According to Xbox marketing exec Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft has absolutely no plans to allow Xbox gamers to trade in unwanted digital games back to the company's digital storefront for credit.
"Yeah we are not actively planning such a thing, surprised it was even asked in a survey," Greenberg wrote in a Tweet response to industry analyst Michael Pachter, who criticized the trade-in policy as "playing with fire". As Greenberg is Microsoft's chief marketing exec, he'd be on the up and up when it comes to new storefront features.
The whole idea was kicked off by an official Microsoft user survey that asked gamers if they'd like to be able to trade in digital Xbox games for 10% of their purchased value. The news spread like wildfire, engulfing the entire Xbox community within days. Suddenly every Xbox One owner saw dollar signs when eyeing all those old digital games they never play.
@michaelpachter Yeah we are not actively planning such a thing, surprised it was even asked in a survey. Not fire being played with :-)— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) March 21, 2016
When you actually think about the process of digital game trade-ins, you quickly see that it wouldn't work. Despite the rat's nest that is digital copyright law, Microsoft simply has no incentive to allow trade-ins, and would just be giving money away for free. Even at 10% of the usual $59.99 asking price--$5.99--the company would lose thousands a day with this game plan. Physical used game trading is entirely different as the tangible game discs can be sold and re-sold, but there's no way to distinguish a "used" digital game from a new one.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, folks, but it just isn't going to happen.
The digital "trade-in" problem is that digital files NOT OWNED by the user, merely a license. MSFT can allow for its IP, not for third party— Michael Pachter (@michaelpachter) March 21, 2016