When it comes to used games on the Xbox One
, Microsoft put all the power in the hands of publishers
. They're the ones who will decide if you can lend games out to friends, if services like GameFly will be allowed to rent titles, if outlets like GameStop
can purchase and re-sell used games, and whether or not to take a cut of those sales via fees. As we learned from Marvel, with great power comes great responsibility, but can we trust publishers to be responsible?
Early signs aren't all that encouraging. In announcing its used game policy, Microsoft
made it clear that "loaning or renting games won't be available at launch," meaning that publishers gearing up to offer launch day games aren't yet on board with what's suddenly an old-school way of doing things.
If publishers don't budge, complaints are sure to follow, and for that reason, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter believes the situation will work itself out.
"They would face a huge backlash. They wanted manufacturers to do the dirty work, and both refused," Pachter told GameSpot
. He went on to say that "many believe that used games sold in proximity to a new game's release cannibalizes sales of the new title (we believe this is probably true), so we think that some publishers may limit used game trade-ins for a specified period of time following the game's launch."
In other words, publishers may bend a bit, but probably won't break, not unless the backlash is too large to ignore. It's possible that used games sales on a newly released title could be delayed for 8 weeks or so, which is how long Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said it takes publishers to stop caring about the impact on new game sales. That wouldn't be a terrible compromise for gamers, either, because it's not as though GameStop is offering deep discounts on used games that have only been out a few weeks.