Activision admits to pre-owned problem

Publisher Activision has made one of the most blatant statements yet concerning its intention to tackle what many executives see as the pre-owned ‘problem’ in the video games market.

Responding to a question from Wells Fargo Securities’ Jess Lubert in a call to investors, COO Thomas Tippl initially responded gently when probed about his intention to target’ pre-owned games sales.

We are still evaluating various possibilities for greater participation in the used-games business.”

However, this saccharine comment was then added to with the following admission:

What’s been working the best so far is providing additional content and therefore limiting the supply of used games. So that’s a proven strategy that we will continue. And any other initiatives, we will be talking about when we get closer to it.”

Last month EA Sports boss Peter Moore appeared to attack pre-owned, though it has been suggested to MCV since the story’s publication that Moore was in fact suggesting that he actually wanted to make consumers reluctant to part with their games due to the ongoing value offered by post-release DLC.

The growing tendency for publishers to include single-use DLC codes in the boxes of their new releases is regarded by nearly everyone as an attempt from publishers to erode the value of trade-in games. But finding a publisher boss willing to admit this is no easy task.

Indeed, the only attacks on the sector to emerge to date have come from anonymous execs unwilling to put their names to their beliefs. Whether Activision’s new admission will change that sentiment is yet to be seen.

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