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Quantic Dream: Pre-Owned Cost Us €5-€10 Million

Money down the (storm) drain.

One of the founders of Quantic Dream, Guillaume de Fondaumiere, has been discussing the impact of pre-owned copies of Heavy Rain, describing the pre-owned market as one of the main problems in the gaming industry.

“I can take just one example of Heavy Rain. We basically sold to date approximately two million units, we know from the trophy system that probably more than three million people bought this game and played it.

On my small level it’s a million people playing my game without giving me one cent. And my calculation is, as Quantic Dream, I lost between €5 and €10 million worth of royalties because of second hand gaming.”

Whilst it’s easy to sympathise with Quantic Dream when GAME, Tesco and many others can make millions by simply buying old games and placing them back on shelves, they would be foolish not to cash in. Second hand record, DVD and book shops have been running this business model for years.

The debate continues..

Source: GamesIndustry.Biz

  1. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    I bought it on day one. This example makes it much clearer as to the impact pre owned has.

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:19.
    • Jaffa-the-Cake
      Since: Oct 2010

      preowned has no impact. To buy a preowned game someone first has to have bought it brand new so him saying “he didn’t get one cent” isn’t true. Also he doesn’t take into account the game rental market ie LoveFilm, which I myself have used, and all the people who have borrowed the game from their friend and played it. He hasn’t lost any money because the people who bought it preowned wouldn’t have bought it new anyway.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 14:07.
      • GTRsannin
        Since: Nov 2010

        Well i think they mean that if there was no pre-owned market people who buy games pre-owned would have to buy the game new and i think game companies are counting that money

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 14:38.
      • Bladesteel
        Since: Sep 2008


        And that makes as much sense as counting it as a lost sale for the car manufacturer every time someone buys a new car. (to use a tired anology)

        It doesn’t work that way. Every used sale doesn’t count as a lost sale because the buyer may have decided not to buy if he had to buy full price. Also without the possibility of getting some of the investment back the initial buyer might have decided not to buy.

        Any game creator/publisher/whatever that claims that “Games played minus games sold equals lost sales” should either have flunked economics class, or is a lying sack of shit.

        I now regret having bought heavy rain full price, good going Guillaume.

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 16:32.
      • Jaffa-the-Cake
        Since: Oct 2010

        Its a truly awful game. I had high hopes for it but the pacing is atrocious and the controls a mess. It was actually painfull to play through. I would never have bought it, new or preowned. Thank goodness for lovefilm.

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 19:30.
  2. tyrant161
    Since: May 2009

    I never buy pre-owned games because (A)..sometimes they are scratched and i like my game discs to be scratch free and (B)..most stores that sell pre-owned games usually sell the pre-owned one for around £2.00 less than the brand new one (GAME/BLOCKBUSTER/TESCO)…i pick new every time giving me peace of mind, knowing i get a scratch free disc and any codes for dlc or online play.

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:29.
    • ScottW-1976
      Since: Dec 2009

      (A) If the disc is damaged then get it replaced with one that isn’t.

      (B) The price difference between pre-owned is in many cases much larger than £2. I bought Super Smash Bros Brawl for the Wii at the weekend for £14 in Gamestation. A new copy would still cost £20+ based on Shopto/Amazon pricing.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 12:20.
      • Origami Killer
        Since: May 2010

        I actually have seen preowned versions more expensive than new!

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 19:06.
  3. Doofer_Nasenmann
    Since: Mar 2009

    €5 to €10 Million? What kind of estimation is that? So a median of €7.5 Million with an uncertainty of €2.5 Million or 33,33%? Where I come from, an error margin of >5% is exceptionally large already.

    Additionally, it doesnt account for people who rented it or borrowed it from friends.

    Uncertainty aside, I dont have a clue, if the used marked is as bad as they say. But neither does anyone else. Everyone just uses bad calculations and big numbers to make uneducated opinions based on guesstimations.

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:31.
    • kivi95
      Since: Oct 2009

      Read that they can see on the trophies. about 2million have bought the game but 3million have trophies of the game. So 1/3 have been giving zero money to the devs.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 14:33.
    • bacon_nuts
      Since: Mar 2011

      I was thinking the same thing, the error margin is hilarious… How could he say that?

      Comment posted on 13/09/2011 at 02:22.
  4. BrendanCalls
    Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
    Since: Forever

    I understand and empathise with them, I still dont agree that Quantic Dream have an inherant right to cash in on this though. The 2nd hand market is one of the benefits of a open, free and democratic society.
    I disagree with the argument that you dont buy the game, you buy a license to use the game. I disagree with this across the board whether it refers to music, films or even cars. I am firm believer that if you buy a product you own that pruduct wholly and fully and therefore have control over how you use this product. I know that the terms and conditions of every purchase say that this is not the case, but just because its not the case that doesn’t mean I think its right.

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:33.
    • BrendanCalls
      Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc - YOHIMBÉ!!!
      Since: Forever

      P.S before anyone replies with an arsey comment, I know Quantic Dream havent said they are going to cash in, its a general comment that i dont think they should

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:36.
    • Severn2j
      Since: Aug 2008

      You put this way better than I could’ve..

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 15:25.
    • RudeAwakening
      Since: Jan 2011

      You took the words right out my mouth.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 20:46.
    • bunimomike
      Since: Jul 2009

      With you all of the way, Brendan. In his “small way” it’s a pathetic comment at best.

      That’s like Saab saying “oh, we’ve missed out on money because Mike bought a second hand Saab”. Have they thought that I couldn’t afford the new one anyway! Of course they have, which makes this sort of comment so stupendously moronic. Some days I love the internet. Other days I wish people would plug their fu**ing brains in before opening their traps.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 21:50.
  5. scavenga
    Since: Jul 2009

    As people historically have never re-sold, borrowed, rented or even stolen any kind of media (books, music, movies), I can totally see why he’s so upset. Why should video games be the only form of purchased goods that suffer from having more than one owner it its lifespan?

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:38.
  6. iiekka
    Since: Feb 2009

    this is getting old, if you dont want people to resell your games go 100% digital. then yourll half the number of people who play your game, but who cares about that its all about ££££££££££££££££

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:40.
  7. Crazy_Del
    Since: Jul 2009

    Guillaume de Fondaumiere – “On my small level it’s a million people playing my game without giving me one cent.”

    If Guillaume is worried about that then maybe he can approach to Online Pass =P
    I bought Heavy Rain Day 1 and the money goes to Quantic Dream and yes I still got the copy would never sold it/swap it and never loan games anyway!

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:41.
  8. Roynaldo
    Since: Nov 2008

    Bought it new 8 months after release for a tenner. Is that in your calculations?

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 11:47.
  9. R4U Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    He can subtract a couple off that million as I bought the game brand new and proceeded to platinum it on 3 profiles lol

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 12:05.
  10. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    How many people traded-in in order to be able to afford Heavy Rain

    Ridiculous anti-gamer/pro-publisher point of view, unless he’s going to work out how many sales were gained.

    Also, he’s defaulted to the incorrect view of assuming that all those pre-owned customers would have bought it for £40ish, which is also blatantly untrue.

    Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 12:17.
    • scavenga
      Since: Jul 2009

      Very good point – I wouldn’t buy even a fifth of the games I do if not for the trade-in deals at Gamestop in Oslo, as I simply wouldn’t be able to afford them.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 12:28.
    • nofi
      One for all.
      Since: Forever

      He’s also ignoring everyone that lent the game to a mate, etc.

      Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 13:32.
      • Watchful
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Oct 2008

        I assumed the wide variation in his estimate was down to not knowing how many were borrowed copies and whether they would have been purchased at full or reduced retail price.

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 13:44.
      • jimmy-google
        Since: Feb 2009

        I think the point is being completly missed. It actually doesn’t matter what gamers think is right or wrong, what is happening is effecting how developers/publishers work.

        There seems to be a developer going out of business almost every week, is it any suprise the industry is looking at ways to cling to more revenue?

        Developers/publishers are seeing what is happening with games on smartphones and realising that almost every person that plays a game like angry birds has actually had to buy it. They want the same.

        Games will go 100% or as close to 100% digital as quickly as they possibly can unless they take a significant share of the pre-owned market. The cost of making games is going up, prices of games haven’t, you can buy most new releases now for the same price as a new release on the ps1 back in 1997 and that doesn’t even take inflation in to account.

        People may not like it but the games industry is heading that way, and it appears to be heading that way together. It won’t be a simple case of not buying games that are only available digitally, that will become the only option. You can compare games to music, film, cars, books etc… as much as you like but a game is a game. There is nothing that is the same.

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 14:01.
      • Forrest_01
        Since: Jun 2009

        “Developers/publishers are seeing what is happening with games on smartphones and realising that almost every person that plays a game like angry birds has actually had to buy it.”

        I didn’t – It was free on the android marketplace. :)

        Comment posted on 12/09/2011 at 14:28.

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