IGN recently contacted a number of third party game publishers in an attempt to ascertain their future plans regarding used games. In the past, we’ve seen different sorts of DRM pop up to try and deal with used games such as online passes, which EA has confirmed they will no longer be using. But going forward, apparently many third party publishers simply don’t know what they’ll be doing about used games or DRM.

It looks like Activision, Ubisoft, and Bethesda are just as confused as all of us, as all three companies expressed that they simply don’t have enough information to give a real answer.

Activision’s Eric Hirshberg explained that the company can only reflect on what they’ve done in the past. Hirshberg explains that Activision has been a company that worked on a policy similar to that expressed by Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime, “Make great content that people will want to buy and that they hopefully don’t want to sell:”

“We don’t have any announcements today. We’re finding out about the first-party policies in real time along with everyone else. Forgive us if we haven’t worked through all the details yet. The only way I can answer your question is by looking at history. Historically Activision is one of the companies that hasn’t charged for used games and hasn’t done things like online passes and whatnot. Our strategy as a company has been to try to make great content that people will want to buy and that they hopefully don’t want to sell. But that’s not an announcement or a future-facing statement. That’s just an articulation of how we’ve approached it in the past.” — Eric Hirshberg

Ubisoft’s Tony Key says that the company is learning about the new consoles and their policies right along side us, so they don’t yet know what they’ll be doing in the future regarding used games:

“We understand that used games provide a value to the person that’s buying this disc. For us, we just want to figure out how we all can participate in making that a good thing for everybody. When we have another person with a game from one of our brands, what we have to figure out is, how do we bring them into our family? We have nothing to announce about used games right now. We’re still trying to get our heads around what the first parties are really saying and what they’re going to do. There’s a lot of new information out there. We knew maybe a little bit more than you did [before E3], but we learned a lot of new things as well. We understand that it’s a passionate issue and it’s a big decision. We see both sides of the argument. We’re going to tread carefully before we make a decision that so many people want to know about.” — Tony Key

Bethesda gives off vibes similar to the other two, saying, “We need to ask more questions about what they mean by this and how that works:”

“It’s one of those things where we just need a minute to figure it out before we dive into what these policies are and how they’ll work and what both of the consoles will do. What I would say is that we’ll absolutely chime in once we’ve had a chance to wrap our heads around it. We need to ask more questions about what they mean by this and how that works and whose relationship is with whom. It’s more just like we want to make sure we know what we’re talking about before we start making statements like, ‘oh, we’re absolutely doing this or that.’ That’s the main thing. Ultimately I think that the answers are probably pretty simple, but it’s a matter of thinking before you speak.” — Pete Hines

It’s almost comical how confusing this next generation is turning out to be. Microsoft repeals their Xbox One DRM, and Sony’s makes a PlayStation 3-2 but with some ambiguous sort of “cloud-streaming thing.” Odd times are afoot, so tell us your thoughts in the comments!

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Barry Herbers
I write editorials here at Gamnesia and occasionally some news (though far less often than I used to). Here's some of my work, long-form game essays, if you have any interest in that sort of stuff: The Amount of Content in a Game Has Nothing to do with its Price A Game's Atmosphere is Defined by its Mechanics, Not its Aesthetic The Witcher 3's Introduction is Terribly Paced and Too Restrictive of its Players I'm looking forward to The Last Guardian (had it pre-ordered since 2010), Rime, Night in the Woods, and Vane. If I had a niche, it would probably be the somewhat higher fidelity indie games, as take up most of the spots on that list. I'm also developing a no-budget video game with a friend, and you can follow me on Twitter (@TheVioletBarry) to hear about that and anything else I feel like saying. Film, games, it's that sort of stuff.

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