Echoing the thoughts an arguments that have many times been the centre of near-furious debate at the Intent Media office, Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack has argued that pre-owned is damaging the games industry.
I would argue that used games actually increase the cost of games," he told GamesIndustry. "There used to be something in games for 20 years called a tail, where say you have a game called Warcraft that would sell for 10 years. Because there are no used games, you could actually sell a game for a long time, and get recurring revenue for quite a while.
"Now there is no tail. Literally, you will get most of your sales within three months of launch, which has created this really unhealthy extreme where you have to sell it really fast and then you have to do anything else to get money.
Used games are cannibalizing the industry. If developers and publishers don’t see revenue from that, it’s not a matter of hey ‘we’re trying to increase the price of games to consumers, and we want more’, we’re just trying to survive as an industry.
So I think that’s inflated the price of games, and I think that prices would have come down if there was a longer tail, but there isn’t."
It’s a scene we’ve seen many times in the office. Team MCV argue that without the cost-cutting benefits of trading in your games, many consumers couldn’t afford to buy as many new games.
The counter argument, fronted by fellow office dwellers Develop, says that every sale of a pre-owned game damages developers, robbing the industry of investment and, ultimately, creativity.