Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Used PC Games May Have New Platform for Resale

The one thing most people probably don't like about the used game market is that PC products are pretty much absent. And for good reason. With DRM's, license keys, and the need for outdated hardware, PC games are not feasible for resale. We all know how difficult it is to get Microsoft Office installed on a new hard drive if you've already used the disc 2 or more times. A new company, Robot Cache, wants to change that by allowing people to buy and sell used PC games, and letting publishers keep a high percentage of the profits.

Brian Fargo, who has been developing games since the 1980's, is launching this new company that will be similar to Steam. But with a focus on buying and selling used PC games. The company will create a new crytpocurrency and allow publishers to receive about 95% of the sales, compared to Valve's 70%. It'll allow publishers to have a better direct connection to consumers without the middle man. And unlike EA and Ubisoft's platforms, this is all about getting rid of PC games you no longer play. In doing so, customers will get a title at a discounted rate.

The cryptocurrency called Iron will be available to purchase through an initial sale. You can still use credit cards to buy games through Robot Cache. But to sell the game, you will receive Iron. In turn, you can use Iron to buy more games or to exchange it for cash. The company will only make 5-10% with each transaction. Publishers will then be able to set a price for the "used" PC games.

This is one of the few instances where publishers will be able to make a profit from used games. And it does require a lot of cooperation from their end to make this a seamless transition for the consumer. The last thing I person wants to deal with is DRM policies that prevent them from playing the game they've purchased. But it also means Robot Cache will have to be more intrusive then other stores to ensure you have indeed removed the game from your PC before selling it. The company is looking to raise $15 million when the sale of Iron commences. And if it works, it could give Steam a run for it's money. What publisher wouldn't want a 90% take from sales?

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