The issue of pre-owned sales at retail is a thorny one with publishers, with some folks believing it's a bigger threat to the games industry than piracy. But speaking to MCV, some UK retailers have discussed a solution: they're happy to share some of the pre-owned revenue with publishers, providing they remove 'Online Pass' features from upcoming games.
As a solution to the problem of publishers and developers receiving no money from pre-owned games, many have added 'online pass' functionality which restricts players who have bought a pre-owned version of the game from engaging with certain online features. It's a scheme intended to provide an incentive for consumers to buy new titles instead of pre-owned.
Gordon Crawford from independent retailer Gamespod believes there could be a third way.
“As a retail store we would happily share part of the sale from a used game if we get something in return. Perhaps new games at better prices and no more online codes," he said.
It's an interesting compromise, and personally I hope publishers consider it. The current system of online passes, I believe, is a flawed solution that punishes consumers, and that's usually bad for business.
We covered the whole pre-owned debate in this feature. Retail margins for pre-owned sales are exponentially higher for pre-owned sales, so if they are willing to share revenue for a little breathing space in the new games market, then that sounds like an ideal way of moving forward in the future.