own), but mine is sitting on the shelf for a couple of years now. But my Master of Puppets (Metallica album if you don't know what it is), I bought back in the 80's (and replaced for a cd sometime in the 90's) still makes its way to my sound system once in a while (at least once a month). Music usually has a much higher replay value than movies (unless the album is crappy - yeah, I'm looking at you Load).


RE: I don't get it.
By The Raven on 5/24/2010 12:43:03 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Point #1
Well then why don't they drop the price even more for a while and then have them complain that they can't raise the price of a game to 60$ because no one will buy it. They are paying that much now. It is only the perception of the public that would make a $120 game unattractive. And that perception has been developed by the gaming industry that has put out more and more crappy games as we go on. So for every game that you lay down $60 for that is good, there is a $60 game that is crap. Look at 2 games that my bro bought for me. Operation Flashpoint and MW2. OF:DR is actually a good game that was half baked. But nevertheless, my bro bought it because of the features and past experience with the franchise. But because of the glitchiness with it (which really doesn't go well with a game where the maps take a long time to complete!) we stopped playing it after 2-3 months.

Now MW2 is a more polished game (despite the bugs) and is a superior product in the opinion of most (though the popularity may be self-fulfilling).

We have enjoyed playing it since it came out and I don't see an end to its appeal any time soon. This is despite the fact that I feel that it is a glorified version of Halo (which I also enjoy).

But anyway, my point is that both games were $60. We only enjoyed one of them. So basically we paid $120 for MW2. My point is that people do this with out even realizing it and that game industry should just shoot straight with us.

It is like when restarants give you double sized portions, but charge you a higher price for it, and people say, "oh its fine because we take the leftovers home so it is like getting 2 meals for the price of one". Fail! They just sold you 2 meals. They are not increasing portion sizes to fatten up and kill their customers. They want to make $$$ off of the volume. And the game companies are doing the same.

RE: Point #2
I also avoid buying games new for the most part. Half.com is great for older titles BTW. But this is exactly where you can see where the money should be going. Gears of War 2 (used) is going for half that of a used copy of MW2 on Half.com. So MW2 is more valueable and has a higher price. I am just saying that the same should apply for new games as well (though it kind of does when you see things quickly go on sale). But these companies know when they make a crap game and they still put it out there and advertise it like there is nothing wrong with it. Why aren't there more people putting out $20 games like 2K did with the NHL/MLB/NFL/NBA 2K5 games? Because I guarantee you that there is less going into the dev of those sports games, than there is going into MW2. And the price should reflect that. And they sold a buttload of those 2K5 games.

RE: Point #3
LOL@Load!
quote:
Music usually has a much higher replay value than movies

Yes this might be true. But I have watched Tommy Boy, Airplane, and Spaceballs more times than any CD. lol
But, music also needs less of your time and attention. You can listen to music while you work on your PC, but you can't watch a movie while you do that. So music should be cheaper based on that, a la terestrial radio.

But my point is not about how much we get out of it. It is about how much was put into the making of it. It doesn't make sense, right? Personally, I would start writing my own music before I bought a CD that was $15 (depending on content of course, but generally speaking here). Plus I can get awesome music from ages ago instead. Like your Metallica example. One day they will be dead or stop putting out albums (with new material, that is). Will you still be buying their CDs then? I imagine that you own digital copies of their music which won't need to be replaced. So will they go hungry now because you already bought the music and have no need to buy any more? Maybe. So maybe they will have to go and get real jobs like the rest of us instead of living in the fantasyland that the RIAA has created. Well not if they are dead, but you see what I'm saying, right?


I have a really simple solution...
By muhahaaha on 5/21/2010 12:42:29 PM , Rating: 2
I have a really simple solution...

When you're done with the game and want to trade it in, give your login credentials to GameStop so the next user can user them and appear to be the same person.

Since the computer on which the game is installed is different, the customer can just claim they bought a new PC and had to reinstall the game if there are any issues.

This kind of BS is really only going to hurt the average person, and make piracy look like a better alternative to paying for a game. When will these companies learn?




RE: I have a really simple solution...
By Smilin on 5/21/2010 1:21:32 PM , Rating: 2
Uh.

Gamestop is primarily console titles as are UBIsofts games.

Nobody is going to give up an XBL account to save a stranger $10


By muhahaaha on 5/21/2010 1:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
good point. I was thinking from a PC gaming perspective.


Peeved...
By StevoLincolnite on 5/21/2010 11:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
So for starters...

1) We pay a fortune for the platforms to play the game.
2) We pay for an internet connection.
3) We pay for the game.
4) We pay a monthly subscription for some services to play the game online.
5) We pay to get added content which should have been included from the beginning. (Like maps, extra characters, etc'.)

And now, they want us to pay for the same product that has already been bought once before?

Seriously, when are these guys going to realize that the consumer is not a bottomless pit of cash and actually produce something worthwhile that people are willing to buy for in droves?

For starters they don't make games like they used to with 100 hour story lines (Final Fantasy 8?), endless re-playability (Donkey Kong and Mario?), and ground breaking multi-player that was ahead of it's time. (Perfect Dark)

A hint to developers: Develop a game, that people really are willing to buy in large quantities, some good examples: StarCraft, Diablo, WarCraft, Halo, Call of Duty, Spore, SimCity, The Sims, Command and Conquer, Bioshock, Assassins Creed, Need for Speed, Left for Dead, Oblivion, Fallout 3, Battlefield. - Just to name a few.

You will get more money, customers will be happier with there purchase (I've bought some really horrid games over the years, slowly making a foot stool out of the stack of them.) and probably continue buying into your franchise like no tomorrow.




RE: Peeved...
By HotFoot on 5/21/2010 11:24:22 AM , Rating: 2
Dragon Age was a pretty good buy, IMO. I didn't play it endlessly, but for $60 it cost less than a dollar per hour of play.


Stop Complaining About Used Games
By wempa on 5/21/2010 1:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
EVERY company would love it if their products could only be bought new. So, why is it that the video game companies are the only ones complaining about second hand sales ? I don't see book publishers complaining about used books. Yet, they would clearly make more money if everybody bought a new book rather than buy it used or borrow it from a friend ? I still fail to see exactly how the game companies feel that they are justified to ANYTHING after the original sale.




RE: Stop Complaining About Used Games
By rcc on 5/21/2010 2:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
At a guess, because they are running servers to let you play on-line. Right, wrong, or indifferent.


Wow....
By JESSE ONE on 5/21/2010 5:25:15 PM , Rating: 2
Total B/S... just another way to screw people out of money...

I stop playing ANYTHING Splinter Cell since the original 3 (Splinter Cell, Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory)... those were THE best. Just too bloated now....




RE: Wow....
By cmdrdredd on 5/22/2010 12:42:58 AM , Rating: 2
I also think it's laughable that they intend to have DLC from day one. So that basically means they cripple the game's options so they can sell em to you separately. Horrible. This isn't the first time though.


Let me translate GameStop's response...
By Golgatha on 5/21/2010 10:44:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GameStop's Paul Raines praised EA and Ubisoft's decision to charge customers more. He states, "We support the creation of added downloadable content for popular franchises, as we see that as extending the life of titles and broadening the base of game players. We do not anticipate an impact to our used margins due to this program. The amount of used game buyers currently playing online is low, and as it grows, our proprietary models will manage trade and sale pricing to reach margin goals."


We support DLC after a game is released because we can sell the download codes in our stores and make more profits. We also don't care if they include some of this DLC with a new game because we'll just pay less for a used copy and sell it at a lower than $54.99 price while still maintaining the exact same margins. As more and more consoles get connected to the Internet, we'll have a plan B ready for the time at which games become ethereal downloads that can't be resold. But hey, that's several years out and we, the executives, only care about next few quarter's numbers anyway and will be long retired before that happens (we hope).




By Golgatha on 5/21/2010 10:47:11 AM , Rating: 1
P.S. from GameStop: It's about time the game publisher's figured out how to really fleece the consumer. We've been doing it for years now!


Pirates win again
By chmilz on 5/21/2010 11:10:57 AM , Rating: 2
Good job, gaming industry. Make the experience, yet again, better for the pirates instead of the paying customer. Will you ever learn?




Go to hear...
By The0ne on 5/21/2010 11:21:33 AM , Rating: 2
That many of you are in disagreement with this. Judging from the previous post of the same subject, there were quite many that were FOR this. Smart people actually FOR this idea? Somewhere in the 8th dimension Einstein is crying his eyes out.




of course...
By umop apisdn on 5/21/2010 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
GameStop doesn't care. They will get their used game money. The end user will get home and find out they need to pony up $10 more to play online. They'll call the store and try to complain. Nothing will come of it.




Bargain bin?
By mydogfarted on 5/21/2010 11:35:13 AM , Rating: 2
Eventually their crap will end up in the $20 "Nobody wants this cr*p" bin. Then I may consider buying it new.




Saw This Coming
By DtTall on 5/21/2010 11:51:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Publishers are also looking to use a transition to digital downloads to make customers less able to sell titles in the first place.


I have been saying that since virtual goods started becoming a huge profit machine. It is why I still buy CDs with cases and don't buy much DLC from xBox.

http://thecakescraps.com/2009/12/01/why-i-laugh-at...




So which is it...
By Exodite on 5/21/2010 11:55:41 AM , Rating: 2
Are the gaming houses selling a product or a service?

The time has come to decide whether it's goods, which I can transfer or resell as I please, or an service that I subscribe to.

Either it's a one-time purchase or a subscription fee, you won't get both from me anytime soon.




what a joke
By zmatt on 5/21/2010 12:45:38 PM , Rating: 2
I look forward to this being thrown out in the courts. Once they sell a game the publisher no longer has any ownership of that physical copy. They cannot and should not expect further revenue. If they want to make more money they should raise the cost of the game at sale. Of course that isn't popular either. I see this as nothing more than greed by the publishers. The game industry isn't doing poorly so they cant use failing sales as an excuse.




By Smilin on 5/21/2010 1:19:46 PM , Rating: 2
(...that already happened back when you introduced internet required single player DRM)




By Motoman on 5/21/2010 2:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
...something about first right of resale or something like that.

Is there a lawyer in the house?




Greed must be supported
By wallijonn on 5/21/2010 4:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The amount of used game buyers currently playing online is low, and as it grows, our proprietary models will manage trade and sale pricing to reach margin goals. "


If it is necessary to pay a fee to play an on-line game then the distributor or publisher must support the game with available servers, patches, updates and security.

The problem will come in when a game has both a stand-alone game and an on-line game, new or used. Then those who do not play on-line will still be charged, as they are now when one buys a new game and does not play on-line. Buyers will probably end up asking that the content be separated onto two disks, preferably in separate packaging, with a lower price for a stand alone game, say $40 instead of the current price of $60, much like DLC discs are presently pressed and released on separate discs months after the game has come out. It is the on-line portion which could be downloaded, instead of demanding that all games be downloaded only.

Ever buy a game and found out that the updates were no longer available? Ever buy a used game only to find out that there were no servers? Ever log on to a server and find out that you were the only player? If so then the used game few should be waived or refunded.




Used Games & the new charges
By rocky12345 on 5/21/2010 6:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
So am I to assume that this new extra charge is only added if you try to play the game online or try to get the extra content? So if I go & buy a used game I do not pay the extra fee they want if I play the single player part of the game. If that is true it is not going to cost me any extra cash because i never play the online parts of the games anyways. Now if it is a forced pay scheme then that is totally a rip off. Then again if that is how they are going to handle it I guess step 1 go out legally buy the used game so you own the media the game comes on. Step 2 find a crack for said game & crack it so it dont look for anything to do with online. Step 3 play the game you just bought fair & square with no hassles.




By KOOLFUN5 on 5/21/2010 7:55:08 PM , Rating: 2
Game development companies love DLC, as they get more control, and can charge more money and make more revenue for thier games.

But for Consumers DLC is a horrible concept long term. Especially in todays business model environments.

CD = Buy it once, store it safe, play if forever for free.

DLC = Buy it once, buy access again, and again every time you need it or upgrade your computer, or lose it forever if that company goes out of business ( your DLC server is offline ).

Look at Steam, one of the bigger DLC providers around, think thier business model will be free forever for you to access your games in 5 or 10+ years??




What about the rental market?
By Legolias24 on 5/21/2010 8:05:34 PM , Rating: 2
If EA and Ubisoft continue down this path...hell lets say everyone continues down this path. What will happen to the rental market? I mean, if Blockbuster rents a game to a user, then that user will have to pay $10 on top of the rental price just to take it online? My guess is that will probably be the case and that is utter BS!!!

All in all, this is a very slippery slope these companies are standing on and I hope and pray that they step back from the edge before doing some serious damage. :S




By jfmeister on 5/22/2010 1:24:26 AM , Rating: 2
So, if they are to use a special CDKey matched to your console's Mac Address to determine the origin of the game, what will happen if you use your game on your friend's console? We will have to pay 10$ more to play it online?

Is it me or no one thought about this?




DRM
By 3dken on 5/22/2010 4:02:11 AM , Rating: 2
Because of all this DRM crap etc. every time I buy a new PC game I download a NO-CD crack for it. I don't want to have the disk in the drive being checked every 5 seconds, nor do I want it laying around on the desk while using other CD's/DVD's. Also a big F.U. to EA and UBIsoft and others that follow suit. Once, I owned an animation program called Animation Master. The response/usage time was dog slow almost to the point that it was unusable. Why? Because of cd DRM!! Found a No-CD crack for it and the program was fast as lightning!! The damn program was constantly checking the cd drive every 3-5 seconds!! I remember it taking 45min to install Half-Life 2. Once it installed (copied files) to the drive you had to go online to register the game on steam, THEN it had to decrypt & decompress the gigs of files it copied during the "install". Nothing pisses me off more as a consumer than DRM! :)




People need to get organized.
By derricker on 5/22/2010 6:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
There is enough legal precedent protecting your consumer rights, companies like EA and UBI would rather have you believe otherwise, while carefully but steadily eroding such right by lobbying an EULAs that are filled with small prints that most of the time go against current law , we need to get organized, bring a class action lawsuit against these crooks.

If we don't protect our consumer rights, regardless of whatever we are purchasing, cars, houses, consoles, games, nobody will.




Ah, here let me sell you my car...
By Magius on 5/23/2010 9:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
I will give you a good deal too. How about $30,000 for a 2 year old car, low mileage? Used to cost $60,000! Good? Excellent.

Wait hold on. Did I forget to tell you Ford charges a fee if you want to drive the car on the interstate? I think it is a one time fee of about $10,000. What? Not interested? Sorry you signed the contract already. No returns on used gam, cars sir.




lost me already
By Azure Sky on 5/24/2010 9:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ubi lost me with their always online DRM that has more downtime then up....

I wont pay to be treated like a theif, may as well actually be a theif and avoid the hassles.

This is just them wanting to dig into your pockets even more, the RIAA and MPAA would love to do the same thing or outright ban resale of music/movies.




Sigh
By Bioniccrackmonk on 5/21/2010 6:42:05 PM , Rating: 1
I am on the fence with their used game policy, more so thinking they can shove it. The part that I truly disagree with is this

quote:
most of the games that we will release next year will have downloadable content available from the start


That is bullshit. DLC is meant for material that couldn't make the designated development time and was completed afterwords. DLC is not meant to be available day one, I paid $60 for a game and now I have to pay an extra $10 - $15 for something that could have been included with it. Ubisoft, you can hum on a terd.




EA I can accept, but Ubisoft?!
By MagicSquid on 5/22/2010 5:57:35 AM , Rating: 1
I could see EA pulling this kind of shit. They've been kind of shady when it comes to delivering a quality gaming experience for the dollar in recent years, but not Ubisoft! I'm disappointed that I won't be purchasing anymore used Ubisoft games from now on. I feel like they've really stabbed the video game playing public in the back.

Et tu, Ubisoft?




“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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