THQ ‘following suit’ with WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 online pass

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In an interview at a press event for WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011 this past weekend in Los Angeles, the game’s creative director, Cory Ledesma, lamented that used games are “an issue for the [videogame] industry.” This was in the context of explaining that SvR 2011 will be subject to a lockout of online features behind a pack-in code like the publisher’s mixed martial arts game, UFC Undisputed 2010, which launched in May. Similar to the EA Sports Online Pass, UFC 2010 included a one-time-use code on the back of the game’s manual that had to be entered into the main menu in order to use the game’s online features.

But whereas THQ charged non-new buyers of UFC 2010 a $5 fee for online access, the company is “following suit with other publishers” — namely, EA Sports — for SvR 2011: new copies of the game will come with a code for which renters, borrowers, and used-game buyers will have to pay $10 (800 Microsoft Points). At least this time around, THQ is being transparent about the process; when it came to UFC 2010, the publisher only confirmed the existence of an online pass after players of pre-release copies found out about it.

The code for SvR 2011 will also come with three pieces of downloadable content: WWE Superstar Chris Masters, a Kelly Kelly costume, and a Day of the Dead costume for Rey Mysterio. (Players who buy the code from the Xbox Live Marketplace or PlayStation Store will still receive the content.) And unlike with UFC 2010, THQ is joining EA in offering a seven-day free trial of online features for non-new buyers.

I’ll have much more on WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2011, including a full preview, coming later today.


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