David Jaffe Doesn't Want Online Pass for Twisted Metal

David Jaffe Doesn't Want Online Pass for Twisted Metal

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David Jaffe would rather not use an online pass system in the upcoming Twisted Metal revival, but admits it's not his call.

"I'd actually prefer that we don't do it," he said, when asked about Sony's controversial use of online pass codes in an interview with Eurogamer. "Even though it's probably good business, only because we have such a mountain to climb in terms of gaining people's good faith, especially in Europe, and really letting people know that this is a title that's worth getting excited about."

The online pass system requires users to enter a one-time-only code to access a game's online features. Players who bought the game second hand, or aquired it by more nefarious means, have to pay a premium to acquire a new code. Many proponents of the system maintain it's vital for fighting piracy, and allowing publishers to profit from second hand sales. Detractors argue that it's an intrusive system that puts profit before user convenience. Jaffe reckons that getting as many people to try Twisted Metals multiplayer features, and making that experience as convenient as possible, is more important than worrying about lost sales.

"I'm okay with the fact that we might lose sales on this first game if, because of it, we generate a lot of fans that otherwise wouldn't have played the game," he said. "The online is so much the bread and butter of this game, so I'm okay with it because it means we're setting ourselves up for a possible return to the franchise one day."

"I know that we have been asked to look into some code work for it but I don't believe that a decision has been made at this point. Or if it has been made it has not been shared with me yet," he said. "It's not my call and I'd totally understand if Sony as a company said 'Look, this is a mandate that permeates all of our titles. We're not making selective choices'. Those are decisions that I'm no longer privy to as I don't work for Sony any more."

Twisted Metal's release was recently pushed back to February 2012, a decision Jaffe insist was not made to avoid the Novemeber games rush. Talking about the issue; he offered one of his characteristically candid observations of the industry:

"I'd wear that as a badge of honour. Anyone who is basically not living in that quadruple-A stratosphere would be wise to get the fuck out of the way of that oncoming train. The fact that we swim in waters where it's not done for a developer or a publisher to admit that your game isn't currently one of those juggernauts, that doesn't necessarily speak about the quality of Twisted Metal. It just speaks to the fact that we know where it sits in the zeitgeist and we know where it sits in terms of marketing dollars and the hype machine."

Truth.

Source: Eurogamer

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I was considering getting it after having destructive fun with the original two as a kid. I will definitely be getting it now. Treating me as an actual consumer and not just a bag of money goes a long way.

You'd be losing sales with an online pass anyway since by taking away trading in your game, you are devaluing your product. Making people less likely to buy it in the first place.

Supporting this line of thinking is the only way we as gamers actually have a chance to make a difference - buy Twisted Metal new if you plan on getting it, that way Jaffe can rub it in the faces of all of the DRM happy publishers out there.

Show them that THIS is how we want to be treated.

Grey Carter:

"I'd wear that as a badge of honour. Anyone who is basically not living in that quadruple-A stratosphere would be wise to get the fuck out of the way of that oncoming train. The fact that we swim in waters where it's not done for a developer or a publisher to admit that your game isn't currently one of those juggernauts, that doesn't necessarily speak about the quality of Twisted Metal. It just speaks to the fact that we know where it sits in the zeitgeist and we know where it sits in terms of marketing dollars and the hype machine."

Another arrogant troll developer running his mouth with trash talk to try and sell his game. I wonder why a 15 year old franchise like Twisted Metal lacks the "marketing dollars" and "hype machine" to be a part of the "zeitgeist" ? Maybe because they milked their brand into the dirt and weapon + driving games fell out of the mainstream a decade ago? Will they give you another chance after this one flops, Jaffe?

EverythingIncredible:
You'd be losing sales with an online pass anyway since by taking away trading in your game, you are devaluing your product. Making people less likely to buy it in the first place.

No current retailer does not accept the trade in of a used game with no online pass, so this is completely unfounded.

See, this is why David Jaffe is awesome. I hope he can successfully keep the online pass bullshit out of this game. I wonder if we can help. Does anyone know if that "share" thing Sony ran where you can submit ideas is still active? ...Oh who am I kidding, Sony never listened to the ideas on that thing anyway. It doesn't matter if it's still around or not.

OutrageousEmu:

EverythingIncredible:
You'd be losing sales with an online pass anyway since by taking away trading in your game, you are devaluing your product. Making people less likely to buy it in the first place.

No current retailer does not accept the trade in of a used game with no online pass, so this is completely unfounded.

But the used copies are worth less so they will pay less for it.

EverythingIncredible:

OutrageousEmu:

EverythingIncredible:
You'd be losing sales with an online pass anyway since by taking away trading in your game, you are devaluing your product. Making people less likely to buy it in the first place.

No current retailer does not accept the trade in of a used game with no online pass, so this is completely unfounded.

But the used copies are worth less so they will pay less for it.

Retailers have a standard payment on game, they don't do it on a case by case basis. This isn't antiques roadhsow, the policy is "trade in 3 games and get a new one for $10

OutrageousEmu:
Retailers have a standard payment on game, they don't do it on a case by case basis. This isn't antiques roadhsow, the policy is "trade in 3 games and get a new one for $10

That's not how it works where I am from. You trade in games, you get in store credit depending on the game traded.

More popular games or games in demand could get you up to 25$ while others could get you as little as 25 cents.

EverythingIncredible:

OutrageousEmu:
Retailers have a standard payment on game, they don't do it on a case by case basis. This isn't antiques roadhsow, the policy is "trade in 3 games and get a new one for $10

That's not how it works where I am from. You trade in games, you get in store credit depending on the game traded.

More popular games or games in demand could get you up to 25$ while others could get you as little as 25 cents.

That is how it works in my town too. The employees have a big book o' games that have a trade in value beside each one. New releases net a consumer 25$-30$, everything else is individually decided. Example: I just traded in Skyrim at GameStop today and got 32.60$ out of it.

RedEyesBlackGamer:

EverythingIncredible:

OutrageousEmu:
Retailers have a standard payment on game, they don't do it on a case by case basis. This isn't antiques roadhsow, the policy is "trade in 3 games and get a new one for $10

That's not how it works where I am from. You trade in games, you get in store credit depending on the game traded.

More popular games or games in demand could get you up to 25$ while others could get you as little as 25 cents.

That is how it works in my town too. The employees have a big book o' games that have a trade in value beside each one. New releases net a consumer 25$-30$, everything else is individually decided. Example: I just traded in Skyrim at GameStop today and got 32.60$ out of it.

And do you have any evidence (you know, actual evidence) of athem paying less for a game with online passes?

OutrageousEmu:

RedEyesBlackGamer:

EverythingIncredible:

That's not how it works where I am from. You trade in games, you get in store credit depending on the game traded.

More popular games or games in demand could get you up to 25$ while others could get you as little as 25 cents.

That is how it works in my town too. The employees have a big book o' games that have a trade in value beside each one. New releases net a consumer 25$-30$, everything else is individually decided. Example: I just traded in Skyrim at GameStop today and got 32.60$ out of it.

And do you have any evidence (you know, actual evidence) of athem paying less for a game with online passes?

I never buy games with online passes, so I have no experience with trading them in.

mjc0961:
See, this is why David Jaffe is awesome. I hope he can successfully keep the online pass bullshit out of this game. I wonder if we can help. Does anyone know if that "share" thing Sony ran where you can submit ideas is still active? ...Oh who am I kidding, Sony never listened to the ideas on that thing anyway. It doesn't matter if it's still around or not.

Thats where they got the idea for the HD collections, and most of the Vita's stuff.

Let them sell the games for $/€10 less and let /everyone/ buy the online pass in the store. No more bloody codes in the box and people that don't care about multiplayer are better off to boot.

Well after all the depressing news EA has been generating, its nice to see that there are still some people in this industry who give a rat's ass about their consumers.

The Twisted Metal series is still going?

Nostalgia bomb!

That was one of the first games I ever played when gaming became a choice for me and not something my grandmother made me do to keep me out of her hair...

I heard about Walden Books making people pay $15 to read the last 3 chapters of any of their books if they were bought used.

Oh wait...

EverythingIncredible:
You'd be losing sales with an online pass anyway since by taking away trading in your game, you are devaluing your product. Making people less likely to buy it in the first place.

I suspect, given the huge amounts of sales by some games with online passes, that you are talking about such a tiny section of the market that it really wouldn't matter, or come close to the amount of money they lose through providing servers/people buying second hand.

I don't have conclusive evidence for that, but equally I don't know of any game that comes with an online pass that has had any significant drop in expected sales

BrotherRool:

EverythingIncredible:
You'd be losing sales with an online pass anyway since by taking away trading in your game, you are devaluing your product. Making people less likely to buy it in the first place.

I suspect, given the huge amounts of sales by some games with online passes, that you are talking about such a tiny section of the market that it really wouldn't matter, or come close to the amount of money they lose through providing servers/people buying second hand.

I don't have conclusive evidence for that, but equally I don't know of any game that comes with an online pass that has had any significant drop in expected sales

They don't lose any money through providing servers to people buying second hand. Those people are just taking the server space the original owner was taking. It's not like the original owner can go back online with it after they sell it can they?

At this point I don't buy games with online pass anymore because I used to often buy used and I find it kind of insulting.

And it's not so much about a sudden drop in sales. Like Jaffe says, it's about expanding your consumer base. If the best part of Twisted Metal is locked people are less likely to play it and less people will want to get the next title at launch. Also, I'm betting that one of the reasons that Battlefield 3 hasn't done as well as MW3 is because when someone rents or borrows it they can only play the lame campaign.

It is weird, the way the industry has been acting, it's like they're trying to stunt the consumer base for these big budget titles.

isometry:

Grey Carter:

"I'd wear that as a badge of honour. Anyone who is basically not living in that quadruple-A stratosphere would be wise to get the fuck out of the way of that oncoming train. The fact that we swim in waters where it's not done for a developer or a publisher to admit that your game isn't currently one of those juggernauts, that doesn't necessarily speak about the quality of Twisted Metal. It just speaks to the fact that we know where it sits in the zeitgeist and we know where it sits in terms of marketing dollars and the hype machine."

Another arrogant troll developer running his mouth with trash talk to try and sell his game. I wonder why a 15 year old franchise like Twisted Metal lacks the "marketing dollars" and "hype machine" to be a part of the "zeitgeist" ? Maybe because they milked their brand into the dirt and weapon + driving games fell out of the mainstream a decade ago? Will they give you another chance after this one flops, Jaffe?

Erm... what? The guy is simply being honest. Twisted Metal as an IP simply can't compare to the likes of Modern Warfare or Battlefield, and Jaffe's admitting that. Reading his comments as some sort of uber-aggressive trolling says more about you, I think, than it does about Jaffe.

GonzoGamer:

BrotherRool:

I suspect, given the huge amounts of sales by some games with online passes, that you are talking about such a tiny section of the market that it really wouldn't matter, or come close to the amount of money they lose through providing servers/people buying second hand.

I don't have conclusive evidence for that, but equally I don't know of any game that comes with an online pass that has had any significant drop in expected sales

They don't lose any money through providing servers to people buying second hand. Those people are just taking the server space the original owner was taking. It's not like the original owner can go back online with it after they sell it can they?

At this point I don't buy games with online pass anymore because I used to often buy used and I find it kind of insulting.

And it's not so much about a sudden drop in sales. Like Jaffe says, it's about expanding your consumer base. If the best part of Twisted Metal is locked people are less likely to play it and less people will want to get the next title at launch. Also, I'm betting that one of the reasons that Battlefield 3 hasn't done as well as MW3 is because when someone rents or borrows it they can only play the lame campaign.

It is weird, the way the industry has been acting, it's like they're trying to stunt the consumer base for these big budget titles.

If you'll forgive me, I'll start with a nitpick and then we can move on to a proper discussion, because you've got a cool opinion and I'd like to hear more about it.

My nitpick is that your assumption about server space is based on the incorrect assumption that server use is constant over time. But that's something that's simply not true, even really good multiplayer has a limited attention life in the heads of most gamers. Even games with exceptional multiplayer, like CoD or Starcraft have a _huge_ drop-off as players get bored and stop playing. No-one when calculating the server costs of multiplayer into their budget works on the basis that they are going to play forever and if they're budgeting correctly and being financially sensible, then they've probably got a pretty good idea of exactly how long the average player plays for. When you're dealing with millions of pounds you'd be a fool not to work the statistical model for every detail.

Selling a game on, basically doubles that number. Assuming the game only ever gets sold on once. So instead of 'buying their server space' you are essentially doubling the costs of multiplayer for them. The point a person sells on a game is the point they've lost interest in it and have moved on to something new, so essentially if the developer isn't an idiot, that is exactly the amount of server life they're working off.

But anyway, that's just a boring fact, whilst I hope you'll see this as the truth I'm sure that wasn't the only reason you disliked the online pass and whilst that wasn't a good reason, I'm sure the others are. But if it's okay with you I'm not particularly interested in talking about it. It's much easier to feel passionate about something that affects you than something which affects other people and I probably wouldn't be able to match you if i tried to stick up for generic 'developers and publishers.' To be honest I never tried to buy used games even before online passes because Game is a pretty bad company that actively trys to make money out of non-gamers confusion and the idea of paying them and not the people who made a game I love guilted me a bit. Online passes even benefit me because I don't really play online too much and certainly not when a game is old and a lot of the community is dead so this is just driving down the prices of used games for me (when a game is old enough that they aren't really selling it new anymore I feel a lot less guilty about buying used.)

What;s more interesting is how you say it affects how you buy a game. I don't think we really have many case studies at the moment (Battlefield isn't a good one because it saw a huge improvement over Battlefield 2 and it's lack of sales compared to CoD were a)inevitable and b) already apparent on day one so the chances are it wasn't because people on day 1 had bought a used version and were only playing the single player)

So you said you probably won't buy games with online passes? That's already pretty cool because I assumed it was very rare but there are already two people in the thread who;ve eexpressed the opinion, so it must be more common than I thought. So lets go into this more, can you give me an example of a game that you were interested in and didn't buy because it had an online pass. How likely were you to buy it if it didn't have one? So in comparison to the game, how strong is the detraction of an online pass to you?

PS I just re-read your post and I realise that you might find what I said about buying used games insulting. I'm sorry and I don't mean it like that. It's just honestly how I feel, I'm quite insecure and feel guilty about lots of things quite easily. Please, please disagree with me and disregard my opinion rather than take it as an insult. It's probably just a place where we both see differently and are unlikely to become eye-to-eye on. You can provide me with a perfectly rational argument pro-used games (hypothetically :D) and it probably wouldn't stop me from feeling guilty I'm afraid

OutrageousEmu:

EverythingIncredible:

OutrageousEmu:
No current retailer does not accept the trade in of a used game with no online pass, so this is completely unfounded.

But the used copies are worth less so they will pay less for it.

Retailers have a standard payment on game, they don't do it on a case by case basis. This isn't antiques roadhsow, the policy is "trade in 3 games and get a new one for $10

Not true. Every store I've ever been to prices your games individually.

BrotherRool:

GonzoGamer:

BrotherRool:

I suspect, given the huge amounts of sales by some games with online passes, that you are talking about such a tiny section of the market that it really wouldn't matter, or come close to the amount of money they lose through providing servers/people buying second hand.

I don't have conclusive evidence for that, but equally I don't know of any game that comes with an online pass that has had any significant drop in expected sales

They don't lose any money through providing servers to people buying second hand. Those people are just taking the server space the original owner was taking. It's not like the original owner can go back online with it after they sell it can they?

At this point I don't buy games with online pass anymore because I used to often buy used and I find it kind of insulting.

And it's not so much about a sudden drop in sales. Like Jaffe says, it's about expanding your consumer base. If the best part of Twisted Metal is locked people are less likely to play it and less people will want to get the next title at launch. Also, I'm betting that one of the reasons that Battlefield 3 hasn't done as well as MW3 is because when someone rents or borrows it they can only play the lame campaign.

It is weird, the way the industry has been acting, it's like they're trying to stunt the consumer base for these big budget titles.

If you'll forgive me, I'll start with a nitpick and then we can move on to a proper discussion, because you've got a cool opinion and I'd like to hear more about it.

My nitpick is that your assumption about server space is based on the incorrect assumption that server use is constant over time. But that's something that's simply not true, even really good multiplayer has a limited attention life in the heads of most gamers. Even games with exceptional multiplayer, like CoD or Starcraft have a _huge_ drop-off as players get bored and stop playing. No-one when calculating the server costs of multiplayer into their budget works on the basis that they are going to play forever and if they're budgeting correctly and being financially sensible, then they've probably got a pretty good idea of exactly how long the average player plays for. When you're dealing with millions of pounds you'd be a fool not to work the statistical model for every detail.

Selling a game on, basically doubles that number. Assuming the game only ever gets sold on once. So instead of 'buying their server space' you are essentially doubling the costs of multiplayer for them. The point a person sells on a game is the point they've lost interest in it and have moved on to something new, so essentially if the developer isn't an idiot, that is exactly the amount of server life they're working off.

But anyway, that's just a boring fact, whilst I hope you'll see this as the truth I'm sure that wasn't the only reason you disliked the online pass and whilst that wasn't a good reason, I'm sure the others are. But if it's okay with you I'm not particularly interested in talking about it. It's much easier to feel passionate about something that affects you than something which affects other people and I probably wouldn't be able to match you if i tried to stick up for generic 'developers and publishers.' To be honest I never tried to buy used games even before online passes because Game is a pretty bad company that actively trys to make money out of non-gamers confusion and the idea of paying them and not the people who made a game I love guilted me a bit. Online passes even benefit me because I don't really play online too much and certainly not when a game is old and a lot of the community is dead so this is just driving down the prices of used games for me (when a game is old enough that they aren't really selling it new anymore I feel a lot less guilty about buying used.)

What;s more interesting is how you say it affects how you buy a game. I don't think we really have many case studies at the moment (Battlefield isn't a good one because it saw a huge improvement over Battlefield 2 and it's lack of sales compared to CoD were a)inevitable and b) already apparent on day one so the chances are it wasn't because people on day 1 had bought a used version and were only playing the single player)

So you said you probably won't buy games with online passes? That's already pretty cool because I assumed it was very rare but there are already two people in the thread who;ve eexpressed the opinion, so it must be more common than I thought. So lets go into this more, can you give me an example of a game that you were interested in and didn't buy because it had an online pass. How likely were you to buy it if it didn't have one? So in comparison to the game, how strong is the detraction of an online pass to you?

PS I just re-read your post and I realise that you might find what I said about buying used games insulting. I'm sorry and I don't mean it like that. It's just honestly how I feel, I'm quite insecure and feel guilty about lots of things quite easily. Please, please disagree with me and disregard my opinion rather than take it as an insult. It's probably just a place where we both see differently and are unlikely to become eye-to-eye on. You can provide me with a perfectly rational argument pro-used games (hypothetically :D) and it probably wouldn't stop me from feeling guilty I'm afraid

Not at all. When I bought used games it was before gamestop had it's near monopoly and gouged the prices to near new while limiting the availability of new copies. So I dig what you're saying in that regard. But it looks like you can still find some good deals online.

About your nitpic though: if the devs are confident in their game (and I would hope that would be the case with anything that's $60),they should be prepared for it to be played online for a good long while. So they should be prepared for there to be one player for each copy sold no matter how old it is. I still play Warhawk sometimes.

The most recent game I decided against because of the online pass was Space Marine and as a Dawn of War(another old game I still play online) fan, I was actually really looking forward to it. I still rented it but yes that was pretty much the only factor that stopped me from picking it up. I don't expect everyone (or anyone for that matter) to follow my example, hell, I bet most gamers don't even know why the games they've been getting have the online downloaded separately; I just know that if I still bought used, it would piss me off.

But even if you look at it from a completely logical perspective: if the most interesting part of the game (the part that makes you want to keep it) is the online multiplayer, why wouldn't you want renters and borrowers to try it and be more inclined to want to buy the game? And why not used buyers for that matter? They might like it so much they might get the next one at launch or get a new copy as a gift from somebody. I think that's Jaffe's point and I hope Sony gets it. I want to buy Starhawk too.

GonzoGamer:

Not at all. When I bought used games it was before gamestop had it's near monopoly and gouged the prices to near new while limiting the availability of new copies. So I dig what you're saying in that regard. But it looks like you can still find some good deals online.

About your nitpic though: if the devs are confident in their game (and I would hope that would be the case with anything that's $60),they should be prepared for it to be played online for a good long while. So they should be prepared for there to be one player for each copy sold no matter how old it is. I still play Warhawk sometimes.

The most recent game I decided against because of the online pass was Space Marine and as a Dawn of War(another old game I still play online) fan, I was actually really looking forward to it. I still rented it but yes that was pretty much the only factor that stopped me from picking it up. I don't expect everyone (or anyone for that matter) to follow my example, hell, I bet most gamers don't even know why the games they've been getting have the online downloaded separately; I just know that if I still bought used, it would piss me off.

But even if you look at it from a completely logical perspective: if the most interesting part of the game (the part that makes you want to keep it) is the online multiplayer, why wouldn't you want renters and borrowers to try it and be more inclined to want to buy the game? And why not used buyers for that matter? They might like it so much they might get the next one at launch or get a new copy as a gift from somebody. I think that's Jaffe's point and I hope Sony gets it. I want to buy Starhawk too.

This has been really interesting, thanks for the conversation!

To finish with the nitpick, I was looking at it more as a rate. So whilst you'll still check out Warhawk every now and then lots of people have lost interest and you don't play it with anywhere near the same intensity that you used to. Whereas a new player will player with beginners intensity.

You've completely convinced me on the last bit though, if multiplayer is the big sell of your game, then if you plan sequels, you want word of mouth to be good and focussed on the multiplayer, so it's stupid to drive people off.

What I see of that though is that it does depend on the focus of multiplayer, the push before launch and how established the branch is. Online pass works perfectly with something like Uncharted because you want the focus to be on the incredible single-player but the online is an optional extra that's good enough for someone to pay for and something they don't really want to factor in to their initial budget. With Uncharted the quality of the game doesn't go down over time or if the games used so it can feel a bit hard to be paying for people who haven't given you anything and have hardly had diminished quality.

But multiplayer games do get worse overtime because the community becomes more experienced and shrinnks. If multiplayer is the game focus you want people playing it and equally the multiplayer drives them to buy the game new instead of used (the big nasty exception here is week one used games which are frankly terrible in all regards).

But if the game is big and established or has a big marketing push, the online pass is only going to affect a small minority and won't tarnish the games reputation. Battlefield 3 will receive some knocks from the stragglers but it won't really matter because what people felt about it was established in the first week of it's release. Everyone has enough friends that will persuade them into buying 4.

But a game that's looking to make or renew an IP needs everything it can get. It even has the bonus of increasing the games reputation by not including it.

So yeah, I think online passes are okay and should be used. But it shouldn't be a standard thing, instead they should look at every game and evaluate it on it's merits. Unfortunately that probably won't happen because the publishers want to make it seem normal first :(

BrotherRool:

GonzoGamer:

Not at all. When I bought used games it was before gamestop had it's near monopoly and gouged the prices to near new while limiting the availability of new copies. So I dig what you're saying in that regard. But it looks like you can still find some good deals online.

About your nitpic though: if the devs are confident in their game (and I would hope that would be the case with anything that's $60),they should be prepared for it to be played online for a good long while. So they should be prepared for there to be one player for each copy sold no matter how old it is. I still play Warhawk sometimes.

The most recent game I decided against because of the online pass was Space Marine and as a Dawn of War(another old game I still play online) fan, I was actually really looking forward to it. I still rented it but yes that was pretty much the only factor that stopped me from picking it up. I don't expect everyone (or anyone for that matter) to follow my example, hell, I bet most gamers don't even know why the games they've been getting have the online downloaded separately; I just know that if I still bought used, it would piss me off.

But even if you look at it from a completely logical perspective: if the most interesting part of the game (the part that makes you want to keep it) is the online multiplayer, why wouldn't you want renters and borrowers to try it and be more inclined to want to buy the game? And why not used buyers for that matter? They might like it so much they might get the next one at launch or get a new copy as a gift from somebody. I think that's Jaffe's point and I hope Sony gets it. I want to buy Starhawk too.

This has been really interesting, thanks for the conversation!

To finish with the nitpick, I was looking at it more as a rate. So whilst you'll still check out Warhawk every now and then lots of people have lost interest and you don't play it with anywhere near the same intensity that you used to. Whereas a new player will player with beginners intensity.

You've completely convinced me on the last bit though, if multiplayer is the big sell of your game, then if you plan sequels, you want word of mouth to be good and focussed on the multiplayer, so it's stupid to drive people off.

What I see of that though is that it does depend on the focus of multiplayer, the push before launch and how established the branch is. Online pass works perfectly with something like Uncharted because you want the focus to be on the incredible single-player but the online is an optional extra that's good enough for someone to pay for and something they don't really want to factor in to their initial budget. With Uncharted the quality of the game doesn't go down over time or if the games used so it can feel a bit hard to be paying for people who haven't given you anything and have hardly had diminished quality.

But multiplayer games do get worse overtime because the community becomes more experienced and shrinnks. If multiplayer is the game focus you want people playing it and equally the multiplayer drives them to buy the game new instead of used (the big nasty exception here is week one used games which are frankly terrible in all regards).

But if the game is big and established or has a big marketing push, the online pass is only going to affect a small minority and won't tarnish the games reputation. Battlefield 3 will receive some knocks from the stragglers but it won't really matter because what people felt about it was established in the first week of it's release. Everyone has enough friends that will persuade them into buying 4.

But a game that's looking to make or renew an IP needs everything it can get. It even has the bonus of increasing the games reputation by not including it.

So yeah, I think online passes are okay and should be used. But it shouldn't be a standard thing, instead they should look at every game and evaluate it on it's merits. Unfortunately that probably won't happen because the publishers want to make it seem normal first :(

And that's what scares me. Once this becomes normal, what are they going to add onto it.

It's only logical because Online Passes are just the annoying older brother to pre-order bonuses which I thought were pretty cool when you were given swag or a little dlc item for pre-ordering; it became less cool when they started making gameplay content part of the pre-order "bonus" like with LA Noir.
The thing is that if they see that the remaining gamers are so accepting of these added charges and schemes, they're going to try more intrusive and expensive ones. And considering the too accepting mentality of most gamers, I don' see this stopping in a good place.

You touched on another good point though. The multiplayer in any game isn't as good an experience for a used purchaser anyway as they have to contend people who have leveled up and learned the maps. If that's not discouragement enough for the used gamer, the publisher should just wish them well and hope they want to get the next one at launch.
And regardless of how much I play Warhawk now, they should be prepared that I might want to play at any moment and I may want to play all day too...hell, all weekend. They should be prepared (and I'm not saying they have to be but they should) just in case every person who owns Warhawk decides to play it at the exact same time because eventually (odds are it wouldn't happen often but it's a statistical inevitability... if the industry survives long enough) that's going to happen.

Glad I've given you a chancce to look at this from a different perspective.

GonzoGamer:

And regardless of how much I play Warhawk now, they should be prepared that I might want to play at any moment and I may want to play all day too...hell, all weekend. They should be prepared (and I'm not saying they have to be but they should) just in case every person who owns Warhawk decides to play it at the exact same time because eventually (odds are it wouldn't happen often but it's a statistical inevitability... if the industry survives long enough) that's going to happen.

Glad I've given you a chancce to look at this from a different perspective.

Ah well as studying statistics ish I look at something like this as being very very predictable. I guess server costs mainly rise if it's sustained, if by fluke everyone logs on on the same day your probably just going to have bad service no matter how prepared they are. It'd probably happen even with something like WoW. But tens of thousands of people all breaking the trend and having sustained play at the same time? You'll win the lottery first.

If you imagine your game time like a roller-coaster, you'll have a big peak at the start followed by ever decreasing smaller peaks. I imagine a game company can look at the average user and calculate how much time they're going to be using online, including all those smaller peaks, they couldn't predict when they are but they could make a pretty good guess at the sum total. However you look at it switching persons is going to add on a whole nother roller-coasters worth of time

I really enjoyed this game as a kid. I am really glad at least one person in the industry is against this crap.

BrotherRool:

Ah well as studying statistics ish I look at something like this as being very very predictable. I guess server costs mainly rise if it's sustained, if by fluke everyone logs on on the same day your probably just going to have bad service no matter how prepared they are. It'd probably happen even with something like WoW. But tens of thousands of people all breaking the trend and having sustained play at the same time? You'll win the lottery first.

If you imagine your game time like a roller-coaster, you'll have a big peak at the start followed by ever decreasing smaller peaks. I imagine a game company can look at the average user and calculate how much time they're going to be using online, including all those smaller peaks, they couldn't predict when they are but they could make a pretty good guess at the sum total. However you look at it switching persons is going to add on a whole nother roller-coasters worth of time

You're right, but you can probably assume that if the original player is trading it in, they probably didn't like/play the multiplayer a hell of a lot. And even if they did, an individual's use of server space (even for the life of the game) can't possibly cost more than $5 (equipment share AND electricity) for the life of the game: it's not like OnLive or anything where we're playing the entire game off their servers. The whole $10 standard isn't just for covering costs. It's to make up for the smaller base amount of users (due to the decreased popularity of big budget consoles this gen) and for the continued used pushing practices of gamestop and retailers like that; two things that consumers shouldn't really be blamed for.

iron codpiece:
I really enjoyed this game as a kid. I am really glad at least one person in the industry is against this crap.

That's what I dig about this article: it's nice to see devs coming out against the practice.
I can't imagine it's a good feeling to see your creation sliced to pieces so the publisher's board of directors can pad their pockets a little more. I think people would actually be more accepting of the charge if it went to the people who worked long hard hours at crappy wages trying to make the game rather than the pricks in suits who come up with ideas like online pass. I think if that was the case, I might occasionally buy a game with online pass...maybe.

GonzoGamer:

BrotherRool:

Ah well as studying statistics ish I look at something like this as being very very predictable. I guess server costs mainly rise if it's sustained, if by fluke everyone logs on on the same day your probably just going to have bad service no matter how prepared they are. It'd probably happen even with something like WoW. But tens of thousands of people all breaking the trend and having sustained play at the same time? You'll win the lottery first.

If you imagine your game time like a roller-coaster, you'll have a big peak at the start followed by ever decreasing smaller peaks. I imagine a game company can look at the average user and calculate how much time they're going to be using online, including all those smaller peaks, they couldn't predict when they are but they could make a pretty good guess at the sum total. However you look at it switching persons is going to add on a whole nother roller-coasters worth of time

You're right, but you can probably assume that if the original player is trading it in, they probably didn't like/play the multiplayer a hell of a lot. And even if they did, an individual's use of server space (even for the life of the game) can't possibly cost more than $5 (equipment share AND electricity) for the life of the game: it's not like OnLive or anything where we're playing the entire game off their servers. The whole $10 standard isn't just for covering costs. It's to make up for the smaller base amount of users (due to the decreased popularity of big budget consoles this gen) and for the continued used pushing practices of gamestop and retailers like that; two things that consumers shouldn't really be blamed for.

It depends on the age of the game. However the thing about servers isn't running them, but maintaining them. You've got to pay for the space for the servers, the people to make sure the servers work, the support team etc even if the company owns that stuff, if it's being used for one game it prevents it being used for another. The costs are high enough (i don't have a clue what they are) that EA, before this online pass business was in the habit of shutting the multiplayer for their games down entirely often only a year after release because they couldn't afford to run them. An online pass that's only paid by people who want to use multiplayer some time after launch is preferrable to people who bought the game at launch not being able to play it when they choose.

And whilst I totally agree that a big problem is Gamestop really really pushing used games often of games that have only been out for a day because they make more money from used games because they don't have to pay the people who made them anything when they sell used, if we're responsible people we try to see the consequences of our purchases.

I find that if you stop seeing online passes as a way to halt used games, but instead a way that used games can fit into the dev. economy properly it looks a lot nicer. It might not be true but we can treat it as true. You said you felt insulted by the constant driving to cease used games, well look at this as a way to embrace used games and know that you can buy used without even a twinge of conscience. If people act sensibly the affect of this in the long run is that the price of used games will come down a bit, and yeah people will receive a bit less for used games too but the price has to be kept reasonably high if they want people to bother selling a game. A game has value to people and if they aren't paid enough for it, they'll keep it. So the devs get money, we get cheaper games, multiplayer servers don't shut down, there's incentive to devs to continually support and update their multiplayer. The only real losers from that direction are Gamestop and they'll still turn a profit.

I do agree it's still not appropriate for some games and I would be worried about where it would lead to when it's established, but the truth is it's only a short term problem. Every year real sales are going down and DD is sky-rocketing. More and more devices are getting customers used to the idea of buying without a physical thing. Smartphones are breaking those barriers and in 15 years it will all be DD with new business models where prices actually fall over time and you can buy a game new years after it came out for a fraction of the cost. And then both online passes and used games in general just won't really exist. 15 years down the line maybe? It's hard to tell, Blockbuster went bust a lot sooner than might have been thought with the idea of physical rentals

BrotherRool:

GonzoGamer:

BrotherRool:

Ah well as studying statistics ish I look at something like this as being very very predictable. I guess server costs mainly rise if it's sustained, if by fluke everyone logs on on the same day your probably just going to have bad service no matter how prepared they are. It'd probably happen even with something like WoW. But tens of thousands of people all breaking the trend and having sustained play at the same time? You'll win the lottery first.

If you imagine your game time like a roller-coaster, you'll have a big peak at the start followed by ever decreasing smaller peaks. I imagine a game company can look at the average user and calculate how much time they're going to be using online, including all those smaller peaks, they couldn't predict when they are but they could make a pretty good guess at the sum total. However you look at it switching persons is going to add on a whole nother roller-coasters worth of time

You're right, but you can probably assume that if the original player is trading it in, they probably didn't like/play the multiplayer a hell of a lot. And even if they did, an individual's use of server space (even for the life of the game) can't possibly cost more than $5 (equipment share AND electricity) for the life of the game: it's not like OnLive or anything where we're playing the entire game off their servers. The whole $10 standard isn't just for covering costs. It's to make up for the smaller base amount of users (due to the decreased popularity of big budget consoles this gen) and for the continued used pushing practices of gamestop and retailers like that; two things that consumers shouldn't really be blamed for.

It depends on the age of the game. However the thing about servers isn't running them, but maintaining them. You've got to pay for the space for the servers, the people to make sure the servers work, the support team etc even if the company owns that stuff, if it's being used for one game it prevents it being used for another. The costs are high enough (i don't have a clue what they are) that EA, before this online pass business was in the habit of shutting the multiplayer for their games down entirely often only a year after release because they couldn't afford to run them. An online pass that's only paid by people who want to use multiplayer some time after launch is preferrable to people who bought the game at launch not being able to play it when they choose.

And whilst I totally agree that a big problem is Gamestop really really pushing used games often of games that have only been out for a day because they make more money from used games because they don't have to pay the people who made them anything when they sell used, if we're responsible people we try to see the consequences of our purchases.

I find that if you stop seeing online passes as a way to halt used games, but instead a way that used games can fit into the dev. economy properly it looks a lot nicer. It might not be true but we can treat it as true. You said you felt insulted by the constant driving to cease used games, well look at this as a way to embrace used games and know that you can buy used without even a twinge of conscience. If people act sensibly the affect of this in the long run is that the price of used games will come down a bit, and yeah people will receive a bit less for used games too but the price has to be kept reasonably high if they want people to bother selling a game. A game has value to people and if they aren't paid enough for it, they'll keep it. So the devs get money, we get cheaper games, multiplayer servers don't shut down, there's incentive to devs to continually support and update their multiplayer. The only real losers from that direction are Gamestop and they'll still turn a profit.

I do agree it's still not appropriate for some games and I would be worried about where it would lead to when it's established, but the truth is it's only a short term problem. Every year real sales are going down and DD is sky-rocketing. More and more devices are getting customers used to the idea of buying without a physical thing. Smartphones are breaking those barriers and in 15 years it will all be DD with new business models where prices actually fall over time and you can buy a game new years after it came out for a fraction of the cost. And then both online passes and used games in general just won't really exist. 15 years down the line maybe? It's hard to tell, Blockbuster went bust a lot sooner than might have been thought with the idea of physical rentals

But we have to be careful. We can see what happens when a retailer has a near monopoly with gamestop. I think that if everything was sold off Steam, we wouldn't see as good prices as we do now.
But at least the consumer wont be double screwed as they are now: with the retailer not making new copies available and the publisher making them pay for that.
I also think that if the devs want used sales to fit into their economy they should set up their own trade in program. Even if they undercut gamestop they would still make bigger profits in the long run and they would have better control over the used market. And with better prices they would more likely broaden their base. Sony could've really cleaned up with a program like that and they wouldn't need a pass code in every box.
I understand about the cooling, energy, and maintenance of servers but I think you overestimate how much that costs. Really the tax a used player has on the server is more dependent on how well the game sold in the first place. Unless the game was really wildly unpopular(like 10x the disappointment of DNF), the used purchaser isn't even going to cost them $5. Either way, they're going to run and maintain those servers for that game until they want to use that space for something else. Even games with online pass are going to shut down if nobody wanted to play it online.
I'm not insulted by the driving to cease used sales. I'm insulted by the industry trying to charge the consumer for it's own inadequacies in making sure retailers have new stock available (let's not forget, used sales weren't complained about when they were cheap impulse buys and gamestop wasn't emplying their "did you pre-order?" policy)as well as expanding the demand for these big budget games.
I'm not sure but I think Jaffe is insulted by the publisher deciding to slice off game modes and making borrowers, renters, and used buyers pay $10 for it, which they probably wont. I think he just wants everyone to be able to play the online multiplayer and get back into Twisted Metal while making some new fans too. That's a notion I can get behind.

GonzoGamer:

But we have to be careful. We can see what happens when a retailer has a near monopoly with gamestop. I think that if everything was sold off Steam, we wouldn't see as good prices as we do now.
But at least the consumer wont be double screwed as they are now: with the retailer not making new copies available and the publisher making them pay for that.
I also think that if the devs want used sales to fit into their economy they should set up their own trade in program. Even if they undercut gamestop they would still make bigger profits in the long run and they would have better control over the used market. And with better prices they would more likely broaden their base. Sony could've really cleaned up with a program like that and they wouldn't need a pass code in every box.
I understand about the cooling, energy, and maintenance of servers but I think you overestimate how much that costs. Really the tax a used player has on the server is more dependent on how well the game sold in the first place. Unless the game was really wildly unpopular(like 10x the disappointment of DNF), the used purchaser isn't even going to cost them $5. Either way, they're going to run and maintain those servers for that game until they want to use that space for something else. Even games with online pass are going to shut down if nobody wanted to play it online.
I'm not insulted by the driving to cease used sales. I'm insulted by the industry trying to charge the consumer for it's own inadequacies in making sure retailers have new stock available (let's not forget, used sales weren't complained about when they were cheap impulse buys and gamestop wasn't emplying their "did you pre-order?" policy)as well as expanding the demand for these big budget games.
I'm not sure but I think Jaffe is insulted by the publisher deciding to slice off game modes and making borrowers, renters, and used buyers pay $10 for it, which they probably wont. I think he just wants everyone to be able to play the online multiplayer and get back into Twisted Metal while making some new fans too. That's a notion I can get behind.

Well I'm running out of things to say at last you'll be glad to hear :D but I have a notion that shops generally wouldn't stock new games past their shelf life, because the profit margins would be very low compared to the space they take up. Even a used section of a big Game has only a tiny fraction of the games that publishers would want to sell and often one copy of each at that.

You're right to be careful of a Steam-opoly I'm hoping it won't happen if nothing else because there's always Xbox Live and the PSN but I still cheer every attempt to create a steam rival. Luckily I think DD companies can survive even if they only have a fraction of market share

But i actually think a monopoly is more relevant to new games than old, because in all honesty Steam basically has a monopoly and it probably only makes up a fraction of the reason for their sales. The big reason is sales make money. Because you're not selling a physical product there's a price where every stage above it is profit and the problem is less convincing a customer the price is right, but that they want the game in the first place. There's no marketing for old games, no drive to go out and buy them now, but a sale creates that drive. Even more Valve released some of their research and sales actually improve sales(:D) even after the prices return. And they dont seem to cut into profits elsewhere or even be diverted. They just make more people want the game _now_ than before. Even with the monopoly it's still a good thing.

Incidentally a big problem will come with the PSN and Live with the new games. Because when DD is rooted, competition can't physically exist. It might be the next stage of the console wars, less about the console, less about the games because those are both pretty equal now, but the prices and the running of the online stores

 

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