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Crytek: Next-gen Used Games Block ‘would be absolutely awesome’

How’s that for an attention grabber? In case you missed this little ditty yesterday from the folks at CVG, CryTek is the latest developer to get on board the “no used games on ‘next-next-gen’ consoles” train.

Some truly fascinating quotes in this piece from Rasmus Hojengaard, Crytek’s Director of Creative Development.

“From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome. It’s weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn’t work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well.”

Yeah, crazy how that’s “allowed” isn’t it? Don’t you feel privileged?

CryTek is still reeling from the fact that Crysis 2 was pirated — a lot. Remember that leak of an early build? The one that really wasn’t ready for public consumption? Well that got downloaded millions of times and EA and CryTek do not want a repeat performance, which is totally understandable, and yet this is like getting into a fist fight with the Pacific Ocean. You simply can’t stop it. And, really, publicly hoping it doesn’t happen again may not be the smartest thing to do. Pirates being pirates and all.

“It’s very flattering and upsetting at the same time,” Hojengaard said of the situation. “Obviously you miss so much revenue, it’s so clear that a lot of people want to play your game but they don’t really want to pay for it, which is unfortunately really disappointing. It’s also a little flattering because people are willing to bother download these 10GB files or whatever the game takes because they think it looks great. We obviously want to avoid that this time, but even if we can convert 25 percent of those gamers into paying customers [you have an extra million sales].”

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

16 thoughts to “Crytek: Next-gen Used Games Block ‘would be absolutely awesome’”

  1. It’s already ‘not allowed’ on the pc, which is where the rest of the software industry publishes, so I guess his statement is nonsense.

    And maybe they would pay for if you didn’t charge 60 bucks for what was basically a very pretty tech demo.

    1. It’s “not allowed” on the PC because frankly that platform has moved on to what I believe is the more enlightened state of digital distribution and cheaper prices for games as a result. Yeah, the big AAA games are still expensive on there, but they’re usually about $10 cheaper than the console versions from what I’ve seen. Steam has crazy sales constantly, and there’s just more stuff to choose from so you get increased competition. Who needs used games when they’re cheaper? That’s addressing the reason people buy used in the first place.

      Meanwhile, on the console side, you can’t buy anything on XBL’s Games on Demand until at least six months after it comes out, and it’s still the same price as the physical copy. Assinine, and all because they don’t want to piss off retailers. I get that, but come on. Embrace the fucking future already. It’s not like I don’t have plenty of other things to spend my money and free time on. You’re losing the fight for my entertainment dollars.

  2. When you are too close to a problem and emotionally involved (like all the recent developer/publisher quotes I’ve seen recently regarding this issue) you end with short term ideas with very little positive solutions.

  3. Is it software like an operating system or is it entertainment like a movie? Not saying they have to be mutually exclusive, but it’s funny that people in this industry like to try to take the best of both worlds to make their case. “It’s entertainment, similar to a movie, so we’re protected by the First Amendment. However, it’s software, so you can’t resell your software like you would a movie.” I mean, I guess yes it’s entertainment software, but still.

  4. “…yet this is like getting into a fist fight with the Pacific Ocean. You simply can’t stop it.” I bet Remo Williams could stop it…

    Back on subject I find it ironic that we have publishers and developers openly talking about how they can’t afford to take a bath on a game due to the budgets and that killing used game sales would fix that. Meanwhile the consumer is expected to shell out $60 on a brand new game, and often these days another $15-$30 to complete the game. In this economy that is a pretty big gamble with the already dwindling entertainment dollar. I wouldn’t mind the killing of the used games economy if there were a mechanism for returning a game that is just absolute garbage for a full refund within the first few days after purchasing it. If they kill the used games market now there is no way to recoup any funds out of a game that does not deliver.

    Instead of having this discussion we should be talking about the game industries lack of ability to deliver a $60 dollar product on a consistent basis. The perfect example of a way to make a consumer want your project is the Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for the 360. As people around here have been noting this is a fantastic value. The soundtrack, the map, the quest guide, the extra content, and all at the $60 price. I bet dollars to donuts that if EA published the game all you would have gotten was the original game and a pamphlet with a link to a pdf of the manual. The extra content would have been packaged as a new copy exclusive only or a as a $20 DLC package right from the get-go.

    The best analogy that I can think of for the current state is getting a milkshake at a diner. The way the CD Projekt has treated its consumers is like getting a shake in a fountain glass with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. After you finish the shake the waiter brings out the tin with the shake extras and just leaves it on your table. EA gives you the tin at the start and when you finish that the waiter comes out with the rest of the shake in a fountain glass and asks, “Would you like to finish your dessert for $30 dollars? Oh, and by the way, the sprinkles, whipped cream, and cherry are $5 each.”

    If more developers/publishers packed the amount of value, quality, and customer service/treatment that CD Projekt Red gives we probably wouldn’t even be having this discussion.

    1. Well, sure, but Remo catches bullets so…

      But TREOS that was an excellent take. And yes, the day I can return a purchase I regretted is the day I will totally back the destruction of used games.

      This isn’t about screwing publishers and devs out of money. It’s about being happy with what you buy and with the state of the industry right now $60 is a HUGE gamble.

  5. ‘so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well.”’

    Yeah stupid gamers and not wanting to pay $60 for a videogame when they can get it for $40.

    What about old games? DO they want us to buy year old games at full retail piece too? So I can’t loan out my 2 year old game to someone? This is all very stupid.

  6. No. What would be “absolutely awesome” if the games industry put itself out of its self-imposed misery and these kinds of poormouthing shitty businessmen took a fucking hike back to Hucksterville where they belong. That way, we could start from scratch with passionate, creative people that are willing and able to provide customers with value, quality, and RESPECT.

    The thing about it is that the pirates (to a reasonable extent) and the used buyers are in some ways the “patriots” of gaming here. They’re the ones that are actively saying “no, I will not buy what you’re selling”. They’re not the people who bitch online about DLC and prices and then bend over the barrel with their wallet spread wide open any time a new game comes out, recieving reacharounds like tin DVD cases, avatar awards, and online passes in return.

    As consumers- and people who care about games, the games business, and the people who make games- we should be saying “no” to people like this ass a lot more often.

    “Allowed”…heh…gee, thanks game industry.

    I liked Crysis 2 and reviewed it very favorably here. But there were plenty of people who didn’t feel like it was worth $60, which says something about the product. Not the customer. I’ll be renting Crysis 3 or buying used, thanks.

  7. Well, I’m ‘allowed’ currently to sell a game used/rent right now just like I’m ‘allowed’ to not purchase/play the game at all. Kill used/rental, and I’ll just wait for mega sale or not bother (and likely the latter). I haven’t played any of the Crysis games, and it looks like that isn’t going to change with the third installment.

    Eff ’em.

    1. This is exactly the posture that games consumers should be taking in all of this. These assholes act like they have a product that we just can’t live without. We need for more people to be willing to say “Eff ’em” and let them keep their shit.

      1. Wonderful strong language there Barnes. Though I think it will fix itself. The music industry is already a completely different beast, and the movie industry is also holding on for dear life. The companies who innovate and provide value will come out on top.
        What’s confusing here is whether we’re talking about pirates or used game buyers and sellers. Aren’t those very different topics? A used game is still a sale. A pirated game is not necessarily a lost sale, there is apparently interest in the game. With used games we’re talking about consumer rights and what is and isn’t owed a company. With pirating we’re talking about DRM and suing consumers and all that.

      2. I’m very much enjoying the passion, I wish it would spread. You cant embrace Crapitalism and expect it to work in your favour on your whims.

        Gamers now have a reputation for being entitled whingebags and to some extent it true but I believed this has been heightened by the shoddy practices we’ve been seeing. Other industries have found to their cost if you don’t cater to your customers they will find other ways indeed its starting to turn already (kickstarter cough… pirating… steam.. cough).

        1. It isn’t just those alternatives that you mentioned…the fact is that there are more options than ever for game players and over the past decade there’s been a dramatic shift in people’s awareness of catalog games and a _desire_ to play older games. So if you don’t want to buy what Crytek and the other companies working today are selling, you can plug in a PS2 and play hundreds of games for under ten bucks. And some really damn good ones too. Or you can go on GOG, or play some great games on your iPad- you could buy 20 games for the price of one AAA title. Isn’t there something out of whack there?

          I see kids coming out of Gamestop all the time with a sack full of PS2 games. They’re not affecting this pathetic industry…and this pathetic industry isn’t touching them. We should be more like these kids who don’t have to rush out and preorder everything once a trailer and preorder bonuses are announced.

          More than ever, people are realizing that great games are great games…whether you buy a five year old used game for ten bucks or a new game like Witcher 2 for $60. And more than ever, the consumer is empowered to make choices outside of the AAA, corporate-controlled game business.

          This scares them, and eliminating used closes a gap in their iron circle of moneymaking and exploitation.

          Protip- live outside that circle.

    2. Yep, totally agree. In fact I’m done with their products for a while just like I’m done with Ubisoft and any other company who views me as a piece of shit unworthy of their trust.

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