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ECA boss talks used game sales

by rawmeatcowboy
23 November 2008
GN 1.0 / 2.0

I understand the concerns that developer friends of mine have about not getting a second bite of the apple, a phrase they borrow from their filmmaking counterparts. In the movie business, they produce a theatrical version and then DVD, Blu-ray, Video on Demand (VoD), PSP and pay-per-view versions… hence second (and more) bites at the apple. With games as media, there’s often only a single swipe opportunity. They don’t view multiple platforms, or SKUs, as multiple bites. They just see rental and used as businesses in which they don’t get to participate. And while I understand and appreciate their perspective – having debated the subject on countless trade show panels and with developer friends – I’m still not convinced that rental and used are bad for the sector. We’ve witnessed how rental has provided a low-cost venue for people to try before you buy; same for used. We’ve also used those two distribution outlets to show investors and analysts that we’re relatively recession-proof BECAUSE they exist as low cost entry points for consumers. It seems a bit disingenuous to me that we then turn around and condemn those same outlets, after accepting the institutional investor’s money. Going forward, I’m sure that the industry will figure out ways to add value to the first sale so that it becomes less impactful though. - ECA Boss, Hal Halpin

Something is going to have to be done with used game sales. It’s clear that the game industry is fed up with the situation, perhaps even more than we are. We love used game sales, but we don’t love the unfair trade-in values, and then turnaround sales after that.