bit-gamer.net

Pre-owned games blamed for falling sales

Pre-owned games blamed for falling sales

The software attach rate for current consoles is down by 20 percent compared to last generation.

The games industry is suffering at the hands of second hand sales, claim games analyst firm Cowen and Company, as reported by MCV.

The announcement comes as part of a study comparing the current hardware generation to the previous one. Cowen and Co. reckons that the userbase of the PS3 and Xbox 360 is now roughly equivalent to the size of the PS2 and Xbox audience in 2003.

However, current sales are about 20 percent below the rate the last generation of consoles had at that time.

Cowen and Co. also note that the sales of games in their second month of availability are also down, having fallen by 62 percent by 2001.

Games publishers and developers are often critical of the second hand games market, but an increasing number of stores and supermarkets are now getting invested in the area.

Some publishers have introduced new measures to try and encourage first hand sales over second hand, such as EA's Project Ten Dollar, which offers extra content to those who buy new copies of a game.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

73 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
M7ck 28th June 2010, 11:42 Quote
Although im sure the second hand market is slightly affecting sales, imo it is more likely the fact that most new games are crap and way overpriced.
Bob1234 28th June 2010, 11:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
Although im sure the second hand market is slightly affecting sales, imo it is more likely the fact that most new games are crap and way overpriced.

Completely agree.

But the games industry, just like the movie one, will never admit.
gollum385 28th June 2010, 11:45 Quote
I agree. If anything it's the companies faults for making prices of full priced games too high.
Although i don't buy pre-owned games, i do buy new games that have been out for several months, at which point their price is slashed anyway.
Maybe some sort of compromise is in order, whereby companies offering pre-owned games give a percentage of the profit (made by buying the games for less), to the companies?
B1GBUD 28th June 2010, 11:49 Quote
I'll often by a pre-owned game over a full price title except when it's a new must have title.

It just doesn't make sense paying over the odds for the sake of having a new shiney box when a well looked after pre-owned copy does the same job.
Bindibadgi 28th June 2010, 11:54 Quote
How does that explain the success of Steam store?

Excuse fail.
leveller 28th June 2010, 11:54 Quote
I'm all for getting rid of the second hand market. Free to play with micro transactions, or game streaming tech, or project $10, or online passes will take care of this.
DragunovHUN 28th June 2010, 11:54 Quote
Lower prices to compete with pre-owned market
???
Profit
EdwardTeach 28th June 2010, 12:01 Quote
I never buy second hand games, and I can appreciate how it damages the industry (none of the profits of the second hand market are returned to the gaming industry)

I can think of a couple of ways to counter.

Firstly as DaraganuvHUN states above - lower prices - i buy most of my games on steam in sales, because the value us outstanding.

Secondly - perhaps the games industry should try and get involved themselves - the big publishers could offer some form of trade- in scheme.
BlackMage23 28th June 2010, 12:07 Quote
Do they not think that the fact that games for this generation are higher priced then the last generation and the fact that most people are worst off those days (I know I am) are factors in the drop in sales.
tin can 28th June 2010, 12:10 Quote
Why *should* the gaming industry get a cut from 2nd hand sales? They've made their money when they sold the game to the original purchaser. The publisher doesn't get any money if I (say) donate a book, or anything else, to a charity shop for resale either!
bigsharn 28th June 2010, 12:18 Quote
I can see some of these brand new games not selling at all if they keep bolting on stupid anti-second-hand measures like this.

As said above, the content of new games compared to the older games is appalling, and I know for one I'm worse off because of this recession we're in that wasn't around in 2003...
SNIPERMikeUK 28th June 2010, 12:36 Quote
Here we go again.....This gets really old.....
Jim 28th June 2010, 12:38 Quote
Fine. I don't care that much frankly... there's no way I'm paying more than £25 for *any* game, so if they want me to buy new rather than pre-owned then they'll have to charge me £25.

Want more? No problem, but I'm not buying your games.
Pieface 28th June 2010, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by tin can
Why *should* the gaming industry get a cut from 2nd hand sales? They've made their money when they sold the game to the original purchaser. The publisher doesn't get any money if I (say) donate a book, or anything else, to a charity shop for resale either!

Well when you sell a car second hand the car company gets a cu... oh wait...
leexgx 28th June 2010, 12:41 Quote
if i could right now i would of sold my copy of MW2 right now (i should of made my new account just for MW2 so i could of sold it later on)

my own fault for buying it on my main stream account when i knew i was not going to like the game, multilayer shot lag sucks and makes th game unplayable, mite be acceptable under an console but not under PC
Matticus 28th June 2010, 12:44 Quote
They should make a game good enough and price it sensibility enough so that it sells well in the first place.

I am sure that second, third, forth, fifth, sixth (etc) hand car sales hurt new car sales but there is no reason that BMW etc should get any money from a second hand sale.
EvilRusk 28th June 2010, 12:45 Quote
Well I don't know where anyone else gets their pre-owned games. Aside from the PS2 stuff it is all over-priced, sometimes even more than the new games!

Besides which if game shops don't sell pre-owned, they might not make enough profit to justify hanging around. Do you really want to kill off your salespeople? Maybe it's a "loss" that is better taken in the long run?

As a PC gamer I can't afford to upgrade to a new £200 graphics card just to play a new game in the middle of a recession, so I'm not really buying many games at the moment. The first one I got all year has been in the Steam summer sale. Get creative game sellers or lose the money to other entertainment providers!
Flibblebot 28th June 2010, 12:46 Quote
I really don't get the games industry's problem with the second-hand market - every other industry has it (just look at FleaBay) and you don't hear any of them running around shouting "OMFG! We're being ripped off by second-hand sales! It's evil and it's killing us!"

After all, the business model should include ongoing costs associated with the product - writing patches, supporting multiplayer and so on. It doesn't make any difference whether the product has changed hands or not because the support costs will be the same regardless of the end-user.

You could argue that second-hand sales prolong the lifetime of a product, which is true to a certain extent, but I can't imagine that it would be by any significant amount and most games would be supported for at least a couple of years after launch anyway. I can't believe that the second-hand market significantly increases that time.

tl;dr summary:
No other industry moans about losing sales to the second-hand market; the games industry should shut up and stop trying to stifle the second-hand games market and just accept it like any other industry does.

To games publishers: it's not illegal, it doesn't (shouldn't) cost you significantly more to support, so just live with and stop whining.
BlackMage23 28th June 2010, 12:47 Quote
You don't see car companies going on about the second hand market, and that's because they embraced it.

Why don't they do what the car industry does and setup they own second hand distribution channels.

Think about if EA offered to buy back old games and give you credit for other EA games and they could also sell the second hand games and ensure that people only bought EA games.
yakyb 28th June 2010, 12:47 Quote
i cant think of many games that i want on PS3 / 360

back in the ps2 / xbox there where loads of games i wanted on both platforms
_Metal_Guitar_ 28th June 2010, 12:48 Quote
I don't think second hand sales are having that much more of an impact than they ever have. What has changed is multiplayer, someone that enjoys playing MW2 over Xbox live for hours at a time for months on end is not going to buy as many games. Same for Halo and BF. Why bother buying short repeats when you have get all the gaming you need from a few titles.

They really need to start writing quality single or co-op games that are of reasonable lengths and back off the multiplayer. Games like Batman: AA and ME1/2 show it can be done.

That said, they'll go for any excuse won't they? If it's not dirty PC gamers stealing everything, it's limey console gamers buying games on the cheap.
fingerbob69 28th June 2010, 12:58 Quote
Yet another attempt to paint the second hand games market as being almost but not quite as immoral as pirating games.

I buy new and 2nd hand.... which ain't no crime.
technogiant 28th June 2010, 13:03 Quote
And there wasn't a second hand game market back is 2003 was there????

Try reducing the price of your games and making better games.
javaman 28th June 2010, 13:04 Quote
Go into any local game or gamestop (We've two of each in Belfast center) and all you see is second hand games. Apart from wii games they don't sell new xbox or PS3 games apart from chart titles. What makes matters worse is you can go next door into HMV and buy the game new for the price of a second hand game in either of those stores. Also what happened to the "deal of the week" or the 2 for £30 platinum ranges? Game only does "2 for" offers on certain games but the icing on the cake is you can buy any game from Tesco, Asda or Amazon for considerably less.

In reguards to the study, did they look at the fact that there are 3 major competors and that most kids are probably buying overpriced wii games and can't afford PS3/xbox games on top of it? Also with PC gaming being in the reach of even the budget PC I wouldn't be surprised if quite a few people have jumped ship to that and left their console gathering dust. Im among that crowd for one as is my next door neighbour. PS2 and xbox where around during the spend imaginary money era. People have tightened their belts not to mention government pressure to get obese kids out more. Buying games is the opposite of that. They base it on consoles sold, how many people bought a PS3 for blu-rays rather than games or the 360 as a media extender or replacement for their previous console that died? While all these things are small each together could explain the drop in games sales.
mikeuk2004 28th June 2010, 13:04 Quote
Those that are saying new titles cost more now than they did generations before must be the current generation of kids that have no clue about what they are saying. Otherwise they are just adults that didnt pay any attention.

I was born in 1981 and been gaming since I could use a keyboard.

New 360 or PS3 titles have a RRP of £39.99. Yes there is the odd occasion some shops launch at £49.99 for its first week like CEX tried with Red Dead Redemption, buts its because they are trying their luck in getting that little bit extra. But the rest of the shops will be at £39.99 or less for the same title. Within a month or 2 the games are down to £17.99.

Back in the day of the megadrive, the RRP was £49.99 with Snes games going for £60. The NEO GEO was the most expensive ever as the games were in excess of £100+ But they held their value alot longer than theses days. You could be waiting a very long time for a price drop on games back then.

In addition, if they were todays prices, they would be alot more today considering back then 25p got you a Mars Bar which is now 60p.

When I had my previous consoles 90% of the games were second hand and id only have around 5-10 games on each platform during its entire life cycle.

I have a 360, PS3 and Wii at the moment and now 90% of the games are bought new and I have over 150 games across all 3 platforms and plenty of years left in the life cycle.

Reason? because the games are alot cheaper these days because new titles drop in price very quickly compared to back then. I dont pay anymore than £25 max for a game and I have alot of big titles in my collection.

I dont think the second hand market is having much of an effect. And high retail prices do not exist. Only to people that refuse to shop around.
technogiant 28th June 2010, 13:07 Quote
Also if they reduced the price of the new game then the second hand price would obviously drop making it less attractive to sell on....people would be more inclined to keep their copy just incase they wanted to replay it.
The games industry is just too greedy.
bob 28th June 2010, 13:12 Quote
I never buy new console games.
Buying second hand PC games is a pain with drm, steamworks games etc which encourages people to buy brand new. Maybe it would be good for publishers to implement something similar with console games?
BlackMage23 28th June 2010, 13:15 Quote
At the end of the day, they are having a go at the second hand market because they know they can, whereas the piracy market is much hard to stop.
gavomatic57 28th June 2010, 13:19 Quote
I used to buy 2nd hand games for my Master System...and my Megadrive...

2nd hand games aren't a new concept, but it is quite common for a new title to not interest me in the slightest, or at least not enough to want to buy it there and then. Start pushing the boundaries with your new releases and you'll have my money. Keep releasing near identical Modern Warfare titles with borked features and you can shove it up your rear end.
misterd 28th June 2010, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by technogiant
The <take your choice> industry is just too greedy.
Corporations aren't going to change. It's all about profit. The last new game I bought @ launch was L4D2, on Steam. However I've added 75+ games to my steam account in the past 2 months and paid less then $100 USD.
mrbens 28th June 2010, 13:35 Quote
More anti second-hand propaganda!

Since I don't think second-hand sales are published by any shop then they are just making up excuses for poor games sales.
mi1ez 28th June 2010, 13:36 Quote
I don't buy many new games as I'm not interested in the 18th sequel to a franchise.
devilxc 28th June 2010, 13:37 Quote
As far as I'm concerned; when I buy something I own it. All money from selling it should go to me, not who/whatever I bought it off.

If games were had a glimer of originality I'm sure they'd sell just fine. As above; pricing is way too high on release.
general22 28th June 2010, 13:42 Quote
Is it legal for these game publishers to cripple second hand copies of games (remove multiplayer). I mean I can't recall any other major industry that does it and I am guessing they would have if they could.
badders 28th June 2010, 13:45 Quote
I've had a console(PS3) for about a month.

I went into a shop, and I could buy one brand new game for £39.99, or FOUR preowned games* for slightly less than that.

If the new game had been £19.99, then I may have bought that and two preowned games. At £40 they can jog on - I'll wait until the price drops.
Having that brand-new, must-have game isn't important enough to me to get a quarter of the playtime for the same amount of money.

*Fallout 3, Burnout Paradise, Chronicles of Riddick and Dead Space, if you were interested.
lacuna 28th June 2010, 13:46 Quote
I only buy used games for my PS3. I can get at least 3 used games for the price of a single new one. Its very rare that I actually keep games either so once I've played them I trade them in and get some money back. If the PS3 had Steam on it then I would probably buy more games new (although I would still wait for the sales) as I do buy new games for my PC, or at least I did when my PC was still 'current'.

Some people like have things new and can't wait to get them but I am not one of those people.
Fizzban 28th June 2010, 14:31 Quote
This topic AGAIN? It's like a scab and the games industry keeps picking at it.
Flibblebot 28th June 2010, 15:17 Quote
It is to the games industry what piracy is to the music industry: it's easier to target second-hand games/music piracy than it is to accept that your business model is the real reason for falling sales.

It's always easier to think that some outside force is responsible for your misfortune than it is to accept that the source of failure is you and actually do something about it ;)
NuTech 28th June 2010, 15:19 Quote
Just to play devil's advocate for the publishers, something that's often overlooked by gamers when discussing second-hand games, and comparing it to other industries, is online fees. While they're relatively small by themselves, as the second hand market grows, they begin to quickly add up which, in turn, creates a nasty dent in the publisher's bottom line.

It costs money to maintain multiplayer, distribute updates, provide free DLC etc - all of which is funded by game sales. When a gamer purchases a second hand game, their cash doesn't go towards any of those overheads.

As Joe already stated in his article, initiatives like Project Ten Dollar are trying to tackle the problem and so far publishers like what they're seeing. Expect to see a lot more games with a similar system and don't be surprised when it's applied to some of the single player content in the very near future.

Ironically, none of this is anything new to PC gamers who have put up with CD keys for decades.
Bob1234 28th June 2010, 15:20 Quote
I can see one of their "solutions" to the problem.

Sell the game disc at almost nothing, say £5, then require payment of an additional £30-35 to actually unlock the content.

This totally kills the resale market as the next person to buy it would still have to pay £30-35 to get the content, as theyre on a different console.
Altron 28th June 2010, 15:25 Quote
Why not just make the game better, so that people don't want to sell the game?

I have a couple games that I've had for years, and that if you walked up to me right now and offered to give me a full refund on them, I'd tell you to get bent, because I still like playing the online multiplayer long after I beat the SP campaign.

If you're designing games with the intentions of people playing them for a few months then losing interest and selling them secondhand, then don't act offended when people do so. If you're going to turn out a game that you continue to support and continue to add content to, then secondhand sales won't exist.

It's the Keynesian economics of gaming that they don't understand. There is a bunch of people who will buy the games the day they come out for $59.99. However, they do so because they plan on playing through it for a few months, then selling it, and getting some return on that investment. They know this up-front, so they are looking at an actual game cost of $40, since they know they will definitely get a good return on selling it. And, once they sell it, they will probably use the money towards the next big release. Selling their old games partially funds the purchase of their new games. Once they sell the old game, they can't play it anymore. If you make it difficult or impossible to sell the old game, then they can still play it, and they'll be more inclined to keep playing it versus just letting it rot on their shelf. They see the new game they want, realize they have to sell their old game to afford it, so they do so, and since the selling prices are lower, they take $40 out of pocket to pay the difference. If they are stuck with their old games, they won't be as inclined to buying new ones.

Then, there are a bunch of people who buy mainly used games, because they're cheaper and they don't mind being half a year or so behind the newest games. The game studios don't make direct money from these people, but it sure helps them indirectly by improving console sales. There are people I knew who if they aleways had to pay full retail release price for every game would not own a console. I bought an Xbox back when you could still buy them used, for the sole purpose of playing the bargain bin $5, like GTA San Andreas or Forza Motorsport. If they were going to make me pay $50 for those games, no thanks, I won't buy the console. As more people buy consoles, more games are developed for them, and there is a larger consumer base, so it is still a bonus for the game manufacturers. And, it's unlikely that these people will NEVER buy a brand new game. They might prefer to buy second-hand, but they'll probably end up buying a couple of the less expensive new games if they get excited enough about them.
CharlO 28th June 2010, 15:33 Quote
For real! Librarys are killing book sales!

MY GOD SHUT UP!

Do some quality software and I'll buy it, most games suck either in hisory development or is bug filled and no support!
lacuna 28th June 2010, 16:07 Quote
[QUOTE=NuTech]

It costs money to maintain multiplayer, distribute updates, provide free DLC etc - all of which is funded by game sales. When a gamer purchases a second hand game, their cash doesn't go towards any of those overheads.

QUOTE]

The hole in that argument is that only one person owns a specific copy of a game at any one time and therefore only the current owner can download patches/play online etc. and there is therefore no additional strain on the servers than a copy of the game bought from new.
NuTech 28th June 2010, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by lacuna
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech


It costs money to maintain multiplayer, distribute updates, provide free DLC etc - all of which is funded by game sales. When a gamer purchases a second hand game, their cash doesn't go towards any of those overheads.

The hole in that argument is that only one person owns a specific copy of a game at any one time and therefore only the current owner can download patches/play online etc. and there is therefore no additional strain on the servers than a copy of the game bought from new.
True, but the way it's perceived by the publisher is that they (the second-hand gamer) haven't contributed towards the online costs so therefore they shouldn't get access to the multiplayer and/or free DLC.

Right or wrong, that's just the way the publishers perceive it - so they're going to continue to do all they can to fight the second-hand market.
Madness_3d 28th June 2010, 16:22 Quote
Because the games are £10 -£20 more!!!
Kilmoor 28th June 2010, 16:23 Quote
sigh... yawn... Cowen and Co, pull your heads out of your bums. Crappy games = crappy sales.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlO
For real! Librarys are killing book sales!
^^ what he said, except spelled correctly.
DXR_13KE 28th June 2010, 16:37 Quote
They also fail to notice that we are in the middle of a f***ing recession...
Flibblebot 28th June 2010, 17:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
True, but the way it's perceived by the publisher is that they (the second-hand gamer) haven't contributed towards the online costs so therefore they shouldn't get access to the multiplayer and/or free DLC.

Right or wrong, that's just the way the publishers perceive it - so they're going to continue to do all they can to fight the second-hand market.
Wrong. If I buy a game and keep playing it for 12 months, how is that different (in terms of ongoing costs) to if I play the game for 6 months and then sell it to someone else who then plays that game for another 6 months? In terms of the overall cost to the publisher, there is absolutely no difference.

The idea that extra costs to the publisher are caused by second-hand users is entirely fallacious - the transfer of ownership from one user to another is completely transparent to the publisher.
Tokukachi 28th June 2010, 17:03 Quote
In 2003 I worked as a manager for the largest UK Games Retailer, and was also responsible for pre-owned across the region and I can tell you this is complete crap. Pre owned sales in 2003-05 were massive, this is when they let the stores set the prices and trade in values, and we were regularly hitting over 30% pre-owned.

Also, around this time, Argos and Woolworths dropped the prices of all new/recent console games from £39.99 to £29.99, and all the other high street retailers followed suit, massively boosting sales of new stock. Also, games were generally better and longer then IMO.

What annoys me these days is how expensive second hand games are. New is priced at £39.99 and the second hand copy at £37.99!! It annoys me most as you don't pay VAT on second hand sales, so the retailer, who probably paid less than £20 for the copy second hand, is making a clear £18+ in profit from the sale.

Things like project $10 and all this complaining from the games industry is just the last, desperate, pathetic attempts to keep there archaic pricing model. Move with the times guys :)
NuTech 28th June 2010, 17:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Wrong. If I buy a game and keep playing it for 12 months, how is that different (in terms of ongoing costs) to if I play the game for 6 months and then sell it to someone else who then plays that game for another 6 months? In terms of the overall cost to the publisher, there is absolutely no difference.

The idea that extra costs to the publisher are caused by second-hand users is entirely fallacious - the transfer of ownership from one user to another is completely transparent to the publisher.
Well, as indignant as it may make you, the publishers still disagree. That's the way they see it and they're going to do all they can to change it.
Altron 28th June 2010, 17:25 Quote
I think they're just pissed that the retailers beat them to the punch.

Look at the car industry - it thrives on secondhand sales. And automakers don't get a cut of the profits from secondhand sales either (most dealerships, in the US at least, are privately owned).

Just like GameStop and the other stores that will buy your old games, a dealership will buy your old car. That's because they can turn it around and sell it at a small profit, but more importantly, they're selling you a new car. You "trade in" your old one, take the biggest depreciation hit, and then the dealership gets you to buy a new car with a pretty good profit on, and gets a used car they can probably sell for moderate profit. they win on both rounds.

Without the ability to "trade-in" your car towards the puchase of a newer car, new car sales would drop because it would be more inconvenient for you to have to sell your old car private-party (could easily be a month worth of craigslist ads and newspaper classifieds before finally selling it for 75% of your asking price). It's easier to bring your old game into the store, and give it to them, and get a discount on a new game than it is to try to sell the old game on your own. With the store acting as the middle-man, you can avoid scams from both ends.

If you couldn't sell your car at all - if the car companies used a business model that prohibited second-hand sales - they would bleed money. People who normally might have kept a car for 4-5 years, then traded it in for a new one, will insteaad keep it for 8-10 years, until the maintenance costs approach the cost of just buying a new car.

All the game companies need to do is look at the car industry and see how second-hand sales are helping their business by getting them more customers, and by providing an upgrade path for the heaviest consumers of their newest products.

There are some differences related to physical content (the fact that the actual media is worthless, only the software on it) , but they could embrace it the same way Gamestop and EB Games has. They use trade-in games as a tool for selling their brand new games, the same way a car dealership will offer you a good trade-in value on your old car in order to get you to buy a new car from them. When there's a new game release, you can often bring in a couple older games, and give them to the store in exchange for a discount on your new game. The game manufacturer gets the same amount of money either way, but the retailer is able to offer you a discount on the basis that you value saving money on a new game more than you value saving your old games. Then they turn around, add a profit markup to the games you just traded in, and sell them to more people. It's a very profitable system.

Game devs have a HUGE opportunity to capitalize on secondhand sales. They have the advantage that each individual copy of the game costs almost nothing. Gamestop has to pay vendor price to the devs to get the games, so they have to re-sell whichever old games get traded in. The game devs can just discard the trade-ins, and sell new copies of their older games in that place.

If they implemented a system where you could get a discount for "trading in" your old games, in that they would simply de-activate your CD key, I think it would be popular. Then, take a cue from Steam, and offer a whole library of old games available at hugely discounted prices. For instance, you can buy the original Half Life games on Steam. The development for them is done. They cost absolutely nothing for Valve to distribute, because they don't have any employees working on them, they just have the code sitting on a fileserver somewhere, and they've already made a huge profit on it. So they go and they make it a few bucks, and people will pick it up for nostalgia, the same way people will comb through the $10 bargain bin at Gamestop for an old video game they might enjoy. There's no overhead cost, no marketing cost, no distribution cost, no support cost. Valve is selling those games at a 100% profit margin, and everyone is winning. People are enjoying playing nostalgic games for the cost of a cheap lunch, and they're making money.

But, instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to make money from secondhand sales, most game companies are complaining that the opportunity exists. They had a chance to set up a very profitable system, using secondhand sales as an avenue to increase sales of brand new games and to increase their customer base, and instead of doing anything about it, they are just going to complain about it. They could do a car-dealership style of trade-ins towards new purchases, or they could even do something like a leasing program, where you buy a game for a limited amount of time, at a reduced cost (i.e. make it $15/month OR $60 forever), so that the crowd that plays the game then moves on to the next one quickly will tend to pay the monthly fee and won't ever re-sell, but the crowd that wants to keep the game will pay the flat fee, and either way secondhand sales would be reduced.

It's survival of the fittest, man. Go down the street to Blockbuster and rent a DVD. Oh, wait, you can't. They're dead, because they clung to an antiquated distribution channel and decided to blame other companies rather than improving their system to beat them. As soon as Netflix came out, Blockbuster should have come out with an identical system, and tried to stay in step with them. Instead, they complained about it the same way these game devs complain about secondhand sales. By the time they realized that complaining wouldn't make the problem go away, Netflix was too entrenched in the market for them to get taken down, and Blockbuster's efforts at an online movie distribution system were too little, too late. Netflix killed Blockbuster, and then Redbox [it's a movie vending machine where it is $1 per night with a very limited selection, the idea being that if you want to pick up a popular movie to watch that night, you can go there 24 hours a day and get one. They realized that selection wasn't too important - everyone wants recent movies from the past ~3 years, and they realized that convenience was important, so they made it a 24 hour automated machine in a lot of grocery store parking lots, and they realized that nobody wants to rent movies for 3 days or 5 days or a week like Blockbuster did, they want to rent movies for one night, and they came up with a pricing structure to reflect that] put the nails in the coffin, and On-Demand video buried it. Within a decade, a huge chain of stores was obliberated because it thought it was too big to need to update its distribution and pricing model to compete with upstart companies.

This gaming thing could easily go the same way. Secondhand game sales are successful now. The stores that offer the service are doing well. Rather than trying to close them, or ignore them, start trying to compete with them before it's too late.
DXR_13KE 28th June 2010, 18:14 Quote
OR they can change the law.
TSR2 28th June 2010, 18:32 Quote
And the slogan?
'Would you buy a second hand car?'
fatty beef 28th June 2010, 19:03 Quote
they should make better games that i would not want to sell........ why is someone selling the game would be my question, especially after several weeks.... clearly its not good enough to sit on my shelf
mrbens 28th June 2010, 19:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TSR2
And the slogan?
'Would you buy a second hand car?'

lol good one :D
rollo 28th June 2010, 20:02 Quote
points at steam think my collection has now grown to like 200 odd games on steam ( sales are us and pressing buy gets you a big collection lol)

second hand sales are pretty slim tbh i know people who own a second hand shop and they sell 1-2 360 titles a week and 3max of ps3 and thats despite a large collection

ps2 sales are still at the 100 + unit count a week, Ds games the same and the old xbox still has games that sell well

problem this generation

i brought mw2 and have played 200 hrs on it instead of buying a new game, Final fantasy 13 lasted me a good 60-80 hrs on first play through then you redo it.

boomerang rentals is also pretty much took of since the release of the new consoles and unless its a big title that i want ill rent the game instead of buying i can keep it till i complete it then send it back and get a new game. Its an easy way to save money in the old days of ps2 i used to buy alot of games every month we are talking 5-10 titles some months just seemed alot more choice back then

Dlc Content has made buying more games kinda pointless when you can update your current software and gain some more time out of it.

MMOs has also became a much larger part of the gaming circut these days. ( spent nearly 5 years addicted to wow during that time i brought games still they are in a corner still boxed and wrapped some of them whole list of AAA titles im working through on pc. )

Steam has aion up at the minute for £16 you can buy the entire collection of codemasters works for less than £30 which is the price of a new game instead of 1 i get 17 80=90% of which i have never played. Dirt 2 £10 on pc or £40 on xbox 360 hmm not a hard choice really is it

they moan about the second hand market ha

Steam is whats killing them they just too blind to see it nearly everybody owns a pc that can play the latest games these days ( you can get one that can for less than £450 see hardware of the month guides)

expensive console games vs cheap steam sales for the summer steam wins
Altron 28th June 2010, 20:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
points at steam think my collection has now grown to like 200 odd games on steam ( sales are us and pressing buy gets you a big collection lol)

second hand sales are pretty slim tbh i know people who own a second hand shop and they sell 1-2 360 titles a week and 3max of ps3 and thats despite a large collection

ps2 sales are still at the 100 + unit count a week, Ds games the same and the old xbox still has games that sell well

problem this generation

i brought mw2 and have played 200 hrs on it instead of buying a new game, Final fantasy 13 lasted me a good 60-80 hrs on first play through then you redo it.

boomerang rentals is also pretty much took of since the release of the new consoles and unless its a big title that i want ill rent the game instead of buying i can keep it till i complete it then send it back and get a new game. Its an easy way to save money in the old days of ps2 i used to buy alot of games every month we are talking 5-10 titles some months just seemed alot more choice back then

Dlc Content has made buying more games kinda pointless when you can update your current software and gain some more time out of it.

MMOs has also became a much larger part of the gaming circut these days. ( spent nearly 5 years addicted to wow during that time i brought games still they are in a corner still boxed and wrapped some of them whole list of AAA titles im working through on pc. )

Steam has aion up at the minute for £16 you can buy the entire collection of codemasters works for less than £30 which is the price of a new game instead of 1 i get 17 80=90% of which i have never played. Dirt 2 £10 on pc or £40 on xbox 360 hmm not a hard choice really is it

they moan about the second hand market ha

Steam is whats killing them they just too blind to see it nearly everybody owns a pc that can play the latest games these days ( you can get one that can for less than £450 see hardware of the month guides)

expensive console games vs cheap steam sales for the summer steam wins


That's what's nice about expansion packs and constant updates. They add value to the game. I think I paid some $100 total for Warcraft 3 - $70 for the Reign of Chaos "Collector's Edition" on launch day, and $30 or so for The Frozen Throne xpac when it came out a couple years ago. I would estimate well into the thousands of hours on Warcraft 3 for me. I've had it for almost a decade, and played it on a regular basis for aa good portion if it. I've played through a hundred versions of DotA. I can imagine that Blizzard doesn't give half a flying **** about second-hand sales, because they churn out games that have huge replayability. I pre-ordered SC2 for $60. It's the first time I've spent more than $20 on a game in YEARs. That's because I know that I will get a huge amount of fun out of that game, for years, like I did from WC2BNE, SC, and WC3. Granted, a big part of that is for custom maps, but those exist in a large part due to Blizzard including a powerful map editor in the game, and blizzard including an expansion pack with a huge variety of gameplay elements to base custom maps around, and continuing to offer free online multiplayer.

If publishers make games like that, games that you will still be playing a decade after you purchased them, they don't worry about you selling them, because you won't.
But the publishers who come out with generic, run-of-the-mill games with pretty graphics and sufficient singleplayer to keep you entertained for 10 hours before you completely lose interest in it, then they should expect you to sell it as soon as you beat it.

Part of what makes TF2 still one of the most popular FPS games over three years after its launch is that Valve is constantly adding new free content, in the form of class updates, hats, weapons, etc. They retain the gameplay that makes it great, but add variety so it keeps it fresh and interesting.

That's the way to do it - free additional content and expansion packs. They can extend the life of the game for years. They show a vendor is truly committed to keeping the game fun, and they give you no reason to consider reselling the game. The vendors who want to make a quick buck by releasing the game and not adding anything to it after release are the ones getting burned by secondhand sales. Make something worth keeping for more than 2 months, and your problem is solved.
shanky887614 28th June 2010, 20:44 Quote
its impossible to compare the last generation consoels with the new

i remember when the games fist came out for the ps2 they were usually £20 £30 max and they ususally droped below that in a few weeks

the reason people arnt buying as many now is a majority of them are rubish casue they only stock well nown developer titles in shops now most people dont realise about the hundreds of game's developed that they dont hear about unless they regually scan sites like gamespot


how can you buy games that you dont know exisit, a sad fact is most people still dont know how to use the intenret efectivly and when you say to serach for it they ask how

common snece people; http://www.google.co.uk,http://www.bing.co.uk, http://www.ask.co.uk or www.yahoo.co.uk

honestly some people need training to use the internet
Elton 28th June 2010, 21:05 Quote
Quote:
That's the way to do it - free additional content and expansion packs. They can extend the life of the game for years. They show a vendor is truly committed to keeping the game fun, and they give you no reason to consider reselling the game. The vendors who want to make a quick buck by releasing the game and not adding anything to it after release are the ones getting burned by secondhand sales. Make something worth keeping for more than 2 months, and your problem is solved.

That would cost more money, the 2nd hand sales argument is moot anyhow, but lengthening the game for free would probably encourage sales, however not enough to re-coup.

It isn't really pricing or anything, more of just that there's too damn many games coming out and half of them are mediocre. I do buy new games, albeit when they become dirt cheap, but I never re-sell them. If the 2nd hand market was so bad, then ATi, Nvidia, Intel and almost everything other manufacturer in the world should complain even more.
eternum 28th June 2010, 21:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
They also fail to notice that we are in the middle of a f***ing recession...

This. I'm surprised that sales aren't down much further than this. So people are buying 20% fewer games than during the last console generation with the same userbase, while prices for those games have risen 30-50% since then. Wages certainly have not gone up by that margin, and the economy is crap. They should be thanking their lucky f***ing stars that sales aren't down further instead of blaming yet another scapegoat.

It's not the greed that gets me (corporations exist to make money), it's the wanton head-in-the-sand stupidity that just makes me want to choke these people.
DXR_13KE 28th June 2010, 21:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternum
This. I'm surprised that sales aren't down much further than this. So people are buying 20% fewer games than during the last console generation with the same userbase, while prices for those games have risen 30-50% since then. Wages certainly have not gone up by that margin, and the economy is crap. They should be thanking their lucky f***ing stars that sales aren't down further instead of blaming yet another scapegoat.

It's not the greed that gets me (corporations exist to make money), it's the wanton head-in-the-sand stupidity that just makes me want to choke these people.

And their capacity to influence the law.
Sloth 28th June 2010, 21:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternum
This. I'm surprised that sales aren't down much further than this. So people are buying 20% fewer games than during the last console generation with the same userbase, while prices for those games have risen 30-50% since then. Wages certainly have not gone up by that margin, and the economy is crap. They should be thanking their lucky f***ing stars that sales aren't down further instead of blaming yet another scapegoat.

It's not the greed that gets me (corporations exist to make money), it's the wanton head-in-the-sand stupidity that just makes me want to choke these people.
Wut.

I bought Red Dead Redemption new for $56 a few weeks ago. This is a pretty standard retail price for a new release game (less than three months old). So going back to last generation, let's look at games being supposedly 50% less. Note, not half of current, but rather 150%-50%=100% of last generation price, aka one third of current. Comes out to be about $37.33. I don't know about anyone else here, but I've never paid as little as $37 for a new release big name PS2 title! Am I the only one who really hasn't seen prices rise that far?


But my own guess is that people just want 20% less games. Multiplayer games are getting far more popular on consoles. Why buy three games for 50 hours of singleplayer fun when Modern Warfare 2 can give you that with online play? I'd also blame DLC. Why buy a new game when you can just get the DLC for your current game and keep playing that?
HourBeforeDawn 28th June 2010, 23:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by M7ck
Although im sure the second hand market is slightly affecting sales, imo it is more likely the fact that most new games are crap and way overpriced.

Agree 100% I wish PC games were more second hand friendly or what would be great is if on Steam, they gave you the ability to give your game to another steam account once your done with it but I could see how this could be abused but still would be nice.
greyhavens24 29th June 2010, 01:54 Quote
Firstly, all statistics can be massaged to get the results to fit the study. What vendors were sampled? What is classed as a "New" Sale? Budget label titles are released quite rapidly once initial sales drop and we also see prices of games drop as uptake drops - are these counted or are these not included?

I also note that this Games Analyst Firm doesn't actually state who they did the study for. Let's face it, if you are a market analyst, then you are normally undertaking market research or analysing certain statistics at the behest of a client because the client wants to find something out about their market or to adapt their business model to fit current market trends. So who commissioned it? I am pretty sure Cowen and Company didn't invest time and money finding this out just for us lot to talk about it, one of the big publishers without a doubt commissioned this.

I'm pretty sure that second hand sales in Game or Gamestation do indeed affect New Sales, HOWEVER I'm also pretty confident in saying that Tesco or Asda to name a couple probably sell more NEW games than Game for example. It's simple math really: more outlets+longer opening times+bigger buying power+higher footfall=bigger sales.

For this data to have validity you have to state the source of your results. For example if you see say an Oil of Olay advert that says 90% of women think this make them look younger, they will show on the advert that from a group of x women surveyed as a broad example.

Secondly they are saying that the userbase is broadly similar to the previous generation consoles. Perhaps thats because the hardened gamers all upgraded FROM these previous generation consoles to the next generation version. Lets face it if you are a casual gamer or a noob (Nothing against Wii's but they are directly marketed at this type of gamer because they are so accessible), you buy a Wii in general, and I notice that the Wii and it's predecessor the Gamecube do not get a mention in this article. But surely the Wii suffers from the same problem if it's as endemic as Cowen and Company would have us led to believe

Which leads me to the conclusion that I would seriously doubt that this research is any more than someone like Activision or EA commisioning the research and manipulating the results to get a headline.

There, that's Cowen and Company told!! :P
borandi 29th June 2010, 02:18 Quote
What the hell is this, Joe Martin? EA announced they believed this was the case several weeks ago. And now you're just quoting an MCV article? Welcome to original research - only at Bit-tech :)
ZERO <ibis> 29th June 2010, 02:30 Quote
If the games were good why would I sell them to someone else?
deadsea 29th June 2010, 03:08 Quote
The article over at MCV is rather low on details. How does one make the leap from more sales in the past as compared to the present. It must be 2nd hand sales!!! Couldn't be any of the other million or so reasons.

Anyone got a link to the original report?
maximus09 29th June 2010, 10:06 Quote
the only way the games industry is going to get round this is by implementing DRM on console games or have games downloadable from one of the live services. Then, not only will you not be able to lend your game to your friends, but you will also not be able to re-sell. I learnt this the hard way by lending my COD4 to a friend (on PC) after getting it back and re-installing it a few months later to play it again, the serial code wouldn't work anymore :(

I might add that in consumer law it is the legal right of a consumer to re-sell a product as second hand after purchase. Interesting how they may get around this law? Well anway, with a conservative government now it shouldn't be too hard to change the law in favour of the big rich companies.
BlackMage23 29th June 2010, 10:48 Quote
The want you to buy new games until you bleed!
Bob1234 30th June 2010, 11:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus09
I might add that in consumer law it is the legal right of a consumer to re-sell a product as second hand after purchase. Interesting how they may get around this law? Well anway, with a conservative government now it shouldn't be too hard to change the law in favour of the big rich companies.

Read the license agreements of some products, they say you have been granted a license to run it but do not own it outright and the license is non transferable.

So by not owning the product, you cant resell it.
Anfield 30th June 2010, 13:17 Quote
If they really wanted to kill the second hand market, its very simple, they just need to start putting bigger harddisks in consoles and then move to digital distribution.
kingjohn 30th June 2010, 15:22 Quote
i havnt read all the posts , but who would but im sure some were in amongst that lot there the word recession are the games sellers stupid houses are cheaper why not games .
baggyman 10th September 2010, 02:04 Quote
Im surprised there hasnt been any complaints about preowned in the past few weeks - its been a bit quiet on that front - everyone was shouting about it for a whole week!
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums