Certain video game publishers have been crying about the lack of revenue being spoon-fed to them by their adoring fans. Some have been counting all the ways in which the faults of the industry lay with their customers and how they seek to punish them for it. Denis Dyack; founder of Canadian publisher; Silicon Knights recently complained of gamers that purchased second hand titles where going to bring the industry to its knees. He believes that these naughty gamers who paid for a pre-owned game damages the viability of the entire industry, because the act is cutting off the revenue tail for the majority of software titles!
Dyak proclaimed; "If used games continue the way that they are, it's going to cannibalize, there's not going to be an industry". "There used to be something in games for 20 years called a tail, where say you have a game called Warcraft that would sell for 10 years. Because there are no used games, you could actually sell a game for a long time, and get recurring revenue for quite a while. Recurring revenue is very key."
Oh my, tails getting cannibalized… What a strange and ridiculous story! It all sounds like the Worm Ouroboros in Norse mythology; the serpent snake that swallows its own tail and hence forms a circle with no start or finish. This story just goes around and around. Firstly, we can assure everyone that people did indeed sell or trade their Warcraft Orcs & Humans, Warcraft II, Warcraft III, and myriad of expansion packs back in the ‘good old days’… You can still find those titles in garage sales beckoning new people to enter the Warcraft world. But perhaps Denis was jealously referring to the more recent rivers of gold flowing into Blizzards coffers from the online only WoW (since 2004), and if so we would encourage Silicon Knights to trundle off and make an MMORPG of their own. Many have tried…
Dyak also complained this month of not getting a Government cheque for $4 million from the Canadian Community Adjustment Fund. With both community and customers not doing their fair share to keep Silicon Knights fed, making games for a living may prove to be hard work. Remember if the publisher needs to raise money to pay bills; please do not sell your office chairs because this would undermine the furniture Industry who could institute a strict “one-bum-per-chair” licensing model.