'Pre-owned sales tactics are pushing devs to digital'

'Pre-owned sales tactics are pushing devs to digital'

By Rob Crossley in London

January 17th 2012 at 12:08PM

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Game publishing and development firms are finding sanctuary in digital distribution platforms because boxed retail is aggressively perusing pre-owned sales schemes, industry veteran David Perry has said.

Speaking today at the Cloud Gaming Europe event in London, Perry said “companies like Gamestop are getting so good at selling used games, getting better and better at squeezing revenues, that they are encouraging publishers to go digital.”

Pre-owned has long been a divisive subject in the games business. Retailers, which take all profits from selling second-hand games, say they are an essential business pillar. Publishers and developers, who make nothing from such trades, say the practice hurts revenues.

Andrew Oliver, the co-founder of Blitz Games Studios, last year went as far as saying that the significant pre-owned businesses was a bigger problem than content piracy.

Speaking at a packed conference hall at Cloud Gaming Europe, Perry told attendees that digital distribution has become the logical destination for publishers as the stakes get higher and the margins tighter.

And he believes retail knows it. He said that GameStop is now taking digital distribution very seriously, acquiring net-based vendors such as Kongregate.