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Next Xbox pre-owned block "would be fantastic"

Ben Parfitt
Next Xbox pre-owned block

A design director at developer Volition has claimed that any next-gen move to block the use of pre-owned software “would be fantastic”.

“I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them,” Jameson Durall stated.

“The system is already there for Microsoft, all they’d have to do is use the DLC and codes model they have to tie a game to your Xbox live account.  Each retail disc would likely need that unique key somewhere in the code so the account would be able to link it properly.”

Durall even goes on to speculate how Microsoft could tackle some of the issues such a strategy would introduce.

“It does have its faults that would have to ironed out like game rental,” he added. “I’m a fan of rental companies because they have to buy copies of the game to be able to rent them out and if someone likes the game, there is a chance they would purchase it for themselves.

“I could see Microsoft implementing their own rental service which would maybe give them a code that activates the game for X days and they are charged a small amount.  This could work when you borrow the disc from someone or even with digital download of the full version. “

As would perhaps be expected from a developer, Durall also has grave predictions of what will happen to gaming if the ‘problem’ of pre-owned is not tackled.

“I fully believe that we have to do something about these issues or our industry is going to fall apart,” he argues. “People often don’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60.

“They also don’t seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing.  Maybe something as simple as educating them could help solve the problem.

“I know that some will say I’m not considering the retail games stores and the impact something like this would have on them…but remember they were doing fine well before the used games market became such a staple of their business.  The truth is, they aren’t concerned with how this business is affecting us so why should I care how these changes will affect them?

“Every game I buy is NEW from Amazon.com and it arrives at my door on or close to release day, shipped free with no tax.  The proper revenue also gets to the Developer that created it…how could a retail store ever get more convenient than that?”

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Tags: Retail , pre-owned , video games , block , Xbox , volition

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7 comments

why do i have the sudden urge to download saints row 3 with a crack?

Paul Arkz

Paul Arkz INDUSTRY
Feb 6th 2012 at 10:21PM

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I think Microsoft will find users leaving the Xbox platform in droves if this goes ahead. People simply haven't got the money to constantly buy new games without trading in their old ones towards them. I have also never understood the argument against pre-owned. You don't see car manufacturers trying to go after the 2nd hand car market for money, and they surely also spend millions developing their products. Likewise for movies and many other forms of used goods!

Ben Mullinger

Ben Mullinger INDUSTRY
Feb 7th 2012 at 1:57AM

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Sorry guys, but I really think, Jameson Durall is IDIOT!
Do you want to know why? Day when Microsoft blocking pre-owned games will be really sad day for Xbox console. This console will be DEAD! Anyone moves back to PC or PS3! So Microsoft do you want kill your console? If yes go ahead!

Another thing, I am legal player, I buy my games. And 90% games is new. But after week or two I sell them. Why? Because I don't like play old games. There is always new games. But if you are so stupid and going to block pre-owned games, then I really don't care anymore multiplayer / online games. I am going to offline, and possible I am going to modify my xbox and I am starting use torrents to download my games!

More.. Blocking pre-owned games is 100% against LEGAL PLAYERS! I have 2 sons, they play games too. So new system suggesting me buy for everyone extra game. I buy from shop today one DVD. Tomorrow when you can use only game per user I need to buy 3 games??? REALLY? It's a dumbest thing I ever heard! Do you reall are so greedy and so stupid that you are thinking I am going to buy 3 games? Next thing is I am not buy any games at all after that. :) So your choice do you want sell to me 1 game or nothing? :)

More.. They are gone really very very greedy today. Blocking pre-owned stuff? What you think if someone told you that you can't sell your old car, because car sellers can't make profit from pre-owned cars? BLOCKED!!! Or you can't sell your old house, old TV, old phone. You can't sell them anymore, because we are greedy and we can't make profit if you sell pre-owned stuff! This is us future!

Dear Jameson Durall , please hang yourself you are DUMBES person in THE WORLD!

Erik B

Erik B INDUSTRY
Feb 7th 2012 at 8:42AM

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There is a huge difference between a used car and a pre-owned game.

But it's not about being able to sell your used items, it's about retailers that are abusing both ends of the chain.
Do you get pre-owned DVDs/music/books on sale on same shelf as games? No, the big retailers don't generally have a pre-owned section at all of those items.

I am not anti used, eBay has become valuable to me finding older titles for the PS3 as I recently got one.
But I remember when GAME had a pre-owned bin and not half a shop or more devoted to it. Back then you get easily pick up a popular title new that had been released years prior.

Blocking pre-owned games would need to come down the road, you need things in place to ensure that consumers don't get the raw end of the stick.
The way I would go about it is:
1) Activate half of this feature so the extent of the pre-owned market can be observed, tracking number of times different systems were used, duration, etc.
2) Making the evidence available in a statistically relevant way. Not saying Game A was re-sold 1m times loosing £20m when the evidence shows 100k were games being lent to friends who went on and bought it or 500k were 3 months after launch when income is lower anyway. (but you could say the same for piracy statistics)
3) 9th Generation of consoles goes fully live with this feature but the RRP of games is dropped 25% enabling consumers to better afford at full price the games they want. And by extension increasing profits. Could also hinder piracy.
4) Everyone remembers this happened on the PC over 10 years ago and continues to happen on ALL platforms with digital.

Phil Evans

Phil Evans ELITE GAMER
Feb 7th 2012 at 2:07PM

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Hi Phil!

You wrote "Do you get pre-owned DVDs/music/books on sale on same shelf as games? No, the big retailers don't generally have a pre-owned section at all of those items."

It makes me laugh, a lot. Because of that: http://meeldib.ee/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/1464.jpg

It's same thing what you just wrote. I think you are playing TOO MUCH GAMES! :) Go outside and open your eyes! Yes there is big retailers who have pre-owned sections for your movie DVD's, music and books. Even GAMESTOP have pre-woned movies and music section! :) And almost EVERY BOOKSTORE have pre-owned sections. And more WORSE! THERE IS LIBRARY! :) :) :) :) :) And OUCH you can BORROW FOR FREE some books, music and movies! FREE! You don't need pay for that. You just need library card! Wow? :) :) New generation kids are really funny today, they really don't know what is library today! :) And it's going much much more worse. Every new book goes to library too on release date! :) :) :) And I still can't see cryng around some publishers and authors! :)

So after such a statement from you, I really can't take you seriously anymore. :) :) :) Still laughing.. :) You made my day!

Erik B

Erik B INDUSTRY
Feb 8th 2012 at 8:55AM

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Having to defend myself against since you obviously have tried to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Libraries are completely different, you only get a finite amout of time with the book before having to return it or renew it.
In this country aside from games (and the odd games retailer selling a few) used DVDs/BluRay aren't sold by any major retailer. Same with books and music. They have always been domain of the indie retatiler.
I realised the CEX sells used DVDs along side games but the vast majority of their stock is used and not that long ago it was a small indie shop chain.

I can't vouch for other countries as I haven't seen their retail systems.

Phil Evans

Phil Evans ELITE GAMER
Feb 8th 2012 at 11:05AM

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Hi Phil,

Completely different? Yes it is. You can borrow them FREE for month. :) But about pre-owned games, you need pay for them. :) And most people most times returning games back to shop after week or two. :)

About your country. I really don't know where you live. But you can find pre-owned books and movies from most of europe countries. UK, ROI, Germany, France, etc.. And my friends who live in USA and Canada they just confirmed same thing exist in USA and Canada too.

But anyway it's really not excuse that you not have noticed or in your country they not sell pre-owned stuff. That's sad if they don't. :) And I can tell you that there is some countries where stores not selling pre-owned games too. Do we copy your logic now and tell that there is no pre-owned games at all? :) And much worse there is countries like Estonia where they not sell pre-owned games, mostly they even not selling new games at all, or it's just too expensive for them. Game prices in Estonia starting from 60 eur until to 100 eur per game. Do you think that all this money goes to developer? :) :) :) So most times people from east-europe buy games from internet, from amazon. :) Or not at all, because they like piracy, there is piracy % is really really high and mostly very normal thing.

And selling used movies is really old thing. Yeah 80's & 90's there was similar industry fight against used movies and music.

And talking more about how your money goes to developers, please read this article (url added below). It explains to you some simple things in this industry. And I really like what Adam Badowski (managing director of Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt Red) wrote: "If someone forced me to keep the game even if I didn't want it, it's against my will."

And please read this one about how developers not get money even if you buy new games:
http://www.1up.com/news/forget-games-games-sales-don

Erik B

Erik B INDUSTRY
Feb 8th 2012 at 12:20PM

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