The game developing days of the ZX Spectrun, Amstrad, Amiga and Commodre 64 were pretty cost-effective. The only real tax for game developers was time and patients. Forward to present day and you need an average of around £18m/$30m to successfully develop a AAA game title…and that doesn’t even include the millions necessary for essential marketing campaigns.

Games may be an enjoyable hobby to you and I but always remember that to developers, they’re a product that fund a business and its employees. This means that the money they invest in such games, MUST be made back (at the very least). Development costs are the first thing that must be covered by games sales. Then, it’s publishing costs (it costs to produce millions of those games covers and discs) and marketing campaigns. Once these are covered we obviously have our profit margins and these are invested into future games, enabling developers to push the boundaries of gameplay and engines with every future release.

Profit is extremely important to game developers (and the future of the games industry) and ALL gamers should strive to help developers and publishers where possible.

gta v development costs

GTA V cost over £73m/$115m to develop! Although GTA V may be selling incredibly well, think of the other developers/publishers that failed to hit sales targets due to pre owned copies or illegal downloads/pirated copies…

How do I help support game developers?

Just like any other business, Games developers need profit to survive. This means games sales, and will require you and I to visit our local high-street store, online games retailer, PSN, Games Marketplace (formally XBL), Nintendo eShop, Steam, Origin and u play and purchase our games. Of course, there is still an on-going battle with pre-owned games and piracy and because of this, we’ve prepared a guide to help you support game developers and keep them producing quality games for years to come:

New or pre-owned games?

New games support developers 100%. This is because games stores purchase their game stock via their wholesaler, who buy their stock directly from the developers/publishers. This simply means that the more new games you buy, the more games will be purchased from developers/publishers, therefore generating profit for developers and investing in the future of the games industry.

Pre-Owned games are purchased directly from the gamer. These do not actually support games developers directly, as nothing has been purchased from the wholesaler or developer/publisher. Always strive to purchase new games when you can afford to, but don’t worry if you can’t afford it. We all have those months when a second-hand game is all we can afford.

BUT…please remember one thing…if you ever begin to consider paying just a few pounds, Euros or Dollars difference between a pre-owned game and a brand new game…please slap yourself in the face…HARD! (as well as any other person who recommended it). Trade in, borrow or simply wait a little longer to play that game and support the team that created it!

preowned game prices

Yakuza 3, Valkyria Chronicles, Resonance of Fate, The Darkness, Lost Odessy, Okami, Madworld and Killer 7 are just a few titles that have struggled with sales due to pre owned or illegal downloads

However, if the price difference is huge and you simply can’t afford it (and pay day is light-years away) there are still ways in which you can support developers with that second-hand purchase. They may not be as effective as a new game purchase, but you can still help out. To find out, scroll down and keep reading on…

I prefer to hunt for best prices on new games. Am I still supporting developers?

YES! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise (especially the stores that sell them to you). It really doesn’t matter what price you purchase that shiny new game for, you’re still supporting developers/publishers as the store would still have bought that game in from a wholesaler. When you purchase that game (no matter what the price) the store will then have to buy more stock from that very same wholesaler, therefore generating more profit for the developer/publisher.

When stores sell games at lower prices, this is a decisions that will effect that game store NOT the developers/publishers. So you’re always supporting the games industry.

I like to purchase games on PSN, Games Marketplace (XBL), Nintendo eShop, Steam, Origin and u play. Does this still support developers?

YES! Whether you purchase full retail, Arcade/Indie/PSN/Nintebdo eshop exclusives or add-ons, you’re always supporting developers as these online platforms are a more efficient way of calculating sales and getting funds to the developers and publishers. In fact, because this phases-out hard copy publishing (game cases, discs etc.) the game developers will receive MORE money from these game sales methods. It’s currently the most effective way to support the games industry.

I had to purchase a pre-owned game. Is there anyway I can still support game developer/publishers?

Many games have DLC (downloadable content) that are also refereed to as ‘add-ons’. You’ll find these on Games Marketplace, PSN or your PC games client (Steam, Origin, u play etc.). If you purchase these for your pre-owned game, you’re still supporting developers as the money generated from such DLC is still split with them. You may not be supporting developers as much as buying a new game, but it’s still something…and it all adds-up.

Also, don’t forget that trading-in your games towards new games, is still supporting developers/publishers (because the new game you traded it in for, still depletes their stock, which forces them to buy more from the wholesaler/developer/publisher).

Downloading games from non-official online clients (any means where you do not pay for the game (with the exception of FREE-TO-PLAY games).

This DOES NOT and NEVER WILL support the games industry. Every time a game is being downloaded illegally it automatically uploads to other users (whether you want it to or not). This is THE main reason why games developers don’t get the support they deserve and struggle to release sequels, new games or in the worst cases…lay-off staff and shut down!

Here are some of the excuses we’ve heard online:

“I only illegally download the game to see what it’s like before I decide to buy”

If you wish to try before you buy, download a demo, read countless magazine and online reviews or even rent the game if you have to. NEVER illegally download to ‘try’ as doing so will still upload to countless other users. You’re supporting the demise of the games industry without even realising it!

“I illegally download games to see if they will run on my PC, first”

Again, you’re supporting the demise of the games industry as you’re still uploading to countless other users, every time you do this! Oh, and no, it won’t give you an accurate idea of how well it will run on your PC. These games will be ‘cracked’ meaning they aren’t meant to run without legal serial codes and necessary files (often missing, deleted or edited in an attempt to make the game run without paying for it). They’ll fail to start-up, run poorly and consistently crash and will NEVER give you an accurate impression on how well they’ll work with your PC specs (oh, and that’s if you’re lucky enough to download such illegal games with no viruses!).

If you need help with your PC specs before you buy a game, head to the games official website forums, email the official site, search through the games page on Steam, Origin and u play (for minimum and recommended PC specs). Finding games that can run on your PC is now easier than it has ever been! No excuse.

If you have any questions or ideas on further supporting the games industry, please post a comment below.