Battlefield 3 producer says blocking used games can be beneficial - Report

DICE developer Patrick Bach tells CVG that blocking used games on next-gen consoles is both a win and a loss; says a lot of game companies lose out on secondhand sales.

Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach has told CVG that blocking used games on next-generation consoles can be "a win and a loss."

Bach says blocking used games from next-gen consoles may not be a bad thing.

The DICE developer weighed in on the rumours concerning Microsoft and Sony implementing anti-used-game measures in their respective future-generation consoles.

Bach said the measures would be a loss only if it meant consumers would find themselves with fewer games for the same amount of money.

"But in theory, you could see it the other way, because a lot of companies making games today are struggling based on secondhand sales," Bach said. "So on the positive side, you could see more games being created because of this, and also more new IPs, because there'd be a bigger market for games that don't have, for instance, multiplayer. There could be awesome single-player-only games, which you can't really do these days because people just pirate them, which is sad."

"From a gamer perspective, if you want to buy as many games as possible, then this could be a problem. But if you want more diverse games, then it's a more positive thing than negative. The only thing I know is that people are not doing it to be evil and stupid; it's about trying to create some benefits for consumers."

Despite news that next-generation consoles are not expected until at least next year, several developers have already expressed their opinions on the idea of blocking used games.

Crytek director of creative development Rasmus Hojengaard recently backtracked from a statement in which he had remarked that from a business perspective, next-gen consoles that would not allow consumers to play used games would be "absolutely awesome."

Other developers who have spoken out against used sales recently include ex-THQ executive Richard Browne, Elite creator David Braben, Volition design director Jameson Durall, and Silicon Knights founder Denis Dyack.

However, not all voices in the industry are against used games. Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch said in February that blocking used games is unfair, while Witcher developer CD Projekt Red managing director Adam Badowski took a populist stance with his statement on the issue.

Written By

Want the latest news about Battlefield 3?

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3

Follow

Discussion

182 comments
Philly04
Philly04

I buy 2nd hand games mostly because I don't see it fit for its first hand price.  And buying some 2nd hand titles which I enjoyed led me to buying the next installment first hand.  Retailers that I'm mutually friends with agree.

bossc351
bossc351

Well if I had say a 15 to 30 day "Shitastic game" money back guarantee on $50-60 games then I would buy new games. Until then.... yall can deal with it ya greedy sons of madoffs.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

If used games were blocked, they'd have to drop the price of new games. The current cost is too high to risk buying it; not liking it and being stuck with it. The end result would be even less new games being sold than there is today. It also prices-out the people who rely on selling and trading old games to get the money to buy new ones.

sykopat99
sykopat99

All the "horrors" of the used game sales are just BS from the publishers, we all know that.

 

I mostly buy second hand to get old games that are no longer available or nevere released in my country.

 

You know if you made quality games people would actually keep them?

Maybe that's why hardly any company releases demo's anymore, because then you would see that the game was crap before you spent you hard earned cash on it.

 

Instead trailers and "reviews" that hype up the game are released, all of which the publisher are in total control over.

Maize84
Maize84

If not for used games, I wouldn't have picked up battlefield 2.   Which in turn got me hooked on all the following games in the series.   The same can be said about playing the Tales rpg series, after it was suggested by a gamestop employee that I try this game called tales of symphonia.  Which again got me hooked on the series and made me by the following games as soon as they came out.   After they block used games, they'll have have agreements with stores that sell games that prices will be locked at $60(or the probably $70~80 next gen will be) and can't drop. 

AceMarine45
AceMarine45

I only buy and sell used crappy games. If they want to get rid the resell of games, then i better be able to return unwrapped games a couple of days after purchase. That way devs will be forced to make games worth the cost. If they dont, then people will beat their games in one afternoon and return it the same day. No more 5 hour Call Of Duty campaigns.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@lance_7

Just because you're a consumer doesn't mean you're an informed one man.  Many people out there who are avid gamers will think about this stuff before they buy because they know of the issue in the first place.  You can't say that mom and pop who know nothing about games and go get their kid a game and are then convinced into saving a few bucks by the store by buying used will know about these things.

 

While I don't think it's good for the industry it's still punishing the consumer and not the store.  The store will see sales lower indirectly as a result of blocking used games but only at the expense of the consumers in the first place.  This still doesn't change the fact that this is hurting the consumers primarily rather than the stores which seem to be the ones who are widely recognized as having created this issue to begin with.

 

Either way I think it would be much easier on US as the consumers if the stores were made to pay a smaller amount of what they pay when people buy games new.  Perhaps they could keep the lower amount used game fee for a few years before they get rid of it.  Like a game older than 3 to 5 years will not have to pay that lower used fee anymore.  Something like that.  I DON'T think that's unreasonable when the alternative everyone keeps talking about is complete uselessness of any and all used games in the first place.

Gooper_Blooper
Gooper_Blooper

Said it before but it bears repeating: There are now dozens of video game systems with thousands of games. If the industry ever gets to the point where everything is a sixty-dollar download-only game and disc-based games are rejected if used, I can draw upon the three decades (plus) of older games. I could be playing new games for the rest of my life and never buy anything more advanced than an X-Box 360.

 

If you treat your consumers like criminals, you will lose them. I have other options besides buying the latest system and games, but these companies don't have a choice. The consumer is their lifeblood. Cater to us, or die.

 

(also new comments system is stupid and unnecessary but not Armageddon)

Spacerac
Spacerac

"Benefits to the consumer" Bull. Unless he mispronounced "bottom line" as "consumers."

Wormkid_64
Wormkid_64

"The only thing I know is that people are not doing it to be evil and stupid; it's about trying to create some benefits for consumers."

 

No,they're doing it to make money. I'll give you this,Bach: You've been one of the most level headed guys in this argument. Most other devs come out here and try to stuff it down our throats that this is a great idea and we need to deal with it. But at least you looked at it from both sides. In the end however,it's unfair. It will only increase piracy from people who don't want to buy the game new.

 

My suggestion is that the devs or console makers work out a deal with secondhand places stating that new games can't be sold used for a couple of months after release,whether it's through a code or simply by not putting them on the shelf. That way,the devs make their millions off of the impatient(of which I am one when I know the game is great,i.e. Portal 2)but then those who can't afford to buy brand new games all the time or simply want to save some money can wait and pick it up at a lower price.Also,if a percentage of the used game revenue went to the developers of the games,like car manufacturers sometimes do,then they'd make money on the same copy.TWICE! They just have to convince GameStop not to be so stingy. They'll give you 10 bucks for a game then turn around and sell it for 30 or 40.There's plenty of room there for them to give some money to the devs.

superbuuman
superbuuman

Nice way to spin things, it only benefits the company, it doesn't benefit gamers...when you see blatant abuse by companies already, like cut out part of game or pay for characters & claim DLC, its all the company's greed to try to grab more $$$, this is just another ploy to grab more $$$.

Hammershock6
Hammershock6

People should have the freedom to sell what they own,  I don't care for thier policies of well your not buying the game your paying to use it, total BS.  To me its not about being able to afford new games since I buy new games only since I started PC gaming,  I feel Sickened at how the gaming industry as a whole just wants to f*ck its consumer base up the A.S.S. by trying to moralize taking our base freedoms away to own what we buy.

Spybreak
Spybreak

The car industry doesn't go all up in arms when people sell their cars to others. This is just BS and you know it. I'm usually buying new to support the developers but I also grab used games to save on my overall gaming budget. Too many good games for the dollars to go around.

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

The state of the Game market.  Single players games are very short.  Many game development houses are closed, closing, or people in them are being cut.  Many Indie developers are moving to IOS/ Android or PSN/Live platforms. Which are DD and unable to sell second hand.  

Now Used games are being sold at Target, Best Buy... Game RENTAL from Redbox, Game-fly, blockbuster, ... these are growing while publishers are making less profit except from Specific games. .... 

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

Okay, I am pretty sure this article had over 1,000 comments yesterday...

Flint247
Flint247

If used games are block in the future, I will not buy any systems that block them. :)

Ringx55
Ringx55

"Omg, there's this guy complaining about used game. Companies getting more and more greedy" Upvotes? thanks.

Stiler
Stiler

Skyrim, Bioshock, The Witcher series, all sold WELL for the markets and had 0 mutliplayer. You don't "NEED" mutliplayer to do well, you just need a DECENT single player, this means not a cheap call of duty rip off or tried same old same old crap.

Grovilis
Grovilis

"There could be awesome single-player-only games, which you can't really do these days because people just pirate them, which is sad." That is definitely sad indeed. If his theory did work (which I personally doubt) then I kind of wouldn't mind the new consoles blocking out used games. Multiplayer modes in singleplayer based games just seem like a cheap way of throwing in an online pass nowadays.

DeFiLeDTitan
DeFiLeDTitan

Used games is just another way that they can control the consumer. EA likes control, so of course they want it.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

oh what you need to purchase another yacht ? all this anti-used game stuff is pissing me off

rmat121
rmat121

these producers need to shut up before they end up messing up their companies... blocking used games means no collecting of games so no people can buy games after there done being produced and no playing at a friends house if ps4 or xbox720 blocks games they will feel the hurt when sales are abysmal... you guys are greedy idiots saying things like this makes gamers hate you and your games

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

Hey look! Another fine Wednesday evening, another developer crying about used games! Gamespot, you're becoming too predictable with these articles. People have a right to buy used games if they want to. If you don't like it, make a better product. Don't do something we've all seen before. Stop with massive budgets and start making games that are enjoyable, and don't fall into the catagory of "Big things go boom! My wee-wee go vroom! Grey in ALL the places! 6 hour story!" that big name publishers fall into.

hadlee73
hadlee73

The way I see it software devs and video game console companies have a choice. They can either allow used games, or they can put up with the inevitable spike in hacked and pirated versions of their games.

Flint247
Flint247

If they do block used games, then fine, I won't be buying any systems that blocks used games.

RapidFirE53211
RapidFirE53211

Mr. Bach why don't you wipe that smug ass look off your face and try to actually look at this from the customer's point of view?

Flint247
Flint247

The future does not look too good for games. :( If used movies and music is allowed, then what is wrong with video games?

Paintballa
Paintballa

That guy made BF3! I'm a follower of his beliefs. Someone who makes a great game like that just can't go wrong! hehe

xdude85
xdude85

Reading this and looking at that guy's smug look makes me more disgusted.

dallasanderson1
dallasanderson1

thats like saying that ford want a part of a car thats sold second hand its just greed, they can sugar coat it all they want, its greed.

flamesofexuro
flamesofexuro

he said "it's about trying to create some benefits for consumers" -_- yea right...its about companies not losing money when those of us who cant shell out 60 bucks decide to wait and buy it used cheaper also if u buy the game and it turns out to be a piece of crap u still ended up paying 60 bucks

CWSoccer07
CWSoccer07

@mike300zxt, Price drops in games do not take that long. Almost every game I've bought new, it's been on sale. Skyrim, 50% off. Developer and publisher still got their full profits (as that's the retail taking the cut). And I see games within 6 months of release dropping to $50 or $40 if it's really crappy. Regardless of whether you think the game is well-made. Anyone selling it used had zero do with creating your experience. Buying it new at discount price says, hey your game isn't worth $60, but it's at least worth $40. And here's the thing, if you bought it used at $35, what did you prove? Haha developer, I screwed you. Is that your mentality. My point, if you plan to buy it used, buy it new. At least your showing the person that made it, it's worth my time, here's $40, make a better one in the future. As for there's no proof the used game sales is affecting the overall industry, are you reading these articles? For the past 2 years publishers, developers, console makers have been talking about used games. It's not an imaginary issue. The fact of it all, publishers and analysts cannot accurately predict the sale of games, because used game sales are so high. If you'd like to see 1 million copies, but you sell 700 million and 300 million of them are sold back to Gamestop then resold to other people, that's 300 million units you lost from your market analyst. All of that is to say this is what publishers and developers are dealing with.

CWSoccer07
CWSoccer07

@mike300zxt, Used games have been around 25 years, but how long has used games sales been as high as new game sales. But not until the mid 2000's did EB Games and Gamestop start to drastically cut into the profits of new game sales. Industries are slow moving beasts, it takes years of analyzing for shifts to take place. It's been about 10 years since used game markets have started to increase in momentum, and these article and statements from developers and publishers and console makers is the industry kicking back. For this industry to be healthy, more sales need to occur on new games (whether new at $60 or new at $30). How do they reduce turnover of games? Let me guess...make them better? With what money. Go and ask Gamestop for a loan? Not saying all developers are out of money, but the money you have results in the games you get.

redness19
redness19

The fact that neither Sony or MS have squashed this rumour leads to believe it's seriously being considered. Thing is, they'll either both block used sales or they both won't. No company wants to be the one to block used games if the other isn't. I think the whole blocking uses games thing is a done deal. Mainly because if they both do it, without fear if reprisal. Folks will still buy the next Gen consoles eventually. Bad day for the consumer. These Devs can spin it any number of ways but we always lose mo matter what the bs line.

lance_7
lance_7

@kohle36 I get you, but that is only part of a bigger picture. People seem to be upset that this guy is okay with something that is out of his control, which is for console makers to not allow used games on their console. I think people are kind of missing the point. This isn't a publisher/ consumer issue. People talking about not buying from this company based on comments from a guy okay with console makers doing something that will benefit his company seem off base to me. The consoles are the ones that are out to make their share of the profit off the sale of games. It helps publishers and developers but it is the console makers that are making this decision so that they can recoup their investment in the consoles. If we buy used games they don't get their share and get a return on their investment, which is what they are trying to do. Them reaping an adequate return is what will influence future investments in that area.

WafflePrime
WafflePrime

well thats two, already. At this rate the next-gen of consoles is gonna suck

Scorpion2929
Scorpion2929

Yea for you. Not so much for the consumer...

R2BDSi
R2BDSi

Developers aren't going to do it, cause we don't want it, we run there buissness. There going to have to deal with it, and like it. Make better games, and mabey it would sell. Can't afford the development cost to bad! It's called life!

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@CWSoccer07, I'm sure most of us prefer to support the game companies where possible. However, used games have been around for 25 years, it's not suddenly a problem. Most games I buy used, I would have never bought new anyways. Used games have a very legitamit place in the market. If game companies want to reduce the turnover of their games, there are many ways to do this without blaming and penalizing your customers. You talk about prices dropping, but the fact is that many new game prices stay too high for way too long, especially for the digital download versions. The fact is, the industry has provided no proof that used sales even hurt game devs, and the industry as a whole is bigger than ever. Doesn't sound like an industry that is hurting to me ;)

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@Darkreaper_1, great comments. I too have yet to see a SINGLE study or ANY evidence that shows that used games hurt the gaming industry in ANY way. The industry is bigger than ever, which makes their arguments seem like nothing by corporate greed. Lots of complaining, and trying to make us think we're the bad guys for buying used games, when in reality, they're just pissed because they didn't think of it first.

CWSoccer07
CWSoccer07

The devs are saying, buy the game new and will give you better ones in the future. Buy used, and you have no one to blame but yourself if in the future you continue to get crappier and crappier games.

CWSoccer07
CWSoccer07

Reading all these comments over the last few weeks on all these "used game" topics, I'm sad thinking I'm gamer and I'm considered part of this poorly-informed and low class group of people. I can't believe people continue to complain about this. On one hand they complain they want better games, better graphics, more gameplay hours, blah, blah, blah. On the other hand, they don't to pay $60 for a game because they believe the game is crap (which is completely objective, as I could find a game great whereas someone else could find it total crap). But that doesn't mean, I'm saying you go buy every game that's $60, I'm saying, if you want to play a game or think it's worth buying, then do not buy the game used. Wait like old days for the new game price to drop. It will eventually fall into a price range that would be more acceptable to your budget, and that dev will get some profits. And don't miss this point, because it's the most important of them all. Those profits would be in turn, used to create a new game, addressing the issues you had with past games (more gameplay, less bugs, better graphics/story, etc). The whole point is that if you buy a game, you should buy it new. If you don't think it's worth $60, wait for it to drop into the price range you want to spend for it. Otherwise, when you buy used, that money goes nowhere but Gamestop/Amazon/etc's pocket. And they don't build games.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

Blocking used games will achieve nothing positive for customers. Providing better value/replay would though. Why don't you guys try that instead? Otherwise, what do you expect people to do with an expensive product that's played through in one day? Instead of trying to sell us the same game for another $60 year after year, maybe you could release major DLC packs/campaigns, or core engine or content updates that refresh the whole game. Keep building on the story, and give us reasons to go back and replay enhanced missions with new weapons, vehicles or twists. There are so many ways for game devs to make money without penalizing their customers.

Dazanos
Dazanos

I agree with everything except this: "The only thing I know is that people are not doing it to be evil and stupid; it's about trying to create some benefits for consumers." No matter how hard you try to come up with positive reasons as to why companies want to block used games, we all know the reason is so rich companies can get richer.

lance_7
lance_7

 @Wormkid_64 I'm sure Sony and Microsoft appreciate your concern for piracy of their consoles, but they will worry about that when the time comes.

 

Trying to work out agreements with every company that decides to sell used games just isn't practical.  What's to stop them from just not being honest about what they sell?

 

Get rid of used games BUT lower the prices to $40-50 new.  Consumers get new games cheaper and the people who provide the product get their cut of the profits.

AceMarine45
AceMarine45

 @Spybreak

 I agree with you. If the game is good then people will buy it new. If the game is shit then consumers have every right to pay a little less. If they take away used games they better make sure they introduce a return policy as well.

lance_7
lance_7

 @Spybreak Yes, because we all know that everyone trades in their new car 2 weeks after they commit to a car note and flood the market with used editions of new cars...  Not even remotely the same.

lance_7
lance_7

 @Flint247 New consoles release at a loss anyway so if your sole focus is being able to keep them from recouping their investment by purchasing used games then you are just costing them money anyway.