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Braben: pre-owned is "damaging" market

Skewed sales, unrewarded developers.

Frontier Developments boss David Braben reckons the pre-owned games market is causing all sorts of problems for single-player titles or those with less replay value.

"I think it's really damaging to the single-player experience," Braben told GamesIndustry.biz. "Games like BioShock and Assassin's Creed, where they're perfectly valid games, but once you've played them they go into the pre-owned section.

"The sales don't reflect the actual sales of people playing them because someone has gone out and bought, at almost the same price, a pre-owned copy because they couldn't get an original," he said. "It's very frustrating that they don't carry that stock any more."

Braben, who found recent success with acclaimed WiiWare game LostWinds, said retailers should consider replacing pre-owned games with some form of cheap rental service.

"A genuine rental market would be fine," said Braben. "The problem with video rental, as I understand it, was prices were really high. I think that was the issue.

"Maybe there are different ways of participating in that. Maybe it's not a higher price, maybe we get a share of the rental, which actually might be better where the copy is even cheaper, or even free."

Head over to GamesIndustry.biz for the full interview with David Braben, in which he talks about The Outsider, next-gen story development, and games aiming at 18 ratings in order to be cool.