Microsoft, publishers to receive fees for used-game retail sales

According to a news report from MCV, the used games market will continue to exist--but Microsoft and publishers will be getting a slice of the used sales pie.

This information was provided by anonymous retail sources, who say that Microsoft "briefed key retail partners on how it intends to take ownership of the pre-owned market." Here's an example of how the system works, as posted on MCV:

"A gamer walks into a retailer and hands over the game they wish to sell. This will only be possible at retailers who have agreed to Microsoft’s T&Cs and more importantly integrated Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure pre-owned system into its own.

"The game is then registered as having been traded-in on Microsoft’s system. The consumer who handed it over will subsequently see the game wiped from their account – hence the until now ambiguous claim from Phil Harrison that the Xbox One would have to ‘check in’ to Microsoft’s servers every 24 hours.

"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."

Unconfirmed reports on UK blog suggest that used game retailers may pocket as little as 10 percent of the sale, leaving us wondering how brick and mortar stores will sustain overhead costs, let alone stay in business. 

We've reached out to Microsoft for comment.


  • ncurry2 - May 27, 2013 4:33 p.m.

    My biggest problem with this set up is what happens down the road, say 10 years from now. Used game sales are the only way to go back and play if you're late to the party. I didn't get a gamecube until late 2005/early 2006 but I knew about all of the must play games for that generation. Problem is, I couldn't just go buy a new copy of Eternal Darkness or Beyond Good and Evil, or even Mario Golf. I ended up borrowing Eternal Darkness from a friend (for a prolonged time (*read still currently possess)), I bought Beyond Good and Evil on Ebay and grabbed Mario Golf used at an old movie/video game rental store when they got rid of some inventory. None of those purchases will be possible with this new system. Or what about the Sega Genesis I picked up in the late 90s at a garage sale with 20 some games? Hell, what about Gamefly or any other rental service?
  • somerandomchap - May 25, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    As bad as the Xbone is screwing consumers at least it's not limiting itself to them. Gamestop and the like have been unrelentingly ripping off customers who trade in games for years. Buying games for less than ten dollars then selling them $5 cheaper than new and earning huge margins. I hope they re-evaluate their business strategy or are shut down.
  • grendel007 - May 25, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    I am not happy with many of game stops practices, but if it wasn't for them (and similar companies) we wouldn't be getting $30 for a game we bought for $60. We would be getting $0. With that said, there are plenty of games I have bought used when I was just browsing through the store, and gone on to buy the next release full price because I liked the used one. This will no longer happen for me. And what makes this any different from any used item? Should it be illegal to sell anything used? If it is good enough for games it is good enough for cars, houses, and clothes. The whole idea is ridiculous.
  • ev1lm0nkey87 - May 26, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    You sir, are an idiot.
  • kakeface - May 25, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Listen up GAME, Amazon, Gamestation, Wal-Mart, Best Buy and all you large retailers who make a large amount of revenue from used games... if you refuse to stock the Xbox One until Microsoft reverse this policy, then come release time Microsoft will very quickly get rid of this used game lock.
  • brickman409 - May 25, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    wow, so you can't sell xbox one games off ebay or at a garage sale, or even to let friends borrow them? really crappy, MS.
  • Talvari - May 25, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    Meanwhile I can just let a friend borrow a Wii U game without any backlash. At least you're still undeniably good at doing one thing Ninty.
  • JachAnen - May 25, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    Pretty sure the PS4 will be like that too. Only Microsoft is the ones doing this. Officially.
  • Talvari - May 25, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    True. Though Sony ain't said much about the whole used sales thing right? I doubt they'll do anything like putting a paywall behind used games...right? D:
  • LEGOMatrix - May 27, 2013 3:56 a.m.

    It's actually in Sony's interests to copy Microsoft on this. Having both the big next-gen consoles using the same system will force consumers into accepting it. Whilst they COULD avoid it and keep the pre-owned game situation the same, and whilst that may get them more sales in the short-term, the tactic is clearly financially very sound or MS wouldn't have bothered trying to introduce it. This could be the way for console generations to come! If the movie and music industries notice, expect something similar to happen with albums and movies too!
  • pl4y4h - May 25, 2013 12:12 a.m.

    Wouldn't this cause A) retail used games to become more expensive to compensate for the loss of turn around profit or B) they go out of business all together? That sucks
  • ZeeCaptain - May 24, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    And GameFly was put out of business, blockbuster too if that hadn't happened already...
  • winner2 - May 24, 2013 8:39 p.m.

    I am not even going to try to predict how the money will flow here because economics is something I'm only basically versed in. However, I can say I hardly ever buy used games anymore seeing as for consoles I buy the big AAA's only and I get them new (getting more into PC) , and for handhelds it's not an issue of course since i just have the 3ds and vita, while I try other things on PC. So I guess this doesn't really affect me directly right now and maybe it never will. Everyone's pissed with micro right now but after thinking about it a bit more and more regarding myself personally rather than their practices in general, I may not be so opposed to getting the one. I think I'd like one all in all, and I'll probably get the ps4 too at some point as well as a wii u when N has rolled out plenty of its big guns. Call me self centered I guess, but my one purchase won't change the industry so I might as well enjoy it all in the now, now that I think about it.
  • AtlanteanLancer - May 24, 2013 3:34 p.m.

    So they're trying to keep the re-sale model similar on the surface, but change it under the hood. a clever way to gradually undermine brick&mortar retailers. mostly things stay the same, EXCEPT, now the retailer no longer gets the whole pie when re-selling, they get10% ( they sure as hell dont deserve 100% of an intellectual service they didnt produce), it's fair that they get a share for simply storing the disc until a buyer arrives. the reason market doesn't go fully digital is that web access isn't so robust in all places And in a few years they'll lose that as well. and the reason MS is even remotely trying to keep face with the retailers is because they sell the actual Xbox MACHINE, meaning they can play the revenge game and limit shelf-space and in-house advertising. the PC has no such qualms it is an ubiquitous piece of hardware, you can't wage war against it. As it is now the games have to be 60dollars to compensate for sales lost by the 2nd hand market, and of course for the extremely idiotic wasteful budgeting practices of publishers who want to be the next call of duty, mo-capping dogs, hiring celebrities and spending millions on advertising. Suma sumarum: If the retailers lose out, either MS/publishers can hoard the loot or the gamers can get a better deal then increase sales. and if we dont win in all this, we can always be smart enough and migrate for competition. nuff' said
  • ParagonT - May 24, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    ( they sure as hell dont deserve 100% of an intellectual service they didnt produce) Companies do not deserve more money from a product that cost less money to make as well although, but marketing is not really fair in general. Labor vs value. So I think that second hand retailers getting full price is totally valid personally. But I doubt were going to come out ahead in this. I have to pay more for my games, therefor I will buy less new games in general to compensate for the increase of having to buy at full retail price. I get less games, they get more money to either hoard, or give to publishers (not developers). I doubt they will cut us some slack. The second hand market is a blessing to me as a consumer.
  • AtlanteanLancer - May 25, 2013 3:10 a.m.

    the fact they had to make a deal with retailers like this is WORSE! why? because this way they HAVE to force you to get the X1 to dial home to a MS server, every 24 hours . you're treated like a criminal on probation. HORRIBLE ! otherwise you could install the game, play without the disc, then immediately sell it to the retailer they should've just cut the 2nd hand retailing altogether and be done with it. like this we get the shittiest elements of both worlds , the Steam and the console.
  • ZeeCaptain - May 25, 2013 3:52 a.m.

    Yes I agree with you there, hell I said the same thing a few comments down the line on this very page, but still you can't go and burn Gamestop at the stake just because it's got a habit of letting you buy a game for sixty bucks walk out the door turn around and give you thirty for it not a minute later. Like I said it's wrong of them to do that but there are worse businesses out there that do worse things. The fact that they now have to give money to the producers of these games may seem like a victory to anyone who doesn't like Gamestop, it's like the school yard bully is receiving a scolding, you can cheer all you like but it's only because he took your lunch money the other day that you cheering in the first place. What's worse is that they don't deserve this, sure they deserve some pretty nasty things for what they do, but not this.
  • ZeeCaptain - May 25, 2013 3:03 a.m.

    Your argument has merit save three things: 1.The retail service does have a right to profit, they are buying the "goods" from the gamers and re-selling it to other gamers, sure there assholes about it and they stiff you on prices, but it's not the most imoral business scheme iv'e seen. 2.You mentioned the PC, just .... you shouldn't do that. Everyone either likes the PC or they don't but when you bring it up it just pisses people off and they have to chose sides. 3.You ended it on "nuff' said" That's not a way to end an argument, a sentence, or even an insult.

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