THQ has no sympathy

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Timothy Lumsden
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by Timothy Lumsden » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:34 am

it appears to me in general that publishers actually wish to move from selling up good, to leasing us goods in effect.

As a consumer I find that limiting - which I dont mind in a 59p iphone game - but for a £50 console game I wouldnt purchase under any restrictions.

I suspect like many controversies this will fade over time and a muddled middle ground will emerge between consumers and publishers.

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killbot
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by killbot » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:42 am

Timothy Lumsden wrote:it appears to me in general that publishers actually wish to move from selling up good, to leasing us goods in effect.

As a consumer I find that limiting - which I dont mind in a 59p iphone game - but for a £50 console game I wouldnt purchase under any restrictions.
Indeed. Another problem here is that the publishers have no qualms about giving backhanders to journos to give good reviews to poor games (and there are a list of journos a mile long who have testified to that). THQ may feel that second-hand buying is tantamount to stealing, but I would counter that by deliberately fooling me into paying £50 for a game that they know is crap, then preventing me making some of my money back by stopping me from selling it on, they're essentially stealing from me.
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CraigGrannell
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:46 am

killbot wrote:Your argument, such as I understand it, is that publisher's right to wring every last penny out of their investment trumps my right to do what I want with the things I own.
That's called a free market. If you don't like what 'publisher x' is doing, stop buying their games and buy something else instead.
I'm just a little flabberghasted that someone who works for a magazine dedicated to the hobby of collecting videogames would support any legislation which made the hobby of collecting videogames impossible.
At what point did legislation enter the equation? Where did I say that I "support legislation which [makes] the hobby of collecting videogames impossible"?
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killbot
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by killbot » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:48 am

CraigGrannell wrote:At what point did legislation enter the equation? Where did I say that I "support legislation which [makes] the hobby of collecting videogames impossible"?
Well, whether it's achieved by legislation or by a technical workaround - you certainly seem to support the notion that videogame collection as a passtime should become impossible if that's what the publishers want.
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Vir_Lucis
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by Vir_Lucis » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:52 am

Timothy Lumsden wrote:it appears to me in general that publishers actually wish to move from selling up good, to leasing us goods in effect.
Exactly - and this is the only way that they will get around laws such as the First Sale Doctrine (so, yes, in some areas people do have the RIGHT to resale).

I'm also, as has been stated earlier, a bit shocked that even the staff of RG are falling for the 'reselling is basically piracy' propaganda that is being pushed with all of this. Do you really think that these publishers will do just as well in the current climate with a download only business model? Because that's what will be necessary when the game stores go out of business because they aren't allowed to supplement their revenue during a depression with the sale of second-hand product. We're going to need some pretty big hard-drives on our consoles...plus secure credit cards, high-speed broadband, not to mention handing over our purchase rights for the minefield that is a license.

I'm all for companies providing extra perks to buy new - an extra multiplayer map here and there (that is also available as a paid for DLC), some shiny items or some extra character skins...this, in my eyes, is a perfectly legitimate way to adapt your business model. To argue for the complete abolition of a second-hand market is absurd and merely pandering to the interest of multi-national corporations over individual liberty. Enjoy your dystopian future...
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Timothy Lumsden
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by Timothy Lumsden » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:57 am

The publishers are also forgetting an important effect this will have on consumers perception of the value of their products.

(1) A game I can buy, play and sell on to buy a new game with some of the trade is a more valueable one than one that can only be bought and played.

(2) Often people take a chance on a game, unsure of it's quality, knowing it can be traded. Knowing it cant be traded in will dimish these purchases.

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killbot
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by killbot » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:59 am

Timothy Lumsden wrote:The publishers are also forgetting an important effect this will have on consumers perception of the value of their products.

(1) A game I can buy, play and sell on to buy a new game with some of the trade is a more valueable one than one that can only be bought and played.

(2) Often people take a chance on a game, unsure of it's quality, knowing it can be traded. Knowing it cant be traded in will dimish these purchases.
Indeed. Another point is that the only way many people can afford new games is by trading in old ones. If the second-hand market is squashed I'd expect (at least in the short term) to see a noticable knock-on effect on the new games market.
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by Crunchy » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:59 am

killbot wrote:
CraigGrannell wrote:At what point did legislation enter the equation? Where did I say that I "support legislation which [makes] the hobby of collecting videogames impossible"?
Well, whether it's achieved by legislation or by a technical workaround - you certainly seem to support the notion that videogame collection as a passtime should become impossible if that's what the publishers want.
It doesn't become impossible. It means you might have to buy less.

Right now your lifestyle is financing more games than you can really afford, that's what the pre-owned market does for you. You're punching above your financial weight. Good for you no doubt, but not so good for the games industry.

You think you're entitled to this state of affairs. The games industry is very probably going to show you otherwise. After that it's down to market forces and how the publishers react.

I shouldn't have called you (and other folk) a pikey btw. I apologise.

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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:02 am

killbot wrote:Well, whether it's achieved by legislation or by a technical workaround - you certainly seem to support the notion that videogame collection as a passtime should become impossible if that's what the publishers want.
No. I stated, quite clearly, that within the confines of existing law publishers should be entitled to create products that have a single-sale model if that's what they want to do. It's up to the market to then decide if this model is viable as a long-term prospect. Fundamentally, I don't see this as a world away from region-encoding. That annoys the crap out of me, since it's nigh-on impossible to decode Mac DVD drives, but I know what I'm getting when I buy an R1 DVD, so I put up with it.

Also, the model THQ's talking about doesn't stop videogame collection as a pastime—it just erodes the second-hand market. It's not like THQ is saying "and we're also going to stop resellers discounting our games, and if they even try to put one of our products into a bargain bin, we will kill them to death with highly trained and deadly giant snakes and weasels".
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killbot
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by killbot » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:03 am

Crunchy wrote:
killbot wrote:
CraigGrannell wrote:At what point did legislation enter the equation? Where did I say that I "support legislation which [makes] the hobby of collecting videogames impossible"?
Well, whether it's achieved by legislation or by a technical workaround - you certainly seem to support the notion that videogame collection as a passtime should become impossible if that's what the publishers want.
It doesn't become impossible. It means you might have to buy less.

Right now your lifestyle is financing more games than you can really afford, that's what the pre-owned market does for you. You're punching above your financial weight. Good for you no doubt, but not so good for the games industry.

You think you're entitled to this state of affairs. The games industry is very probably going to show you otherwise. After that it's down to market forces and how the publishers react.
But I'm not simply talking about my ability to collect new games. I'm talking about retro gaming as a hobby. In 20 years time, will people collect Xbox 360 games in the same way they collect NES games now? Or will collecting retro games have been rendered an impossibility?
I shouldn't have called you (and other folk) a pikey btw. I apologise.
You're forgiven :)
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:08 am

Vir_Lucis wrote:I'm also, as has been stated earlier, a bit shocked that even the staff of RG are falling for the 'reselling is basically piracy' propaganda that is being pushed with all of this.
Eh? Unless I'm having a senior moment, no RG staff member has commented in this thread; and if you're referring to the likes of me, I don't work for Imagine and I have not at any point equated reselling to piracy.
Do you really think that these publishers will do just as well in the current climate with a download only business model?
I think they could potentially do better. It's not like Apple's having a tough time selling apps and games for iOS, for example.
Because that's what will be necessary when the game stores go out of business because they aren't allowed to supplement their revenue during a depression with the sale of second-hand product.
It's probably worth noting that stores never used to sell second-hand product, and it's pretty much an anomaly that they now do. One can easily argue that this is royally screwing games publishers, because a buyer is more likely to buy Exciting New Game IV 'pre owned' in GAME for £30 than new for £35, but this is a lost sale to the publisher, and therefore lost revenue. It's one thing having car boots and eBay, but I find it odd when national high-street retailers are pushing second-hand product. Imagine if WHSmith started selling second-hand copies of Retro Gamer for four quid...
Timothy Lumsden wrote:The publishers are also forgetting an important effect this will have on consumers perception of the value of their products.
(1) A game I can buy, play and sell on to buy a new game with some of the trade is a more valueable one than one that can only be bought and played.
(2) Often people take a chance on a game, unsure of it's quality, knowing it can be traded. Knowing it cant be traded in will dimish these purchases.
These are valid points, but relatively easily overcome with demos and lower pricing. Again, this is the model Apple's following with the App Store, and it's clear others will follow suit sooner or later.
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by thevulture » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:14 am

:? Quick question then, Say i buy...Modern warfare 2 for example on PS3, Play through and complete SP, spend lot of time with Online MP, Buy 2 lots of DLC/Map packs for it, thus providing revenue to support servers, what not.I then decide, having had my moneys worth, i`m gonna give game to a charity shop, of my choosing-This way? Money raised will go to good cause.This would be morally wrong? in some eyes, as developer is`nt getting any more revenue from the future sale of said game?.Yet i`ve paid what they wanted for it AND given further revenue for 2 over-priced Map packs.Yet they are seemly loosing out SO much cash, they can still afford to release SAME game in Standard, steel Tin and Load of old bollox Night Vision glasses etc Version?.

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Timothy Lumsden
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by Timothy Lumsden » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:27 am

@ Craig

Yes, it could be overcome with lower pricing, but, as a seasoned gamer and journo, do you really suspect publishers are planning to drop prices?

even in an 'all digital, pirate and re-selling free utopia' (as they the publishers would see it) prices would still be pushed as high as the market could tolerate - that's the way of the world for better or worse.

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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by Coopdevil » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:28 am

My question from page 1 remains unanswered though - what makes the leisure software industry such a precious little snowflake such that it deserves special exemption not given to anybody else?

Person X works in the sector and thinks he should get more money? That's not an answer I'm afraid.

Interesting that second-hand books were mentioned above, I suspect that the publishers hate the deep-discounting supermarkets more than they do Maureen's second hand bookshop in the indoor market. I suspect that if the specialist game stores dwindle and physical media goes all supermarket on us the publishers will soon be pining for the days of second-hand sales. Of course there was a market sector that benefited from an unlawful cartel for many years (the Net Book Agreement) without complaining very much...

Unlike some people I don't see that the advocates on this thread are equating second-hand with piracy directly but I can see the publishers spinning the same bovine excrement on both issues. A copy, either second-hand or pirated is a direct loss to us of full RRP because without that second-hand/pirate copy the owner would have gone out and brought it at full RRP every single time. Which is clearly nonsense. If some people only buy second-hand would they be spending the same amount at full RRP if the second-hand market vanished? I strongly suspect not in the same way that if the second-hand car market vanished tomorrow, my next car would be the cheapest (new) Korean economy box that was available rather than the pre-owned sports cars I buy normally.

One more point - why aren't the publishers talking to the retailers about this rather than hammering at the customer? If they don't like the idea of second-hand copies cannibalising new sales at point of purchase why aren't they playing hardball with GAME and Gamestation etc. the very people who are putting them there. Frightened of upsetting an important chain in the business model? Customers softer targets? I suspect so.

For the record I agree with Craig on this point - it's up to the publisher to sell whoever they wish to and the market will say yay or nay in response. It's just that we know capitalists love capitalism until it works against them...
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Re: THQ has no sympathy

Post by CraigGrannell » Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:37 am

Timothy Lumsden wrote:Yes, it could be overcome with lower pricing, but, as a seasoned gamer and journo, do you really suspect publishers are planning to drop prices?
Are they planning to? Probably not. However, market forces exist throughout the entire market, and Apple—of all companies—has given the entire media industry a massive kick up the backside. There's only so long before people start thinking "Hang on, why the hell am I paying £50 for a game when I can get a broadly similar amount of fun elsewhere for less?" Note that I'm not suddenly suggesting that Tedious Brown War Game XVII will suddenly cost 59p, but perhaps companies should be looking less to Hollywood and more to creating sustainable product that doesn't potentially bankrupt them every time.
Coopdevil wrote:Interesting that second-hand books were mentioned above, I suspect that the publishers hate the deep-discounting supermarkets more than they do Maureen's second hand bookshop in the indoor market. I suspect that if the specialist game stores dwindle and physical media goes all supermarket on us the publishers will soon be pining for the days of second-hand sales.
Smart publishers will find ways of selling product. That of course will increasingly be scuppered by direct sales. The thing is, it's not like, say, GAME, has anyone to blame. When you start selling a company's product second-hand right next to the original product, you're cutting off the hand that feeds. Sure, it's great for the consumer, but the direct result is publishers thinking "well, screw this" and finding ways of making more money by selling direct.

On books, I suspect publishers and authors will be happy with a robust direct-sales model, more than heavy discounting of physical product, largely because massive discounting removes all profits. If someone isn't getting paid for what they're doing, they can't survive.
A copy, either second-hand or pirated is a direct loss to us of full RRP because without that second-hand/pirate copy the owner would have gone out and brought it at full RRP every single time. Which is clearly nonsense.
I agree, but since the second-hand market is now endemic even on the high street and online, it's hardly a big leap to say that a sizeable chunk of people who would have bought new are now saving a few quid and buying pre-owned, thereby 'depriving' the publisher of a sale. Frankly, I think there's a massive gulf between 'every BitTorrent download is a lost sale' (which is balls) and 'many pre-owned sales would have been full-price sales'.
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