Mad Max dev: Games traded when too short or boring

2 min read

Christofer Sundberg, founder of Avalance Studios who brought you Just Cause and are bringing Mad Max, thinks that when games are too short or lack replay value, they are most often traded in.  He points out that if you can experience everything a game has to offer in 8-10 hours, there is little reason to keep it.  And he’s not the only one who sees it this way.

He spoke on the topic when talking about the high emotions at E3.  People are worried about the second-hand game market and DRM, which he attributes to developers not making games that are worth replaying.  In his words:

“I’m sure it’s been an issue but that’s because games have been too short, I mean when you can play a game through from 8 to 10 hours, I would return the game too, because there’s no reason for players to play it again  If you’re offering little variation, then there’s no motivation for the player to keep that game – unless they want to have a nice bookshelf. That’s why we answered that with Just Cause. I go into game stores each week and I always go to the used game boxes – I usually don’t find that many [copies of Just Cause].”

Nintendo shares this philosophy.  Reggie Fils-Aime, president of Nintendo of America, simply said that if console makers are worried about used games, they should ensure their games are so good that no one wants to trade them in.  He claims that Nintendo has a very low second-hand market because people keep wanting to play their games.

So we see that the trade-in frequency on Nintendo content is much less than the industry average – much, much less. So for us, we have been able to step back and say that we are not taking any technological means to impact trade-in and we are confident that if we build great content, then the consumer will not want to trade in our games.

I think there’s something to this theory.  Some games have amazing replay value.  Others, not so much.  Why do you trade in games (if you do)?  Would the DRM issue be less important to you if you could rely on getting higher quality games?

Last Updated: June 18, 2013

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