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Bleszinski skeptical about 'online pass' schemes

8:40 AM on 06.23.2010 // Jim Sterling

It's sad that publishers spend more time thinking about fighting used games than about making good games, but that's the world we live in. The latest attempt to strip consumers of their one recourse against purchasing crap games is the "online pass" -- a method whereby used games cost $10 in order to unlock multiplayer modes. Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has admitted Epic Games is looking at the scheme, but added that he remains skeptical. 

"We're watching it closely -- and that's not to say we're committing to anything like that," he explained. "We want to find ways to positively incentivize first-time buyers to pick up the game new. Penalizing is not the best way to deal with things like that. You attract more flies with honey than with vinegar.

"But the industry is nervous, right? It's very scared about used game sales -- and another thing is the type of genre you make. I wouldn't want to make a horror game right now -- that's only single-player -- because a lot of players are like, 'I rented it.' You want to make a game that has a great single-player experience, but continues online, continues to breath."

As far as consumer incentives go, Cliff's definitely on the right track. I wish publishers would think about ways of rewarding consumers rather than punishing them, and it speaks plainly of their mindset that they can only think in terms of penalization. Publishers seem to have no intention of providing good deals and worthwhile purchases for customers. All they can think of screwing them, and that's utterly pathetic, really. 

Interview: Cliff Bleszinski on Gears of War 3 [Joystiq]

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
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