Gaming God and creator of Elite, David Braben, has written a blog about the pre-owned market. David suggests six different strategies that may combat the pre-owned market.
- Continue with online passes and one time use codes with each release.
- Introduce industry-wide serial numbers on discs, giving developers the opportunity to lock a game to a console.
- Industry participation in pre-owned sales.
- Bring in ‘Not For Resale’ SKUs effectively killing the market dead.
- Make games a disc that costs £5 and works as a demo, if you want the full game pay a further fee online.
- Move to digital distribution.
David urges an industry wide response to the pre-owned market and said, “Whatever the tactic, let’s do something soon, and stop all the shouting about the unjust iceberg.”
The debate is bound to continue, retailers are unlikely to give up larger profit margins from pre-owned games. One comment from an independent games retailer on MCV is as follows.
There is little or no profit in new release games, the outlay to buy say 10 units of a new release game will be around £370, (£37.00 per unit) to sell back at £399.99. (£39.99 per unit). So for your original outlay you make a whopping £29.99.
If I buy pre-owned stock I normally double up my profits so for £370 I spend I would get back £740, be this on games or consoles. Do the maths & then explain to me why it’s better to make £29.99 rather than £370.
Should publishers get a cut of the pre-owned market? It’s worth noting that in the past few weeks the games industry has boasted that:
- Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has logged more pre-orders than any other game in the history of Ubisoft.
- Medal Of Honor has sold over 1.5 million copies in five days.
- Black Ops has more pre-orders than Modern Warfare 2 and looks like leapfrogging its older brother to become the biggest game of all time.
- Playstation Move managed to sell 1.5 million hardware units in Europe alone.
- Halo: Reach generated $200 million worth of sales on its first day.