Amid Microsoft’s announcement of their used game policy for the Xbox One, video game publishers are staying silent about their potential power to block pre-owned sales.
As Microsoft stated on their official Xbox Wire post, it will be up to publishers to deal with retailers on how trades for Xbox One games are handled.
While no game fees will be charged towards consumers in order to play used Xbox One games, publishers could potentially limit when games are traded in at Microsoft-approved stores and determine their value.
When MCV asked several big name publishers like Capcom, Sega, and Namco Bandai about their ability to withhold used games sales, most declined to comment.
Most telling among the publishers refusing to comment on the Xbox One pre-owned system are EA, Activision, and Ubisoft, who apparently pushed for DRM regulations according to Giant Bomb.
However, when Gamespot reached out to Bethesda, the company behind the Fallout series and the upcoming Wolfenstein game responded with “We haven’t had time to fully understand and evaluate their policy.”
Video game analyst, Michael Pachter, believes third-party publishers won’t disable used games or demand activation fees for their Xbox One titles in the system’s early years, in order to avoid consumer boycotts. “They would face a huge backlash. They wanted manufacturers to do the dirty work, and both refused,” Pachter told investors. If publishers do block used games sales, he believes it will happen during a game’s launch window.