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Bev Chen
27 Aug, 2010

Sony to start charging for online play in pre-owned games?

PS3 Rumour | Say goodbye to your money.
Think buying a pre-owned copy of a game could save you a few extra bucks? This may no longer be the case in the future, with Sony possibly looking to implement the 'online pass' scheme.

The online pass scheme works like this: upon trying to access an online mode in a pre-owned game, the player will be told that he or she is required to pay a fee in order to play. Of course, people who buy these games brand new can still access all the online modes for free. GameIndustry.biz has reported Sony's Andrew House as saying the following:

"On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we're broadly supportive of that," says SCEE's Andrew House. "And we're exploring actively the same option for our own content."

There are already a few publishers who have started implementing the online pass scheme, namely EA Sports and THQ. Publishing giant Ubisoft are reportedly jumping on the bandwagon as well.

Should publishers be allowed to charge for online modes in pre-owned titles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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56 Comments
3 years ago
Since places like eb games and game sometime charge just as much for the 2nd hand copy as the original, they are getting the sale twice almost, and the game maker once.

I say it is a good thing, as the publisher should getting more money so they can make more games. The only thing would be if any of the fee they charge actually gets back to the makers of the game.
3 years ago
Totally reasonable. Keeping the servers up for online play costs money, and if you've got people who own the game who don't pay for that, then how can Sony ever make any money? A one-off fee for second hand games is a perfect solution, and actually better than jacking up the original price, because not everyone necessarily wants to play online.
3 years ago
^I think they do OK making money.
3 years ago
Keep in mind they're paid money for ads on the PSN, as well as their fees for all the games they sell, both retail and downloadable.
3 years ago
I am sick to fucking death of all the publishers bitching about second hand sales.

Every other fucking consumer product manages to deal with second hand sales. Dvd's, books, music, cloths, cars, whitegoods, jewlary etc etc.

If there price model is making it so prohibitive to buy games new and people don't want to keep your games after they've finished them so they trade them in. Maybe make better fucking games and stop charging over a hundred bucks for them?

Punishing the consumer because they've failed to make the keeping the game an attractive option is just bullshit.
3 years ago
Just an observation - if x amount of game is released; they will only ever have to cater to x amount of players - hence charging people extra for 2nd hand multiplayer is bullshit as they've already made that sale for the player slot.
3 years ago
So what happens if you borrow a game off a friend to play??
3 years ago
Bound to happen.

Anyways... People like to continually pay for stuff.
3 years ago
I agree with Xtra re: playing it elsewhere. I often go over to friend's houses to play my games (or vice versa) and we can often go online to play with it. With this model, I basically can't play MY game on someone else's machine..

I think a limited number of licenses would overcome this, similar to how on the PSN you're able to download the same game 5 times before you have to buy it again. As someone else has pointed out if a game moves from one person to another via second hand sales it isn't MORE people on their servers, it's just another person, so it isn't more strain/cost to them.. What is the difference to their servers if I play my game online versus 3 people playing my game online at different times?
3 years ago
how can they tell if its a preowned or a new game? will every game have to punch in a code now? its sad that now along with releasing games that are sometimes incomplete and need to be patched later, they are making it harder and harder for you to do what could be done back in the nes, snes, ps1 days.

JUST PUT THE GAME INTO YOUR CONSOLE AND PLAY.
3 years ago
In response; only one person can play the game at a time - so the x player per copy is still even.
3 years ago
Gizmocreative wrote
how can they tell if its a preowned or a new game? will every game have to punch in a code now?
That's exactly it, they'll just be copying the new method EA have started.

Personally, while not liking it, I can see why they're doing it. The cost of developing mid to hig end high def games is much higher than costs to develop previous generation games and we're still paying the stock standard $120 odd max for a standard edition that we've been paying since the Mega Drive days. They're having to sell more games to make back their money and so they're looking to make an extra buck any way they can and if they don't their shareholders are going to go down on their arses.
3 years ago
going down the same road as microsoft sounds like world of warcraft constantly make us pay to play icon_razz.gif
3 years ago
I was going to buy a ps3. Now not so much
3 years ago
Yay even more reason to buy new games I guess. I'm not really bothered by this, because pre-owned games are only $5 cheaper than the new copies, and I personally prefer to buy new copies anyway. Plus, this gives less reasons for gay micro-transactions, which have been justified by this whole pre-owned thing.
3 years ago
It doesn't excuse the fact that Sony are making money twice off the same copy of a game.

Eb games, Jb Hifi and other second hand retailers still have to pay for their games. So they buy them from someone who has already paid the full price, and now it's like Microsoft almost, charging a second fee for the game you already paid for.

Regardless of whether it's new or second hand, it was still bought somewhere by somebody, and the full price has already been paid for.

Sony have to accept that it's unreasonable to ask for two lots of money for the one game. Multiply that fee by the number of users, and there's another $50-100 million, probably even more.

Surely that makes up for the apparent "loss" they seem to be suggesting from second hand games.

Even though they won't admit that they already have your money from when the game was originally purchased for the full price :/.
3 years ago
If their going to go down this path, just make PSN multiplayer subscriber only and give us the extras with PSN plus.... at least it would feel a little more lubed.
3 years ago
raffieltiger wrote
It doesn't excuse the fact that Sony are making money twice off the same copy of a game.
...
Even though they won't admit that they already have your money from when the game was originally purchased for the full price :/.
Instead you'd rather EB, JB, GAME, Gametraders, etc make money twice off the same game? They already got your money the first time round too.

The second hand games market is huge. Walk into EB and you'll see they have more shelf space for used than new games. The publishers just want a cut of that market, or if possible, to reduce the size of that market.

Buying used doesn't support the people who make games, just the stores that sell them.
3 years ago
Andrew Cathie wrote
Personally, while not liking it, I can see why they're doing it. The cost of developing mid to hig end high def games is much higher than costs to develop previous generation games and we're still paying the stock standard $120 odd max for a standard edition that we've been paying since the Mega Drive days
So are movies, they arn't figuring out a way to charge for movies twice.
They need to address the fact that people are trading in there games to start with. People don't buy a movie then sell it after they've watched it, or take there books to cash converters after they've finished reading it.

Lots of people sell there games the moment they finish them though. So maybe they need to instead address the fact that people don't want to keep there games?

This is just them attacking the symptom instead of the cause.


Quote
Instead you'd rather EB, JB, GAME, Gametraders, etc make money twice off the same game? They already got your money the first time round too.
Yes, they've found a market that the consumer wants, and they are addressing it.
Quote
The second hand games market is huge. Walk into EB and you'll see they have more shelf space for used than new games. The publishers just want a cut of that market, or if possible, to reduce the size of that market.

Buying used doesn't support the people who make games, just the stores that sell them.
I can walk into cash converters and see a wall of dvd's, buying them only supports cash converters. But I don't see the movie industry having a bitch about it.
3 years ago
Camm wrote
Just an observation - if x amount of game is released; they will only ever have to cater to x amount of players - hence charging people extra for 2nd hand multiplayer is **** as they've already made that sale for the player slot.
This.

Entertainment industry is really its own undoing. They make soo many bad movies, so many bad games we will possibly see another Video Games Crash ala 1983. However, probably not since they can force more money out of us (for example such as what is being discussed here) to cover their arses for making soo many pathetic games.
3 years ago
Benza wrote
So are movies, they arn't figuring out a way to charge for movies twice.
Aren't they?

Movies have huge theatrical releases that often cover their development costs and cannot be resold like a DVD. After that they release a DVD or Bluray at a premium price point before declining into bargain bin sales.

Games lack that initial premium release that does not have the ability for reselling. Games also have a much higher resale value than movies, relative to the original RRP. A game's inital $110 premium price point is immediately undercut by $10 a week later as used copies hit the shelves. Disc based movies might get you $10 a week after release.

Of course this only applies to multiplayer console games. Multiplayer PC games have lacked the ability to resell for years thanks to CD-keys and online accounts.

timmay33 wrote
they can force more money out of us
Yes, because you're forced to buy that game used and then forced to purchase the multiplayer aspect. Forced!
3 years ago
grim-one wrote
timmay33 wrote
they can force more money out of us
Yes, because you're forced to buy that game used and then forced to purchase the multiplayer aspect. Forced!
So they can coerce more money out of us?

Well yes I do have the option to not play the multiplayer. But where could this end? Imagine if they made you pay to replay a game? Or say charge you each time you advance a level in a game?

Gone are the days where you just buy the game in the shop and that its.
3 years ago
timmay33 wrote
Well yes I do have the option to not play the multiplayer. But where could this end? Imagine if they made you pay to replay a game? Or say charge you each time you advance a level in a game?
If a game starts doing that and you don't like it - don't buy the game. Simple.

timmay33 wrote
Gone are the days where you just buy the game in the shop and that its.
No they're not. Even if Sony starts doing this, you could simply purchase the game new rather than used.
3 years ago
grim-one wrote
Benza wrote
So are movies, they arn't figuring out a way to charge for movies twice.
Aren't they?

Movies have huge theatrical releases that often cover their development costs and cannot be resold like a DVD. After that they release a DVD or Bluray at a premium price point before declining into bargain bin sales.
Game to have a compareable thing to a theatrical release. The most important time in a game sales life is in it's first week. It's when they make all there money and when the big games make back there development costs.

Quote
. Games also have a much higher resale value than movies, relative to the original RRP. A game's inital $110 premium price point is immediately undercut by $10 a week later as used copies hit the shelves. Disc based movies might get you $10 a week after release.
Again this is a symptom not the problem.
The problem is why do people only keep a game for a week before they sell it back to the store? You bring up the fact that movies are charging us twice to see it at the cinema and then on dvd/bluray.

But if I go to see a movie at the cinema then buy it on dvd/blu-ray, then that movie is obviosuly a valubale commodity that is deemed worthy of buying twice.

Why are games not seen as this?

If I look at my movie collection, I've watched about 90% of the movies there atleast twice plus an extra time for audio commentary. If I look at my game collection, the games I've played through twice are Mass Effect, Saints Row 2 and Beyond Good and Evil.

Compare that to when I owned a Nintendo 64. I have no idea how many times I played the games I owned on that system. I've beaten Ocarina of Time like 6 times, I've seriously lost count of how many times I've played through Lylat Wars and Perfect Dark.

Why do games only have a week lifespan before people want to trade them in?

Maybe before punishing the people buying the games second hand, they need to make it worthwhile to keep the games so that they don't end up resold back to the store after a week?
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