Microsoft Taking a Cut of Xbox One Used Game Sales

Xbox One used games will, according to retail sources, be sold through partnering retailers who can remove the game from one Xbox Live account and credit it to another.

We may have had the Xbox One reveal this week, but that has not made it a week of clarity.  Conflicting corporate quotes and apparent back-tracking  has kept many of the questions gamers have had from being definitely answered.  Approaching from a different direction might be helping.  MCV decided to stop asking Microsoft about used games and instead went to retailers to see what they might have been told.

According to MCV's sources, a gamer can take the game they want to sell into any retailer Microsoft has made a partnership with.  The retailer will take the game, apply whatever credit or money they like, and then access Microsoft's network and remove the game from the gamer's library of owned titles.  The retailer can then charge whatever they want for the game, with Microsoft and the game's publisher each taking a percentage cut of the resale price.

This system does offer explanation as to why the X1 requires connecting to the internet daily, with Microsoft having to constantly update which Xbox Live accounts own which games to prevent someone from trading in their entire collection and then just never connecting their console again, keeping access to all the games they had traded away.

The retailer's cut of the used game sales is also suggested as being far lower than ever before, with the retailer actually processing the transaction and reselling the game making as little as ten percent of the final sale price.  A ten percent profit seems like more of an attempt to break even than any actual attempt at making a profit, which leads me to assume Microsoft will need to be offering some impressive incentives to convince companies to partner with them on these used game sales.

As a personal note, the idea of publishers and Microsoft taking a cut from sales of used games seems a bit unnecessarily money-grubbing.  The Xbox One can already guarantee games are not owned by anyone who did not pay for them more effectively than any previous platform.  Microsoft and publishers already got their money out of the game.  Taking a cut of reselling it is directly pulling that money from the retailers who have provided used games to deal-searching gamers for years.

At least this seems clear enough.  Standby in case Microsoft decides to tweet it away.

Can we not get more of these, please?

Featured Columnist

Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.

Published May. 24th 2013

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