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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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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.

“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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