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.

Ryan Taljonick

Ryan was once the Executive Editor of GamesRadar, before moving into the world of games development. He worked as a Brand Manager at EA, and then at Bethesda Softworks, before moving to 2K. He briefly went back to EA and is now the Director of Global Marketing Strategy at 2K.