In an interview with Gamasutra, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen discussed, among many topics, the issue of used games.
“It’s one of these classic double-edged swords. In one way the used game business has been critical for the health of the retail channel, and having a healthy retail channel is an important thing for us. The business will probably never be 100 percent digital. Bandwidths are a constraint, and will continue to be a constraint for many years to come, which hold back the ability to do full digital downloads of some games,” Jorgensen told the publication.
“Would we like to sell everything at full price and not have a used game market? Sure,” he continued. But I think the used game market’s a little like any other kind of market where it creates liquidity. The fact is, that liquidity benefits us in some fashion. So if someone goes in and trades in a game, there’s a good chance they’re going to buy another one of our games. And so if there’s a liquid market, I think that that’s not a bad thing at all.”
With the rumors about either the next-gen Xbox or PlayStation 4 disallowing used games, Jorgensen said he really couldn’t give his take, but acknowledged that the trends are going towards having a console always online anyway, though it could end up causing issues.
“I can’t really comment on where the next generation boxes are going to be relative to used games. I will say that the trend in the business is to have that always-on connectivity and connect with a customer, and to the extent that the software identifies a certain customer is going to create some issues going down the road in the used game market. But I do believe that the consumer likes it, and it’s been good for the retail channel,” Jorgensen added.