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.

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.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 10, 2008 11:55 AM

    Have these assholes never heard of the right of first sale? Do books come with codes that you have to enter online in order to unlock the last chapter? Do music CDs come with codes to unlock the most popular track? Do DVDs require authentication before playing the denouement?

    No, they don't, because that's not how the fucking world works. If Epic wants to continue to charge $60 per video game, then they must continue to provide a $60 value which includes the right of re-sale. If they provide less than a $60 value by blocking resale, then they should either (a) charge less than $60 or (b) expect many people not to pay retail prices for incomplete products.

    If I can't charge for the full "used" price of a video game when I resell it, then I won't pay full retail price of a video game when I buy it.

    • reply
      November 10, 2008 12:18 PM

      They've heard of it, they just want to be special and have it not apply to them. That's fine though, as a consumer I do what is right for me, the other side of the equation is their problem. They'd love nothing more than equate used game sales to piracy because they don't see the money in it. Alas, the real world doesn't work that way.

      • reply
        November 10, 2008 1:06 PM

        from what I can tell nobody is trying to take away anybody's right to sell their property.

        • reply
          November 10, 2008 1:09 PM

          It's easier to redefine who's property it is.

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