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Cracked.com: 4 new video game trchnologys that will kill the industry.


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#1 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3193

Posted 26 June 2013 - 01:49 PM

Article

not sure how many of you read cracked.com, but this excellent article came up, which i believe hits the nail on the head for what is wrong with many casual, and even hardcore games.

For example, he talks about dead space 2's pack, that basically broke the game for him, and i've had a similar story with metro 2033, i brought it with a pack(can't remember the name), which allowed me to effectivly find a gun that allowed me to one shot anything very early into the game. While the game was fun, i still felt like i was pratically cheating with the weapon.

With soem games, this might not be a problem, but when an micro-transaction effectivly breaks a games finely balanced system. Is it right to create such game breakig features?

Of course i don't want to only discuss that, but i think this article condenses enough points to have a solid discussion on it. So give it a read, and post your thoughts.
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#2 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18837

Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:29 PM

Interesting article.

 

While I do agree that those four things (Internet requirements, microtransactions, wait gaming, and DRM) can be annoying when implemented badly, the will not "kill the industry".

 

In fact, when I really think about them, each one has been a part of gaming for decades. 

 

 

#4: Internet requirements on games are nothing new.  In fact, connectivity requirements existed in the 1980's with games that relied on then-popular systems.  BBS's and service providers like Prodigy and AOL had many popular games requiring connectivity.  They offered features people were willing to connect for, such as multiplayer support either through concurrent play or through turn-based play, score boards, and social aspects. Many games do not need it, but some games leverage it to the benefit of the player.  The article author makes a point that when the servers are retired, the game dies with it.  So what? In the 1980s I played games on Prodigy, back on my 1200 baud modem; they were fun and I invested a lot of time, but they are long gone.  I remember spending months in the 1990's playing Trade Wars, Space Dynasty, and Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD). Online connectivity has been a part of the industry for nearly 30 years, it will not "kill the industry".

 

#3: Microtransactions are not a new model.  They have recently become very popular, but they are not new, and they have helped the industry. Free to play with microtransactions has enabled the hobby and independent markets to grow to record highs. This has been an enabler. It doesn't work with all games, and games that rely on it too much can suffer. To cite that it has always been with online games, Prodigy and AOL games would bill you for some in-game features. Many BBS systems were free and the games were free to play; the BBS games could give you more time if you paid to subscribe to the system but more on that in #2. There is little difference between the "15 daily moves for free, plus 10 extra moves for subscribers" vs. today's free to play. The existence of the 30-year-old business model will not "kill the industry".

 

#2: wait gaming.  The article's author must be too young to remember the BBS era. All the popular "door" games of the era had a common theme: encourage people to connect to the BBS, play a selection of 5-10 games, and then log off within 30 minutes before the BBS system automatically disconnected you. Games would limit you to 10 or 20 moves, or would limit you to five battles, or limit you in some other way per day. This is exactly the definition of wait gaming. Games let you buy more time per day, or allowed subscribers to the BBS to take additional moves. This thing that is over 30 years old will not "kill the industry".

 

#1: DRM.  Games that shipped in cartridges had their own forms of DRM. There were lawsuits in the early 80's by Nintendo to protect the DRM in NES cartridges. I also remember in the 1980's where games shipped with codebooks, or when you had to search the game manual for page 7 keyword 3. Many of these were printed in a light blue ink that would not photocopy. It was typically only the big games (equivalent of today's AAA titles) that used it. Yes there were cracks, but the very fact that these security measures existed means that it is a cat-and-mouse game that has been going on for over 30 years. The fact that only the major titles use it, and that this has been the case for 30 years, means it will not "kill the industry".

 

 

 

These things are not new.  The industry is always evolving and changing, but these four items have been a part of the game industry for over 30 years. To claim that the latest evolution will "kill the industry" is an overreaction to somebody who isn't taking the long view.


Edited by frob, 26 June 2013 - 05:37 PM.

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#3 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 26 June 2013 - 07:36 PM

I liked the article, and although I agree that "killing the industry" is an exaggeration I think that the industry could hurt itself badly.

 

These are trends that, new or not, I think will hurt the industry by reducing the value that consumers can get from games. I probably came of age in a golden time of video gaming, the 90's and early 00's which colors my thinking. Even as the marketplace changed over that period there wasn't an infrastructure in place that would allow large-scale adoption of irritations like microtransactions, wait-gaming, constant connections, and invasive DRM. So games were sold like any other product, and once it was in your home you could enjoy it without any restrictions.

 

Now, features like the ones in the article make me feel like my gaming experience is getting slapped with weird approaches and arbitrary restrictions. I still play SNES games and can get the full experience two decades after I first enjoyed them and this will continue to be true as long as my SNES and cartridges are physically intact. With industry practices trending towards heavier restrictions the idea of "I paid for the game and can play whenever and however I want" is eroding. And what do I get in return for these additional restrictions? Nothing.

 

The only result is that as restrictions are added my perceived value from purchasing a game goes down as well, and the normal response to that is to allocate less of my scarce money and time to video games. The arbitrary nature of some restrictions (like requiring a connection to play even when there are zero connection-related features made available to me) and the instability of others (like SimCity's server issues at launch) really enhance this feeling for me.

 

It may be pointless nostalgia, but I miss the days when gaming was a niche hobby. I feel like companies were more focused on games and gamers then, and worked harder to deliver creative, great experiences and good value. Now that video gaming is as big a business as Hollywood movies companies seem to care less and less about game quality, experience, and value. As long as customers buy the next installment in a franchise, what does it matter if they can play it, or even if they like it at all?

 

The gaming industry will probably never die, but it can brutally contract. It's happened before. If anything will make that more likely today, its the movement away from the industry's roots of making high quality games to satisfy gamers. The corporatized attitude of inconveniencing players as much as they'll tolerate isn't one that will improve games or retain gamers. The industry only exists because people like playing games and so producing games people want can be profitable. I increasingly get the feeling that many big companies think about this backwards, that people want them to keep existing just because, and so we'll give them money. Microtransactions, aggressive DRM, and other unpopular trends seem to me to be a manifestation of that attitude more than anything else.



#4 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18837

Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:09 PM


It may be pointless nostalgia, but I miss the days when gaming was a niche hobby. I feel like companies were more focused on games and gamers then, and worked harder to deliver creative, great experiences and good value.
Me too.  

 

<sarcasm> The arcades of the 1970's were wonderful.  Game consoles in the home with infinite lives and lazy design stink.  The game developers worked hard to deliver creative, great experiences.  Those home game consoles ruined everything with their pixelated graphics (it takes skill to develop good vector art) and a complete lack of compelling input devices like steering wheels and trackballs. </sarcasm>

 

Having enjoyed nearly 40 years of video games, I agree that there is certainly a good nostalgia factor. The things I remember when I was young will always be precious memories simply because they are the memories of my youth.  Usually they are seen through a child's eyes of wonder and amazement.

 

 

The thing is, I've heard this exact same story that some advancement will kill the games industry MANY times.  Home consoles will kill the games industry. Online games will kill the industry. A heavy focus on 3D graphics will kill the industry. DRM will kill the industry. Social media games will kill the industry. Free-To-Play will kill the industry. 

 

 

When something is added to the game industry it does not shrink the industry. This is not a zero-sum game. When people buy a new product it does not mean that they abandon everything else.

 

People still create (and people still buy) clones of Pong (1972) Breakout (1976) Space Invaders (1978) Asteroids (1979) Pac Man (1980), and other great games.  People are still creating and selling side scrollers and top-down shooters.  People are still creating and selling tile-based JRPGs.   New technology and new ideas expand the field. The overall field is bigger, so the existing games represent a smaller portion. The older genres get diluted but that does not kill them. They are still alive and well.

 

 

It is much the way that talkies ruined the movie industry. Then color movies ruined the movie industry.  Today all the gratuitous explosions have ruined the movie industry.  Yet somehow the industry is more profitable than ever.

 

 

Whatever is coming up next, perhaps THAT technology will be the one that kills the industry.  But given the nature of the industry that covers the globe and nearly every demographic, I'm pretty sure it will find a way to survive.


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#5 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2094

Posted 26 June 2013 - 10:57 PM

I guess "killing" and dying should not taken literally. Killing and dying quality as a whole may be what these people are meaning.

 

Yes, the movie industry is not dying, but the quality of movies is another issue. They are producing tons of crap (even AAA movies), and the good quality stuff is getting harder to find.

Same goes to music. Sure, it wasn't destroyed by anything yet (even the devil pirating can't destroy it), but it's pretty mush impossible to find good music (by finding I mean being introduced. Sure, it's pretty easy to find a music if you already know it).

 

These industries seem to be turning away from real fans and turning towards the casual "I go to watch a movie because I'm bored" masses. They not dying, they are only turning into zombies.



#6 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18837

Posted 26 June 2013 - 11:44 PM

These industries seem to be turning away from real fans and turning towards the casual "I go to watch a movie because I'm bored" masses. They not dying, they are only turning into zombies.

Just a hunch, but you probably didn't spend much of your youth waiting in line just to drop quarters into a (usually really crappy) game at the arcade. You went to a mall, watched a cheap stupid movie, and hung out at the arcade because you were bored.

I think it is just as hard to find "good" music and "good" movies as it is to find "good" games. Unsurprisingly they are almost never found in the mainstream. This has been true of games for decades. The "good" games are usually not the AAA titles, just as the "good" movies are usually not the summer blockbusters with gaping plot holes.
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#7 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3193

Posted 27 June 2013 - 12:13 AM

i do agree that "kill the industry" is an over exaggeration. however, I think some points are fairly made about what is wrong with the practices being done in modern games.
 
 

#4: Internet requirements on games are nothing new.  In fact, connectivity requirements existed in the 1980's with games that relied on then-popular systems.  BBS's and service providers like Prodigy and AOL had many popular games requiring connectivity.  They offered features people were willing to connect for, such as multiplayer support either through concurrent play or through turn-based play, score boards, and social aspects. Many games do not need it, but some games leverage it to the benefit of the player.  The article author makes a point that when the servers are retired, the game dies with it.  So what? In the 1980s I played games on Prodigy, back on my 1200 baud modem; they were fun and I invested a lot of time, but they are long gone.  I remember spending months in the 1990's playing Trade Wars, Space Dynasty, and Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD). Online connectivity has been a part of the industry for nearly 30 years, it will not "kill the industry".

were these stand alone games, that you installed on your pc(but required internet to connect to the servers), or were they games that you could only play through the browser? similar to many modern flash games, that are effectively found only online(of course you could dl them, but meh). because this is a good bit before my era of gaming(90's-present). you make the point about not caring about if the servers are retired. this might be fine for games of that era. but take sim city 4, diablo 3, or starcraft 2 for example, i know plenty of people that go back, and play the older sim's/diablo's/starcraft because they were fun, and engaging. now when the servers go down(and it will one day), those games will be utterly useless. perfectly fine, and fun games, games that could be played for decades after the servers go offline. are effectively dead simply because the company either doesn't want to support them, or goes under.

 

#3: Microtransactions are not a new model.  They have recently become very popular, but they are not new, and they have helped the industry. Free to play with microtransactions has enabled the hobby and independent markets to grow to record highs. This has been an enabler. It doesn't work with all games, and games that rely on it too much can suffer. To cite that it has always been with online games, Prodigy and AOL games would bill you for some in-game features. Many BBS systems were free and the games were free to play; the BBS games could give you more time if you paid to subscribe to the system but more on that in #2. There is little difference between the "15 daily moves for free, plus 10 extra moves for subscribers" vs. today's free to play. The existence of the 30-year-old business model will not "kill the industry".

I do agree that microtransactions can work, but they can also be over-used to try and pry as much money out of a user as possible. if it's things as simple as "change the color of your vehicle", then it's kindof meh, and if you really enjoy the game, fine. but if it's something along the lines of gamebreaking, i think that's taking it too far. however at the same time some customers don't really care, and just want to enjoy the ride in the easiest route possible(one of my friends is effectively like this).

#2: wait gaming.  The article's author must be too young to remember the BBS era. All the popular "door" games of the era had a common theme: encourage people to connect to the BBS, play a selection of 5-10 games, and then log off within 30 minutes before the BBS system automatically disconnected you. Games would limit you to 10 or 20 moves, or would limit you to five battles, or limit you in some other way per day. This is exactly the definition of wait gaming. Games let you buy more time per day, or allowed subscribers to the BBS to take additional moves. This thing that is over 30 years old will not "kill the industry".

and wasn't this an absolutely horrid system? forcing people to only play for short-intevals(even for subscribers). Personally the entire concept sickens me. To design a game that can only be played in short lived increments, what's the point of making a game? If all you're going to do is ask people to leave after x amount of time. now then, don't get me wrong, i do understand it's use in games like city-builders, or space sims(ogame being a prime example), i'm more referring to the games that completely lock you out of gameplay until the allocated time has passed.

#1: DRM.  Games that shipped in cartridges had their own forms of DRM. There were lawsuits in the early 80's by Nintendo to protect the DRM in NES cartridges. I also remember in the 1980's where games shipped with codebooks, or when you had to search the game manual for page 7 keyword 3. Many of these were printed in a light blue ink that would not photocopy. It was typically only the big games (equivalent of today's AAA titles) that used it. Yes there were cracks, but the very fact that these security measures existed means that it is a cat-and-mouse game that has been going on for over 30 years. The fact that only the major titles use it, and that this has been the case for 30 years, means it will not "kill the industry".


I think the point of the author wasn't that drm exists, it's that it's now getting to the point where we have drm schemes that use other drm schemes. it's becoming absolutely insane to jump through these hoops as a consumer.
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#8 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18837

Posted 27 June 2013 - 01:05 AM

#4: Internet requirements on games are nothing new.  In fact, connectivity requirements existed in the 1980's with games that relied on then-popular systems.  BBS's and service providers like Prodigy and AOL had many popular games requiring connectivity.  They offered features people were willing to connect for, such as multiplayer support either through concurrent play or through turn-based play, score boards, and social aspects. Many games do not need it, but some games leverage it to the benefit of the player.  The article author makes a point that when the servers are retired, the game dies with it.  So what? In the 1980s I played games on Prodigy, back on my 1200 baud modem; they were fun and I invested a lot of time, but they are long gone.  I remember spending months in the 1990's playing Trade Wars, Space Dynasty, and Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD). Online connectivity has been a part of the industry for nearly 30 years, it will not "kill the industry".

were these stand alone games, that you installed on your pc(but required internet to connect to the servers), or were they games that you could only play through the browser? similar to many modern flash games, that are effectively found only online(of course you could dl them, but meh). because this is a good bit before my era of gaming(90's-present). you make the point about not caring about if the servers are retired. this might be fine for games of that era. but take sim city 4, diablo 3, or starcraft 2 for example, i know plenty of people that go back, and play the older sim's/diablo's/starcraft because they were fun, and engaging. now when the servers go down(and it will one day), those games will be utterly useless. perfectly fine, and fun games, games that could be played for decades after the servers go offline. are effectively dead simply because the company either doesn't want to support them, or goes under.

Both.

It still happens all the time today. Do you care that you cannot play Madden 2010 online today? The annual sports titles can still be played standalone, but it is well established that the servers will only last until the next annual update.

Many Facebook games have come and gone, and they are fairly similar to the Prodigy and AOL games. A few people care when a game gets retired, but generally at that point the DAU count is low and the game is operating at or near a loss, so the few people who actually care don't make a critical mass to do anything.

Even the big MMOs will be shut down when they cease to be profitable. A few older MMOs and virtual worlds have already done so. The thing is that by the time they reach that point, there will be few enough users that those who remain will be unable to financially support it.

Those who were not playing the games have already moved on. An Everquest addict today may very well leave it a few years from now, then in ten years learn the servers are gone. He may want the nostalgia, but you are right. It will be gone. The Everquest client may still run, but without the servers the game is useless. The same is exactly true of many old games from the 1980's, no matter how nostalgic I feel I cannot go back and play them because the online component is gone.

But that is always true in real life. The grocery store I shopped at as a kid, where I would see how many candies I could buy for fifty cents, the store is gone and has been gone for years. There is some nostalgia, but that is how life works.
 

#3: Microtransactions are not a new model.  They have recently become very popular, but they are not new, and they have helped the industry. Free to play with microtransactions has enabled the hobby and independent markets to grow to record highs. This has been an enabler. It doesn't work with all games, and games that rely on it too much can suffer. To cite that it has always been with online games, Prodigy and AOL games would bill you for some in-game features. Many BBS systems were free and the games were free to play; the BBS games could give you more time if you paid to subscribe to the system but more on that in #2. There is little difference between the "15 daily moves for free, plus 10 extra moves for subscribers" vs. today's free to play. The existence of the 30-year-old business model will not "kill the industry".

I do agree that microtransactions can work, but they can also be over-used to try and pry as much money out of a user as possible. if it's things as simple as "change the color of your vehicle", then it's kindof meh, and if you really enjoy the game, fine. but if it's something along the lines of gamebreaking, i think that's taking it too far. however at the same time some customers don't really care, and just want to enjoy the ride in the easiest route possible(one of my friends is effectively like this).

They can work. And in practice they can work really, really, really well.

Look at League of Legends and it's 1.5 billion dollars. Look at the thousands of apps on cell phones and tablets that embraced free-to-play models and are both fun and profitable.

Sometimes they are implemented well but players still object. Is it appropriate to have launch day DLC? In some people's mind that is unacceptable, but most of the industry finds it perfectly acceptable. Buy a Monopoly game; it comes will all the traditional game tokens and the modern game tokens. Discover you can get additional themed tokens (the ones Hasbro rejected and blocked from the game because they were not official Monopoly tokens) through DLC on launch day, and that DLC is immediately derided as profiteering.

Then there is the DLC and microtransactions that is just implemented badly. Maybe it is profiteering. Maybe it is bad design. Maybe the game just sucks.

This will be true of all games forever. Sometimes something works well. Sometimes it gets player hatred for undeserved reasons. Sometimes it is implemented badly and deserves hate. I don't blame the feature (in this case microtransactions, but it applies to many others), instead I blame the game designers and developers.

#2: wait gaming.  The article's author must be too young to remember the BBS era. All the popular "door" games of the era had a common theme: encourage people to connect to the BBS, play a selection of 5-10 games, and then log off within 30 minutes before the BBS system automatically disconnected you. Games would limit you to 10 or 20 moves, or would limit you to five battles, or limit you in some other way per day. This is exactly the definition of wait gaming. Games let you buy more time per day, or allowed subscribers to the BBS to take additional moves. This thing that is over 30 years old will not "kill the industry".

and wasn't this an absolutely horrid system? forcing people to only play for short-intevals(even for subscribers). Personally the entire concept sickens me. To design a game that can only be played in short lived increments, what's the point of making a game? If all you're going to do is ask people to leave after x amount of time. now then, don't get me wrong, i do understand it's use in games like city-builders, or space sims(ogame being a prime example), i'm more referring to the games that completely lock you out of gameplay until the allocated time has passed.

No, actually, it was not. The games were essentially turn based. On your turn you could take N actions. Then everybody else got a turn. This was the design. The fact that you only had a limited number of turns was an integral part of the game. An ecosystem of discussions and tools evolved to help you maximize those few moves.

Good game designers know that limitations are part of the fun. A game with no limitations, a game with no rules, is not a game at all. There must be rules, there must be constraints.

Those games were extremely popular in part because they leveraged the constraints. People needed to tie up their only telephone line to call the BBS so they wanted it to be quick. The BBS wanted short calls so they didn't need to buy as many phone banks. The frustration of having only a few moves per day was the same as the frustration of drawing a Q or Z in scrabble. That is part of the fun, and the design of the game is such that the bad parts are balanced with the good parts -- turning that 'z' into 60 points by spanning two words. Similarly, somebody who was really skilled at Trade Wars could take those few turns per day could leverage them to build ports at ideal locations, so they get massive benefits but other players did not. The games were balanced such that it did not get out of hand, and the daily moves were a key part of the strategy.

Again, some games do it really really well. Some games do a moderate job, and other games implement features in ways that serve as a warning to others. That is not due to the nature of the feature -- in this case waiting -- but a part of the design and implementation. Do it well and people focus on the fun part of having a single attempt every day. Do it bad and people see it as an inappropriate monetization strategy.
 

#1: DRM.  Games that shipped in cartridges had their own forms of DRM. There were lawsuits in the early 80's by Nintendo to protect the DRM in NES cartridges. I also remember in the 1980's where games shipped with codebooks, or when you had to search the game manual for page 7 keyword 3. Many of these were printed in a light blue ink that would not photocopy. It was typically only the big games (equivalent of today's AAA titles) that used it. Yes there were cracks, but the very fact that these security measures existed means that it is a cat-and-mouse game that has been going on for over 30 years. The fact that only the major titles use it, and that this has been the case for 30 years, means it will not "kill the industry".


I think the point of the author wasn't that drm exists, it's that it's now getting to the point where we have drm schemes that use other drm schemes. it's becoming absolutely insane to jump through these hoops as a consumer.

It is only in some games. The number of games that do it is very small; really it is around 50-100 per year which is small compared to the thousands of new games that come out every year.

It is generally not in the "good" games, but mainly in the expensive, less fun, AAA blockbusters. Much like the "good" music and "good" movie discussion elsewhere.

Edited by frob, 27 June 2013 - 01:13 AM.

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#9 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 875

Posted 29 June 2013 - 04:43 PM

#4: Internet requirements on games are nothing new.  In fact, connectivity requirements existed in the 1980's with games that relied on then-popular systems.  BBS's and service providers like Prodigy and AOL had many popular games requiring connectivity.  They offered features people were willing to connect for, such as multiplayer support either through concurrent play or through turn-based play, score boards, and social aspects. Many games do not need it, but some games leverage it to the benefit of the player.  The article author makes a point that when the servers are retired, the game dies with it.  So what? In the 1980s I played games on Prodigy, back on my 1200 baud modem; they were fun and I invested a lot of time, but they are long gone.  I remember spending months in the 1990's playing Trade Wars, Space Dynasty, and Legend of the Red Dragon (LORD). Online connectivity has been a part of the industry for nearly 30 years, it will not "kill the industry".

 

This is a trend that I find particularly troubling. I understand the need for internet access for multiplayer games, but this is being as DRM for single player games and it breaks game play. I spent $60 for Skyrim. I need Steam to play Skyrim, but Skyrim is not multiplayer. While Steam can be accessed offline, it "phones home" about once every two weeks, and if there is not internet connection, it invalidates the saved log-in information on the computer. I have very limited internet access right now after being out of work for six months. I have to lug my computer over to my sister's house every two weeks to reestablish the connection on Steam just so that I can continue to play. After doing this several times, I just quit playing. It wasn't worth the trouble.

Not everyone has or even wants internet access. Not everyone can afford it. It shouldn't be a requirement for games that do not use internet access. Although I guess this point is a combination of points #1 and #4.

What I am also finding really scary is the push to ban used game sales. If I buy a copy of a game, that copy is mine to do with as I please, so long as I do not make any copies of it. I can legally sell it, so long as I delete the copy I have on my system. Only recently have consoles been copying the game to the internal hard drive. This makes it tricky, if not outright illegal to sell the game. And this is unnecessary. While Sony and Microsoft will give reasons for installing the game on the hard drive, the real reason is that if they do so, they can fight used games sales in court.

 

The problem with this is that once the game has been purchased at full retail, they have made their money on that copy of the game. At that point, they are not entitled to any money from a sale of the used game and this infuriates them. Imagine if car manufactures locked the functionality of your car to your driver's license and prohibited you from selling the car without paying them part of the proceeds, or worse yet, just simply prohibited the sale of the car at all. There are legal prohibitions from selling a copy of a copyrighted work, but the copyright law allows for the sale of the original work. If the game requires the CD/DVD/bluray to function, there should be no restrictions on the sale, renting or lending of the game. This isn't a piracy issue, it is one of pure greed.

 

The fact of the matter is that new games are very expensive and cannot be returned to the store once opened. Moreover, most released games really, truly, suck. If I cannot rent or borrow the game to try it out, I'll simply not buy it.


Edited by MarkS, 29 June 2013 - 04:45 PM.


#10 Gavin Williams   Members   -  Reputation: 642

Posted 29 June 2013 - 11:10 PM

MarkS - listen to this discussion by TotalBiscuit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G_f8YBy39M. I agree with him, the used game market benefits people other than the game devs/pubs. I want the 2nd hand market shut-down, we don't need it. And the industry is better off without it.

 

This isn't a piracy issue, it is one of pure greed.

 

Who's greed ? You are implying the publishers are greedy because they want to make money on someone buying the game, yet you are arguing that you should make money on that purchase... you ! Isn't it then your greed, not theirs ? Greed being the desire for making money, you think it's preferable that you make money rather than the devs/pubs ?

 

The fact of the matter is that new games are very expensive and cannot be returned to the store once opened.

 

So don't buy the game, if you don't think you'll like it. Not hard. Read reviews, ask your friends who can afford to try out games etc.

 

Moreover, most released games really, truly, suck. If I cannot rent or borrow the game to try it out, I'll simply not buy it.

 

Most games ? Dude, it sounds like you need to change the way you find entertainment, it's probably better if you don't buy games at all if it's a mostly disappointing experience for you.


Edited by Gavin Williams, 29 June 2013 - 11:21 PM.


#11 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 30 June 2013 - 08:43 PM


the used game market benefits people other than the game devs/pubs. I want the 2nd hand market shut-down, we don't need it. And the industry is better off without it.

 

So would you be in favor of shutting down all physical stores that sell games? After all, some of that money (not much, but some) goes to the store, and the store isn't the game dev or publisher. The same is probably true of any online retailer other than Amazon. Do you feel like shutting down all video game rental stores and services as well?

 


Who's greed ? You are implying the publishers are greedy because they want to make money on someone buying the game, yet you are arguing that you should make money on that purchase... you ! Isn't it then your greed, not theirs ? Greed being the desire for making money, you think it's preferable that you make money rather than the devs/pubs ?

 

It's a question of maximizing economic efficiency by maximizing commerce at different prices and times. If I won't buy a given game at $60, that's money that the publishers and devs don't get as well. Is the gaming market truly better off if I don't buy a new game than if I buy it two months later for $40? Is the developer better off that I never play the game, never see how good it is, and am never any more likely to buy subsequent titles they develop again? Sure, MSRP will drop over time, but only the biggest titles (the ones most likely to resist price decreases) will be able to hold shelf space over other titles as new big titles are released.

 

Used game stores aren't as important as they used to be. When I was younger, at least where I lived the used game stores were the only specialty video game stores in town. They were the only place to go for an offbeat or less popular title because no major retailer would devote the shelf space to anything but the few biggest titles of the year. They didn't kill the industry then, and I became a fan of more game developers than I ever would have otherwise because I couldn't have afforded so many games any other way. And that includes new game sales, once I had already established that I liked the work the company did. Why should the store, which has to pay for its space and staff, not be able to turn a profit by physically housing the old or unusual games that made the stores worth visiting? Is it really better that the publisher continue to house unsold units in a warehouse (that they have to pay for), losing potential profits as the MSRP drops until it winds up in the $2 bin at Walmart at a major loss? While losing the reputation effects of having more people play and enjoy their products, no less.

 

In the same way that one pirated copy of a game doesn't necessarily equal one lost sale, one used game sale does not necessarily equal one lost new game sale. Eliminating used game sales will cause game studios to have less exposure in the population and make buying a game (even with reviews or word-of-mouth recommendations in hand) a riskier proposition. The gaming market will shrink. That's not good for the industry, and it's certainly not worth shutting down an entirely legal business approach just because some unknowable number of primary sales aren't taking place.



#12 MarkS   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 875

Posted 02 July 2013 - 02:48 PM

MarkS - listen to this discussion by TotalBiscuit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2G_f8YBy39M. I agree with him, the used game market benefits people other than the game devs/pubs. I want the 2nd hand market shut-down, we don't need it. And the industry is better off without it.

 

This isn't a piracy issue, it is one of pure greed.

 

Who's greed ? You are implying the publishers are greedy because they want to make money on someone buying the game, yet you are arguing that you should make money on that purchase... you ! Isn't it then your greed, not theirs ? Greed being the desire for making money, you think it's preferable that you make money rather than the devs/pubs ?

 

I'll use an example. Let's say you make widgets. You produce a very nice widget that everyone wants and you make thousands of copies to sell. I buy a physical copy of your widget through a retail source and use it, but after a while, get tired of it. I legally own that copy of the widget. With very little exception, I can now do whatever I want with it. I can make a copy of it (in certain circumstances), so long as I do not distribute the copy. I can lend or rent the original. I can sell the original, so long as any copies are destroyed. It doesn't matter to you (or shouldn't) because you already make your money off of my copy when I bought it. If I choose to sell my copy of your widget, you are not entitled to anything more from me. It is the original physical copy and I have the legal right to sell it. Moreover, I would have the legal right to buy the copy used. After the initial purchase, our business is complete.

 

The game industry wants the 2nd hand market shut down, not because it is irrelevant, but because they are not making money on the sale of the physical copy of the game that they have already made money off of. This is greed, pure and simple. It has nothing to do with piracy. Switching to a download-only model wouldn't solve piracy. It has nothing to do with relevance. They want to make money off of the sale of the physical copy of the game, each and every time it is sold. No other industry expects this, which is why I mentioned cars.

 

What is next? Books? Should we shut down used book stores and libraries? They are peddling in used, physical copies of copyrighted material that is also easy to copy. Where does it end?



#13 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9585

Posted 02 July 2013 - 03:02 PM

What is next? Books? Should we shut down used book stores and libraries? They are peddling in used, physical copies of copyrighted material that is also easy to copy. Where does it end?

You know, I'm warming to TotalBiscuit's point that this is a false equivalency.

Books aren't actually that easy to copy. Sure, there is nothing actually stopping you - but the time and effort to photocopy an entire book would hardly be worth it. And while ebooks are very easy to copy, they are typically rife with DRM to prevent you reselling or sharing them.

You can't just take the rules that govern a (largely non-copyable) physical good, and blindly apply them to a digital good. This is the reason why pretty much every digital good is distributed using some form of DRM: a DRM'd virtual good is much more equivalent to a physical object.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#14 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:09 PM

Is it really a false equivalency? They ability to copy the good only matters if that's what a person is actually doing. You can hack apart your console so that you can play an illegitimate copy of a game and then sell the disc you copied to a used game store, but doesn't sound to me like that much less effort than physically copying a book. And even if it were easier, the point is only relevant if you think that lots of people are using used game stores to facilitate this activity.

If we're talking about digitally distroubted games then any falseness is the equivalency is irrelevant because used game stores couldn't be involved in reselling them anyhow.

I may not be addressing TotalBiscuit's argument very well (I'm not familiar with it), but I don't see that a used game store is meaningfully different than a used bookstore for games that are physically distributed.

#15 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9585

Posted 02 July 2013 - 04:30 PM

I may not be addressing TotalBiscuit's argument very well (I'm not familiar with it)

You should listen to it sometime - it's one of the better articulated defences of the "no used games" policies.

But as for false equivalencies, yes, it is. The photocopied book is qualitatively degraded from the original (a huge folder of low-resolution loose-leaf pages vs a book). The used car is qualitatively degraded from the new car (loses X% of resale value the day you drive it out of the lot). A digital copy of a video game? Identical to the original in every respect.

Which is an important point: in the case of pretty much any physical object, there is a visible and quantifiable benefit to buying a new object, which makes it worth a higher price than the equivalent used object. For a digital good, this is not true - a used copy of a game is identical to a new copy of said game, and offers no incentive to ever buy the new copy instead.

Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#16 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3193

Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:00 PM

 

I may not be addressing TotalBiscuit's argument very well (I'm not familiar with it)

You should listen to it sometime - it's one of the better articulated defences of the "no used games" policies.

But as for false equivalencies, yes, it is. The photocopied book is qualitatively degraded from the original (a huge folder of low-resolution loose-leaf pages vs a book). The used car is qualitatively degraded from the new car (loses X% of resale value the day you drive it out of the lot). A digital copy of a video game? Identical to the original in every respect.

Which is an important point: in the case of pretty much any physical object, there is a visible and quantifiable benefit to buying a new object, which makes it worth a higher price than the equivalent used object. For a digital good, this is not true - a used copy of a game is identical to a new copy of said game, and offers no incentive to ever buy the new copy instead.

 

 

 

Too be fair, in the past with used games, you still took the chance that the game may be scratched in a way that could have caused data corruption(i have a copy of FF7, that in the third disk trying to go to that theme park(can't remember the name), before going to the crater to face seperioth at the end of the game causes the game to crash, no matter how you try to access it.

 

so long as the disc is still the form of transportation for the data, then it's always going to come with that stigma of potentially being damaged if purchased used, no different than buying a used dvd. in my opinion, if the market for used games is shut down, then so should the marked for used dvd's, or music cd's.


Edited by slicer4ever, 02 July 2013 - 06:01 PM.

Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#17 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9585

Posted 02 July 2013 - 06:52 PM

in my opinion, if the market for used games is shut down, then so should the marked for used dvd's, or music cd's.

Again, I'd argue that it is a false equivalency.
 
Where is the majority of money made in the movie and music industries? The cinema releases and the broadcast rights for movies, and broadcast/streaming rights for music. DVD and CD sales are certainly profitable, but they are the proverbial 'long tail'. By the time you buy a DVD at Walmart, the studio has already made back its production costs, several times over.
 
By contrast, game publishers don't have cinema releases, broadcast contracts or live concerts to make money on - they have to make all their profits from direct sales to customers.

You can call it 'greed' on the part of the publisher, and that's certainly a valid viewpoint. But there is an equally valid viewpoint whereby second-hand games sales benefit nobody but GameStop (and hey, pretty much everybody I know hates GameStop's business practices).


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#18 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:02 PM

 

I may not be addressing TotalBiscuit's argument very well (I'm not familiar with it)

You should listen to it sometime - it's one of the better articulated defences of the "no used games" policies.

But as for false equivalencies, yes, it is. The photocopied book is qualitatively degraded from the original (a huge folder of low-resolution loose-leaf pages vs a book). The used car is qualitatively degraded from the new car (loses X% of resale value the day you drive it out of the lot). A digital copy of a video game? Identical to the original in every respect.

Which is an important point: in the case of pretty much any physical object, there is a visible and quantifiable benefit to buying a new object, which makes it worth a higher price than the equivalent used object. For a digital good, this is not true - a used copy of a game is identical to a new copy of said game, and offers no incentive to ever buy the new copy instead.

 

 

I'm still not seeing it (though that's probably my fault). The argument against digital resale is indeed a different matter than reselling physical copies of games. As is the sale of a photocopied book. The latter is bootlegging, and there's no real defense of it.

 

The used book argument, insofar as I understand it, is about buying a new copy from a store and then selling that same copy (not a duplication produced by the initial purchaser) to a store which will in turn sell that same copy to a different customer. In this regard, a used book and a used game disc seem exactly equivalent.

 

The landscape for digital copies of games is totally different and is entirely separate from the discussions about used game stores, which is a concept that doesn't make sense with digital games anyhow. If games move to 100% digital distribution then used game stores as they are today will just stop existing, in the same way that horse-drawn buggy accessory stores don't exist any more. My comments above were about the reselling of physical game discs in stores, and so may not be on-topic for TotalBiscuit's point.



#19 swiftcoder   Senior Moderators   -  Reputation: 9585

Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:28 PM


If games move to 100% digital distribution then used game stores as they are today will just stop existing, in the same way that horse-drawn buggy accessory stores don't exist any more.

That's one of the stranger features of the whole controversy. The question just magically disappears over the next N years, as the majority of game sales move to digital.


Tristam MacDonald - Software Engineer @Amazon - [swiftcoding]


#20 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:55 PM

 


If games move to 100% digital distribution then used game stores as they are today will just stop existing, in the same way that horse-drawn buggy accessory stores don't exist any more.

That's one of the stranger features of the whole controversy. The question just magically disappears over the next N years, as the majority of game sales move to digital.

 

 

I just watched the video (damn, I wish it had been written up instead of a video, I could've done it faster), and while I'm impressed with the cogency of his arguments I am not impressed with drawing the conclusion "used game sales are inherently bad for the industry".

 

Most of his points are based around the superiority of digital sales, which I agree with. In your post quoted above, you seem to be thinking about it this way too. But the fact that the market is changing such that used game stores are no longer providing any value provides exactly zero reason to specifically forbid sales of used copies of games. He completely concedes this point.

 

The only argument he presents about why the used game sale model was bad for producers was because those stores "bullied" game publishers. He doesn't give any evidence of this (which would be outside of the scope of the video anyways), and consequently I don't understand this position very well. If I want a new game, I'll go to a store that has it. If GameStop pushes used sales over new (which does blow for the publisher and developers) then those publishers could stop distributing new games to them. I have never, ever, known anyone who wanted a specific game but would not go to Best Buy or Target or Wal-Mart to get it because they only buy new games at GameStop. Maybe it happened, I can't say it didn't, but I can say I never saw it. And this position is literally the only one that he has which could support the position "used game sales are inherently bad for the industry". It's also a largely historical one, and we can debate the merits and flaws of it in the past, but in that frame most of his argumentation irrelevant.

 

The accurate formulation is that used game sales will become irrelevant in the future as market distribution norms shift away from old methods in which they made sense. It's a very different argument from the one that I typically see made about their effect on the industry, and this blanket argument suggests that the used game market will persist even just as it has been even while it becomes obsolete.






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