Do you remember the good ol days when owning a console gaming was decently affordable?
Let’s forget about the countless pirated games on the Sony Playstation 1 and Playstation 2 or even the Nintendo Wii.
But the golden years of the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 where an AAA game title would cost less than RM200.
Today, the cost to own titles on the current gaming consoles; Playstation 4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch will not necessarily cost you an arm or a leg but, it will definitely drain your wallet to a fair bit (worse, if you own multiple consoles).
Here’s a thought, have you considered of renting a game instead? You can save some money there and you’d be probably be more motivated to play as you will need to return it within the set period.
At the same time, you could be a console gamer who have untouched or completed games which are just collecting dust on the shelves. Would you want to earn some passive side income with renting out your games?
If your answer is yes to both questions, then you’re in luck as TechsideTales had the opportunity to speak to Danny Siah, the founder of Kongsi Play – a game sharing platform for console gaming.
TST: So, tell us what is Kongsi Play and what motivated you to come up with this concept?
Danny: Kongsi Play is a platform where gamers can either rent or loan out their console games. By doing so, it will help to reduce the cost to purchase games, especially for games on the latest consoles such as the Nintendo Switch and the Playstation 4.
The inception of Kongsi Play came about when I wanted to buy the Middle-earth: Shadow of War on the PS4 but it was priced at RM200 (at launch price).
Hesitant to fork out so much, I thought to myself if I could rent the game from someone who is no longer playing their copy.
However, after searching online, there was no game rental platform in existence, hence this is how Kongsi Play was born.
TST: How does your game sharing platform work?
Danny: By joining Kongsi Play, you may opt to be a subscriber and a vendor or both. As a subscriber, you will need to pay a one-time deposit fee (refundable upon unsubscribing) while paying a monthly fee for credits to rent the games.
We charged a deposit fee to protect the games that subscribers are loaning and to avoid scammers and theft cases.
For vendors, these are the gamers who have tons of games sitting on their selves just collecting dust. They will be able to earn daily commission for games they have rent out to subscribers.
By doing so, they (vendors) can turn their unused assets into passive income and help them to sustain their gaming interest.
TST: With that said, how would Malaysian gamers benefit from Kongsi Play?
Danny: Today, being a console gamer isn’t cheap and because of this most people have shied away to own a gaming console. Unlike back in the day of the PS2 era, everyone would have owned one due to the cheap (pirated) games.
However, owning a PS4 is now somewhat considered a niche as with the rise of mobile and PC gaming as cheaper alternatives.
So, we at Kongsi Play are looking to reduce the cost of playing console games by allowing gamers to rent games to and from one another.
The day when every child has a console again, it will be the day that we have completed our job.
TST: With the rise of digital purchase and the impending stream-to-play services, how would these affect physical sales of console games and Kongsi Play? Do you foresee this as a challenge?
Danny: There’s no denying that in the next decade or so, the digital age will come. However, in today’s world, the big problem with digital games is that no matter the discount, all the money spent on them will be gone.
You can’t trade-in or rent out digital games to recover your losses unlike for physical games. Selling allows you to get back a small fraction of amount you initially spent – hence it is only a subpar solution.
And that is where we come in with Kongsi Play. Gamers can rent their games out for a few months and then sell it elsewhere to make a profit or continue to rent it out.
If we do succeed, there would be a reason for gamers to own a physical copy of ta game where it may even cause a delay of the digital age for another decade.
In regard of streaming games to play, PlayStation Now already exist but it will be another several more years before our Internet speed is fast enough to play games with zero latency.
TST: What are some issues that you foresee and how would you overcome them?
Danny: In the short term, we must gain the market acceptance of rental games. Gamers are used to buying and selling games where in most cases, rental is out of the question.
We need to educate the market on why game sharing is much better because it is a cost-efficient way to play more games just like during the days of the PS2.
As for the long-term, we could be faced with potential lawsuits from big game developers once we have expanded to Southeast Asia.
However, as of now, there aren’t much laws regarding renting out of physical copies of games in Malaysia.
That said, by no means we are ripping off the game and supporting piracy, we are simply facilitating people to rent games to each other.
So, this is a grey are and we are unsure whether it will give us trouble in the future.
And if you ask me, Kongsi Play is beneficial to game developers because more people are able to try their games and may even buy after playing.
This is certainly much better compared to foregoing the console entirely due to sky-high game prices.
And if you’re interested to find out about Kongsi Play and to be part of their beta, please click here.