Report: Retailers Can Charge Whatever For Used Xbox One Games

Report: Retailers Can Charge Whatever For Used Xbox One Games

According to “retail sources”, trade publication MCV is reporting that stores will be able to sell Xbox One games for whatever price they want.

The catch? Both Microsoft and the game’s publisher will get a percentage of that sale.

The way used games will be controlled and sold on the console has been one huge hot mess since the console’s reveal last week, as Microsoft executives and representatives have contradicted each other and issued cloudy, imprecise statements on the matter.

That’s resulted in a week in which consumers – and retailers – bounced from fearing the system wouldn’t play used games at all to worrying that used games would cost so much damn money it wouldn’t be worth buying them used.

This report would, if correct, suggest a compromise has been found between the two, one that gets to the very heart of the long-running struggle between publishers and used sellers like GameStop: making sure everyone gets a cut of preowned sales, not just the reseller.

Microsoft, for its part, says “Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete”, a terribly unhelpful statement given the company’s poor handling of the information coming out of the Xbox One reveal.

UPDATED: Publishers to receive cut of Xbox One pre-owned sales at retail [MCV]


  • The article says that retailers would get 10% of the sale price which would effectively kill the used market anyway. If the retailers can’t make much money on it, they’re sure as hell not going to give the customer much credit/money in return, so who would bother to trade in at all then?

    Not that I care too much about used sales directly – my concern is still about sharing between friends and how that is going to work.

    • Me too. I could care less about trading in or buying used games, I would just like to be able share with my brother.

    • Why would anyone want to share games when you could each buy a new licence?

      10% is a fairly small amount for retailers to get for used games. It’d be interesting to see how much the developers would see from the used games once microsoft and the publishers take their share of the profit

      • Sometimes nothing. Some contracts don’t include royalties/sales bonuses at all. The benefit to the developer is that they get to work and have an income, without starving, for up to a few years without actually earning any money for whoever’s bankrolling them that entire time. The sales are the payoff to the publisher, rather than to the developer, for having paid for the dev studio all that time with nothing to show for it.

        Sort of… “Hey, we’re rich, and you’re poor. If we pay you at a rate which makes you slightly less poor, make us something which makes us much richer.”

        • And who do you think suffers the financial lose if it fails? Developer gets paid anyway…..publisher foots the bill and loses money. The publisher by fronting the money takes the risk and deserves the reward.

        • They can play the game fine, but you won’t be able to play it on your console again till you put the disk back in for verification. So basically the same as it is now but without having to change disks at home.

    • I’m assuming you’re referring to this line “Unconfirmed reports on suggest that retail’s slice will be as little as ten per cent.” Note the “unconfirmed”, “suggest” and “as little as”. It’s pure speculation so take it with a grain of salt.

      Of course if it were hypothetically true, no retailer would accept a 10% cut. $8 for an $80 pre-owned game? I’d say the percentages are still being worked out, and the media (and anyone else) are just trying to fill the gaps that Microsoft have left unanswered.

    • It will still be pretty easy, when you lend them the disk you just have to make sure you attach the 60 dollars.

    • You don’t need to lend to friends. You don’t need friends at all. Kinect is now the only friend you need, forever and ever and ever

  • Microsoft, for its part, says “Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete”

    So the people who haven’t released the information are complaining that people don’t understand what’s going on? Have Microsoft turned into the stereotypical angry girlfriend who refuses to say why she’s angry when you ask?

    • It’s just fans guessing at the details of something Microsoft isn’t ready to announce yet. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘your guesses are wrong and we’ll give you your answer soon, but not just yet’.

  • Yeah, I never really buy preowned because the prices aren’t usually justified, at least in Australia, and games either fall into the catagory of ‘buy at launch’ or ‘get when cheap’. Seeing as preowned games kinda try and find a gap between the two, it doesn’t really do it for me.

    Agreed, though, it’s the issue of sharing games that appears to be the biggie in consumers eyes here.

    • Indeed, plus with the sales EB and other stores regularly have on games that plummet in price merely a month or two after release anyhow, 2nd hand games are rarely ever worth getting anyhow these days (however this may change when the new consoles are still in the ‘new as hell phase’)

    • Frankly, both of them deserve the money more than the game retailers. The ‘professional’ used game market – as run by Gamestop and its cronies – is a really dodgy scheme that saves people only a little bit of money, takes a lot of money away from the developer/publisher, and redirects it to Gamestop’s greasy mitts. It was untenable, and it’s little wonder that developers and publishers both jumped at Steam and Origin, and now a controlled digital used games market, to fire their own salvo back at Gamestop.

      • Mate I’m not trying to b rude but your first sentence really makes me scratch my head. Why do they deserve any more money? Have they not been paid in full when the original game was purchased?

        • You must be special. If people are buying the pre-owned version of a game then they are not buying from the developer or publisher. They are not buying the product produced and distributed as new. They are buying it second hand. If the product has already been purchased once and then that same product is sold to somebody else then the developer or publisher don’t get any of that second sale when they are the people who deserve it since IT’S THEIR PRODUCT.

  • The basic economics is that whatever the retailer ‘cut’ will be must be higher than credit they’ll give for trading in the game. I can’t really come up with a scale of numbers that makes this viable long term short of similar margins to now, with not much cut going to ms/publisher.
    Anyone know what the average trade in value of a new $100 game is at the moment?

    • anywhere between $30 and ~$60 depending on how many Preowned copies the retailer has already. They’re not gonna pay $60 if they have 30+ preowned copies of in every store

      oh lord the piles and piles of PGR3 and The Getaway I used to see in backrooms when I worked at “example gaming store”

        • Still curious? They either sell them for $2 a title, or they get bundled in with pre-owned consoles. Also, there’s a huge audience for games which the core market isn’t interested in any more – third-world countries especially, and – strangely enough – the prison system. A fair amount of G and PG-rated games with no market value end up in the common rooms of prisons.

    • The best way for microsoft to receive the Kick in the dick is if people don’t buy the fucking thing. That would be more detrimental to them than someone hacking the system 🙂

  • Microsoft have basically released a bunch of very vague information with some intentions of theirs, probably the most “out there” ones they had, but were not internally confirmed, and have sussed out the public reaction to make decisions.

    It’s been pretty obvious that alot of decisionson the more controversial topics of the Xbox One were not set in concrete, so it goes to show them releasing this information is basically a Beta test for them so to speak, so they can make changes before saying anything “officially”.

    I highly doubt we’ll see any of the controversial topics come out to be exactly as peoples pessimistic point of view would place it, but a much more milder if not non existant version of that topic.

    • “We’ll tell you more at E3.” *under breath* “Once we figure out exactly how much we can get away with.”

  • I’m hoping that there will be cheaper prices for online purchases for Xbox One.
    Sales like the Steam Sales would be awesome on the xbox live marketplace too.
    That would encourage more people to go to the digital distribution method.

  • Apparently they have both found a compromise, conveniently forgetting that the third party in all this (us as gamers) get dicked over twice. Don’t worry guys, it is fine as long as the people making the money are getting 2 bites of the proverbial cherry.

  • “Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete,” said Microsoft, without providing either an accurate or complete statement, themselves.

    …Which is about as helpful as a nappy-less infant toddling up to you and announcing proudly, “I made doodie!” then refusing to tell you where.

  • I still don’t understand what right Microsoft or publishers have to impose these kinds of rules on used software. To me it sounds as ridiculous as a used car dealer having to hand over a cut of a sale back to the manufacturer. It’s just total bullshit.

    • They have a vested interest in keeping this industry alive and healthy. Used games are a huge reason behind many of the problems we’ve had this gen.

      And lots of gamers profess their undying support for their favourite developers only to sell out because they’re strapped for cash and the used copy is $5 cheaper.

  • What about the collectors market?

    This is another reason this whole idea is anti-gamer and anti-consumer

    In 20 years time, someone might decide they want to buy every XBONE game they can (like retro collectors do now for systems like SMS, NES and SNES) – they come across a whole stack of games, but they cant play them. They are already tied to other accounts and most likely they wont be able to buy the licence to play them.

    What about Collectors Editions? X-company only makes 5,000 copies of a collectors edition – now they game has no resale value if it gets used

    What about limited run, limited print games?

    There are so many bad things about this idea that extend BEYOND the bricks and mortar stores selling used games

  • Seriously, when has buying used EVER been worth it?

    Ever. Go into any EB or JB and a pre-opwned copy of any new or recent game is generally at most, $10 cheaper than new. Not only that, you’re generally waiting a while before a used copy, so you might as well wait a little longer and get it new when the price drops.

    The used game market – in a retail sense, only benefits the seller (even then, barely), it doesn’t benefit the buyer. Used games have always been a rip off of the highest order unless you WORK at one of the used game dealers. I think I’ve bought maybe 3 or 4 used games this entire generation, and it was only because I was getting staff price through a friend. Otherwise I would have bought new.

    • “Seriously, when has buying used EVER been worth it?”

      I got Eternal Darkness for $10 AUD from a Salvos. How is that not ever worth it?

      Also EB and JB are the worse examples. There others though I admit they have been squeezed out competition wise.

  • Clearly you mean “Selected Retailers”, since MS would have to have some agreement with them, no more selling 2nd hand games on Amazon or ebay. I really hope that the US govt get wise and put a stop to these shenanigans… Why does the Games industry require ANY protection beyond the other media industies.
    Lending and re-sale are fine with:

    Basically ANY physical purchase, it’s only the gaming industry thats crying foul, and it’s not more money for the developers, we see it time and time again: New game released -> Developers all let go, Publisher (EA, Ubisoft, Activision, Ect) complains about how the developers aren’t getting a cut of used sales… well I call BS on that, the Devs have already been shafted.

    Now I’ve rarely bought used games (generally when its the only option for something older), never sold off a game (I have a decent stash), and don’t often lend to friends… but this still bugs me, because the publishers whant to destroy the users rights to try to generate more income… they’ve been trying it for years, and it sets a bad precident (limit first sale rights on other media, hollywood would love to ban movie resale or lending).
    We shouldn’t praise this move, we should call them on their BS, because thats what it is, a BS move.

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