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Atari admit to second-hand concern

Online and community the key

A number of prominent industry figures have spoken of the damaging effect of the second-hand game sales market, some commentators suggesting that recent DRM moves by the likes of EA are less to do with stopping piracy and more to do with disrupting second-hand sales; which some game makers believe are hurting their bottom line and harming legitimate sales.

"Secondhand game sales represent consumer choice and desire," Atari CEO David Gardner told GI.biz at Atari Live in London this week. "Obviously, it has economically been extremely painful for the industry… the publishers don’t benefit."

The problem, of course, is that developers and publishers only get a cut of first-hand sales, the retailer and the seller the main benefactor from the second-hand market - which is very large in some countries.

"There’s no doubt that second hand games sales has a macro-economic impact on the industry and a lot of people get miserable about it," continued president Phil Harrison.

"But it’s no coincidence that the most valuable games, the one’s that have the most lifetime as a game experience, are the one’s that don’t get resold, that don’t get traded.

"The games that have the embedded community, the embedded commerce, the extended, expandable experiences, are the one’s that you would never want to trade, the one’s you want to keep hold of. And that’s perfectly in line with our future strategy so we’re not that concerned about it."

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