It seems that I just can't seem to ignore these debates when they ariise. It's funny that David Jaffee complained about the used games industry way back when the first God of War came out, and now we have another God of War producer Ru Weerasuriya complaining about the used market.
"I think the problem is right now there are retail outlets that are really taking everybody for a ride,"
It is true that GameStop buys low and sells high, but that's just good common business sense. GameStop must maintain profitability in the used market, because they make very little from new game sales. This is a point that I think a lot of people are forgetting. They help launch games by selling pre-orders via promotions. They also help sell DLC for people who buy used games. As for being "taken for a ride", consumers don't seem to be bothered by it, because they're paying for a convenience. Rather than go through the hassles of auctioning games off eBay, they'd rather dump their games off at GameStop so they can walk away with a new one that very day. It's not being taken for a ride when you knowlingly partake in a used game transaction. You accept that there are other better places to sell your games, but you choose not to.
"You can't make a living at the expense of everybody else. Unfortunately, they're not just making a living at the expense of developers but also the consumers because the consumers will see less and less games come out if developers can't get revenue to make more new titles and keep going as a business,"
GameStop isn't making a living off the expense of anyone but the ones who no longer want the games they just bought. This isn't like stealing someone's intellectual property and selling it as their own. This is a recycling service, selling games people no longer want to other people who want them for less, the same as any other used marketplace. I don't know about you, but I don't want to see games become the only form of entertainment that is good for one purchase and one purchase only.
"I think this is something we need to curb on the retail side. We're putting the consumers in an awkward spot and we shouldn't have to."
Funny. You know what put consumers in a REALLY awkward spot?
This guy. He tried to do what you said needed to be done, curb it at retail, and boy oh boy, did that not go well. See, the same number of people blaming the retailers can also be the same number of people blaming the developers and publishers. Overpriced DLC, locked out content, microtransactions, online and season passes, etc. Recyling the same game and still seling it for the same price. There's a reason why people don't like to pay the full 60 dollars, so they have no qualms with buying used.
"I don't think we should stop used games, but we should do something about getting part of the revenue back from GameStop and places like that."
Why, exactly? What gives you, or anyone in the gaming industry the right to double dip? I understand game making's an expensive process but:
"Why should [customers] be the ones to deal with a flawed system? They are the guys we do this for. They are the ones who should be able to benefit the most from being able to buy it."
The real question is why should anyone have to cover your ass? You're [publishers] the ones drafting up the budgets. You're the ones squandering money on things that don't need to be made, such as multiplayer modes for games that don't benefit from it. You're the ones who fail to market games by either spending too much money or not hitting the proper audiences. If a game bombs, that responsiblity is on you, and it's unreasonable to ask for companies who helped sell your product to bail you out.
Think of all the authors that never make it. Think of all the bands that never make it. Think of all the movie producers and directors that never make it. Do they try to claim sales on used books, music, and movies? No. Unfortunately, the games industry is just as much of an industry as any other entertainment field: dog eat dog. If you can't make it with the initial sale, you can't make it. It's ludicrous to expect other people to help you recoup losses.
So if the retailers don't want to budge, and the devs/pubs don't want to budge, how do we draw up a compromise? How do we find a solution that works best for both parties, while leaving the consumer out of it? The Azure system MS wanted retailers to install surely was not the answer, as it would have made internet connections mandatory. Plus, that kind of precedent should not be set, because it would eventually impact every retailer of any used goods. Car dealers, clothing companies, publishing houses, record studios, all would get their hooks into retail stores that make their living off selling used product. How then should game companies make their money back on the sales of used games?
The only answer I can think of is them doing it themselves. It isn't really a compromise, but it is a solution for devs and pubs. A new chain of retail game shops should be created and ran by publishers, eliminating the middle man and selling their own goods right over the counter. Any used games that customers sell to them, they can buy and resale and reclaim that revenue. Any publisher who sells digitally should include an option to repurchase the license and that way they can resell as a used license, reclaiming all of that revenue. Publishers also need to get in the habit of lowering their prices when selling via digital, as no money's being spent on manufacturing, shipping and stocking. Of course, this probably wouldn't work at all from a brick and mortar perspective, since there's overhead and employees to pay and all the utlities. Wouldn't it just be easier to have someone else sell your games for you? Hmm...
It only seems fair to me that if the devs and pubs are worried about the loss of sales via used games that they facilitate the sales of used games themselves instead of trying to tap into revenue streams of stores that help them sell their own new product. Maybe they should lease out their licenses for people who don't want to buy their games at full price and effectively make their own renting service. Whatever the devs and pubs decide to do, they need to stop targetting GameStop because it would ultimatley impact the very people Ru Weerasuriya cares about: the customers. All GS would do is offer even less for used games a result of having to pay the devs and pubs a cut. That just wouldn't be good.