Volition design director, Jameson Durall, feels that if the rumours about the next Xbox not playing used games turn out to be true it would be “a fantastic change for our business”.
Oh dear, this has me genuinely fearful of the future. Jameson Durall, design director on “Secret Project Y” at Volition, has laid out how Microsoft could implement features to prevent used games from playing on the next Xbox, if rumours that the next-gen console will employ such limitations proved to be true.
“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 wrote in an article on #AltDevBlogADay (via Eurogamer).
“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.”
Labelling the restrictive idea as, “a fantastic change for our business” he dismisses any potential complaints, stating that “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.”
What about game rentals? Or if you want to borrow a game from a mate? No worries, Durall has a solution.
“I could see Microsoft implementing their own rental service which would maybe give them a code that activates the game for X days and they are charged a small amount. This could work when you borrow the disc from someone or even with digital download of the full version. It would also send a percentage of the rental to the Developer with each rental…likely improving the overall revenue we would receive from it.
“Another issue would be with simply lending the game to a friend, but maybe they could implement something similar to what Amazon is doing with their Kindle Books lending policy. The license of the game could be transferred for a set time to another Gamer Tag and the original owner won’t be able to play during that time. Seems like it could work.”
How about…I don’t know, I just give the disc to my friend, he puts it into his console, and plays the game instead. What Durall proposes will have us stuck in a future where absolutely everything we purchase is locked behind a mountain 16-digit codes.
“In the end, I fully believe that we have to do something about these issues or our industry is going to fall apart,” he writes. “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…”
With the amount of devs complaining about used games, I think we’ve already been well educated. But what are your opinions on Durall’s proposition?