Frontier Developments Founder: Used Games Are Killing Core Games

By William Usher 2012-03-19 16:05:20 discussion comments
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Some really harsh words were spewed from founder and industry veteran of Frontier Developments, David Braben, a company known for games like Kinectimals for the Xbox Kinect, regarding the state of used game sales and how the pre-owned market is killing core games.

Beefjack picked up the quotes from Braben talking in an interview with GamaSutra about industry related topics, with Braben saying....
“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.”

Dang, I didn't know the industry was in that bad a shape. I'm curious who these publishers were who just stopped development on a game dead after retailers said "Nope, we're not ordering more copies because we're just gonna resell what we already got...go suck a pickle."

Moreover, Braben had a few more comments to share about the pre-owned market, saying...
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.”

Ugh, really? This guy really think prices would drop if companies were getting a share of the billions from the used market trade, on top of the billions they already make annually? That's a frivolous pipe dream.

Anyways, this guy confirms a lot of what was brought up in the Top Misconceptions about The Gaming Industry.

Namely he makes it like the industry isn't making enough money to sustain the core market and core games are dying because of used game sales (no. 3 in the linked article). He goes on to say that if publishers made more money gamers would get cut a break in retail prices, which is not true at all, publishers make more than enough as it is and we still haven't caught a break (no. 2 in the linked article). Next he mentions how used game sales hurt devs to the point where development is halted (no. 4 on the list). His talking points coincide with further trying to protect sales by spreading misinformation (no. 1 on the list). That's not to mention all the AAA titles coming out this year and next year (despite the popularity in used game sales), but that's another article for another day.

You can check out more of what David Braben had to say in the full interview over at GamaSutra.
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