Numerous retailers rely on pre-owned sales for increased revenues, and for as long as they keep doing it, there will be developers and publishers weighing in on the matter, and not in a good way. Righteously so, considering none of the winnings go to them.
Frontier Development founder David Braben opened his mind on the matter just recently, saying that the pre-owned market has “really killed core games,” and “in some cases, it’s killed them dead.”
Braben explains that single-player games, including his studio’s own The Outsider, probably take the worst hit, saying “it’s killing single player games in particular, because they will get pre-owned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk. I mean, the idea of a game selling out used to be a good thing, but nowadays, those people who buy it on day one may well finish it and return it.”
Continued Braben, “people will say ‘Oh well, I paid all this money and it’s mine to do with as I will,’ but the problem is that’s what’s keeping the retail price up — prices would have come down long ago if the industry was getting a share of the resells,” adding that the concept of Apple’s App Store, and the equivalent variants for Mac OS, Android and upcoming Windows 8, are “fantastic” given that the pre-owned market is non-existing on said platforms. “I think that is a very interesting realignment of the stars.”