denis dyack -

The rise of the used game business is having a damaging effect on the video games industry, Silicon Knights boss Dennis Dyack has told

Dyack believes the sales tail games used to have has been all but wiped out by used games.

"There used to be something in games for 20 years called a tail, where say you have a game called Warcraft that would sell for 10 years. Because there are no used games, you could actually sell a game for a long time, and get recurring revenue for quite a while. Recurring revenue is very key," said Dyack.

"Now there is no tail. Literally, you will get most of your sales within three months of launch, which has created this really unhealthy extreme where you have to sell it really fast and then you have to do anything else to get money," he added.

Without intervention Dyack believes the industry will face serious problems as a result of used game sales.

"I would argue, and I've said this before, that used games are cannibalizing the industry. If developers and publishers don't see revenue from that, it's not a matter of hey 'we're trying to increase the price of games to consumers, and we want more,' we're just trying to survive as an industry. If used games continue the way that they are, it's going to cannibalize, there's not going to be an industry," he said. "People won't make those kinds of games. So I think that's inflated the price of games, and I think that prices would have come down if there was a longer tail, but there isn't."

One way forward is digital sales, believes Dyack.

"We need a system with recurring revenue and that's why I think digital distribution is going to play a big role in things to come," he concluded. "That's why I am still very big on cloud computing."

Do you wait for a game to appear pre-owned in order to save some cash? Would you buy more new games if they weren't available pre-owned? Let us know in the comments section below.

New stuff to check out


To add your comment, please login or register

User Comments

tvr77's Avatar


What would they prefer? for us to keep games after we are finished with them and just discard them on the shelf to gather dust or would they rather there hard work be kept in circulation for others and the less fortunate to enjoy. Seems all they really care about is the money which is being exchanged.
Posted 10:54 on 29 March 2012
Endless's Avatar


If the rumours of the next Playstation console are to be believed, the entire system will attach a 'pass' to each game the same our current online passes and every retail game that you haven't got a 'pass' for is basically stripped down to a demo or trial version until you pay to unlock it.

How long till the hackers figure that out ;)
Posted 09:40 on 29 March 2012
thedanyrand's Avatar


pblive brings up something I havent thought of with the sites like ebay and such. People like myself who wait and buy a lot of their games preowned will just start going through those channels to get them. Which will kill a lot of brick and mortar business and cause those to close. Then theres no way to buy new games and the entire industry goes down. So way to go now there are no more videogames. Bit drastic there at the end but I think I made my point lol.
Posted 22:22 on 28 March 2012
guyderman's Avatar


Oh and good luck selling as many copies digitally, Dyack, especially at the current digital prices.

Couldn't have said it better!
Posted 15:04 on 28 March 2012


As soon as trade-ins disappear then websites will rise which allow users to swap games or people will either gravitate to ebay or swap games with friends.

It's stupid to think that trade in any second hand goods is anything other than a natural pattern for consumerism. Perhaps GAME, CEX et al have pushed it a little further and more agressively, but it's not the second hand sales that are causing a problem in themselves.

Oh and good luck selling as many copies digitally, Dyack, especially at the current digital prices.
Posted 14:29 on 28 March 2012
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls@ Endless

Publishers will manipulate the numbers they have at hand in any way possible to say whatever they want.

If second hand game sales magically gave them royalty payments, they'd be showing us how important the second hand market is and decrying digital sales because they can only be traded once.
Posted 14:10 on 28 March 2012
Endless's Avatar


You know what might work and be the simplest thing ever?

Disallow trade-ins on a game unless it's been available new for over a month or so. How they would police it I dont know. The idea just came to me as I was thinking how other industries manage this problem: Film comes out at the cinema, DVD/Blu-ray isnt available until after it's finished it's run at the cinemas. Could work for video games?
Posted 13:42 on 28 March 2012
dav2612's Avatar


So if there wasn't a 2nd hand market the prices of games would come down? He really expects us to believe that?
Posted 13:26 on 28 March 2012
dudester's Avatar


How about making more then one game every ten years?

Oh balls didn't realise they made that awful xmen game last year :D
Posted 13:20 on 28 March 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


Simple solution: make a game that will excite the audience, and instil la desire to own a title day one.

Otherwise, such has been the case since the PSX and the trade-in industry took off. I would like to know why the games industry developers feel entitled to have their work, unlike EVERY other trade good, exempt from second sale rights...
Posted 12:58 on 28 March 2012
tvr77's Avatar


If its a game i'm very excited about and i cant wait i usually get it on day one providing i have the funds. I do buy a fair amount of pre owned games but only because there cheaper so i'm not so worried about spending x amount of cash on a game i may not enjoy so much. So i guess if it was not for the pre owned market i would not have sampled half the games iv played. But if they were cheaper from the start maybe i would eventually get around to them.
The video games industry will never agree with second hand sales unless they some day get a cut from them. Which to some level they do anyway with network pass and dlc which are things ive paid for after purchasing a second hand game , so thats money they got from me which if it was not for the pre owned market would not have happened. It also gets more people involved and playing games together. Not everyone can afford full price games, i bet theres plenty of people who wont pay over £20 for a game or only buy pre owned games.
Posted 12:52 on 28 March 2012
View Full Site