Recent rumors regarding the Xbox 720 include the possibility that it won’t play used games. If true, this move would result in a loss of income for used game retailers (such as EB Games and GameStop), as well as upset more than a few Microsoft supporters.
Many developers welcome this idea because they believe that if all games are purchased new, revenue will increase. However, a few teams — including the studio that helped develop Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary — are against the proposed lack of used game support for Xbox 720.
Chief among those standing against this notion is Saber Interactive CEO Matthew Karch. Saber is hard at work on Inversion, which has recently been delayed from its February 7th release date to sometime in “early 2012.” Writing for CVG, Karch lays out his take on the issue, and he doesn’t exclude his own studio’s output from the debate.
“$60 is a lot to pay for a game and if a player buys a dud and is stuck with it, then that’s just not fair to force him to keep it. If people buy Inversion and it’s not for them, then why should they be forced to turn it into a drink coaster?”
Karch goes on to suggest a reasonable compromise that would address everyone’s interests.
“With Inversion (or games like Battlefield or Gears), for example, you could break that experience into two components – single-player and multiplayer – and sell them for $15 each or sell them combined for $30. If someone spends $15, then the trade-in value would be minimal anyway even if it were permissible. I think thats the way to go – lower the costs for the same access by bringing them to market digitally. Then a no-used solution is fair.”
On the surface, this plan sounds great, but what could the effects be? What if because of the lowered software prices, developers put less work and features into their products? Of course, any possible outcome is mere speculation at this point.
It is not unreasonable to believe, however, that if Microsoft moves ahead with the rumored plan and new video games become “bind on pickup,” Xbox 720 software sales could be much lower than the competition.
Ranters, do you believe Microsoft would be so bold as to keep used games from working on Xbox 720? Where do you stand on the subject?
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