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Atari not that bothered about pre-owned

Plans to make games no one would sell.

Towering Atari spokesperson Phil Harrison is not worried about the "macro-economic" impact of the pre-owned market on the industry, because he reckons Atari can create games so valuable that no one wants to trade them in.

"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," said Phil Harrison, president of Atari, at a worldwide press event watched by GamesIndustry.biz.

"But it's no coincidence that the most valuable games, the ones that have the most lifetime as a game experience, are the ones 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 ones that you would never want to trade, the ones 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.

Atari's biggest new hitters include Ghostbusters, The Witcher for consoles and a mysterious music game from maestro Tetsuya Mizuguchi, who's been responsible for Lumines among others in the past.

The publisher also picked up Ready 2 Rumble Wii and Tekken 6, and revealed plans to revisit the Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and Test Drive properties in the future.

Harrison, who joined Atari after being Sony Worldwide Studios boss, has learned a thing or two about development after championing games like LittleBigPlanet, and he's got a clear idea of how to deliver eye-catching and successful titles out.

"All of the mistakes I have made in software development have been based around one problem and one problem alone, which is accelerating through this pipeline without successfully and properly satisfying the requirements of each of the stages - and typically it involves going from concept to production in one jump," said Harrison.

"That's pretty much the definition of why projects fail - because you don't know what you're building, you don't know how you're going to build it, you don't know who you're building it for, but you've got 60 people working on it and they're all running in different directions - that's how most games fail.

He added: "Experiment earlier, fail more often, and fail more cheaply. This is the mantra - you want to fail early, to kill those poor ideas, but you also want to do it repeatedly and quickly so that you will eventually find those great ideas, but you want to do it as cheaply as you can so you save money."