Robot Cache is a Digital PC Games Store That will Allow Users to Resell Digital Games

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 2:24 PM

Brian Fargo, known for his work on Fallout, Wasteland, The Bard’s Tale, and, er, Clay Fighter, has helped co-found Robot Cache, a decentralised PC game store that will allow gamers to resell their digital games. It will also reduce the fees that publishers and developers typically incur to sell their games by 80%. The current industry standard is a 30% cut on the likes of Steam, all of which gets siphoned off to Valve. Using Robot Cache, they claim this figure will drop all the way down to just 5%.

Naturally, this comes with a handful of caveats. Robot Cache uses the blockchain for distribution, allowing users to mine for its IRON cryptocurrency, and paying out in IRON for any digital games resold. Cryptocurrency truly does continue to get more bizarre by the day.

“Just a handful of companies dominate the multi-billion dollar digital download PC video games market. Robot Cache plans to revolutionize the industry by launching the first-ever workable decentralized video game marketplace that benefits both the creators of video games and gamers. All of this is accomplished by expertly leveraging the power, flexibility, safety, and transparency of blockchain technology,” said Lee Jacobson, CEO of Robot Cache.

The idea that gamers could resell their digital games is fantastic. It’s something that’s been mooted for years but never been acted upon. Also fantastic is the additional cut for games publishers, placing less strain on pricing structures.

However, saying this is and doing this is a different matter entirely. Publishers will need to be onboard with the idea that their digital games can be resold, flying in the face of the current games as a service initiative that aims to keep gamers paying and playing for longer, rather than just trading a game in. Secondly, there’s the issue of who’s profiting from these resales? Shedding a little more light on this situation, 70% of the resale proceeds will go back to the publisher, matching Steam’s payout for a brand new game, while 25% will go back to the seller in the form of the IRON cryptocurrency. The final 5% will go back to Robot Cache itself, as per a normal sale. The resale price will also be set by the publisher, so they’re free to offer only a minor discount if necessary.

“Earning any money on the video game resale market is unheard of for game publishers, and earning up to 70%, which is equivalent to the best margins publishers and developers currently receive on today’s most popular digital distributions platforms is crazy. Allowing creators to keep 95% of new game sales, and 70% on game resales, provides developers, like us at inXile, with a strong financial stream.  This gives us more resources to create new content and new IPs for fans,” said Brian Fargo, CEO of inXile Entertainment and founder of Robot Cache.

In order to generate extra cash to fund the games, users can also dedicate their hardware for token mining, unlocking Robot Cache’s IRON cryptocurrency. This, in turn, means money from sales and mining stays within the ecosystem, which Robot Cache believes likely leads to more game sales.

It’s a very strange turn of events but who knows, maybe Robot Cache has the legs to work. I’m sure plenty will be none too please about yet another currency to mine though, particularly in the current hardware climate where we’re already paying well over the odds for GPUs due to cryptocurrency mining.

Robot Cache will debut in Q2 2018 after the first round of funding. It's clearly got some big backing but can it be a success? Would you be prepared to sell your digital games for IRON? Let us know below!

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01:55 Jan-18-2018

i like the idea. Especially selling the single player games.

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20:27 Jan-17-2018

Would you look at that... And just the other day I made a comment on how console disk trades give no money to the publishers...
A bit bizarre of an idea, weird execution, but definitely looking in the right direction!

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17:10 Jan-17-2018

A digital copy is a digital copy. It doesn't degrade like physical. So...buying a "used" digital game is the exact same thing as buying new....My question is, who is going to be the sucker to buy it at the new price so the rest can buy it at the used price.....? Something doesn't add up for me.

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17:12 Jan-17-2018

Wouldn't everybody just be waiting for a used copy to go on sale? It would be a stalemate.

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17:38 Jan-17-2018

This might even translate into a negative impact on the long run. Since many will finish the games they've bought quickly, and resell them after a couple of weeks(maybe even days). Developers would then need to find a way to redistribute the expected cost of sales lost to reselling across all early purchasers, in the form of a price increase.

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02:01 Jan-18-2018

the persons who preorder and get the digital deluxe editions

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09:12 Jan-18-2018

From what I understand things aren't as you think guys. You are thinking the usual game on a disk selling business. This isn't the case here. According to the article the publisher is going to determine the resale price AND will receive 70% of that. If they play it smartly this could make single player games viable again.

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11:31 Jan-18-2018

It could still mean a drop in incomes for the company. If somebody that would have purchased the game at full price, would then decide to get it cheaper. But this is very hypothetical, I'm just spitballing ideas here! :) Firstly this concept would need to get some serious traction; only time will tell.

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11:41 Jan-18-2018

Sure, but their cut from new game sales is also soaring from 70% up to 95%. Couple that with making 70% from resales and they've probably got it covered. I haven't got it in me to do the maths right now, but a full price game sale + a half price game sale is probably roughly equal to two full-priced Steam game sales in terms of publisher income.

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11:45 Jan-18-2018

I never said I was good at math...I'm not! :))

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12:10 Jan-18-2018

Same lol, which is why my equation stretched just a little too far for my head, but I think it roughly checks out. It's a system so reliant on mass adoption though, and dragging people away from Steam is going to be tough...

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12:18 Jan-18-2018

I'm staying with Steam, but it's not a matter of loyalty. I've been using it for years now, pouring my hard earned cash into it. I'm accustomed to it, and I also like having all my games gathered on one account. It's the one-account-to-rule-them-all type of thing! :)
I am curious to see how this idea will play out, and if a new type of cryptocurrency would make the prices of GPU soar even higher.

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22:11 Jan-18-2018

I for one am against this total centralization of Steam and I am trying to get most of my games on GOG if available there. I would welcome a system like this.

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16:48 Jan-17-2018

I hate this whole cryptocurrency market. Miners buying out PC components so they can have their leafBlowers sit hours on end mining this digital currency and watch it drop and rise in value like roller coaster.

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15:26 Jan-17-2018

rather than cryptocurrency, why not paypal, the price of cpyto is changing rapidly, we could loose a lot

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15:14 Jan-17-2018

This all sounds like a great idea, until the part where the entire system revolves around a storefront exclusive cryptocurrency. Pay $60, resell it for $20 of IRON, except that IRON is now worth $3, and now its worth $40.

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15:15 Jan-17-2018

Just pay out in a set worth of store credit. Why does every company, all their employees and their dogs have to have their own cryptocurrency these days?

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14:39 Jan-17-2018

This concept might be flying over my head, but wouldn't this put more money in the hands of gaming companies at the expense of the player. Why would I want to sell my games, and even at such a small price? And what if I don't want anything to to with the cryptocurrency business? Isn't this and excuse for somebody else to make a quick buck?

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15:13 Jan-17-2018

In a word, yes, this is to make a quick buck. It's more taking money our of Valve's hands and into the publishers though, as well as offering the benefit to gamers of being able to make a little cash back from games they no longer play, which can be invested into new games. It's a sound idea really, until the cryptocurrency part comes in.

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15:32 Jan-17-2018

This whole thing seems like an excuse for Mr. Fargo to dip his fingers into the proverbial cryptocurrency sea. That being said, I would never sell my games. Even the ones I've memorized by heart, they hold important memories and sentimental value. :)

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14:35 Jan-17-2018

Love the idea of selling games but it won't work, especially with developers setting the rate. The difference between new/used in the digital market is non existent. It's like trying to sell a copy of microsoft windows after you retracted your key thru Microsoft, it's still brand new theres no usage in digital games. I do like the idea and always thought steam should do it, BUT would only work if they set their own price, developers are greedy.

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14:36 Jan-17-2018

Plus you get paid in crypto, if it goes down you're actually losing more then you would just selling a regular boxed copy that hasn't been activated yet. I think personally that it's doomed to fail.

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