Digital Spy reports that Ru Weerasuriya, head of video game developer Ready at Dawn, believes purchasing pre-owned games is damaging to customers as well as the developers of the game. Retailers that make use of the pre-owned, used game market are targeted in particular.
“They’re not just making a living at the expense of developers but also the consumers because the consumers will see less and less games come out if developers can’t get revenue to make more new titles and keep going as a business”.
It does sound logical. According to Kotaku, publishers and distributors only earn money from the initial purchase of a game. Take that game and sell it back to a retailer with a used game policy, however, and they don’t. The problem arises when developers are not able to make enough money to fund development for more games. As a customer, you would want to save as much money as you can. Who in their right mind would purchase a game for $60 when they can get the same game with the exact same content for a cheaper price?
This creates a vicious circle, Weerasuriya believes. Customers buy a cheaper game, which means less money for developers, which means less development on new games by developers, and fewer games in the long run. It’s unfortunate, really, for us customers. Shall we go along for the ride as long as we can or do we value our integrity more than a couple less bucks? Well, more than a couple.
Microsoft’s DRM policy would have helped control the flow of profit and save developers from this headache. The problem is the change would have vastly limited the freedom of gamers from sharing their games – not from buying games from each other but from simply lending your game to a friend. It was because of this, I think, that enough negative reception arose to force Microsoft to, shall we say, re-think their strategy.
Weerasuriya wants some of the profit from the used game market to go to the original developers. This would solve the problem, as customers don’t pay any more than they originally did, they still get the same great price of a cheaper game, and the developers will get a profit. The only problem comes from the retailers (GameStop, anyone?), whom I doubt would go along with such a change willingly.