Game developers have always had to deal with consumers buying games used. The developer doesn’t make any money on a used game sale, and for years have tried to entice consumers to buy the game new. In general, developers include exclusive, but non-essential DLC with the new game as an incentive. EA has started going with a new model, “Project Ten Dollar”, where used game buyers have to spend $10 to get access to content that is free to new buyers.
Gears of War 3 developer Cliff Bleszinski openly criticized this practice in an interview with Joystiq at E3. Referring to the practice of charging extra to used gamers, “Penalizing is not the best way to deal with things like that. You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar”
Cliff seems to think a better way to keep new sales high is to give a lasting experience. Gears of War has had great after-sale support in the past, with DLC and regular updates and bugfixes. The developer is looking to continue that trend. “You want to make a game that has a great single-player experience, but continues online, continues to breathe.”
Here’s hoping the Gears model wins over Project Ten Dollar.