Listen, I'm the biggest of Microsoft homers. I'm even one of the last Lumia consumers around (snicker all you want, I love it). I should be used to Microsoft making statements or commitments that are unrealistic... but I still tend to fall for them because I want to believe.
When you're a rewards member, you tend to take surveys. On one of the surveys last week we, the beloved "Live" community, were asked if we would support a "buy back" of digitally owned games for 10% the retail value.
Ah, Fuck Yah!
I maybe own around fifty digital licences through Microsoft dating back to original Xbox titles. Most I'll never play again and I'd love to get something for it (don't worry Sid Meier's Pirates!, not you, never you). The value of those games could range all over the place, but at even one tenth the retail value, I'd be looking at a minimum of two, new triple A titles. Sure, Titanfall is great and all, but I'll take the four bucks your gonna give me for it and roll it into something new. This is a fantastic idea.
It's also not that difficult to pull off unless you have multiple accounts and never link anything. I, however, still have access to stuff I downloaded twelve years and six machines ago (yes, I bought multiple 360's). I'm Microsoft's bread and butter. This is more a, "thanks for being loyal, here is some help buying more stuff from us." OK.
Not OK. The problem is that the is a giant second-hand retailer that partners with Microsoft. Back when I worked for GameStop, I knew what a threat this was. Hell, this has been the threat to brick and mortar sense the beginning of Amazon (when Steam fired up, my Electronics Boutique boss told me to start clearing the PC games off the floor). I imagine that when Robert Lloyd (GameStop's current CFO) was told of this, he was immediately scared that he would have to shrink his 50 foot yacht to a 42. He surely called Microsoft post haste threatening to move all their product to the back of all their stores (this is a thing, just ask Nintendo).
So Aaron Greenberg (the head of Xbox marketing) went to twitter to assure GameStop that Microsoft won't be the reason that GameStop's stock will see another drop. That will be completely on them and their management.
That's too bad too, cause I would have loved to give Microsoft more money because they gave me a little back.