Arkham City's Online Pass: Our Worst Fears Realized

gamrFeed's Jake Weston talks about the recent locking-out of Catwoman in Arkham City using the online pass and how it's the first step in truly locking out games for used and rental players.

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swirldude2929d ago

You can no longer be assured that everything the marketers say is in the game is actually in the game (if you buy used). This will be the beginning of a bad trend for gamers.

2928d ago Replies(20)
StanLee2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

I think consumers will just be more discerning about what they buy. They already are, which is why so many great games get overlooked because gamers can't buy every game new and even when it's in the bargain bin, it's a fraction of the experience. Season passes, preorder bonuses, online passes; at $60, games are already expensive yet publishers still try to nickle and dime us. There are a lot of great games coming out, we can't buy them all and when we don't, they say the industry is failing. And it's the publishers fault. Rage, Gears of War 3, Deus Ex, Forza 4, Batman, Battlefield, Assassins Creed, Uncharted, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, Halo Anniversary, Fifa, NBA 2K, MW3; all great games, but who can afford to buy them all new


Totally agree.

For me personally, I don't like it at all, but the more I read about it the more I just think to myself, well I will just avoid buying those games.

I am sure it does not bother the dev's or pub that they have lost out on my one purchase and at the same time I don't need to feel like I am being bent over backwards.

I will just reward the games that are really worth it and remember the little things that make gaming fun with my money.

it's these little things that all add up.

aGameDeveloper2928d ago

I can afford to buy them all new, because I wait to buy them when they are under $20. That way, I not only get to experience all the finest, but I still support the devs with some of the profit - rather than GameStop making all the money.

MuleKick2927d ago

This is a horrible idea. If you can't punish the offenders only, don't punish anyone. I hate the used game market just as much as the developers but this is not the way to fix it. I buy all my games new but not always at full price. Patience is the best way to save money in my opinion. It usually drops to $40 in a month or two. Either way, this is not the way to fix the problem.

LOGICWINS2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

@swirldude- Not really. Budget gamers can just wait for the GOTY edition to come out and buy it new. This way you support devs AND get your game with ALL the content at a deep discount.

But it would have made more sense if Rocksteady guaranteed that everyone who bought the game new would get ALL the future DLC for free.

@Stan Lee- So true. That "40 weeks of DLC" being touted for Saints Row: The Third is a joke. I still can't believe that they're actually going to charge for the use of cheat codes.

aGameDeveloper2928d ago

Seems I only needed to read one more comment to see my sentiments, before I made my contribution!

princejb1342928d ago

even though is bad for us but think about the developers who put years of working on these games for us to enjoy
they need the money to make more games so its also not fair to them with businesses like gamestop who the developers don't make a cent from the used game sold

admiralvic2928d ago

it's like anything else... something has to give. Obviously this example will be off, but look at Film vs Game.

With films rental is extremely common. They make most of their money from theater showings, but still they manage to have Bluray/dvd combos on release day for sub 30 usd. I mean didnt places have the 9 (?) bluray Starwars set for 70. I mean thats a huge difference.

Now you look at gaming and it's a mess. If anything fails; it's almost assured it wasn't because your game sucked. Yes! Even if you made Mindjack... it was Piracy, Rentals, Used games, or something else.

Ultimately these passes are horrible for the consumer. They come at a stiff price considering what they're. Taking a look at Bulletstorm you're paying 10 for levels cropped out of story and an alternate color leash. At 60... 1:6 the price being that pass is insane. Right now I can buy Bulletstorm for 19 on amazon new. That means that 50% off the TOTAL COST is that pass.

Ultimately I see these tactics like being a bully shaking down the weak nerd. They elect to waste resources on these projects to make them appear, but the consumer is ultimately getting screwed.

Look at Dead Space 2. That had an online pass for an online mode no one wanted. So it being bad made it a waste of resources, but then you think since a vast number of gamers lack a pass... there are even less people paying for it and down the road I am sure I can pay 10 usd for the pass, but have the servers offline.

Companies need to wake up and realize that not everything is another problem. All they're doing is making new problems. No one is going to support someone who forces you to conform to their rules at every pass.

danielle0072928d ago

I 100% disagree.

The Video Game industry is the only industry that throws hissy fits and is actually PUNISHING consumers for something that everyone in any selling-something-new situation deals with. If you sell a great product, you will undoubtedly sell enough new copies. And if you sell DLC down the road, if people still love your product, you'll get supported.

But, every industry has to deal with people borrowing from friends, people buying used, people renting things.

I don't see movies being like "Unless you buy it from us new, then you won't get to see the best scenes of the movie. - Also, hope you're connected to the internet even if you bought it new, or you won't see those scenes either."

So, basically, now they aren't getting my money. I'll either not play it at all or I'll pirate to avoid funding this. This isn't even an online pass. This is an OFFLINE PASS. All I can say is fuck you very much, devs.

vortis2928d ago

BS dude and you know it.

Devs don't even get a lot of money from the profits which is why Activision fired the heads of Infinity Ward because Greedivision wasn't paying out royalties. You can take that "Used games are hurting the industry" and keep that logic in your butt.

We all know devs aren't complaining as much about used games as publishers. All proceeds from Switchgames goes back to the DEVS not the publishers, so the used game market argument is fail.

Flavor2928d ago

Don't expect alot of agrees from the self righteous consumer rage patrol. They think they deserve everything, handed to them at value. Entitlement syndrome, typical of spoiled children.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 2928d ago
TBM2928d ago

My copy is fully paid off so im good, but i can understand that it sucks for some. If these stores were to cut the developers in on a decent % of the used games sells maybe we wouldn't be seeing these online passes popping up.

admiralvic2928d ago

Then it would be loaning to your friends or rental stores...
Then it would be piracy...
Then it would be something else.

TBM2928d ago

Would those who disagree care to explain why. Is it that my copy is paid in full and i don't have to worry about some online pass, or is it my suggestions about stores cutting devs in on the used games sales?

TreMillz2928d ago

everyone says oh we cant all buy these games at $60 a pop...thing is no one said you have to. Although for high AAA games it does take a while, there are sales, price cuts, etc. Portal 2 drop $20 like 3 weeks after it released, it was a sale i believe but it was quick. Developers only ask that you buy it new, not day 1.

vortis2928d ago

Yeah because waiting for L.A. Noire to drop to $20 really helped out Team Bondi.

I bet Activision would prefer if 10 million people waited for Modern Warfare 3 to drop to $20 instead of buying it day-one?

Please, don't kid yourself. Publishers are greedy dastards and they don't care about consumer spending habits they just want their freaking money, PERIOD.

TreMillz2928d ago

of course theyd rather you buy it right away, but they know everyone wont due to either 1.Heavy competition or 2. Financial budget. Nobody is kidding themselves. You used 2 bad examples. Activision knows their greedy, we know their greedy, they have no shame in admitting it. MW3 will sell right away due to popularity and is a game that someone would choose first when they...cant buy every game at $60(didn't you just say that? Shh he doesn't read well). L.A. Noire dropped $20 even when it sold millions so how is that greed...

jivah2927d ago

@vortis if you get it new for 20bucks still gives devs a bigger percentage than a used game which is ooooh 0%

Christopher2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

***You can no longer be assured that everything the marketers say is in the game is actually in the game (if you buy used).***

Okay... how is that different than other products? And, like all those other products, why should the producer/developer care what you get out of a product you're buying used?

***what if your account is lost?***

Only way you could lose an account is for doing something that blocks you from PSN or XBL (ie against their ToS). Otherwise, there are a ton of ways of recovering account names and passwords. Tons.

***What if your console breaks down?***

It's tied to your account.

***What if the code doesn't work or isn't included?***

Customer support

***What if you share your console with your brothers/sisters/partner?***

On PS3, you can share the code with up to 5 accounts.

***Not everyone can afford to drop $60 on a game Day 1 all the time.***

Yeah. That's called life. Not everyone has the ability to invest in gaming as a hobby, you don't see any justification for them robbing a store to support their habit, do you?

Don't act entitled and wait for prices to lower if spending $60 on a game has that big of an impact on your finances.

***And the few times that people ARE able to do it...we only get 2/3 of the FULL package? Thats B.S.***

Bit of hyperbole there, no? Catwoman challenge rooms != 1/3 of the game. You can complete the whole single player game without the online pass perfectly fine.

***Why is the used game market frowned upon anyway? ***

It's not frowned upon, it's just not supported like new game sales because it makes absolutely no money for them. Kind of how pre-orders tend to have special deals tied to them as well. Is it unfair that those deals are only available for pre-orders and not after release?

***It seems to be okay when used products like films, books and hardware are sold but game publishers seem to hate used market with a passion.***

Actually, look at the huge push for digital media... it's the exact same thing. Used market is disliked by every producer, it's just that they don't have the options that software does of recouping from potential lost sales.

***But denying access to parts of the main campaign seems like it's going overboard.***

Neither Arkham City's Catwoman content or Rage's sewers content are part of the main campaign. They were added in in order to encourage new game sales and are not required to complete the full story of the game, only add to it.


I understand having an opinion that's opposed to Online Passes, but the arguments being used really aren't recognizing that the issue is that both gamers and producers care about money. You find it okay to complain about companies trying to make more money, yet you don't realize that they are doing this because gamers have decided to go the route of used games in order to spend less themselves rather than being patient and waiting for prices to come down.

P_Bomb2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

Some very good points. Shows there are solutions and workarounds out there, buying new being the most obvious.

vortis2928d ago

Total fail argument you have dude.

SwitchGames gives a percentage of used game proceeds DIRECTLY back to the developers if the devs sign up to receive royalties from used game sales. So, yeah, your argument fails.

Publishers are complaining (and continue to do so) because they just want more money.

90% of big budget games aren't worth $60 and if everyone waited for these games to drop to $20 to purchase them most companies would go bankrupt. Publishers WANT day-one buys because release dates are specifically associated with profit forecasts based on quarterly analsysis, spending and revenue. It doesn't matter if a game sells 10 million copies over the course of five years, if it don't sell several million within the window that investors were expecting the game to launch then it's considered a fail regardless.

Get off your high horse and stop prentending like the game industry is about having fun and expressing creativity. It's about the bottom line and profit margins and anyone who thinks otherwise is either a blind fanboy or doesn't know much about the way businesses operate these days.

ljh2172928d ago

As a customer though, the preowned & rental market is good for me. It gives people an alternate way to play games without having to resort to piracy. On top of that it is much better for the environment (no pollution due to extra manufacturing/production, and no extra pollution due to transport and shipping).

The basic argument for Online Passes is "The publishers make no money from the preowned/rental market". Well thats not true because they make it from the very first sale. On top of that when people trade in games, they might use the store credit to buy a new game, which means it actually makes some profit for that particular developer/publisher (assuming the game would not be bought if that person could not trade in a game towards the sale).

A much more effective strategy for the game companies would be to compete with preowned prices of their game. If you have a choice to buy a preowned or new game at the same price, you would choose the new game. The publisher would then make some money from the sale than if the customer had bought it preowned. This is way more effective if their is a good digital distrbution alternative (something the PC market is way ahead in with steam). The good thing about this strategy is that it benefits the customer rather than punishes them, and we would be able to buy games complete (instead of having parts taken out).

Finally, EA (the current-gen king of the online pass) announced only making 10-15 million dollars revenue with their EA Sports online passes:

The profit from that after tax, XBLA/PS3 deductions etc. will be minimal showing that the online pass is simply not working.

You could argue that those games with dedicated servers just create a loss in bandwith costs. Unfortunately that argument doesn't apply to this single player only game. When it does apply (i.e. multiplayer games), where is my option to use P2P, Xbox Live or the PSN servers instead of paying to use the developers often strained servers.

wsoutlaw872928d ago

you are correct, there is nothing wrong with them doing this and will be unnoticeable for those who buy new. You have to pay to get things thats how the world works. Devs want the money from game sales, they dont want it going to gamestop or some person on ebay, you would too. Its not saying its impossible to buy used, you just have to pay 10$. Lol i love seeing the people try to justify used sales and act like its not just them being cheap and too impatient to wait for a sale. I buy some games used and still will, its not like its unplayable.

Christopher2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

***SwitchGames gives a percentage of used game proceeds DIRECTLY back to the developers if the devs sign up to receive royalties from used game sales. So, yeah, your argument fails. ***

Wow, used game service I've never heard of gives them some money for each of their sales. Now, tell me, how much of the almost $2 billion in used game sales does GameStop give up?

****Publishers are complaining (and continue to do so) because they just want more money. ****

Gamers are complaining (and continue to do so) because they just want games cheap, regardless of the source or what effect it has on the industry.

***90% of big budget games aren't worth $60 and if everyone waited for these games to drop to $20 to purchase them most companies would go bankrupt.***

They would make a hell of a lot more than people just buying their games used. If it wasn't, they wouldn't release GotY or best seller versions for $20-30 a year after release. They obviously make enough money on these low cost versions, or they wouldn't put them out in the first place.

***It's about the bottom line and profit margins and anyone who thinks otherwise is either a blind fanboy or doesn't know much about the way businesses operate these days.***

You fail to notice that I say this exact same thing. The problem is you fail to recognize the hypocricy of a person who complains about having to pay more for used games. You are both monetarily focused, so don't go calling it about just money when it's obviously just as much about money for you as well.

***A much more effective strategy for the game companies would be to compete with preowned prices of their game.***

Will never happen. Game A comes out priced at $X, then used games will always be priced at $X-10 or $X-15. Used game sales will always have a lower price, and therefore more incentive for the obvious large market of gamers looking for better prices, than new games.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 2928d ago
hilyou2928d ago

this stupid as hell! they should have just included catwomen's missions in the disc! instead of having 2 download it! wat about ppl who don't hav internet or only play single player games?

smashman982928d ago

I feel like this is the only valid argument its absolutely not fair for those who dont have internet and buy new and a work around must be found for this

2928d ago
Sony3602928d ago

Not even that. If you don't have an internet connection you can't even access the full single player.

That is beyond stupid.

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zeal0us2929d ago

If you buy the game new this shouldn't even be a problem to most people. Beside the developers/game companies don't benefit from you buying a used game, only the retailers that sells them do. Whats $10 for online pass anyway? Also just read in another article on N4g that GS is putting online pass codes in used copies of batman arkham city.

maniacmayhem2928d ago

Developers might not benefit but us the consumer does.
I'm more on the side of the consumer because that is what i am.

If a game is good i'll get it, but 60 a pop with all the games coming out i have to get a deal here and there.

And again i have to beat a dead horse but why cant the devs offer free DLC for buying new? they should reward for buying new. We already know they have DLC planned for Batman:AC why the online pass and not the free DLC?
And why should the video game industry be exempt from the second hand market? When every other market isn't.
Used CD's, used appliances, used books, used toys, used clothes and anything else used.

Thank god for used games, i found some great ps2, GC, NES games used from Gamestop.

And thank god for Gamefly, if i would have bought X-Men:Destiny for 60 bux i would have sh*tt*d!

ZombieAssassin2928d ago

"And why should the video game industry be exempt from the second hand market? When every other market isn't.
Used CD's, used appliances, used books, used toys, used clothes and anything else used. "

Because they haven't really found a way around it...the music industry kind of did by backing things like iTunes. Don't get me wrong I don't like the idea of having online passes and such because I do let friends borrow games when I'm done and they do the same. At the same time though I can see why they do it, the game industry is a very risky business and every dollar earned is pretty much critical for keeping studios from going under.

Jeff2572928d ago

But essentially what the Catwoman missions are. It isn't needed to beat the game. It is just free DLC included when you buy the game new. If you buy it used then you have to pay for that content. It isn't so much an online pass that unlocks a MP mode like other games. This is more a first purchaser pass that rewards people who do spend their money buying new.

LOGICWINS2928d ago

"But essentially what the Catwoman missions are. It isn't needed to beat the game. It is just free DLC included when you buy the game new. If you buy it used then you have to pay for that content."

If you buy used at Gamestop, u still get the Catwoman content.

JaredH2928d ago (Edited 2928d ago )

I liked Dead Space 2's approach to the online pass. It you don't have one or buy it used you get a two day pass to play the multiplayer. I know you can't do that for single player games like Batman but I think every multiplayer game with a pass should have it. For single player games if you buy it used they could just give you the first mission free for they're giving with the pass.

I'm not promoting online passes I'm just trying to say ways they could be better.

Getowned2928d ago

you know 20 years ago devs weren't even making close to what they are now,used games never hurt them but now when games become mainstream entertainment and there seliing millions and making millions it's a problem ? somethings fishy here,thats partly about what some of these protests are about Government/Corporate Greed.there making enough money to run these games for years .if games were 49.99 i would buy alot more,I'm not blaming the devs so much but greedy publishers. EA,Acti,Sony,ubi,MS and the rest they are all greedy as hell,we need more free DLC and worth it dlc,not just some skins.

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Eamon2928d ago

The consumer isn't obliged to support the seller of a product. So there is absolutely no wrong in buying used games. Second hand trading has been existent since man was born.

But also, the seller has no right to screw the consumer like Warner Bros is doing with Arkham City.

exsturminator012928d ago

The seller isn't obliged to provide content to people that didn't pay them. So there is absolutely nothing wrong in withholding content from people who buy used. People have been charging for their work since man was born.

Eamon2928d ago

The irony is that if it only does more harm than good. Most people who would buy a second hand version won't get the DLC because they bought the game cheap for a reason.

There are others who might simply never want to buy rand new from the publisher ever again.

And DLC can be easily pirated so it's not a loss for them downloaders too.

TitanUp2928d ago

i haven't bought a used game in a bout 2 years and that was world of warcraft cause i lost my disk and didn't want to re download it,i know gamestop does not have used pc games im talking about amazon

Number_132928d ago

What if I simply don't have access to high speed internet or psn/xbl?

Dart892928d ago

Well your pretty much well i'll let these guys tell you.

2928d ago
sickbird2928d ago

just buy new, i don't get it. So you buy a game used and save what 5 bucks? cmon now. Or just wait like 2 weeks and the game will be down $10 and you can buy it new.