If you are not familiar with the online pass trend that is currently sweeping the video game industry, then let us remind you about it by telling you that the upcoming Battlefield 3 shooter from EA and DICE will be the latest game to utilize the new format.
It is now beoming standard for developers to choose the online pass system route as they look gain an extra income from used games. However, many gamers do not see it that way, as they believe that even though you are buying a used game, you are still buying the used game in the idea that you are ‘buying the full game’ with the added incentive of a discount price.
Like Battlefield 3 now and so many other games that are coming out, Batman Arkham City, Uncharted 3 to name a few, you will need to purchase a separate code to use the online portion of the game in question, or even single-player mode if you’re buying a used copy of Arkham City.
To give you an idea of DICE’s stance on the online pass argument, here is a past quote from Battlefield 3 executive producer Patrick Bach:
”We would rather have you buy a new game than a used game because buying a used game is only a cost to us; we don’t get a single dime from a used game, but we still need to create server space and everything for you. We want people to at least pay us something to create this because we’re paying for it – it’s not a punishment, it’s compensation.”
While it may be compensation for DICE and other developers in the industry, we doubt may of you will feel the same way. Before the online pass was introduced, a popular trend amongst gamers would be to buy games, trade in the next week for another new game, play that and trade in once again, at the expense of a minor fee between each game for the retailer.
It’s understandable why the developers are doing this, but perhaps it isn’t the best way forward for the future in terms of keeping the balance healthy. If you eliminate the whole ‘enjoyment’ idea of buying a used game, it could backfire against developers when it comes to future titles down the line and a loss of a few sales which could prove to be quite costly for the developer in the long run.
Where do you stand on the gamers vs developers argument for the online pass scheme. Do you mind paying another fee on top of the used game price for an online pass, or is it taking away an important element of the ‘full’ product that you thought you paid good money for?