Volition design director Jameson Durall reckons the idea of next-generation consoles banning pre-owned games is “fantastic.”
Durall entered the used-game debate-turned-melee with both fists swinging. He seems particularly enthusiastic about the rumours surrounding the successor to the Xbox 360 and its supposed “anti-used game” technology.
“There’s another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up…it won’t play used games at all!” he wrote in a piece called ‘I Feel Used’. “Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first…they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them.”
Durall describes current programs designed to mitigate used-game sales, such as project ten dollar and the online pass system, as “just a band-aid on a large wound,” before going on to describe his hypothetical, all-new-games utopia in exacting detail.
” The system is already there for Microsoft, all they’d have to do is use the DLC and codes model they have to tie a game to your Xbox live account,” he writes. “Each retail disc would likely need that unique key somewhere in the code so the account would be able to link it properly. Ideally it would tie a full version to the console it is registered on so family members can play even if the main account isn’t signed in, but this is exactly how their model works now anyway.”
Durall admits that such a system would have its faults. Game rental companies, for example, would be rendered moot, but that could be solved by Microsoft implementing its own rental service. Gamers who want to lend games to their friends could conceivably be accommodated by a system similar to Amazon’s book lending policy, which transfers the license for a set period of time. These are just minor details, however, Durall maintains that the industry needs to act quickly because dire things are afoot.
“In the end, I fully believe that we have to do something about these issues or our industry is going to fall apart,” he continues. “People often don’t understand the cost that goes into creating these huge experiences that we put on the shelves for only $60. They also don’t seem to realize how much they are hurting us when they buy a used game and how pirating a copy is just plain stealing. Maybe something as simple as educating them could help solve the problem…”