Codemasters Makes Case For Selling Incomplete Games

Posted on November 11, 2010

As used-game sales become more of a part of the gaming ecosystem, some publishers have been struggling to recoup some of that lost revenue. You can add Codemasters to the ranks of those who think DLC is the solution.

The company’s CEO, Rod Cousens, says that the success of the used-games market has reduced how much money publishers can make from releasing greatest hits editions of games later in a game’s lifespan. In addition, Cousens says that used sales expand the market for piracy. His proposed solution could make some gamers bristle.

“It’s not inconceivable to say that we send out a Formula One game that’s not complete – maybe it’s got six tracks,” Cousens said in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. “Then they have to buy their next track, and you follow it around the world. When you turn up in Abu Dhabi you have to pay for the circuit, and whatever the changes are to the cars that are put through. That, I think, would deal with a lot of it, and also address the pre-owned.”

“What we have to figure out is how we’re going to work together to make this happen. If retail takes a confrontational point of view and says that if we go online, they won’t stock the box – and publishers then say that all they’re going to do is put out DLC after launch that retail can’t participate in… it’s ridiculous.

“Actually, you need them to get to the stage where they stock the box. It’s not inconceivable that you’re going to ask them to give the box away at some point in time. But then, they participate to an extent in the subsequent DLC exploitation,” he said.

It’s an interesting idea, but it raises a few issues. What about consumers who don’t have access to broadband? By his own estimation, Cousens says that 35 percent of the world market lacks that kind of online connectivity, which is critical for DLC. Would Cousen’s proposed DLC be available the day a game launches? Gamers are already skeptical about DLC, but would making a plan like this known out front make them less troubled by it? Certainly, these “incomplete” games would be cheaper, right?

What are your thoughts on this kind of strategy?

GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer.

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Categories: Game News, Game Secrets


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