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Quantic Dream: €10 million lost from second hand Heavy Rain sales

Monday, 12th September 2011 09:35 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Quantic Dream CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere has said that the French developer has lost upwards of €10 million in second hand sales from Heavy Rain.

The exec told GI.biz that second hand sales for the Sony-published thriller were caused by the recent recession.

The game’s sold 2 million units to date so far.

“I would say that the impact that the recession had, especially on AAA games on console, was the rise of second hand gaming. And I think this is one of the number one problems right now in the industry,” said de Fonduamiere.

“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.”

Heavy Rain released back in February 2010 for PlayStation 3. The next game from the studio will be published by Sony.

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39 Comments

  1. mongbatstar

    You can’t have lost what you never had.

    Besides, second hand sales happen in every kind of business sector – why should the games industry be any different?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. sleepyfox

    Well, mister “I lost 10 million”. People played your game, probably enjoyed. Perhaps now they even know you better as a developer.

    One used / borrowed game does not equal to one lost sale. There’s a reason for used markets. In all things.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. IrrationalGamer

    So what about the people who sold a different game in order to be able to purchase Heavy Rain? Do developers even think of this possibility?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Is this guy for real? I bought this game second hand because, well, it was something I would never pay full price for.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. minxamo

    Stop selling games for £45 new then, games industry

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Freek

    And not to forget that allot of people borrow and trade games amongst friends, nothing wrong with that either.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. YoungZer0

    @5: Seriously. It’s the price that gives room for this. If i can choose between 30€ new and 30€ used, i pick the new one.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Brenna Hillier

    Interesting to contrast this with Eric Brown’s comments on the Online Pass, describing it as “found revenue” and obviously delighted with anything it brings in.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Fin

    Garrr you people complain so much!

    Even if games were £20 new, people would still say “make games cheaper!!”. Does no one remember how much games were when the N64 came out?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    oh boo fucking hoo!!

    I am sick of this used games argument, you cant lost what you never where going to have! AND on the other hand heavy rain was fucking SHITE!!!

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Freek

    Remember how nobody bought N64 games or Neogeo games because they cost an arm and a leg?

    #11 3 years ago
  12. dubya75

    G de F…Boohoo! Welcome to the world of second-hand trade! Have you never bought anything second-hand?
    You’ve now shown us all how you don’t give a shit about us gamers or even games itself, all you care about is filling you pockets with your precious little pennies.
    What you’ve failed to see is that those million gamers who either borrowed or bought the game second-hand will be more likely to buy your next title outright (if they enjoyed Heavy Rain that is) which is a hell of a lot more valuable in the long run than short term revenue.
    You don’t seem to grasp the value of simply getting your games in as many consoles as possible.
    You’re a greedy cat and a piss poor CEO and I hope you fail!

    #12 3 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    @12: He’s the CEO, not the director or anything. Like any CEO, he doesn’t give a shit about his product.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. viralshag

    @9, “Even if games were £20 new, people would still saw “make games cheaper!!””

    That’s just wrong. People who pay on average £30 for the exact same, if not better (in some cases) game on the PC, do not seem to complain and £40-45 is on the high end. Not to mention the extortionate retail costs in other places of Europe.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. tenthousandgothsonacid

    I only bought Heavy Rain as I had the money from trading another game in, so it’s swings and roundabouts Guillaume de Fondaumiere.

    I’ve also bought games secondhand (such as LA Noire) and then bought all the DLC for them.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. horse

    I rented it from lovefilm, I suppose that comes up as a second hand sale for him.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. AHA-Lambda

    @16 – oh great, half the games i play now are supposedly “stealing” -_-

    #17 3 years ago
  18. viralshag

    So, borrowing from friends and renting… probably something gamers do a lot. I wonder how much those two things add to the million people that “didn’t pay” for the game?

    Anyone else think he should have thought a little more before he made such a silly statement?

    I would be that surprised if game discs start getting the Mission Impossible treatment and simply blow up once you finish the game of after a certain amount of hours. That would certainly cut down the pre-owned market.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. sg1974

    @9 Exactly. I paid 45 squids for a game fifteen years ago. In real terms, that means they cost less than half as much now than they did then.

    Gamers, stop fucking whining that you want everything free or dirt cheap. If your boss told you that your pay is being cut in order to cut the price of the products or services you produce you’d be pissed.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. ultramega

    Ouch. Well I bought it new.

    Amazing game that deserves the support, too.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Clupula

    Seriously, people stop whining like a bunch of little girls with skinned knees? You people obviously don’t remember Phantasy Star 4 and Virtua Racing being $100 new on the Genesis.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. darksied

    @19 and @21
    That’s freakin’ right. I remember going to a K-B Toy Store back in the day to get a copy of Final Fantasy 2 for snes. They had it, but they had it priced at like $79.99 or something close to that. It was insane, because the retail value is $60 or so. I remember back then they just charged whatever they wanted based on how rare/how it would sell. I know this isn’t what you guys in other countries probably had to deal with, but it’s still crappy.

    Seriously people, stop and think. There’s been a lot of inflation since then (1990 or so) and games still cost the same. Verdict? You’re paying less now than you did then. Don’t believe you’re owed something just because you’re special; you’re not. Gamers have been paying more for a long time.

    Back on topic though, there’s ways to combat used game sales. This is what I would do: Certain game models (single player only, etc) should have a certain number of weeks/months at full price. Heavy Rain, for example, should have been $60 for about 2-3 months, then it should have dropped in price by $20. Even selling a new copy for $40 is better than having someone buy a used copy for that much. It should have stayed at that until/if they decide to make a GOTY/Greatest Hits version. I’m pretty sure anyone seeing a used copy and a new copy for the same price will go for the new one.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Joe Musashi

    Gotta say I have no sympathy with gamers that cry when being charged half a buck for something optional yet scream how greedy developers are when they’re out of pocket by a few million.

    And yes, games today are cheaper than they were 10 years ago or more. Yet they have far higher production standards and far more content too.

    JM

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Noddy Jnr

    Have any of you actually bothered to read what the guy was saying.
    If you do some simple easy maths, You’ll be able to see that he is not saying that all used game sales would equal full retail sales.

    Sold 2 million, over 3 million registered trophies

    He says they lost 5 – 10 million in sales.

    Let do some quick maths. 5 million divided by 1 million is £5 a game. So what he is trying to say is if used game market didn’t exist, then a small percentage of those people buying used games would pay for the game.

    So stop complaining. Look at it from the developers point of view. People are playing their game without paying them to do so. From that point of view its exactly the same as if you had pirated the game.

    And I am not saying that I have never bought a used game. Because of course I have. I just agree that the used game market to a developer it is just as bad a piracy.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. aprotosis

    @24 If you look at how much money the studios make per game once you factor in all the publishing costs, etc, that is spot on for the million missing he is complaining about. He really is a pretentious shit.

    If he really thinks those are lost sales, then why doesn’t he make a system where each game is glues to only one PSN ID. If you want to play the game, you have to have bought it for full retail. That will show him what lost sales really looks like. I bet the vast majority of those people who played and didn’t pay simply live in the same flat.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Quiiick

    @22 What you suggest as a solution does in fact happen most of the time.

    I bought a brand new copy of “HEAVY RAIN” 7 months after release for £21 at Amazon. I have 31 games in my PS3 library so far and for ~90% of those games I never paid more than £15-25.

    But a 50% price-reduction already after 2-3 months (as you suggest) is way too early. 6 months is about right.

    Apart from multiplayer-modes (which I never play) there is no reason to buy a game as soon as it hits the market, IMO.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Phoenixblight

    @25

    THats not how it works in the real world. Infact Publishers just pay money for the actual cost of the product. They don’t give royalties or residuals to the company, they just give them a bigger cut up front.

    Only Developers that would be getting royalties and residuals is if they were like Bioware, Blizzard, Valve where you know the product will make millions.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Dralen

    It really is stupid. Game trading will always happen, even if the game retailers stopped doing it, it will still happen between friends and family and also on sites like ebay etc.

    Now maybe if they actually lowered the prices of their games, less people would resort to it.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. FeaturePreacher

    Too bad quantic dreams didn’t make an online component to the game. I guess this is just their offline penalty.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Kuwabara

    Better than any 360 crap released this gen labamba

    #30 3 years ago
  31. AHA-Lambda

    @30 – are you being fucking serious? Some people on this board have called me a ps3 fanboy and now its time for it to be an xbot?

    I admit i far prefer my ps3 to xbox but i ain’t a fanboy about it.

    Heavy rain was a god awful game, deal with it.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. MFBB

    Why was it awful?
    Not what you expected may be a better phrase.

    It was good for what it was.
    An interactive thriller movie.

    Not much “game” in that video game but it was well done and entertaining for one playthrough.

    I am looking forward to the sequel.

    Rented Heavy Rain and played it through within 2 days (3€/4$) so guess i am now a very bad evil person in the eyes of Quantic Dreams cause i should have given them 50€…

    #32 3 years ago
  33. AHA-Lambda

    @32 – probably because it had the worst written story i’ve ever seen in a video game that prides itself in being all about the story.

    In a game like this if the story falters it has nothing left and the story in heavy rain failed spectacularly. Plot holes that tanks can drive through and a head writer who clearly doesn’t have a fucking clue what he is doing.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. daytripper

    the writing was a disgrace at times, didnt stop me from enjoying tho

    #34 3 years ago
  35. OwningXylophone

    Lowering the cost of games will not eliminate the 2nd hand market, as the stores will offer the people trading in the game less, sell it right alongside the new one for £5 less than retail and people will still buy them as they are cheaper.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. IL DUCE

    It is BS though…why should GameStop make all the money? They give you nothing for them and sell it for at least double what they bought it from you for…and yeah maybe prices for new games should go down but I guess it really depends on the industry…if you wanna give the publisher credit and support them then buy the game new…if its a crap game and you’re unsure about it either rent it, buy it on sale as new or do the evil action of buying it second hand lol…I always buy the games that I wanna support brand new and rent anything I’m unsure about and if I wanna buy it before I beat it when renting it ill buy it…otherwise ill just send it back when I’m done

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Fin

    That’s my primary issue with preowned sales – retailers are doing it purely to rake in more money (it’s 100% profit once they’ve bought the game from the player). If there was a compromise, where the publisher/developer got a cut, I’d have absolutely no problem with it.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. darksied

    @26, yeah, good points, but my idea of lowering it a bit EARLY is for that VERY reason, to combat used game sales. If you lower the value by about 6 months after release, as you suggest, this is what most people do and it results in some lost sales (or no sales) because some of those people in the middle there bought it used. Lowering it early might seem risky, because you lower your profits, but it also means you control your prices and give people a better incentive to buy it new (i.e. cost is less). But I agree with most of your post.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Kuwabara

    @Labamba, I enjoyed the gameplay more than anything else and the feel of it. I enjoyed the story, was drawn in and felt some emotions along the way, with only 1 thing in the story not making sense to me, but the game is far from crap! and one of the best games i played last year.

    #39 3 years ago

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