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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:09AM Beau Hindman said

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Yeh I think it is definitely a problem. Gamestop still literally sells a card that has on it a free-to-play that was never released. To be fair, the card is good for a blank sort of cash-shop cash that is applicable to all the publishers games, but it is still odd.

But, once that store paid for that item (in this case, a box) they must continue to try and get rid of it. Anyway, buyer beware! Fortunately, unless the game is closed or has no CS at all (and SOE has great CS) then the player should be able to use the box in some way.

I just hate seeing them on the shelves because it looks so out of touch.

Beau

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:19AM Ocho said

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As long as the customer is still getting their money's worth, its not a scam. If the business is selling a product that straight up has no benefits whatsoever... then yeah, I do believe its the business's responsibility to take that product off the shelves.

In the DC example, if someone has bought a box copy, and they get an upgraded account or the VIP game time, then its still worth it. For APB? That game doesn't run anymore, and the box copy has nothing to do with Reloaded... so that should be removed.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:31AM Cendres said

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I always found that to be shady, I always go tell the clerk that Tabula Rasa for example is no longer in service and explain if a buyer gets it, they can't PLAY. Some stores are really that ignorant when it comes to online games.

For freemiums titles though it's not a big deal you usually get a 'free' month and some bonuses for registering a retail copy. I just bought DCUO for that exact reason.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:37AM Thorqemada said

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Our local Gamestop still has a Box of Earth and Beyond^^
I told them the gameservers arent up anymore but...

Ok, i personally am on the edge to shifting fully to digital downloads since i got VDSL with 50k Downstrem but its still not common and boxed sales will still go on for many years and we will see therefore still some dead game boxes in the shops and should laugh about it ;)

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 11:42AM (Unverified) said

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DCUO is a bad example because the game hasn't gone to f2p yet. you don't know how long it will take for them to get to f2p (or am I missing something?) there is still a month or two left with that game box being usable.
I agree with some of the older replies in that it should be illegal to sell closed down games if there's no warning involved. some people still like to collect games for nostalgic purposes.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 12:27PM Yellowdancer said

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@(Unverified)

I think the plan for DCUO is launch update 5. Then update the servers for F2P. Once they get the PS3 version stable because it always breaks when updated, then they will throw the gates open.
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 12:22PM smacky623 said

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I saw a copy of Star Wars Galaxies at a store the other day and thought 'Damn, I hope they pull that soon' lol

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 12:25PM Yellowdancer said

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@smacky623

I don't think you can even add the game to an account that doesn't have it. So that would be a ripoff
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Posted: Sep 27th 2011 12:43PM Jeromai said

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Yes, they should pull it. Or at least post a warning about it, if they really think someone is going to buy it for nostalgia reasons.

Simple ethics really. An informed purchase is always better than an uninformed one. Also good business practice for long term customer relationships. An unhappy customer with a bad taste left in their mouth is NOT going to frequent you again.

They could discount CEs, there's still possibly desirable tangible goodies people may want, but it doesn't make much sense to pay full price for an incomplete product.

Too much to hope for, of course, judging by the many brain-dead peons manning the storefront counters. Little wonder why brick-and-mortar retail is in a decline.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 1:24PM (Unverified) said

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I found several copies of Auto Assault on the shelves for full price 2 years after the servers went dark. I told an employee about it and the boxes were still there 6 months later. They really should pull them. Especially if the servers are no longer available.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 1:34PM (Unverified) said

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Considering during the holidays I'm willing to bet that most of the retail, non-digital purchases are gifts ("oh, my grandson likes comics, and he likes games, this DCUO would be nice for him") I think the retailer does owe it to their consumers to understand if the game is still retail or is now free. If nothing else, it probably makes sense to a BestBuy not to tick off grandma and have her stop buying games completely in the future.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 1:38PM notinterested said

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No, thats backwards logic!

The retailers have already bought and paid for that game so when the publisher makes the game F2P or closes its doors they are just screwed with a worthless box they cant do anything with.

In the case of DCUO SOE should be buying those boxes back from the retailers but of course they wont.

The retailers receive no notice of this and the people that would even make the decision to pull something from the shelf will not have a clue whats going on. The best you can hope for is the salesmen knowing better and steering people away.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 3:10PM Coolplay said

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It's the responsibility of the business to keep up to date with games, but there are too many games. Is it their fault? Nope. Because they get rants for not having the game more then they would if they were stuck with a game that is no longer in service.
Is it up to the customer to inform game business's that the game is no longer in service? Sure. Because their good behavior passes on to others.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 4:53PM mattwo said

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I've seen stores selling games that are F2P and stuff for games that have long since died (such as nanovor).

As far as I know the only game that kind of died that they should keep selling things for is the i/TCG, chaotic which while no longer releasing new sets is still very much playable both offline and online.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 4:55PM CookieMillz said

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Yea they do have the right, that's why they are called stores -_-

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 6:44PM Bladerunner83 said

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This is a great topic to talk about!

" Do stores have a certain responsibility to keep track of the status of these games and adjust their stock accordingly? "

I do not believe the store is responsible for a defective product. It should be the gaming companies responsibility to inform the store of any changes pertaining to its produce. A game that transitions to a F2P and no longer has a retail price tag, should be removed from the shelves and returned to the company; Very much like recalling a defective part for your car.

" Maybe someone even wants to purchase one for nostalgia's sake. "

If this was the case, then they should head on over to EBay or another similar auction system and get it the old fashion way.

" On the other hand, those shops are selling a nonfunctional product to potentially unsuspecting customers. "

Now some people are curious, but MMO fans usually know what they are buying. It would be nice to know the stats on that issue; For instance, how many people are actually falling for that scam?

" Is the onus on the retailer to keep track, provide a warning to customers, and maybe even pull the items from the shelves? "

Like I stated above, it's the companies responsibility to inform the retail store on any changes in its product. If a recall of the item is "not going to happen," then the game should have a warning label that informs the customer, " It can be downloaded for free." It should also be discounted 75 - 90% for the boxed copy. In a case like tabula rasa, were the game is no longer available to play, it should be entirely removed from the retail store and thrown into a dumpster.

With the way the system is now, It should be the customers responsibility to make an informed purchase, because they are the ones spending money on the product. If you buy a game in a store, especially a MMO, you really need to do your homework on it; spontaneously buying a MMO in a retail store is risky and ignorant.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 7:59PM JD78 said

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What I think is even worse or atleast as bad is some stores selling returned copies. For example, my local Target has a couple copies of Aion in the clearance bin that have been "repackaged". Which usually means returned items that have been repackaged for resale.

Posted: Sep 27th 2011 8:14PM (Unverified) said

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I once did a focus group playtest at EA for the game BattleForge a few years ago, and as a reward for our time we got to pick a free game from a fairly sizable stack. One of the games was Earth & Beyond, and it had been long closed at that point. I laughed, but made sure to let them know it was a closed game that would be about as useful as a frisbee to anyone who picked it. The guy thanked me and let me take a 2nd game. I ended up taking Crysis and The Sims 2.

Posted: Sep 28th 2011 2:46PM Daishi85 said

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I bought a unopened collector's edition for Tabula Rasa @ Fry's not too long ago for nostalgia purposes.

It was only $2! Why not? :D

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