According to Guillaume de Fondaumiere, co-founder of Quantic Dream, the company is losing 5 to 10 million euros in royalties (that’s roughly around $9 to $19 million in U.S. currency) because of secondhand sales of Heavy Rain. The reasoning behind a lot of the secondhand sales he believes is due to the recession.
“I would say that the impact that the recession had, especially on AAA games on console, was the rise of second hand gaming. And I think this is one of the number one problems right now in the industry.”
Is it just a problem in the video game industry? What about the DVD/CD industry, or the car industry? Even if it is a problem, aren’t you entitled to do what you want with an item you own, as long as it’s not illegal?
“I can take just one example of Heavy Rain – we basically sold to date approximately two million units, we know from the trophy system that probably more than three million people bought this game and played it. On my small level it’s a million people playing my game without giving me one cent. And my calculation is, as Quantic Dream, I lost between €5 and €10 million worth of royalties because of second hand gaming.”
You can also spin it that you lost millions because of people turned off by the game’s gameplay, or by being a PlayStation 3 exclusive.
De Fondaumiere knows that secondhand gaming is helpful in making games cheaper for the consumers, but he says that the industry should be doing something different about it.
“Now I know the arguments, you know, without second hand gaming people will buy probably less games because they buy certain games full price, and then they trade them in,” said de Fondaumiere. “Well I’m not so sure this is the right approach and I think that developers and certainly publishers and distributors should sit together and try to find a way to address this. Because we’re basically all shooting ourselves in the foot here.
It’s a scary thought that if enough people buy used games, developers and publishers might resort to just online distribution in order to recoup costs and to make sure they get the full amount directly from consumers.
“Because when developers and publishers alike are going to see that they can’t make a living out of producing games that are sold through retail channels, because of second hand gaming, they will simply stop making these games. And we’ll all, one say to the other, simply go online and to direct distribution. So I don’t think that in the long run this is a good thing for retail distribution either.”
Instead of just outright trying to say that secondhand sales should be stopped, he says that the industry should find a happy medium for game prices as to make the consumers, publishers and developers happy.
“Now are games too expensive? I’ve always said that games are probably too expensive so there’s probably a right level here to find, and we need to discuss this altogether and try to find a way to I would say reconcile consumer expectations, retail expectations but also the expectations of the publisher and the developers to make this business a worthwhile business.”
So what do you guys think about the secondhand market?
9 260 244
18 520 488