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An easy “solution” to the pre-owned games problem that’s destroying #gamedev

In case you weren’t aware, in a nutshell:

  • Dev writes game, gets share of profits when sold
  • Publisher manufactures game ($10 loss)
  • Publisher sells game to retailer at $30 ($20 profit)
  • Retailer sells game to public at $60 ($30 profit)

…then some of the retailers spotted a flaw in the system, and started doing this:

  • All the above, BUT:
  • Retailer buys game back from Consumer at $10 ($10 loss)
  • Retailer sells game to new Consumer at $55 ($45 profit)
  • Instead of “selling” 100,000 copies of the game (giving money to gamedev), retailer “sells” 1,000 copies of the game, and then buys/resells it 99,000 times
  • NET RESULT: Publishers add crap that consumers hate – e.g. pay-for DLC – and more developers go out of business than before

A simple solution…

Serious question: why aren’t publishers offering to buy-back used games for $x%, giving both cash and (say) free DLC for other games?

Having thought about this, it seems the reason game-retailers et al are causing problems is because they have zero competition in the re-purchasing market; this allows them to re-purchase at prices lower than they pay for the original copy.

Take that away from them, and … problem solved.


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