John of GAMElitist.com - "It’s a shortsighted tactic that hurts reputation a bit and restricts gamers from spending freely. It injects cost into the purchasing model without injecting value. Altogether, it’s a pain for everyone involved."
Interesting article. Personally I had no problem with developers charging an online pass fee for used multi-player games to cover the server costs. Once they started using online passes for single player games though, I started to wonder. Still I don't have a huge problem with developers finding a way to make money off of their used games. It would definitely be better if they could find a way to deal with used games that would benefit everybody rather than just block them. It's never a good thing when there is a lost of consumer choice and it usualy ends up hurting everyone. The writer makes a good point about the short life span of the communities surrounding online games these days. I never really made the connection between this and online passes before, but his idea has merit.
Here is my problem with Online Passes: Blockbuster FPS A & B come out. I'm undecided, but I am going to buy the game brand new, but not until I try both. Gamefly, Redbox, Blockbuster, really anywhere I can rent the game will be my first stop... games are too expensive to plunk down $60 without a test drive of sorts now-a-day. FPS A has an "Online Pass", FPS B doesn't. I can't even TRY FPS A's online portion, the main reason for my purchase in the first place. FPS A will NOT get my money blindly. I can try FPS B and see if I like it or not, and go forward from there. I'm fine with getting rid of used games, it will help developers in the long run, and hopefully that means bigger budgets & better games. It will also make things easier when we eventually go all digital, which we will in the near future. IF/WHEN that happens, developers & publishers MUST be required to provide full demos of their products.
Actually getting rid of used games will make things worse. First of all, many gamers will be less likely to take a chance on games they are less sure about, this will force developers to take even less of a chance, sticking with the same tired formats they know will sell well. Prices on games will go up and take longer to drop, just like they did after the destruction of used pc game market. Developers will be less likely to pull in as many new fans, as there are many who liked a used game (that they normally would have never bought at full price,) so much that they started to buy the sequels new. Online games will have smaller communities and short life spans as the new games become hard to acquire (especially for those who don't have a fast or reliable enough connection the buy huge games digitally.) There's a lot more I could say, but this is getting a bit winded.
I respectively disagree. People who purchase used games don't affect the developer/publisher bottom line at all. Most publishers make their money the first few months post release, long before used copies become readily available and at a price point that is cost effective vs. brand new. New fans of the series can be captured when the price point comes down on new games (perfect example... STEAM), or via promotions (Buy this get this free!) and also via demos that showcase the games. Look at World of Warcraft. For YEARS they blocked new players and didn't offer a demo. They have wizened up and now offer new players to try up to Level 20. Their 10 million subscription level might be drastically higher if they allowed people to get addicted... i mean play a demo... years ago. Also, with digital sales of console games comes better metrics on sales patterns and gaming habits. All of that equals a better product for us.
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