Quantic Dream - 10 million lost from second hand Heavy Rain sales

Forums - Sales Discussion - Quantic Dream - 10 million lost from second hand Heavy Rain sales

vlad321 said:
Reasonable said:
vlad321 said:
Reasonable said:

This is no different from the used/lent situation with books, CDs, whatever. The only difference I see is that in this case, which I admit might be a bit annoying, the developer can see the extent of second hand sales or lent games.

Really this is no different than me buying a book, reading it in a day and then selling it on or loaning it to someone.

I can understand the issue with piracy in the same manner as the issue with books being reprinted illegally for sale, but not second hand sales: they are a staple of everything owned in our society and I see no reason games should be exempt.

One thing to remember though, if everything does go digital lending and second hand might vanish as they require a physical object, so be careful what you wish for (although personally, if it was me I would allow lending of digital stuff from a goodwill perspective).

EDIT: the other thing I meant to mention is that with second hand sales you at least make the initial sale. Basically they made 2 million sales and 1 million people at least wanted to buy second hand or borrow who might buy first hand next time.  That's pretty good IMHO for the QD brand.

I actually had a really nice talk between me and Final Fan in some PC thread, I'll post it if I can find it. It dealt with the actual morality behind it, not so much the economics, and we agreed to disagree, but we understood each other perfectly well, I put the used market just slightly under piracy as far as morality goes.

However as to what you talked about, just because something is well established (physical medium being traded) doesn't mean it's ok, nor does something new mean it's not ok just because it's new and some people can't adapt to it (piracy ).

Well it goes to the heart of the ownership basis for goods.  Take something like say a clock.  Let's say I buy a really nice hand made clock and pay the guy who makes it (who's a lovely, really sweet craftsman) directly.

Now, a bit later I decide to change my house and decide to sell or pass on the clock.  Effectively I'm potentially cutting off a sale for the guy by putting my clock back into the pool of available options - someone might decide to buy my (cheaper) clock second hand rather than buy one directly from him.

Is this wrong moraly I guess is the question (in addition to the economic situation).

Traditionally, I'd argue that in our soceity it was neither seen as wrong nor a problem economically as it's a more casual, general sale.

Now, of course where money could be made people would put themselves deliberately into the market distributing second hand goods for their own profit - for example the second hand car and book market, or second hand CDs, etc.

Again, I feel that for the most part this is considered acceptable in our society as, for the most part, such systems have existed next to new sales and often the company involved can chose to also enter that market - for example I can buy a new car from Ford or I can buy a used car directly from Ford and Ford still get the money.  In this case Ford effectively have two businesses - one competing for new car sales and one competing for second hand car sales.

The issue with games (which I feel in principle shouldn't be different) is the speed/volume and apparent challenge for the originating supplier to take part.  I do feel that as the model is no different from other accepted models, the games industry is either going to have to deal with it or change to move outside it.

Clearly the idea of digitial only sales appeals as this removes the whole concept of a "used" game and if properly deployed would totally eliminate the used game market.

Part of the challenge (or confusion) with games is the fact a used game is essentially identical to a new game.  Only the physical storage medium is used.  A second hand car is truly second hand.  In my clock example the clock I sell on might be in tip top condition but it has been used.

With a game, the speed is so fast a game could be sold new Friday and being sold used Saturday.  I do appreciate that is annoying for developers, and I do understand their view that a used game doesn't contain any degredation such as a used car (i.e. you're getting as good as new for used).

But there seems no way to make games a special case.  If I buy a game it is my right to sell on the physical copy.  It is the right of any business to set itself up to buy it from me (and in theory Activision could offer to buy it from me and sell on used a'la the Ford example) but of course as the game itself is digital there is no difference to buying new.

It's a toughie - but whining never works.  The industry either has to figure out a model to get around the digital aspect - which is what online passes are all about really - by making a new game somehow more value than used (for example a one time check on install could unlock special features which won't unlock used) or perhaps the industry will go digitial removing the physical medium from which the confusion springs.  That way a game would never essentially be "used" and would retain whatever value the company believes it should charge.

Right now though I do believe QD should look to the 2 million sales and ask how to get some of the 1 million interested consumers to buy next time, rather than complaining about an established system that covers all owned goods which isn't likley to change just for games anytime soon.

Morally it is an interesting argument I agree and I'd note that in our soceity second hand salesmen are not the most respected folks around in general so I do note that point!

But like I say my view is work to change the model and figure it out - such as car dealers themselves offering used cars and seeing a nice slice of the action from that market - but don't ever whine about people buying second hand as it will get you zero positve results.

EDIT: I meant to also repeat that it is important to remember something has to sell first hand before it can then be sold second hand - i.e. we can't all simply wait for second hand copies to appear, there has to be first hand purchasing first.  As with here it is important to note that whatever the second hand sales are they are simply a sub-set of the original 2 million.  This is important to note and is often overlooked.  As with my clock every second hand sales involves someone who bought new and is now passing on, allowing others who either financially or from lack of interest wouldn't buy new to still try the game.  It is therefore likely the number of potential sales potentially affected is actually low.

Well since I wrote a lot about this before, let me jsut say that you can't compare a clock or other physical goods to games, books, etc. The value of physical goods, like cars and stuff, is what they do for you, meanwhile the value of entertainment is the idea. When you sell a car or a clock, you no longer get its value. If you have seen a movie or played a game, you have already used the value that the original creator made, and you can't really transfer that such that you no longer benefit from it. If you pirate it or buy/sell it used the original creator doesn't see the money for the vlue he created for you, the utility it provided, if you will. It's just that with the used market someone gets paid INSTEAD of the original creator, meanwhile with piracy no one gets money off of the original creator's back. Which is why I argued that used markets are a bit under pirates morally.

Economically it's slightly more complex, yes, but morally that's what it comes down to, I feel like.

I understand where you're coming from but there's a few flaws - or rather over simplifications in your points.

One, you're assuming (incorrectly for sure) that generically media (books, games, films, etc) are one time experiences and once "used" once their value drops.  This simply isn't true for everyone, although it will be true for some.  I have many books I've had for years and re-read regularly, there is music I cannot do without and the same goes for games.  For the many people like that the value isn't once and selling on the book, CD, game or whatever is exactly the same as selling something physical because you can no longer use it.

I think you're also oversimplifying the used market (I have no trouble with your point on piracy and agree with that.  Piracy in principle is wrong although understandable in certain cases).  The used market caters to a certain demographic and typically exists to furnish lower cost goods and to allow people a channel to sell on goods they themselves have purchased.  It's a natural extension of any buying/selling market.  Of course it cuts out and can compete with the original seller but often times it doesn't to be honest due to demographics and price.  For example if I want a new car, clock or CD which are guaranteed to be pristine condition then I have to buy new at full price.

I do agree videogames represent perhaps the oddest challenge for used goods, even moreso than music or films.

This is because the content is really digital and doesn't age in a sense.  Of course the physical medium may be scratched, etc. but equally it may not and then a new game really is the same as a new one.

Now in theory music and films would be the same except generally people buy them to keep them for a while.  Very few people trade brand new music or film purchases right away.

But videogames are in a different place, with used versions of games appearing literally the day after release, and of course in those cases the physical disks will almost certainly be pristine.

This is what annoys publishers/developers - the second hand market in videogames competes much more directly than other second hand markets for other media.

But... as I say I see that as the industries issue to solve.  It can't simply be given different treatment that all other goods (physical or digital on physical media) that people buy and re-sell as we've traded in goods for centuries.

Try to be reasonable... its easier than you think...

Around the Network

but what do they expect, you can get the game for full retail price, or the exact same game off a mate for much less/free if you borrow it

Cry me a river bitch.

Above: still the best game of the year.

thekitchensink said:
Jereel Hunter said:
thekitchensink said:
Brainslug said:

This is also lost revenue do to us evil customers lending our games to our friends - how dare people not pay them to lend their games to their friends! --

You, sir, officially have more sense than this guy.  And I suppose if multiple people in the same household want to play the game, he'd like them all to buy their own copy?

By the way, somehow the book, furniture, and toy industries (along with pretty much every other one) has survived for thousands of years despite people having the audacity to *gasp* SELL SOMETHING THEY OWN!

This isn't a fair comparison, as physical products are very different. If you have a couch, or a toy, it's worn and used when you sell it. You are buying what's left in it's usefulness and lifespan. When I give my old couch to someone who just moves out, they are getting an old couch to use for a year or two until they can afford to buy one.

Sell a used game, and person #2 can get the full value from it. $60 game, still a $60, for less than $60. So can person 3, 4, and 5 if the game is traded in and resold later on.

Also, I can get a really nice couch from a quality store for $2000 and it'll still look great after 5 years, or I can get a cheap $300 couch from a discount furniture store. The $2000 couch store got paid for their quality product. If one o fthese games had a $10 Million budget, or a $50 Million budget, they have to sell it for the same $60. So the fact that it will continue to sell and resell in the used games market, with almost no advantage of buying a new copy (vs a VERY clear and huge advantage of buying a new couch) gives them valid reason to be unhappy.

Not true--a used video game has just as much potential to be damaged or otherwise not in perfect condition as ay other item.  What if the disc is scratched?  What if the logo is completely faded?  Or in this day and age, what if the DRM that allows it to be installed on five computers only has one of those left?  There are plenty of ways in which a used video game can be worth less than its new counterpart.

By the way, I never saw the games industry complain about used sales until this generation, when they gained the ability to watch and scrutinize us, Big Brother-style.  Just sayin'...

Video games get lost or scratched due to misuse. Take care of them, and most of them never use their value. And computer games are not the discussion, as they generally use CD keys and what-not. I don't know of major retailers dealing in used computer games. used game sales in this topic are about console games, which, assuming you don't use the discs as coasters, can be used by person after person to full effect.

I don't think the ability to watch us is what lead to the problem though, it's budgets. Nowadays, games cost the same, but top tier games cost substantially more to make than they did last generation. When your budget goes up by 500%, suddenly a bunch of people making money off of your hard work becomes more of an issue. I mean, there are games that barely break even, but have been sold and resold many times via used sales, killing their profitability.

Make a game people want to keep playing. What a douche.

Around the Network

Probably should have made the game longer, and with more replay value then...


Edit - this guy also falls into the same category as those who claim that if people didn't pirate, they would have purchased everythign that they did pirate. For every game bought 2nd hand, there must have been a person who sold it. The person who sold it thus has more money to spend on other games. If you stop the sale of 2nd hand games, then you effectively raise the price of new games, thus lowering sales.


Additionally, if game retailers couldn't sell 2nd hand games, then they would have to raise their margin on new games in order to stay in business, further raising the price of games (or lowering margins for devs) and thus lowering sales.


The truth is generally not as simple as those with vested interests make it out to be.

Well, if you have a physical product you should deal with second-hand just like every other industry. If you don't allow second-hand then you should say you are renting games. Because a product you can't sell further is always a rental, even if rental is life-time (which is why I call digital sales as rentals). And because you are losing resale value, they should drop their prices.

I don't buy second-hand games but I practically never buy games (or DVD's) at full price either. With almost all games I wait until they are on sale. Most games are just not worth full price so I wait until price is dropped. That also hurts developers and retailers...