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Valve Shoots Down Rumor of Steam Game Trades

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 55 comments

Digitally yours, forever.

We love digital distribution services like Steam. They provide a great place that keeps track of your games, while you don't have to keep track of physical media or serial keys.

Even though there isn't much of a used games market for PC games, the way digital distribution works today makes reselling something you own impossible. Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter spoke in an interview with NowGamer about some kind of Steam trade or exchange service: "Steam gives gamers enough other stuff so that they don’t resent the fact they can’t trade in their games. And you know, name all the Steam games that you’ve purchased that you’ve traded back in to somebody else for credit. Steam’s about to let you do that supposedly, you know like trade and exchange, but they’re going to take a fee from it."

Before you celebrate about how you may be able to send your digital games back into the Steam stream for someone else to enjoy, Valve's Doug Lombardi killed the notion with the following statement to Blue's News: "Untrue. We've never met with Mr. Pachter."

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  • 14 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 15, 2010 11:21 AM
    Personally I don't care, I pay for Steam games and I know they cannot be re-sold afterwards and it's no big deal

    The only reason for a 2nd hand games market to exist is for buying games cheaper and Steam games are cheap enough already (I recently got every Doom title ever made for a whopping £7.81)

    The second hand games market is a leech on the industry and the developers don't see a penny of the money that circulates through it. So what is better for the end user?

    1) Games distubuted in a way that the 2nd hand market does not exist, every penny goes to the developers so they can reinvest in more and better games and the high uptake of sales means that the cost is reduced for the customer. Quality is increased, cost is lowered.

    2) Games are allowed to flourish in a re-sellable marketplace, a single sale of the game can lead to dozens of separate owners so the uptake is lower, this leads to higher costs for the games and the amount available for reinvestment is also lowered. Quality is lowered, cost is increased.

    Time for this leeching industry to die, if you work in CEX or GameStop then time to look for a new job in KFC, it's not like you had a highly paid position of skilled qualification to begin with. The ultimate winner here will be the customer - we get better quality games and pay less money in the long run.
  • 11 Hide
    TunaSoda , October 15, 2010 12:14 PM
    As a business model it makes no sense to have the games re-sellable
Other Comments
  • 4 Hide
    braneman , October 15, 2010 10:38 AM
    I won't care as long as they start working on episode 3/half life 3(portal and dota are nice and all but they don't hold a candle to half life.)
  • 14 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 15, 2010 11:21 AM
    Personally I don't care, I pay for Steam games and I know they cannot be re-sold afterwards and it's no big deal

    The only reason for a 2nd hand games market to exist is for buying games cheaper and Steam games are cheap enough already (I recently got every Doom title ever made for a whopping £7.81)

    The second hand games market is a leech on the industry and the developers don't see a penny of the money that circulates through it. So what is better for the end user?

    1) Games distubuted in a way that the 2nd hand market does not exist, every penny goes to the developers so they can reinvest in more and better games and the high uptake of sales means that the cost is reduced for the customer. Quality is increased, cost is lowered.

    2) Games are allowed to flourish in a re-sellable marketplace, a single sale of the game can lead to dozens of separate owners so the uptake is lower, this leads to higher costs for the games and the amount available for reinvestment is also lowered. Quality is lowered, cost is increased.

    Time for this leeching industry to die, if you work in CEX or GameStop then time to look for a new job in KFC, it's not like you had a highly paid position of skilled qualification to begin with. The ultimate winner here will be the customer - we get better quality games and pay less money in the long run.
  • 7 Hide
    steelbox , October 15, 2010 11:44 AM
    back_by_demandPersonally I don't care, I pay for Steam games and I know they cannot be re-sold afterwards and it's no big dealThe only reason for a 2nd hand games market to exist is for buying games cheaper and Steam games are cheap enough already (I recently got every Doom title ever made for a whopping £7.81)The second hand games market is a leech on the industry and the developers don't see a penny of the money that circulates through it. So what is better for the end user?1) Games distubuted in a way that the 2nd hand market does not exist, every penny goes to the developers so they can reinvest in more and better games and the high uptake of sales means that the cost is reduced for the customer. Quality is increased, cost is lowered.2) Games are allowed to flourish in a re-sellable marketplace, a single sale of the game can lead to dozens of separate owners so the uptake is lower, this leads to higher costs for the games and the amount available for reinvestment is also lowered. Quality is lowered, cost is increased.Time for this leeching industry to die, if you work in CEX or GameStop then time to look for a new job in KFC, it's not like you had a highly paid position of skilled qualification to begin with. The ultimate winner here will be the customer - we get better quality games and pay less money in the long run.


    I simple agree with back_by_demand that the games are already cheaper than the physical, shelf market. I to bough doom collection but for 39.99 two year ago. With costed me +- R$ 80. Just Resurrection of Doom goes out for R$ 50, and it's not even available anymore in physical shelf market here in Brazil! Tell me if that isn't a bargain!
  • 11 Hide
    TunaSoda , October 15, 2010 12:14 PM
    As a business model it makes no sense to have the games re-sellable
  • 2 Hide
    kriminal , October 15, 2010 12:19 PM
    yeah i don't care about reselling my games of steam pfftt...
    alot of 90+ games were bargains tho. :) 
  • -1 Hide
    dalta centauri , October 15, 2010 12:21 PM
    TunaSodaAs a business model it makes no sense to have the games re-sellable

    Yes, but I would enjoy if Steam allowed you to pass a game you own onto a friend whenever you want, but that's only possible as long as your account isn't vac-banned (so you can't pass Valve games onto a new account that you made.)
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 15, 2010 12:31 PM
    dalta centauriYes, but I would enjoy if Steam allowed you to pass a game you own onto a friend whenever you want, but that's only possible as long as your account isn't vac-banned (so you can't pass Valve games onto a new account that you made.)

    It's exactly the same thing, a cottage industry would spring up where people would go into GameStop and "gift" their copy of the game to the store and they would then hand over cash to the seller.
    Then they would take money from the next person and "gift" the game to their account.

    There is always a way to run a scam from it, a blanket ban is the only way to stop it.
  • -1 Hide
    dalta centauri , October 15, 2010 12:48 PM
    Quote:
    It's exactly the same thing, a cottage industry would spring up where people would go into GameStop and "gift" their copy of the game to the store and they would then hand over cash to the seller.
    Then they would take money from the next person and "gift" the game to their account.

    There is always a way to run a scam from it, a blanket ban is the only way to stop it.

    Giving a game you owned on Steam to a friend on Steam for free would become a scam?
  • 1 Hide
    carcharocles_theory , October 15, 2010 12:50 PM
    Buying used games is nice... but it's only nice as long as you can't afford a new game. Valve consistently has sales that reduce games to a fraction of their original price--at one point over the summer you could get Resident Evil 5 for 6 bucks--and they are USUALLY cheaper than everywhere else to begin with. I've only seen a couple of times where I could get a game they were selling cheaper elsewhere... but then you have to factor in shipping or tax (most places won't have tax on steam), meaning ultimately you are still saving money.
    And yes, the biggest downside of a resold game is that it takes money away from developers, but this IS something that happens in every other market. However, if you can get a brand new Ferrari for the price of a new Ford Focus, would you really buy that 7, 8 year old beat up model to save a few extra bucks?
  • 5 Hide
    Regulas , October 15, 2010 12:51 PM
    "Even though there isn't much of a used games market for PC games, the way digital distribution works today makes reselling something you own impossible."
    Isn't that an oxymoron, STEAM and other DRM schemes is exactly why used PC games do not have a market, it is exactly what they wanted.
  • 1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 15, 2010 1:42 PM
    dalta centauriGiving a game you owned on Steam to a friend on Steam for free would become a scam?

    No, but Steam has no idea who the other persons account is and it would doubtless lead to "cash-in-hand" trades where people would sell their game.
    Naive much?
  • 2 Hide
    coldmast , October 15, 2010 1:46 PM
    Though it would be nice to share games with friends, the benefits of using steam outweighs the benefits of buying used games at slightly below the original cost.

    The best way for the first party distributors (title owners) to reign in more cash is to watch when the game stops selling as much and then drop the price $10; this keeps the resell value unappealing.

    I remember how the brilliant launch of Borderlands at $40 CAD allowed them to get a good install base which in turn generated more word of mouth sales and otherwise sell a game that wasn't on anyones radar so to speak.
  • -4 Hide
    ct1615 , October 15, 2010 2:15 PM
    STEAM gives gamers enough other stuff?? like what a freaking patch? that's tuff to do on your own. STEAM has great sales but paying more then $20 for a game on steam is pointless. I can purchase a new game for $50 from BB and sell it on ebay for $25. Why would I pay STEAM $50 for the same game locked to me?
  • 0 Hide
    ct1615 , October 15, 2010 2:15 PM
    *tough
  • 0 Hide
    Stryter , October 15, 2010 2:38 PM
    I always end up coming back to my older games on Steam anyways. There are just sometimes when I get in a Hitman mood, or (more frequently) a Quake 2 or 3 mood, etc. So yea, this news isn't hurting my feelings.
  • -1 Hide
    TemjinGold , October 15, 2010 2:39 PM
    ct1615STEAM gives gamers enough other stuff?? like what a freaking patch? that's tuff to do on your own. STEAM has great sales but paying more then $20 for a game on steam is pointless. I can purchase a new game for $50 from BB and sell it on ebay for $25. Why would I pay STEAM $50 for the same game locked to me?


    Because a) Your $50 BB game has tax and b) ebay+paypal eats a large chunk of that $25.
  • 6 Hide
    g0rilla , October 15, 2010 2:55 PM
    The only reason I would want to be able to trade or return is when I buy a bundle and it includes a few games I already own.
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 15, 2010 2:56 PM
    ct1615STEAM gives gamers enough other stuff?? like what a freaking patch? that's tuff to do on your own. STEAM has great sales but paying more then $20 for a game on steam is pointless. I can purchase a new game for $50 from BB and sell it on ebay for $25. Why would I pay STEAM $50 for the same game locked to me?

    Because if you were so bothered about paying $50 you wouldn't buy it new anyway
    ...
    You would be the person buying from eBay for $25 from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25, from the person who also bought it from eBay for $25 .... from the one and only person who bought it for $50 brand new because the game developers only get 1 sale from a game that has so far been through 12 other people.

    If everyone buy the game individually then the stock price of games will drop dramatically - as PROVED by Steam.
  • -1 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 15, 2010 2:58 PM
    g0rillaThe only reason I would want to be able to trade or return is when I buy a bundle and it includes a few games I already own.

    Steam already allows you to gift games that are duplicates - I bought HL2, but when I got the Orange Box I was able to gift the duplicate to my cousin - the very rare exception - and as if to prove my earlier point, he gave me £5 cash in hand for it.
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