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Quantic Dream Lost Millions to Second Hand Gaming - News

by VGChartz Staff , posted on 12 September 2011 / 4,512 Views

Online passes are something we as gamers generally despise. The idea of paying for online functionality (or even single-player content) because of a code that only comes with brand new copies of a game really gets a rise out of most gamers. However, more and more publishers are doing this to fight both the second hand gaming market and the rental market. A recent interview did with Quantic Dream CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere is shedding a little more light on exactly how much the second-hand games market affects a developer.

I can take just one example of Heavy Rain. We basically sold to date approximately two million units, we know from the trophy system that probably more than three million people bought this game and played it. On my small level it's a million people playing my game without giving me one cent. And my calculation is, as Quantic Dream, I lost between €5 and €10 million worth of royalties because of second hand gaming.

That's no small chunk of change and you can imagine what those figures must be like for games with larger demographics than Heavy Rain. That said, Heavy Rain also features no multiplayer or online components. Quantic Dream themselves even stressed that the game should only be played through once to experience the story. So it's also safe to assume a game like Heavy Rain would be see more action in the second-hand market compared to games with lots of replay value.

Fondaumiere goes on to discuss not only how he thinks games are too expensive, but how the industry as a whole needs to address the second-hand retail sector for the sake of the entire industry,

...when developers and publishers alike are going to 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.

Do you think there's some sort of compromise the industry should work out with second-hand retail to keep it from all going digital or should game makers just focus on making games that people don't want to trade-in?

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krizalidzero (on 12 September 2011)

Should say "We know from the trophy system that more than 3 million accounts played the game. So this could be a Family playing on separate accounts or one person who had to switch accounts and wanted to play it again, which makes us happy"

  • +8
GameOver22 krizalidzero (on 12 September 2011)

That is a very good point

  • 0
Nybbas krizalidzero (on 13 September 2011)

Yeah, and what number of people do you think that makes up? Give me a break.

  • 0
GameOver22 (on 12 September 2011)

I understand where he is coming from, but I think the second-hand and rental market are two things developers should plan for and expect when making a game.

  • +5
Tammi (on 12 September 2011)

I think they should stop being greedy and lower the prices of retail games so that people can afford them.

  • +4
jlauro (on 12 September 2011)

If they want to lower the second hand sales then they need to lower the price of new and increase replay value.

With high prices, many people wouldn't buy at full retail price if they were unable to sell it back to gamestop or ebay, etc...

Either way, publishers need to stop complaining. Kill the second hand market and a lot less people will play the game and total sales will likely decrease, especially at launch prices.

  • +3
Nybbas jlauro (on 13 September 2011)

Or you will wait until they lower the price on the game a couple months after it was release... I just picked up assassins creed and brotherhood for 20 bucks each new. Screw the second hand market.

  • 0
richardhutnik (on 12 September 2011)

It is presumptive to assume if you got rid of used game market completely people would of gone out and bought the games. At $60 a pop, WITHOUT allowing other games to be traded in, it is AMAZINGLY presumptive to assume 100% of the market would then suddenly by a product like Heavy Rain.

  • +2
LivingMetal (on 12 September 2011)

These guys sung praises when Heavy Rain sold just a million. And now they're complaining when they sold 2 million? If it makes them feel any better, I bought Heavy Rain, but the game is still in its shrink wrap. So I've legitimately bought a copy, but there are no trophies counting towards it. But when I start playing it, there will be trophies counting towards it. But that would mean that more trophies will count towards it without a sell to it. OH NOEZ!!!!!

  • +2
Hephaestos (on 13 September 2011)

I never got why devs complained about piracy (where no money leaves pockets) when the used market and rental market were so prolific.... just looking at the revenues of these second hand stores proves there is a huge loss for the devs .

(I'm not against second hand... i'm against second hand stores ^^)

  • +1
blunty51 (on 13 September 2011)

Toyota losses gazillions because of the used car market. You see them fussing? If fact, it's more likely you'll want to sell a game because it's worth only 1-2 playthroughs.
Also, just because you look at the trophies and see that someone played it, doesn't mean they would have actually bought it.
Funny they don't mention the millions this game made for them.

  • +1
Damnyouall (on 13 September 2011)

People who claim that being allowed to sell used games is bad only show that they are ignorant idiots who understand ZILCH about how an economy works. Here is how it works: Someone with a finite amount of money buys a game, sells it after being done with it, thereby recouping part of the initial investment, and is then able to buy ANOTHER new game = the publishers get MORE money. If you deny your customers this BASIC RIGHT (first sale doctrine, look it up!), then they will have less money to spend on your games. It's really simple. An economy is a cycle. Those who don't get this are, plain and simple, FOOLS (eg, Penny Arcade).

  • +1
MightyGeorge (on 13 September 2011)

Hello there developers. When you understand the meaning of "product", as opposed to service, come talk to me again. Remember, even World of Warcraft has nice retail boxes.

  • +1
DitchPlaya (on 12 September 2011)

Stop whining, do you know how much people lose due to piracy.

  • +1
Bman54 (on 12 September 2011)

I'm sorry. My friend let me borrow his game! Don't hate on me!

  • +1
aavidbacon (on 12 September 2011)

This is stupid. They seem to forget that games are expensive. A second hand market or a rental one, allows gamers who couldn't otherwise play that game, because of the cost, to experience it and maybe buy the sequel. It's like the car factories complaining about second hand market. If they are able to do that, the consequence will be less titles in the market, since gamers who used to play and sell wouldn't be able to do that anymore, thus concentrating on fewer titles cause of lack of money.

  • +1
DonFerrari aavidbacon (on 12 September 2011)

You just forgot to read and see that this developer said he thinks games are expensive. And factories wouldn't have a reason to complain about second hand market because most of the second hand is sold by theirs own car salers - and moreso they just sell 4 or 5 really different models per year on a region (a lot of times even less)... This isn't a good example, next time don't try to compare completely different things (or maybe you could try real states next).

  • 0
NinjaV (on 12 September 2011)

I rented it and got trophies...Sheesh whiny ass developers you should be happy more people got to experience your game instead of crying about how much more money you could have!

  • +1
dirkd2323 (on 13 September 2011)

number 1 , these developers are making so much money its crazy, compared to us gamers who may make anywhere from 25-70 grand a year, we are already purchasing the consoles, Internet, DLC , When a game is purchased new, and that owner decides to sale it, the developer should not get a cent, These games are expensive, you go buy a game for 60 bucks, you go trade it in 3-6 months later for 8 bucks, If they really want to fix this and make it better for everyone, then make these games all downloadable on PS store, and XBL, lower the price a bit, maybe 49.99, This will make us consumers happy, the game will not be able to be traded in or sold used, The developers get all royalties, maybe make an incentive also like 50 % off all DLC when purchased online. and as the game gets older adjust the price fairly, but the developers get all royalties, and us consumers get a break on these high prices, because for me all these online passes are going to make me do is buy less games. Come on people use your head there is a better way.

  • 0
haxxiy (on 13 September 2011)

Waah! My game didn't sell ten million! Waah! The developing costs are too high! Waah! How evil the market is...

  • 0
MattOfSteel (on 13 September 2011)

Yes but how much of this is people renting the game?

  • 0
binary solo (on 13 September 2011)

Cry me a river. Every entertainment product misses out on income because of the second hand market. Look at all the used book sellers. Hell, books have frikken public libraries to contend with where thousands of people read one single copy of a book the author and publisher receive not a bean from any of those people. Video game rental services pay a crapload more than $60 for the games they rent or the publisher gets a cut of each rental transaction. So, complaining about renting isn't just being a whiny cry baby, it's actually BS.

Loved Heavy Rain. But one day I'm going to sell it or trade it in because I'm not going to keep a game once I know I'm never playing it again. I'll eventually sell much of my fiction book collection and DVDs/Blu-rays too. Video games ain't special.

  • 0
Nybbas (on 13 September 2011)

Penny arcade said it best
" In a literal way, when you purchase a game used, you are not a customer of theirs. If I am purchasing games in order to reward their creators, and to ensure that more of these ingenious contraptions are produced, I honestly can’t figure out how buying a used game was any better than piracy. From the perspective of a developer, they are almost certainly synonymous."

  • 0
couchmonkey (on 12 September 2011)

No, Quantic Dream lost something to second hand gaming. As several have already said, there's no guarantee that any of those million users would have bought the game at full retail price and he's also assuming that his game would sell just as much if the first-time customers had no option to sell it after playing it.
What's extra-presumptuous is that he talks about developers leaving retail channels to only create digital games as if the customers will automatically follow them there. I'm not against digital distribution or anything but I think we're still several years, maybe a couple decades, away from digital distribution becoming the main way people consume video games. And currently most of the games consumed that way are purchased for a few bucks.

  • 0
DonFerrari (on 12 September 2011)

It's incredible to see a lot of person think second game market is a nice thing when you buy a game for 60 dollars sell it for 20 dollars and that game is sold again buy 55 dollars... Someone could please explain to me how is the developer the greedy one and the one that want to screw customers... Not one time I saw a developer say "We hate gamers that buy used games", normally they just say "On the second hand market we as developers don't get money" which is true... and if you think about a game you liked playing would you preffer your 30 dollars of a 60 dollars game go to developer or 0 dollars of 55 dollars (that will go to the store, well you can say that 30 go back to the previous owner).

  • 0
Nybbas DonFerrari (on 13 September 2011)

You make too much sense Don, therefore downvotes!

  • +1
Mr Khan (on 12 September 2011)

Ignorant anti-consumer statements like this make me angry. Don't piss off your consumers. It's an easy rule to figure out, and yet so many forget it...

  • 0
DonFerrari Mr Khan (on 12 September 2011)

why don't you elucidate it and rescue the entire industrie as you seem to know better?

  • +1
Nybbas Mr Khan (on 13 September 2011)

do you think they care if you don't buy their game? You were going to buy it used anyways, you were NEVER their customer.

  • +1
Nybbas (on 12 September 2011)

It is nothing like the second hand car market, the two can not be compared. It doesn't matter, with digital distribution becoming more widespread, and online passes becoming more and more popular, gamings second hand market will dwindle, and devs will stop being screwed out of their money by places like gamestop, who only exist to screw over their customers and the developers.

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