The used game market has been around for quite some time. In fact, for console owners, it’s been an option for as far back as I can remember. While PC players that have moved to digital distribution and CD keys, the console games market has remained largely unchanged from this old way of doing business. Publishers have changed the way the deliver content significantly in this generation, they’ve tried online pass schemes, day-one DLC, and design philosophies in hopes of enticing the player to hold on to their games just a little longer.
One of the developers that is directly effected by this segment of the marketplace is Bethesda. Many of their titles go against the grain of industry trends. Popular games in the Bethesda catalog don’t offer the replayability of the Call of Dutys and Battlefields of the world, so they’ve got to take a different approach altogether. An approach that Pete Hines of the developer recently chatted with Destructoid about.
When asked about used games, Hines said “it’s a concern.” We have tried to mitigate it by creating games that offer replayability, by supporting them with DLC that’s worth hanging onto the game for, or offering tools that let them take things further.”
“There’s no doubt that being a videogamer is expensive. Games are not cheap to buy because they’re expensive to make, and people are looking for ways to keep it affordable,” Hines elaborated. “I’m not sure anyone has figured out a solution that works for everyone, and there simply may not be one until someone figures out how to include developers and publishers in the loop on used games sales instead of keeping it all for themselves.”
Just what Bethesda and other developers plan to do when the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4 arrive is anyone’s guess. We’re unlikely to see a flow of downloadable content anytime soon. In fact, according to most people, the future of gaming is headed down the path of full-priced games with micro-transactions to supplement the publishers’ take.