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XBox (Games) Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck

Xbox One Used Game Policy Leaks: Publishers Get a Cut of Sale 379

Posted by Soulskill
from the times-are-a-changin' dept.
Chewbacon writes "Details about the used-game policy on Microsoft's newly-announced Xbox One console have been leaked. The policy explains how used-game retailers can survive Xbox One destroying the used-game market as we know it: they have to agree to Microsoft's terms and conditions to do so. In summary, the used game retailer can still buy the game from the consumer, but they must report the consumer relinquishing their license to play the game to a Microsoft database. They must also sell it at a market price (35£ in the UK), but the publisher will get a cut of the price. The article goes on to explain how Xbox One will phone home periodically to verify a player hasn't sold the game according to the aforementioned database." A big downside is that we're likely going to see the end of cheap, used games. A potential upside pointed out by Ben Kuchera at the Penny Arcade Report is that this would unquestionably boost revenue for game publishers, giving the smart ones an opportunity to step away from the $60 business model and adopt pricing practices seen on Steam and iTunes (neither of which allow the purchase of "used" games/media). Also, it's worth noting that even if the policy leak is 100% correct, it could change before the console actually launches.
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Xbox One Used Game Policy Leaks: Publishers Get a Cut of Sale

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  • EU law? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Viewsonic (584922) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:22AM (#43812167)

    This sounds like it might run counter to the new EU law that mandates all software can be resold, regardless of licensing, agreements, and dongles. Didn't they make it specifically clear that when you buy software, it is yours, and yours alone, and you are free to resell it, and it then becomes theirs, and theirs alone. The actual publishers have no say in what you want to do with it.

  • market research? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zimluura (2543412) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:26AM (#43812215)

    some anon yesterday(i think) suggested that all the info info we're getting about the drm sheme is just ms doing clandestine market research.

    they leak news that makes it sound bearable - people respond positively.
    then they leak news that gives them more control - people respond negatively.
    through enough iterations they may find out the approach that will be most accepted.

    who knows if that's what's really going on; but it sounds plausible.

  • Re:EU law? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gl4ss (559668) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:29AM (#43812265) Homepage Journal

    This sounds like it might run counter to the new EU law that mandates all software can be resold, regardless of licensing, agreements, and dongles. Didn't they make it specifically clear that when you buy software, it is yours, and yours alone, and you are free to resell it, and it then becomes theirs, and theirs alone. The actual publishers have no say in what you want to do with it.

    ms didn't think of eu one bit with xbox one.
    if ms wanted to turn their new console into a steam box, they have succeeded.

    I suspect there was one big company, namely EA, who lobbied for MS to do this so it wouldn't be their fault. they knew what was coming when they made an empty announcement about dropping the online pass.. which was fucking stupid shit pr - ONLY people who care about it are the people who are now angry at both EA and MS. just shit poor PR.

    "hey let's make a reveal about the new console.. what shall we tell about it? I KNOW, let's tell only the crap they'll be getting! and let's not show them one bit of cool gameplay or tell about the hw! ". it really seems they were fucked by the PS4 release and someone just decided that they had to announce something.. but what do they announce? that you can watch TV! live TV! and that you might just as well buy all your games from steam, you're not going to be reselling or loaning them anyways.

  • Re:Fuck you, MS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:30AM (#43812269)
    Especially since Sony announced the PS4 will play used games. If I were Sony, I would blast the airwaves with ads on how their competitor will not allow you to play used games without a feee. Sony has burned a lot of bridges in the past; they could use some good PR.
  • Collusion? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrjatsun (543322) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:31AM (#43812275)

    Excuse my ignorance of the law, wouldn't this be considered collusion between Microsoft and the game companies to fix game prices?

  • by alen (225700) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:31AM (#43812287)

    in the USA the $60 game costs them somewhere around $50 to buy from the publisher. with store expenses its a loss leader.
    in reality almost every retail store makes their profits on a small part of their inventory. almost everything else is a loss leader meant to get people into the store.

    there is no way gamestop or anyone else can survive on new game sales. especially in the age of the internet and the ability to buy accessories cheaper online and get your game guide from youtube

    the $50 used games at gamestop were bought for less than half that price which is why gamestop pushes used game sales

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:32AM (#43812297)

    This means we can't sell the game thru any other channel than a certified used game store ?

  • by bickerdyke (670000) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:39AM (#43812389)

    And at least with Steam, you get back a few of the advantages of media-less game distribution. Like immedeate delivery (download), free replacement delivery (try that with a broken physically DVD) and no need to jam the DVD in just for the useless copyprotection check.

  • Re:EU law? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xest (935314) on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:41AM (#43812417)

    One of the guys at the top of EA, Peter Moore, was at the top of Microsoft's XBox program for years too, so it's no surprise really to see the level of collaboration.

    I don't think there would've had to have been much lobbying in all honesty, I think the MS-EA relationship is extremely cosy.

  • by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday May 24, 2013 @09:45AM (#43812459)
    The whole thing reeks of anti-trust.
  • Re:Fuck you, MS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by firex726 (1188453) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {627xerif}> on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:19AM (#43812941)

    Tell it to the European court where they ruled last year that you were buying a full copy, not a license; and first sale doctrine did apply.

  • Re:market research? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:09PM (#43814397)

    Not at all. MS have already said games are going to be locked to a single account and using a disc elsewhere will require paying an installation fee. Resellers are going to have to pay to have access to MS's disc/key system to be able to reset the disc within the system. We know all the details and how it will work, what we don't know is the price for each part.

    Negative.

    The installation fee applies if you don't do the license transfer - the disc is basically a medium to convey the gigs of game, because the games are so big it's not practical for most people to download them.

    What happens is this - you own the game, and once you install it, the disc is useless. The game is in your account and like Steam, you can redownload it all the time. Or reinstall from disc.

    Now, you can pass the disc onto a friend - and this is where the magic happens. If you don't give your friend the license, then your friend has to pay for a copy of the game (at whatever the digital download price is), and both you and your friend own the game.

    Or, you can pass on the license, in which case you can't play the game anymore, but your friend can. Now, supposedly these license transfers incur a fee. Possibly, who knows?

    The thing is, Microsoft by doing this has eliminated the need for disc based DRM, and in theory, one could download a game from Bittorrent and burn their own disc. Or one could bring in a thumb drive and have a new release downloaded to it for playing, so stores never run out of inventory, either.

    And in theory, rare or low-print games will be available indefinitely as well since new license can be bought (the "installation fee").

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