Friday, September 5, 2014
David Jaffe: Don’t Buy Xbox One If Its Used Game DRM Offends You

David Jaffe: Don’t Buy Xbox One If Its Used Game DRM Offends You

What’s trending in the games industry presently is the war between the consumers and publishers, and the idea of used games being blocked from working in its traditional way on upcoming consoles.

Related: Microsoft: We Are Going To “Kill Sony” At E3

While Sony has said used games will work on PS4, it’s never been specific on the matter, so talk that the electronics giant has actually been considering the implementation of used game-blocking DRM in PS4 sent the internet into an uproar, and rightfully so. Consumers must stand up for their rights.

We already know what Microsoft is working on, and it’s pretty offensive, which limits the gamer from selling the game he/she bought, used and now wants to sell, to Microsoft’s draconian system and that of its partners. In fact you won’t be able to give a friend a game if you so choose, a massive overstepping of consumer rights.

Today on NeoGAF the topic went into overdrive when user “jhferry” created a thread asking the question: “why do developers believe they deserve second hand sales?” There, many gamers began sharing their opinions, with most stating their thoughts in different ways that lead to the same conclusion: publisher greed. But what caught my attention was when God of War and Twisted Metal creator David Jaffe decided to chime in to bring his point of view into the discussion. He mostly sided with the developers and publishers, to be sure, but he said he understands how consumers feel, adding that if gamers believe that a company’s used game policy is insulting (speaking of Microsoft and Sony primarily), then they simply shouldn’t buy the console.

The talk went back and forth, with many GAFers pointing out that what he, Jaffe, suggested, wasn’t that simple.

Below are some of the discussions between David Jaffe and NeoGAf members, enjoy:

Here’s David Jaffe’s first comment of the thread: “I don’t think we deserve anything legally speaking or hell, even karmakally speaking. But do I think we have the right to TRY to profit off any and every avenue possible where our games are concerned? Yep, I do.

AND I also think gamers have every right to stick their noses in the air and say ‘no thanks- fuck off’ if game devs/publishers propose a new used game system that is offensive to gamers.

IDEALLY used game sales will continue with new systems that benefit gamers and game makers (and retailers IF they are a key component to the new system). 


That kicked off what turned out to be a very revealing batch of comments on how Jaffe Feels about the entire used game DRM uproar.

NeoGAF user jhferry: That’s called free market. I could argue (which I did in the OP) that maybe some of those titles are overpriced. They have the right to charge what they want. I have the right to buy it uses.

Reading today it just looks like they all want their cake and eat it too. Gamestop may be scumbags but they have not broken any laws.

David Jaffe’s Response: Agree and that is all some hardware makers seem to be saying: they are going to not break laws and try something new that- within the free market system- allows them to make more cash. And like any free market adventure, if the customer rejects the new for the established, so be it. Why is it ok for GameStop to try to benefit from used game sales but not the folks who make the games?!?

NeoGAF user unbias: Because the 2nd hand market isn’t a simple “Person A sells X, Person B buys X”. It is fine(technically/morally) to want the money from used games, however to assume getting money from used games will actually increase a publisher/developers bottom line is guess work. The only thing we do know is the 2nd hand market increases disposable income. Lessen the disposable income and you have a good chance of lowering game demand as a whole.

David Jaffe’s Response: Fine- but let them take that risk is all I’m saying. I guess for me all the complaining is pointless: don’t like it, don’t buy it and if enuff agree, the idea tanks and the industry learns. Super super simple.

NeoGAF user Wickerbasket: Because they’re shitting on their customers to do it? Why do they get to decide who I sell my games to? Why do they deserve money for something they’ve already been paid for? Next they’ll want a cut of my money when I sell a used console. And I’ll only be able to sell my console to approved vendors. It’s bullshit.

David Jaffe’s Response: They only get to if you buy a console that forces you to use that behavior. Easy solve: don’t buy a console that doesn’t give you a used game system you like. Unless you are just complaining to complain- which is a valid form of entertainment. But if you are talking about a real solve, I’m excited to see a few shake ups to the used game system- I have no doubt the customer will vote with their wallets and let us game makers know what they like and don’t like.

NeoGaf user unbias: Because it isn’t as simple for me as “consumer rights” like it/buy it. This line of thinking has a legitimate chance of hurting a industry I enjoy by hurting both the developer and the consumer. That is why it is a big deal to me. Games in the grand scheme of things isn’t a big deal, but it is a big deal to me if the market contracts because the malinvestment and market decisions continue ,everyone loses in this case.

I’m not looking at this like most of the others, personally, it is less about consumer rights and more about industry health, and this doesn’t sound very healthy, to me. Specially in this economy and with the amount of malinvestment already in this industry.

David Jaffe’s Response: I hear u but biz will be more than fine overall even if all three consoles die. If they die it means PC and tablet and phone are giving customers more of what they need/want and this deserve to die. I love that about biz: give your customer something great and they take care of you; offer then too little and they walk away. To me, this is as it should be.

NeoGAF user woodypop: Yup, Gamestop’s method isn’t restricting how I choose to recoup my cost when I sell my copy of a game. I can sell it on eBay, Craigslist, directly to a friend, or hell, I can even gift it to someone (what a concept!). And on the flipside, I can seek out the best deal for myself when purchasing through those very same channels. So far, the rumblings bandied about from MS indicate they want to restrict my options, while simultaneously allying with the industry’s supposed villain: GameStop. If the “folks who make the games” have a different idea, I’m all ears.

David Jaffe’s Response: Then don’t buy the Xbone.

How do you feel about Jaffe’s responses? Share your thoughts.


About Ernice Gilbert

Ernice Gilbert here. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Gamesthirst. Thanks for stopping by, make yourself at home!
  • Benzo

    I agree with him. If you dont like it, dont buy it. A simple solution to
    a problem. I feel devs should try to get a drop of the huge buckets of
    money Gamestop and Disc Replay or all the other used game stores. These
    places give little to no trade in value then sell the game for more than
    half of what you get on a trade in. As dev costs rise, they have to
    find the $$$ somewhere. Gamers dont want $70 games, but they dont want
    used games blocked nor do they want a transfer fee charged. At some
    point something has got to give. I’m not for blocking used games, but
    there has to be some way that devs can get a taste of the billions
    Gamestop makes.

  • Wolf1888

    Well, I’ve always agreed with the “Don’t like it, don’t buy it” idea, but this is different. It’s like saying: “Don’t like your government? Move to an other country”. It just does not work like that.

    We can change what we have by making moves, acting on something, trying to change things, not simply going elsewhere when something does not work for you. When the government does something you don’t like, you say it, you try to change things, you say your opinion, all that because you still want to live in your country, and in the best way possible for you.

    Same goes with gaming: You want the games, and keep being part in this console gaming industry, but at the same time, you don’t enjoy the way it is turning. What do you do, you leave it behind? Hell no. You want to change things. You want your voice to be heard and change the way the industry is headed.

    This is not a “Don’t like this movie? Then don’t go see this movie” situation, but more of a “Don’t like this movie? Stop watching movies” situation, which is absurd. You can come to the conclusion to not buy a game because you don’t like its policies, but not buying a whole console? That’s skipping a lot of great games, which you do not want to happen. You will buy the console, no matter what. You don’t want to skip this next generation, who would do that, that’s absurd. Now, knowing you will still get this console, the only thing you can do is try to change things, by sending message, letting your voice be heard, and yes, complainging on the internet. This might actually help you get a better console, just like complaining to your government may create some change in your favor.

    You got to let them know what comsumers want, and not run away as soon as something is not how you like. Even though we can all say “It will hurt the industry if we don’t buy it and they’ll know it this way”, we all know that we’ll all still buy the freaking console, no matter what.

  • Wolf1888

    Well, GameStop is an alternative. You can go on Ebay if you want to see your games there.

    GameStop made a business with old games people do not want anymore, and they sell them to other people who want to buy games at a lower price than a new game. It’s their right to do it, and even if they become multi-billionaire doing just that, than good for them. You don’t see a used car dealer giving money to Ford, Toyota, Nissan, etc. when they sell used cars. And these dealers can get really rich doing just that. The car is bought from Toyota, then it is owned by the one that bought the car. Same with movies. Same with computers. Same with consoles. Why not games? Why is it any different? Yes some people worked hard to make the game, but so does the ones that made the cars, that made the movies, etc. You paid a fee to own the object. At that point, you own that object, 100% of it.

    At least that’s what I think.

  • ernicegilbert

    Comment of the week, and it’s only Tuesday. Well thought out!

  • ernicegilbert

    But can’t developers and publishers be more innovative than wanting to violently drag away the consumers rights? Well do they need to sell one item twice, Benzo? This is the ONLY industry that operates like this. It’s crazy.

    When I buy an iPhone, I can sell it. When I buy a car, I can sell it. When I by food, I eat it because I own it.

    Developers need to be more innovative than this. Blocking used games and trying to kill GameStop isn’t the way to go.

  • ernicegilbert

    Awesome comment part two of the week! You’re on a roll. But seriously, I agree with you wholly, Wolf. Just cause GameStop is making huge amounts of money on used games, it’s no reason to hate on them. They a have a legit business, one which really benefits the gamer.

  • Benzo

    Like I said, I’m not for blocking used games, and I know that gamestop isnt the only place to trade in. But I only use gamestop as an example because they are more widely known and make the billions. Thats what devs see, and thats why they want a piece of the pie. There has to be a middle ground somewhere, and I hope that MS and Sony work hard with devs to figure that out. I see both sides of the argument. There are a lot of regulations when it comes to used car sales due to car dealers scamming people. And when it comes to Iphones and other consumer products, there are almost no regulations at all. All I’m trying to say is as gamers…we love games! We love devs and want more awesome gaming experiences. But as we saw this gen, dev after dev folded due to poor sales, coupled with high development costs. Gamers always want bigger and better, but many dont want to pay more than $60 for a game. We also dont want to have used games blocked. Both valid issues that I agree with. But as a lifetime gamer, I want to see this industry grow (consoles). Many devs are dropping consoles and moving to phones and tablets. This is due to low dev costs and huge install bases. In my opinion, this is an alarming trend and could spell the eventual demise of console games as we know it. This puts us in a tough spot as Gamers. This also puts devs and console makers in a bind too. At this point, I think MS and Sony are just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks, and I cant really blame them for this. At the end of the day, I just hope something is done that listens to all parties involved. The Gaming Industry is a very fragile ecosystem that needs all parts to work together for survival in this current time of climate change. We are doing our part by voicing our concerns and opinions to those who make the decisions. Lets just hope they are listening.

    GT always has the best damn conversation around! I love it!

    End Transmission

  • ernicegilbert

    Awesome comment, Benzo! I definitely see where you’re coming from and agree. But publishers need to find news ways to earn profits. Perhaps lower the development costs. Perhaps push the medium more into the mainstream by making movie tie-ins. Great movie tie-ins. Probably create cartoon shows for the most popular IPs and turn them into mainstream phenoms.

    They need to find news ways, not try and cripple a critical arm of the ecosystem, which is the used games market. It’s greed and laziness.

    You know, someday there may be games that I’ve played, that I’d like to give to members of GT…. If I own an Xbox One, I won’t be able to do that……

    This is madness, and like you said, we must keep talking about this.

  • NightGoat

    Jaffe has a naive, simplistic view on economics in general. In his world there is no such thing as corporate bullying, and consumers have all the power. It just doesn’t always work that way. It’s complex. We don’t have the option of buying an XBone without the DRM junk. If we don’t buy it, that doesn’t send the specific signal we want sent. Maybe that tells MS that we don’t want Halo. Maybe it tells them we don’t want consoles in general. His attitude is “don’t like one thing? don’t get the whole package!” which is great, but it’s sort of like a bill in congress. You are going to be waiting your whole life if you want to see a clean bill with everything you want. No, we have to deal with decent bills full of junk amendments, earmarks, little corporate giveaways here and there. You can’t just say “don’t vote for it!” like the Tea Party, because then nothing gets done.

    It also reminds me of cable TV. Fox News offends me as a consumer. But I’m not gonna throw away HBO and Comedy Central and all the channels I like because of the one bad apple. I’d love to send them the signal that I don’t like it. But just telling me to either buy it or don’t, and THAT’S how you protest is bullshit. There are many ways to voice your concerns, Jaffe shouldn’t be trying to stifle the debate with such black and white thinking that he knows won’t pan out. The power lies in these giant corporations to basically do what they want, and steamroll choice and competition. Consumers can put up a fight, and sometimes win battles, but they don’t have the power to stop the train in many cases. If only the world were perfectly simple.

  • boniek

    I agree but IP laws don’t agree with both of us. What we think is directly in opposition to IP law.

  • logic_smith

    Try reselling your iTunes purchases.

  • ernicegilbert

    I can, however, burn a copy of that song I purchased and give it to whomever I please.

  • Lux

    It does offend me and this plus the tv watching achievements plus them watching me all the time, Im not going to buy one.

  • surgeterrix

    The government doesn’t care what you say unless you vote.

    In capitalism, you vote with your dollar.

    No one is saying stop watching movies, or stop gaming, one or even two consoles are not the end all be all of gaming, or that if a console by an industry titan flopped it’d be the end of gaming. If that were the case, the industry would have been over when the Atari, Neo Geo, Sega, Nintendo, introduced consoles or new gaming hardware that flopped.

  • Wolf1888

    Nicely put!

  • Tyson Sheaves

    So when i resell my Gmc truck.. should gmc expect a check also..I think not .. Its greed that drives these motives and its only the consumers that can end such poor- selfish business practices. Stir up enough criticism and the big M will abandon this dead end idea.

  • VA1N

    I really wish that people would put their money where their mouth is and not buy the Xbone because of these horrible restrictions, but I know how it will go. Some amazing game will be announced and everyone will forget about the restrictions and bow to their overlord masters and just take it and say thank you in the end.

  • VA1N

    The console market may shrivel up but the PC market will be alive. Indie devs can release content on PCs without archaic restrictions in place by Microsoft or whoever the next flavor of the week console will be down the road. People complain about the price of upgrading a PC but with consoles gone (if that ever happens) I’m sure the fact of buying a PC for gaming will even out to become more streamlined and available for all to us.

    I doubt this will happen, but it’s one scenario.

  • Jacob Blackburn

    The music industry is tanking on the “don’t like it, then don’t buy it” mentality….. People aren’t buying overpriced music in droves like they have in the past. Companies like MS want to make money. If consumers don’t feel they are getting “value” aka features they like then don’t buy. Plain and simple. I for one will stick with my 360 until they stop supporting it. Right now I don’t feel the benefits out way the negatives and that is before even factoring in the fact that we are paying $60 a year for Xbox Live and the cost of the unit will be close to $600 and you stil only get one controller. Video games are ceasing to be a fun past time…. at least for me and I’ve been a gamer my whole life. Greed will knock the industry back. It is already starting with 99 Cent and Free Tablet games. The younger generation is the tablet generation. As consoles become PCs you’ll see a divide in game culture. There will always be the hardcore ones….. but I think the money will be in the softcore casual gamers over the next 20 years.

  • Ghost250

    the music industry isn’t tanking, its the major labels that are tanking. you don’t need a major to become the next big artist in music. thats why you see all these artists going independent.

  • ernicegilbert

    Good point, Ghost! The advent of social media, youtube, twitter etc has turned everyone into publishing machines. And with itunes, Amazon Music and Google Play, amongst others at your disposal, who needs these big, money-sucking labels! Great point.

  • Sam Norte

    Dumb way to look at it.

  • RCS1986

    Not sure if this has been floated by anyone, but why not give the game developers a cut of the used-game sales? Say if Gamestop sold you a used copy of Gears of War for $20, say 20% gets paid from them back to the developer. The customer gets the used game, Gamestop makes money, and the developer gets a little piece of the action. Everyone’s a winner.