Used Games Market: One Developer Speaks Out

Lee Perry explains the used game vs new game market from a developer's point of view.
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Video games are fun, but for most of us, we have to make careful decisions on which games we want to get due to prices being quite high. Sure, some might say $60 or so isn’t too bad to spend on a game, but to some, that $60 bucks could mean the difference between one game or another.

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The used game market allows our buck to go a bit further.

For the same $60 that we could purchase one brand new game, we could get two or more games used for the same amount.

Edge spoke to one developer and got the skinny on how developers see the used game market. Co-founder of Bitmonster Games (and former lead designer at Epic Games), Lee Perry, had quite a bit to say about the the gaming market as it stands now from the developer’s point of view. His first point was one to take into consideration. “You should have the choice to buy a used game, but you should also choose not to.”

Lee Perry agrees with a lot of points we gamers make everyday. One of our biggest issue is naturally that game pricing is high. He doesn’t dispute that fact at all. He also doesn’t agree with the “always on” scenario like Microsoft has recently renounced from the Xbox One.

The main point that Perry wants people to understand is the fact that developers get paid from new game sales, yet see nothing from used game sales.

This in itself is the greatest problem. Say 10 people purchase a game new and then sell it back when done, they only get profit from those 10 people, even if 100 people then buy the used copies. Gaming companies spend thousands of dollars to develop and market a game to the industry before it’s released. These funds are paid in hopes of big sales from the game. If few people purchase new while everyone purchases used, then it ends in gaming companies taking heavy losses, or even closing their doors.

Perry had several other points to make about how people complain about games being too short and trading them in or having to buy DLCs to make their game last longer. These are understandable concerns but one thing to remember is that computers are not developing these games. These are real people behind the making of these games that are just like you and me. They work hard to see something they enjoy come to fruition so we can all enjoy it.

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Mary Yeager
I am a wahm mom of two who loves gaming, both electronically and table top.