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.”