The way PC developers are "figuring out how to make a profit" is to basically make games a service, rather than a product. Steam and MMOs being the most obvious examples... Thing is, I would rather this not happen.
I'd prefer that not happen as well, but again it's not something I'm ready to give up my first-sale rights for. Additionally, there are quite a few people, including both you and me, who would rather buy a product rather than a service, so any move in that direction will result in some level of lost sales though an overall shift in the demand curve due to what people are willing to pay for a service as opposed to a product. Now it may be that this still results in higher profits compared to what selling a product did, and thus they run with it; so be it. Or it may be that there's enough of a customer preference for a product over a service that companies that still offer a product easily obtain dominance over those who offer a service. Right now this whole thing is being sorted out, and I'm quite content to let the market as it currently stands decide the matter.
You don't own anything, you have never owned anything. When you buy media you are always, always buying a license to view/play the content under certain conditions. Ownership, even of a copy, implies a sense of ability to use the content as you see fit. A license comes with restrictions.
I most certainly do own the particular copy of the work. It's explicitly presented to me as a sale, I pay an upfront fee, with no contractual terms accompanying the sale, and no expectation that I will relinquish the copy of the work at some specified later date. That sounds like the definition of a sale to me. And it seems pretty much all the developers and publishers agree with me, as all they're doing is whining that resales shouldn't be allowed, while if they already weren't allowed by virtue of people not owning the copies the publishers would instead be firing off C&D letters to the likes of Amazon, Ebay, and Gamestop. Also feel free to read 17 USC Section 109 if you want to see what the actual copyright act says about the matter. Or if you'd prefer an apropos court ruling read up on Vernor v. Autodesk. I won't bother discussing this particular point further until you show you've informed yourself a bit better about the matter.
It's silly because I love my 10 hour cinematic games and you're basically saying they deserve to die.
If they can't turn a profit then it's simply not a viable market area, too bad. But instead you want everyone else to subsidize your pet genre by giving up their first-sale rights. Fuck that shit.
Resale does not need to be a factor if you know it is not an option. Look at the game, look at the price, decide if you want to pay that much for a license to play the game... end of story. If you can't stomach paying $50 for a 10 hour game and not being able to sell it, wait until it's cheaper. Why do used sales have to be a factor?
Used sales simply are
a factor. Now, you seem to be dancing around wanting the law changed to make them no longer a factor, but if you're going to take this approach you'll need to be a damn strong case as to how such a change in the laws benefits society as a whole, and frankly you're not even close to making a case for this. Or the alternative, the game company could specifically sell their game as a service, and make this perfectly clear upfront. Except it seems that a fair number of people aren't willing to pay quite as much when this is made clear prior to the sale. Go figure. The free market's a bitch, ain't it?
You could apply this logic to piracy and try to justify that disgusting process the same way... "piracy exists, if you can't be successful despite that, GTFO." It's a circular arguement that is pretty ridiculous.
I do say that same about piracy, not to justify it, but simply to recognize the fact that it exists. Same with retail and shoplifting (the folks there have the sense to view shoplifting as a cost to be managed, and don't go batshit insane treating it like the boogieman). Piracy is illegal, resale is legal, but both exist and any company in the gaming industry has to deal with both of them. Whining and wishful thinking isn't going to change any of this. Now, arguing that the laws should be changed is another matter, and that requires the case to be put forth for an overall societal benefit from the change; arguing that your pet genre isn't profitable without such a change in the laws doesn't even come close.
Oh, you're one of those "copyright is evil" people I guess.
I'm a copyright minimalist. I believe that copyright exists to provide an incentive for the creation of creative works, and should do so by providing a limited monopoly on the reproduction of such works, one that is long enough to provide an incentive, but no longer. I believe that the ultimate purpose of copyright is the benefit of society, and to this benefit we grant the temporary monopoly for a short time, after which we all benefit from the work falling into the public domain. The US Constitution seems to agree with me on this matter. I also believe that copyright has ceased to provide benefit to the public due to obscene copyright term extensions and restrictions on what used to be regarded as fair use rights. Thus I believe that copyright needs to be reformed so that it once again serves its original purpose.
The simple fact of the matter is that in a digital age, "product" and "property" are very different. You know this, I'm not telling you anything new. Thus what is "owned" is completely different from what was owned 100 years ago.
The logistics of dealing with completely immaterial goods throws in a practical complication, but the principles of ownership for both a copyright and a copyrighted work remain the same. Now, maybe to deal with the practical considerations the laws should be changed to alter the principles of ownership, but again you'll need to make an argument as to how any specific change would benefit society as a whole.
It costs Ubisoft 50 million dollars to make a game, and that game exists not as a physical object, but as an intellectual property... it is owned and has value, despite not existing in a physical sense. You can't buy an idea, a thought, a process... you have to license it. I don't think you should be able to sell this license, simple as that.
There are two things that exist and are owned. First, there is the copyright, the right to make copies of the game until it falls into the public domain. Ubisoft maintains ownership of this. The second is the individual copies of the game, which Ubisoft sells to retailers, who then sell these copies to customers. These copies are treated the same as any other product that's sold, they belong to whoever buys them, and can be resold to anyone else. Oh, and the copyright that Ubisoft owns can also be sold if they so choose, although that carries a much bigger price tag than simply a copy of the game.
Think about it this way: under your system, one person could buy Assassin's Creed... pay $50 for it... and then when he is done playing it he can hand it off to someone else for $30, and they hand it to someone else for $30, and the game travels the world being played by every single person in this world even though the game was only paid for at retail once. Ubisoft gets $50 out of everyone in the world playing their game. Under your system, this is completely legit and not at all improper.
That's quite correct, and I see no problem with it. And if everyone in the world is content to wait for their turn with the game then I'd say Ubisoft must have made a pretty shitty product.
This would never happen of course, because people are too impatient to wait for the game to be passed around the entire country... but then we must ask ourselves this, are we paying for the game or paying for impatience?
You're paying for both, and they are one and the same. It's the same reason why although my neighbor has a hammer I could borrow easily enough I still go out and buy my own, so that I have that particular product to use whenever I so desire.
Ubisoft spends millions to make a game. They ask me for $20-50 for the right to play it as many times as I want throughout my lifetime. If YOU want to play it, you need to compensate Ubisoft as well. This is a fair and legit way to do business and have cool new games. What is the problem with it?
That Ubisoft wants to sell it to me and not really sell it to me. Offer to sell me a product I want at a price I'm willing to pay and I'll buy it; that particular copy of that product is now mine and I'm free to do with it whatever I choose. Offer to sell me a lease for a product that I want at a price I'm willing to pay and I'll also willing to lease it, just be aware that the price I'm willing to pay is going to be less. Both of these are fine. Except some game companies want to pretend they're selling me a product, then later claim they were really only leasing it to me. That's what would typically be called fraud
. If you're going to sell a product sell a product. If you're going to sell a service or lease then go ahead and do so. But if you're going to try to pull a bait-and-switch to defraud your customers then you can go fuck yourself.