GameStop is "taking everybody for a ride" says God of War dev

Ru Weerasuriya says retailers like GameStop should pay a cut of the revenue from preowned sales to publishers and developers.

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The boss of God of War: Chains of Olympus and upcoming The Order: 1886 developer Ready at Dawn Studios has said retailers like GameStop are "taking everybody for a ride" with their preowned schemes.

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"I think the problem is right now there are retail outlets that are really taking everybody for a ride," said Ru Weerasuriya in an interview with GamesIndustry International.

"You can't make a living at the expense of everybody else. Unfortunately, they're not just making a living at the expense of developers but also the consumers because the consumers will see less and less games come out if developers can't get revenue to make more new titles and keep going as a business," he said.

The debate over preowned games has flared up recently after support for reselling games became a major talking point surrounding Microsoft and Sony's next-generation consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

"I think this is something we need to curb on the retail side," said Weerasuriya. "We're putting the consumers in an awkward spot and we shouldn't have to."

Unlike the PlayStation 4, Microsoft's initial plans for the Xbox One required users to check in online every 24 hours and featured publisher-controlled support around each title's digital rights, though the plans were subsequently scrapped. "Why should [customers] be the ones to deal with a flawed system?" asked Weerasuriya. "They are the guys we do this for. They are the ones who should be able to benefit the most from being able to buy it."

Weerasuriya thinks that retailers should be required to give some of the revenue gained from preowned sales back to publishers and developers. "I don't think we should stop used games, but we should do something about getting part of the revenue back from GameStop and places like that."

Speaking about his own recent experience at a GameStop, Weerasuriya said, "I walked into a GameStop, asked for a new copy of a game and without telling me he tried to slip me a used copy and wanted to sell it to me for $5 less. I flipped out in front of the guy. I was like, 'Dude, wrong guy… You're doing this to the wrong guy.' I don't think people realize, and the guy was trying to justify it to me. I was like, 'You have no idea.' There are developers out there who are making games for [years] and some of them will go down purely because the revenue stream is basically flawed and creating this place where developers don't see even a little part of it," he said.

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