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'Xbox 720 blocking used games would be unfair,' writes Halo dev

$60 games are expensive - and gamers shouldn't be forced to keep them, argues Saber Interactive's Matthew Karch

There have been plenty of Xbox 720 rumour reports this year, but one in particular has sparked controversy amongst the gaming public.


In January a report claimed Microsoft might move to block used games with its next Xbox, forcing gamers to shell out for new copies rather than picking up a cheap deal from the Gamestation bargain bin.

Some game designers have come out to support the proposed move, but today's soapbox developer believes it would be very unfair to block the public's right to used games.

Saber Interactive CEO, Matthew Karch, who's currently heading up promising shooter Inversion, and whose studio built the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary campaign, argues that a different approach to the problem is needed.

Writing for CVG, Karch shares his thoughts on Xbox 720's rumoured pre-owned prevention...

Inversion is due to release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in early 2012. Read our latest impressions.

"I don't think we should prevent people from playing used games. I understand why they would want to do it, but I think the approach should be different.


"As long as games are distributed on physical medium as physical goods, players should have the right to buy and sell them.

"$60 is a lot to pay for a game and if a player buys a dud and is stuck with it, then that's just not fair to force him to keep it. If people buy Inversion and it's not for them, then why should they be forced to turn it into a drink coaster?

"Publishers feel that reviewers have too much control now and if games can't be traded then reviews will become gospel. This doesn't serve anyone's interest.

"For me the approach is to bring the cost of games down and to sell them as digital content where they can't be bought and sold. If someone pays $15 for a game, then it's less painful if they need to keep it.

"If people buy Inversion and its not for them, then why should they be forced to turn it into a drink coaster?"

"Last time I spoke about this, some people misconstrued my comments to imply that I didn't think that games should be "full-length". This isn't the way I feel about it.

"A $60 game has about $30 of waste in it in getting the game to retail. I really believe that with digital distribution you can get that same full-length experience for $30.

"With Inversion (or games like Battlefield or Gears), for example, you could break that experience into two components - single-player and multiplayer - and sell them for $15 each or sell them combined for $30. If someone spends $15, then the trade-in value would be minimal anyway even if it were permissible.

"I think thats the way to go - lower the costs for the same access by bringing them to market digitally. Then a no-used solution is fair."

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