You’d be hard-pressed to go one month without hearing the head of a studio or publisher decry the used game market and its effects on the industry. This time around it’s Denis Dyack, head of Silicon Knights doing the decrying. He says used games are not only taking money from the coffers of the people who make them, but that the secondhand market is increasing the price of new titles at retail. He attributes a lot to the fact that games will be more expensive to produce in the coming generation.
“People once again are saying we’re going to have development costs that are two or three times of what they were last generation,” he told GamesIndustry International. “I cannot see how that economy is going to continue.”
He goes on to say that the used games market is cannibalizing the industry itself, saying developers and publishers need to see revenue from the secondhand games market in order to continue. Part of his solution? Digital distribution.
We need a system with recurring revenue and that’s why I think digital distribution is going to play a big role in things to come,” he said. “That’s why I am still very big on cloud computing.”
So would those rumors of Microsoft’s next console ditching physical media altogether alleviate those concerns? Who knows. Heck, maybe the guy’s right and GameStop will be the death of the video game industry, just like the VHS killed Hollywood and cassettes doomed the music industry. Maybe.