THQ has been one of several publishers to embrace the "online pass" scheme that combats used sales by demanding secondhand buyers pay $10 to unlock a title's online content. Despite its fight against pre-owned, however, the publisher claims it doesn't want to kill the market, because it's important to consumers.
"The most important thing is we have to participate in the value chain in used games," said CEO Brian Farrell. "We understand, given our focus on the gamer, that consumers like to be able to monetize their game library. So it is an ecosystem between publisher, gamer and retailer that just has to sort itself out.
"Part of it is monetizing but the bigger win is keeping our gamers engaged with DLC and robust online play, and that keeps the disc in the first purchaser's hands."
I've stated many times in the past that the death of the used games market would be unhealthy for the industry as a whole, and it's nice to see somebody on the other side of the debate at least half-concede the point. However, online passes inherently devalue used games, and if gamers eventually get less trade-in credit as a result of them, the less help they'll have in buying new games.
The secondhand market is a crucial cog in the wheels of this business, and I do hope publishers get their heads out of the petty short-term and gain enough foresight to see that. This includes THQ.
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