'Pre-Owned Has Really Killed Core Games'

What's happened in the business of video games this past week ...

QUOTE | "Pre-owned has really killed core games." -- David Braben, founder of British developer Frontier Developments, talking about how singleplayer core games are dying.

QUOTE | "By pushing Durango's unveiling back a year, Microsoft could find itself going head to head with Sony." -- Chris Morris, veteran games industry journalist, on why Microsoft is keeping the Durango under wraps this year.

QUOTE | "I look forward to the end of boxes and disks. Kill them with fire for all I care." -- Runic CEO Max Schaefer, creators of Torchlight, blaming triple-A titles for stifling the industry.

STAT | $US227 million -- Value of the shares that Mark Pincus, CEO of Zynga, is selling in a secondary stock offering, which reduces his voting power from 36.5 per cent to 35.9 per cent.

QUOTE | "This is the war for the desktop, the mobile device and the couch." -- Grant Goodale, CEO of Massively Fun, talking about HTML5 and how the browser is the next entertainment platform.

QUOTE | "Apple's readying for the next console war with its new iPad." -- Steve Peterson, West Coast Editor at GamesIndustry International, talking about how Apple is preparing to do battle for the living room.

QUOTE | "Josh and I pushed Activision to do it repeatedly." -- Tony Hawk, pro skateboarder, talking about how he and Josh Tsui of developer Robomodo got Activision to agree to bring back Tony Hawk Pro Skater.

QUOTE | "A step to the next generation of classical consoles seems to have fear in a lot of peoples' eyes." -- Doublesix CEO James Brooksby, talking about how developers and publishers are looking at the new wave of console hardware coming up.

QUOTE | "Never have I been at a better place to just make the games I love to make." -- Brian Fargo, CEO of inXile entertainment, talking about the success of the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter campaign.

STAT | 25-30 per cent -- Percentage of the 20 million+ players in World of Tanks actually paying for content in the free-to-play game, one of the highest ratios in the industry.

QUOTE | "Unreal Engine 3 appears set to dominate state-of-the-art mobile gaming." -- Richard Leadbetter, tech-savvy Eurogamer journalist talking about the future of Epic's engine that powers many of the best-selling console games.

QUOTE | "The scary thought is that it's kind of turning out to be like the rest of the industry." -- Ready at Dawn boss Ru Weerasuriya, talking about how big companies have the best success in the mobile game market.

STAT | One in 10 -- Number of teens in Western countries that have registered on Habbo, the social network for teens that's now opening up to third-party game developers.

This Week in the Business courtesy of GamesIndustry International

Image from Shutterstock.


    Tony Hawk's awesome, just sayin' :). I'm glad the series is going back to its roots, I hops it turns out well and sells great.

    "Pre-owned has really killed core games.

    Yeah, because game stores didn't have second hand games back in the SNES days etc or anything. I call bullshit...

      From reading the article (then the Gamasutra article that was linked from), he points out every 'lockdown' service apart from Steam/Live, whereby once you buy and activate that single-player game, you can't resell it.

      So either he is developing his game(s) for consoles and ignoring PC for the last 10 years, or has been denied by Steam.

      From someone who pioneered trading games (Elite), he seems to be out of touch with PC. Oh wait, he now writes Kinect games.

        If an executive uses the term "core games" ...

      +1, just another industry idiot who's been drinking the koolaid.
      If this were realy the case: the Book market would be dead, The CD/Record market would be dead, and the Video/DVD/Blu Ray market woiuld be dead.
      The "actual" problem as I see it, is that Publishers want mega-profits, so sales are based on the hope of mega-profits, not keeping people employed and producing. The publishers don't get profits from 2nd hand.

      This is why I find the Kickstarter stuff so interesting, you look at what they're actually asking for, it's not massive investment, it's enough to pay for the development and thats it. Cover the costs through crowd-sourcing and any profits after that are pure cream. This Is why I'm not overly worried... I actually would really like to see this sort of thing destroy the pubishers who have had thier heads up their asses for so long they have lost touch with reality and just become another content industry more interested in profits than anything else.

    I look forward to the end of boxes and disks. Kill them with fire for all I care. I can't wait

      This would be bad for alot of people out in the country (myself included) where Internet speeds and download limits are shithouse.

      I have never downloaded a game purely because it would cost more in downloads (not to mention a week worth of time).

      So no, don't kill all boxes and discs. Some of us rely on them.

        Solution: Move to Tony Windsor's seat, take advantage of the high high speeds.

        Here in Brisbane's new outer suburbs speeds are just as crap thanks to ugly technology known as "pair gain/RIM"

    "Pre-owned has really killed core games."

    So, uh, Skyrim? Mass Effect 3? Kingdoms of Amalur?

      Skyrim: Dumbed down for consoles and designed for a weaker console rather than designed on PC and ported.

      ME3: Buy the game, then finish it with DLC.

      KoA: Great game, but we aren't going to give it any publicity and it'll be only a minor success because its a single player game with no real multi component worth speaking of.

      Those three games dude, really drive home his point for him. Well done :\

    Game developers/publishers seem to have an excuse for everything.

    "Oh damn piracy, killing the industry"
    "Oh damn 2nd hand games, killing the industry"
    "Oh damn economy, killing the industry"

    If they just STFU and made good games they wouldn't have a problem.


      Like Psychonauts, Beyond Good and Evil, Valkyria Chronicles, Shadows of the Damned, Child of Eden, Bulletstorm, Rayman Origins... the list of good games that don't get a fair shake at retail is long and depressing. Hell, I started focusing on the most recent ones in this list because it was too sad otherwise.

        I 2nd your post as that list is a perfect example of recentish games that I have and really love.

        Actually Bulletstorm is a really good example of what's going wrong at the moment with games. Here's a game super hyped through all the channels, AAA, asking price of $100, the demo is okaay, good even but it doesn't even come close to showing off the game's best side, then comes the announcement after much confusion - no competitive multiplayer, in an FPS, a genre virtually built for player vs player. Co-op only.

        This started a backlash against the game where people (including myself) felt is wasn't worth full price and so we waited (I picked it up before Xmas for $28 new at GAME) Looking back if they'd only made their demo the online co-op rather than a disjointed and out of context stage they'd probably have done a lot better.

        Rayman Origins has suffered because similar looking games are getting released every other week on XBLA and PSN, it also hurt that they came out in the same month as new Mario and Sonic platformers while the children's market was subsumed by Skylanders.

        Child of Eden was not promoted beyond the gaming media, Shadows of the Damned was not promoted at all, ditto for Vanquish and Enslaved (both of those had great demos though, I think Enslaved has even hit the million mark now though a lot of that is at reduced prices.

    Massive budgets have killed it if anything

      I agree. Also the appalling project management skills in this industry.

    I work at Game, and we have a very difficult time trying to get people to buy pre owned games. Even games that are literally days old don't get sold over the sealed copies.

      Maybe you should ask your managers to look at the price...
      $5 less for a preowned? I will take new for an extra couple of bucks every day of the week.

      I only buy pre-owned if I need another cheap copy of a game I already have (for LANing).

      i only buy pre owned if i cant get it anywhere els and isnt only 1-2 years old

        o and for no more than $20-$30

    If i didn't buy Mass Effect 2nd hand I would not have bought ME2 or ME3... just saying!

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