Dyack: Second-hand games 'threaten the industry as we know it'

If things continue this way "there's not going to be an industry", warns Silicon Knights boss

Denis Dyack says the second-hand games market is threatening the future of the industry as we know it.


According to the Silicon Knights boss, the used games market increases the cost of products for consumers while simultaneously eating away at publisher and developer profits.

Dyack told "I would argue that used games actually increase the cost of games. There used to be something in games for 20 years called a tail, where say you have a game called Warcraft that would sell for 10 years. Because there are no used games, you could actually sell a game for a long time, and get recurring revenue for quite a while. Recurring revenue is very key.

"Now there is no tail. Literally, you will get most of your sales within three months of launch, which has created this really unhealthy extreme where you have to sell it really fast and then you have to do anything else to get money," he continued, pointing towards things like post-launch DLC.

"I would argue, and I've said this before, that used games are cannibalizing the industry. If developers and publishers don't see revenue from that, it's not a matter of hey 'we're trying to increase the price of games to consumers, and we want more,' we're just trying to survive as an industry.

"If used games continue the way that they are, it's going to cannibalize, there's not going to be an industry," he added. "People won't make those kinds of games. So I think that's inflated the price of games, and I think that prices would have come down if there was a longer tail, but there isn't."

Dyack suggested the answer could lie in releasing games digitally rather than at retail, hence the reason he's still "very big on cloud computing".

His comments echo those of Frontier Developments' David Braben, who said recently that the second-hand games market is killing core gamer and single player titles. The Elite and Kinectimals creator also believes game prices would be cheaper if the industry got a share of pre-owned.

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