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Retail

Second hand sales have been "extremely painful" for the industry - Atari

Wed 03 Dec 2008 8:58am GMT / 3:58am EST / 12:58am PST
Retail

But publisher intends to tackle problem by adding online services to sell more than just a boxed product

Atari has acknowledged that the sale of second hand games has harmed the industry, but the publisher isn't concerned about reselling impacting its own business as it intends to offer more online features and services in its products.

Speaking at the Atari Live event in London yesterday, the publisher said that to avoid games being sold on by consumers, the industry needs to offer more online features, whether adding extra content, social functions or financial services.

"Second hand game sales represent consumer choice and desire," said David Gardner, CEO of Atari.

"Obviously, it has economically been extremely painful for the industry... the publishers don't benefit.

"But as games change and they become more and more network centric, the disc in the box becomes only one part of the experience. As that experience grows then it becomes not such a problem," commented Gardner.

While for the next twelve months Atari is very much behind boxed product, its long-term goals are to incorporate more online content into the business, as it pursues new opportunities with connected services.

"There's no doubt that second hand games sales has a macro-economic impact on the industry and a lot of people get miserable about it," offered Phil Harrison, president of Atari.

"But it's no coincidence that the most valuable games, the one's that have the most lifetime as a game experience, are the one's that don't get resold, that don't get traded.

"The games that have the embedded community, the embedded commerce, the extended, expandable experiences, are the one's that you would never want to trade, the one's you want to keep hold of. And that's perfectly in line with our future strategy so we're not that concerned about it," he added.

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