Game publishers’ response to used games was to make new games more valuable, and retailers are willing to talk.
Used games sales are as much of a sore subject for retailers across the pond as they are here in the US. The topic boils down to the fact that the used game market has exploded in the last ten years, but videogame publishers make zero money off of used games. Some consumers only buy discounted used games, so the videogame industry has begun initiatives like EA’s “Project Ten Dollar” to keep the value of new games high. Retailers – in the UK at least – have gotten the message and are willing to negotiate. But publishers like EA, Ubisoft, THQ and Warner Bros need to stop putting codes in new games for day one content.
“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,” said Gordon Crawford from independent shop Gamespod.
“If you want to stop these one-time codes then yeah, fair enough, we’ll share revenues,” said Julian Slater from Bits and Pieces, reminding us all that these small retail outlets are not billion dollar behemoths. “If publishers gave me a better deal, then maybe. The publishers are not the poor man here.”
Chris Muckell from Xpress Games doesn’t think publishers are going to agree to it any time soon. “We’d definitely like to do this [revenue share], but I don’t see it being something publishers would implement,” he said. “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.”