Blocking used games unfair - Saber Interactive CEO

Inversion's Matthew Karch says players should be allowed to sell games they don't want, suggests digital distribution of single-player and multiplayer components for $15 each.

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Earlier this week, a Volition developer said a console that blocked used games would be "fantastic." Now, the top man at Inversion developer Saber Interactive is saying quite the opposite.

Saber's CEO thinks games could, and should, cost less.

In an interview with CVG, company CEO Matthew Karch said though he understands why a move to block used games would be appealing for some, he thinks gamers should not be prevented from playing, selling, and buying secondhand titles.

"As long as games are distributed on physical medium as physical goods, players should have the right to buy and sell them," he said.

Karch said the $60 price tag of most boxed games today is "a lot to pay" and noted that in the event the player does not enjoy a game, it is "just not fair" for gamers to have to hold on to the title.

"If people buy Inversion and it's not for them, then why should they be forced to turn it into a drink coaster?" he said.

Karch said he believes the $60 game can become $30, if digital distribution is used. He cited his belief that simply getting a game to retail incurs $30 in "waste." Instead, Karch suggests that a game's experience be broken in two components: multiplayer and single-player and distributed digitally for $15 each or bundled together for $30.

The rise in discussion concerning the used game business was sparked by a recent rumor that suggested Microsoft's next-generation console would block users from playing secondhand titles. Microsoft said it does not comment on rumor or speculation.

Discussion

261 comments
hwrdstrnsbals
hwrdstrnsbals

i've been saying this for years.  why would I want to pay for development for single player in a game I only play online?  take a game like Battlefield 3, now add up all the time people spend playing campaign compared to all the hours logged playing multi-player.  yet, 75% of this game's development monies went into the single player campaign.  does that even make sense.  i'm tired of paying for lame-ass campaigns in shooters when all i want is multi-player

MihaiHornet
MihaiHornet

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

foxfacer2d2
foxfacer2d2

If only used games can benefit the developer of the game, that would be a acceptable. Instead publishers should get their own retail store accepting used games with the same brand as the publisher

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@dutchgamer83, I hear you on how crappy digital download prices currently are. There are deals to be found, but at times, you can find better deals in retail stores for a physical disk. What we need is more competition. I.e. we should be able to digital download xbox titles from xbl, Origin, Steam, or any other independant online retailer. If we had the ability to download xbox games from 10 or 20 different online retailers, then prices would surely become more reasonable.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

@McGregor: Don't get me wrong, i don't support resale codes/key either. Atleast not how they are implimented today. After market DLC is one thing, but holding back content that is already there (like online multiplayer or levels) is just wrong.

drknessfeeds
drknessfeeds

if a used games only save me 5 to 10 bucks, i buy it new, if it saves me 15 or more, mainly on an older game...well of course im going to get it. especially if it a gamble or something I previousy purchased new not long ago.

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

@mcgregor and thats why all this is happening to the game industry, and the inevitable action against the used games like xbox possibly making it not work. so congrats on saving ur 5 bucks

McGregor
McGregor

@beeftaco3232 I have plenty of money to buy new, but I choose to buy used because why waste my money? $5 may not seem like a lot, but do it 11 times and you get a free game.

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

@mcgregor thats what im saying is stupid. 5 bucks saves isnt that much, thats why it amazes me that ppl even buy used.

Jasper_73
Jasper_73

as it is games are way too expensive. its very rare that i will buy games new. being on a low income i have to pretty much live off of the second hand market. if they sold their products at a fair and reasonable price i would be glad to buy new, but i cannot afford to lose £50 on a sub par, buggy game which to be honest is the case with the vast majority of releases.

McGregor
McGregor

@beeftaco3232 Haha. Very funny post. The best part is that you think rich people throw their money away. When you get your first job you may learn how to save money (by buying used games), then again, maybe your parents will always pay your way...

McGregor
McGregor

@Gravity_Slave Good analogy using the DMV. That is exactly how I would look at it. Although, it does imply that microsoft should get something extra out of it, which I wouldn't support. It may be better to say it's like buying a car, and once the dealership (or manufacturer) get their cut after a legitimate sale, what happens after doesn't involve them any longer. I have commented on similar threads before, and before my stance was that the developer should create a "resell key", but I am now backing off that stance, the reason for this is because of another post I read. Essentially the developer has made their money off the copy sold in the store, if it's resold, they don't lose money by adding extra support (online, tech, etc...) because they are not supporting an additional person, they just made a change to the contact/connection info of where that initial support goes. I believe that if the developers and Microsoft want to eliminate my ability to play used games, then the game manufacturers and the retailers need to re-establish the ability to return games within a certain time frame, even demo's don't define a game's quality, since most are not the final build. This should do two things; guarantee I can recover my cost if the game sucks; and force the developer to create a quality experience that keeps me coming back.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

My question is: Do game publishers/developers get a cut of the resale? Either way, once their game is sold legitimately...their end of the bargin is done. What ever happens (like a resale at a game store) is up to the consumer and no longer the publishers business. If you think about it, its not too different than the DMV (for you children here that dont drive, its dept of motor vehicals). The DMV charges the new owner for a new registration even though its a used car.

LazyGamerX
LazyGamerX

I have no doubt that this'll last for very long, once the average joe gets the console and finds out they cant play that used game they bought, the sh*t will hit the fan and the profits with plummet fast.

ryukoken6791
ryukoken6791

First off... If ANY console did that I do believe alot of stores would sue that company for unfair market practices... That would be like saying you can not longer gas up a used car... That be like ever tv station never playing a repeat show or commercial ever again... You cant block a used game... it would be the death of console gaming... But the flip side is... this digital crap... These big companies need to realize alot of gamers dont have access to high speed net yet, and the only way they get to play their favorite games, (or any at all for that matter) is to buy a pyshical copy of the game... perhaps if more companies started making games that were worth the money instead of the crap that can be beat in under a day of playing... then people wouldnt be returning or selling off that new game so quick. So before these companies get mad at us... for selling what WE bought and either beat or dont like, maybe they should blame themselves for making a crappy ass game!

servb0ts
servb0ts

I'm not supporting no system, that supports this. This isn't what gaming is about.

nima_metal90
nima_metal90

@beeftaco3232 If you hold your tongue, people won't say you are DUMMY!

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Suikogaiden, I don't think it ever was or would be illegal for them to try, and for the love of god why do people always want to sue someone as the "first" solution. The answer is so simple - just DON'T buy it... If gamers complained on forums less and waved their wallets around more, half the crap you hate today wouldn't even exist. If MS tried to create a console that blocked used games, and they didn't sell a single one, what do you think would happen?! See what happened to THQ with the uDraw? No lawsuit required, nothing... One bad decision that the market rejects and an entire company is on the brink of collapse. But gamers will complain and post on forums, make promises of boycotting certain publishers, and then pre-order whatever the next big thing happens to be on the list.

duron2
duron2

This shows how much profit the companies truly make.

Atheosis
Atheosis

Good to see that some people in the game industry get it.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

What are these @sswipe publishers going to do if I buy a NEW game and the say give it to my brother. My brother is disabled and I have given him a lot of my old games. He really appreciates it. Good way to punish the needy you greedy B@stards.

GnomeGrown
GnomeGrown

@tizmod Haha! I love your comment. He's obviously a snot-nosed little punk who has no clue how the real world works. He'll get a rude awakening soon enough no doubt.

Gooper_Blooper
Gooper_Blooper

I buy most of my games used. Any company that tries to sell me a system without the ability to get used games is shooting itself in the foot.

tizmond
tizmond

From beeftaco3232's profile: "beeftaco3232 apparently owns no games…tragic." Made me laugh, after reading his nonsense comments. I'm sure if he had as much money as he's making out, he'd be banging prostitutes and drinking champagne all day, rather than spouting crap on a games forum.

armandoisgreat
armandoisgreat

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clqtte
clqtte

"If people buy Inversion and it's not for them, then why should they be forced to turn it into a drink coaster?" he said.You guy hear that.

Henninger
Henninger

Thats actually not a bad idea. But im old school & dont like the digital only thing. I want a hard copy. But this would b a good idea.

bluedarrk
bluedarrk

@beeftaco3232 don't you have some landscaping to do?

ProMethUse
ProMethUse

once you buy any kind of physical goods (ex. videogames), its "yours"... so you can pretty much sell it (or use it as a drink coaster) :D...

plus, you'd be helping out people who can't normally buy games the moment they're released; that's always a good feeling.

on the other hand... can't developers realize that buying/playing used games means that their games are "still" worth playing? they should appreciate the support even if they won't profit from it, which is of course (correct me if i'm wrong) the reason they're pushing on blocking used games.

ProMethUse
ProMethUse

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ProMethUse
ProMethUse

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@beeftaco3232. You aren't richer than me in your wildest imagination little boy. My house, car and everything else I own is fully paid for. You live in your parents house and everything you get they pay for and own. Case closed.

FreakyKid3
FreakyKid3

See, this guy is someone that I would actually want to buy games from!

RavenXavier
RavenXavier

I will ALWAYS take a physical disk version of a game over a digital version if I can.

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

@neilcardiff i dont need education, im rich, i can get anything i want. when i said my reuqirements for my friendslist is to buy 1 new game a week, thats for them. i buy atleast 3-5 new games. im richer than you will ever be with your mcdonalds job, sorry ur life sucks

NeilCardiff
NeilCardiff

@beeftaco3232 Your whole argument earlier is that poor people can't get good enough jobs to pay for new games but you are obviously illiterate, ignorant, aggressive and undoubtedly incapable of impressing even a McDonalds 'manager' enough to be promoted to head deep fat scrubber. I can only assume that your parents have given up trying to educate you and now just buy you endless video games as a way of averting the inevitable temper tantrums.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

@beeftaco3232 and i thought only hermits could be as snobbish as you ? http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQZoibwUCeEUSBWBUiaIur3A3iPjMv6tt6RzUKwoaTMnKuoHlZXpO71tH8AdA and before i get hate its a joke i game on pc

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

@beeftaco3232 wow you have to post the same thing 3 times as a cry for attention ? i really hope that you lose your privileges to speak/make decisions in life

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

beeftaco3232
beeftaco3232

its so fair. i hate ppl who think its worth it to buy used games 5 bucks cheaper. if you cant afford an extra 5 bucks, why do you have a console u cheap loser. any1 who isnt rich should not be allowed to own a ps3 or xbox. on my friends list, i delete ppl if they dont buy 1 new game a week atleast. or if i ever see them play a game more than 1 year old, i delete them, im not gonna play with poor people. all you poor people buying used games should be ashamed of yourselves. get a better job u poors! and btw i am not trolling as alot of u may think, im sure it sounds harsh to you you because your probably the ppl who buys games that came out 3 years ago. im sorry to tell you this, but theres alot of ppl out there who arent poor and can afford a new game a week, my friends list is actually full right now, all though there is about 3 ppl who are on the chopping block because i just saw them playing black ops which is more than a year old, so 3 spots may become available shortly. so if your on psn and want a tryout to be on my list, send me a message

bballabarry
bballabarry

here's an idea. Instead of changing the way we buy and sell games, I know it sounds crazy but I'm just thinking out side the box here, how about we keep it the way it is? mind blowing, I know.

Nightrain50
Nightrain50

i hate multiplayer anyway so $15 new games sounds nice, probably a pipe dream though

Vodoo
Vodoo

Games should have different price points imo. New games should range in price from $30 (B-bargain), $40 (A-rated), $50 (AA-rated), $60 (AAA-rated). Games would be rated on technical merit and overall cohesiveness. Companies would make more money if games were cheaper also, they'd sell more. People would be more willing to spend $40 on a game than $60, especially if the game is unproven.

Starabyss0
Starabyss0

@beeftaco3232 Something tells me you know nothing about games like the classics that people still own or buy cuz thats when games where at there best. i'm also sure you don't spend a cent on any of your games and you cry to your mommy for the money so you can play with your so called sophisticated friends list but i dunno why cuz its probably empty.

raydawg2000
raydawg2000

if gamestop was gonna pay someone off to say this they could of at least got a bought a bigger voice

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

This is the reason everyone wants to go digital with the distribution... then you never own it and can never resell anything. I don't agree with it but whatever.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

Got to admit as much as devs have a right to their money this guy does have a point, especially given the number of mediocre games out there.

Raxyman
Raxyman

I though this way before that guy saying it. Nevertheless, kudos to him for staying out of the "greed" circle.

CardiacKid07
CardiacKid07

I like the way this guy thinks. Although i would prefer having a hard copy of my game, at $30 i can't complain. The thing i really hate about this "blocking used games thing" is that me and my girlfriends and friends buy certain single player games and then we pass them around to each other because it doesn't make sense to have to buy it multiple times just for us to play it.