"maybe it's got six tracks," with DLC to finish it later isn't "inconceivable".
Such methods would "deal with a lot" of the pre-owned and piracy issues. The obstacle is how to "figure out" this kind of videogame - retail may revolt.
"Pre-owned isn't actually new... the difference was that it wasn't a significant percentage of the market, and it was never promoted as aggressively through the retail community as it is today," said Codemasters CEO Rod Cousens. It's a huge threat to us he reckons.
"You could argue for the retailer in that context, but also what it's done is kill things like subsequent exploitation in platinum and classics... and it expands the potential for piracy by default. They would argue that prices would suggest otherwise - I would say not, because by the time you get down through the food chain, a thing gets more and more ripped off."
"I don't believe that retail is going to disappear soon - I also believe that 35 per cent of the world market that doesn't have broadband, and its only access it through retail, is still a significant part to any content creator," he continued.
So what's the solution to the industry's pre-owned woe? Incomplete + DLC.
"It's not inconceivable to say that we send out a Formula One game that's not complete - maybe it's got six tracks. Then they have to buy their next track, and you follow it around the world," said the Codemasters boss.
"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." Retailers would need to be warmed up to this format first though.
"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," warned Cousens.
Retail and studios need to work together to survive. "The way it's structured today is destructive, and it's negative to creativity and innovation. I believe it has to be managed - there's an element of it which is acceptable, and there's an element that isn't."
"If the content creators could participate in the secondary or subsequent exploitation, I think that's fair game. I think equally the retailer then has an argument that he should participate in some of the DLC, which they ordinarily wouldn't. By default, you manage the process."
Pre-owned is much cheaper than newly released titles, naturally this is going to appeal to many a consumer - especially if they 'play and forget' titles often. Will these ‘incomplete’ games be much, much lower in price? Around £14.99 or so?
Codies talk titles "not complete" and riddled with 'seasonal DLC'
17 November 2010 | By Simon Priest