Sony Considers 'Online Pass' For MLB The Show

Sony's European president said the company is "broadly supportive" of measures like EA Sports' Online Pass - which enables online features through a one-use code free in retail copies - and is considering them for titles like MLB The Show.

"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," Andrew House, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, told GamesIndustry.biz yesterday. "And we're exploring actively the same option for our own content."

One-use codes that enable online components are free to retail buyers, but cost $US5 or $US10 for those who acquire a copy without one - typically as a used game. It's a means for a publisher to get a cut of the used-game sales pie.

Sony's first-party content would be more than just sports, of course. Electronic Arts' own "Project $US10" online codes predate the "Online Pass" the sports division inaugurated with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11's release in July.

But it is in annualized sports titles, with a larger catalog that is regularly traded in for newer models, where such a practice stands to generate the most revenue off the used market for a publisher. That said, recent numbers from GameStop suggest that it didn't suffer much in the first quarter in which it dealt with used sales that are, presumptively, lacking online access.

MLB 10 The Show is routinely praised as among the best sports simulations, baseball or otherwise, but its multiplayer is nowhere near as highly regarded. GameStop says only 25 percent of its customers are interested in multiplayer, and I'd bet the number dips even more for a game like baseball, whose strongest modes are typically franchise and singleplayer career.

Sony Looking At Online Pass Equivalent For First-Party Titles [GamesIndustry.biz]


Comments

    This idea is a blatant money grab. I dont understand the theory behind making people who purchase second hand pay money for online.

    If the original purchaser has passed on the disk, they can no longer access online for that game, they are not causing load on servers anymore, that would be costing publishers money.

    The second owner, then also owns the right to play online that was purchased and implied with the original disk. They are not causing a double server load, as the original owner can not access the game or its online content any more.

    Where is the justification for this extra cost? Only 1 person can access the online services per disk at any same time. Costs are not increased when the disk is on sold to a second owner

    Its pointless since sony disable online multiplayer each year anyway by preventing access to "sports connect" even though its peer to peer. Oldgame games simply can't be played online.

    I DECLARE BS! I PAID FOR A MULITPLAYER SPORTS GAME. NOW THEY REMOVE THE FEATURE IN 1 SEASON'S TIME?! WTF! I will NEVER buy a "MLB SHOW" title again. Its like OTHEROS all over again.

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