David Braben, developer of such titles as LostWinds and Kinectimals, recently opened up about his views of 2nd-hand game sales, stating that they are killing single player titles. Believing that because single player games are more than likely bought pre-owned, launch day sales are the only important ones, making it too risky to develop “core” and single player games.
Reciting that he’s known publishers to have stopped the development of a game because shops won’t restock after a title’s initial release, seeing as they rely on re-sales for profit. In addition, David states that if publishers received shares of pre-owned sales profits, the prices across the industry would’ve dropped a long time ago.
“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 said. “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 re-sales.”
“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,”
“Developers and publishers need that revenue to be able to keep doing high production value games, and so we keep seeing fewer and fewer of them.”