Pre-owned worse than piracy – Lionhead

Unless you’re Captain Jack Sparrow swashbuckling through new adventures, piracy is not cool. This plague has caused people to lose their jobs and even the closure of entire studios, but we all know that so reiterating it would make us Captain Obvious, another uncool character to be referenced to.

Despite this, Fable III developer Lionhead admittedly states that piracy is not the biggest threat anymore. While it will continue to affect the industry, the sales of pre-owned or second-hand copies might have a bigger and more significantly negative impact in the long run.

“It’s just a depressing situation we’re in that people don’t think it’s worth spending money on computer games,” said Fable III combat designer Mike West. “What they’re doing is making sure there are fewer games coming out in the future and more people out of work, which is a terrible thing. Unless you sit down and meet a pirate face to face and have a conversation about what it does, I don’t think anything will stop them.”

Continued West, “For us it’s probably a no-lose even with piracy as it is. But, as I say, second-hand sales cost us more in the long-run than piracy these days.”

The most popular counter-measure to pre-owned sales is no doubt EA’s Online Pass. Whether people like it or not is a whole different matter, but it has been proven effective. Given that not one penny goes to the developer when retailers sell second-hand games, we can’t blame them.