Microsoft revealed today that the Xbox Store trade-in program that was suggested in a survey recently released to customers earlier this week was just a possibility, and that currently, according to Aaron Greenberg, marketing manager for Xbox.
“We are not actively planning such a thing; surprised it was even asked in a survey. We’re always asking questions to understand the needs of our fans. No need to worry.”
The survey question had heavily divided those that had seen and taken the survey; some were confused over how the logistics of such a function would work.
The survey in question had asked if Xbox owners would be willing to sell digital games back to Microsoft for 10% of the price of the game (6 dollars for a 60 dollar game, or likewise for other prices).
An Xbox Store trade-in program would have most likely also impacted Microsoft’s relations with two electronics chains that make money from reselling used games: GameStop and Best Buy.
GameStop’s “trade in games for credit” policy gets a lot of derision for a variety of reasons (and is exaggerated to ludicrous degrees such as trading in fifty games and getting ten dollars in credit) but provides gamers short on cash a way to cushion the blow on their wallets by turning in games or consoles that are in high demand, some of which can be sold back for over 20 dollars (for games) or several hundred (for consoles).
Industry analyst Michael Pachter had his own thoughts on what the consequences for Microsoft might be if the policy ended up going through.
Microsoft playing with fire, planting the seed that they would even consider credits for “trade in” of digital game rights.
This could, of course, simply be a way for Microsoft to test the waters for such a policy before making any kind of decision. Whether the return policy idea was an actual thing they were considering or not is another question, but fake or not a policy like that would require a great deal of thinking over before it’s implemented.