Used games, Pirates and XboxOne
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written by owen on 2013-May-23.
See there are too sides here.
A used game is just like a used car. Capitalist video game companies feel the need to burden paying customers who choose to wait until the games reach a low price to buy them. Its the same concept with stocks and bonds (except they want you to buy those used). The company DOES NOT OWN THE CUSTOMERS. The customer is participating in a mutual beneficial arrangement. They have no right to hold them hostage or change the agreed model of sales to a rental agreement. When something is bought physically, there is the implication that it is yours (some people think in the case of virtual goods too, but lol at those who bought stuff on xbox360,ps3). Customers who rely on used games will simply not buy a console that does not allow them to save money this way. You are being fooled into believing that you cannot resell something that has value to you and you legally bought. It is a new capitalist age we are living in. It is an attack on the customers themselves. Companies want to rent you stuff instead of giving it to you because they know that people who are forever sucking on a "digital tit" are easier to control and monetize. Once a game is published very few people see additional revenue except the publishers who are are greedy and want to keep prices high into infinity. Read the game licensing agreements!
As for the pirating of games. Here is the thing, they are people who will forever pirate games. Just like thier are people who under pay their employees and live of other peoples hard work. And there are people who buy games because its convenient. Less people pirate games on consoles because it is more convenient to buy the disc or buy them used. Now the people who pirate on the console are a special set, they are either too poor to support their exorbitant video game habits OR they don't see the value in buying the game. They are basically crack addicts. It is like a person going to every super market in the area and eating only samples and free offers. A pirate is just a kleptomaniac. Now, pirating is worst on some platforms than others but its debatable whether a pirate will ever buy a game. But the companies want EVERYBODY to buy the game FULL PRICE DAY ONE. Similar to movie companies that want EVERYBODY to see a movie 3 - 4 times on opening weekend. But there is a law of physics called "entropy", everything moves towards disorder, things depreciate and rust, its the natural order of nature. The more popular a item gets the more people will want it and the more people want it the more piracy occurs. Capitalist companies work on a different model, they want to maximize profit for the same goods every year in a exponential manner. It can't go on forever, you will crash your own market.
Games are not worth as much as they used to. They have become disposable pieces of entertainment played by a mass distracted consumers. When I got a SNES game back in the day I would play it for 2 months because 1; It was so expensive and hard to get, 2; it was so difficult that you had no choice but to sit infront of your tv for 2 months trying to beat it.
Nowadays you can buy Uncharted 3 NEW day one for $60 USD and finish it in a week or 2 then never to play it again. On the second week you can buy that same game NEW for $40 dollars. 12 weeks after you can buy that game BRAND NEW for $30. Right now you can buy it for $10 dollars brand spanking new on amazon. The games depreciate themselves to get sales numbers - you think the developers are depreciating thier own games? Its not only a used games problem, its a problem of "worth". The gaming industry is devaluing itself. How many people have you ever seen return mario kart? People keep those games forever which is why they have such a high resale value and added to that you only get one version of the game per console.
The games nowadays are not worth more than the disk they are printed on, they are boring and unimpressive to say the least, they fail to move us at the deepest level - they are interactive movies. They have no extra hidden content, music files to play in your ipod, ringtones, 3d models you can reuse, wallpapers for your desktop OR pop out maps that you can put on your wall. You can watch a game being played by someone else on youtube and get more entertaiment than playing it physically yourself - and that says alot about the state of video games. Even the very good games suffer because so many games come out that people cannot tell the difference between a good game and game which is just very polished. Cheat codes are replaced with DLC and gamestop bonuses. Cheat codes allow you to extend the playability of a game.
Saturation of the Game Market
Some games nowadays cost 20 million dollars to make and 8 hours to finish even with added padding and tunnels, infinitely re-spawning enemies, collect-a-thons, trains, shanty towns and unavoidable shooting galleries. Almost 400+ games were released in 2012, which is more than 2 AAA a month across multiple platforms and genres. With games costing so much to make and coming out so often you end up another problem of "saturation". The pirates get so many games that they do not even have time to pirate them all. Paying customers has so much choice that they are forever distracted and buy only the most advertised games and sell them as soon as another one comes out.
Supporting the Developers?
Video game publishers own the majority of gaming as we know it today. Game companies are being shutdown by publishers all the time even when they just released a game 3 months before - all their valued employees get laided off to join another company to start the process over and over again - I'm not sure how their benefits work out. Developers are paid on salary most of them do no collect royalties on games. They make money when people keep playing the games they are employed to make. More often than not they get no royalties or kickbacks at all. These developers are no longer useful because the game is already done and they had already generated all the false hype that could be generated for the game before launch and forced to sign their rights away in a contract with the publisher.
The scenario gets even worst for artists, motion capture and sound engineers; these people who spend several months of thier lives contributing to a project often have no idea what they are working on and get no royalties or extended rights. You think developers are screwed? lol. When a game like GTA4 can sell 3.6 million units in its first 24 hours, totaling a record-setting US$310 million in gross sales and the lead voice actor gets paid 100,000 dollars for 15 months contract work - you know something is off. You think CliffyB models all those characters and draws all those beautiful sky boxes himself?
Most of the AAA artwork in games nowadays is out sourced to legions of artists in third world countries. Just like shoes and iphones are made in china so are all those pointless shinny details in your video games. We live in a world of corporate shit.
Game development is not what it used to be. For a game as big as Last Of Us the ending credits roll on for over 10 minutes listing the hundreds if not a thousand or more of people which it takes to produce and translate such a huge game in such a short time. From the outside it is hard to imagine what each person did or how much they got paid. Artist, musicians, motion-capture, camera, virtuosgames,
xpec, ladyluck, exigent, adia, original force, secret 6, redhot - too many to list. Saying that Naughty Dog made the game is like saying that the Conductor makes the music in a orchestra.
Now where does this leave this XboxOne? The simple matter is that people will not buy it. And the people who buy it will not have anybody to play with online or in their neighborhood. The cost of XboxOne games will remain constant indefinitely because their won't be a cheaper way to get the game so less people will have access to unpopular games. The used game market will continue to florist because the first person who buys the disk will sell it and people will end up only buying used disks because a "pre-registered USED DISK" will be more valuable to consumer because it is CHEAPER that a fresh new disc. Used discs will be all the rage among the people who bought into the system, they will pop up on Ebay for half the price of a new game. Microsoft will see on thier BIG DATA SERVERS that one particular disk will be registered 500 times in one neighborhood an will probably move to limit the amount of people a disk can be "used-registered" (probably 5 times). This will probably be a secret. Until people start returning disks because they have been blocked for "over using".
At this point they will need to raise the cost of the disks in order to offset the reduced sales. They will probably stop making discs altogether opting on a online only model - retailers will stop selling consoles in order to disrupt this - while increasingly discontent grows for paying full price for virtual goods. They will certainly have to advertise more to increase awareness of new games and they will have to "nickle and dime" paying customers to death just to maintain thier business model. Customers will get increasingly interested in retro-gaming and old consoles and will be slow to switch to the shiny new consoles. Customers will move to alternative cheaper forms of entertainment such as cellphone gaming, PC indie games, Steam, drinking alcohol and to a lesser extent or monopoly and board games.
All this would create a vested interest in the hacker community - something to chew on - in comes the pirates and the white nights - Microsoft will try thier best to stop this with regular updates. Simcity 6 will come out and thier servers will go up into flames. Paying customers will be downloading updates everyday into order to help with the "cat and mouse game" with the pirates and homebrew developers. These updates will be in the background, though customers with slower internet will see lengthy delays. Eventually it will be hacked, and as game companies finish thier games and get shutdown, resentment will start to grow among the professionals in the industry who will want a piece of the promised money pool of DLC and online only virtual goods.
The effects are far reaching. Games are prettier but are still made in the same way with hundreds of slave artists, animators and a few programmers. Games will be made faster than ever before and cost ever increasingly more. Smoking will probably become cool again, skateboarding, whatever. I can only see so far into the future. Life is a matter of choice. We will have to wait and see how the market reacts to this but I can see it going downhill as soon as that hardware touchs the market - even before.
Specials/sales/discounts/bundles on digital goods are pretty much used games as well since you are buying something for less than its original cost. You need to watch the video on choice, because game "publishers" no longer care if you enjoy the game - they only care if you buy it. The steam model really reduces the value of gaming genre as a product and results in you spending money on games that you will probably never enjoy to the fullest - causing your backlog to expand to the point of you just throw in the towel.
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