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Volition's Durall: Preventing Used Games From Being Played A 'Fantastic' Idea

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
DLC, Jameson Durall, Next-gen, Nextbox, Online Passes, Piracy, Pre-owned games, Used games, Volition Inc.

Volition's Durall: Preventing Used Games From Being Played A 'Fantastic' Idea

Jameson Durall has been in the games industry for a while. Currently Design Director on "Secret Project Y" at Volition, he's previously had stints at Electronic Arts and Oddworld Inhabitants, and he's fed up of developers not getting the money they deserve thanks to the pre-owned games market. Speaking in a recent blog post about the possibilities of the next generation of consoles, he touched upon the rumour that Microsoft's new console wouldn't be able to play used games, and stated that he felt it would be fantastic for developers.

"There’s another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up," said Durall, "it won’t play used games at all! Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first…they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them."

Durall suggested we're halfway there already, with DLC and online passes already providing a code-oriented model that could be used to tie games to gamer profiles and console accounts.

"The system is already there for Microsoft," he continued, "all they’d have to do is use the DLC and codes model they have to tie a game to your Xbox live account. Each retail disc would likely need that unique key somewhere in the code so the account would be able to link it properly. Ideally it would tie a full version to the console it is registered on so family members can play even if the main account isn’t signed in, but this is exactly how their model works now anyway."

Durall is a fan of the rental model, mind, so he stressed it would be important to consider all factors, suggesting that Microsoft might do well to implement their own rental service

"It does have it’s faults that would have to ironed out…like game rental. I’m a fan of rental companies because they have to buy copies of the game to be able to rent them out and if someone likes the game, there is a chance they would purchase it for themselves. I could see Microsoft implementing their own rental service which would maybe give them a code that activates the game for X days and they are charged a small amount. This could work when you borrow the disc from someone or even with digital download of the full version. It would also send a percentage of the rental to the Developer with each rental…likely improving the overall revenue we would receive from it."

There's a lack of sympathy form Durall towards retailers when it comes to this, and he suggested that they were doing fine before used games became such a staple of their business, going a step further to say that pre-owned pushes clearly show a lack of consideration for game developers and asking why therefore he should feel bad for trying to get back some of the money from them for something he helped create.

The pre-owned debacle rages ever onwards, it would seem, and more and more it seems increasingly like consumers are caught in the middle of a pissing match between retailers and developers when it comes to this, which isn't good for anyone. [AltDev]

Add a comment13 comments
Exu  Feb. 6, 2012 at 20:17

What a total c**t.

sosrandom  Feb. 6, 2012 at 20:27

What a total c**t.


Maybe if developers got more money from games they wouldn't have to charge so much in the first place.

r3tract  Feb. 6, 2012 at 22:09

Im looking forward to the day I can't take my games around to a friend's house to play in their console...

...oh wait, something's amiss there.

RiKx  Feb. 6, 2012 at 23:00

Well your games suck ass anyway mate...nothing from nothing is nothing. Jog on.

aq2  Feb. 7, 2012 at 07:41

So what happens when your new XBox gets a ROD? If all the games are tied to the console then thats a bit worrying? I'm assuming the XBox Live account will be able to resolve a console swap. Also, what happens you have 2 consoles in your house? Sounds off, but my nephews to so they can play online together.

Lemming  Feb. 7, 2012 at 08:04

I'd love to see some solid market research on this as I firmly believe less people would buy games at full price if they couldn't trade them in and also that a lot of DLC sales come from people who do buy the game 2nd hand. I'd also be interested to see how many people have actually paid for online passes to active 2nd hand games, I imagine it's a tiny number.. To me the gaming (disk based) industry is going totally the wrong way.. What's their plan for if my xbox packs up or is a disk gets damaged?

Last edited by Lemming, Feb. 7, 2012 at 08:07
ShaunnyB  Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:16

To the gaming industry,

It was nice knowing you. We had good times... oh, the good times... but now that's in the past. You used to get on well with all my friends and family, and I spent endless hours observing the radiance of your beauty, and as well as enjoying all the activities and challenges we faced together. Even in time of frustration, I always cherished the challenges we went through together.

There was a time where things were innocent, and although you worked hard in providing for us, I always showed you loyalty to no ends. But now, you got selfish and complacent, only thinking about yourselves and sitting with no ambition but to move laterally, so now this relationship must end.

I will try to remember only the good we had together, and hope one day you will change and we can be happy again. I have my doubts though, and wish you happiness in your new endeavours.

Signed XBOX Gamer.

socialjeebus  Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:19

What a total c**t.


Maybe if developers got more money from games they wouldn't have to charge so much in the first place.


Lol, if only. Remember how much games cost before there was a significant used games market? Exactly, even without adjusting for inflation, console games have always been expensive.

It's notable that on PC (where piracy is even more rife and usually much more simple - no pesky modchips or drive flashing, etc) that retailers regularly offer more competitive pricing.

This kind of thinking strikes me as similar to the music industry burying their heads in the sand when MP3s first started appearing (continuing to charge crazy prices for CDs) and we all know how that's turned out.

Last edited by socialjeebus, Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:20
flalexander  Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:25

What a total c**t.


This. This is all i thought when reading that. This is the outcome of his scenario

RiKx  Feb. 7, 2012 at 12:14

To the gaming industry,

It was nice knowing you. We had good times... oh, the good times... but now that's in the past. You used to get on well with all my friends and family, and I spent endless hours observing the radiance of your beauty, and as well as enjoying all the activities and challenges we faced together. Even in time of frustration, I always cherished the challenges we went through together.

There was a time where things were innocent, and although you worked hard in providing for us, I always showed you loyalty to no ends. But now, you got selfish and complacent, only thinking about yourselves and sitting with no ambition but to move laterally, so now this relationship must end.

I will try to remember only the good we had together, and hope one day you will change and we can be happy again. I have my doubts though, and wish you happiness in your new endeavours.

Signed XBOX Gamer.


Brilliant! I Gotta say I don't get how the games industry is in 'crysis' (heh). Years ago the potential user base was a shedload smaller and the system variety greater. Not to mention that console games cost the motherload in the 90's with some SNES titles approaching the £50 price point, so people bought less games then and these were carts which were vastly more expensive to produce that DVD's/ Blu-rays. Not to mention the fact that most amiga / pc games could be pirated for the price of a couple of floppies.

So how the FUNK is there a problem and publishers whining about how they can reduce revenue loss. When there are now fewer systems in dev for, a MUCH greater target audience, and cheaper delivery systems i.e. disk not cart and digital download. Taking into account these factors I cant see it as anything other than greed. Just my thoughts...

Last edited by RiKx, Feb. 7, 2012 at 12:15
Assassyn1  Feb. 7, 2012 at 14:09

To be completely honest unless it was decided by BOTH sony & microsoft theres no way i can see a new xbox doing this, the amount of there user base that would potentially switch to Sonys new console would be way to risky.

MattGardner  Feb. 7, 2012 at 18:00

To be completely honest unless it was decided by BOTH sony & microsoft theres no way i can see a new xbox doing this, the amount of there user base that would potentially switch to Sonys new console would be way to risky.


It could help MS claw back some dev studios for exclusives, though, without actually paying them extra for said exclusivity. Unlikely though.

There'll be a fat article on this later this week.

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