Ready at Dawn boss Ru Weerasuriya has lamented the negative impact of the pre-owned market on game developer revenue in a new interview, suggesting that while he likes used games he’d like to see GameStop pass a percentage of the income along to developers.
Speaking with GI.biz, Weerasuriya – whose team is currently working on the PS4-exclusive action romp The Order: 1886 – argued that greedy pre-owned tactics harm developers and consumers alike.
“I think the problem is right now there are retail outlets that are really taking everybody for a ride,” he began. “You can’t make a living at the expense of everybody else.
“Unfortunately, they’re not just making a living at the expense of developers but also the consumers because the consumers will see less and less games come out if developers can’t get revenue to make more new titles and keep going as a business.
“I think this is something we need to curb on the retail side. We’re putting the consumers in an awkward spot and we shouldn’t have to.Why should they be the ones to deal with a flawed system? They are the guys we do this for. They are the ones who should be able to benefit the most from being able to buy it.”
He recalled an experience he had at a GameStop store, in which an employee tried to aggressively sell him a used version of a game, and added, “There are developers out there who are making games for [years] and some of them will go down purely because the revenue stream is basically flawed and creating this place where developers don’t see even a little part of it.
“I don’t think we should stop used games, but we should do something about getting part of the revenue back from GameStop and places like that. That’s not penalizing the consumers; they’ll still get what they want. But I don’t know who’s going to address it.”
Microsoft did try to address this issue with its unpopular Xbox One DRM policy, which would have seen retailers installing systems that tracked pre-owned sales, along with fees for consumers looking to activate second-hand code. The policy was quickly abandoned following E3 last month.
What do you make of the above? Can anything be done about this issue? Can a middle-ground be reached where retailer, developer and consumers get a solid deal? let us know below.