WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE? EA Sports took the first bold step in the fight against used games when it implemented its “online pass” system, a scheme whereby new consumers play a title’s online mode for free, while a used copy required a $10 code from the publisher. THQ copied it, Ubisoft obviously loved the idea, and it seems Sega too is licking its lips in anticipation.
Western president Mike Hayes has called the pass system a “very clever idea” and adds that Sega is “certainly taking a look” at what happens with it. The world is said to spin off its axis in shock if people learn that they might not be able to play hot titles like Sonic and the Black Knight online.
It would appear that publishers are all waiting to see if EA Sport’s machinations will work, and if so, they are willing to jump on the bandwagon. I do think, however, that this is a case of “be careful what you wish for.” I think used sales are more important to the market than publishers like to think, and that if they eradicated them, while keeping games at $60 per title, there could be some long-term damage done.
Nobody with responsibilities has $120 to spend on a whim if two games come out at once. I worry that the elimination of trade-in credit and used sales altogether could screw these short-sighted publishers over in the end.
Sega Looking At Online Pass [Edge]