A survey went around recently from Microsoft featuring a curious question: “If the console digital games store for the console you owned offered customers the option to ‘sell back’ their digital games to the store for 10% of the purchase price in store credit, would you be interested in such an offer?”
Microsoft hasn’t announced or even hinted at such a thing, but it started rumors flying, and analysts called such a program “playing with fire,” as it would damage the relationships with shops like GameStop that Microsoft depends on to get consoles into gamer hands.
Xbox’s marketing boss Aaron Greenberg has responded to the rumors, stating that “we’re not actively planning such a thing; surprised ti [sic] was even asked in a survey. Not fire being played with” in a response to analyst Michael Pachter on Twitter. Greenberg responded to analyst Colin Sebastian saying that Microsoft is “always asking questions to understand the needs of our fans.”
Consoles have a retail dependency that PCs never have, so such a program could, indeed, be dangerous for Microsoft. A 10 percent buyback, though, is almost hilariously low even compared to the prices GameStop offers sellers, so that might be Microsoft’s way of saying they’re not trying to get in the way. Digital sales are growing fast, though, and Microsoft (as well as Sony) definitely have to be looking at ways to keep gamers spending money on digital games, and a buyback program might offer value in the form of increased user spending even if it doesn’t actually give Microsoft anything to sell.
Would you sell games back to Microsoft or Sony if they offered such a program? What kind of price would they have to offer to make it worth your while?