We still have yet to hear how major third-party publishers like Activision and Ubisoft plan to handle used games on next-gen hardware. The reason for this is simple: They don't know what they plan to do either.
IGN went ahead and asked Activision, Bethesda, and Ubisoft what their plans are, and each provided an inconclusive response. Here's what Activision's Eric Hirshberg had to say:
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.
Sounds promising, but with nothing confirmed, anything could still happen. Tony Key of Ubisoft also spoke to the outlet on used games, saying:
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.
And finally, Bethesda's Pete Hines offered up a few words:
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.
So basically, a whole bunch of "we don't know yet" is all we can go on right now. Are you hopeful that these major players will continue to support a DRM-free climate? Let us know in the comments below.