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.
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.