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EA charging second hand users to get online


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Are you saying EA should offer cut-price versions of their titles which cost less but don't have the extra content, so you can buy it new without being 'forced' into paying for the online mode? Whether you want to play Dead Space 2 online or not, it's still going to be £39.99 day one. Would you rather pay £29.99 for it new with the understanding that you wouldn't be able to play online? I'm not being belligerent, I'm trying to work out your angle on all this misery.

Yes. If developers feel that online development costs money and is therefore worth charging people in order to support it, I'd like the option to pay less for those games.

This proposal seems to be moving from "the game is £40" to "the game is £30, online is £10, but if you buy it new you don't have a choice in the online option". That doesn't seem to be very attractive.

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Are you saying EA should offer cut-price versions of their titles which cost less but don't have the extra content, so you can buy it new without being 'forced' into paying for the online mode? Whether you want to play Dead Space 2 online or not, it's still going to be £39.99 day one. Would you rather pay £29.99 for it new with the understanding that you wouldn't be able to play online? I'm not being belligerent, I'm trying to work out your angle on all this misery.

Also, this actually happens on the PC - Dragon Age was £30 on Steam, or £40 with the extra stuff, as was Mass Effect 2.

I would certainly pay less for a game with no online connectivity. Personally, I don't give a shit about playing the majority of sports games online and if EA are putting a value of $10/£10 on that specific part of the game, then I'd quite happily pay less for the title with that removed.

It could be really easily done, just either have two versions of the game (one with the voucher) or just have a simple Visa payment screen if you want to access online connectivity.

Of course, this isn't going to happen because EA aren't really valuing the online part at $10/£10- they're just looking for a way to try and make money out of the second hand market.

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RE: why doesn't this apply to Wii/handhelds?

A: Because they don't do online much in the first place :hat:, and Sony is trialling a similar system for the latest PSP iteration of online shooter SOCOM:

Sony's taking a fairly unconventional approach to putting a stop to piracy on the PSP platform. The recently released handheld shooter, SOCOM Fireteam Bravo 3, comes bundled with a code which, once redeemed through the PlayStation Network, allows the player to access the game's online modes. Folks who purchase the game directly through the PSN are automatically online-enabled -- but those who nab the game illicitly won't have access to the code, and will have to shell out $20 to unlock a license which lets them play online.

Sony's John Koller recently spoke to IGN about the activation procedure, saying it's "a trial run for a new initiative we are exploring for the platform."

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They dont have a problem with you selling it. They have a problem with their supposed "retail partners" badgering every customer to sell them their old games, for money off new ones

Then don't attack the consumer. This is what EA are doing. It's us who will get fucked by this. No longer will we be able to use Lovefilm and co to try out games. No longer can we sell games on ebay, amazon, amongst friends without the game's value being dramatically reduced. If you think trade-in prices are bad, just wait until this bad boy comes into play.

This whole idea fucks gamers more than it does the second hand market.

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They dont have a problem with you selling it. They have a problem with their supposed "retail partners" badgering every customer to sell them their old games, for money off new ones....offering other "sold" copies to everyone who brings a new box to the counter....aggressively placing 2nd hand copies of games on shelves next to the new ones.

It's like GAME will buy EA's new stuff from the distributors, while at the same time actively trying to not sell it to anyone beyond the 1st week of its release.

It's a bizarre situation I cant think of seeing in any other industry.

Yeah, thats a fair point and i don't like that practice but thats business.

I have to add thats its not like E.A aren't making money, they just want to make more but hey, thats business, right ?

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http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/28482/E...Online_Play.php

Anyone think this will make a difference to second hand sales.

Bit off that you might have already paid for a 360 gold sub that should cover online multiplayer etc and then if you pick up a second hand copy of FIFA or Madden you then have to stump up more cash to get it online.

I'm astonished Microsoft is allowing that. Wouldn't be surprised if the online play bit is ps3 only.

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Probably a fairer system for people who are shit at games.

Could have saved me a small fortune over the years.

I'm astonished Microsoft is allowing that. Wouldn't be surprised if the online play bit is ps3 only.

Isnt the whole Gold side of Live to give you the multiplayer in games? is that not part of MS's rules and certification process?

I can understand it for premium content like things like the Rockband 20 song code and the ME2 Cerebus (sp?) thing, but to lock out and charge for MP seems a bit wrong.

I haven't seen anything about is just being PS3 either.

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Retailers like Gamestop have absolutely brought this on themselves. They gambled for years that they could completely take the piss out of their suppliers by turning preowned into an industrialised business - a thinly disguised rental service.

EA Sports games account for a significant piece of that market, so it's perfectly targeted.

It's been hilarious reading Gamestop claiming that this was their plan all along, and that people will buy manky used games bundled with MS/PSN points cards to unlock the multiplayer. How cost effective and convenient! Prepare to get bummed senseless by your shareholders, idiots!

The downside is that it's another step closer to EA/Acti finding an excuse to levy charges on the first-time purchaser too.

You don't see anyone doing this stuff on the Wii, or on handhelds.

This is the downside of all those pretty graphics, and it's not going to get better until we move away from a graphics whore mindset.

Fucking LOL. EA would do this in a second if it was technically feasible / multiplayer was a big enough deal on those platforms.

Yes, but what I'm saying is these drives to get people to buy new, to kill off second hand gaming, to move to digital distribution thus allowing more money for the developer and less for the retailer and using DRM to cut down on piracy, the increase in DLC to prevent people from reselling, and charging of game demos are all symptoms of a larger issue.

Yes, it's called capitalism. Publishers have been trying to kill off the OTT high street preowned sections for many, many years now. In the 16-bit era they had a similar crusade against game rentals (where they weren't getting a cut).

You're trying to stitch two very different arguments together. Publishers don't all go off and exclusively make Wii and handheld games because the few successful games on the HD machines make shitloads of money, and there's obvious demand for stuff like RPGs and popcorn action games that's not being met by the other formats. (Look at MW's sales, or ME2 -- or even Borderlands, which was expected to be a bit of an also-ran.) Morrius is basically right - if you can score a hit, it can become an ongoing business now.

And no, the cost of development has not risen "exponentially". (Although you could argue that the audience has in fact shrunk, as the combined userbase of the 360 and PS3 is presumably still a lot smaller than the PS2's was.)

Then don't attack the consumer. This is what EA are doing. It's us who will get fucked by this.

Like we're not getting fucked by retail now? Ever-smaller ranges of first-hand games. ("Why pay the market price for niche games, when we can rely on people to buy online and trade it in?" The consumer only loses if they, you know, reliably want to find any game older than two months on the shelves of GAME.) Preowned games at £2.50 off RRP. Risible trade-in prices.

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I'm writing as I think here, so may be wrong, but doesn't the maths go something like this:

Cost to provide online:

development cost (DC) + cost per annum for providing the service (SC)

so the total cost is something like TC = DC+(n*SC), where n is the number of years I'm going to provide the service.

Therefore, they need to recoup TC at the initial point of sale as part of the retail price. The rest of the profit will go to pay off the single-player and other components development costs (plus physical stuff, distribution stuff, and other overheads like marketing etc.)

Actually, SC scales with the number of copies sold and the success of the online service. The more copies that are sold and the more popular the online service, the more expensive SC. However, this falls in to the "nice problem to have" basket because you've sold lots of copies of the game. You therefore need to build in enough profit to pay for the projected cost of n*SC to scale with the number of copies sold and which will use the online service.

Once those copies are in circulation, you know how many you've sold and therefore pretty much how high (or low) SC will be.

One retail customer selling their copy to another console owner is not changing the value of SC. The same number of copies are in circulation, and the cost of providing the service is known. I can't therefore see the logic of making an additional charge to second hand buyers of a title unless:

1) the title has been discounted at retail under the assumption that a certain percentage will be re-sold and an additional charge will be levied in order to use the online services.

2) it's just building additional profit margin in to the product because the company knows that a certain percentage will be resold, and that a percentage of that percentage will pay for the online service (which is pure profit to the service provider)

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The answer is to buy new games instead of preowned, you paupers. Let's be honest, the rate at which prices drop mean that you can usually buy a new game cheaper online than it costs to buy preowned on the high street. The preowned stores are absolutely shafting both the customer and the developer.

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The answer is to buy new games instead of preowned, you paupers. Let's be honest, the rate at which prices drop mean that you can usually buy a new game cheaper online than it costs to buy preowned on the high street. The preowned stores are absolutely shafting both the customer and the developer.

How would this effect the rental market..? Surley it would kill that to a certain extent.

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The answer is to buy new games instead of preowned, you paupers. Let's be honest, the rate at which prices drop mean that you can usually buy a new game cheaper online than it costs to buy preowned on the high street. The preowned stores are absolutely shafting both the customer and the developer.

Agreed. Games are, relatively speaking, cheaper than ever. Games like Bayonetta and Bioshock 2 can be picked up new for around the £15 mark on the 360 and PS3, via online retailers. In stores, even preowned you are lucky to match those prices. It is not too hard to buy big releases for £30 on launch (I have preordered both SMG2 and RDR for under £30), which is a massive real drop in the cost of £40+ 15 years ago for a new title.

Gamers keep banging on that games should be sub-£20. They are. You just have to wait a month first. Prices are being continually pushed down, and aside from deleted titles or the occasional stock-shifting sale at GAME there is no real reason to need to buy preowned to get your videogames at a decent price.

Measures like thos listed will depreciate the value of second hand games. That is a good thing for producers of games, and bad for shops. I know which I sympathise more with, given that the retailers' greed and lack of desire to contribute to a sustainable business model for the industry has put them in this position.

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as far as i can see - and i'm not an expert - this kind of tactic can only possibly help sales of AAA games, because all the others are just not going to get bought by as many people if they can't be re-sold easily. especially when the market is fragmented in its approach. so it might work for FIFA 11 but it probably won't work for Generic 6/10 Shooter/RPG With A Twist, especially if it comes out in the same month as some other developer releases their own version of G6SRWAT that doesn't come with pre-owned surcharges.

i very rarely sell games i've bought, but i think as a spectator it'll be pretty fascinating to see how this continues to play out.

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The answer is to buy new games instead of preowned, you paupers. Let's be honest, the rate at which prices drop mean that you can usually buy a new game cheaper online than it costs to buy preowned on the high street. The preowned stores are absolutely shafting both the customer and the developer.

Are you for real?

To be honest i care as much for developers and publishers as they care about me.

Given the chance they'd bleed me for every penny they could get.

The pre-owned market is whats driving the price of new games down so quickly so i support it.

If you don't like buying pre-owned then don't but i'll do what the hell i like.

As i said before, its business so deal with it.

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What's stopping them from having a code in a brand-new copy without which the game won't work at all?

Surely that's the next step, the logical conclusion of this line of thinking.

Just look at PC games' activation codes. Effectively put an end to second-hand PC sales.

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Big companies in "wanting to make some money" shocker. Pre-owned games are throttling the industry's profits, everyone knows that. It's not exactly a shock that they want to protect their profits.

Haha, thats it exactly.

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I'd happily buy versions of many games if they were cheaper without the online functions. I'd probably buy a lot more new games if on day one they were available discounted with the online aspects removed.

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What's stopping them from having a code in a brand-new copy without which the game won't work at all?

Surely that's the next step, the logical conclusion of this line of thinking.

Just look at PC games' activation codes. Effectively put an end to second-hand PC sales.

The PC, leading the way as per usual with a lot of trends in gaming. Once games go digital only, your practically at the same end result anyway.

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Niche audience? Destructive? And what greater technology?

Games are being made with the budget of blockbuster movies but aren't selling to anywhere near the same size audience. This is quite dangerous and risky for all but the surest successes and the biggest publishers.

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What's stopping them from having a code in a brand-new copy without which the game won't work at all?

Surely that's the next step, the logical conclusion of this line of thinking.

Just look at PC games' activation codes. Effectively put an end to second-hand PC sales.

oh, NICE ONE big mouth... :)

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