Microsoft: Second-hand Games Are Part of Industry “Ecosystem”


Microsoft vice president Chris Lewis has recognized used game sales as part of gaming’s economic “ecosystem,” but expects developers to use workarounds like digital distribution to circumvent the retailers.

Used-games continue to stir trouble between the different links in the game industry chain. Developers and publishers see falling profits at their own business while retail sales soar as evidence enough that the storefronts are profiting off of trade-ins at the industry’s expense.

Smart publishers, says Microsoft’s Chris Lewis, will be those who recognize used game’s role in the marketplace will be able to adopt profitable publishing models.

“I’m a fan of the ecosystem overall,” Lewis stated to GamesIndustry. “I can see the positive in it, because I can see that what you then get is more and more people touching, playing, experiencing a game that they may not otherwise have access to.”

Lewis understands the used-game market can’t be closed (flea markets and garage sales thrive on peddling old goods), especially because “certain retailers are very focused and spend a lot of time on it. It’s good business for them.”

“I think things like premium downloadable content, and that kind of thing, will ultimately play a part in used games – and that’s not me saying that it’s a great way for us to try and minimise that,” he explained on Microsoft’s strategy to raise game revenues amidst a growing used-games market. “I think it will be a great enhancement to the way that people experience games. If some additionally content is available via the Xbox Live service, for instance, that further enriches the game experience and might encourage folks to hang on their games for a bit longer.”

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