Another developer is pissing and moaning about secondhand sales and this time it’s Quantic Dream, the team behind Heavy Rain. Guillaume de Fondaumiere, the company’s co-founder, recently sat down for an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. During the exchange, he laid out the details of the company’s “lost sales” due to the used game market:
“I think [second hand gaming] is one of the number one problems right now in the industry.
“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 [$8 and $16] million worth of royalties because of second hand gaming.”
Ignoring the fact that de Fondaumiere seems to have completely forgotten the rental market for Heavy Rain, he is falling into the same trap as other developers who rail against used games: if someone buys it used, there’s no guarantee they would have bought it new. He goes on to say that if gamers stop buying games like Heavy Rain new, developers will stop making them:
“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.”
This is obviously a man who clearly doesn’t get it. If developers aren’t making enough money from retail sales, the answer isn’t to crack down on used sales (as if that were even legal). Instead, they should be looking for ways to get development costs down and make gamers want to buy new.
Nah, that’d make too much sense.