Report Suggests Publishers Will Get Percentage of Xbox One Used Game Sales
Though Microsoft has been rather sheepish about its used games policy for the Xbox One, a new report indicates the company's plan will finally see publishers get a cut of the action.
The used games market has helped GameStop become one of the most successful retailers around the globe. Unfortunately for developers and publishers, all profits from the second-hand market go directly to the retailers. No matter how many times a single game is bought and sold, companies like EA, Activision, or Nintendo only get paid once. Microsoft is aiming to rectify that situation with its new used games policies.
According to a new report from MCV, there will still be a used games market that allows retailers to charge whatever they want for a game that's been traded in. However, moving forward, both Microsoft and the publisher will also now get a percentage of those sales. Games can only be traded in at approved partner retailers, and specifically ones that have integrated Microsoft's cloud-based pre-owned system.
Once the game is sold back, the data is wiped from the original owner's hard drive, allowing another user to become the sole owner of the license. That's a big part of why the Xbox One will require frequent online check-ins; to make sure digital content you paid for is wiped away entirely. The retailer is free to charge whatever fee necessary, and then it will get the remainder of the profits after Microsoft and the publisher take their respective cuts. While there is no concrete data to show what retail's percentage will be, Console Deals UK reported it would be a meager 10 percent of the total sale.
Microsoft still hasn't detailed what the additional fee to play used games will be yet either, which is very curious indeed. The higher that price, the lower the value of a used game. Until Microsoft breaks its silence on another of its "potential scenarios," we'll all just be left wondering what the landscape of the market will look like by the end of 2014. If everything was still a disc-based economy, the practice would only be slightly different than what's happening now. However, with mandatory installs, making the content wholly digital, it's interesting to see that even though the game is on your console, Microsoft has the right to take it from you. However, with these reports unconfirmed by the console maker, we can do nothing but wait and see what happens.