to join the CVG community. Not a member yet? Join now!

Heavy Rain lost 10m Euros 'because of second hand gaming'

'1 million played without paying,' bemoans Quantic Dream CEO

Heavy Rain lost between five and ten million Euros to the pre-owned market.


That's according to Quantic Dream CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere who says that, judging by the PlayStation 3 Trophy stats, one million people played Heavy Rain without paying anything to the developer.

De Fondaumiere discussed the surrounding issues with, claiming that games are too expensive, damning traditional retail as a distribution route and saying that developers and publishers need to work towards a solution together.

"I would say that the impact that the recession had, that the most important impact 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 said.

"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."

The Quantic Dream boss did, however, point out the counter-arguments from second-hand buyers might fire his way.

"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 etc etc," 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 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'," he added

"So I don't think that in the long run this is a good thing for retail distribution either.

"Now are games too expensive? I've always said that games are probably too expensive so there's probably a right level here to find, and we need to discuss this altogether and try to find a way to I would say reconcile consumer expectations, retail expectations but also the expectations of the publisher and the developers to make this business a worthwhile business."

Retailers like GAME have of course argued that a healthy pre-owned market is good for the industry because it keeps people in the market, as de Fondaumiere recognises.

But publishers have been hitting back with an increasing amount of online pass systems being introduced to games. EA revealed recently that it has made 10 to 15 million dollars through Online Pass since its initiation.

As far as Quantic Dream is concerned, revenue like that would make up for the lost Heavy Rain sales.