When I was growing up, there was nothing better than trading in old games for a new one. However, with the rise of digital downloads, generations of future gamers may not know the thrill of bundling up all the games that underwhelmed or beat too easily in exchange for a new one.
In this day and age of digital downloads, the best we can hope for is a refund. Otherwise, digital video game purchases are normally a one-way street. Though, they may not be for much longer.
A question from a recent Xbox survey asks gamers if they’d part with their digital acquisitions for 10% store credit.
The image below popped up on Reddit yesterday, and the hypothetical it presents is interesting.
10% store credit is paltry, to be honest. If I digitally bought a video game for $60, I’m not sure that I would even care about getting that $6 store credit when I could just keep the game on my hard drive/cloud forever in limbo.
But here’s what we really need to be asking about this hypothetical trade-in program: what does the platform holder do with the reclaimed goods?
Despite being intangible, digital games carry real value. Publishers sell their product to resellers, who in turn sell access to that product to consumers. Where would that access go once a digital game is traded in? Were Microsoft to offer such a program, would they then be able to turn around and resell those rights at a lower price?
Could this Xbox survey be kicking the tires on the idea of used digital games? The rise of the digital download has taken a bite out of used game sales, helping more money into the hands of the folks making the games. If a digital game trade-in program undermined that, I’m not sure I’d be keen. However, the nostalgist inside of me wants to experience the rush of trading in old games for a new one again…
As of right now, I’m not sure how I feel about this hypothetical digital trade-in program.
Please, tell me what to think in the comments.