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Pre-owned sales have "no benefit" to publishers - Livingstone

But Eidos life president admits publishers need retail to help market games

Eidos life president Ian Livingstone has slammed the pre-owned retail market, stating it has no benefit for developers or publishers.

Retailers are able to cut out the creators and publishers of the product and make a higher margin on second hand sales, often reselling titles multiple times, he added.

"The pre-owned market is a serious problem, because there is no benefit to developers or publishers," Livingstone told the BBC.

"A shop makes a bigger margin on a pre-owned title, and can sell them six or seven times, so there is no incentive for them to reorder and the content creator gets no slice of the action."

According to the report, Livingstone suggested second hand sales make up around a quarter of a retailer's turnover.

However, he noted that retail outlets are still a necessity for games publishers, not just to sell new titles, but to help market products to consumers.

"These aren't just shops, they are a marketing tool, a window into our world where software houses can display their wares."

Livingstone is the latest veteran to add to the ongoing second hand sales debate. EA Sports boss Peter Moore recently told that pre-owned sales are a retailers prerogative, and it's down to publishers to invest in ways of seeing a return on the business.

"Our point as publisher would be that the business exists, it's a multi-billion dollar business - our job would be to figure out how we treat them as any other customer, how we monetise that consumer," he said.

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.