Used Games Are To Blame For High Game Prices (Apparently)

Used Games Are To Blame For High Game Prices (Apparently)

Second hand games are killing the single player experience, according to Braben.

In an interview with Gamesutra, David Braben, the co-creator of Elite and founder of Frontier Developments, criticised the used games market for killing “core games”, in particular single player games, and for “keeping the retail price up”.

“ The real problem when you think about it brutally, if you look at just core gamer games, pre-owned has really killed core games”, he stated. “In some cases, it’s killed them dead. I know publishers who have stopped games in development because most shops won’t reorder stock after initial release, because they rely on the churn from the resales. I won’t buy a preowned game out of principle.”

He went on to say that “it’s killing single player games in particular, because they will get preowned, and it means your day one sales are it, making them super high risk. I mean, the idea of a game selling out used to be a good thing, but nowadays, those people who buy it on day one may well finish it and return it.”

Braben has spent many years trying to get his story-focused single player game, a free roaming political thriller called The Outsider, off the ground without much success. Are second hand games really at fault, though? Surely the more pertinent question to ask is, why are people returning the games in the first place?

It certainly doesn’t help that single player games like Vanquish and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West have tanked upon released, nor that multiplayer focussed games like Call of Duty and Halo sell by the millions. At least the success of last year’s epic RPG Skyrim shows that there’s still some hunger out there for immersive, single player driven experiences.

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