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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  1. JimmyPage Silver badge

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      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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  2. HollyHopDrive


    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?.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    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?

    1. Dr. Mouse

      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.

      1. Figgus

        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.

        1. HP Cynic

          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?

      2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        @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".

        1. NomNomNom

          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.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            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.

          2. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            @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).

        2. Dr. Mouse

          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.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            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.

    2. Andy Tunnah

      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.

      1. Mad Mike

        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.

        1. The Indomitable Gall

          @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?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      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.

  4. g e

    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.

    1. jai

      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?

      1. Mad Mike

        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.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        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.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I got some second hand food he can have


        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!

        1. The Indomitable Gall

          Re: I got some second hand food he can have


          "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.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: I got some second hand food he can have


            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 ....."



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

      5. Jimmmeh

        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.

  5. the-it-slayer

    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.

  6. David Webb

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

    2. Charles 9

      "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.

  7. eJ2095

    Poor Game and Gamestation AGAIN

    They love there tradins as well...

    1. Code Monkey

      Re: Poor Game and Gamestation AGAIN

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

      1. eJ2095

        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....

  8. MJI Silver badge

    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.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US first sale doctrine ?

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

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        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.

  10. ekithump

    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.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    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'

  12. kryptonaut

    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.

    1. Haku

      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.

  13. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)

    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.

  14. Andy 17

    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!

  15. Greg J Preece

    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.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    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

  17. AndeckVee

    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

    1. Citizen Kaned

      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?!?!

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)

        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?

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: thats my buying power minimised then @Citizen Kaned

          PSN is free

          1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)

            Re: thats my buying power minimised then @Citizen Kaned

            Fair enough, I retract Sony from my previous statement. The point is still valid for Xbox Live Gold though.

      2. AndeckVee

        Re: thats my buying power minimised then

        surely they do pay to play it too when they stump up increasing amounts for the downloadable content....

        was thinking that if you pay full price for the game then yes you should have unrestricted access to the mulitplayer (and additional content??) but if you get the game 2nd hand you are given the choice for paying to access the multiplayer aspect or micro payments to avoid getting an old game being charged a tenner and then finding out the servers are going offline in a couple of months.. helps the devs with keeping their servers full more often, creates the revenue stream so they don't feel they are loseing out in 2nd hand sales and allows people like me to get a 2nd hand game finish teh single player and move on to the next game..

  18. Jusme

    Zero sum game

    Even if the games and media companies manage to eliminate "piracy" and second-hand sales completely they won't be getting a windfall. There's only so much disposable income to go around.

    If we have to buy everything at full price most people aren't suddenly going to find 10x the cash to spend on games and media, we'll just get less of it. Actually we may spend less as well, since we'll feel more like we're being ripped off.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Lost cause, anyway.

    Record companies, software companies, games publishers all seem to follow the same flawed reasoning : that every illegaly played copy will convert to a paid copy if the means of playing it illegally is removed.

    Secondly they seem to take no responsibility whatsoever in getting their product to the user.

    In the case of Crytek, I pre-orderd the Nano edition frome one of their 'distributors' only to find out 3 weeks after launch they were not going to deliver the product because of 'unavailability'. Because they had already separated me from my funds I was offered a 'voucher' for another product. Crytek didn't want to know. Only after enlisting the aid of the legal profession I was reimbursed.

    I've bought games on Steam that were defective. Steam, who had taken my money, blankly refused to refund or repair the defective game because they're only the distributor (as they see it). If you persist and vent your frustration on their forums your account is likely to be closed, and you will loose the possibility to play EVERY game you've bought from them, without a refund.

    It is the release of terminally flawed software, dismal support and crooked distributors 'EA anyone ?) that is causing people to refuse to pay 50 to 70 Euros for a game instead of waiting to pick it up for a fiver second hand or wait untill it becomes EOL, and NOT the inherent criminal intent of gamers.

    As long as they don't understand that they're doomend. And rightfully so.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      You bought defective games on Steam ?

      Could you list them ?

      Because that never happened to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You bought defective games on Steam ?

        Great logic there!

        On the same note: I've never been hit by a car, therefore noone ever gets hit by cars.


        1. Chad H.

          Re: You bought defective games on Steam ?

          Yet the list of purchased defective games still has no entries AC, so I'd say his lOgic is sound when you read the whole post, not take careful chunck to make a Staw man.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You bought defective games on Steam ?

        Yes, I can list them. But how, exactly, is that relevant to this story ? Or to the fact they do not work properly ? If I tell you will you fix them for me ?

        1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

          Re: Yes, I can list them.

          Oh, it's totally off-topic of course, I'm not denying that at all. But mentioning Steam doesn't seem so on-topic to me either. Not that I'm complaining.

          If I ask, it is because I am genuinely interested. My Steam library includes over 50 titles, and I've never had any serious issue with any of them at all.

          So I am looking forward to your list of defective games, to see if I somehow avoided the bad apples.

  20. Simon Round

    It Strikes me...

    ... that they want to reduce the use of borrowed or second hand games and at the same time reduce piracy.

    Simple solution is not to ban or otherwise engineer out second hand or borrowed games but to reduce the cost of buying the game brand new.

    In the good old days (I'm talking about the 80's and ealry 90's) games cost around £10-£15. Everybody could afford to buy the game new. Ok I know piracy still happened but not on the scale it does not.

    Alright modern production costs for developing games is vastly more than the old days but not everybody can afford between £30-£50 for a game. Thats why some people borrow games or wait for them to be available second hand. And many more pirate games.

    Time for the industry to grow a set of balls and try selling games at half the price. They may be surprised at the outcome. Personally I feel that their revenue would increase as those who borrow or buy second hand would start buying new, less piracy would occur due to games being more affordable.

    Piracy will never be stamped out as there are always those out there who want something for nothing.

    Personally the cost of games put me off investing in a modern console. I'll stick with my Retro computers for retro gaming, my PS2 for other gaming and my PC for the latest stuff when I can afford it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It Strikes me...

      In the late 80s/early 90s the cost of pre-PC/PC games rose "due to piracy" - because they were distributed on 3.5" floppies. Uhuh.

      Then came the CD drive. Very rapidly became ubiquitous in machines. CD writers cost thousands of quid and were stand-alone units. Casual piracy didn't happen.

      Did the price of games fall? Did they bollox.

      Then they went up again "due to piracy" because people had CD writers. Uhuh.

      Rinse/repeat from tape to DVD, same old crap coming from publishers.

      It's all a load of bollox. Piracy can't be eradicated and was never the problem anyway. Now the "bogeyman" is legitimate customers selling second-hand games.

      Give me a fucking break. Nobody believes this horseshit anymore guys. You just want to keep selling the same product to the same customer every time it format-shifts or equipment dies.

      Long-term you are going to have to make the product cheap enough or ubiquitous enough so that the average punter won't consider piracy. If you can't make it cheap then you damn well better not tie it to a device.

      Tying the game to a single device while NOT reducing the price is unlikely to achieve anything other than a large increase in the number of people saying "fuck you" to the publishers.

      Will be amusing to watch.

  21. FunkyEric


    It is a small anomaly that some software is sold as "owned" and some as "licenced". You don't see companies going down to CeX to trade-in their old copies of SAP, MSOffice, WindowsXP etc so why should Joe Public be able to resell his old copy of a game he's finished / doesn't like 'cos it's crap / hasn't played for 2 years then? However as long as computer games have existed we have had that right and we are generally more than a little aggrieved that they are proposing to take it away from us. Downsides of this proposal are that once a game is out of production you won't be able to get it anymore, and I'm sure that there will be unscrupulous persons who will find ways to side-step these measures as they have done with all previous attempts to prevent people from copying software. Pirates won't buy more software, they'll either find ways round the protection or just go and play something else.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      Re: Hmmmmmm

      because my win7 disk will be used for years, as will an office disk. unlike a game that might have a 7 hour SP campaign. 7 hours for £50 isnt that great when im paying for the console, premises, leccy and seating etc.

  22. wowfood

    I'm on their side *ducks*

    Well, I'm sort of on the side of the publishers here. I don't buy pre-owned games, just because theyr'e a freakin' rip off. I buy a game new for £50, I complete it in a week, I then sel it on for £20, only to see it back on sale for £48, even though its missing the £10 worth of DLC.

    But because people are idiots they'll still buy the pre-owned version. Its partly the developers fault, they're releasing re-hashed shit which you complete in a day and then trade in. It isn't such a big thing with DVDs, or books, when was the last tiem you traded in a DVD, or a book. In my case never, a dvd has replay value as does a book (bad wording I know) games... well modern games anyway, do not. And considering a lot are play oonce and cost 3* the price of a dvd well...

    That's why I'm behind the idea of cutting out second hand, it does damage the industry. BUT if I don't see a price drop as a result of this, and a gradual price drop of new games then screw them. I would buy all my PS3 games through their online shop if only the prices werent jacked up so high. (about £10 more than in stores, and the price doesn't drop for ages)

    If they're cutting out the pre-owned pie, then they damn well better pass some of the savings to us, they won't but I wish they would. If they don't then Nintendo, the only compnay not reported to be implementing DRM will just steal more of a market share.

    If they lower the price because there's no pre-owned market, meaning sony / microsoft and the publishers get more sales overall, then that'll knock Ninty out of the water because they'll be undercutting them with the same games.

    1. schubb
      Thumb Down

      Re: I'm on their side *ducks*

      You cannot be serious?! You actually hold out hope that the price will drop?? Damn that led to a good laugh followed by a "wait, that was serious?"

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third (KKWWMT)

        Re: Re: I'm on their side *ducks*

        You actually hold out hope that the price will drop??

        Definitely this. Anyone who thinks this will lead to a price drop is very, very naive indeed. If anything, this will encourage prices upwards AND keep them higher for longer. I mean, why would they want to drop prices when there is no other way of getting the product? Take away the second hand market, you take away the directly competing products with the lower prices, you take away any incentive the publisher has to bring their prices down.

        In the long run, this will benefit no-one, not even the publishers, see my previous point about getting in to a gaming series on the cheap and paying full price for later episodes.

        1. LinkOfHyrule
          Paris Hilton

          Re: I'm on their side *ducks*

          "That's why I'm behind the idea of cutting out second hand, it does damage the industry."

          Damage the industry? If anything it's a good thing for it. Less well off gamers have the ability to buy games they couldn't otherwise afford and will likely get hooked on whatever dreary brown FPS is flavour of the month and will probably spurt out on the full price for the sequel at launch. Without the second-hand market, they'd be pirating that game wholesale - wanna bet which of those two options really dose damage the industry?

          Second hand house sale damage the building industry dude! It's true, Paris told me so!

          1. Charles 9

            Re: I'm on their side *ducks*

            Better be careful. The construction industry may take that to heart and start insisting on more construction projects where they're not needed. After all, how else do you keep builders working if they're not...well, building.

            But back to the argument at hand. I realize that the problem is not as black-and-white as the two sides have us believe. The thing about physical products is that they're normally hard to replicate (but not impossible--the knock-off industry proves that), so if you buy one of a physical object you're not likely to use it as a template to replicate a dozen more and sell each one off. So essentially each individual instance of an item is unique. You can keep it, trade it, or destroy it, but it's still just ONE. You're not like the manufacturer who can make more of them.

            With virtual goods like games and e-books, that barrier is gone just like that. Computers are pure whizzes at duplicating bits, and since bits are the only thing computers can understand, that makes it difficult to really attach uniqueness to anything. Unlike in the physical world, replication of virtual goods is TOO easy.

            The publishers DO have a point in that they want to be the ones to control the "manufacture" of their goods. They're just taking very stupid, heavy-handed approaches to it. And since they feel they're at cliff's-edge, they feel they're under existential threat; and you can't compromise under duress. So no one's happy.

            What the industry probably needs is an alternate approach to the problem. If trying to enforce copyright in a virtual world (where copies are too easy to replicate, merge, and make impossible to track) is unreasonable, then perhaps someone should propose an alternate system that still allows for the basic economic model (makers get proper compensation for their efforts, customers are not unduly burdened) to still work.

        2. Charles 9

          Re: I'm on their side *ducks*

          Isn't there ALWAYS an incentive: that of drawing more buyers? Unless they believe themselves to be like Apple, whose products might as well be made of gold and will draw fervent buyers to swarm like zombies to get your new game on the first day, regardless if it's the same drivel repeated for the umpteenth time ("We must have it. Here's our life savings...").

    2. Citizen Kaned

      Re: I'm on their side *ducks*

      where do you see your 2nd hand games? i see loads for £10-15.

      of course they will not reduce the price. all they will see is a big decline in SP games unless they offer good value for money like fallout games or games you play a lot like Fifa

      who will pay £50 for a game that lasts 7 hours and then you are stuck with it.

      i also get annoyed at PSN pricing. its always RRP and more expensive than shops where i resell my disk or trade it in.

      the EU need to stop this. they poke their noses into enough things, what about consumer rights?!?

  23. schubb

    Missing the mark

    I think the simple point he misses is that a console is an appliance. I do not truly install software to it. I run a program from a disk on it. This is a far different thing, than say Windows or Photoshop, and it should be treated differently as such.

    Though this is no different than watching a movie in a player of some sort, this will only serve to have the MPAA and RIAA jump in to "protect the artists" even more fervently.

  24. MikeyD85

    Look at Steam

    This is a prime example of how to do this and get it right. You can't trade your old Steam games, but does anyone cry out about it? Nope. Why? Because it's cheap. I'll be they're rubbing their hands with glee at the moment with the number of people outraged by this news and considering moving to PC for gaming.

  25. jason 7

    Expect foot in mouth, cringing U-Turn apology in three...two... know the score.

  26. DJO Silver badge

    Games are different

    "It's weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn't work like that in any other software industries,"

    Well when I've worked out how to use (for example) MS Office I don't put it back in the box and never use it again, it is a program in continuous (if occasional) use. A game however once played and mastered will generally get deleted.

    I don't think it takes much brains to see they have different patterns of use so different marketing models are valid.

    If they really want to kill the second hand market, all they need to do is drop the new price to a level that makes piracy and reselling not worth the bother.

  27. Chad H.

    Its time to ban Second Hand Housing

    Forget this nickel-and-dime nonsense. its time to go after the big ticket items: Second Hand houses and second hand cars. Imagine the effect on unemployment if all houses had to be purchased new!

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The % game

    Most of my friends will consider the value of a game the % of the value they can reimburse it for later.

    let's say If they know they can get £15 for a game, they don't mind paying £40 for it, roughly 2.5x the price.

    Now, if they know they can only get £0 for it, 2.5x £0 is .... £0

    Their perceived value of the game, and maximum price they'd be willing to pay for the game becomes £0

    and that means they'll just start pirating stuff instead.

    Well done industry, in your blind ideals you're just going to convert legitimate customers into pirates.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: The % game

      Strange logic, perhaps they should look at the £25 instead.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He won't get my cash

    ... the games I've bought lately have all been from the Humble Indie Bundle, where I paid the average Linux rate. Interestingly, the last figures I read stated that the average Linux customer paid 15, the average Microsoft user paid 7 and the average apple user was in between those figures. Whether that was £ or $, I can't remember.

    But I haven't bought a "big ticket" game for ... I can't remember how long, now.

    As far as I recall, you can pass on your steam titles to someone else, but that was some years ago. Since ditching Windows for Linux I haven't really bothered with Steam. I just keep a Windows machine for Lineage 2, and even that is now not supported by NCSoft.

    The games on HIB have actually held my interest more than many of the mainstream titles for some time now; I've played Darwinia a few times over.

    IMHO, these big house are only alienating me more and more. They can keep their titles, I'm happy enough without them. There are plenty of good alternatives out there. I'm currently playing Minecraft, and I'm enjoying it very much indeed and getting considerable value for money.

    Sorry but all this, being unable to play when the live systems crash, having to be on line, having your account terminated and Microsoft won't say why (Watchdog had to intervene in that one and when they made the national news, MS backed down) and the restriction on second hand games ... sorry but all they're doing is turning me to the indie competition more and more.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He won't get my cash

      Yes, I'm aware that even though i'm running my own Minecraft server, I still have to be connected to authenticate to Mojang's server, and that does annoy me, but so far they haven't let me down, and I know there are ways around it, out there, if it all goes pete tong. I've paid my money. (and it wasn't a fortune, either) With the massive amount of mods and bundles (I'm currently enjoying the Tekkit flavour) I'll be happy for a long time to come.

      All the big bully boys get from me is the middle finger.

    2. P. Lee
      Thumb Up

      Re: He won't get my cash

      +1 for L2, though the glory days of Teon are far behind us!

      I keep a Windows host for steam usage. I've bought loads of stuff I've never played - get it in the sales for a "rainy day" at £2.50.

      The Valve games are worth the windows host, though I could run those on OSX. CoD was great upto Modern Warfare. $25 for the lot if I remember. However, BlOps was boring... never again. Bethesda is PNG due to price gouging.

      The indie market is definitely the place for innovation. Frozen Synapse, World of Goo, Limbo all have great gameplay and because they focused on gameplay rather than scenery, they do well.

      The problem isn't piracy or the 2nd hand market, the problem is producing games which are re-skinned versions of previous games. Higher-res textures does not a new game make. Portal 2 looks pretty much like Portal 1, but it added new mechanics (to a game based on mechanics) and more fun with a sideline of humour and acting. So it works and wasn't grossly overpriced. Tweaking what an RPG does in an FPS doesn't make it a new game. Relying on the community to make multiplayer fun is not value that the publisher is adding, though running the servers may be. If the SP version of a game is rubbish, but the MP is great, sell it cheap and price up the online subscriptions, then people won't feel ripped off.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    typical money grabbing

    sure the games industry is expensive to run

    Then again, the industry as a whole makes more than the movie industry.

    But which is best........there's only one way to find out


  31. Eddie Edwards

    Presumably you're an idiot

    "Presumably, he'd also like second-hand books and DVDs banned too. Maybe even clothing, while he's at it."

    Clearly, from what he's said, he doesn't give a shit about those other markets, since he doesn't develop in those markets. This is about what's good for Crytek, not what's good for Paramount or Gucci. But nice try on the whole "if someone thinks A they must necessarily think B and C too" strawman bullshit.

    1. DavCrav

      Re: Presumably you're an idiot

      Presumably you're an idiot. There are (generally) two reasons why people have opinions such as this:

      1) they think it's the right thing to do.

      2) they think it will help them.

      If 1), then he should also want to ban charity shops, as the OP points out. If 2), then this should be reported under the headline "Pope is Catholic: in other news, capitalist fucker wants to make even more money, and looks for excuse to not appear to look like a capitalist fucker".

      1. Charles 9

        Re: Presumably you're an idiot

        And this is why you'll never see cures come from private medical industry.

  32. John H Woods Silver badge

    The other reason ....

    ... we like the 2nd hand market and they don't is that , in that market, price reflects quality. They would like to continue to release all games at the same 50-60 price point even though some of them are vastly inferior to others.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one who can differentiate physical and virtual goods?!?!

    To be honest I think the current way that's gaining traction as the way forward for everyone - online passes.

    A new game includes the online pass by default, but there's nothing stopping the owner then selling on the physical disc (which these days carries the single player/offline content).

    If the 2nd-hand purchaser wants to play online then they CHOOSE to buy an online pass - with the money (minus costs) going to the developer. If they CHOOSE NOT TO play then they still have the SP/offline game on the disc to play (and sell on themselves).

    There seems to be a sense of entitlement amongst gamers that just because the PHYSICAL goods can be traded on then so can the VIRTUAL goods. Why?!?! In the oft-mentioned example of car sales then the physical good being traded on is the car, while the virtual good (which subsequent purchasers CHOOSE to buy or not) is the servicing, warranty etc etc.

    Of course if the next-gen consoles go DL only then all bets are off!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Am I the only one who can differentiate physical and virtual goods?!?!

      I don't think that anyone is arguing that online services should be free. They have an ongoing cost to supply.

      The main thrust of the discussion I think is about ownership of the originally purchased media and the ability to sell it on.

  34. NomNomNom

    oh wait I just realized this banning of second hand sales would mostly harm console gaming

    carry on then

  35. Anonymous Coward

    If 100000 people

    buy the game, then 100000 play online,then sell it and 100000 peeps buy it second hand, whats the fucking difference??

    Bring on the pirates.....

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: If 100000 people

      The original owners statistics will still be there and stored, I can see the point in online passes, but if I bought a S/H game requiring them, either supply it or sell it to me cheap.

      BTW Game SH prices are ridiculous.

      Anthing under £15 is OK, paid £2.50 for a PS game

  36. Not That Andrew

    I could have sworn it was piracy that was destroying gaming - and all the time it turned out to be second-hand games.

  37. jason 7

    The problem modern gaming has is simple....'s not piracy, it's not the second hand market. It's an ever dwindling level of originality.

    what percentage of releases each year are just version 3, 4 or 13 of a previous release? 80% or more?

    The gameplay for many games hasn't changed since the 8bit days 30+ years ago. All that's really changed is the polygon count, the colour depth and masses of pointless FMV. Oh and less and less quality playing time till it's finished. I couldn't imagine playing a game on my Spectrum that would only deliver about 12 hours of game time till it was complete. A £5 game would last you several weeks.

    The market will only tolerate paying £40-£50 a time for the same old thing so many times. Maybe we have reached that point?

  38. Stefan 2

    This again?

    There's a reason I didn't purchase Crysis 2; It wasn't very enjoyable.

    Same reason I didn't purchase Crysis 1, although I really have tried to get into it on at least 3 occasions.

    I buy good games. Games like Grimrock, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP.

    1.Make good games

    2.Market them well

    3.Engage with fans



  39. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    No kidding !

    "It's weird that 2nd-hand is still allowed because it doesn't work like that in any other software industries"

    Yeah, well you're in the entertainment industry, moron. People have been selling their discs and books since the first ones got off the printer. Why should you get special treatment ?

    Once again, someone is confusing the ability to impose restriction with the right to do so.

    Well that does it for me. I am never buying another Crytek title again. And, for your information Mr. Hojengaard, I don't play pirated games, I buy my games. I don't see how it matters if I buy them second-hand (not that I do, actually).

    So we're both going to be happy, Mr. Hojengaard. You're never going to see my money, second-hand or otherwise, and apparently you won't regret it.

    Neither will I.

  40. Mussie (Ed)
    Thumb Down

    Its Real Simple

    I have two 360's in my house

    My son has one

    I have one

    We share our games

    IF ITS GOOD ENOUGH we buy two copies so we can play online togeather Ie all of Halo series.

    If its crap like most software (50+ games and the only double copies are Halo) we only buy one

    Now mr F&^K T&^D game developer why should i have to pay twice to use your game on either of my consoles one at a time.

    What a bunch of F*&^ing wankers.

  41. M Gale

    second hand software not allowed in any other industry?

    I call shenanigans, to put it politely.

  42. imanidiot Silver badge

    The running cost argument is bollocks

    How is keeping servers running for second-hand games any different from keeping them running for original owners? Sure most "sellers" would not be playing the game much (or they wouldn't be selling it) but there's always going to be some who linger on. Thus meaning servers are needed anyway!

    And just about the entire problem here can be solved by going from the now ubiquitous publisher-run servers to the olden days of dedicated servers users can run themselves. Thus nothing would stop the developer from saying: okay guys, been enough, servers and support is going down next month.

    Instead of developing a shit game that can be played through in 5 hours and has no real replay value, develop a game that actually takes time to finish and can be played through loads of times without getting stale.

  43. Hoagiebot

    This could eventually kill retro-gaming

    Like many of you here probably have, I grew up with the Atari VCS and the original Nintendo Entertainment System. However, as fortunate as I was to be able to have those two game systems, I had many friends who had other systems, such as the Intellivision, the Turbo Grafix 16, the Atari Jaguar, the Sega Genesis, etc. I would go over to my friends' houses and play games with them on those other systems, and I find myself loving a particular game and wishing that I could have that other game system just so that I could play that game. However, at the time when those game systems were new they were also pricey, and after my parents had just bought me my NES how could I go to them and suddenly ask for a Sega Master System, an Atari 7800, and a Turbo Grafix 16 too? I couldn't-- we didn't have that kind of money and my having the gall to ask for something like that would have sent them through the roof!

    Luckily, thanks to the second-hand game market I can now try all of those games and systems that I never was able to own when I was younger. Even as late as the early 2000's my house was an XBox house, which meant that I never got to play any of the neat-looking games that were only available on the Nintendo GameCube or the Sony Playstation 2. As a result, when I saw a used Nintendo GameCube with a controller on sale for $15 on a dealer's table at a classic gaming convention some months ago I jumped at the chance to pick it up. I've been wanting to try both Starfox Adventures and Starfox Assault for about a decade at that point, and now I finally had the chance to do so and I wasn't killing my bank account in the process. If there was no second-hand gaming market, how could I ever do this?

    The sad fact is that if the game console creators and the game software developers find a way to block the sale of second-hand games, eventually the pastime of retro-gaming will cease to exist for future gaming consoles. Imagine if they had pulled this kind of crap with all of the classic Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Sony, etc. systems 15 to 30-years ago? Nobody would be able to pick them up and play them now! Entire generations of classic games, from the original Missile Command to the very first Super Mario Brothers would be lost and unplayable to new generations of gamers. That's what is going to happen if they implement anti-secondhand market measures now-- in 15 to 30 years time no one will be able to play the favorite games of today any longer because the second-hand market for them will cease to exist.

    I realize that today's game console makers and game development companies only care about what their bottom line is going to be during the next fiscal quarter, but I think that they will be hobbling interest in gaming in the long run if they kill the second-hand market. How will they get new generations of people hooked on gaming if they kill-off the cheap "gateway drug" that is second-hand games and second-hand systems? Someone playing a second-hand game or console may love playing it so much that they will eventually shell out for the current generation product. The game companies ought to think a little bit harder about that, as they may find that all of the cost cutting, price raising, anti second-hand market, and anti-piracy tactics in the world will be for naught if they erode their own customer base in the process.

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