Crackdown barely broke even – Grubby finger gets pointed at used game sales

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Dave Jones has been speaking at the Develop conference over in Brighton about all things gaming related but the one that has jumped out at me are his comments about Crackdown.

Dave is hugely proud of what Realtime Worlds achieved with Crackdown but the problem is that even though Crackdown sold over 1.5 million copies it barely broke even.

Now I instantly feel bad for the team as I had it in my mind that they were all now multimillionaires for developing such an awesome title and were sunning themselves somewhere in Tahiti… But apparently not.

According to Dave Jones

“It was due to the amount of factors that were out of our control as the developer, influences such as GameStop’s amazing used-game sales; we know 1.5 million new copies were sold, but it’s likely there were 2.5, three million sold when you include used”

And now all my pity is gone, this appears to me to be another ploy to get money from used game sales. It’s a common statement to make and the argument goes along the lines of “It’s our IP and we deserve to get the income from the sales not [Retailer of choice]”

While I agree with the argument in theory it can’t work that way, once I as a consumer have purchased the disc it is mine to resell, if I sell it on I cannot be expected to pay the developer again for the privilege.

Instead of pointing the finger at used game sales these developers and publishers should be looking at what makes used game sales so tantalising to consumers and it comes down to one single issue. New game prices are out of reach for many consumers.

The prices may be valid and fair but it doesn’t change the fact that I as a normal person cannot afford R3000 every month for a game a week.

What Realtime Worlds should rather have done to ensure they continued to make money is to release extra DLC that added to the story for a low cost, this would ensure that people didn’t trade their titles and that new game sales would continue on the back of the marketing of the DLC.

Source: IndustryGamershttp://www.industrygamers.com/news/crackdown-only-broke-even-says-dave-jones/

Last Updated: July 17, 2009

Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • easy

    its just one step away from 100% digital content.
    the new psp has done it, psn and arcade titles are getting more and more sophisticated.

    that is pretty much the only way 2nd hand games sales will be curbed.

  • Goose ZA

    A game a week…. heck I’m lucky if I’m allowed to buy a game a month!

    Why are console games so much more expensive than pc games? (apologies if it’s a n00b Q)

  • easy

    i think it has to do with licensing. well thats the story i got.

  • janrik

    Licensing is the reason we are given, but that is a lie also, as the licensing that MS, sony and Ninteno get is around 5-8 Dollars a pop.

    The poor dev only gets 5 dollars a game, the publisher 5-10 dollars a sale.

    The rest are all middleman and retail cost.

    Bring on digital disto. Just make it propper cheap. :ninja:

  • yes there is a royalty fee charged on every title that sends money to the console manufacturer, which is why they can sell the hardware at a loss.

  • spl0it

    I read an interesting analogy, comparing games to the Used Car market, Once a auto manufacturer pushed a car off its factory floor it doesn’t request more money every time the car is resold.

    And if we go digital distrobution the pricing better reflect the discount of not having to ship the games around the world.

  • GougedEye

    If they can’t make a profit off 1.5 million units sold, then they have really, really screwed something up somewhere.

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