Bethesda VP: used game trade is “absolutely” a concern

Tuesday, 16 April 2013 08:01 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Developers and publishers need to be included in the used-game revenue cycle, Bethesda vice president Pete Hines has said.

Destructoid asked the executive whether the sale of used games – which puts money in retailers’ coffers, but not the companies who make the games – is something he worries about.

“Absolutely it’s a concern,” he said.

“We have tried to mitigate it by creating games that offer replayability, by supporting them with DLC that’s worth hanging onto the game for, or offering tools that let them take things further.”

Hines said that there’s “no doubt” that gaming isn’t exactly a cheap hobby.

“Games are not cheap to buy because they’re expensive to make, and people are looking for ways to keep it affordable,” he said.

“I’m not sure anyone has figured out a solution that works for everyone, and there simply may not be one until someone figures out how to include developers and publishers in the loop on used games sales instead of keeping it all for themselves.”

Although the publisher has successfully leveraged DLC for several of its titles, it’s not keen to jump on the multiplayer and online pass scheme so beloved of rivals in recent years, saying that shoehorning multiplayer into a game like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim might have damaged its sales performance.

“The time and energy we would have put into adding online/co-op/whatever functionality to Skyrim would have taken away from the single-player experience. I don’t think the game would have been as good. We’d spend a lot more time working on how it all works when one person is playing versus two people, and the end result would have been a lesser game,” he explained.

“Todd Howard has explicitly said this in the past, so I’m gonna go with what he thinks. I think multiplayer really helps when multiplayer is important to the game experience the developer wants to create. If it’s not important, leave it out.”

We’re expecting big things from Bethesda’s partners this year, and the publisher recently announced it has ended development of Skyrim – so expect even bigger things from Bethesda Game Studios in the next few years, too.