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Do we still need pre-owned games?

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Log and Ed join battle over the rumoured next gen used game block

It's rumoured that the next generation Xbox will introduce a mandatory activation scheme designed to wall out pre-owned buyers (Sony, incidentally, has patented a system which could serve much the same purpose on PS4). We find the idea deeply dubious - Microsoft is well aware of how much its customers hate attempts to control how they make use of their purchases - but there's no denying, given comments to the effect from the likes of Frontier's David Braben and Crytek's Rasmus HÝjengaard, that a significant proportion of the publishing biz would back such measures.... read more

Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby Bubblebeard JS » 17 Feb 2013, 13:55

its simple, block preowned... then i wont be buying a new console, :evil:
i dont have an endless supply of funds that enables me to buy new games weekly, therefore i like my rentals and my preowned games.
preowned games are a huge part of the market, and a way for people that have other things to focus there money on a chance to get the game for cheaper.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby fracturedrich » 17 Feb 2013, 14:14

I was really against it,but now ime on the fence,heres why.If you buy a stinker or a game you dont like you can get rid of it straight away.I would not have got into rpg or rts if it was not for pre owned,trying a game on the cheap then getting into that genre.On the other hand i only own 3 games for my pc because i no i cant trade them so i am very carefull what i buy,some people say to me you have to many games,that wont be the case if they block pre owned,in fact that would take away some of what owning a console is all about.If they try a block they will have to give us something on the other hand,cheaper games for instance,like the pc.
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Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby sonicmark » 17 Feb 2013, 14:15

I think the problem with preowned games is that developers are throwing in extra content into a new copy of a game as a way of saying thanks for purchasing this game this game which naturally entices people, also the price of newer titles preowned has gone up by too much and I think that's gonna put folk off.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby STE MO » 17 Feb 2013, 14:17

Hasn't the general concensus been that we don't mind buying full price games, we just don't want these big coporate publishers shovelling us the same turd on a platter year after year at £40 a pop. The second hand market ensures that if their turd isn't as polished as it should be then we, as a consumer, get some of OUR money back if we don't like it. I would much rather my money go to the developers then an ASDA or GAME.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby RetroDad » 17 Feb 2013, 14:24

Bubblebeard JS wrote:i dont have an endless supply of funds that enables me to buy new games weekly, therefore i like my rentals and my preowned games.

I'm certainly not using fifty pound notes as bog roll either. I'd estimate I'm about six months behind on playing current titles. I've just finished Sleeping Dogs which came out in August last year. It's hard to justify a day-one purchase when a lot of titles reduce in price after a couple of months anyhow. I do like a bargain and any pre-owned titles I've picked up have been in near mint condition. I stray away from any that need a new online pass and other b/s necessary in order to play the game properly.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby moses2kay9 » 17 Feb 2013, 14:31

If there weren't pre-owned games, then there are a lot of games that I wouldn't have bought new. For example, I bought Oblivion and Forza 3 pre-owned, then bought Skyrim and Forza 4 new, plus I've bought all the DLC for Skyrim. If you got rid of pre-owned, then you'd lose a lot of sales. I don't get much money, so pre-owned games are great, as I can get the titles I want cheaply, then put some money towards buying new games on release.

Another point is that without pre-owned, shops like Grainger Games and CHiPs will probably go out of business, as they rely on pre-owned a hell of a lot. If we lose these, then there would be no proper gaming shops in my town. Plus, getting rid of pre-owned also gets rid of lending games to/from mates, and stops game rentals. I really don't think it can be a serious idea to get rid of pre-owned, as Microsoft would be losing a lot of revenue.

If the next Xbox does block pre-owned, I won't be getting it.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby PonderingWalrus » 17 Feb 2013, 15:36

"And by the titanium polygods, I will eliminate you."

Not sure why I found this quite so hilarious. :D
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby battfink83 » 17 Feb 2013, 15:54

am i the only one who thinks this will hurt NEW Game sales?

think about it, there's quite a few games ive bought over they years, or more like taken a risk on buying, that i simply wouldnt have if i knew i couldnt trade them on.

more and more people will be cautious with their cash, if they know they are going to be stuck with a game they cant get any cash back on, methinks it will stop people buying alot of titles, they will only buy the ones they are 100% sure they want, meaning less game sales overall
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby Grummy » 17 Feb 2013, 17:35

Yes, pre-owned is necessary. Currently. however it is just an solution to certain problems within the industry, that games are expensive and people are cautious about moving outside of their comfort zone. Until the games industry can find a way to allow people to play more games without resorting to 2nd hand, then that market needs to stay. The 2nd hand market is every bit as responsible for making gaming a mainstream media as anything else, without it, people would buy and play less 'real games' meaning the 'real game' market would be squashed by mobile games. As a gamer, I thrive on having a regular variety of games to play, I don't ever want to be faced with a time where I have to wait months for the next game I want to turn up, which is what we would be faced with without the 2nd hand market.

The simple facts are with easier access to a greater variety of games and a cheaper price, people play more and in the future they will buy more, the main game sales grow thanks to the distribution granted by the pre-owned market.

However, I am also fully aware that 2nd hand sales DO carve into new game sales, but the amount is questionable. There is certainly a number of gamers who will wait for 2nd hand games, many of them openly admit to it, but on the flip side a lot of these games sales are for games that people would never have played otherwise, and, indeed, can lead to MORE primary sales in the future. I honestly don't see that blocking 2nd hand games will have any benefit to primary game sales, the people who will buy these games new will do so anyway, either on release or when the games are reduced. THAT I believe is key, that 2nd hand sales take away from games on deals and reduced prices. What's the answer? Well I don't see that reducing the cost of new games will make a difference, people who wait for the price drops wait for a reason, for a particular price, that 2nd hand will get too faster the new. Of course they could reduce game prices from the off, but then they're just reducing their own income with no benefit, so that won't happen. The only answer I can see is what HMV suggested, giving publishers a cut of the preowned income.

I also have to point out the supposed issue with yearly releases not being particularly different being an issue. I can see the argument, but what people forget is that a LOT of gamers are happy to just get an upgraded CoD for another year. Also important to note is that the annual releases are somewhat necessary, they are the cashcow, the regular guarenteed income that publishers need to allow them to expand into new games and IP's. Ubisoft, with their 465,923 Assassin's Creeds game have been able to produce another fantastic Far Cry game and work on Watchdogs, thanks in no small part to the regular income they can guarantee from an annual/biannual release of AC.

Anyway, tl;dr, Yes we need pre-owned until the games industry figures a way to widen distribution of their games without it, as without that wider distribution people will play less and buy less in the future. However, the games industry still needs to protect its profit margin (yes it does, it's a business, deal with it) so by all means continue with online passes etc and in the mean time try and find a way to either replace 2nd hand without harming the consumer, or work a deal to take a piece of the profit.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby Crisco » 17 Feb 2013, 17:47

I agree with Battfink, I don't mind occasionally paying £40 for a new game (when I can afford it and justify spending that amount of money) but I only do it knowing that I can trade it in weeks later. Often I will trade in 3 or 4 games to get a new, or newer, game.
Without the option to buy second hand and trade in old games I would only buy games that scored 90% or 9/10 from reviews and ONLY if I had played a demo and fell in love with it.
If they go through with this a lot more companies will be going bust and it will be all their own doing. Then no-one will be making games because of greedy fat cats. This is why we can't have nice things.

Although a good point was made about XBLA, I've bought many great games from there and there are many more I will buy in the future. Some I will play again and again, others I may only play once but for the price it's often worth it, even if it's just for a few hours.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby Johnbhoy69 » 17 Feb 2013, 18:38

I think the general problem is too many games being released are very similar to each other. Way too many 1st person shooters and 3rd person cover shooters in the market today. Sure this means there is plenty of choice in the market which in turn causes people to trade in games more often as there is always something newer. And trading games in to get money off new games has always been one of the perks of having a few too many games which you don't really play anymore.
But to completely take away our ability to play preowned games on a new console and not only are you killing off a thriving market but I can see it having a negative effect on new game sales.
The act of buying a game now becomes a serious investment posing questions like, Will I have enough free time to play this? Will I get my moneys worth? Should I get this or wait for something better in a month or two?

Not only will big developers see a huge impact on their sales, the smaller developers may not even get a look in thanks to gamers being more reserved with their spending than ever before.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby stryder84 » 17 Feb 2013, 18:49

if they blocked preowned how will they sell even a quarter of those games because thats how many players afford games and consoles (lord knows thats how i bought my first 360 (on my 3rd now) because only those who dont have the same worries that the rest of us norms do (bills rent mortgage stop me if im going too fast) and then they trade them in as soon as they bored with them...CoD for example you stop preowned you will stop millions of players from buying it because companies wont run a 'trade in' deal with the latest installment
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby Bezza89 » 17 Feb 2013, 18:55

I'm in the no camp, frankly if you can't afford it - don't buy it. Games go quite cheap only weeks after release new, and this price plummets after more time. Can you not wait? You don't have to play every single game that comes out either,

Only problems with getting rid are; How would renting work? Erm, no others, though you could argue no games would be sold, but they aren't being sold anyway technically as the devs and pubs don't get money from preowned sales, then you might argue that getting interested in that game makes you buy the sequel (if it exists because you didn't buy the first one and there aren't enough to warrant a sequel but it sold well preowned and is a 'cult' game now - enslaved etc) but all this could be solved with digital sales or buying it new for cheap somewhere down the line, take steam and the cheap games on offer there - and the devs still get money. Though it can be argued most games are a 'success' based on first month sales rather than lifetime. It's a tricky one but;

The benefits of preowned are that old games are... I'm not sure, you get someone elses contaminated product with likely faecal matter smeared everywhere not to mention buccal cells! All for what, the sake of a few pounds? I don't get it.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby Drainwater » 17 Feb 2013, 19:35

I thought long and hard on this (about 2 minutes) and I wound up voting "No". There are many franchises I wouldn't have gotten in to without pre-owned games because I didn't want to buy them for full price on day one. But then I look at Steam with its near constant sales on various games and ever expanding library of older games and I think if Microsoft wizened up and followed Valve's lead on this, then we truly wouldn't need pre-owned games. I am slightly opposed to the idea just because I don't like being told I can't do something with a game I purchased but in the end I think it's a small loss for me. Like others who have posted here I'm really careful about what I buy on release day and I've only ever regretted a total of 3 Day One purchases that I can remember. If I'm on the fence about a title I can just wait a few months for it to hit the bargain bin on its own without buying it pre-used.

In short, while I personally don't want them to do away with pre-owned, I honestly don't think we (or at least I) need pre-owned.
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Re: Do we still need pre-owned games?

Postby PonderingWalrus » 17 Feb 2013, 22:29

Whether or not we NEED pre-owned us definitely debatable but for the consumer it is very advantageous indeed. Not only does the pre-owned market allow you to pick up games for cheap but it also means that if I finish a game and have no desire to play through it again or purchase a game which I decide I dislike, I can recuperate some funds as either cash or store credit.

I get that developers and publishers want us to buy their games new as they receive nothing from the pre-owned market but blocking pre-owned is not the way to go. It would be far better for them to just invest in the online pass system.

Or something else that could work (I think somebody has mentioned this before on her but I am not sure) is retailers having to pay royalties to the publishers when they resell a pre-owned game. Passing a law along these lines would be much better than gutting the pre-owned games industry outright.

Also, I completely back Log's "What's mine is mine" argument 100%.

Edit: I see now Grummy has already made the "publisher's cut of pre-owned sales" argument. My bad... :mrgreen:
Last edited by PonderingWalrus on 18 Feb 2013, 10:20, edited 1 time in total.
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