There are two important conclusions to draw from the following news story.
Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick told an audience at the Cowen and Company Technology, Media and Telecom Conference that his company hopes to benefit from Xbox One’s potential monetisation of pre-owned console games.
"There’s no question that if Microsoft has figured out a way to ‘tax’ used games, then we should get paid too," he said, as reported by Polygon. "It would be hard to imagine why they should and we shouldn’t."
However, Zelnick went on to argue that ‘taxing’ pre-owned games is perhaps not the best choice of action.
"We do have first-sale doctrine here; I’m not one to complain about it," he added. "Our view about used games has been: As opposed to whining or figuring out ways to punish the consumer for buying used games, we figured out we’d better delight the consumer.
Let’s push up our quality, which you’ve seen in our Metacritic score[s], and let’s make sure to give people DLC — often for free — three or four weeks out, which is the time you’re at risk for trading in their games."
Now, those conclusions we mentioned:
1. Publishers can perceive a financial benefit from monetising pre-owned and are therefore, we are possibly safe to conclude, supportive of the idea. Don’t let Zelnick’s additional comments fool you – even if he’s being honest and Take-Two isn’t wholly supportive of the idea, lots of noise points to the fact that there are publishers pushing for these limits to be introduced.
2. Take-Two, one of the biggest publishers in the world, has STILL not been briefed on Microsoft’s pre-owned plans. Is that because they’re not finalised? Or is it because Microsoft doesn’t feel the need to share its plans with its publishing partners? After all, MCV knows that figures right at the top of UK video games retail HAVE been briefed on the measures.
Of course, you’re free to replace the second conclusion with the following alternative should you so choose: Zelnick is fibbing and knows full well what Microsoft has in the oven.