Bungie: Used Game Sales Hurt Halo

Bungie audio director Marty O'Donnell has served up three multi-million-selling games with the company, but that hasn't stopped him from noting the effects of used game sales on developers such as his studio.

"It's hard to gauge the effect of used game sales on Halo, but I'm sure it's big," O'Donnell told GamesIndustry. "Complaining about sales when you have a multi-million seller is somewhat difficult to justify, but it seems to me that the folks who create and publish a game shouldn't stop receiving income from further sales."

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Gaming mega-retailer GameStop reported that a staggering 49 percent of its Q1 2008 profits came from used game sales. None of that profit is re-distributed to developers or publishers, who only receive royalties from first-time sales of games. Electronic Arts, the world's second-largest publisher, recently called the used game trade "a very critical situation."

"It will be harder for smaller titles to be successful in the future if they can't fully realise a return on investment," O'Donnell warned.

O'Donnell expressed his support for digital distribution, saying, "Hopefully developers, publishers, and retailers will figure out a system that is good and fair for both the consumer and the creators of that content."

"I don't worry that much about the middle man; he always makes out just fine," he concluded.