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back to article Crytek: Schemes to strike second-hand games biz 'awesome'

Cult games developer Crytek this week shouted its support for next-gen consoles that take means to prevent second-hand games being played, calling such a prospect "absolutely awesome". No shizzle, Sherlock. It would say that, wouldn't it? The sentiments follow recent rumours that Sony and Microsoft's upcoming console releases …

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Meh

As long as they are *honest* in their marketing, and replace any reference to "buy" with "license", and ensure that the use of the word "own" applies to the license, not the product.

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One issue with "license"

Take non-techies i.e. 99% of the population, will they understand the difference?.

As you no longer own it, I feel the should cut the price by the average resale price.

Got to love the arguement, "you can't do this with other software"...

Lets translate..

other software f**ks the customer over, so why not games.

For sale. 1 used Xbox 720 + 150 unusable games.

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This post has been deleted by its author

clearly....

With piracy then eliminated prices of titles will drop.(not)

Odd attitude though. The flip side is that I won't pick up an old title for a tenner and become a fan of.something I thought would be not overly interesting to become hooked and buy all titles that follow.

Short sighted and looks very greedy. What next, fridge manufactures insisting that food can only be put in by them.40 quid for a pint of milk anyone?.

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Unhappy

I'm sorry

but what a twonk.

What gives them the right to essentially ban second hand games?

What does it matter if someone else plays the game second hand? Yes, I hear the argument about running the servers etc but they have already been paid for by the person who bought the game new. If the companies do not price that in the initial pricing structure then they are idiots.

If the next gen console do this then I will not buy one. It will also kill off services like xbox live as people will not want to pay essentially again to play the game.

What's next, Ford demanding a cut if you buy a car second hand?

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Re: I'm sorry

"What gives them the right to essentially ban second hand games?"

It's their product. They can sell/license it as they wish.

I'm not defending it, by the way. I dislike this as much as the rest, and I think it is a mistake.

However, if I make something, I have the right to determine how to sell/license it. How the market reacts to that descision will determine how successfull it is, but it's still my descision.

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Re: I'm sorry

I dunno about everyone else's reaction, but this singular piece of the market thinks Crytek can pound all their future releases up their collective asses.

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@Dr. Mouse Re: I'm sorry

You have mixed physical goods and the "intellectual" property crap all in one pot and are confused as the result.

With physical goods all a manufacturer can do is to decide to whom and at what price he wants to sell it. He doesn't have any say in what happens to the product after he has sold it. The seller has to choose whether he wants the money or the product.

With "intellectual" property they claim that somehow magically they should be allowed to both get the money and retain ownership of the product. The rational reason for this? There isn't any.

And market cannot determine the success of this or otherwise because IP is shielded from market forces by the obsolete IP laws. The market itself is outlawed and is called "piracy".

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Re: I'm sorry

...You do realise servers don't just get setup and left alone ? Running costs are enormous, then there's all the work that goes into after market DLC, be it paid or not.

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Re: I'm sorry

Of course there's an ongoing cost. However, having a good game with a loyal and growing ongoing customer base is surely great marketing for your new games? So, why not pay for the intial setup and a couple of years of costs out of the original game and the remaining time out of your marketing budget? I reckon it's more effective than poster/TV/radio campaigns.

Alternative, is to offload the running of the central servers to someone else who charges a small monthly fee for use. Then, groups of players could set them up etc. This would be offset by reducing the price of the original game and these costs no longer fall on the producer. Of course, they wouldn't do this, as it's all a smokescreen to increase their profits for no effort.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm sorry

"What does it matter if someone else plays the game second hand? Yes, I hear the argument about running the servers etc but they have already been paid for by the person who bought the game new."

Who might play for a few weeks/months before moving on. That isn't the case if the game is re-sold time and time again.

Your point is moot.

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Re: I'm sorry

Spot on: Crysis 3 only appeared on my "Radar" yesterday and it's now been shot down by my anti-bullshit-practices missiles.

Along with anything else Crytek creates in the future.

And I buy all my games new but no way am I supporting the companies in on this ridiculous witch hunt.

Sadly this story seems to re-inforce the rumours that the PS4 and XBox 720 will block 2nd Hand games and while I own both the current models they may be my last.

I wonder what they will blame next once the 2nd Hand Market is killed and they still are not magically making enough money to satisfy their greed / shareholders?

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Re: @Dr. Mouse I'm sorry

"With "intellectual" property they claim that somehow magically they should be allowed to both get the money and retain ownership of the product. The rational reason for this? There isn't any."

Yeah there is. The intellectual property prevents you from copying the product 1 million times and selling it yourself. With physical products there is a sufficient physical barrier preventing you from doing that.

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Re: @Dr. Mouse I'm sorry

"...there is a sufficient physical barrier preventing you from doing that."

Yes, that would be called "time, effort and materials" which is what most sane people actually pay for.

If you don't need the "time and effort" and you can provide the materials then why should you pay for it?

The big problem here (and it has been explored to exhaustion here and elsewhere) is that the modern digital economy has not cottoned onto the fact that a market powered by huge up-front effort and small per-item charges for a low- or no-effort transaction cost is not a sustainable business model any more. The only real way to make money nowadays is a return to the service business model, where you directly provide something tangible to a customer that they cannot (or are unwilling to) provide for themselves. Red Hat and Google know this.

That was only ever the really sustainable way to do business. We just got confused by physical media and the costs/convenience of producing it that we forgot this. We are just beginning to remember this now. Unfortunately, the incumbents are frightened by the prospect of wholesale change and to some extent I have a lot of sympathy for them. Change is difficult and requires a switch in mental mindset that doesn't come naturally.

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@NomNomNom Re: I'm sorry

Reread the article, please. The subject of this discussion is not the unauthorised commercial replication but banning of resales of the original item. There is no moral or rational justification for CryPricks to be entitled to that.

In any other (physical) market that will be a proscribed anti-competitive practice punishable by fines and possibly leading to criminal prosecution of the directors. Abuse of monopoly position, market squeezing and manipulation + collusion and cartel agreements (as more pricks than just CryPricks are involved).

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@Mad Mike

So, run games as advertising campaigns for the next game. Each game is an advert... where's the product? I mean, your advertising has to actually *sell* something, doesn't it?

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Re: @Dr. Mouse I'm sorry

"You have mixed physical goods and the "intellectual" property crap all in one pot and are confused as the result."

Nope. I'm not confused about that. I am confused about all the downvotes I got.

I will say it again, I really don't like this turn of events, but how a product is sold and/or licensed is up to the person producing the product. Of course, if you get the game on a disc, you have the right to sell that disc. If the license prevents transfer of rights, you do not have the right to "sell" the license. Simples.

This happens in other areas of computer software. AutoCAD, for example: You pay, not to own the software, but for a license to use it. You are not buying a physical object. The same applies to many others. If the license states you cannot transfer it, you cannot transfer it.

If game co's want to go down this path, they are perfectly within their rights to do so. I, for one, will not be obliging them in this, and hope that the business model fails so they are forced back to "real" selling. It will actually make me more likely to pirate games, or not "buy" them in the first place. But it is still their right to use a different business/licensing model. Just because you and I do not like it doesn't remove their rights.

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Re: @Dr. Mouse I'm sorry

"If game co's want to go down this path, they are perfectly within their rights to do so."

That is not so straight-forward, actually. What's indisputable is that they have rights as defined by the relevant Copyright Act (depending on the jurisdiction), which normally covers control over copying, derivative works and distribution *to* public. These rights are statutory, automatic, they do not arise out of any contract or license agreement.

There are no, however, statutory rights to control other things such as the possible ways of using the product or re-sales on secondary markets. For this they must claim that they have a contractual agreement with you and this is were the things become very unclear.

If you listen to them they will claim that you enter into a license agreement with them when you install software or click on a button. I would say - I don't enter into any agreement and even if they say I do, it's invalid, in which case they would have no rights to limit access or the number of installations or to restrict secondary sales. It has not been properly tested in courts yet, as far as I know.

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FAIL

I got some second hand food he can have

I only ate it 16 hours ago, it's fairly 'fresh'.

I'm a big fan of buying secondhand as a 'legal method' of sticking it to The Man (i.e. Big Media), as in general He does so little to deserve the money, so if I can't buy cheap secondhand games on the next gen of consoles then I spose I'll be sticking with my PS3 and 360 for a good while yet.

Ironic, really, games are the media I buy most from new, when I do. Bullet meet foot.

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jai
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Re: I got some second hand food he can have

sticking it to big media is one thing - but the 2nd hand games industry hurts all games companies, large or small.

it's probably the reason why there are so few small independent games companies around anymore, they can't afford to develop new and cutting edge games themselves. nor can they afford to spend ages developing long and involving games that we'd consider worth the money and time investment to complete. so they have to become absorbed into the larger companies, and then the large publishers are unwilling to take a risk on a new title, and instead would rather rehash a previous title that had success and is seen as having a recognisable brand.

it's the same as happens in the movie industry. the "big media" as you call it control most of the distribution channels, and they're too cautious to take a chance, so they stick to sequels and prequels and reboots that they view as safer bets.

and who looses out? we, the consumers, get lumbered with rehashed versions of increasingly inferior quality to the original.

but that doesn't matter. as long as you're happy buying 2nd hand and not giving anything back to the developers who spent all their time creating your entertainment, then it's all alright isn't it?

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FAIL

Re: I got some second hand food he can have

They got their 'money back' when the first person purchased the game. So many other markets don't have the same issue. When you buy a car, the original manufacturer gets a profit as well as the garage etc. When you sell the car on, does the manufacturer get anything? No, of course not. So, according to your logic, the secondhand car market shouldn't exist. Wrong.

Car manufacturers simply found another business model. Their cars need maintenance, so they have main dealers who will service your car (making profit), whilst buying the required goods from the manufacturer (who then make a profit). For games, this means sell the game initially and making a profit and then whoever provides the central servers (for online gaming) gets paid a monthly fee (needn't be much) to run the servers. This can be the manufacturer or someone else. That's their choice.

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Re: I got some second hand food he can have

I totally agree.

Please from now on can you promise to:

Buy only brand new cars,

Buy only brand new houses,

Buy only brand new electronic goods,

Buy only brand new consumables (e.g. non refirb ptoner cartridges)

Buy only brand new funiture

Buy only brand new childrens goods.

All other stuff must be scrapped and sent to landfill as buying 2nd hand hurts the manufacturers.

Oh I see, the multi £billion SOFTWARE industry is different and special somehow.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I got some second hand food he can have

@jai

OK jai, practically every other industry on the planet since time began has managed to factor in reclaiming cost of R&D into the single initial sale, so why does the software industry have to be any different?

Think you need to stop sending money to games companies and get a new keyboard as the shift keys on yours appear to be broken!

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Re: I got some second hand food he can have

Ridiculous excuse! Independent developers can easily choose to release their games to XBLA or PSN where the second hand market doesn't exist and piracy is much less of an issue. Think of how many great independent games there have been the last few year, most of which end up coming out on one of these two services.

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Re: I got some second hand food he can have

@AC

"OK jai, practically every other industry on the planet since time began has managed to factor in reclaiming cost of R&D into the single initial sale, so why does the software industry have to be any different?"

I assure you that the profit on a car is far more than the profit on your latest game. And yet the cost of developing a new game is increasing every year, and the cost of developing a new car is dropping every year.

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WTF?

Re: I got some second hand food he can have

WTF?

Do you know how much it cost to develop a car?

Here let me help:

"the price tag to develop a new vehicle starts around $1 billion. According to John Wolkonowicz, Senior Auto Analyst for North America at IHS Global, "It can be as much as $6 billion if it's an all-new car ....."

Source:

http://translogic.aolautos.com

Show me a game that cost one 10th of that.

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Facepalm

Kill-joys at work for certain!

I really don't understand this obsession to cut out second-hand markets. Why cut out a route for late in the gamers to buy your goods from someone else and then has the possibility to buy the sequel brand new if they like the franchise.

Don't really want to put too many words here as most will feel the same way. The actions of the minority of pirates shouldn't make it more difficult for the honest gamer. However, I would still like to see games go down from their ridiculous £60/£50 stand points when media is cheap and producing games name surely is much more cost effective with better tech and gaming engines around? Expensive items always drives on piracy (same for fake gadgets, bags, clothes etc of high-end labels). Shame the gaming industry won't hit that nail on the head first.

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The way I see it, if Sony or MS actually put in place a system which prevented consoles playing used games, piracy would become rampant on the systems, although I'm struggling to find a solution for single player games that would prevent a used game market (can't exactly burn each disc differently with a unique serial number burnt to the disc, can you?).

People want to buy games, they go out and sometimes a new one will be in stock so they trade in a used game reducing the cost of the new one, the publisher gets their full cut and the store sells the traded in game. Fast forward two years, you want to play Game X which is two years old, you now have to go out and find a new copy of Game X because you can't play used, or, you can hack the system allowing you to play Game X because you couldn't find it anywhere which also allows you to play Game Y which is new.

It's a stupid move that means people who would have bought the game new with a trade-in, won't buy the game because they can't trade in so it'd end up in lost sales from people who would have bought the game and of course, more pirates.

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Anonymous Coward

Perhaps an activation scheme...

I do not agree with the firms tactics, but they will probably just use the same solution as they currently do with some multiplayer games, where the game comes with a unique key that enables multiplayer access once the key is redeemed on the store. Basically it would be an activation strategy, requiring network access at least once. I do not know if this is the strategy they are going to use, but it seems reasonable to assume that it is.

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"The way I see it, if Sony or MS actually put in place a system which prevented consoles playing used games, piracy would become rampant on the systems, although I'm struggling to find a solution for single player games that would prevent a used game market (can't exactly burn each disc differently with a unique serial number burnt to the disc, can you?)."

From what I understand, Sony's actually looking into this with BluRays. If each individual BluRay disc were uniquely serialized in the ROM-Mark (which is a post-press process, IIRC, and designed for serialization), then a console WOULD be able to identify each copy of each game uniquely (a serial of at least 64 bits should cover all the discs ever made going forward). ROM-Mark machinery is a trade secret: black-boxed and only available to trusted BDA members to prevent its reverse engineering.

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Poor Game and Gamestation AGAIN

They love there tradins as well...

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Re: Poor Game and Gamestation AGAIN

I imagine they won't be a factor by the time the next gen consoles appear :o\

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Re: Poor Game and Gamestation AGAIN

Ah yes very true.

They are way over priced and the sodding staff talk to you, like you are an idiot then try to upsell you other bits and bobs....

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MJI
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Hmm Crytek

Been playing PSN version of Crysis, not a bad game, never bothered with 2 as the only time it was cheap it sold out.

Also there was a glut at the time and the demos were not good, plus Crytek are so boastfull.

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Anonymous Coward

US first sale doctrine ?

Any US visitors care to enlighten as how this will affect things legally ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: US first sale doctrine ?

As a Yank, I am not sure, probably could go either way. In practice the aspect of the physical disk could tilt it toward anysuch restriction violating first sale doctrine.

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Re: US first sale doctrine ?

No idea about the US, but haven't the German courts said that attempting stop the sale of second hand software is illegal. That irrespective of what ever drivel SW companies choose to put in their EULA the paying customer has the right to sell on what they paid for.

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FAIL

I'll buy fewer games

I've tried a few games by hiring them first, and buying them if I like them. This mechanism will presumably prevent game rentals too, thus reducing sales from the likes of me even further. If I'm in any doubt as to whether a game is worth buying, I won't buy it.

This smacks of greed. As a previous poster stated, if they haven't calculated sales figures into their development and marketing strategy, and want to try to prop up poor sales by trying to make second hand buyers pay full price, then that's their own fault, not the fault of the second hand market. not everyone can afford to fork out £40-£50 for a game.

Not to mention that Crytek's last Crysis game wouldn't even run on my PC, even though it exceeds their minumum spec, and they've not released a patch to address the issue, which means I won't be buying any more Crytek products anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Smart decision!

If you really want consoles to die a slow and withering death, while everybody plays games on their computeres, then this is a wise strategy!

I am already in doubt as to whether or not to switch to a playstation instead of an xbox in the new generation - because of the addition of advertisements on my starting screen (something which you'd think would reduce the price of a gold membership, but it doesn't) - however if both consoles will include something as odd as this, then I'll just be spending my money on a computer instead. Or wait untill the consoles have been hacked and then just let piracy run rampant!

Also, since no one has mentioned this before, the idea of converting "pirates into paying costumers" is slightly misleading, as I know several people who pirate a game, and upon approving of it, buys it. The amount of pirates that could be convinced to do this, might increase, if the price of a game were to decrease... just sayin'

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FAIL

Resellability affects perceived value.

It seems to me that where there is a second-hand market for games then first-time buyers will be prepared to pay a higher price, in the knowledge that they'll get some back when they resell it.

If, after completing the game, players are going to be left with a fancy coaster, then I would think they'd be reluctant to pay so much in the first place.

Basically, the publishers already get their cut of the resell value (paid in advance too!), and if they prevent the second-hand market they'll have to drop their prices to compensate.

Smacks of short-sighted greed to me.

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Re: Resellability affects perceived value.

Totally agree.

If you spend £40-£60 on a new game and you really enjoy it then you'll likely to keep it and feel you got your monies worth, but if you don't like it very much you can sell it to recoup some of your investment and you (hopefully) won't have lost too much money in the process.

However if you spend £40-£60 on a new game which cannot be re-sold and you discover you don't like it then you're less likely to buy new games in the future for fear that you'll just waste your money again, even if you try & like the demo it doesn't mean the entire game will be as fun - just look at movie trailers compared to the actual films.

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FAIL

Short sighted, very short sighted

I bought Mass Effect 1 second hand for £2.00.

I bought Mass Effect 2 new but discounted for £15.00.

I pre-ordered Mass Effect 3 for £35.00.

Good old gaming industry, that £50 they wouldn't have gotten from me. Nice one chaps, well done.

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WTF?

So will Crytek...

..and others be refunding customers or issuing free replacements of every game the customer bought when they are no longer able to play it due to having a console replaced under warranty?

Nope thought not - why bother when you can just force the customer to buy another full priced copy of a game they already own!

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Does anyone else think that Gabe Newell is sat somewhere cackling and rubbing his hands? Given that his is not only the largest online distribution system, but that it's one of the few with a concept of pricing...

I bought a dozen second hand games from the "please will someone take this stock" end of CeX's website the other day. Cost me practically nothing, but I can almost guarantee that I'm going to get into at least one franchise through this, and that will generate future purchases from me.

Unless, of course, you do something dickheaded like this.

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Anonymous Coward

goddamit I've just managed to move from piracy to second hand games.

Luckily I wont have to revert to freetardism as I use a pc for games which i doubt will be affectyed by these measures

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Flame

thats my buying power minimised then

I play all of my console games off line, don't want to pay M$ money every year just to play online and to be fair if any game comes out with a long single player game i usually get it new (ish). however i have noticed that most new games are leaning more heavily on short single player and masses of (recycled) multiplayer parts. so for the likes of me having to buy new for 1/2 a game gobbles.

Hate to say it but if they need more revenue to host servers, sure charge me a few quid for an multiplayer pass or even better charge me a few pennys for a monthly pass for said game that I can cancel when i get bored of it and allow me to buy 2nd hand games to play through the story mode, i will then tell folks how good it is, they will buy the game and probably the mulitplayer pass.

if we do just end up purchasing a licence for the software it makes on-live type services a shoe-in as it may be better to pay small sums each month and get full access to everything rather than full price for a game that may or may not have teh staying power

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Re: thats my buying power minimised then

but that screws the people who only play online. the majority of BF players will never play the single player. why should they buy the game then pay to play it too?

unless SP and MP are both different. maybe pay £20 each?!?!

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Re: thats my buying power minimised then @Citizen Kaned

why should they buy the game then pay to play it too?

You mean like paying for XBox live Gold membership? And I believe Sony charge for online play as well don't they?

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