Sony Exploring Online Pass Response To Used Games

Tom Goldman

Crying on the inside.
Aug 17, 2009
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Sony Exploring Online Pass Response To Used Games



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 Madden [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/102843-InstantAction-CEO-Retailers-Are-Parasites-and-Thieves]) 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 online co-op Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One [http://www.amazon.com/MLB-10-Show-Playstation-3/dp/B003171CEW/ref=sr_1_1?s=videogames&ie=UTF8&qid=1282629908&sr=1-1]. 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 [http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2010-08-23-sony-s-andrew-house-interview?page=2]

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Kazedarkwind

Inner Working Reviewer
Nov 18, 2009
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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!
 

Mr. Mike

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Mar 24, 2010
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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.
 

blalien

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Jul 3, 2009
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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.
 

thenamelessloser

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Jan 15, 2010
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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.
 

Modus Operandi

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Mar 11, 2010
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Mr. Mike said:
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.
 

Andronicus

Terror Australis
Mar 25, 2009
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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.
 

thedeathscythe

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Aug 6, 2010
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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.
 

Shycte

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Mar 10, 2009
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Seeing how Microsofts online players already pay to play online, doing this would be just dickish.
 

molesgallus

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Sep 24, 2008
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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.
 

Sixties Spidey

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Jan 24, 2008
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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?
 

Bloodeye

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Aug 25, 2009
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Not surprised Sony is looking at doing this. I'll get concerned when Nintendo starts.
 

laserwulf

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Dec 30, 2007
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Modus Operandi said:
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.
 

The Lunatic

Princess
Jun 3, 2010
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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.
 

ultrachicken

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Dec 22, 2009
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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.
 

NotSoNimble

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Aug 10, 2010
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Kazedarkwind said:
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!
 

Autofaux

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Aug 31, 2009
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buy teh haloz said:
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 ***** when the circumstances you contributed towards turn into things like Project Ten Dollar.