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XBox (Games) Businesses Microsoft The Almighty Buck

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

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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  • by earlzdotnet ( 2788729 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:25AM (#43812201)

    I already see the trolls coming to say "So what if Microsoft does it, Steam's been doing it for years". Well, look at Steam's prices and sales. I saw a game that came out a few months ago for $20 on Steam in a sale. The best "sale" of new-ish games on the Xbox (online) market is a $60 game being sold at $50. Steam's prices are competitive, Microsoft's isn't.

    In fact, if they are making used game activations fixed at ~$35, this is basically price fixing. Here's to hope that some publishers will see that they can offer new copies for $35 or $40, instead of the typical $60. If they allowed distribution across the internet, this would *completely* destroy the used games market, which I wouldn't say is a super terrible thing if the pricing will be fixed. This would lead to a chain reaction of the used game market fighting to have non-fixed prices.

  • by porges ( 58715 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:35AM (#43812329) Homepage

    35 pounds, not dollars, aka (right now) $53.

  • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @10:49AM (#43812501)

    Except Gamestop has admitted that their main profit driver is New Games, not used games. Kinda blows a hole in your theory.

  • Re:Used Games? (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:02AM (#43812705)

    It's coming, the July 2012 EU Court of Justice of the European Union ruling around the right to sell used digital assets will ensure it does (at least for people with EU country accounts).

  • by Merk42 ( 1906718 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:11AM (#43812825)
    It's their console, which also doesn't have a majority marketshare (since it's not even available yet). Antitrust isn't just "Microsoft thing I don't like"
  • by adamstew ( 909658 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:13AM (#43812859)

    The summary got it wrong. According to TFA: "The retailer can then sell the pre-owned game at whatever price they like, although as part of the system the publisher of the title in question will automatically receive a percentage cut of the sale. As will Microsoft. The retailer will pocket the rest."

    It looks like the customer's cost is going to be £35. According to the article: "Many readers are asking whether the £35 will be additional cost on top of the price of buying the game. No, we believe that the £35 figure – which is not our number, incidentally – would cover the entire transaction. If correct this would leave retail with a cut per sale of around £3.50." So, to me, it sounds like the retail cost of used games to the buyer will be £35...of which the retailer would get a 10% slice of. The person trading in the game would also get some amount of that money, and then microsoft would get the rest and split it with the publisher.

  • by Kielistic ( 1273232 ) on Friday May 24, 2013 @11:26AM (#43813069)
    Antitrust isn't just majority market share either.

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