Sessler's Soapbox: Kingdoms of Online Passes

Posted: January 31, 2012
Sessler's Soapbox: Kingdoms of Online Passes
Adam talks Kingdoms of Amalur, their use of an Online Pass, and why he thinks this new trend won't slow down used game sales.

Comments are Closed

  • Funkapillar

    This feels the same way it did when they started loading copy protection software on my computer that wouldn't work unless I uninstalled my CD image mounting software. It got to where I just started buying downloadable content (Steam) rather than a box...no CD swapping. I'd just like to see the marketing presentation that showed how renters would buy the game (or code) instead of just giving the game a pass outright and moving on; that would make interesting reading.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 11:53 PM
  • suryu

    ok what i don't understand is, say my ps3 or xbox or whatever system you have malfunction and you want to play old games that u had for the system a and you buy a new one will you have to pay to play ur old games?

    Posted: February 1, 2012 10:29 PM
  • drgnmstr44

    Online passes are garbage. plain and simple. and those complaining about piracy need to get an unbiased view of the industry. Piracy happens in an industry when you don't make it easy for your consumer to get the things they want. iTunes makes it VERY EASY to get a song you heard on the radio. Steam makes it VERY EASY for you to get a game you want for your PC.

    The online pass does none of that. it doesn't combat used games. It just makes people not want to buy your game new just to "try it out". That's what renting a title is for. When I rent a title, I want full access to that game's content that is on the disc. I want to be able to play that game completely and all aspects of it to see if I like it. If I can't play multiplayer with my buddies because I rented the title and that's what they are raving about, then the game developer and publisher have failed the community.

    User games have a symbiotic relationship with new games. Most gamers will play a game for about 30 days when it's not an mmo and then move on to the next title. They take that game and trade it in for something else to play. If used games sales go away due to teh inclusion of online passes, then gamers aren't going to purchase a lot of titles since they can't trade them in towards something else. This in turn means Triple A titles may not sell as well as normal because people are being particular with there money.

    What we as gamers need to do is stop buying games with online passes, new or used, and stop buying the digital download of online passes. When money start to slip they should be looking at that as 'What did we do wrong with this triple A title and why is no one buying it now' and then remove the online pass portion. Problem is gamers as a whole won't do this and publishers won't think like this

    Posted: February 1, 2012 6:33 PM
  • flyingchicken

    For people who are against piracy, yet choose to buy used or rent games are hypocrites.

    I personally would love games to go all Online Passes. Then no one would buy the games, than more developers would go out of business. Leaving only the generic, boring developers reining. Now, doensn't that sound like a good future for the video game industry? I didn't think so.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 5:40 PM
  • imdave

    Whats with all the Sessler Soapbox jumpcuts recently like at 2:31?
    If he rambles on for 10 mins then you upload those 10 minutes dammit, I'd prefer that to sloppy editing.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 4:55 PM
  • Inustar

    I think an added result will be a drop in immediate sales for these companies. While I too get the reasoning behind their idea of an online pass, all it makes me personally think is that I need to wait to get a brand new game until i know for sure it's getting good reviews and that i'll like it. I'll still buy a great game with an online pass, but it might be a couple weeks or more until I do.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 3:53 PM
  • Grave_Chapel

    Its common knowledge that publishers hate used games sales. They also rush games and put out broken product and except their customers to be happy with that. Instead of worrying about used game sales, publishers need to make a better product and support that product through merchandizing, DLC, and making a community that will support them. Titles like Mass Effect and Assassin's Creed, which came out winter of 2007, have a loyal fan base which is as strong of an IP as Final Fantasy, Metal Gear, and Legend of Zelda.

    People hold onto good titles, Orange Box used is $30 at GameStop because no one trades it in. The only time I've seen someone trade in Assassin's Creed is to get the next one in the series. Publishers need to support their developers, not rushing the final product. But even after the final product is released it still needs to be cared for. It's like a garden; tend the soil, plant the seeds, nurture the growth, protect from pest and vermin, and you garden will flourish

    Now if publishers put in a season pass type deal or include a couple DLC codes instead of an online pass that might be a better model. The real power behind this will be the retailers, with companies like Best Buy getting into used games and GameStop having the major market share in all video games sold, if any policy comes up that will hurt these two companies would be ill advised.These two powers make over 75% of all video games sales. If these companies refuse to carry or sale certain consoles or games, the publishers and developers would be out of a job.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 3:05 PM
  • FlapjacksNsyrup

    Couldn't someone hypothetically buy a game, open it, take out the online pass, and then returned the game? The people at the store would most likely not know to check and then they could sell them online, cheaper than what people have to pay for them if buying it from the developer. In the end they would make money and other people save money.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 2:29 PM
  • Razr750

    Personally, this just feels like a new iteration of CD-key that's now targeting the console market.
    Really, it isn't all that big of a thing.
    Instead of trying to decrease piracy, though, they just want to reduce the amount of used game sales.
    In both cases, the key, or pass, as they call it, is a way to try to make more money for a game that they've put years of time into.
    The PC has had CD-keys for over a decade, and it hasn't hurt the PC gaming market, so I doubt this will have much of an effect on console gaming.
    Just my two cents.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 2:00 PM
  • UndeadRice

    soooo wait. The companies that already get millions on billions of dollars a year need even MORE money in their pockets from us with online passes? so. what you're saying is. companies are greedy and as you put it. "Need" the money to go along with their billions they net each year. yeah. thats way reasonable..

    Posted: February 1, 2012 1:47 PM
  • firefighter96

    Electronic Arts already uses this system; a one time code use. Buy a used game and if you want the online pass you spend $8 or so to buy a new one. It doesnt stop people from buying used online games; and it never will stop them from doing it.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 1:42 PM
  • djboogymonster

    At first I had no intention of buying Kingdoms of Amalur. After the demo, and the Mass Effect tie in, I was hooked. But with the Online Pass thing It has returned to the "no intention of buying" area.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 1:09 PM
  • BigBadBOOM

    Am I missing something here, because everyone keeps saying how the only way they can afford games is to get them used. Don't get me wrong, Im a fan of saving a few bucks on used games but the price difference is usually just that, a few bucks. If you can afford to spend $55 dollars on a used game, then you can afford to spend $60 on a new game. You can disagree with the concept of codes, but used verses new doesn't save the consumer much, it just costs the publisher a lot.

    I for one am happy to see this type of approach where the publisher is giving you an incentive to buy a new game without restricting your ability to buy a used game.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 1:07 PM
  • MrRickenbacker

    Lol! EA has never been in trouble. Madden, NHL, FIFA, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Dead Space, SWTOR! The release new Maddens every freaking year and make millions off of them! These Online passes are frickin joke. These publishers swear their DLC doesn't make up for their Used game sales. Stores can't always sell new copies of a game 5 months after launch. People like to thin out their collection sometimes so the best thing to do is trade it in for credit or cash if needed. Online passes are a joke but unfortunately video games have such a strong hold on the gaming community we will btich about it, bend over and say THANK YOU SIR MAY I HAVE ANOTHER!

    Posted: February 1, 2012 10:21 AM
  • UnJakeable

    Yep the online pass is what stoped me from getting the new Mortal Kombat. I had the money and was ready to buy it NEW untill I found out about the online pass. To me that is just wrong. I will never buy a game with an online pass. There are many people who can't afford three $ 60.00 games a mo. Yet alone one and the only way these people can experience these great game is to get them used. And by then usually no one is playing them online any more. It's just sad. Money is the root of all evil.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 9:56 AM
  • TravisKeaton

    I don't understand EA's thinking on this online pass thing.

    When I go into places like gamestop the best games usually arent available used or are practically the same price. So already there isn't much incentive to buy used games,a t least as far as good games are concerned. But it seems companies are still uneasy about the resale market.

    Many of these games offer "bonus" content with their online pass, but they also unlock the blocks on multiplayer and co op. As long as the price difference isn't like 30 bucks, then the bonus content would be enough to get me to pay the extra cash. They don't need to bully me by saying that I won't get features if I don't buy the game new. They should entice me with the positive content they are already including with the online pass. The promise of extra maps, more characters, more weapons, more.... whatever is more that enough to make me go new. Instead of the online pass being something positive, a reward for buying a new game, right now it just makes me dislike EA.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 7:50 AM
  • AFistfulOfGroovy

    Adam I just want to let you know, you are F'ning awesome. I dont know how many times I have yelled "yes" watching soapbox because you have vocalized something that I couldnt put into words. This time it was the music industry comparison. Thank You Sir !

    Posted: February 1, 2012 7:37 AM
  • JOKERNJ732

    This isn't the first time we had an online pass for a single player only title and it won't be the last. Is this really going to happen everytime this occurs? It's kind of ridiculous to complain about something you can't change, especially when the online pass is a good idea. I am fortunate enough to buy my games day one, so if you can't do that oh well. Get a better job or a job at all in the first place.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 7:04 AM
  • raymondb1981

    Ever since Mortal Kombat was released with online pass I have refused to buy a game that has it. Gaming is a luxury but at the same time if I want to trade in my game to save a few bucks on the next thats my choice. First it's crap DLC that only unlocks content already on the disc and now a code that allows you to play multiplayer. Oh wait I know! Lets start charging to play the next level in the game!

    Posted: February 1, 2012 6:44 AM
  • BeaArthur

    My only real issue with online passes for single player games is that not everyone has either XBL or a PSN account and these online passes require it. Furthermore not everyone has reliable internet and some don't have internet at all. Trying to entice people to buy your game new is all well and good but EA (and other publishers) are punishing many loyal fans in the process.

    Posted: February 1, 2012 6:35 AM