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Xbox One publishers decide whether games can be resold

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Publishers will be the ones who decide whether or not to allow Xbox One games to be resold or traded though there will be no "platform fees," Microsoft announced today.

The company also said the console will not support game rentals, but that it is "exploring the possibilities."

The announcement confirms Polygon's report from last month in which our sources indicated Microsoft would not charge a fee for playing used games.

Disc-based games can be traded in and resold at retailers like GameStop for cash or in-store credit, and Microsoft said it will "not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers or consumers for enabling transfer of these games." The Xbox One also lets users give disc-based titles to friends by transferring the game's license, as long as the person has been on the user's Xbox Live friends list for at least 30 days; each game can only be given in this fashion once, and there's no fee for that, either. It's unclear at this point how or if the process of permanently giving a game to a friend would differ from trading it in to a retailer.

As a first-party publisher, Microsoft Studios will support the aforementioned transactions. However, Microsoft is leaving it open for third-party publishers as to whether they want to charge fees to customers or retailers. Third parties may even choose not to support reselling or trading of their games, or giving games to friends, in the first place.

Microsoft said it is "exploring the possibilities" of allowing users to loan or rent games, but those features won't be available at launch.

Third parties may even choose not to support reselling or trading of their games in the first place

Xbox One games will be available digitally as well as at retail. Once a game has been authenticated to a particular user and installed, it can be played from any Xbox One console after that user signs in and installs the game. This would allow a person to play a game at their friend's house by logging in, downloading a copy of the game from the cloud and installing it on that console.

In addition, Xbox One owners can give up to 10 members of their family access to their entire game library. Those family members will be able to log in on any Xbox One and see your shared library. "You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time," said Microsoft. And anyone will be able to play games installed on a user's Xbox One, regardless of whether that user is logged in.

Microsoft warned that all these policies are subject to change. "From time to time, Microsoft may change its policies, terms, products and services to reflect modifications and improvements to our services, feedback from customers and our business partners or changes in our business priorities and business models or for other reasons," the company said. "We may also cease to offer certain services or products for similar reasons."