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Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

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Or are developers right to use them?

Pre-owned games and all things concerned with it continue to be a hot-button topic in the video game industry. One of the most controversial issues is online passes, a measure introduced by publishers and developers to get a piece of the used-game sale pie and ensure its money and resources are efficiently used.... read more

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Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby Samildanach » 22 Apr 2012, 19:39

I think they're dead right to do it. Sure it'll be open to abuse when they eventually start having the whole game unlocked with an online pass, but when they are spending millions to make the games, should they not be the ones to benefit from it's sales?
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Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby jm3811 » 22 Apr 2012, 19:43

At CEX you can find any game, that includes the top charted ones.

And the equation on how much the second hand market creates charges on editors is still wrong because it is not as if we were buying knock-offs. Those games belonged to someone who passed in theory all the rights that were inside the box.

The current trend is to buy less games. Because the games are bad, because we have less money, and most of all because we never know the real cost of the product one year after its release, thanks to the DLC mania, the passes and all the saga.
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Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby totakeke » 22 Apr 2012, 19:49

I'm all for online passes. I don't buy second hand anymore but if I did I wouldn't mind paying a little extra to support the people who worked to make the game I am enjoying.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby jm3811 » 22 Apr 2012, 19:58

That's a myth I'm afraid. Ninety-nine per cent of the "creators" are employees on a hierarchy (who as anyone else get the sack eventually) and they would never see a penny from the average ten-quid online pass.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby moogiesboy » 22 Apr 2012, 20:25

I don't care either way, I'm just on here looking for the comments of the week. Wheres my comments of the week section CVG????
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby alan666 » 22 Apr 2012, 20:31

Don't forget, this generation has seen a real upsurge in post-launch support - and they only get paid if gamers buy their games new. We will say that that single-player content should never be held back, otherwise gamers without the internet will be hit.


post launch support, whats this then ?

you mean constant patches & updates to fix games that are bug ridden & un-playable on release or paid for DLC content that should have been in the game in the first place, they have a bank of servers that's all, exactly how many people play FIFA 10 for example, when the next version comes out people buy it there-by EA get the money, if more effort was put towards decent single player games there instead of pushing out the same old multi-player routine time after time because that's what uses up the servers, most of which are all COD clones just one & the same.

this year is going to be very tough for gaming simply because people don't have £40 to spend on a game that doesn't work out of the box & that is just a update of a previous game from a year ago.

what if i buy a game & don't play it online ?

if a online pass is £10 then any game that has online multiplayer should be £10 cheaper at retail & you then buy a pass via Live, Steam or PSN.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby Barca Azul » 22 Apr 2012, 21:42

Thing is they are getting zilch as you put it without online pass of a lot of used sales. So the question is, what's worse? No new game sales because no trade in or sales because people still want to play the game even after 2 months of release.

I rarely buy day one these days. So many offers around after a few months I don't need to trade in.

The issue is see is that used will lead to digital only, and then everyone is a loser based on current digital prices!

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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby RandyChimp » 22 Apr 2012, 22:28

The one game I got that was pre-owned was COD4 (btw, best suprise purchase ever, didn't expect much, ended up playing what may have been the best FPS I'd ever touched at the time). I honestly don't mind buying new games. There's something nice about taking that plastic wrap off, opening the case for the first time, and playing the game, knowing it's fresh from the box. And no, I'm not someone who has a steady income, I'm a student with a part-time job that I'm reluctant to ever do shifts for.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby richard99 » 22 Apr 2012, 22:55

There is nothing to justify holding back part of your game from a second hand owner and stopping the first owner (who bought new and covered the server costs for that copy) from selling on everything he bought from you.

No other industry does this, why should gaming be a special case? Does it have special needs?
Books, DVDs, cars, houses, hardware, furniture..........they all co-exist with second hand markets and manage pretty well. So did gaming until this gen. All that's changed is that the greedier publishers saw a way to squeeze more profit from gamers.

This shouldn't even be up for debate, why are you making out like it is rather than speaking up for gamers (your readers) on this CVG?
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby gmcb007 » 22 Apr 2012, 23:19

Lets be honest here, all the money made off these passes go straight to the publisher and not the dev teams. Even with the extra money it doesnt go back to making the next game better. In fact the dev team is usually given a short deadline, a very limited budget and expected to pull a miracle out of their ass. Then, when the game flops due to the constraints, the publishers close down the studio and move onto the next innocent victims. Rinse and repeat.

Its a scam, all this 'running the servers' is just propaganda. These fat cats just want to find more and more ways of squeezing the money out of us.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby TheLastDodo » 22 Apr 2012, 23:28

I don't understand why people still buy pre-owned these days.

Obviously shops can't stock new copies of everything so looking for a rarer title like Shadows of the Damned in the pre-owned section is understandable but most new games, even big name titles like SSX, Mass Effect, Deus Ex drop like 50% in price within a few weeks of launch, whats the point anymore?

And for the record, no I can't afford to buy every new release brand new on a friday.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby sepewrath » 23 Apr 2012, 00:06

jm3811 wrote:That's a myth I'm afraid. Ninety-nine per cent of the "creators" are employees on a hierarchy (who as anyone else get the sack eventually) and they would never see a penny from the average ten-quid online pass.


Exactly, I don't know about Europe, but in NA, that money is going to the publisher, the one who sends you to Gamestop in the first place. And have no issue with you trading in Madden 12 to get Madden 13, but don't let someone come in and think they can buy that copy of Madden 12. If they spent as much time, thinking of ways to create incentive for people to keep games in the first place, then used games wouldn't be such a "problem"
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby bamozzy » 23 Apr 2012, 00:48

Personally I don't agree with online passes. I have a family and my children all want to borrow each others games BUT cannot if they have an online pass system. Why should I have to buy Multiple Pass codes when we all live and play in the same household - I could understand it more IF they were linked to the Router so EVERYBODY in the house that are using the same router could access the online aspect. I would prefer it if the developers gave us some bonus for buying new - it doesn't even have to have any significant impact on game play for example - special camos, titles, emblems, armour etc rather than took aspects of the game away if you don't. This also looks better as they are giving you something for your loyalty and makes the developers/publishers look less greedy and promotes a better image and public relations.

I do understand their reasons BUT it is the only marketplace that demands money from second hand sales. You don't buy a second hand car and have to pay the manufacturers something to make it work properly!!

Also why are we the gamers being penalised for the retailers that trade in 2nd hand games making profits from their creations. Surely it would be better IF these retailers had to pay a percentage of their profits back to the developers OR had to have a licence to trade in 2nd hand games where the money generated from the sale of these licences went to the developers. After all it is these retailers that are encouraging you to trade in your games and then sell them at much more than what they give you. Often you can get a 2nd hand copy of a new release in the same week it came out and they are generally a few pounds cheaper than NEW (not a great deal of difference) but some will go for the cheaper option. This is what is causing the problem!! There should also be a time frame (maybe a couple of months) before 2nd hand games can be sold by a retailer.

If these or some of these are in place then there would be no need for online passes.

Personally I don't buy 2nd hand games but usually wait for the price to be what I would consider fair for the game. Not every game is worth £40ish pounds to me. It seems though that you don't have to wait that long for games to drop in price and within a couple of months they can often be £20ish or less and come with all codes etc anyway
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby Robzilla156 » 23 Apr 2012, 02:21

The equation is simple - if you want actual game shops, like Game or Gamestation or whoever on the market, you need pre-owned games. Shops like Game make literally next to nothing from the sale of a brand new game, due to how much money the publisher and creative team wants to make from it - that's fine as long as you give them another avenue to survive - and that avenue is clearly the pre-owned market.

By taking away the pre-owned market, shops like that are forced to take a loss, and they just can't afford to exist. The reason why places like Game and to a lesser extent Blockbuster are struggling is because people have less incentive to rent or buy the games pre-owned. Fine, if you want to have to buy all your games from Tesco in the future (good luck finding a copy of any kind of non mainstream game).

I think the companies are crazy actually, for introducing the passes and trying to stop the pre-owned market. Sure, they don't make any money on pre-owned games in the short-term, but in a world where the sequel is king, pre-owned is vital for brand building. For example - I bought Mass Effect pre-owned. I didn't know too much about the game, and I can be a bit sniffy about RPG's, but it was going cheap so I picked it up. Had there been no pre-owned market, and the game stayed full price (which is the dream of the publishers) I probably wouldn't have bothered. However, blown away by Mass Effect as I was, I picked up both 2, and 3 on release weekends, brand new, giving them the full whack of my wallet - they earned it. Now, online passes might not be too relevant for Me1, but the general squeezing of the pre-owned market is.

It stikes me as weird that the games industry - an industry in which the latest Call of Duty can sell a bazillion copies and get the leading game shop face going under - doesn't understand the free market - they shouldn't make money from pre-owned games. Second hand record shops are celebrated by the industry, and second hand bookshops, and libraries are celebrated by any right minded soul. Why aren't games the same, aside from the obvious money/greed answer?

So, yeah, I'm not a fan.
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Re: Should pre-owned-baiting online passes be abolished?

Postby The_KFD_Case » 23 Apr 2012, 02:26

This topic has already been dragged through the mud and back more than once, so I'll keep it short: No, the gaming industry should not be allowed to treat themselves to special treatment that no other industry on Earth receives. Full stop. No buts, ifs, or other. They are entitled to payment and profit from the first sale only as all other transactions for a good or service. Nothing more, nothing less.

If the gaming industry makes it a standard practice to have customers pay for online passes for used games, then they should be forced to make online features for any game - first or second hand - optional. In other words, it should be an add-on feature that is paid for separately and the current prices for games should be lowered to reflect this. I'll use myself as an example: I much prefer single-player games and I rarely play online, so if the industry wants to start charging people to have access to online aspects of their games, then I shouldn't have to pay for the same features even first hand if I don't want or use them. And since the industry is charging for it for second hand games, then clearly it is also a feature (the online component) that they can deactivate/dismantle/not include in first hand sales. The door swings both ways always.
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