news\ May 30, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Even GTA 5's publisher is confused with the Xbox One's used game policy

GTA 5 Michael on the phone

It seems that even publishers are confused with Microsoft's regulations on pre-owned games with the Xbox One -- particularly on the part where they could receive a cut of a rumored "activation fee" paid for by the retailer. 

"There's no question that if Microsoft has figured out a way to tax used games, then we should get paid, too," said Take-Two Interactive CEO Strass Zelnick.

Speaking during the Cowen Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, the CEO of GTA 5's parent publisher added: "It's hard to imagine why they should and we shouldn't."

There seems to be some confusion surrounding how the Xbox One will tackle the pre-owned game market. You'd think if the rumored activation fee were true -- and the money split between Microsoft and the publisher -- then a publisher as large as Take-Two would know the details. Perhaps it's true that Microsoft hasn't yet finalized its pre-owned policy, or maybe Zelnick is just playing dumb.

Regardless, Take-Two's stance on used games is not to "whine" about missing out on revenue due to secondhand sales, according to Zelnick.

"Our view about used games has been, as opposed to whining or figuring out ways to punish the consumer for buying used games, we've figured out we better delight the consumer," he said. "Let's push up our quality, which you've seen in our Metacritic scores, and then let's make sure to give people DLC, often free, three or four weeks out; which is the time you're at risk for them trading in their game.

"If you can keep the game in consumer's hands for 8 weeks, you almost don't care anymore about used game sales because it's the first 8 weeks that really nail you," Zelnick explained.

Now why can't all publishers have this kind of sense?


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