Publishers can get a bigger slice of pre-owned game sales at retail – if they’re willing to reach a compromise with stores.
Several games retailers have told MCV they’d be happy to share revenues from used game sales if publishers scrapped Online Pass codes or gave them a better deal on new stock.
A number of publishers such as EA, Ubisoft, THQ and more recently Warner Bros currently include one-time digital pass codes in certain new releases. These give customers free access to part of the in-game content which buyers of second hand versions must pay extra for.
Gordon Crawford from indie Gamespod told MCV: “As a retail store we would happily share part of the sale from a used game if we get something in return. Perhaps new games at better prices and no more online codes.”
In a statement sent to MCV, HMV said: “We all know how the business model in the industry is changing. So if there is any merit in this idea then it may be worth looking into.”
Julian Slater from Bits and Pieces added: “If you want to stop these one-time codes then yeah, fair enough, we’ll share revenues. If publishers gave me a better deal, then maybe. The publishers are not the poor man here.”
Other retailers are less confident publishers will stike a deal at all.
”We’d definitely like to do this, but I don’t see it being something publishers would implement,” said Chris Muckell from Xpress Games. “With new releases dropping in price after just the second week, I’d have thought their investments would be better in making money from DLC.”