Developers Quantic Dream claim that due to used sales of Heavy Rain, the company lost between $6 million and as much as $13 million in royalties for used sales of the game. As you can imagine, they are telling just about everyone that will listen that they are not happy at all with this development.
While the developer admits that they only sold about 2 million copies of the game, they know that based on PS3’s trophy system that about another 3 million purchased the game used or rented the game and played it. Of course, it is difficult to know how many were friends loaning their copy to someone or rentals that contributed to this number, but they certainly did suffer a loss because of used sales.
As with many developers, Quantic Dream isn’t at all happy with the fact that they make nothing on the sales of used games or the fact that gamers purchase so many used games. From what we have been able to figure out, the biggest factor is the simple fact that it costs less.
Still, publisher and developer moves like using the $10 online pass system are helping the situation, but perhaps these don’t go far enough from the publisher and developer point of view. While it is understandable that developers want paid for their hard work, it does seem a difficult problem to solve; we suspect that there will always be a used market unless we fully move to digital distribution as many publishers and developers would like.