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post #1 of 4 Old 08-12-10, 05:54 AM Thread Starter
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Activision Intent On Combating Used Game Sales

Activision Intent On Combating Used Game Sales
08/10/2010 Written by Paulmichael Contreras



Every industry has a second-hand market to it, and the videogame industry is no different. People do not mind buying something used if it saves them some of their hard-earned money. Activision appears to be intent on changing that, or at least recuperating some of the revenue lost to a used game sale in upcoming titles.



EA Sports started this war of sorts against the used games industry – developers and publisher do not make any money off of a used game sale, so EA created something called an Online Pass which entitles the user to be able to access the online portion of a game. With a new copy of the game, a one-time use voucher is included at no additional charge. But used copies of the game will not come with one, forcing the gamer to either pay up $10 or go without online functionality in that particular game.



Activision is looking to follow suit. In a recent investor call last week, Thomas Tippl, COO for Activision stated that they were increasing the significance of DLC on upcoming titles in an effort to persuade customers to keep their copies of games longer, thus shrinking the second-hand games market:
“We are still evaluating various possibilities for greater participation in the used-games business. What’s been working the best so far is providing additional content and therefore limiting the supply to used games…Today [we have] more resources than ever dedicated to creating additional content for Call of Duty, whether that’s map packs, whether that’s game modes and the whole host of new features that we’re going to talk about when we get close to the launch of Black Ops.”
So, does this approach make sense? Will we someday see an “Online Pass” for every major developer/publisher out there? Should games even continue to be priced at $60 if premium DLC is being developed at the same time as the main game, and presumably could have been included at launch?

Source: PSLS

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-12-10, 07:24 AM
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Re: Activision Intent On Combating Used Game Sales

I hate it when they use terms like 'recoup lost revenue'. I buy new games when a particular title interests me. For titles that I know wont last me long, I wait and get them pre-owned because for me, they arent worth the asking price. Their is no lost revenue because I was never going to buy the title anyway, not at full price anyway.

If you were asked to pay a premium on top of the pre-owned price for anything else in the world, there would be an uproar, but the nature of software allows developer to get away with thing they otherwise wouldnt. MS is constantly getting dragged into court over attempts at monopolies, and this is exactly the same. The developers are trying to forcibly destroy the pre-owned market so as to force more sales to themselves, and IMO its a disgrace.

All these reports of losses within the dev companies dont wash with me either. The industry has been booming for years, and they have got used to annual increases and probably been living of the fat of the industry. At some point that has to level out and that is all I think is happening. The recession may well have factored in this, and the market may yet grow further, but for now they need to focus on good business rather than doing what the worlds governments do, and that is spend all our money, then just take more when they have non left. These companies now need to focus on producing good games, that sell well make money, and dont waste their money and energy on stuff that wont work. Trying to destroy the per-owned sales market to increase their own profits so they can still chew caviare is something that really puts me off these big companies, and winds me up no end.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-12-10, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Activision Intent On Combating Used Game Sales

Agreed, On the one hand I understand it's a business and your trying to maximize profits but when it comes across like this, then that is where most gamers have a problem how many game titles are worth the $60 I can think of maybe a dozen between the 360 and the PS3.

Activison claims that they are losing revenue I'm curious as to how? I thought the retailer bought it then turned around an sell it to the consumer at a retail mark-up, so there are two choices here for gamers with a title not worth the $60 price tag:

1) Buy it used.

2) Not to buy it at all.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-12-10, 02:14 PM
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Re: Activision Intent On Combating Used Game Sales

Exactly, and if they want to battle pre owned market then digital distribution at a lower price for new games is the only way forward, but the prices would need to reflect the revenue the game owner would loose not being able to sell it on, with only some slight adjustment in the favour of the dev. I could handle that, and that way you have a choice. It may lead to the demise of retail outlets, but then it would at least be for us to decide.

Thing is, I wouldnt be all that opposed to the online pass thing, like I say I buy the games I really want new anyway (despite many people offering me chipped devices), but when I pay £40 per year for XBL, and £35 per month for my internet connection, I already pay enough for my online experience, not to mention once again that PC gamers dont get hit with this.
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