Developers Inventing New Strategies to Fight Used Game Sales

Epic president Mike Capps hinted recently that methods aside from new-copies-only DLC might appear to incentivize gamers away from the used game trade, which for years has taken potential profits from developers and left it in the hands of retailers.

"I've talked to some developers who are saying 'If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay $20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free,'" explained Capps to GamesIndustry, explaining one possible strategy that could take form.

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Epic's Gears of War 2 is taking a stance against used game sales

Around the Epic offices, used games aren't exactly welcome. "We certainly have a rule at Epic that we don't buy any used games--sure as hell you're not going to be recognised as an Epic artist going in and buying used videogames--because this is how we make our money and how all our friends in the industry make money," Capps said.

Making a thinly-veiled reference to mega-retailer GameStop, Capps commented, "Our primary retailer makes the majority of its money off of secondary sales." The president sees a solution in digital distribution--or at least downloadable expansions to traditionally sold games. "I think DLC will be increasing in scope just because in the US we really need to make strides against the second-hand market," he said.

Epic is making its own strides by including one-time DLC codes in new copies of Gears of War 2, which released last week. EA Canada and Harmonix have followed suit in NBA Live 09 and Rock Band 2, respectively.