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The pre-owned games market is about to get shaken up in a big way — at least, it will for those retailers who plan to sell pre-owned Xbox One games. Sources for UK gaming blog MCV have provided more information on how Microsoft will be handling the buying and selling processes for pre-owned games on its Xbox One console.

According to these sources, not just any old retailer will be able to buy back and sell pre-owned Xbox One games. In order to become a part of this market, a retailer must agree to Microsoft’s terms and conditions, as well as integrate their systems with Microsoft’s own cloud-based pre-owned authentication system. When a gamer trades in their used game, that title is removed from the person’s Xbox One and they are paid for the title.

Don't expect to see any deep discounts on Xbox One titles, thanks to Microsoft's new pre-owned game system.
Don’t expect to see any deep discounts on Xbox One titles, thanks to Microsoft’s new pre-owned game system.

The really big changes are taking place when a retailer sells a previously-owned game to a new buyer. The retailer may set its own price for the game, but instead of keeping all profits to itself, both Microsoft and the game’s publisher receive cuts, as well. The retailer reportedly receives a ten percent cut of the resold game, with larger percentages going to Microsoft and the publisher.

Let that sink in for a minute. Imagine selling a used car to a local car dealer. Now imagine that dealer reselling your car and only being able to keep 10%, while paying out larger chunks to the original dealership and Ford. Those two entities are profiting twice off of the same product, and as long as that car is bought and resold, they’ll continue to profit.

And, according to unconfirmed reports cited in the MCV article, someone purchasing a used game from a retailer could expect to pay around £35 to purchase and activate it. In USD today, that is $52.94, or $7 and some change less than a brand-new game.

We’ll have to see what the pre-owned situation is like on the Playstation 4, but if its anything like what we’re seeing with the Xbox One here, the pre-owned industry’s days may be numbered.


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