I’m pretty good at following what’s going on in the world of games, and at the moment there is a big argument about whether or not online passes should exist. So far I have listened to many people and all are of one opinion or the other, with no middle ground.
In case you didn’t know what an ‘online pass’ is the basic gist is this. They are codes that only work once and give the account they were activated on access to the games full features. This could be multiplayer access, different characters, or story content. Publishers say that they are there to make sure that both the game developers and themselves are still making something off second hand games. This is because the content unlocked by the pass isn’t passed from player to player.
Publishers say that they are losing out on massive amounts of money every time an used game is sold, and the fact that they’re losing money means that we are killing the industry. This has some truth behind it. It is true that there is a potential sale missed every time an used game is sold but this is not often the case.
I personally have only bought three pre-owned game in my life and sold Two worlds, Spiderman 2, and some fighting game. I am glad I gave them no money because there is no way in hell two of those games deserved my hard earned cash. Thanks to me me playing spiderman I ended up buying the sequel, at full price . This happens a lot , the most famous example of this is Crackdown. Realtime Worlds (the creator of Crackdown) constantly complained about their game being sold second hand. They had a great opportunity to be apart of the Xbox 360’s launch title and owning a copy of Crackdown allowed people to access the Halo 3 beta. Despite the it being a great game many people sold their copy of the game as soon as the beta was over. This created a phenomenon where many stores had lots of copies of a very good, pre-owned game. This ment that all of the stores had to sell silly cheap to stay competitive, something publishers couldn’t do anything about.
Back in 2012 things are changing. Soon it will become a problem just to take a game over to a friend’s house. Just for a group session of hard core gaming. DRM free has become key word in advertising recently, when a few years ago people wanted DRM.
What annoys me the most is the fact that this is just another way for publishers to piss in our faces. There is no doubt that publishers are essential for the video game industry, but they treat the consumers like they are nothing. This is not the first time they’ve spat in our faces and we’ve just taken it. Nor will it be the last time. They constantly introduced half baked plans that help no one and punish everyone. Despite this we are letting it happen again. Unlike many people out there I stick to my words and carry out boycotts. Occasionally I am undermined my my family, but I have gone out of my way to avoid all passes and activity praised games like Syndicate for not using this horrible system.