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New way to prevent second hand sales for DS games...


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Can't you start a new game and overwrite the old save in Riviera?

You can't in this.

You could, but there was no clearing all the unlocked extras (CG Galleries, Item DB, Bonus Missions, etc), which meant you have a land-mine of other people's spoilers sitting there on the main menu - particularly annoying in a game with multiple endings and high replay value. Also, some of the in game events/item drops are slightly different if you've previously finished the game, so as I got my copy second hand, I've never seen them.

I've always been tempted to write over the savegame using an Action Replay, actually.

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I bought my first On Demand game on the 360 yesterday, Sonic Racers, £15. If all games were between £10 and £20 On Demand, i'd be interested.

I Can never trade Sonic in, and it's always there on my drive. Wish i had gotten something more worthwhile for myself, but it was a impulse buy. I'd be quite happy with digital download games though. There have been tons of times i bought and sold and rebought and sold and rebought games.

If games were day and date with the shops, i'd totally buy skyrim and forza 4 on demand, for a tenner cheaper than the shops, that way i don't trade it in and don't add to the second hand market.

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You were fine with used games being sold as new? What?

Not really. But I always wait until sales so if I was buying new at the time it was always seriously discounted. If someone at the store had a quick go on it and the only evidence was a save file with ten minutes play on it..who cares?

Mind you most of my new purchases on DS now are from Playasia (postal and new) or JB HiFi (a music store so you don't tend to get that problem of the staff using the new stock as their personal library.)

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Electronic Boutique Australia are allegedly going to pull the game from sale over it's save system

They are part of the problem though. Second hand games for $5AU less than the new release? Low numbers of first hand copies ordered? There's a reason I do a lot of my shopping at JB now. The sell new for the same prices as EB's pre-owned and their second hand prices actually make sense.

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Not that game piracy and anime piracy are releated

I wouldn't say they're entirely unrelated, but I don't want to go off-topic too much. They're related in the same way Iwata-san says they compete with all forms of entertainment. A lot of "geeks" -if you must label us- share a passion for both gaming and anime, and a big blockbuster game is likely to take priority in regards the monies, since it'll offer more hours of entertainment. This can in turn lead to some anime being downloaded rather than buying it.

What? But shurly everyone wants a copy of shota no sushi in their collection?

Ooh, cool, I'll check that out. Ta!

On-topic:

http://www.vg247.com/2011/06/29/hmv-to-refuse-resident-evil-mercenaries-trade-ins-in-uk/

Hmmm...

Also, now considering cancelling pre-order. Not that I usually sell games on, but am getting annoyed at Capcom's answers too (see Eurogamer article from yesterday).

Plus, I expect it'll fall rapidly in price...

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I have no issue with Capcom implementing this. Their business, their choice. But it does smack of the bizarre DRM strategies we saw emerging a few years ago. Online connection required, and the like. A game without a "new game" option (or, I presume, multiple save slots). That kind of sucks to me. If I want to lend it to someone, if it is a shared purchase with a sibling, or if I do indeed wish to sell it, the game is vastly devalued to me. The ability to start a new game is akin to breaking the seal on the package. You know, going in, that you are experiencing the game from the start. The cutscenes, intros and training levels. Stuff which may be omitted from an in-game saved state.

As with just about every DRM, it is likely this will be hacked and overwritten pretty quickly. Then the people suffering will be the legitimate purchasers. Way to go, Capcom!

I had little interest in picking this up anyway, so it hardly bothers me. But it does stop it from being an impulse purchase at £19.99 in Game.

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There should be a system whereby any retailer that sells second hand games has to pay a licence fee, in a similar way that the Performing Rights Society works. Any sale of a second hand game would have a proportion of the price passed to the Games Rights Society (or whatever) and this goes straight to the developers, based on the sales of several randomly selected stores each week.

That way, you get some money back into the developers hands. As it stands (as I understand it) developers get fuck all from second hand sales, and I would imagine that there is a very high proportion of second hand sales over buying brand new. The prices brand new just make it too much for a great majority of people to afford, so they go the second hand route which takes money from developers, so the developers increase their prices to compensate and you get in a vicious circle.

There would still be plenty of margin in the second hand market for the retailers, you only have to try and trade something in to see what the markup is when it goes out on the shop floor an hour later.

Perhaps this would allow the developers to start lowering their "brand new" prices to more affordable levels.

Obviously, you can go down the digital delivery route for games which should reduce the price, but the tech isn't there just yet. Sure it can be done, and is currently being done but the developers would have to have a platform available for all subscribers. If any developer / console went down to digital distribution at much reduced prices all the chain stores on the high street would just pull their titles off the shelves and boycott sales. If that makes sense. Which is why you don't seem to get cheap online downloads of games, they are all very near to full retail price just to keep Game / Gamestation etc happy.

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My crazy idea for gutting 2nd hand sales is for devs to wake up and smell the coffee and slash the price of new games to say 17.99, destroying the pre-owned market in one fell swoop. They should be sure to exploit their fans for as much as possible though, and make sure it is a much higher price for oh, a fortnight or so before they drop it.

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My crazy idea for gutting 2nd hand sales is for devs to wake up and smell the coffee and slash the price of new games to say 17.99, destroying the pre-owned market in one fell swoop. They should be sure to exploit their fans for as much as possible though, and make sure it is a much higher price for oh, a fortnight or so before they drop it.

This. A lot of my new gaming has been on the PC through Steam for this very reason.

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...

Obviously, you can go down the digital delivery route for games which should reduce the price, but the tech isn't there just yet. Sure it can be done, and is currently being done but the developers would have to have a platform available for all subscribers. If any developer / console went down to digital distribution at much reduced prices all the chain stores on the high street would just pull their titles off the shelves and boycott sales. If that makes sense. Which is why you don't seem to get cheap online downloads of games, they are all very near to full retail price just to keep Game / Gamestation etc happy.

Quite. Let's just say that losing support from the retailer with by far the biggest (UK) market share is suboptimal.

(declaration of interest: I work for games publishers)

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There should be a system whereby any retailer that sells second hand games has to pay a licence fee, in a similar way that the Performing Rights Society works. Any sale of a second hand game would have a proportion of the price passed to the Games Rights Society (or whatever) and this goes straight to the developers, based on the sales of several randomly selected stores each week.

That way, you get some money back into the developers hands. As it stands (as I understand it) developers get fuck all from second hand sales, and I would imagine that there is a very high proportion of second hand sales over buying brand new. The prices brand new just make it too much for a great majority of people to afford, so they go the second hand route which takes money from developers, so the developers increase their prices to compensate and you get in a vicious circle.

There would still be plenty of margin in the second hand market for the retailers, you only have to try and trade something in to see what the markup is when it goes out on the shop floor an hour later.

Perhaps this would allow the developers to start lowering their "brand new" prices to more affordable levels.

Obviously, you can go down the digital delivery route for games which should reduce the price, but the tech isn't there just yet. Sure it can be done, and is currently being done but the developers would have to have a platform available for all subscribers. If any developer / console went down to digital distribution at much reduced prices all the chain stores on the high street would just pull their titles off the shelves and boycott sales. If that makes sense. Which is why you don't seem to get cheap online downloads of games, they are all very near to full retail price just to keep Game / Gamestation etc happy.

I don't think publishers should get a cut of second-hand sales, but I definitely think the market worked more fairly when people only traded in games as a last resort, rather than treating the system as a 'rental' service (which the retailers have gone out of their way to encourage).

I know the balance of power is firmly in the retailers' hands, but I was still quite surprised to see earlier this week that GAME are using really high profile new releases (e.g. Ocarina of Time 3D) as bait for their trade-in programs - "trade in a billion 3DS games to buy Zelda for just 1p!" or something. I'm surprised that NoE would give them approval to use their trademarks on stuff like that.

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It is not necessarily the case that halving the price would double the demand [1]. Even if it did, selling double the units at half the price may not break even via retail because of the various portions of the pie that are owed to the platform holder, distribution, royalties, etc. You may need to sell three times as much to break even, for example (it's more straightforward on digital).

Someone said that piracy is a smokescreen - this simply isn't true. That is not to say I agree with claims along the lines of, "every download is a lost sale", far from it, but what secondhand market in non-counterfeit titles would exist in, say, Brazil, where according to Nintendo you can buy a 50-game cart (like a pre-loaded R4) for 69 USD? To my knowledge, no distributor has ever said to my employers, "we will take this game on platforms A and B, but not C because of the secondhand market in games on C". The reason for not taking a game is invariably either "because the market is dead on C" and/or "because of piracy on C". In my experience, 'lost sales' due to piracy are non-zero.

Some publishers' decisions have seemed counterproductive, appearing to treat customers like criminals and making it harder for customers than pirates to play games, despite the inevitability of the copy protection being quickly cracked, but it should be understood that such decisions aren't made in vacuo. Nearly two decades ago, retailers were, to say the least, not inclined to take product that wasn't copy-protected. If a retailer says, "we will not stock this game if you do not copy-protect it," the publisher is understandably inclined to copy-protect the game.

I don't see why publishers or developers should receive a cut from secondhand sales (although it is odd on the face of it that royalties are owed on new but not second-, third-, fourthhand). I think everyone should be free to participate in the secondhand market, including publishers, leaving the market to pick the winners. As I see it, the challenge for publishers is to innovate in order to persuade people to buy new and develop offers that 'monetise' the secondhand market (an obvious example of this is a person with a secondhand copy of a game buying DLC) not 'crippling' product. There is only so far we can go on price, after all.

There were complaints from some publishers about commercial secondhand and given some prices I don't blame them, but I think this is largely over now and we realise we just have to get on with it. GAME intends to continue to grow its preowned business (understandable given they see a 40% gross margin on preowned, compared to 20% on new [2]). It isn't easy to innovate, though, which is why you will inevitably see a number of crap ideas that gamers will dislike.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_elasticity_of_demand

[2] http://www.investis.com/gmg_plc/reports/2011/annual-report-2010-2011.pdf

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Good reply. In fact, given the position that games currently sit at in expenditure patterns, and the current economy, they're likely to have a kinked demand curve. If prices go up, significantly fewer people will buy them (with the exception of the big popular games such as FIFA or COD). If prices go down, the number of sales will not massively increase, since people will take the opportunity to use the saved money to do something else.

Yea there has been loads of research to say the disposable income will get spent anyway. If games cost 20 quid at launch I would just buy twice as many :P

Can you give me an example of some of this research?

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Obviously, you can go down the digital delivery route for games which should reduce the price, but the tech isn't there just yet. Sure it can be done, and is currently being done but the developers would have to have a platform available for all subscribers. If any developer / console went down to digital distribution at much reduced prices all the chain stores on the high street would just pull their titles off the shelves and boycott sales. If that makes sense. Which is why you don't seem to get cheap online downloads of games, they are all very near to full retail price just to keep Game / Gamestation etc happy.

This.

Not just about the tech though. As you point out the market isn't ready. Those factors and others are why I still believe "Full Digital"(as I like to call it) is around 15 years away(well, I said 15 last year, so make it 14 now). Iwata said 20, but that may be exaggerating a little (Kudos to anyone who's noticed at this point that I reference Iwata a lot...)

(declaration of interest: I work for games publishers)

You evil bastard, you! :P

Someone said that piracy is a smokescreen - this simply isn't true.

Sorry, that may have been me. The "Smokescreen" reference was regarding the way certain publishers/devs talk about it. And they don't necessarily have the same perspective/insight you do regarding other markets such as Brazil/Eastern Europe/Middle-East. I agree the lost sales aren't '0' but I see the percentage as negligible compared to the lost time and money while is spent agonising over piracy.

To my knowledge, no distributor has ever said to my employers, "we will take this game on platforms A and B, but not C because of the secondhand market in games on C". The reason for not taking a game is invariably either "because the market is dead on C" and/or "because of piracy on C".

Really? I find it hard to believe anyone ever stocks PSP games at all then. Unless Sony is paying huge wads of cash to retailers for shelf space (Wouldn't put it past them).

I don't see why publishers or developers should receive a cut from secondhand sales (although it is odd on the face of it that royalties are owed on new but not second-, third-, fourthhand). I think everyone should be free to participate in the secondhand market, including publishers, leaving the market to pick the winners. As I see it, the challenge for publishers is to innovate in order to persuade people to buy new and develop offers that 'monetise' the secondhand market (an obvious example of this is a person with a secondhand copy of a game buying DLC) not 'crippling' product. There is only so far we can go on price, after all.

I think online charge passes are fine. As is DLC stuff, as long as it's proper DLC and not ripped-out features.

There were complaints from some publishers about commercial secondhand and given some prices I don't blame them, but I think this is largely over now and we realise we just have to get on with it.

Nah, it'll come up again... I'll come back here go "hah!" when it does ;).

Erm... what were we talking about? Oh yeah, Re: RE, I fell asleep last night anyway and it's just been dispatched... but I doubt I'd have cancelled anyway, as I don't usually like changing my mind. I've got my eye on Capcom now though *squints*.

P.S. @theGodofCheeky: Sorry if I seemed a bit confrontational up there. Your post was very interesting and enlightening :).

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Surely you mean Donkey Kong 2 on the NES ;)

I wish... My DKC2 copy was bought as new, but most likely second-hand, from the one location I could find it for LE250*. I think it was up to LE400 elsewhere. I saved up for bloody ages. I recall it being a PAL copy, with German writing on the box. Anyhoo, something was clearly faulty, as it showed a save file, with progress percentage etc., but turn the console off for a while and it'd be blank...

Problem was, leaving it on for too long would overheat the power adapter (had already cracked one before through overuse...), so I have fond memories of staying over at a friend's house and doing the following: playing for around 3.5hrs, turning SNES off to let it cool down, turning it back on and completing maybe 3 or 4 more levels than last time, then turning SNES off again, repeat, etc.

I think we still only ever got 53% complete. Finished the game years later through emulation.

*Dat's Egyptian money dat is.

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Capcom continue to bullshit. This is from the Capcom Unity forums:

First, here's the official statement:

'In Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, all mission progress is saved directly to the Nintendo 3DS cartridge, where it cannot be reset. The nature of the game invites high levels of replayability, encouraging fans to improve mission scores. The save mechanic ensures that both original and unlocked game content will be available to all users. Secondhand game sales were not a factor in this development decision, and we hope that all our consumers will be able to enjoy the entirety of the survival-action experiences that the game does offer. '

Second, here's the gist:

There was no intention of lessening the experience of the game. Essentially, RE Mercs was treated like an arcade fighting game. You unlock characters, levels, etc and they just stay unlocked as they would in an arcade machine. There was no hidden motive to prevent buying used copies. It's not some secret form of DRM. It's simply the way we designed the save system to work with the arcade type of gameplay.

Third, here's a short Q/A:

Q. What type of game is Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D?

A. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a time-based score attack game very similar in style to an old school arcade game. Across the various levels, players must defeat hordes of enemies, unlock new weapons, and collect hidden bonuses to rack up high scores. After time has run out, a rank and score are displayed. The game does not feature a traditional campaign or story mode.

Q. Is it true that the game can only be played through once?

A. No. This is not true. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D is a non-linear experience where there is no set end to the game. It is a score attack game and progression is defined as improving upon previous high scores. Players can replay each mission as many times as they like to continually challenge themselves to improve.

Q. Does the inability to reset the save game data mean that those purchasing a secondhand version of the game will have content missing?

A. Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D consists of 30 time-based missions, through which the player unlocks skill upgrades as they progress through the game. Anyone purchasing a copy of the game secondhand would have access to all the missions and skills that the original owner unlocked, in addition to the content that was available to the original user.

http://www.capcom-unity.com/resident_evil/go/thread/view/7391/27944601/About_the_Save_Data_(Official)?pg=1

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My copy of Mercs just arrived, and my EU box doesn't mention lack of save deletion on the back of the box, just (in caps): "This product contains technical protection measures. Any unauthorised technical modification..." etc. (can't be bothered typing it all out).

I'll check the manual in a minute and may just update the Mercs thread in future.

See y'all there.

[Edit]

Ah, my bad. Thought the US box said so on the outside, but looking at news stories again, it was just in the manual. Same here.

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If i bought it second hand, could I click "start new game" when i first boot it up?

you fucking spastic

anyhoo, I was in Game at lunchtime looking for a copy of Vin Diesel's Wheelman and some kid was buying it and the till-monkey was telling him that when he wanted to trade it in he'd have to come back to Game cos all the other shops were 'being stupid about it' or some such. I lol'd

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Seems like they regret their decision now.

"I think it's fair to say there was never quite the malicious intent that the conspiracy theorists out there would have you believe."

"I think it's also fair to say that in light of the controversy it's generated, I don't think you're going to see something like this happening again."

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Capcom continue to bullshit. This is from the Capcom Unity forums:

http://www.capcom-unity.com/resident_evil/go/thread/view/7391/27944601/About_the_Save_Data_(Official)?pg=1

It's easy to see why this design decision would be casually made. Handheld games are typically expected to be single-user experiences, and apps increasingly make save data tied to a single device feel like the norm. They probably get more complaints from users having their data reset accidentally/maliciously that complaints that the data can't be wiped.

Hardly sounds like bullshit to me.

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