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View Full Version : a steam buy back scheme?


NorthernMonkey
03-27-2010, 08:32 PM
bare with me on this...

since i installed steam, ive built up a few games that i dont play any longer.

in most british towns, there are stores where you can take your old games and trade them in ...getting a discount on the new games that you purchase.

i would appreciate it, if steam would acknowledge their regular customers and implement a similar scheme, whereby they could "buy back" the old games (lets say 2% of their original value) and then customers could take the discount on any further purchases?

if this is not possible, then at least give "x" credits for every purchase, to each steam account.

i like using steam, but the "sales" are too random, and usually i've bought the game before any "sale", making me feel a little discouraged.

a points/credit system (as well as the sales) would make me feel better

thanks for listening
;)

freibooter
03-27-2010, 09:58 PM
Not going to happen.

In fact, Steam was among the first services for PC games that completely eliminated the re-sale and used games market for its title, both for digital distribution and boxed sales.

And despite this huge disadvantage and prices not lower but even higher than the competition: people clearly didn't care and Steam became the biggest player in the market.

Now almost every other big player is copying this model, from EA to Ubisoft ... it's starting to look like selling your used PC games is going to be a thing of the past.

Why should Valve change a business model that not only worked well for them but that everyone else is now trying to copy?

(I do not approve of this, it's actually one of my biggest pet peeves, I'm just describing the facts)

ester25
03-28-2010, 01:48 AM
in most british towns, there are stores where you can take your old games and trade them in ...getting a discount on the new games that you purchase.


Isn't it console games only? No one takes back any PC software/games.

Fatdude
03-28-2010, 01:50 AM
So you want to sell back your games for... $1?The usual games cost $50 at release and %2 of that is $1.Steam wont do it.And selling your games for $1 is stupid.

Rechar
03-28-2010, 02:30 AM
Why should Valve change a business model that not only worked well for them but that everyone else is now trying to copy?

Increased profit margins.

Once they buy back a license (as thats technically what they are selling) they can then offer that license on re-sale for a reduced cost...a reduced cost which nets them 100% of the profit (compared to less than 100% for a new game which the publisher will take a share of).

Lets say the publisher gets 10% of sales.

Sell game at 30. Publisher nets 3, Steam takes 27.
Steam buys back license at 20. Publisher still has 3, Steam has 7.
Steam then sell the "used" license at a reduced cost as the license is theirs outright (lets say 25). Publisher still has 3, Steam now has 32.

Aslong as the purchase price is lower than the re-sale price, Steam makes a larger profit per license.

The only reason this doesn't happen is probably because Publishers have some "no re-sale" clause. All this DRM is specifically designed to crush the re-sale market after all because they don't get a share of the money from it, it has nothing to do with Piracy.

eram
03-28-2010, 02:40 AM
Isn't it console games only? No one takes back any PC software/games.

Yup, console only. There is no second hand/used pc market in the UK.

rocketeer8015
03-28-2010, 04:35 AM
Hmm this might come to pass sooner or later dispite what the publishers want. Some countries have laws that explicitly permit resale of games/music/dvds, all it would take would be a ruling by a higher court in one of them and the publishers would have no choice but to fold. Steam would inform them that regretably they have to follow the local law over the requirements of their contracts.

For steam it would only be more profitable as Rechar pointed out, and they already have the means to deactivate games from a account which is the necessary basis for resale of PC Games.

PwerLvlAmy
03-28-2010, 08:27 AM
I think if Steam allow that some hijacker willresell game for fun ...
Proof of pursache is useless for that anyway because some brother can sell your game too ! Brother are everywhere on steam !

Petchyy
03-28-2010, 09:20 AM
Before we get down to the other problems like it being PC games and hijackers and things.

There is one thing your forgetting. Steam has an unlimited amount of stock. Sure they have to pay for bandwidth but they can't run out of products so why would they want to buy what is essentially a license key back when they can generate thousands of them for free?

If your talking about maybe giving the game to another person at a lower price that would make slightly more sense but that still means that Steam and the Publisher wouldn't be making any money out of the sale and that is not exactly something that publishers are going to want.

If they don't like the way Steam handles game licenses they just won't use Steam and it will lose out.

Echonian
03-28-2010, 09:28 AM
My hope is that the prices on steam eventually go down, once steam has enough of a market share and enough deals with developers to not worry about profits on the threats of publishers.

A rental system would solve any issue of making sure you don't accidentally buy a game, while a "friend discount" option, deleting your copy of the license so a friend can buy the game for a reduced price (still paying VALVe and the publisher, at that)...well, just my 2 cents worth.

weegie
03-28-2010, 12:35 PM
Before we get down to the other problems like it being PC games and hijackers and things.

There is one thing your forgetting. Steam has an unlimited amount of stock. Sure they have to pay for bandwidth but they can't run out of products so why would they want to buy what is essentially a license key back when they can generate thousands of them for free?



Steam don't have unlimited keys. They are given a set amount by the developers that sell on Steam.

During the recent 'big' sale, I saw a couple of times when a game had sold out, presumably because they had used up all the keys they had at the time.

The only games that could potentially have unlimited licenses on Steam are Valve games, but even then, there is probably a limit of some kind.

rocketeer8015
03-28-2010, 12:47 PM
Before we get down to the other problems like it being PC games and hijackers and things.

There is one thing your forgetting. Steam has an unlimited amount of stock. Sure they have to pay for bandwidth but they can't run out of products so why would they want to buy what is essentially a license key back when they can generate thousands of them for free?

If your talking about maybe giving the game to another person at a lower price that would make slightly more sense but that still means that Steam and the Publisher wouldn't be making any money out of the sale and that is not exactly something that publishers are going to want.

If they don't like the way Steam handles game licenses they just won't use Steam and it will lose out.

This is based on the assumption that Steam gets licenses for free. As Steam is mostly reselling games from other publishers i find it more likely that they buy license keys from them in bulk. Obviously selling a license twice or three times would be a nice profit ...

As to your question why Steam would do it, obviously to incite you to buy other games. For example they dont have to give you the money directly, they could instead give you a discount on a newer title for every license you return to them.

For example you bought Metro 2033 for 49.99, but dont like it at all or played through it. So you sell the license back to Steam, who give you a 50% discount on Just Cause 2 for it(25). Steam now sells the metro license they got back from you to someone else for the original 49.99(its not really used ware ...), while you get JC 2 at a discount.

Steam side:
+50 Metro sale
-25 Discount
+50 Metro sale again
+25 JC 2 Sale
=100

That the same money they would have made selling you a Metro AND a JC 2 license, but it will cost you only 75. Provided you really dont want to play metro anymore you can save 50% on your next title, which obviously is a huge incentive to buy another game. And best of all it doesnt cost Valve a cent. Whats more, since they already paid the publishers due with the first metro sale in my example, they actually will earn more on the second.

Now take into account that people are ... well stupid. Im stupid at times myself so i can say it. People will sell their licenses back cause they want some hyped game but lack $$, regret it, and buy them anew at some later point.

Valve should really, really want this.

Rechar
03-28-2010, 12:54 PM
*irrelevant*

Shadrik
03-28-2010, 03:07 PM
This is based on the assumption that Steam gets licenses for free. As Steam is mostly reselling games from other publishers i find it more likely that they buy license keys from them in bulk. Obviously selling a license twice or three times would be a nice profit ...

As to your question why Steam would do it, obviously to incite you to buy other games. For example they dont have to give you the money directly, they could instead give you a discount on a newer title for every license you return to them.

For example you bought Metro 2033 for 49.99, but dont like it at all or played through it. So you sell the license back to Steam, who give you a 50% discount on Just Cause 2 for it(25). Steam now sells the metro license they got back from you to someone else for the original 49.99(its not really used ware ...), while you get JC 2 at a discount.

Steam side:
+50 Metro sale
-25 Discount
+50 Metro sale again
+25 JC 2 Sale
=100

That the same money they would have made selling you a Metro AND a JC 2 license, but it will cost you only 75. Provided you really dont want to play metro anymore you can save 50% on your next title, which obviously is a huge incentive to buy another game. And best of all it doesnt cost Valve a cent. Whats more, since they already paid the publishers due with the first metro sale in my example, they actually will earn more on the second.

Now take into account that people are ... well stupid. Im stupid at times myself so i can say it. People will sell their licenses back cause they want some hyped game but lack $$, regret it, and buy them anew at some later point.

Valve should really, really want this.

All of this is asuming the really resell licenses, as in they buy them and then have to resell them. What if they simply let developers put a game on steam and take a share? I really doubt Valve buys licenses and resells them.

92Hotel
03-28-2010, 09:54 PM
I posted a suggestion a while back relating to this, and later deleted it because nobody seemed interested. I do fully appreciate the conditions under which we buy games through Steam, and have no expectation of any sort of return, exchange or transfer.

However, I think under the banner of goodwill towards the customer it would be a great gesture for them to let us perhaps "re-gift" certain games on rare occasions. It would obviously require an arrangement with whichever publisher is involved, but it could be done on a similar basis as the sales, as a special event. Like "Transfer One EA game" weekend, or something like that, maybe just once a year for each of several publishers that wished to participate.

I do not expect this to happen, but I believe it would do no harm to profits for either Steam nor the publishers involved, and it would be a much appreciated gesture of goodwill. Like you, I have bought many games that I found that I either did not care for, or perhaps played a bit and don't intend to reinstall again, etc. and it would make me feel better about perceived value for my purchase if I could give it to someone who might use it, and for me personally that would if anything stimulate my inclination to spend money on games through Steam.

rocketeer8015
03-29-2010, 04:24 AM
All of this is asuming the really resell licenses, as in they buy them and then have to resell them. What if they simply let developers put a game on steam and take a share? I really doubt Valve buys licenses and resells them.

No, the SSA is pretty clear on the fact that we are licensing games from them not the publishers(its referred to as Steam Software and there is no reference to third parties). Which implies the licenses are owned by Valve, which in turn implies they bought them from the publishers.

But even if your right and Valve is only a middleman helping with the sale, they could still buy back licenses, and sell them again without having to pay the share to the devs. Think of it like a Car retailer, if he sells a new car from ford he might have to pay ford a provision(he didnt own the car, ford only provided it to him so he can sell it). But if he buys the same car back a week later, and decides to sell it again he gets the full price for himself.

What my idea assumes is that there is a courtruling freeing Valve from any clauses that are doubtlessly in their contracts with the publishers to prevent exactly this. Like ford in my example above wouldnt get a nickle out of the used car sale, infact they might even loose a sale, its the independent retailer that profits from this.

So you see actually its not relevant how Steam operates, what is relevant is that they could aquire ownership of a game license by buying it "back" from an enduser. Obviously if they own the game license, they could resell it like a car retailer does with used cars. Who originally owned the license that the enduser aquired is pretty much besides the point for this.

My point is that they probably have contractual obligations forbidding them to do this, which could in theory be superseded by a courtruling. In which case the poor Valve would be forced by the evil courts to make more money :D.

t047
03-29-2010, 11:34 AM
But doesn't this allow retailers to artificially jack up prices? For example, I want to buy game X but it's only on steam since no one is reselling and even if I bought it, I wouldn't be able to use. This just leaves the retailers and blocks the 2nd hand market where I might be able to get a title for 2/$2 instead of paying an extra 10 or equivalent.

It would also apply where someone bought an early copy of game Z for a premium and then didnt like but sold it off at a cheaper rate. Im not talking about buyback here but just 2nd hand trade. There comes a point when the prices drop so low that the margins are effectively none yet the price charged for a certain game is high.

Let me give you this example: I bought the orange box in 2006 for 25, effectively 5 a game. Someone wants TF2 but the current price is 15 on steam, why should he buy that when the price eas effectively lower at an earlier date (not to mention any promotions he may have missed e.g TF2 @ 2.50) when he can get a used copy for pennies? In that situation I wouldn't buy just because of the point, and Im not flowing in cash. Many may disagree and buy it, fine but the pricing becomes unfair then. (i do acknowledge that some steam games are lowered quite a bit too)