Author Topic: THQ in financial crisis?  (Read 4108 times)

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Offline headdie

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
There's even talk of the new member of the X-Box series to be designed for a single activation of a game under a single user-name, so it will not play used games at all. Whilst I can, sort of, understand this at the level of the first 6-months to a year of release
Torn on that one myself, while I can understand companies needing to protect profits at the same time I want to rage at the level of restriction in a system like that.  As you say there needs to be a cutoff point on the system, I am not sure about something arbitrary like 6 months, perhaps something like 2 months after the publisher stops printing disks or something
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Offline Dragon

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
That's why I'm staying away from consoles. You simply can't do something like that on PC, and if you try, somebody will crack it.

 

Offline BrotherBryon

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
A lot of software companies have gone the route of non-transferable license keys. Look at any product put out by Microsoft or Rosetta Stone if you need an example. Rosetta Stone will only install a demo version of the product without a proper license key. I would look to the gaming industry to go the same way in the not too distant future. Maybe not so much on the consoles but definately with PC titles.
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Offline Goober5000

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
And there's the flaw in that thinking. Comparing something digital, that does not degrade with use nor time, to something tangible that you can feel, which does degrade with use and time.
This is utterly irrelevant.  Back in the early 20th century, manufactured goods were incredibly durable.  You'd buy one stove, one table, one refrigerator, etc., and it would last a lifetime.

One of the fundamental principles of Western civilization is the concept of private property.  If you buy something but can't resell it, then do you really own it?  Is it yours to do with as you wish?  If you're constrained to follow the whims of the person who sells you the article, you're no better than a serf.

It's the same thing with software licensing (which I doubt is even legally enforceable according to traditional contract law, but IANAL).  You license a trademark or a logo.  You do not license a game.

 

Offline SypheDMar

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
I should've posted this link here (in response to the [V] quip: http://www.gamepolitics.com/2012/02/06/039i-feel-used039-quips-volition039s-jameson-durall-used-games

Quote
The real truth is that the damage caused by used game sales is like the threat of communism infiltrating Hollywood the 1950s: an apparition conjured up by parties seeking to create a cause for a danger that is not real. But instead of blacklisting actors and directors, the industry is using its messaging to convince consumers and the games media that their actions to further monetize what used to be free is fair. It is fair because games costs so much to make, and because they don’t have a fair deal with GameStop, and because used game sales aren’t shared with game developers, they reason.

Yes there are inequities with the deals that publishers and developers have with GameStop, but this is hardly the fault of the consumer. When publishers and developers use punitive measures to recoup unverifiable losses (online pass codes, DRM), they do more damage to their future than any used game sales ever could.

 

Offline Dark RevenantX

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
The stove you bought that lasted a lifetime costs, say, $600 to construct and distribute, and $1,000 to buy.  And you didn't even need a factory because it's a stove.  The initial costs are at about $5,000 - $10,000 for your stove-making business.  And if you sell that stove, you can never make use of it again.

The game you bought costs, say, $5 to "construct" and distribute, and $60 to buy.  However, it costs $20,000,000 to design.  And once you've played it, you probably have no need to do so again, and lose very little from selling it.  It's like selling a book except you don't even lose an item for your library, you just lose a box containing a disc that won't even work in 20 years.

The principles of economics break down because of how digital goods are made and distributed.  Adam Smith would have written some footnotes & exceptions for intangible goods if he lived long enough to see such a thing.

 

Offline Klaustrophobia

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
  It's like selling a book except you don't even lose an item for your library, you just lose a box containing a disc that won't even work in 20 years.

.... wut?  yeah, you DO loose that item from your "library."  unless you made a copy and cracked the game before you sold it (illegal), you have lost the game and cannot play it again.  whether or not you intend to play it more than once is irrelevant.  i'd wager that games get more replay than books or movies do. 

i'm tired of media companies blaming everything and everyone but themselves for falling profits.  make your stuff worthwhile and people will buy it.  we aren't fooled by **** like half-assed releases followed by a relentless stream of paid DLC or "free to play, pay to win."
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Offline Dark RevenantX

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Well, the cold hard fact is that used game sales hurt revenue many, many times more than piracy.  Whereas only a small percentage of pirates would have bought the game new, the vast majority of people who buy used copies would buy new if used copies did not exist.  And the used game market is huge.  I'll be fine with one-game-per-account if some concessions are made, such as the permanent removal of other DRM schemes from games, no more scummy (launch-day, perhaps) DLC, better overall quality because extra resources will not be needed to be spent on anti-piracy and anti-hacking measures, etc.

 
Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Quote
Well, the cold hard fact is that used game sales hurt revenue many, many times more than piracy.  Whereas only a small percentage of pirates would have bought the game new, the vast majority of people who buy used copies would buy new if used copies did not exist.  And the used game market is huge.  I'll be fine with one-game-per-account if some concessions are made, such as the permanent removal of other DRM schemes from games, no more scummy (launch-day, perhaps) DLC, better overall quality because extra resources will not be needed to be spent on anti-piracy and anti-hacking measures, etc.

Cold hard facts need bitter frozen blue Citations.

 

Offline Dark RevenantX

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Let me ask EA's marketing division.  I'll post again when I get the statistics.

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Well, the cold hard fact is that used game sales hurt revenue many, many times more than piracy.  Whereas only a small percentage of pirates would have bought the game new, the vast majority of people who buy used copies would buy new if used copies did not exist.  And the used game market is huge.  I'll be fine with one-game-per-account if some concessions are made, such as the permanent removal of other DRM schemes from games, no more scummy (launch-day, perhaps) DLC, better overall quality because extra resources will not be needed to be spent on anti-piracy and anti-hacking measures, etc.

Evil people wanting to resell what they own.... how can they...


Adam Smith would have written some footnotes & exceptions for intangible goods if he lived long enough to see such a thing.

People are still quoting Adam Smith with his allpowerful "invisible hand" that makes everything right for the whole society, if only everyone indulges in their own personal greed? ;) In this day and age? ;)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 01:37:26 pm by Mikes »

 

Offline Aardwolf

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
It's the same thing with software licensing (which I doubt is even legally enforceable according to traditional contract law, but IANAL).  You license a trademark or a logo.  You do not license a game.

I have the misfortune of living in one of the two states that passed UCITA, Virginia. :( The other is Maryland.

used game sales hurt revenue many, many times more than piracy.  Whereas only a small percentage of pirates would have bought the game new, the vast majority of people who buy used copies would buy new if used copies did not exist.  And the used game market is huge.

Plausible. But it still reeks of entitlement.

 
Re: THQ in financial crisis?
A single-user game disc situation could possibly eliminate second-hand game sales if:
1) Prices of new discs are guaranteed to be discounted after release. Say... $5 for every 6 months elapsed past launch for big releases.
And 2) A sufficient supply of new discs was constantly produced, or could be ordered custom from the publisher

After all, aren't those the two primary reasons for buying used? They're less expensive if you're willing to wait a bit, and are always available somewhere even if the new supply has dried up. That's also why download services like Steam are popular: lower cost (sometime after release, or if sales aren't going great at $60, or during a sale) and constant availability.

Unfortunately, since both of those points would cost a lot of money in the short term, they're not likely to ever happen. Aside from things like ye olde Greatest Hits rereleases and stuff.

 

Offline Klaustrophobia

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Well, the cold hard fact is that used game sales hurt revenue many, many times more than piracy.  Whereas only a small percentage of pirates would have bought the game new, the vast majority of people who buy used copies would buy new if used copies did not exist.  And the used game market is huge.  I'll be fine with one-game-per-account if some concessions are made, such as the permanent removal of other DRM schemes from games, no more scummy (launch-day, perhaps) DLC, better overall quality because extra resources will not be needed to be spent on anti-piracy and anti-hacking measures, etc.

even if that is true (this isn't cold hard fact, it's speculation), producers simply AREN'T ENTITLED to the money from sales of used games.  One large measure of the sucess of a game is the number of active players yes?  That's their target.  That's how many copies were sold.  If they want in on the used market, then offer a publisher-run buyback program.  That might even work out.  They could probably not rip people off as hard as Gamestop and cut them out of the market.
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Offline Flipside

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
The thing is, Capitalism isn't founded purely on the acquisition of goods and money, it is also dependent on the movement of them, any truly capitalist state would adopt policies that allowed goods to keep moving and changing hands, because that keeps wealth moving around

 

Offline swashmebuckle

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Rather than selling their AAA titles for $60, why don't they just market the hard copy (and ability to resell) as the "deluxe edition" or whatever at $70 and offer the download at $50?  Smaller print runs would mean less competition from the used market, but people would still have the option to invest in a hard copy and hope that the game turns into a rare classic that can be resold in 15 years to some obsessive collector for a sweaty $200 bill.

 

Offline samiam

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Hey guys, just thought I'd post a few posts since Kara doesn't want to remove my captcha.

So I guess this whole THQ thing sucks, I mean they made some good games but- well, they didn't actually make any games, they're a publisher.

 

Offline samiam

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
This is utterly irrelevant.  Back in the early 20th century, manufactured goods were incredibly durable.  You'd buy one stove, one table, one refrigerator, etc., and it would last a lifetime.

Yeah, but they didn't have auto defrost or cruise control either. Kind of like saying "Can openers don't stay sharp worth nothin' anymore. Back in my day, we used to open cans with a rock."

Whyyy do I have to do this? I just want to not have to deal with the captcha.

Quote
One of the fundamental principles of Western civilization is the concept of private property.  If you buy something but can't resell it, then do you really own it?  Is it yours to do with as you wish?  If you're constrained to follow the whims of the person who sells you the article, you're no better than a serf.

Civilizations almost by definition need some idea of property to work. I think you're thinking of something along the lines of freedom from servitude.

 

Offline Dark RevenantX

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
While waiting for results, I am going to throw this in:

Stoves, refrigerators, computers, etc. are capital.  They are goods.  If you build one you gain capital and if you destroy one you lose capital.

Print another CD with your game on it, copy your game to a new flash drive, and you have had no change in capital.  You could print a million copies of your game and you will only have the capital from a million boxes with CDs inside, not from a million copies of the game.  That's because only the blueprint and the game's production rights are worth anything in terms of capital gains.  Therefore, the price comes not from material/labor but rather an arbitrary licensing fee.  Used sales are just one user reselling the license to another, not simply selling off capital.  This is a very shady business practice, and is not illegal only because of the loophole that you're selling "just a box with a CD in it", even though that's not why the item is valuable at all.

 

Offline TrashMan

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Re: THQ in financial crisis?
Ultimatively, the developers, distributors, consuimers and pirate all have a different POV. I can guarantee you that if your paycheck depends on the game selling well, you'd have a lot harsher view on this issue.
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