Would You Buy Half A Game Now And Pay For The Rest Later?

Rod Cousens, CEO of Codemasters, has an idea on how to solve the growing dispute between publishers and retailers over pre-owned sales: sell you part of a game now then have you download the rest later.

The battle, which has gotten rather public over the past 12 months, is over the revenues retailers like GameStop see from the sale of pre-owned games. GameStop reckon it's an essential part of business. Publishers, meanwhile, feel that because they don't see any profits from a used game sale, it's practically stealing customers who could otherwise be buying a game new.

"It's not inconceivable to say that we send out a Formula One game that's not complete - maybe it's got six tracks", Cousens told GI.biz. "Then they have to buy their next track, and you follow it around the world. When you turn up in Abu Dhabi you have to pay for the circuit and whatever the changes are to the cars that are put through. That, I think, would deal with a lot of it, and also address the pre-owned."

It would also piss off a lot of consumers who couldn't be bothered shelling out for content over the course of an F1 season. He seems to have left that bit out.

Current pre-owned model is "destructive," says Cousens [GI.biz]


    This reminds me: I have to send a $200 check to Ford for the second hand Laser I bought.

      If your Laser is anything like the one I used to own, Ford should be sending YOU a cheque...

        Mine's a Laser KA from the 80's - the kind that is essentially a re-badged Mazda.

    Sell half the game now, and make you pay for the other half later? Isn't that what EA's already doing? Although at least they have the decency to not charge the original owner twice.

    And EA's approach is just to unlock some content rather than make you actually download half the game. If Codemasters want to go down the route they're talking about here then why not just go fully digital? Make your game only available through PSN/XBL/Steam.

    Here's an idea - how about actually supporting your game post release with a steady supply of DLC (both paid AND free) in order to give people an incentive to hang onto it to see what comes next rather than trading it in 2 weeks after buying it?

    The example all developers / publishers should be looking to is Criterion/EA and their post-release support of Burnout Paradise.

    Maybe if all these publishers stopped price gouging certain regions, people wouldn't resort to 2nd hand or imported games so much. It's ridiculous that I have to pay double the price to purchase a new game here versus importing it or buying it 2nd hand shortly after launch.

    I can see a lot of retailers being forced to close down if this ever happened. This isn't Wall Street, greed is not good.

    Or maybe they should just suck it up. Book publishers have had to deal with this for decades.

      Hear Hear. I hope these people realize that I would not have played their game AT ALL if i couldn't get it cheaper in pre-owned.

      Book publishers are not thrilled about the second hand market and to this day, cry foul about amazon, ebay and second hand retail.

    No I wouldn't and no this is NOT a clever idea.

    Remember not everyone is connected to the net or a good enough connection to even do this!

    More publishers bitching about the cost of making videogames. Don't spend so much on graphics! Shiny graphics = expensive game = unprofitable. Simple.

      My thoughts exactly!

      If they spent more time on the design and experiance of games rather than on the hype, comic books and other merchandise (like EA and Square) they would have better games and people would be more willing to pay for first copies.

    Make better games that last more than 6 hours and more people will buy them overall and less people will be inclined to trade them in in frustration at spending a hundred & ten bucks for entertainment that costs about $18.30 an hour

    I just had a thought against this argument.

    What if I come late and the game is out of print? The only option is often a second hand version.

      That's the whole idea - you can still buy it 2nd hand, but you're only getting half the game (and presumably only paying half the price, although I wouldn't bet my life on that bit). You then pay to download the other half of the game.

      That way they still get a cut of the used sale. It's like EA's project $10, but a bigger pain in the arse for the person who buys it brand new as well as for the used-game purchaser.

    Here is another way of seeing it: Who says the publisher deserves anything from that second hand sale? If the person has returned it there is a good chance it's because that person did not like the game enough to warrant keeping it around so they managed to get a little money back with a trade in so as someone who appreciates the game can have it.

    In my mind the publisher doesn't deserve anything from the second sale, much like every other market on the planet. This isn't piracy they are targetting, but legitimate buyers. It's like they want us to hate them...

    I wouldn't buy games in halves... for starters it sounds excessively tedious and what happens if you don't have a decent internet connection? I have been on a 9-10 hour train trip (one way) before and I bought a game for my PSP to entertain me on the way down, I'd be pretty peeved if I got halfway through and couldn't continue playing with hours of train ride still left...

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