Xbox One: How Licensing Works

Posted June 7, 2013 by Akradon in E3, Events, News, Platform, Video Game Events, Xbox One

Since Xbox Ones reveal a few weeks back, it’s possible that more questions have been left unanswered than were answered. And even more rumours have circled the lovely world of the internet about the pre-owned and being always connected to the internet. Well it seems that MS have decided to squash some of these rumours in the form of a blog style update. But to make it easier we have just moved the important parts here:

  • Buy the way you want—disc or digital—on the same day: You’ll be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly.
  • Access your entire games library from any Xbox One—no discs required: After signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud. So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games.
  • Share access to your games with everyone inside your home: Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games. Anyone can play your games on your console–regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.
  • Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games. You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
  • Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers. Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games.
  • Give your games to friends: Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

Some of the features do sound really nice, the fact that I could install my game on my machine, then go over to a friends house and play that game without the disc being there just by signing in on his machine is an amazing touch. The shared library does sound decent, but it depends on the boundaries for it. I mean what’s stopping me choosing 10 of my friends as family to play all the games I purchase? Rumour states (yes more rumours already) that they family have to be on the same IP as your machine for it to work.

The ‘trading in games’ side of things could take an interesting turn. Notice how it says in there ‘participating retailers’. Microsoft have left it to the publishers to decide if indeed their game can be traded in…and with who. So it might well be that the game shop in your area may not be able to accept any Xbox One trade ins. Sure that might not be an issue for someone who lives near a huge town center and has access to several game shops. But for those who live in an area where there is only the one shop, and these aren’t able to accept them, what then?

Friends list game swapping. As long as they have been on your friends list for 30 days (which all mine have) and each game can only be given once. It doesn’t mention if you loose the ability to play your version of the title though. So this is something else that would need clearing up during E3 if possible, which is only a few days away thankfully. MS also added another little paragraph about the trading in feature with stores:

In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers. Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.

I can imagine that would be instead of the online pass that EA has recently scrapped. Is that because they knew they would be able to put a charge on second hand games? More than likely. We have to keep in mind what the last sentence (Loaning or renting games…) means for companies like Blockbuster, Lovefilm, gamefly etc as according to this they won’t be able to rent Xbox One titles at launch but maybe in the future. This could cause a huge downfall in the renting industry. It’s now upto Sony to see what their options are with the PS4. Same with the X1 though, things are a little blurry with the details.

E3 is almost upon us and hopefully it will clear up all the ‘what ifs’ and ‘buts’ at the moment for both consoles. Stay tuned for updates because as soon as we receive them, they will be on!



I love my games, especially the Resident Evil series. I play most styles of games, although I do feel that FPS are slightly lacking these days. I am part of the group 'geeking it up a notch' (search us on youtube) and love what I do.

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