buying used games = piracy

jamesrb

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I think the issue the developers with used games sales is really in the Gamestop used game sales.

I recently go into Gamestop looking for Heavy Rain, thinking that I don't want to pay $60. I find that they sell the used copies for $55. Out of principle, I would not buy a game used to save $5. I feel that the companies involved in making the game need to be compensated in order to keep making good games. The developers probably feel that at such a high price for the used sales, it cuts into the new game sales. This is what the developers are trying to counter by charging the $10 online fee for second hand purchases.

I guess the reverse is true as well. If Gamestop sold it for $40 used, it would hurt a larger portion of the new game sales.


I think people definitely have the right to sell used games. I think that gamers though can't buy a used copy of Modern Warfare and then be upset when Modern Warfare 2 doesn't meet their expectations of quality.
 

pigwalk

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I like the way those online passes drop the used price. If it's not a feature you're interested in, then you just find better bargains on used copies quicker :).
 

DeathPrincess

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I wonder how this effects collectors edition. I mean some people buy them with the idea that a "limited" copy will be worth more down the line. You can keep it with its wrapping on and wait for it to gain value.

Hey also its still legal in europe, and games (for PC and PS3 not sure about xbox) are all region free so you can sell your junk to europe, and buy european games legally.
 

dev6

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I wonder how this effects collectors edition. I mean some people buy them with the idea that a "limited" copy will be worth more down the line. You can keep it with its wrapping on and wait for it to gain value.

Hey also its still legal in europe, and games (for PC and PS3 not sure about xbox) are all region free so you can sell your junk to europe, and buy european games legally.

I doubt that.
biggrin.gif
 

DDigital

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Besides, the original article the PA article was based off of never stated that used games were stealing. All they did was just say if you buy the game used, be prepared not to be able to play the game online. Other game companies are following suit.

The premise basically is, if you didn't pay me any money for the item I created, I don't owe you **** when it comes to support. Businesses cater towards their customers, and regardless of if you have the game, if you didn't pay the creators, you're not their customer.

I hate to use the car analogy, but disabling online play for used titles is like Ford canceling the manufacturer warranty on cars sold on the used market. "If you buy the car used, be prepared to not be able to get maintenance under the manufacturer warranty." It doesn't cost Ford any more money whether the original owner keeps the car and continues to use the warranty or if it is sold and the new owner uses the warranty, just as it doesn't cost the software companies any more money whether the original owner keeps the game and continues to use the online feature or if it is sold and the new owner uses the online feature. It's still the same number of users per unit either way (1), thus not taking any more resources regardless of whether or not that person gave their money directly to the creator (be it Ford or THQ).

It's just a way of artificially generating profit. Charging twice for same unit. Just like bank fees, it's basically a charge for doing nothing. The argument that the used market takes sales away from the new market is flawed (as has been explained over and over, if anything, the 2 markets are symbiotic, feeding into one another) and is just used as an excuse to enact dirty policies aimed at making a quick buck forsaking longevity.

The used market doesn't hurt the movie industry. It doesn't hurt the music industry. It doesn't hurt the book industry. It doesn't hurt the auto industry. It doesn't hurt the art industry. Software is no different, no matter how much it wants to be.
 

Krenum

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The used market doesn't hurt the movie industry. It doesn't hurt the music industry. It doesn't hurt the book industry. It doesn't hurt the auto industry. It doesn't hurt the art industry. Software is no different, no matter how much it wants to be.


Truth!


If anything it stimulates it.
 

Elledan

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That is your bias and subjective rationalization to justify why you think you are entitled to screw every last cent that you can out of consumers.

What I am paying for is the final code which has been produced by a developer, nothing more and nothing less. The fact that this code is incorporeal is irrelevant, it is notionally a good for which I am imparting my hard earned money in exchange for.

What? :confused:

That's the whole point: my company develops a game we think will be popular, we set a price on each copy which we deem enough to recover R&D with and gain sufficient profit, we wait for people to exchange money for a copy, and meanwhile start work on the next game, paid for by the money flowing in. Beyond that we don't care what happens to these copies. They're just a way of making the concept of a service function in this context.

We could also ask for money in advance (like pre-orders), but that probably wouldn't work as well :p
 

Luthorcrow

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The whole used game concern is a debate that will look real silly about five years or so when the majority of games are bought over the internet and run a service like Steam or Xbox Live.

The day of the disc is dated. It may not happen in five but it will happen.
 

DeathPrincess

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I doubt that.
biggrin.gif

Which bit?

(oh and that smilie either has a weird coding problem or you hosted it yourself... If you did, all you need to do is press "go advanced" and see a list of them or type :D or otherthings etc.)
 

slamcmy

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im just tired of ppl complaining about piracy like if they havent done anything illegal in their whole life, you mean to tell me that you havent downloaded an mp3 song, or a torrent, or ignore a stop sign, parking where you shouldnt, used pirated software, unlocked a cell phone, burn cd's with the music you like, used other ppl unprotected wi-fi, exceed the speed limit while driving, really ? i dont buy that BS, while i dont support piracy i dont think video games should cost more than 20 dlls i mean if they really want to stop piracy they should move all games to steam or something like that, BUT STOP COMPLAINING....piracy will never stop, deal with it
 
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theNoid

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im just tired of ppl complaining about piracy like if they havent done anything illegal in their whole life, you mean to tell me that you havent downloaded an mp3 song, or a torrent, or ignore a stop sign, parking where you shouldnt, used pirated software, unlocked a cell phone, burn cd's with the music you like, used other ppl unprotected wi-fi, exceed the speed limit while driving, really ? i dont buy that BS, while i dont support piracy i dont think video games should cost more than 20 dlls i mean if they really want to stop piracy they should move all games to steam or something like that, BUT STOP COMPLAINING....piracy will never stop, deal with it

I hope you get banned. :mad:
 

Decibel

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What?

That's the whole point: my company develops a game we think will be popular, we set a price on each copy which we deem enough to recover R&D with and gain sufficient profit, we wait for people to exchange money for a copy, and meanwhile start work on the next game, paid for by the money flowing in. Beyond that we don't care what happens to these copies. They're just a way of making the concept of a service function in this context.

We could also ask for money in advance (like pre-orders), but that probably wouldn't work as well

You're not selling a service, you're selling toys.

Mattel develops a new toy car that has a built in flame thrower, they set a price which they deem enough to recover R&D, gain sufficient profit, and pay for the legal team to cover any potential lawsuits from the parents of all the little pyros. They wait for people to exchange money for a sweet looking toy car with a built in flame thrower, and meanwhile start working on the next one, (They're thinking rocket propelled grenades.) paid for by the money rolling in...

The idea that software design is fundamentally different from other types of engineering and design is frankly ridiculous. There are hundreds or thousands of hours put into virtually any product. It is only indirectly that the engineers get paid for the "service" of designing whatever widget it is they work on.

I buy games, not because I value the time invested in it, but because I want the product. That is the primary service you are providing your customers, toys.
 

Elledan

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You're not selling a service, you're selling toys.[..]
I buy games, not because I value the time invested in it, but because I want the product. That is the primary service you are providing your customers, toys.

So you are saying I'm selling a service :)

The important distinction between selling a product and selling a service is that the former doesn't exclude the latter, as offering the product for sale is a service in itself. The thing is that a physical toy has N production costs, where the company puts M R&D costs on top of the price to recover these costs and eventually turn a profit. In the case of software there is no N, only M. There is no physical product, there is nothing which takes effort or costs anything after the R&D has been completed (aside from physical media, but I'm assuming digital distribution).

It can be compared to a concert: people buy tickets so that they can watch some group perform as a service. The group needs to sell a certain number of tickets to recover the initial investment, plus some on top to turn a profit. That's basically what a software developer is doing as well. Develop software/a performance, offer it up for sale via copies/tickets and pray there is enough interest for it and you set the prices right :)
 

Tudz

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So you are saying I'm selling a service :)

The important distinction between selling a product and selling a service is that the former doesn't exclude the latter, as offering the product for sale is a service in itself. The thing is that a physical toy has N production costs, where the company puts M R&D costs on top of the price to recover these costs and eventually turn a profit. In the case of software there is no N, only M. There is no physical product, there is nothing which takes effort or costs anything after the R&D has been completed (aside from physical media, but I'm assuming digital distribution).

It can be compared to a concert: people buy tickets so that they can watch some group perform as a service. The group needs to sell a certain number of tickets to recover the initial investment, plus some on top to turn a profit. That's basically what a software developer is doing as well. Develop software/a performance, offer it up for sale via copies/tickets and pray there is enough interest for it and you set the prices right :)

You still pay for servers and bandwidth and the like. You're still just selling a product. You make product, you have costs involved, you sell product for money, its all the same stuff. I dont know why the game industry feels its something special and that its providing some sort of special service to the community.

Talking about the whole service vs product thing is just semantics. Unless you are selling some sort of ongoing updates and support (perhaps like an MMO with a monthly fee), the only time people care is when your product is flawed and you have to fix it. Like a car which has been found to have a faulty throttle cable, it may get recalled or replaced under warranty by the company. Games are just lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) that flaws can be fixed then the solution easily distributed via patches.
 

pigwalk

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90% of the PC Games I own have been bought used.

Whatever.

It was like that for me too until about a year or so ago when most games ended up having server side authentication, or being tied to steamworks or other.

That's when I started sticking to Target clearance racks, Steam uber 2-5 dollar deals and use games for consoles.
 

Shalafi

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Pigwalk, your wallet sings your praises for using your methods, and plus you probably realize you have even more money to spend on other things you like doing.

Only downside is you end up with a huge backlog anyway :(
 

Elledan

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You still pay for servers and bandwidth and the like. You're still just selling a product. You make product, you have costs involved, you sell product for money, its all the same stuff. I dont know why the game industry feels its something special and that its providing some sort of special service to the community.

Talking about the whole service vs product thing is just semantics. Unless you are selling some sort of ongoing updates and support (perhaps like an MMO with a monthly fee), the only time people care is when your product is flawed and you have to fix it. Like a car which has been found to have a faulty throttle cable, it may get recalled or replaced under warranty by the company. Games are just lucky (or unlucky depending on how you look at it) that flaws can be fixed then the solution easily distributed via patches.

Well, the most important distinction I'm trying to make here between our method and that of most other companies is that we don't treat the copy of the software we sold to you as though it's still our property, nor do we try to squeeze more money out of it after the sale has taken place. We don't care about DRM because we recognize that a software copy is made very easily, that DRM degrades the user experience and if not enough people buy a copy of the software, it meant they weren't interested in seeing it developed or any follow-up games either.
 

pigwalk

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Pigwalk, your wallet sings your praises for using your methods, and plus you probably realize you have even more money to spend on other things you like doing.

Only downside is you end up with a huge backlog anyway :(

Hookers and Blow close that savings gap pretty quick :(.

And yes, Backlog from fucking HELL. And I picked 2 RPG's to play right now... The Witcher and Lost Odyssey, and I haven't played either in 2 days. NO NEW GAMES!!!! At least till one or the other is done.....
 

mope54

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I hate to use the car analogy, but disabling online play for used titles is like Ford canceling the manufacturer warranty on cars sold on the used market. "If you buy the car used, be prepared to not be able to get maintenance under the manufacturer warranty." It doesn't cost Ford any more money whether the original owner keeps the car and continues to use the warranty or if it is sold and the new owner uses the warranty,
I don't know where you are buying your used cars, but I don't know of any that retain the original manufacturer's warranty once they leave the ownership of the original purchaser.

Used cars may have special warranties if one buys them from the dealer, but used cars from private sellers aren't eligible for anything from the manufacturer.

It's the same story for car parts--"lifetime" warranties are valid during the lifetime of the original owner *only*
 

Sickb0y

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So I guess I just pirate my car since I just picked up a 2010 HHR used :rolleyes:
and my current computer is made of about 80% used parts from the forum so I just pirate that as well :rolleyes: and did I mention I just picked up a used ps3 and 360 off ebay? so yeah I just pirate that as well :rolleyes: And before I forget all my books for the current semester are used as well so yup pirate that as well :rolleyes:
 

veterator

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I don't know where you are buying your used cars, but I don't know of any that retain the original manufacturer's warranty once they leave the ownership of the original purchaser.

Used cars may have special warranties if one buys them from the dealer, but used cars from private sellers aren't eligible for anything from the manufacturer.

It's the same story for car parts--"lifetime" warranties are valid during the lifetime of the original owner *only*

http://www.hyundaiusa.com/warranty.aspx

I had to look that up because I was fairly sure the warranty carried over to some degree, this one came up with the most info on my search for original manufacturer warranty related to vehicles.

There's a bunch of info there, but the first couple say you get 10 years/100k miles powertrain on it if you're original buyer. And it drops to 5 years/50k powertrain on it if you're not the original buyer, with various parts having different limits (just as they do under original warranty although the periods may not be the same).

I know it varies from state to state, but in my state and a lot of others after a vehicle is 5+ years old and over 100k miles the law says there is no possibility of a warranty on the car unless otherwise agreed upon. So you don't have to sign an as-is agreement to expect it to be as-is, although most used dealers will have you sign one anyway just so you can't waste their time in court.

It's where dealerships pick up the slack on the used markets with inspections/certifications on used vehicles and extended warranties offered through the dealership/manufacturer to cover the car beyond any original it may have left on it. Which is one of my arguments against game devs, they are putting absolutely no value addition into the equation but expecting to get paid anyway for used sales. Hell you can even get screwed hard on new games, see APB as the most recent example of this....no guarantees on any purchase new or used when it comes to games.
 

ZodaEX

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Then the makers should make a excellent game so no one would sell it

Exactly, for me this is the bottom line. I never sale the games that I like. When I think back, the only time I have sold my games is when they are still fairly new and I didn't like them at all, never wanting to play them again. I think it's healthy incentive for developers to make fewer, better games over more, rushed crappy games. Like Rare/Blizzard used to do.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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screw em,

a big part of the reason I do not buy games like I used to has to do with developers spouting crap like this.


I am better off wating for DNF forever than I am playing most of the shovelware that passes as games these days.
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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I don't know where you are buying your used cars, but I don't know of any that retain the original manufacturer's warranty once they leave the ownership of the original purchaser.

Used cars may have special warranties if one buys them from the dealer, but used cars from private sellers aren't eligible for anything from the manufacturer.

It's the same story for car parts--"lifetime" warranties are valid during the lifetime of the original owner *only*

say what? there are plenty of used cars that still have the original warranty IE buying a car off of lease that has under (lets use acura here) 50K on them and they are under 4 years old they are sold with factory warranty intact for the remainder of said warranty buy acura certified and the warranty is extended an addition 12 months and 12K miles plus you typically get a 100K power train warranty to boot.....even some of the lifetime power train warranties are transferrable if you pay a small fee (with Chrysler it used to be $75).
 

Mr. Bluntman

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What's the difference between buying a used car and stealing a car as far as the car companies are concerned? Nothing.

What's the difference between buying a used book and shoplifting a book from a bookstore as far as the authors are concerned? Nothing.

What's the difference between buying a used CD and shoplifting a CD from a music store as far as the musicians are concerned? Nothing.

What's the difference between a car company, a book author, a musician and a game company? Only the game company has figured out a way to keep you from buying a used version of their product.

Don't forget that the MPAA and RIAA haven't figured out either, so now they're lobbying our government to make it illegal to resell or backup your media.
 

Tolyngee

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What's the difference between buying a used car and stealing a car as far as the car companies are concerned? Nothing.

What's the difference between buying a used book and shoplifting a book from a bookstore as far as the authors are concerned? Nothing.

What's the difference between buying a used CD and shoplifting a CD from a music store as far as the musicians are concerned? Nothing.

What's the difference between a car company, a book author, a musician and a game company? Only the game company has figured out a way to keep you from buying a used version of their product.

What I find odd about this is that my local library is completely free, but the only thing I can't go there and check-out for three weeks for free is a car, while the car manufs are the only ones not constantly trying to do something about used car sales. (Hell, they keep bugging me with offers to buy back my used car! Book/music/games manufs have never offered that!)
 

msny

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Apparently some dude running Penny Arcade has come out and proposed this to be true.

His argument is that the effect of piracy and used game sales are alike, he doesn't say used game sellers/buyers are pirates, he merely points out that the economic impact is the same which is that the developer doesn't see any money from used game buyers. This can be especially unfortunate when a used copy is resold multiple times.

I buy used games for the PS3 because I feel that no game is worth $60 (or $69) to me. I also don't understand why "finance" doesn't get that you make more money selling 3 million copies at $25 each than 1 million copies at $60 (yes, the numbers are made up for dramatic effect).

If the game is used, the developer already has made his money on the orginial sale. So I don't see this point being made. However, if the developer has specifically stated in there sofware agreement that selling a used game isn't legal, then maybe they have a case.

Do all games have that specified?
I doubt it.
 

msny

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I kind of agrew with PA on this one, *Shrug* Doesn't matter, second hand market including rentals and used sales will be gone completely in within a few years when DD becomes the only way to get games.

For what its worth, enjoy buying used games and using rental services while you can. /nojoke

They said the same about VCR's but many people still use them.
 

Godmachine

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Apparently some dude running Penny Arcade has come out and proposed this to be true.

His argument is that the effect of piracy and used game sales are alike, he doesn't say used game sellers/buyers are pirates, he merely points out that the economic impact is the same which is that the developer doesn't see any money from used game buyers. This can be especially unfortunate when a used copy is resold multiple times.

I buy used games for the PS3 because I feel that no game is worth $60 (or $69) to me. I also don't understand why "finance" doesn't get that you make more money selling 3 million copies at $25 each than 1 million copies at $60 (yes, the numbers are made up for dramatic effect).

Hes wrong and completely so , used games benefit the gamers and retailers as everything else in the world that gets sold used the company that made the original product rarely makes money from a second hand transaction so he needs to grow up. Video games are hardly worth 60 dollars anymore when you consider your paying about 4 middle men before you even reach the developer. I have zero guilt buying a used game , never will.
 

theNoid

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They said the same about VCR's but many people still use them.

Analog media? Maybe people in third world countries. My point is that while there will always be a niche market or 'ways' to get used software, I"m just saying that within a few years most games will be distributed digitally. Whether that be available for download or playing from the cloud, its going to happen. Let us not forget this IS THE CASE today ALREADY. There are games (smaller, indy or budgeted games) that release today on Steam, on XBLA and on PSN that are only available through digital downloads. You cannot buy these games on physical media. And guess what? Consumers are lining up in droves to pay for this software.

I dont want to go off why its going to happen, just know that centralizing resources back into data centers, virtualization and cloud computing is basically where every single market is going in the next decade (if not now already). Matter of fact I would argue that the large majority of the companies most of you reading this work at are hard at work trying to find ways to get into either virtualization of servers, desktop, or applications. Pull that shit off the desktop and control and distribute from the backend. 5 guys doing the job of 50. Its cheaper, and more cost effective to centralize and control distribution, be it applications for you business, applications to the public, the cloud in general or gaming. Its going to happen primarily on your OS, no more buying and then having to install software, its all going to be cloud based, over the web.

Gaming is going to catch up, and we're living in the transitionary phase. Today we have services that people love to get boners for. Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, GOG... and even cloud services like OnLive are starting to take root. Some people choose to ignore it, others buy a few games a la carte while some outright only buy DD.

Its all a transition to where the majority of publishers are going to deliver software on their terms. Don't like it? Fine buy from other publishers. When they see all the money they're missing out on and start up, then what? Rinse repeat until you find yourself drowning in a market heavily controlled by a publishers wet dream.

No used, no rentals, no second hand market. A consumer wants a game, they pay for it. Fuck em, get a pirated copy? Tough shit, no such thing.. everything resides securely in large data centers. There is nothing to pirate, just an account to play. And unfortunately because of the way the infrastructure market is heading, the consumers aren't going to have much say or it will be too little too late. The business is going to push this transition with the goal of getting games to more people, easier, faster and with higher revenue generated.

When? Shit if I know.. but just remember you read it somewhere before it happened.
 
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KatalDT

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WAIT! I just figured it out...

If:
Buying Used Games = Piracy

And:
Buying Used Games = Legal

Then:
Piracy = Legal


AWESOME! Penny Arcade says piracy is legal!
 

Baker

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Analog media? Maybe people in third world countries. My point is that while there will always be a niche market or 'ways' to get used software, I"m just saying that within a few years most games will be distributed digitally. Whether that be available for download or playing from the cloud, its going to happen. Let us not forget this IS THE CASE today ALREADY. There are games (smaller, indy or budgeted games) that release today on Steam, on XBLA and on PSN that are only available through digital downloads. You cannot buy these games on physical media. And guess what? Consumers are lining up in droves to pay for this software.

I dont want to go off why its going to happen, just know that centralizing resources back into data centers, virtualization and cloud computing is basically where every single market is going in the next decade (if not now already). Matter of fact I would argue that the large majority of the companies most of you reading this work at are hard at work trying to find ways to get into either virtualization of servers, desktop, or applications. Pull that shit off the desktop and control and distribute from the backend. 5 guys doing the job of 50. Its cheaper, and more cost effective to centralize and control distribution, be it applications for you business, applications to the public, the cloud in general or gaming. Its going to happen primarily on your OS, no more buying and then having to install software, its all going to be cloud based, over the web.

Gaming is going to catch up, and we're living in the transitionary phase. Today we have services that people love to get boners for. Steam, Xbox Live, PSN, GOG... and even cloud services like OnLive are starting to take root. Some people choose to ignore it, others buy a few games a la carte while some outright only buy DD.

Its all a transition to where the majority of publishers are going to deliver software on their terms. Don't like it? Fine buy from other publishers. When they see all the money they're missing out on and start up, then what? Rinse repeat until you find yourself drowning in a market heavily controlled by a publishers wet dream.

No used, no rentals, no second hand market. A consumer wants a game, they pay for it. Fuck em, get a pirated copy? Tough shit, no such thing.. everything resides securely in large data centers. There is nothing to pirate, just an account to play. And unfortunately because of the way the infrastructure market is heading, the consumers aren't going to have much say or it will be too little too late. The business is going to push this transition with the goal of getting games to more people, easier, faster and with higher revenue generated.

When? Shit if I know.. but just remember you read it somewhere before it happened.

I don't agree DD or cloud services being the only way to buy games in the next several years. Even in the USofA there are still plenty of areas that have Walmarts who sell X360's and PS3's, but the people living around it may not have access (not that they can't afford) to high speed internet. Most people claiming DD or cloud services will be the way of the future probably live in a metropolitan area. There are places in Texas that barely get phone lines, some places have no cell phone coverage.

The point is, physical copies of selling games will be around for a while. There are consumers out there who don't buy into DD, and as a business you want to sell as much as you can to as many people as you can, through as many outlets as possiable. Will there big a larger shift to DD or cloud services, sure, but will this be the only option?, no.
 

Biznatch

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I don't know where you are buying your used cars, but I don't know of any that retain the original manufacturer's warranty once they leave the ownership of the original purchaser.

Used cars may have special warranties if one buys them from the dealer, but used cars from private sellers aren't eligible for anything from the manufacturer.

It's the same story for car parts--"lifetime" warranties are valid during the lifetime of the original owner *only*

When I bought my used 06 STI with 23,000 miles on it, they replaced the front axle when it went bad. Covered under the original 50k powertrain warranty. This was purchased as a private sale as well, no dealership involved. Took it to a subaru dealership for the repairs.
 

mope54

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cool story...guess online gaming servers really are like used car sales...imagine that :rolleyes:
 

Liver

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I wonder how this would affect Netflix and Gamefly monthly rentals?
 
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