Sony Exploring Online Pass Response To Used Games

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Sony Exploring Online Pass Response To Used Games

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The used games debate hasn't gone unnoticed by Sony, and the company may plan to implement an Online Pass code system in its first-party titles.

The videogame industry from the development and publishing side pretty much hates used games, with InstantAction CEO Louis Castle perhaps the most blunt about its grievances. Publishers have been trying to earn money off of the used games market, and in some ways trying to force consumers to purchase new games over used, with systems like EA's Online Pass, which requires those without a new game's code to pay $10 to play EA Sports games (such as Madden) online. These systems have been mirrored by THQ and other companies, and now Sony may be poised to join their ranks.

Andrew House, president of Sony Europe, spoke to Games Industry on the issue, and about what Sony plans to add to the equation. "On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we're broadly supportive of that," he said. "And we're exploring actively the same option for our own content."

This would almost assuredly mean that Sony's MLB: The Show series could include a code in the new box required to play online, and perhaps even future releases of titles like Uncharted, which added a multiplayer mode in Uncharted 2, or the online co-op Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One. House did not go into detail on what Sony's version of Online Pass would be like, should one come into existence.

However, don't be afraid that Sony will simply charge people randomly for silly things. Talking about the PlayStation Network, House said Sony feels "very vindicated and bases a lot of the success of PSN today - a 70 per cent connection rate across consoles - on the fact that it's removed that major initial barrier to entry," referring to how the PlayStation Network is completely free.

Sony might not be the biggest publisher in the world, but it's certainly prominent. When you buy a PlayStation 3, chances are you're going to buy at least one Sony game to go along with it. And if Sony goes over to the Online Pass side, Microsoft, and perhaps even Nintendo, can't be far behind. I can't say I blame publishers for trying to participate in the used games business, but I wonder how general consumers will take it when these codes become more of a well-known factor.

Source: GI.biz

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oh evil game companies once again plotting to destroy the world of gaming, WELL HA! i beat you at your own game! i refuse to own your silly console charges and strictly play on PC, where im living in Valve's Utopia!

I don't really know how I feel about all this "Project Ten Dollar" stuff going on with used game-sales. I understand how the developers want to keep on earning money from the sales of their games, but I feel like they're going the wrong way about doing it.

Like people have said with DRM, it shouldn't be about punishing the pirates, it should be about rewarding the people who buy legitimately. So in this case, there should be some kind of reward for buying the game new rather than punishing whoever purchases it used. Boxing people out from online content seems a little much. They should reward people who buy new with things like online skins, unique weapons, a little bonus level, little exclusive things like that. Put a one-use code in the box and that's that.

Really, the way they're going about it is wrong. Reward, not punish.

This doesn't personally bother me. It's not like they have any responsibility over your used game purchase.

Things are going to get interesting when game consoles have digital distribution exclusively.

Oops ignore this post since I accidentally didn't pay enough attention to the topic post and made a post that was irrelevant and deleted it to put this run-on sentence here instead.

blalien:
This doesn't personally bother me. It's not like they have any responsibility over your used game purchase.

Things are going to get interesting when game consoles have digital distribution exclusively.

You mean in about fifty years? Cause look at all the problems now, DLC doesn't stay up forever, they can't maintain servers for an eternity, so eventually old games will have to be deleted and that will piss people off when their friends say "Yeah, try this game" and it no longer exists.

OT: Yeah, umm, I've said before I'll say again, this whole "online pass" thing, is shit.

Mr. Mike:
I don't really know how I feel about all this "Project Ten Dollar" stuff going on with used game-sales. I understand how the developers want to keep on earning money from the sales of their games, but I feel like they're going the wrong way about doing it.

Like people have said with DRM, it shouldn't be about punishing the pirates, it should be about rewarding the people who buy legitimately. So in this case, there should be some kind of reward for buying the game new rather than punishing whoever purchases it used. Boxing people out from online content seems a little much. They should reward people who buy new with things like online skins, unique weapons, a little bonus level, little exclusive things like that. Put a one-use code in the box and that's that.

Really, the way they're going about it is wrong. Reward, not punish.

This guy has the right idea, don't say there are things I can't do because I bought used, I might not have had a choice, but say that because I bought it new I can start off with better stuff.

Mr. Mike:
Like people have said with DRM, it shouldn't be about punishing the pirates

Actually, DRM *should* be about punishing pirates. Unfortunately, that's been done in about 2 games so far, everyone else thinks that punishing the legitimate buyers is the way to go. Punishing pirates and rewarding buyers are not mutually exclusive, BTW. ;)

OT: This is to be expected. It's only going to get much worse (restrictive), step by step. What a lot of people don't realise is that used games, from the point of view of the developers/publishers are in no way different from piracy. What it lacks in scale is made up by the fact that almost every used trade *is* a lost sale (since the person obviously was willing to pay for the game). We as customers see the (moral?) difference between getting a pirate copy for free and paying a friend for a legitimate one, but the developer gets nothing either way so to them used games = piracy (commercial, even, since the seller does make money at developer's expence). Simple as that.

Ha, I only play for single-player anyway. SCEE can suck a big fat one. It'll be a cold day in hell before I pay for the privelage to experience customer service as bad as theirs.

I think it's a good thing. They want to sell more first party titles so they can make money to produce more first party titles. Good for them, if you want it used you gotta pay em on PSN to play online or maybe you can't play online at all unless it's a new copy. It costs money to keep their (free) servers up, if you're gonna buy a used game and want to play online, it makes sense that maybe they want a little bit of the money you gave 100% royalty free to Gamestop.

Seeing how Microsofts online players already pay to play online, doing this would be just dickish.

I rarely buy games. I have owned 9 over the five years I have owned an xbox 360. 7 were pre-owned. The two new ones were bought because I played the prequels. I bought the prequels second hand. I doubt I'd buy games if this system were to be implemented.

Jesus Fucking Christ. Are you serious? I mean, is there any other industry besides the games industry that treats their fucking consumers like a pack of wild animals? Who gives a shit if we're buying games used? Not our fault games today are 60 dollars.

We have a right to choose how we spend our money, and in what way, and companies like EA and Sony are exacerbating problems. If we buy games used, that's our fucking problem, not theirs. When games like Call of Duty or Madden come out that costs 60 dollars with the same gameplay, we have a right to pick the option that costs us less money. That's why Project Ten Dollar and DLC in general, is a load of shit.

Why should we pay for a game when all what we are getting is a fraction of the actual game? It should work the opposite way. You have the full game and all the content, BUT if you get it new, you'll get this nice piece of DLC which will further expand your experience after you've completed the main game. And what about people who DON'T have their consoles connected to the internet? THEN what?

Not surprised Sony is looking at doing this. I'll get concerned when Nintendo starts.

Of course you don't blame publishers, Tom. Publishers buy advertising! Again, the used Music and Movie industry was never a huge issue for those publishers, the video game publishers are just greedy assholes.

Modus Operandi:
What a lot of people don't realise is that used games, from the point of view of the developers/publishers are in no way different from piracy. What it lacks in scale is made up by the fact that almost every used trade *is* a lost sale (since the person obviously was willing to pay for the game). We as customers see the (moral?) difference between getting a pirate copy for free and paying a friend for a legitimate one, but the developer gets nothing either way so to them used games = piracy (commercial, even, since the seller does make money at developer's expence). Simple as that.

Yeah... no. But thanks for playing. Just like software copyright infringement, not every used game sale equals a lost new game sale. There is no way I would ever buy a new copy of Shadowrun at $60; to me it will never be worth that price.

I think we can agree that illicitly downloading games is wrong, but first-sale doctrine is a long-standing concept in modern society. Do used bookstores give kickbacks to publishers? Used car dealerships paying GM? Of course not. The publisher received money in exchange for the disc that I own. If I give it to my friend or sell it to Gamestop, the publisher is in no way involved with the transaction. Why should they get a single cent? They still have just as many discs in the warehouse, and I'd have to buy another if I wanted the game again, later. Other retail industries may not like the secondhand market, but they just have to deal with it. If video game publishers were smart, they'd probably not want to anger their customer base with shenanigans like this.

Well the used games market doesn't really exist here, I have to buy my PS3 games at exorbitant prices.

Still sucks though, for the many users buying pre-used copies :-(

Yes. When you have a console which has fewer sales than any other console, the very thing you want to be doing is pissing your potential customers off.

Bravo, Bravo.

I don't think that will help. There are plenty of games I buy used because they're not worth the full price. I doubt this will make much of a dent in used game sales.

Kazedarkwind:
oh evil game companies once again plotting to destroy the world of gaming, WELL HA! i beat you at your own game! i refuse to own your silly console charges and strictly play on PC, where im living in Valve's Utopia!

You were a console gamer, but then you thought being a PC gamer allows you less interaction with 'evil game companies?'

I hope you only experience the best things in gaming. Best of luck to you!

OP: $ony needs something to help it rise up, it has been dealing with low games sales for far too long now....... so.....

Let us all rise up and drag $ony back from the grave!!

I just hope $ony doesn't remove any more features that caused people to buy the system in the first place! That isn't good business.

We can all look back on $ony and see why they are far from being gone tho. $ony won't lose to numbers, they have already proven that! LOL!

buy teh haloz:
Jesus Fucking Christ. Are you serious? I mean, is there any other industry besides the games industry that treats their fucking consumers like a pack of wild animals? Who gives a shit if we're buying games used? Not our fault games today are 60 dollars.

We have a right to choose how we spend our money, and in what way, and companies like EA and Sony are exacerbating problems. If we buy games used, that's our fucking problem, not theirs. When games like Call of Duty or Madden come out that costs 60 dollars with the same gameplay, we have a right to pick the option that costs us less money. That's why Project Ten Dollar and DLC in general, is a load of shit.

Why should we pay for a game when all what we are getting is a fraction of the actual game? It should work the opposite way. You have the full game and all the content, BUT if you get it new, you'll get this nice piece of DLC which will further expand your experience after you've completed the main game. And what about people who DON'T have their consoles connected to the internet? THEN what?

If their consoles aren't connected online, they have nothing to worry about. They can pay for their used title and get none of the benefits of the DLC, since they won't be able to use the online modes in any case. In any case, most strategies are aimed at those with a broadband internet connection, which is most people with a console.

And nobody is infringing on your goddamn rights. Sony, EA, Ubisoft and Microsoft all have rights too, and when you go and exercise your right to put your money wherever you want, they have the right to tell you to be without an online mode because server costs are too high when they get none of that fifty five dollars you spent for the title, used, at GameStop.

So you see, when you buy it used, and they get none of the money that you spent on that title, they are well within their rights to withhold content until you spend another ten dollars, or buy it new to begin with.

This project is a response to the used games market, not to punish gaming enthusiasts. You don't like it, buy it new. Buy new, or pay the extra ten dollars, but don't bitch when the circumstances you contributed towards turn into things like Project Ten Dollar.

What happens if I install to a new computer and have redeemed my code previously I am guessing this requires signing up for an account, then having your code linked with that account What is to stop you from letting friends use your code when you yourself are not playing, such as after tiering of the game a bit? Not such a problem on a PC to link it with the hardware and make you jump a few hoops to get it linked with new hardware, but on a console that presents a whole host of problems. What if you want to take the copy of the game to a friends house because they have a bigger TV there?

What are the possibilities that if your account is banned, you forget the password, or someone hijacks it that they are going to give two shits about forcing you to pay so you can link a new account for online play?

These are really the only legitimate questions I have about these services.

I mean trying everyone to pay something back to them, or demonizing people for buying and selling copies of digital media is one thing, allowing people access to servers you own is another. I have no real issues with the concept, but I wounder how exactly they can implement it without causing other side issues.

Modus Operandi:
the fact that almost every used trade *is* a lost sale (since the person obviously was willing to pay for the game).

No. It is not a lost sale.

I might be willing to pay for a game, but I'm not willing to pay the ludicrous prices for new games. 35 for a AAA PC title is too much, especially when most of them just aren't that good. 25 is pushing it for really good games like M&B and STALKER, but that extra 10 is too much for most other games.

In the UK at least, its usually better to buy new.

Sounds crazy, but I can tell you from personal experience, the selling price of a new game plummets really quickly after a few months it comes out, (unless its a best selling, "popular" game like MW2).

A lot of the time, I laugh uncontrollably when I wander into GAME or HMV and see the prices of used games in there.
Because most of the decent games there, I can buy online, new, C.H.E.A.P.E.R!!! XD

I would totally support this move, if it weren't for the fact it cripples trade between gamers.
Besides, most of the games I bought used, I take a risk on. If I like it, I follow the series, or the Dev in the long run.

I don't agree with this policy from any publisher but from my perspective they can knock themselves out because i couldn't give a toss about multiplayer!

Hang on, if you're buing a game used and getting a 30 pound discount, wouldn't the extra 10 still leave discount intact?

This is a customer-unfreindly service at first glance, but fairly trivial when you think about it.

laserwulf:
There is no way I would ever buy a new copy of Shadowrun at $60; to me it will never be worth that price.

Sebenko:
I might be willing to pay for a game, but I'm not willing to pay the ludicrous prices for new games.

Most games go down in price over time. For example, you can already get Mass Effect 2 new for something like 18 pounds or thereabouts, same with Final Fantasy XIII and Alan Wake. So if you buy the game used instead of waiting until it drops in price, it is a lost sale. And this is exactly the same argument that the pirates use ("I can't afford/don't want to pay more than X for the game"), only the amount differs (pirates' is $0, while yours vary). Mind you, I'm not advocating against used sales, just trying to point out that it's much closer to piracy from a developer's viewpoint than from a consumer's.

laserwulf:
first-sale doctrine is a long-standing concept in modern society. [..] Other retail industries may not like the secondhand market, but they just have to deal with it.

The keyword here is "have to", which is slowly, but surely becoming less the case. The only reason that industries have (so far) accepted the second-hand market as inevitable is only because there was no way to enforce any "do not sell" rules. Digital distribution offers this option, and the result is predictable -- digital purchases are more or less entirely non-resellable. Not just games, also eBooks, videos, music, everything. They don't have to deal with it anymore, and so they don't. Instead, we have to deal with having no consumer's rights but what the producer decides to grant.

I like how someone said does any other industry treat their customers so badly. What I'm wondering is, is there any other consumers who are as whiny and greedy as gamers.
"B'awww I don't want to pay full price for this product."
"But you want all the functionality of the product?"
"Yep."

Just grow up. In this world you get what you pay for and if you're not willing to pay full price then you're not getting 100% of the content.

Glad I stick to single player, I rarely pre order and buy new, hell im still waiting for metro 2033 and splinter cell conviction to drop a bit lower, 15 for splinter cell pre owned isnt bad, neither is 12 metro, but waiting pays off im sure they can drop it that bit lower.
Alss this buy new stuff is crap, if they can give me a game and make it worth my money fine, but im not spending it on a game with low replay value and a short single player game.

Im so bloody sick of these greedy executives.

When a console game is released, it generates revenue almost all of the time. Unless its an uber flop, the companies will see, at the slightest, marginal returns. Keep in mind that marginal returns arent bad: on the scale of capital games companies make, a small percent return generates a large ammount of money.

That being said, with the focus switching to Triple A games most recently, which have gotten a lot of hype, pre-existing franchises generate a massive return for the company. I can see the appeal for businesses; but I dont get their need to fuck over their fanbase.

Heres the thing about fans: we dont like getting fucked over. We remember when a company does it. And while you will be able to force microtransactions from a few members who buy your games used, you will more then likely just piss off a fair share of indivuals who will find a company who DOESN'T do it.

Personally, its petty. Used Game Sales generate a lot of revenue because its cheap for the consumers. When you throw the fact that you have to download patches which require time, money, and hard-drive space just to go online, thats going to result in gamers (in a lot of cases) turning down the used game. The same applies for new games: gamers are lazy. We dont want to have to type in a code and download a patch EVERY TIME WE GET A NEW GAME. This idea isn't going to generate revenues for big publishers, its just gonna end up hurting used games sales in the long run.

Seriously, Triple A devs. Get over yourself. Your making record profits, your part of the "recession proof" part of the economy. Stop trying to milk for extra money when you corperate fat-cats already have enough $100 bills to fill a swimming pool with. You wonder why used games are so popular, when all you release is CoD/Halo/Gears Clones with 6 hour uninteresting campaigns for $60. How 'bout you take all your money and resources and put it towards, I dunno... Innovation. New IP. Fun ness.

Autofaux:

buy teh haloz:
Jesus Fucking Christ. Are you serious? I mean, is there any other industry besides the games industry that treats their fucking consumers like a pack of wild animals? Who gives a shit if we're buying games used? Not our fault games today are 60 dollars.

We have a right to choose how we spend our money, and in what way, and companies like EA and Sony are exacerbating problems. If we buy games used, that's our fucking problem, not theirs. When games like Call of Duty or Madden come out that costs 60 dollars with the same gameplay, we have a right to pick the option that costs us less money. That's why Project Ten Dollar and DLC in general, is a load of shit.

Why should we pay for a game when all what we are getting is a fraction of the actual game? It should work the opposite way. You have the full game and all the content, BUT if you get it new, you'll get this nice piece of DLC which will further expand your experience after you've completed the main game. And what about people who DON'T have their consoles connected to the internet? THEN what?

If their consoles aren't connected online, they have nothing to worry about. They can pay for their used title and get none of the benefits of the DLC, since they won't be able to use the online modes in any case. In any case, most strategies are aimed at those with a broadband internet connection, which is most people with a console.

And nobody is infringing on your goddamn rights. Sony, EA, Ubisoft and Microsoft all have rights too, and when you go and exercise your right to put your money wherever you want, they have the right to tell you to be without an online mode because server costs are too high when they get none of that fifty five dollars you spent for the title, used, at GameStop.

So you see, when you buy it used, and they get none of the money that you spent on that title, they are well within their rights to withhold content until you spend another ten dollars, or buy it new to begin with.

This project is a response to the used games market, not to punish gaming enthusiasts. You don't like it, buy it new. Buy new, or pay the extra ten dollars, but don't bitch when the circumstances you contributed towards turn into things like Project Ten Dollar.

Actually this project $10 shit is very borderline illegal and there are laws preventing ip and copyright owners from telling the customer who they can and can't sell. What the publishers have done is found a loop hole by artificlly devaluing the game they can make it less worth the effort to sell a game and just keep it in your closet getting dusty, so yea they are infringing on our rights (at least in the us) albeit they have found a way to do it within the bounds of the law. (Thank god our senators are going to step up and put an end to this when most of them are too worried about banning them /sarcasm). And here is a radical idea. If server costs of running an old game are too high lets do this. Let us run our own servers, I know, I know, it's difficult to imagine people running their own servers and the technology is way out there but I think someone somwhere can figure it out. Christ make players pay to play on your servers after a certain period of time but at least give us the option to run our own server w/o having to pay extra (for offloading your costs...) for dlc (yea multi-player is real dlc...).

Now Sony has got on board, with a huge company looking into it, only a matter of time till everyone does it now

Well, I'm glad I buy my games new then.

In other words, they're not happy people don't buy expensive new games brand new all the time, so they're going to punish us.

Pricks.

Mr. Mike:

Really, the way they're going about it is wrong. Reward, not punish.

That's what I've been saying. They should continue rewarding the new buyers with pre-order bonus dlc and other premiums instead of punishing those people who can't afford to buy new games - I used to be one of those people and I don't think something like this would've encouraged me to buy more new games, It would've encouraged me to just buy less games overall.

They also need to lower the prices. It's hard to take a chance on a game when it's $60.

...You know what? I'm going to go ahead and say that this might actually turn out to be a good thing for gamers.

Don't hate me right away for saying so, hear me out. If there's a ten-dollar online fee for used games, then nobody will buy the used games if they cost more than ten dollars less than a new copy. So the used games will have to be priced cheaper, so there's still a reason to buy used.

And then, you know those people that hate multiplayer anyway (Yahtzee, for example)? They win from this, especially. If they don't want the multiplayer aspect, fine, just buy it used and save a little more than $10 off the MSRP. No multiplayer, but if you didn't want to touch it, who gives? Big savings over time for the single-player-experiencers.

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