Gears of War boss talks about paying extra for the ending of a game

November 10, 2008

Gears of War boss talks about paying extra for the ending of a game The boss of EPIC Games talks about the alternatives that could be utilized to combat used video game sales. One curious option is to develop a game where the final boss battle or ending has to be purchased for second hand buyers and renters. Such measures would hamper the used game market greatly.

Used video game sales are a delicate part of the video game industry eco system in the US. Various video game brick and mortar chains rely on such transactions like EBGames, GameStop and GameCrazy. Killing the used video game market could be detrimental to most of the retail chains. Some retailers such as GameCrazy have reported that up to 30 percent of the total sales were due to used video games.

Used video games also offer customers an alternative option to purchasing a game that they might not have considered acquiring at full price. However, the argument from the developers have been that none of the profit earned from the used video games trickle down to the studios or publishers.

According to an interview with GI.biz, Michael Capps, president of EPIC Games, indicated that other developers in the industry have talked about creating games where the ending or boss battle has to be downloaded via either the PSN or Xbox Live.

He states:

I’ve talked to some developers who are saying “If you want to fight the final boss you go online and pay USD 20, but if you bought the retail version you got it for free.” We don’t make any money when someone rents it, and we don’t make any money when someone buys it used – way more than twice as many people played Gears than bought it…

I understand the need and want to make a profit on every single experience, but making it so that a gamer has to pay $20 extra if they were to purchase a two-year-old game sounds a bit ludicrous.

You could actually follow this logic to all consumer products such as cars, movies and electronics. It is difficult to tell what is fair and what is not, as it could affect both parties negatively. Do you believe that the used video game market needs to go away, or are the developers getting a bit too greedy?


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