Online passes - a rant.
by, 09-10-2011 at 03:27 PM (1465 Views)
Sorry, I just need to get this s**t off my chest, this whole online pass has been getting to me and really making me hate everything about gaming and the way it's going, so I might as well get all my thoughts down and hopefully move on, who knows. For anyone who doesn't know, online passes have been brought in for all sony published releases, and require the user to put in a one time use code on the from the box to access any online features. EA are also doing this with some of their games, Battlefield 3 for example. The justification from Sony for this is that they and the developers get zero money from the resale market, and so the online pass helps they get some money from this. Personally, I disagree with this and believe this is just a cash grab by publishers to get more money out of the consumers, and also shows bigger problems in the way gaming is going. Developers and publishers realise that online gaming is huge, and it's actually making up a large part of what constitutes a game, in ever increasing amounts. If this wasn't the case, why would they feel the need to cut off the online portion of their game? They know the loss of the online portion is possibly going to force people to buy new, or buy the online pass and either way, they get the money. Another argument I have heard for the introduction of the online passes, is that it helps with the ongoing cost of keeping servers online, and that original sales pay for this, but resales do not; again, this argument is weak. Currently a sale is made and that effectively is your online pass, you own the game. Having the disc entitles you to play it online. When you sell the disc you lose that right and the new owners gains it. Only one person ever has the disc at any one time, so the server load is exactly the same. No one is getting two server slots, as like previously mentioned, the discs aren't copied, but resold. It is a similar argument in defence of the rental market. The rental retailers pay for those games and can only rent each disc out to one customer at a time, so it is not like Sony is losing out on the server end and getting overloaded with people who haven't paid for the game. This move by publishers has further confirmed the idea that they want ever increasing control over what you do with your media, and just like when the hacking scandal broke and the PSN was down, the idea that this console isn't yours, it is Sony's and you can only do with it what they want. By not allowing you to properly sell what is rightfully yours to whomever you please without the recipient incurring further charges, they are clearly stating that they are in control and not you. A further point in why this whole saga stinks, is the lack of online trials. Granted, we have only seen one game so far (Resistance 3) but that did not contain even a trial for the online play, not one minute of it, not even the co-op. You're only option was to download the public beta and play a heavily limited version of the online. Other games may not have a public beta, and may not have a trial, only time will tell, but I hope they do see some sense and give consumers something back.
This leaves gamers with a dilemma: do you now buy the game new that you may have rented first, or do you skip it completely? I for one have not decided yet. My heart says skip the games, sell my console and make the move to PC asap (I want to make the move to PC next year anyway), but my head says buy the games new, but just buy less games.