This week Ubisoft, publisher of Assassin's Creed and other top franchises, indicated it would join the trend of locking games content behind a one-use code. Perhaps it was music to investors' ears, but it struck a harsher tone with gamers.
A top Ubi executive specifically invoked Electronic Arts' so-called "Project Ten Dollar" when analysts asked if the company had a plan for someday taking a share of the lucrative used sales market. "We are looking very carefully at what is happening with EA regarding what we are calling the $US10 solution," said Alain Martinez, "and will probably be following that line sometime in the future."
Gamers understand that publishers aren't charities and are in business not only to turn a profit, but to grow. But for a company whose implementation of PC digital rights management could not have been handled more poorly, they were not inclined to give much benefit of the doubt. Some also suspect Ubisoft intends its "$10 Solution" to cover the core components of a title, not simply its bonus content.
"I honestly don't see anything wrong with publishers trying to push new sales over used/rental. They are in business to make a profit after all," said Kotaku commenter KillerBeeTX. "What I have a major problem with is charging used game buyers for major game features like multiplayer. That is completely crossing the line.
"A few years ago, we were all joking that someday down the road we'd be nickel-and-dimed for key components of games and we are sadly getting to that point in right now."
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