Lionhead says used sales cost it more money in the long run than PC piracy

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 17:34 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Lionhead has is of the opinion that second-hand sales are more of problem today with Xbox 360, than PC piracy.

Speaking with Eurogamer, combat designer Matt West said piracy on PC is “probably less problematic than second-hand sales on the Xbox,” because unlike used game sales, with piracy there’s “not much you can do about it”.

“I’ve been working on PC games for many years and piracy is always a problem,” said West. “There are a lot of honest people out there as well, and if they like your game they’ll buy it. The pirates, whatever you do on whatever system, they will crack it. It might take no time… I think the longest it’s taken to happen is two days. Someone will crack it somewhere and there’s not much you can do about it.

“It’s just a depressing situation we’re in that people don’t think it’s worth spending money on computer games. 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.”

West said sales made on Fable III when it launches on PC this Friday will be “a bonus” to the already recouped cost of development from the Xbox 360 version, which sold “in the millions.”

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

For reference, you can buy a new version of Fable III at Target in the US for $32,  or get it from GameStop used for $32.99 or new for $39.99, where as at Walmart it will still run you $59.96 – unless you tell them its competitors are cheaper.