David Braben: Used Game Market At Fault For High Prices
Some hardcore gamers aren't too happy with the explosion of multiplayer and the fact that single-player adventures seem to be taking a back seat. On top of which, players often complain about the cost of games.
And Frontier Developments founder David Braben says if you feel games are too pricey, and you feel single-player popularity is on the decline, blame the used game market. In a lengthy Gamasutra interview, Braben said he won't buy a pre-owned game "on principle" and in fact, the used game market is "killing the core games."
"The real problem when you think about it brutally, if you look at just core gamer games, pre-owned has really killed core games. In some cases, it’s killed them dead. I know publishers who have stopped games in development because most shops won’t reorder stock after initial release, because they rely on the churn from the resales. I won’t buy a pre-owned game out of principle."
For years, publishers and developers have been complaining about used games, as they only result in more profit for retailers, but not another dime for the companies that actually produced the title. Furthermore, Braben added that day-one sales are no longer an automatic indicator of success, and this goes double for single-player-oriented games.
"But it’s killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk. I mean, the idea of a game selling out used to be a good thing, but nowadays, those people who buy it on day one may well finish it and return it.
People will say ‘Oh well, I paid all this money and it’s mine to do with as I will’, but the problem is that’s what’s keeping the retail price up — prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells."
Strong statements. What do you think?
3/19/2012 12:02:24 PM Ben Dutka