Crytek: Next-gen used games block ‘would be absolutely awesome’

In an article over at CVG, we learn that Crysis dev Crytek have some interesting thoughts about next gen, specifically as it pertains to keeping Piracy down and preventing the used game market from stealing their cash monies.

Rasmus Hojengaard, Crytek’s director of creative development, issued the following statement in an interview over at the site:

“The worst thing that can happen is they make something that’s very complex for developers, regardless of how awesome it might theoretically be,” he said. “So getting hardware that allows you to quickly get prototypes up and running, and any kind of scalability they can offer will be great as well, as long as everyone has that scalability and not just a select few.”

I completely agree with Mr. Hojengaard, there.  But when the interviewer then asks about the rumored anti-used-game measures that are purported to be in the next Xbox and Playstation consoles, he had this to say:

“From a business perspective that would be absolutely awesome. It’s weird that [second-hand] is still allowed because it doesn’t work like that in any other software industries, so it would be great if they could somehow fix that issue as well.”

So wait…  Hold on.  Is there really an issue to be fixed here?  I mean, he’s got a point when he says that it doesn’t work like this in other software industries.  You can’t get a used version of Photoshop, or MS Office, or Windows.  But for console games, those are more akin to CDs or DVDs, which have a burgeoning used market.  It is less about the type of media (software versus entertainment), and more about the type of technology consuming the media.  I can’t believe that the used game market is really as damaging as some developers make it out to be.  I know people who will not buy a game if they can’t find a copy of it (new or used) for any more than half the original retail price.  So if there was no used games market, these people will either abstain from their purchase, or wait for a ridiculous sale.  But putting measures into a console that would make it impossible to have a used game market, to me, smells of monopolizing practices.

There is also mention of the fact that the PC version of Crysis 2 was the most-pirated game of 2011, having been downloaded approximately four million times.  Hojengaard says (and rightfully so) that it’s flattering and upsetting all at the same time.  The up-side is that so many people were interested in the game, but of course the down side was the lost revenue opportunity.  He knows that not every pirated copy could be transferred to a retail sale, but recognizes that “even if we can convert 25 percent of those gamers into paying customers” they will garner an extra million sales.

CVG will be posting more of their interview in the coming timeframe, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, here is a snippet from the interview:

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