Recent speculation about a Digital Buyback System was rumored to be coming to Xbox One after this picture started making the rounds on the internet:
This was a survey question posed to Xbox consumers; the big factor here is according to the question would you sell back a game for 10% what was paid for it? The general consensus shows that this actually would be a popular idea.
However, a few days later Microsoft denied that it was planning on introducing this idea into practice…
Xbox Marketing Director Aaron Greenberg had this to say in an interview with Gamespot:
“We are not actively planning such a thing; surprised it was even asked in a survey. […] We are not actively planning such a thing. Always asking questions to understand the needs of our fans. No need to worry.”
That effectively puts a lid on the idea for now, but what if it were coming? What if Microsoft comes back around to this idea? Here are some thoughts:
Firstly, the turnaround for you the consumer isn’t great (only 10% back on the price you paid for it) and obviously your backlog of Games with Gold will be worth what you paid, so the margin of benefit is fairly slim. However it is more than you can get currently for your pile of unused digital game licenses which are gathering digital dust if you aren’t playing them.
Secondly, would supply and demand dictate what and when Microsoft would agree to buy back your game? If there is just a button that sells “Sell Me” I would be very surprised. Besides, would Microsoft even want my two-year old copy of Guacamelee that I paid 14.99 for (which would be 1.49 credited to my account.)? I feel that the process of how and when your game is bought back could very well be limited.
And lastly, this has been a popular topic to bring up in conjunction to the buyback rumor, how would this have an effect on brick and mortar game stores? Honestly, I don’t see it doing a whole lot to the industry as a whole simply because gamers (like myself) who prefer physical media will still be going to their local GameStop or ordering off Amazon. while both those retailers sell digital codes, they make up such a small portion of their overall sales that it would not be a killer to them; yes, consumers will now have a slight incentive to purchase their digital games through the Xbox store so they can sell back to Microsoft if they want to (and that’s assuming Microsoft doesn’t work out a retailer deal to allow buyback if you bought a code card, but that seems unlikely).
On a final note, I think this would be a good thing for the industry as a whole, not just for Xbox. sure the projected buyback rate is pretty low, but think about it, you’re doing nothing with it anyway! I count that as a win.
What do you think? Would you sell back your digital games and would it even give you an incentive to buy digital if you had a guaranteed sell back rate? Let us know, and thanks for reading.