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Xbox One preowned rumors batter GameStop shares

GameStop, the U.S.'s largest physical retailer of preowned games, has seen its stock drop precipitously since reports began to spread that the Xbox One would tighten up terms of used game sales.

Kris Ligman, Blogger

May 24, 2013

2 Min Read

Reports continue to circulate about the Xbox One's upcoming preowned games policy, and we are already seeing its effect on brick-and-mortar retail. GameStop, the U.S.'s largest physical retailer of new and used games, has seen its stock drop precipitously since reports began to spread that Microsoft's successor to the Xbox 360, the Xbox One, would change the terms of used games sales. At time of writing, GameStop's stock dropped as much as 13 percent to hover around $31 today. The dwindling stock price comes on the heels of reports from MCV and Eurogamer that Xbox One will effectively allow Microsoft and publishers to take a cut from used video game sales. In a meeting with investors yesterday, in which GameStop reported a loss in total global sales of nearly 7 percent from the previous year ($1.87 billion down from $2 billion), GameStop president Tony Bartel assured stockholders that the Xbox One would accommodate the lucrative preowned market.

Definitely, Xbox has said that they do support the trade-in resale games at retail, and that they want to handle communications from this point forward on that. I think what is important to note is that all 3 of the platforms that have launched, all 3 of the consoles that launched have now come back and they say, "I realize the value of the buy-sell-trade model," and they have built that into their new consoles moving forward. So we anticipate that we are going to be able to leverage that like we leverage it on the consoles today... Clearly, platform holders understand the value of that $1 billion-plus worth of trade credits.

As of this writing, Microsoft has not made a clear, definitive statement on the exact nature of its preowned game policy, but Microsoft's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb said in a Friday blog post:

"The ability to trade in and resell games is important to gamers and to Xbox. Xbox One is designed to support the trade in and resale of games. Reports about our policies for trade in and resale are inaccurate and incomplete. We will disclose more information in the near future."

What we do know is Xbox One's used game system will involve a single-use code tied to a player's account. How access to the game transfers from account to account or machine to machine is still a little unclear, and will probably remain so until E3 this June.

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