With all the talk spawning from the XBox One reveal last week, one of the subjects that is sticking hard to gamers is DRM and getting a handle on the Used/Rental Game Market. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a big supporter of the Used market personally but I understand that it is there. As an IT professional we are trained in licensing and accept that you do not see a used software market. So is there a solution that can work for the industry? I think there is a fine line that could work.
Since XB1 has verified they are going to require game installs (that is a whole other subject with a 500gb drive) there is talk of how it could work that would make sense.
Scenario 1 Lending the Game to a Friend:
Johnny buys COD Ghosts new, and his friend Tommy wants to check it out. Johnny has already installed it on his system so when Tommy takes the game to his house it would deactivate Johhny’s install so Tommy can play. No Fee, just verifies which console the disk is at. When Tommy brings it back, Johnny puts the disc back in to activate at his house and Tommy’s console is now deactivated for the game.
Scenario 2 Rental Services:
Now this situation would work pretty much the same way as lending a game to a friend, but the renter will benefit from the time it takes to send back to the rental company and how ever long it takes for the game to be installed by a next renter. Just as before no fees are needed but once the game reaches another console, it will deactivate the previous install.
Option to Buy:
With the two above scenarios, it is easy to see an option to buy the game to reactivate it via the online store giving the publisher their normal profits and a cut to the console. For the Rental Service, they could have a means of selling an activation code as well letting them get the cut instead of the console online store. This is a win win for everyone and almost how it works now for the Rental Services.
Scenario 3: Used Game Store
Ok so this is where it gets a little more complicated. The key to a Used Game market is buying the game for $X and Selling the game for $Y with the difference equaling a profit. Currently the average difference is about $15 to $30.
For this to work, Johnny would bring his game to the GameStore, and would get $X. The GameStore would then turn around and need to sell the game for $Y but would need to include a reactivation license. Now it would be up to the GameStore to work a deal with the publishers so that at the end of the day the difference between $X and $Y equals enough profit to stay a viable business model and include the required activation codes. But by doing this, the publishers/devs now get their dues from the sale of the game.
At the end of the day that is what the big argument about used game sales have been based on. The current system cuts out the publisher/dev from their part of the sales of their hard work. Now we are not sure how it is going to work with the PS4 yet, but if this solution was adopted I think everyone could accept the process.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know below.