If our customers want to trade in games, we'll probably allow it, EA says.
"Our general thesis is what the fans tell us they want, we'll give them," says EA's Patrick Söderlund, and that includes used game sales. EA doesn't have a problem with second hand sales as they exist right now, and Söderlund claims that "we clearly articulated our stance when we abandoned Online Pass." At the time the Pass was abandoned, EA said it had "listened to the feedback" and decided to get rid of it; perhaps a similar thing's happening here. The fans want to trade in their games, and have said so vociferously, therefore EA's going to let them.
Söderlund went on to say that EA would have to "look at what the first-parties are doing and follow any rules," suggesting that circumstances beyond its control might force it to impose conditions or charges. "We have to scramble after these conferences and come back to what we think is right," said Söderlund. Microsoft's stance has become a little clearer since the initial Xbone reveal, but there's still uncertainty over exactly what the 'approved retailer' relationship will mean for prices. Meanwhile Sony leapt in and said that the PS4 would not block used game sales and that news - plus its price point being $100 less than the Xbox One - is widely believed to have given the PS4 a significant edge over its rival console.
Whether or not Söderlund's comments presage a situation in which EA imposes charges on used games sales - say as part of the approved retailer relationship system for Xbox One, in which the publisher will have to come to an understanding with the retailer - is an open question. That said, if he's to be believed, enough fan support - coupled with permissive first party policies - may mean that used games sales really won't be a problem for EA.