THQ: UFC 2010 "Confirmed Our Suspicions" About Pre-Owned Games

Andy Chalk

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THQ: UFC 2010 "Confirmed Our Suspicions" About Pre-Owned Games


THQ Chief Executive Brian Farrell says UFC Undisputed 2010 [http://www.amazon.com/UFC-Undisputed-2010-Xbox-360/dp/B0030CV356/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1284659674&sr=8-2-spell] has "confirmed our suspicions" that an awful lot of people are buying pre-owned games.

single-use code [http://www.thq.com] to enable online gameplay, forcing those who buy used copies of the game to fork over $5 if they want to take part in multiplayer action. Some gamers were predictably unhappy with the move but Farrell said the strategy is paying off with a "pretty good attach rate" and by giving the publisher an idea of just how many used games are actually being sold.

"What we saw when we did the online charge for the second purchaser of UFC was we found a pretty good attach rate - it confirmed our suspicion that there are a lot of people participating in used games," Farrell told MCV magazine. "It is one of those things of how much money could you have made if it wasn't for piracy or used games? It's a tough question because you don't know."

He said that THQ understands the business models of specialty game retailers, which rely heavily on pre-owned sales in order to maintain decent profit margins, and that both retailers and publishers are working on new strategies that will hopefully keep everyone happy.

"Retail is now thinking about how they can participate in DLC and some of these second user charges that we're doing. We are not trying to push retail aside. We just need to monetize because it is our investment," he said. "We will work with retail but it needs to be more give and take."

Source: CVG [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=265047?cid=OTC-RSS&attr=CVG-General-RSS]


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uppitycracker

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i wonder if he's taking into account hte idea that maybe, more people are buying this particular game used? i know i didn't sell many new copies of UFC when I worked game retail...
 

Delusibeta

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Was this the game that people who bought it new thought they had to pay extra for the online code because their system for registering new copies were too confusing, or something?
 

Starke

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Delusibeta said:
Was this the game that people who bought it new thought they had to pay extra for the online code because their system for registering new copies were too confusing, or something?
I believe so.
 

DTWolfwood

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So at what point in that article does it benefit the consumer?

Working hard to make sure publishers and retailers can adequately rip off the end user \o/
 

The Rogue Wolf

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So maybe some sort of used-game exclusivity deal? "Buy UFC 2010 used plus a single-use multiplayer code from Gamestop and get this FREE character"?

I dunno, just throwing ideas out there.
 

Andy Chalk

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DTWolfwood said:
So at what point in that article does it benefit the consumer?

Working hard to make sure publishers and retailers can adequately rip off the end user \o/
The point at which they can continue to support their servers and give occasional raises to their development teams.
 

TheDukester

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Here's an idea--make a better game that people want on day 1. You can't exactly buy used if used copies don't exist.

The only exception I see with that: games that don't meet expectations. You buy it thinking it's one thing, and then you realize it's not as great as it was hyped up to be. I can think of a few titles like that, so maybe retailers/companies should allow the consumer to try games first, somehow, risk free. Release more demos, maybe?
 

DTWolfwood

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Kwil said:
DTWolfwood said:
So at what point in that article does it benefit the consumer?

Working hard to make sure publishers and retailers can adequately rip off the end user \o/
The point at which they can continue to support their servers and give occasional raises to their development teams.
In other words instead of getting more money out of the retailers that are stealing their business they should charge the poor schmuck who wants to save $5 buying used?

edit: whatever money it cost to run the servers they got when the game was sold NEW. its complete bullshit when they tell you it cost more to when some1 get it used. The guy who bought it new isnt using his share of the server bandwidth if he sold his game.
 

Jkudo

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lol it was a bad game, still sad that i won't be able to play a console game at a friend's house. Make better games. How much money did it take to make ufc 2010? If you make a new one every year, it can't be that much.
 

Fensfield

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Y'know, I have to ask, could the high rate of used game sales (or rather, the high number of games being sold to retailers by ex-players) have anything to do with the quality of the game itself? >.>
 

RowdyRodimus

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Maybe it's because the game is shit and the UFC fad is dying down. You really need more evidence than one game. It's like flipping a coin once and when it comes up tails saying that it will come up tails 100% of the time.
 

Kazinski

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If half the work publishers are doing to try stopping customers from buying used games actually went into making the actual product better this problem wouldn't exist to begin with.

In a nutshell, make better games and people might think twice about reselling them.
 

ephesus64

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If the game sells okay but immediately turns up in droves on the used market, doesn't that tell the developer something? Perhaps putting out a game based solely on punching people in the face isn't going to capture the hearts and souls of the players forever. If a game has a year in its title, ("Sports Game 20xx: The Roster Update" -credit to Yahtzee, I believe) it's going to have a short shelf life and vanish into the used market quickly. I fail to see how this is news to THQ.

I wonder what part of selling goods and services it is that certain parts of the gaming industry don't understand. Did I not already pay for my game? I would pay for new downloadable content on a used game, but not for a patch to make it work properly or a feature which is listed on the box.

Plus, if it costs the studio money to keep multiplayer going, then perhaps they should have a business plan for keeping the multiplayer going as long as there is interest in the game. I might expect active online support for Madden 08, but not if I dusted off a used copy of Madden 03. I don't know, I never play sports games. Or they could just let players serve their own games through XBL or PSN. That's novel.
 

Andy Chalk

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DTWolfwood said:
Kwil said:
DTWolfwood said:
So at what point in that article does it benefit the consumer?

Working hard to make sure publishers and retailers can adequately rip off the end user \o/
The point at which they can continue to support their servers and give occasional raises to their development teams.
In other words instead of getting more money out of the retailers that are stealing their business they should charge the poor schmuck who wants to save $5 buying used?

edit: whatever money it cost to run the servers they got when the game was sold NEW. its complete bullshit when they tell you it cost more to when some1 get it used. The guy who bought it new isnt using his share of the server bandwidth if he sold his game.
Gee.. maybe the poor schmuck who wants to save $5 buying used should hold out for a better deal from the retailers then. Just because you happen to be a schmuck doesn't mean all of us bend over for the retailer.

As for server bandwidth, what universe do you exist in where server charges only happen once? The guy who isn't using the game any more paid for his server use, sure. The new guy who just bought the game? Do you think it doesn't cost any more to keep the servers at full capacity for him?
 

Krion_Vark

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TheDukester said:
Here's an idea--make a better game that people want on day 1. You can't exactly buy used if used copies don't exist.

The only exception I see with that: games that don't meet expectations. You buy it thinking it's one thing, and then you realize it's not as great as it was hyped up to be. I can think of a few titles like that, so maybe retailers/companies should allow the consumer to try games first, somehow, risk free. Release more demos, maybe?
I have seen at Gamestop used games on DAY 1. So even if they dont buy back right away there are still used copies out there.