New information has emerged as gaming media, for the first time, is working overtime to get a clarification on the used game fees and always-on DRM for the Xbox One. The new information rolls out an explanation of how much you have to pay and who gets paid what every time a game is traded in.
Microsoft is still mum, but GameSpot did some actual investigating, talking with retailers and cross-confirming information from sites who have also been in talks with retailers and publishers to clarify the used game fee for the Xbox One.
The whole thing is kind of lengthy and confusing and roundabout, but I'll try to simplify it as much as possible: Retailers can sell used games for whatever price point they want, just the same as they do now. However, each physical copy sold has a royalty fee that goes toward the publisher and console manufacture, and the retailer gets to keep 10 percent of the final sale. This means that if Gamestop sold a used copy of a game for $60, they would only make $6 on the sale, which would mean they would probably have to sell games for about 200% of the market value if they wanted to see decent returns on used game sales. Keep in mind that 46% of Gamestop's revenue comes from used games, which could mean that the brick and mortar gaming powerhouse could be out of half their intake with this method of trading that Microsoft is employing.
Now, one retailer informed GameSpot that the license activision fee for used games would be about 52$ or £35. I don't know how true this is but that would mean that Microsoft is getting a massive cut from every used game trade, and depending on how much you get back from the trade, that's almost 90% of the game's standard market value per each activation. This would easily explain why EA was so quick to kill off the Online Pass program.
And no, you would not be able to trade games with friends just for the heck of it. It's also been clarified that if you decided to let someone borrow a game and use your account, when it's time to go back and play your own Xbox One console the mandatory 24-hour check-in will determine if all your licenses for games are active on the console where they should be. Meaning that if someone was borrowing your game and playing via your account, once you boot up your own Xbox One, the check-in will disable your account on your friend's machine.
According to Microsoft, their revised official stance on the matter is as follows...
[we want] "to enable our customers to trade in and resell games at retail."
Shortly after that comment is when Microsoft made it known that the policy is up for change and hasn't been finalized given that the system is still a few months away from launch.
Well, things really aren't getting prettier for the Xbox One as more information comes out for it. Huge props to gaming media for at least pursuing information on Microsoft's agenda and letting everyone know how anti-consumer many of these measures are.
Quite naturally, this caused a ton of gamers to fume like they've never fumed before, while being led by Angry Joe's rant on the issue. Also lots of supporters have been coming out of the woodwork to let Microsoft know they don't appreciate their rights being trampled on. Also, be sure to inform your friends about what the Xbox One is really about.