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Microsoft Asks If You'd Be Happy With Selling Back Digital Xbox One Games For 10% (windowscentral.com) 101

An anonymous reader writes: A recent survey from Microsoft has asked the community whether or not they would want a feature allowing them to sell back their digital games, just like you would a physical disc at GameStop. Unfortunately, the trade-in price for said digital content is 10-percent of what you paid at the point of purchase in store credit. While this is just a survey and doesn't mean the feature is coming to the Xbox platform, it does show Microsoft is actively pursuing the idea.
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Microsoft Asks If You'd Be Happy With Selling Back Digital Xbox One Games For 10%

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  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:06PM (#51748385) Homepage

    I'll sell the used Discs for 50% of what I paid easily on craigslist. and I get cash and the game sold within minutes.

    • I'll sell the used Discs for 50% of what I paid easily on craigslist. and I get cash and the game sold within minutes.

      Perhaps they are thinking about changing the DRM to deny second sales. If people think 10% if fair then they aren't using your method now or find it too much hassle.

      What i'd like is you pay 10% more, but get the right of second sale.

      • Google on "First Sale Doctrine".

        Yeah, I know. M$ hasn't exactly bent over backwards to honor that.

        • Basically you have right of second sale, but apparently the game publishers aren't prevented from trying to undermine that right.

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          How about no sales, just straight up library swaps. So have a swap library, you put up the games you want to trade away and the games you are looking for and match those with other people looking to trade away the game you are looking for and seeking the game you are willing to swap, first to match wins. No currency need change hands. So a games exchange. 10% what a joke not even the MS demanded xbox licence fee.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Um, no this would be for the digital versions that don't come with a disc.

        GP is either an idiot or referring to an intent to keep buying the copy that comes on a disc because this new feature would remains inadequate to temp him/her to buy digital copies instead.

        • basically, a "used" digital-only game has zero value. there is zero cost associated with producing a "new" digital copy, so there's no margin to be earned in buying a used version and reselling it. Basically the purpose of MS' proposal is to give you a bit of credit to spend on new shizz, and take out of commission any previously-purchased games that are competing for a shopper's time.

      • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
        They already tried that. The XBOne was supposed to ship with just such a technology. People freaked out and they backed down. I don't see a second attempt going any better.
        • Why not? They've added ads and telemetry to Windows 10 ... they've decided you don't get a vote about updates, and that they're going to do as they please.

          Do you honestly think they give a fuck about what people want? Or do you think they're just incrementally doing whatever the hell they want and shoving it up their customers' asses?

          That they backed off a little and are going to come back for more is no surprise.

          Microsoft is going to do what benefits Microsoft, and they're slowly giving up on the notion

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      I'll sell the used Discs for 50% of what I paid easily on craigslist. and I get cash and the game sold within minutes.

      For "real" games, sure.

      For an online-only, multiplayer-only game (as so many are these days), once the server shuts down the game is worthless. Heck, once player population is sparse enough, it's nearly so.

      I'd love some system where EA got hit with the "turn in cost", even at 10%, when they shut the servers down.

      • For an online-only, multiplayer-only game (as so many are these days), once the server shuts down the game is worthless. Heck, once player population is sparse enough, it's nearly so.

        As somebody who hates the endgame in WoW, I'm having a heck of a lot of fun using WoW 3.3.5a as a single player fantasy role playing game. And there are other people multi-playing WoW using the same Trinity Core server that I run on an old laptop.

        Star Wars Galaxies has a reverse-engineered server going too, that a lot of peopl

    • I would never sell them back for that low, but I would give them away to people I know. I remember, before gamestop, when selling to some stores for 50% was common. I found some of my favorite games that way too.

  • by imidan ( 559239 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:14PM (#51748429)

    As long as you're participating in this digital marketplace in which items, once purchased, have absolutely no resale value, I'd say that 'selling' them back to Microsoft for 10% of the purchase price is better than the nothing that you could otherwise get. I'm sure there are people out there who could recoup hundreds of dollars by shutting off their access to old games that they don't play anymore. I assume this would be in the form of store credit, and they could then buy access to new games with it.

    • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:35PM (#51748555) Homepage

      As long as you're participating in this digital marketplace in which items, once purchased, have absolutely no resale value, I'd say that 'selling' them back to Microsoft for 10% of the purchase price is better than the nothing that you could otherwise get. I'm sure there are people out there who could recoup hundreds of dollars by shutting off their access to old games that they don't play anymore. I assume this would be in the form of store credit, and they could then buy access to new games with it.

      Ask yourself, what's Microsoft getting from a "return" on digital goods? Nothing. Do you think Microsoft will effectively lower prices by 10%? Nah, this is just a hook to make you feel like you got a unused discount coupon except you'll never zero out the balance, like when freemium games send you freebies to get you re-hooked. If before you paid $50, soon you'll pay $55 minus your $5 "discount". And the you have another $5 discount on your next purchase, and your next, and your next.... marketing psychology 101.

      • by imidan ( 559239 )

        Yeah, I mean, I still think it sucks. I wouldn't be surprised to see game prices go up like you say. But maybe MS can benefit in other ways? I mean, they get some cut of sales, I suppose. So if they allow this 10% buyback thing, they get to take another cut when you sell back games and buy a new one? I don't know, the actual math of that makes my brain hurt.

      • by MacTO ( 1161105 )

        People aren't that stupid. They'll get the 10% back on two $50 games so that they get $10 to pay for a new game. Then they'll buy another $50 game to replace the second game they sold back.

        Oh, wait ...

        • People aren't that stupid. They'll get the 10% back on two $50 games so that they get $10 to pay for a new game. Then they'll buy another $50 game to replace the second game they sold back.

          Oh, wait ...

          Microsoft.
          Digging you a bridge to the future!

        • Gamers are that stupid. They key demographic for most game publishers, console or PC, are the younger people who only want to play what's currently popular. They don't save the game to replay later. They would never play it again because it's now old and therefore not cool. One of their friends declares "this week we're going to play MegaMechaShooter3000" and then they all go out to buy that. So that group would consider this to be a 10% discount.

          • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

            Gamers are that stupid. They key demographic for most game publishers, console or PC, are the younger people who only want to play what's currently popular. They don't save the game to replay later. They would never play it again because it's now old and therefore not cool. One of their friends declares "this week we're going to play MegaMechaShooter3000" and then they all go out to buy that. So that group would consider this to be a 10% discount.

            Hell, this was a cornerstone of the original Xbox One DRM sys

            • by stdarg ( 456557 )

              If that's true, it's pretty shocking. I buy all my games on disc, mainly because discs actually go on sale whereas the download version typically doesn't.

              Random example: Call of Duty Ghosts, released 2013, is on sale at the xbox store for $59.99 (the original release price) whereas at Amazon it's $17.80

              For fairly new games, a place like Amazon will put them on sale within a few months, usually a temporary sale like their "deal of the day" thing, and suddenly it'll be $35 instead of $59.99. And of course now

    • But then you're stuck with store credit to a game publisher that sucks. There is resale value if only the game publishers did not try to prevent you from your right to resell the games. I believe this is the sole reason for DRM, they know they can't stop the pirates but they can stop the honest customer from selling or gifting that game. Online digital sales also keep the prices high as it costs them almost nothing to keep older games around, whereas in brick and mortar the games start dropping in price

      • by imidan ( 559239 )

        I totally agree with you. For a long time, I stuck to buying physical media. Despite that, I've amassed a larger Steam collection than I'd ever planned. I understand the problems with DRM, and I get that I could lose my whole Steam collection tomorrow if something goes way wrong. But it's so damned easy. During the last Steam sale, I bought the Skyrim GOTY edition including all the expansions and DLC for something like $5-$10?

        I remember when I first began to question my dedication to buying the physica

        • by Quirkz ( 1206400 )

          Yeah, I got roped into Steam when I bought Civ V, which comes with a disc, but the disc just installs the Steam client.

          I was still pretty happy with it until a bug prevented Steam games from launching and tech support took 6 weeks to fail to give me an answer. I eventually uninstalled and reinstalled to fix it myself, and do still use them occasionally if the sale is too good to pass up or they're the only convenient way to find what I want. If I can go GOG instead, I prefer them: often better prices, no ag

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Most games were never worth the £35+ they wanted for them new, I only bought them because I could recover half of that by reselling them later. Once that option went away, or the resale value was heavily reduced by the use of one-time codes for DLC etc. I stopped buying those games and lost interest in modern gaming in general.

      • by imidan ( 559239 )

        Yeah, it's rare anymore that I go out and actually pay full price for a new game. I'm much more likely to pick up titles that are a few years old when they go on super sale on Steam. I've also kickstarted a few things, which I think is a cool way to support new games from indie developers. But I'm not a big online gamer... I don't really want to spend my free time being verbally abused by children. So a lot of the more popular modern games aren't really for me, anyway.

  • But that's not going to happen, is it?
  • Even Gamestop used to give $10-15 back for a new game... MS's 10% would be $5 on a $50 game. $5 isn't very tempting, the idea is that you use the money to buy more new games. I don't think MS realizes their $5 won't get someone far in buying a new game to replace the ones they'd have to trade in.

  • The ulterior motive here is basically transparent if you look at the wording. There is not an option for "10%? Don't insult me". There is just "no". I'm sure people would be willing to get refund on digital games if the refund amount was pro-rated based on how long you've had it. 10% across the board is ludicrous.
  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:15PM (#51748447)
    I never buy games new, I wait a couple months then buy the game off craigslist for half price. Play it, then sell it for half what I paid.

    10%? I can go to Game Stop and get really old games for that.

    That said, there are some old games I play now. Talking about MW3 (MW2-MW3 was the peak of CoD, for whatever reason Ghost/BOPS{2|3}/Modern Warfare don't hold my interest), Civilization Revolution. Every couple months I pop GTA V in just to drive around and see what I can see.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 )
      You should see if you live in the same area as this guy [slashdot.org] and just cut craigslist out of the middle.
    • I never buy games new, I wait a couple months then buy the game off craigslist for half price. Play it, then sell it for half what I paid.

      Because that works well with online accounts, activation, DLC, etc....

      As good as this sounds, you only have a subset of games available to you with this method, and a further subset of games will only have a subset of functionality.

  • by Sowelu ( 713889 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:17PM (#51748451)

    Do you expect to sell a used copy of NCAA 2006 today for 50% of its original value?

    • I expect not. Annual sports/shooters don't hold their value at all. Single player games do this much better with Nintendo games usually holding their value longest.
      • My son is a bit of an entrepreneur... he doesn't really do it for the money he just get's bored with games quickly but he buys games for dirt cheap at various stores that trade and have used games like game stop, cd trade post, thrift store, and pawnshops then sells them online for twice what he paid after he has cleaned and played them for a while. He has gotten lucky a couple times in a thrift store and found a semi-rare game for $5 and sold it for more than the original purchase price.

        Just so you know wh

        • by Sowelu ( 713889 )

          So what I'm hearing here is "you can get a lot of money out of some games if you put in a lot of effort". This Microsoft option eliminates the potential for that level of effort, and also eliminates the benefits you can get from putting it in.

          The fact that your son can find these great deals also tells me that the vast majority of people trying to dump their old games DON'T put in that effort.

          • by Cederic ( 9623 )

            When I ditched my old games I didn't put that effort in. I also didn't risk some rare classics being lost forever; I found a local independent games shop that did second-hand games, took everything in and let them quote me a job lot price.

            They'll have taken a loss on 60% of the crap I gave them, picked up a decent margin on 30% that covers the loss and made a bucket load on the final 10%. That's fine, they'll have looked after the legacy.

    • Do you expect to sell a used copy of NCAA 2006 today for 50% of its original value?

      Which is why 10% across the board is stupid. A 10 year old game shouldn't be worth even 10% while if I play a game for a month and want to sell it back and the physical version is still selling for full price then why shouldn't I get close to full price for the digital version?

      I'm not a huge gamer but I see it a lot with movies. For many titles, it would be cheaper for me to buy a used movie, watch it, and resell it than it is to rent a movie for a day on amazon.

  • by Bing Tsher E ( 943915 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:27PM (#51748515) Journal

    Hey Microsoft, can I buy used digital download Xbone games from my friend instead? Or sell them to my friend for the 10% you are offering me?

  • I'll give them the 100% retail markup, even though that's more than normal digital markup, but no more. I'm not going to have a situation like university bookstores where I sell the game and get 10% and the charge the person buying it 90% or some shit. You decide what you want to charge people for the used market, and give me half. I'll accept that. You get more greedy than that and I'm not interested.

  • I'd be happy if they just let retailers sell digital games the same way they let them sell physicals. Best Buy's GCU and Amazon Prime both give me 20% off on new games. I would LOVE to go all digital but that's a steep price difference, especially when the digital edition doesn't have the added costs of being pressed, packaged, and shipped.
  • by dlleigh ( 313922 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:40PM (#51748571)

    This is just a trial balloon to see how many people will be willing to sell their Microsoft stock for ten cents on the dollar.

  • That's worse than gamestop's trade in value for when most people are "done" with games. It won't give me an incentive to buy digital over physical.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @07:59PM (#51748693)

    Answer yes to the survey. Then, when MS has invested in the infrastructure to make it happen, give them the finger and tell them if they want you to participate they better up the offer to 50%. Then they can decide whether to call it a loss or make a sensible offer.

    It's not like you lose anything. But you can make them lose little or lots.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There is no need to pay for physical media and shipping costs they said.
    The cost of games will go down with digital markets.

    How's that working out for you?

    • Sure, release-day games are just as expensive if not more expensive than they were in a box, but things like Steam sales and the Humble Bundle make games that ordinarily you'd pick up used available for even cheaper than the used market, and get at least a little money to the creators (at the very least, it credits the creators with long-tail sales they can reference in the future).

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @08:37PM (#51748931)

    Where basic norms of ownership and resale no longer apply because ...um... technology...yea that's it...technology..

    As the old saying goes freedom isn't free. Either be prepared to constantly assert your rights and protest/vote with your wallet or get used to being treated like cattle. Your choice.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Only if you lock yourself into DRM schemes.

      Buy PC games on GOG. They are yours, forever, DRM-free. If you want that business model to succeed, then only buy games if they become available on that, or any similar DRM-free digital store.

      Or... if you're gonna financially support DRM, don't act surprised and dismayed when it wins in the market.

      • by Luctius ( 931144 )

        I love GOG and would gladly buy all my games there.
        My biggest complaint however, is that there are multiple games there without Linux support, where the steam version /has/ Linux support.

        A missed opportunity.

    • I don't understand this mentality. What you're buying and what is clearly stated in the terms of purchase is that you are buying a LICENSE or the rights to play the game/use the product or service. Whether your like it or not, this has nothing to do with "freedom" and everything to do with understanding what it is you're actually buying. It's like renting a car -- you're not buying the car, you're buying the rights to drive that car for a limited amount of time/distance.
      • People have no concept of intangible work. They see that shipping a digital game costs $0; what they don't consider is how much it costs to make a game. Oh, sure, the $9 million to make a 2D platformer in Unity is bullshit--I can do it in $100k or so ($58k for artwork! No kidding!)--but getting into high-end 3D game design with unique mechanics and large amounts of required testing *can* break the $1M barrier or more. That means you have to sell at least 20,000 copies ak $50 to break even, which might

  • by xeno ( 2667 ) on Monday March 21, 2016 @08:40PM (#51748947)

    I misread the title at first, thinking they wanted to buy back the Xbox itself. My first thought was "No, I got 33% of the refurb/retail-used price by donating it to Goodwill and taking the tax deduction."

    And my kids grades are slightly higher. Win-Win.

  • Damn, I missed that Digital icon! Good to see you back, DEC!

  • 10 % sell back is about what I see for 'analog' books. I am not that big of a fan of sell back for books or games, but maybe the idea that you could transfer the ownership of a digital 'property' for a 10% fee is one that I think would really be cool. I routinely share the books I purchase with family members so we each get 3 times as many books to read, and I get exposed to some authors and subjects that I would not normally try myself.

  • While I think the figure would have to be more like 20% at least for me to really make use of it I don't think there is much wrong with the core concept. Buying games digitally is bloody convenient but it is a little off-putting when you pay the same as you would for the physical copy (if not more!) but have no chance to reclaim anything on it if you hate the game or just burn through it pretty quickly. It certainly raises my threshold for an impulse purchase game, which is a shame since impulse purchases a

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