Volition dev likes anti-used game system
“Would be a fantastic change for our business.”
While the debate over an anti-used game system, first rumored for the new Xbox, is being tossed around silently, at least one developer has come forth with an opinion. And he likes it.
“Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them,” said Jameson Durall, design director at Volition Games. The developer’s last ship was the abysmal Red Faction: Armageddon.
“The used games market is significantly impacting the revenue we receive. I think what most consumers don’t realize is that every time they buy a used game, there is ZERO money making it back to the Game Developers. All of those profits are going directly to the re-seller and making it more and more difficult for us to continue making higher quality products.”
Durall suggests Microsoft to continue using the “DLC and codes model” to tie the game to a player’s Xbox Live account, although he would prefer it tied only to the console itself. How kind.
“Each retail disc would likely need that unique key somewhere in the code so the account would be able to link it properly. Ideally it would tie a full version to the console it is registered on so family members can play even if the main account isn’t signed in, but this is exactly how their model works now anyway.”
One tiny, little bity problem with that would be the catastrophe when the console fails. We all remember the ‘Red Rings of Death’, don’t we? Durall then suggest another alternative, that of a rental service.
“I could see Microsoft implementing their own rental service which would maybe give them a code that activates the game for X days and they are charged a small amount,” he says.
“This could work when you borrow the disc from someone or even with digital download of the full version. It would also send a percentage of the rental to the Developer with each rental… likely improving the overall revenue we would receive from it.”
In conclusion, Durall says that something must be done about the second-hand sales business, otherwise “industry is going to fall apart”.
“People often don’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don’t seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing.”
“I know that some will say I’m not considering the retail games stores and the impact something like this would have on them…but remember they were doing fine well before the Used Games market became such a staple of their business.
The truth is, they aren’t concerned with how this business is affecting us so why should I care how these changes will affect them?”