Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

September 12, 2011 -

In a recent interview with GameIndustry.biz, Quantic Dream co-founder Guillaume de Fondaumiere claims that his studio lost anywhere from €5 ($6.8 million *) €10 million ($13.6 million *) due to the used games market. He softened the blow by saying that many consumers bought Heavy Rain used because of the recession and because the AAA was just too expensive.

"I would say that the impact that the recession had, especially on AAA games on console, was the rise of second hand gaming. And I think this is one of the number one problems right now in the industry," he told GameIndustry.biz in an exclusive interview. "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 €5 and €10 million worth of royalties because of second hand gaming."

de Fondaumiere says that, while he feels bad for consumers who are feeling the full effects of the extended economic downturn, he also thinks that the used games market is making it so that developers will simply have to stop making games.

"Now I know the arguments, you know, without second hand gaming people will buy probably less games because they buy certain games full price, and then they trade them in," he continued. "Well I'm not so sure this is the right approach and I think that developers and certainly publishers and distributors should sit together and try to find a way to address this. Because we're basically all shooting ourselves in the foot here. 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. And we'll all, one say to the other, simply go online and to direct distribution. So I don't think that in the long run this is a good thing for retail distribution either."

Of course worst-case scenario, most publishers simply migrate to the cloud or other means of digital distribution to sell their games.

de Fondaumiere goes on to say that a big part of the problem is game pricing and retailers, publishers and developers should get together to address alternate pricing models that work for everyone.

Source: GameIndustry.biz

* figure based on the exchange rate of 1.00 EUR = 1.36 USD from XE - Universal Currency Converter


Comments

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

Please stop making games then.   It will open up space in the industry for a company that does not seek to 'fix' this imaginary problem.

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

It's not an imaginary problem, it's just not an unexpected or unfair problem.  There are certainly better solutions than "stop making games."  Publishers just have to find them and that's what we're seeing now (with varying levels of success).

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

My issue with calling it a 'problem' in the first place.... calling it a problem just shows simplistic and direct thinking, and using the '2 million new copies were sold, 3 million people have played our game, so we lost 50%!' math makes it even worse.  People have real trouble leaping from "A=>B" logic to "A=>B=>C".. all people like this see is they are not getting "A=>C" and missing the intermediate steps that benifit them...

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

Publishers are making less money then they would otherwise.  That's a problem.

"using the '2 million new copies were sold, 3 million people have played our game, so we lost 50%!' math makes it even worse."

It would if anyone had actually said that.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

It's not a problem, though. It's a reality.

They went in to the market knowing with absolute certainty that Gamestop exists, that people rent and sell their games. If it was a problem, then they totally failed to even approach it with a solution.

This is very clearly a studio who is realizing that if their game NEEDED to be purchased to be played "would have" earned more money. I put that 'would have' in quotes, because the chances are good that only a portion of those who bought the game used would have ever bothered if they had to purchase it new at full cost.

In fact, you may question the number of people who DID purchase the game new if it had no secondary market value; I'm sure there's no small number of frugal gamers who trade in many of their games after beating them once or twice in order to get discounts on something they haven't played yet.

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

"It's not a problem, though. It's a reality."

It's both.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

That's a matter of opinion. I don't see a problem in the secondary market, and I'm sure I'm not alone. I think you've got to be a fool to expect people to only buy your product new -- it's short sighted and, frankly, delusional. 

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

No, it's a matter of the word's definition.

Just because it's not a problem for you, doesn't mean it's not a problem for someone else.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

Speaking as someone who spent many years in the game industry... it is no more a 'problem' then used cars, used books, or used CDs.  

When you take away the used market the ability to charge high prices decreases because you have just decreased the value of your own product.  It also makes the market more rigid, money does not flow nearly as freely since the volume of transactions drops drastically AND the smaller number of price points creates a situation where people go in with 'all or nothing' purchasing, which meany people will simply choose 'nothing.

The industry on the whole, and individual studios/publishers would be in much worse shape if not for the used market.  Their complaining is similar to whining about having to put gas in a car.. all they see the the surface cost and not think about how once you take away that lifeblood it doesn't work as well.  

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

That's like saying the fact that I can't fly is a problem. I mean, it may not be a problem to you, but it is to me, right?

There's all sorts of annoyances and inconveniences in the world, but just because something gets in your way doesn't make it a problem. Again; they KNEW that this is how the world worked. Complaining about it is just silly. They're not being stolen from, they're not losing money on those sales. They're bothered that they didn't make $60+ on EVERY gamer who played their game.

That's a problem like not drowning in money is a problem.

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

No. The issue of used games affecting developers is like a medication that has bad side affects on 1% of its users. It doesn't necessarily cause them to die, but it does affect their day-to-day life.

The people who need the medicine are a specific population (aka game developers vs any other industry), and the amount of them who genuinely are endangered, or are bothered+vocal by it is relatively select.

Now tell me, is there any reason that people shouldn't come up with a way to help the 1% of those who are having a harder time? If your meds seriously made your hands shake all day, that's not a world-ending emergency, but who should have to live with that? There's nothing wrong with addressing the issue and being vocal about things that bother you, and asking for a solution. That's what the game companies are doing.

Are there some who are trying to over-emphasize their loss for personal gain? (aka those suing the medication company over something stupid) Yep. Those are the game stuidios that you should be watching for.

Re: Quantic Dream: We Lost Millions to Used Games Market

I'm sorry you don't like the definition of that word.  But, as I've said elsewhere, as long as you understand the specifics of what we're discussing (and I believe you do) I don't give a flying falafel what you call it.

 

Andrew Eisen

 
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Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
Mattsworknameimproperly. Neither is good, but one is on the edge of censorship to me, while the other is demanding some level of accountability from public media provider. but thats just my view point07/28/2015 - 8:36pm
MattsworknameEZK: You can treat it as bullying or what not, As I've pointed out, I didn't like either practice, I made that clear. But I do hold some different between trying to pull a product from the shelves, and calling out a media outlet that you feel has acted07/28/2015 - 8:35pm
E. Zachary KnightMatt, So you feel confident enough to make the call that petitioning target to remove GTAV is "bullying and threatening" but not confident enough to make the call on Intel/Gamasutra. Finding it hard to take your gripes seriously.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAs for gamers holding media sites accountable? If you mean, how to respond to opinion pieces you disagree with, yes, there are tons of more appropriate means.07/28/2015 - 8:27pm
Andrew EisenAgain, no one likes being lumped in with the bad apples. Gamers or feminists so lets all strive not to do that, yes? Could the petitioners gone about it a better way? Yes, it could have been more factual in its petition, for starters.07/28/2015 - 8:25pm
 

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