Quantic Dream, the studio behind the popular Playstation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain, believe they lost between €5 and €10 million of royalties due to the second hand sales. The studio’s co-founder, Guillaume de Fondaumier also believes the second hand buying was spurred on be the last recession.
de Fondaumier told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview that the recession had a negative impact “especially on AAA games on console,” which promoted the second hand gaming. “On my small level it’s a million people playing my game without giving me one cent.”
Citing Heavy Rain as an example, de Fondaumier says the studio sold approximately two million units to date but by looking at the trophy system, Quantic see more than three million people bought this game and played it. So the math equates to a loss of between €5 and €10 million worth of royalties to the second hand trade.
The co-founder told GIBiz that he sympathises with the consumers who are faced with expensive titles, but that the simple problem is that developers will stop making games if they can’t recoup a profit.
“Because when developers and publishers alike are going to see that they can’t make a living out of producing games that are sold through retail channels, because of second hand gaming, they will simply stop making these games. And we’ll all, one say to the other, simply go online and to direct distribution. So I don’t think that in the long run this is a good thing for retail distribution either.
“Now are games too expensive? I’ve always said that games are probably too expensive so there’s probably a right level here to find, and we need to discuss this altogether and try to find a way to I would say reconcile consumer expectations, retail expectations but also the expectations of the publisher and the developers to make this business a worthwhile business,” explained de Fondaumier.