Friday, 16 December 2011

OnePlayS - "The publisher will also generate revenue on the used sale"

 Since the industry continues to think that used game and game rental revenue is a problem, one European company has a simple solution: share the profit off these sales.

A small but noteworthy tidbit to tend this week with. I've already covered the fact that game publishers and companies generally hate the used game and game rental systems because they never see any revenue from the sales these venues have. Well, a European game rental company named OnePlayS is seeking to ameliorate at least one aspect of this by publicly offering game companies a percentage of each used game sale that they conduct from their site.

OnePlayS isn't much different from GameFly or any of the other monthly subscription based game rental services in terms of the content offered. However, they have recently gone on the record as saying the following:

“Our Revenue Share agreement gives each party – retailer and publisher – a benefit,” said founder Lasse Jensen. “OnePlayS pays the production cost of the disc, and then charges a fee for each rental. This means we buy more copies to fulfill demand faster and we’ll have used copies that won’t be rented. They will then be sold, generating additional income for both parties.

“We are focusing on ‘Rent it, Like it, Buy it’, which gives the user the option to keep the game they rented. We always share all revenue generated. The publisher will also generate revenue on the used sale, where they currently make zero. 

“Our Revenue Share agreements are a partnership, where both parties share the success in a game."

While this approach obviously wouldn't work with most PC games or direct to system downloads, it does at least give a partial answer to what the industry has viewed as a large financial problem. How effective it will ultimately be remains to be seen, but I believe that quite honestly the game industry should be happy that it's getting something now in lieu of the nothing it got before, because there was no sort of obligation on the part of OnePlayS to share this profit.

In more general terms, I wonder if this does prove to be a successful way of making additional profit if the industry will insist that all stores that sell used games should give them a cut. Of course if that is the case then it might just as easily be possible that places like GameStop, EB, and the like will start giving less to gamers that sell their used titles or worse, raise the prices of used games: something that's completely counter-intuitive since it's often the price point that is the sole incentive for people to buy used in the first place.

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