Publishers should share in potential used game fees, but 'delight consumers' to dissuade trade-ins, says Take-Two exec

Take-Two Interactive chairman Strauss Zelnick says that if Microsoft manages to profit from the trade-in and sale of used games on Xbox One, so too should third-party publishers.

"There's no question that if Microsoft has figured out a way to 'tax' used games, then we should get paid too," Zelnick said at the Cowen and Company Technology, Media and Telecom Conference today. "It would be hard to imagine why they should and we shouldn't."

But Zelnick argued that video game publishers and console makers should consider non-punitive options to discourage trade-ins and secondhand sales of games. He outlined Take-Two's stance, which he said aims to "delight the consumer" long enough to keep them from reselling their software.

"We do have first-sale doctrine here; I'm not one to complain about it," Zelnick said. "Our view about used games has been: As opposed to whining or figuring out ways to punish the consumer for buying used games, we figured out we'd better delight the consumer. Let's push up our quality, which you've seen in our Metacritic score[s], and let's make sure to give people DLC — often for free — three or four weeks out, which is the time you're at risk for trading in their games."

MCV reported last week that Microsoft planned to take a cut from retailers who purchase and resell used copies of games. An earlier report from Wired indicated that Xbox One owners would have to pay a fee to play used games on the next-gen system, but Microsoft later said those used game fees were "potential scenarios." A source later told Polygon that used Xbox One games wouldn't impose a fee on consumers.

Microsoft later attempted to clarify, writing in a statement, "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."

Details from Microsoft about its stance on secondhand games on Xbox One are expected this week.

More from Polygon

The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

  • Tour the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

Latest Discussions

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.