Ready at Dawn Founder Speaks Out Against GameStop Exploiting Customers

Founder of Ready at Dawn studio ReRu Weerasuriya has spoken out against retailers like GameStop who in his view are hurting the video games industry through their pricing and sales of used games.

Speaking with GamesIndustry International he expressed his views saying, “I think the problem is right now there are retail outlets that are really taking everybody for a ride. You can’t make a living at the expense of everybody else,” said Weerasuriya in the interview. “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.”

“I think this is something we need to curb on the retail side. We’re putting the consumers in an awkward spot and we shouldn’t have to,” he continued. “Why should they be the ones to deal with a flawed system? 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.”

To paint a mental picture, Weerasuriya then relayed an experience he had with a local GameStop retailer in his area.

“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.”

But this doesn’t mean that Weerasuriya wants to end the sales of used games. He said that he’s in favor of the freedom of consumers trading/selling their used copies. However, instant change needs to be brought in and policies should be reviewed.

“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. That’s not penalizing the consumers; they’ll still get what they want. But I don’t know who’s going to address it.”

Weerasuriya also raised an interesting suggestion to the pricing of video games. Currently new blockbuster titles are retailed at the usual $60 which most consumers might find pricey. Hence, most tend to buy used copies instead.

“Think about it this way. What the consumer wants is choice. It doesn’t mean we have to kill the $60 game, but you should have the choice for other price points. I would love to go home and play a two-hour game at night right before I go to bed. You play the game, get a full experience and a full story and go to sleep afterwards. I love that idea, but I also love the idea of playing the 15-hour game that I have to pay more for. I think there’s room for different tiers. And I think the market is already breaking those out.”

Weerasuriya has clearly brought up some interesting views on the used games industry. Complaints against retailers trying to pawn off used titles at a high price isn’t something new. What do you think of his views on the matter? Inform us in the comments below.