Reggie Fils-Aime: Game Makers Worried About Used Games Sales Should Make Better Games

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime said that if game developers and publishers are worried about used games cannibalizing new games then they should simply make better games. He also said that it is important to support the used games market because the sale of a used game usually goes towards the purchase of a new game.

The best way for console makers to deal with the used games market is to ensure their games are so good that people don't want to trade them in, he told Polygon. But supporting used games is also important, he added.

"We have been very clear, we understand that used games are a way for some consumers to monetize their games," Fils-Aime told Polygon. "They will buy a game, play it, bring it back to their retailer to get credit for their next purchase. Certainly, that impacts games that are annualized and candidly also impacts games that are maybe undifferentiated much more than [it] impacts Nintendo content."

Fils-Aime says that Nintendo is impacted less by the used games market because players don't generally sell the games that Nintendo makes – they keep playing them.

"The consumer wants to keep playing Mario Kart. The consumer want to keep playing New Super Mario Bros. They want to keep playing Pikmin. So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average – much, much less," Fils-Aime said. "So for us, we have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games."

You can read the rest of Fils-Aime's comments on Polygon. He answers questions about Nintendo's plans related to digital distribution versus retail distribution of games and a whole lot more.

Source: Polygon


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  1. 0
    Non-entity says:

    "In this scenario Gamestop has made $70 and the publisher/developer/creators have made $0. Squat. Nothing."

    You seem to have ignored the several games that were originally purchased new in order to enable your hypothetical scenario.  You should also look at whether your hypothetical purchasers, who you say are purchasing older and older used games due to expense, would be at all likely to buy brand new games for full price if used games didn't exist and they weren't getting *anything* back for a game once they were done with it.

  2. 0
    triplizard says:

    I'm curious what those economics are. Here's how the math works to me: Gamer A pays $60 for a new game. He plays it for a week and sells it back for $17. Gamer A now has $17 and he decides to go with a used game now so he forks over another $38 plus his $17 credit to buy another game. A week later he trades that in for $12. He's getting kind of poor now so he buys a slightly older used game. He spends another $30 plus his $12 credit. In this process the publishers/developers have gotten $50 (wholesale on the first game). Gamestop has made $10 (retail markup on the first game) plus $38 on the second game plus $30 on the third game = $78.      Meanwhile, Gamer B comes into the store and picks up the game that Gamer A traded in originally for $54. A week later he sells it back for $14. Gamer B buys it for $53 and then a week later trades it in for $13. In this scenario Gamestop has made $70 and the publisher/developer/creators have made $0. Squat. Nothing.

  3. 0
    Neeneko says:

    While not a bad point and making games that are more 'keepable', I think this misses the more systemic point.  Game makers who are worried about used games need to go do some good solid coursework in economics.  Every time I hear game developers ranting about used games I get the impression they are speaking from the heart rather the head and confusing 'common sense' with understanding.

    The only thing that game developers who worry about used games really need to do is stop worrying.

  4. 0
    triplizard says:

    Sounds like pandering to me. If you have a great Single Player game and you've played through the whole thing are you likely to keep it? Some people will because they might want to play it again or just because they're collectors, but people who are of the "trade games back in" type will more often than not trade it back in. But here's the thing that really irks me about this sentiment – it's this kind of attitude that's driving out the 2nd tier games and forcing publishers to only place big bets on the sure wins and/or MP-driven experiences. Publishers can't always know whether a game is going to be great or not when they greenlight it – if they did, all games would be great. So if they're weighing different game concepts are they going to pick something that might be Ico or would they go for Call of Duty 25? Sure, games like Ico and Beyond Good and Evil did get greenlit and ended up being made but that was back before used games ruled the market and going forward it's less and less likely that games like that will see the light of day (pending pulblishers deciding to do something about used games). A publisher would look at a game like that now and say "hmmm…this thing is going to end up in the used game bin the day after it's released and GameStop is going to get 6 sales for every one that I get. Better off putting our money into some big MP thing that people will hang onto longer and that will generate DLC sales."

  5. 0
    Scott1701c says:

    I have Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Currently, USED it is going for $59 on Amazon (no manual).

    I have Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn. Currently, USED it is going for $55 on Amazon.

    You do not want too know how much they are going for NEW.


    Very few people are trading these in.


    Yes, Nintendo is not known for "blockbuster" titles, and horrible 3rd party support. But They do make some darn good games.

  6. 0
    ALIENwolve says:

    When somebody buys a used game, usually what went through their heads before that was "New game is releasing. Can I wait months on end for the price to drop?"

    If the answer is no, you've got yourself a full sale. Always do that and used games will not be a worrying factor.

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