Curt Schilling Responds to Used Game Sales of Kingdoms of Amular – Tech Tuesday
Former MLB Pitcher Curt Schilling, who is an avid gamer and went on to found gaming company 38 Studio after retiring from major league baseball in 2009, responded to a web forum post to outrage from gamers about used sales of his new game title Kingdoms of Amular. This has once again shown some light on the used game problem for game makers.
Essentially the problem for game studios is that they only make money from new game sales. From that money they maintain payroll, and websites and marketing for their other titles and fund development for new games. After someone plays that game and sells it to Gamestop, they turn around and resell it at a high mark up, which is all profit for them. The game company gets nothing of that money.
Now 38 Studio has made it so that anyone buying a used version of the game, will not get some of the content to play right off. They will need to buy a code to unlock that content. This caused an uproar on the company's game forums. Many thought this meant that game content was only available after buying the code. But it was clarified that the code is for a one time use that comes with the game in the box. But when the game is sold used, you will need a new code to unlock the content again. Curt Schilling took to the web himself to explain the situation. "DAY 1 DLC, to be extremely and VIVIDLY clear, is FREE, 100% totally FREE, to anyone that buys a new copy of Reckoning, ANYONE. If you don't buy new games you buy them used, and in that case you will have to pay for the Day 1 free DLC content the new copy buyers got for free."
Now the trick is coming up with ways for game companies to make money from their work and still let players buy the older games at a used price that seems fair. I personally like Gamestop, but yeah, some of the markups on used games is really gouging in my opinion. Just go to the Gamestop website and look at any recent game title and you'll see a good number of them, have prices for used, not much different for brand new.
But for the time being, it seems that Curt Schilling has found a temporary solution for his game. Now the rest of the industry needs to find one and not get gamers mad.