Silicon Knights on “cannibalising” used game market

Denis Dyack, boss of Too Human developer Silicon Knights has spoken out about the sale of used games and how they’re “cannibalising’ the industry”.

He explained to GamesIndustry International that publishers used to rely on a lot of post-launch sales. The increased use of used games, however, has meant that games now have to sell fast. “Literally, you will get most of your sales within three months of launch, which has created this really unhealthy extreme where you have to sell it really fast and then you have to do anything else to get money,” he said.

According to Dyack, this ironically increases the price of new games because developers need more money.

“If developers and publishers don’t see revenue from that, it’s not a matter of, ‘Hey, we’re trying to increase the price of games to consumers, and we want more.’ We’re just trying to survive as an industry,” he said.

“If used games continue the way that they are, it’s going to cannibalise – there’s not going to be an industry.”

He noted that, as we approach a new generation of gaming, we the industry wouldn’t survive without completely new sales.

“On the top side of the triple-A, highly-funded titles, you have $100 million games,” he added. “Looking towards next generation, people once again are saying we’re going to have development costs that are two or three times of what they were last generation. I cannot see how that economy is going to continue.

“I don’t think as an industry we can afford $300 million budgets. Some games can, don’t get me wrong – for a game like Call of Duty, if they had a $100 million budget, or whatever their budget is, they can afford it. That’s not the industry, that’s sort of a one-off.

“But what is everyone else going do?”

We’ve always heard about how used games are big money makers for retailers, but with UK giant Game Group currently under administration, is the used market about to be turned on the spot?