‘You can’t blame people for buying pre-owned’

It’s unfair to blame consumers for trading in their old titles when new games cost as much as $60/50 – that’s according to the CEO of TimeShift developer Saber Interactive.

"I absolutely feel that cheaper, digital games have to be the future," Matthew Karch told CVG. "$60 is a lot to pay for a game, and while there is definitely a market for games in that price range, for many people that’s an immediate barrier to entry.

"People in our industry are in a panic about used games, but honestly, can you blame people for playing a game and then trying to get some value back out of it? The only way for many gamers to currently play multiple triple-A games is to shell out quite a bit of money and that definitely limits our consumer base."

His comments come following the digital release of Saber-developed title Battle: Los Angeles. But despite the game’s critical mauling, Karch still believes that smaller, digitally published games are the future.

"If you want to reach an audience that is not accustomed to spending or can’t spend that kind of money, then you need to give them an alternative," he added. "I think this also applies to our core audience. Smaller, high quality digital downloads are a great way to do that.

"I think the price tag alienates gamers. People complain about $5 spent when they don’t like a download? How do you think they feel about blowing $60? That definitely limits our audience.

"The $60 price tag is holding games back, in more respects than one. The primary problem with the price tag is that it limits the market. Because the market is limited, publishers need to make sure they hit as many in their audience as possible with a game. This means that less risks are taken and games end up being much more "cookie cutter" and innovation is stifled."

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