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Will Used Games Require Unlocks in the Future?

Updated on June 5, 2013

Buy a game and it's yours, right? Until now when you downloaded a game or bought it on disc you became the rights holder, but that may be changing. Confusion over the fate of used games exploded after Microsoft revealed the new Xbox One console on May 21. Instead of the normal eagerness associated with the unveiling of a new console, this time it left people scratching their heads and asking, will used games require unlocks in the future. We may not have the answer until the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June.

Will There Be a Fee to Play Used Games?

In their effort to clear things up, Microsoft promises the Xbox One will play used games and that people will be able to buy and sell game discs if they want. It also raised questions about houses with multiple Xboxes. According to Microsoft Veep, Phil Harrison, things will remain unchanged. Anyone in your household on the Xbox live account will be able to play. However when asked about taking a disc to a friend's house, things grew a little cloudy.

Harrison said the disc will play on a friend's console, but when you take your disk home your friend won't be able play until he pays for it. "If your friend decides that he really likes to play that game, then he can go buy it instantly, and it doesn't need to download again" ( There is speculation as to what the fee would be, and some say it may be full retail price.

Future of Used Games Uncertain

The idea is that if you buy a game, play it and then trade it with Gamestop, somehow this transaction will be brought to Microsoft's attention and you will no longer be able to play the game on your system, because you no longer have the rights. This makes sense. The part that is unclear is whether or no a used game will require a fee to be played on another account. If true, what exactly does that mean? Will used games require unlocks in the future? Possibly, yes. That money would go to Microsoft and the publisher, and will affect those who want to sell used games for profit. If the fee is full retail price then that will negate the concept of used games entirely.


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    • Donna Sundblad profile image

      Donna Sundblad 4 years ago from Georgia

      I hope not, too!

    • kaylakupcake profile image

      Kayla Tarbox 4 years ago from Boston

      I hope not!