The last few weeks have not been good for Microsoft’s games division. The Xbox One reveal was mired with complaints aimed at their focus on television and things that aren’t video games. At E3, where they showed plenty of games, Sony announced they wouldn’t be pursuing a used games policy like that of their competitors, to resounding applause no less.
The response from Microsoft has been…interesting is the word we’ll use. Speaking with BBC News, Don Mattrick said: “We've given a lot of detail about what people can do, we support resale... I don't know what to tell you. Those business models exist today and they'll exist in the future." This is almost as painful as watching an episode of Shaqtin’ A Fool. It’s hilarious, but you kinda feel bad for the guy.
We’re feeling a bit generous here at CheatCC, so we’re going to offer up a solution at a miserly 10% of all profits earned. Since Microsoft feels the need to kill or significantly reduce game ownership with its next-generation console, I propose this: Stop charging upwards of $60 per game. As a matter of fact, stop charging per title altogether and instead charge for a service. That’s right. You want to kill game ownership. Fine. But you’re going to have to come up with a pretty compelling argument.
Embracing a Netflix-style model would do just the trick. Make Xbox One’s entire game library open to those of your customers who are willing to pay a surcharge on top of their Xbox LIVE annual fee, and all of the noise surrounding Microsoft’s blatant anti-consumerism gone awry will turn to applause.
It’s pretty simple, really. We understand that it would probably be unfeasible at, say, $8 a month. With a large enough install base, though, it should be sustainable at around $30 a month. It’s a great price to be able to access an entire console library, and, of course, publishers and developers would get a generous portion of the profits. (After we take 10% off of the top mind you.)
Those who opt not to buy into the system should be able to buy, sell, and trade games just as they do now without any restrictions, which would avoid devaluing the traditional game ownership model in the process.
The other, slightly less obtuse option would be to make the Xbox One more valuable to long-time supporters by creating quality games at an efficient and sustainable pace. This works a lot better than punishing fans for no good reason. Game publishers and developers could diversify their games libraries so that they’re not all going after Call of Duty Joe while spending millions of dollars, then closing shop when games don’t sell eleventy-billion copies.
But who runs a business like that, though. Right?