One Developer's Ideas to Thwart Pre-Owned Sales

Illustration for article titled One Developer's Ideas to Thwart Pre-Owned Sales

Trade-ins and the resale market are a great benefit to cost-conscious gamers (not to mention retailers gigging the trade-in values and resale markups). They're also a pain in the ass for developers, especially the smaller ones, who face creating popular but poor-selling titles because everyone swaps it around. In an interview with Develop magazine, Frontier founder David Braben says developers should stop complaining to retailers and figure out ways to make owning first-buy copies of their games essential. "We need to help retailers," Braben said. "In fairness, they're probably doing it because they're struggling. But there are ways of tracking and deterring pre-owned sales." His ideas: Unique codes on boxes, similar to those used for PC online games, to ensure the games can't be sold. Or, special content that can only be unlocked with a scratch-off card containing a one-use code. But most likely, small developers will look to the downloadable channel as the way to go, Braben says. This will certainly become more viable in future generations of consoles, meaning devs still must cope with retail markets for the forseeable future. Braben Questions Game Prices [Develop, via Destructoid]



@jigglypoofs: Actually a lot of really good games, especially by small developers don't sell well right away in retail, meaning that they get less money for their game obviously, but even more-so because the longer the game is out the bigger the chance that a used copy will be available to be resold. The lack in initial sales is probably because the lack of a well established reputation. It can take a few games for a company to really hit it's stride.

Young game companies usually means totally new IP's which are also more difficult to sell. I also don't think that many smaller and newer game companies make mass market shovelware... That just doesn't make sense. That's why GIANT companies like EA and Activision put out those things because they're cheap to make and can be sold for alot.

So while I don't agree with some of the ideas and think that downloadable content is the way to fix this problem the man does have very legitimate concerns. He's hardly a "fucking sellout prick". I mean, Jason Bateman's just not that kinda guy...