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Green Man Gaming: Digital Distributors Will Have To Adapt To EU Digital Resale Ruling

Jonathan Lester
Digital Distribution, Green Man Gaming, Steam

Green Man Gaming: Digital Distributors Will Have To Adapt To EU Digital Resale Ruling

Consumers Will Force The Issue

Now that an EU Court Of Justice ruling gives gamers the right to sell on digital content licenses, Green Man Gaming believes that platform holders like Steam and Origin will have to "facilitate" resale in the face of inevitable consumer pressure -which will 'shake up the digital distribution market' over the next few years. However, there will probably be "no change" to their practices in the short-term.

Armed with the new precedent, set yesterday by the The Court of Justice of the European Union, Green Man Gaming boss Paul Sulyok reckons that gamers will soon force digital distributors to implement a pre-owned marketplace after a landmark lawsuit results in a "foregone conclusion."

"Medium term, I think some first acquirer somewhere is going to push this through, because it's the kind of thing the community does, and it's their right to," Sulyok told Eurogamer. "There will be a first case against one of the platform holders."

"The result of that is a foregone conclusion. So they will have to facilitate that. This will shake up the digital distribution market. Long-term there are some important implications and this is very disruptive. Both Origin and Steam would have to facilitate some kind of method whereby a consumer could revoke the activation of that key and then pass a brand new key onto a third part."

Despite stating that little will change in the short-term, Sulyok is of the opinion that the ruling could have massive implications for the industry - and give the pre-owned market a new lease of life. Sadly, this would almost certainly be countered by Steam etc refusing to run major sales and promotions for fear of massively losing out on potential profits.

“You don’t want to have a deep discounted game that can then be sold on elsewhere,” Sulyok elaborated. “The secondary market then cuts in and then what will happen is the same sort of thing as you’ve seen in the high street whereby a supermarket chain puts a fantastic discount on a product for consumers and all the other high street retailers trot down to the supermarket to buy them to stop them.”

At present, it's difficult to know how this new precedent will affect the industry, especially since there's no enforceable directive forcing platform holders to change their ways. But it's interesting food for thought, no?

Plus, it's nice to see us consumers getting a little power for a change.

Add a comment 1 comment
matthewbeeching  Jul. 4, 2012 at 13:51

I would prefer to see digital distribution drive down prices and piracy. This will cause all sorts of problems.

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