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Om Nom On Souls's blog

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Om Nom On Souls avatar 4:52 PM on 08.02.2011  (server time)
What's all this pay pass malarkey?

So here's the deal,

There was a story today on the blog roll that talked about how BF3 (the release of which will not be a happy time for the pair of pants I happen to be wearing that day) will most likely contain a pay pass a la Cerberus Network that basically makes you pay for access to a bunch of content if you bought the game used that you'd get for free if you bought it new. Now I'm used to the normal Dtoid haters who unflinching in their defense of the financially less endowed gamer, but this in particular was a little shocking. Dtoider Jamie Christian even takes this as an indication that all hope is lost for the gaming industry. Of course (s)he's being hyperbolic, but the sentiment's there.

I personally have no problem with pay passes such as this, and I can't understand why everyone seems to. It's actually a pretty spoiled attitude in my opinion; sure, if CoD introduced a monthly subscription fee or something like that for access to online play, that would be bullshit, but asking for like five bucks to recover the total loss of sales revenue from a giant portion of games retail doesn't seem that unreasonable to me.

This poor soul was the first google image result for unshowered rube

Now I know what you're saying, "Om Nom, you unshowered rube, no other sales industry in the world capitalizes on unofficial second-hand exchanges." And that's true, but here's why this is such a reasonable request to me: 99% of aaaaaall other retail items depreciate with time, and their function almost certainly has become impaired if you got a given product at any significant cut rate. A video game, as long as its previous owner had the distinct pleasure of not being a razor-handed ass hat, won't really have its function impaired by age; when you buy Vieutiful Joe used for $5, you're getting the exact same experience as the "sucker" who bought it at full price like eight years ago.

Now if we're partaking in an industry that can provide that kind of longevity in its products, what exactly is the disadvantage to them charging an, let's be real here, insignificant amount to ensure that the ridiculous sustainability of their products shows some marginal return for them?

I totally understand that a lot of people can't afford to buy new games, hell, I'm one of them, but to expect to receive everything a company's product has to offer without that company receiving compensation for it is completely unreasonable. No, you're not stealing from EA by buying BF3 used, but that's a sale they would have gotten if you had bought it new that they're now missing out on.

And let's be realistic, it's not like John Riccitiello is gonna take the $5 to $10 you'll pay him for that pass and fuck off to Cabo for an extra long holiday, he's gonna reinvest a good chunk of it so that EA can continue to develop and publish games that you'll want to play eight years from now. And unless we've all forgotten the massive elephant in the room, giving developers and publishers more money for excellent content is definitely not on a list of things I hate when it's far more efficient for them to produce facebook or mobile games at a fraction of the cost.

Now here's what really gets me: it's not like you're getting some withered shell of a game when you buy one used; you're getting a game, in BF3's case, that will already provide you with what is likely to be a stellar single player experience, all you need to do to enjoy the online play is pay, let's be really pessimistic, let's say 10 bucks. Now if you're like the average shooter nut and are gonna devote a good 30+ hours online, you're getting that enjoyment for 30-ish cents an hour, that's a penny every two minutes, and if you don't think your online time is worth thirty cents a minute -here's the good part - you don't have to buy the pass. If you truly don't believe that pay passes should exist, have some integrity, vote with your wallet, and don't buy it. But then don't go bitching around the comment sections and threads of the internet wining about how EA is ruining gaming by charging you less than two quarters an hour for some killer online gameplay, and you chose not to be a part of it when you could have skipped the McDonald's lunch break, made food for yourself at home, and had enough or just less than enough money for your pass depending on how many double cheeseburgers you can drive into your face hole.

~ Om nom nom nom...

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