Used market cost Heavy Rain 1m sales

Dev lost "between €5 and €10 million".

Heavy Rain developer Quantic Dream believes it lost one million customers, and "between €5 and €10 million", to second-hand sales.

"I can take just one example of Heavy Rain," Quantic Dream co-founder Guillaume de Fondaumiere told GamesIndustry.biz. "We basically sold to date approximately two million units. We know from the Trophy system that probably more than three million people bought this game and played it.

"On my small level it's a million people playing my game without giving me one cent. And my calculation is, as Quantic Dream, I lost between €5 and €10 million worth of royalties because of second-hand gaming."

At the heart of the argument, believes Fondaumiere, is price.

"Now, are games too expensive?" he asked.

"I've always said that games are probably too expensive, so there's probably a right level here to find, and we need to discuss this all together and try to find a way to reconcile consumer expectations, retail expectations and also the expectations of the publisher and the developers to make this business a worthwhile business."

Fondaumiere believes the global recession gave rise to the second-hand video game market. He understands that without it, less games would probably have been bought, due to the removal of trade-in discounts.

But, at the moment, "we're basically all shooting ourselves in the foot", he declared.

"Because when developers and publishers alike are going to see that they can't make a living out of producing games that are sold through retail channels, because of second-hand gaming, they will simply stop making these games," he said, or move exclusively online.

Heavy Rain, a PS3 exclusive, was released in February 2010. In his Heavy Rain review, Tom Bramwell called the game "a thrilling mystery, cleverly composed and unlike anything else you will play this year".

"It may also be the only game you play this year where pulling the trigger makes you really feel something, and I can think of no greater compliment."

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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