Will Xbox One Ruin GameFly? GameFly Won’t Say

Will Xbox One Ruin GameFly? GameFly Won’t Say

The video game industry has declared war against used games, and one of the biggest casualties might be GameFly, the video game by-mail rental service. With news that Xbox One games will come with one-time-use activation codes that lock them to your Xbox Live account, it’s become clear that Microsoft’s next console will limit the way we borrow and swap games.

That’s bad news for a company that deals in the borrowing and swapping of games. But GameFly isn’t talking.

“GameFly will not be making any statements until more information is released by Microsoft,” a rep told me when I asked if they’d like to share their plans for Xbox One games.

That’s no fun. Surely a big company like GameFly has had plenty of conversations with Microsoft (and Sony) about the next generation of gaming. Surely they’ve got plans in motion.

So let’s brainstorm. What if XB1 discs come with “trial” versions that let you register a game to your account and play it for X number of days before you have to pay the full fee? What if you can rent out a game, activate it, then deactivate when you’re done with it so the code can be used again? (Wonder how many people would forget to do that before mailing back their games?)

What if GameFly has to dish out extra money to game publishers in order to keep doing what they do?

You have to imagine that GameStop will be affected similarly; GameStop president Tony Bartel even said that news of this restriction on used games came as a surprise to him. GameStop’s reps also wouldn’t comment when we asked about their plans for the new Xbox. Surely they’re having conversations with Microsoft about possible solutions as we speak.

Both Microsoft and Sony have been cagy about their used game policies, but it’s hard to imagine that there’s no plan in place for video game rental services. The question is what will it be?


  • Microsoft mentioned a ‘trading platform’ that would exist to trade games, with Dirty M adding a small charge for each P2P trade that they wouldn’t directly profit from.

  • I think there’s a good chance the game ‘serial’ system used will be modelled on Bitcoin.

  • Logical assumption would be that game rental services would hire out a disc, deactivate it upon return (remember this is done on retailer/MS server’s end, not the consumers) and then rent it out again, paying MS and publishers some sort of upfront fee or a cut each time the game is reactivated.

  • So what happens if PS4 comes out with DRM and gamestop just simply stops selling Xbone?

  • Am I the only one who thinks removing trade in game sis for the better of the industry?

    or is this just a case of “gamers” and people in general objecting to change… regardless of its Merritt…

  • “Xbox One games will come with one-time-use activation codes that lock them to your Xbox Live account”.

    Official link please?

  • That’s why they’d have to have sorted this out with the retailers, otherwise they are stupider than they appear, you only need to look at the PSPGo (a console where games are download only) to see what the retailers think when you attempt to disrupt their business model.

  • Well if both Sonys and MS new consoles block used games the dedicated game shop bussiness model will cease to exist, in the US Wall-mart etc will become the place for games and supermarket chains in the UK.
    I don’t know what will happen in Australia, but EB games will surrive for a while at $120 a game for new next gen titles but I doubt for long.The profit margins on new harware is virtually nothing and new games 20% at best, used games with 50-100%+ mark-up is the life blood of the retail game industry.
    Without the retail footprint and free publicity these stores provide the next generation might not as succsessfull as the current one.
    Personally I’m hoping Sony is just playing a game of chicken with MS and at the last moment before luanch will totally drop any DRM/regoin locking and leave the Xbone as a failed experiment like the PSP Go.

  • I hate the idea of trying to prevent used sales, and borrowing, and trading…
    I acually don’t do any of it (though have been known to lend to friends occaisionally), but it still bugs me, and the reason is this:
    No other media industry has these protections, books can be resold, or traded; DVDs can be resold, or traded; BluRay can be resold, or traded; CDs can be resold, or traded… Why should the gaming need any protection beyond this. Digital Downloads are a little different (as they could be copied onto multiple machines), but physical media should be treated the same as the rest of the media industry. In this respect even Steam bugs me (though I tend not to buy Steam games at brick and mortor stores, I will import or buy directly from steam to get a better deal).
    I honestly think that if the games companies are doing it rough because of used games sales, then they maybe they should fail, or atleast look at how they are operating.
    The Hollywood Movie industry (after I did a quick google search) has an average budget of US$139,084,697 for a movie (some movies are > US1B), the average game is US$18-28M (Some big name games are >US$40M) …. a fraction of the cost.
    A film is released in the cinema and we pay AU$20 to see it, then it’s released on BRD and DVD for AU$40/AU$30 (BRD/DVD). A Game is released for AU$60 (a small name game on PC) to AU$120 (big name game on console)… So they charge more, cost less, have similar piracy issues (in truth movie industry probably has more, not everyone has a cracked xBox or PS3, but any DVD player will play a copied DVD)… And they keep saying that used sales are killing the industry… If they really are, then the industry needs to fall… just so it can lick it’s wounds and figure out how to do things properly… but I suspect its the publishers that are really to blame.

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