The Week In Review: The $10 Solution

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."


    Thats cool ubisoft...

    Just hope you like the idea of your games being pirated into obscurity.

    Only way to give us better prices is to shorten games, or this?

    Yahuh... try it, go ahead and try it, and lose genuine customers like me forever.

    DLC is a great way to offer less for more. Now you can sell incomplete games or games with bonus content that is less than what you would get prior to DLC and charge extra post release for the content you cut out of the game.

    When you buy a game you don't buy the full game - you buy part of the game. When you sell your game you can only sell part of the game - your copy of the game has less value than a brand new copy even if it's in perfect condition because of this greedy grab by investors.

    A lot of the second hand games I buy don't have much of a profit margin on them. If you are paying around $10-30 for a second hand game, increasing the price by US$10 (how likely is it Australia is going to get screwed on this as well?) or the retailer taking a hit to their profit either the consumer or the retailer is going to get fucked by this.

    Profit margins on second hand games aren't as big as people seem to think they are. You don't get a lot for a second hand game or trade in but neither do the businesses. Also factor in the reality that this free $10 on every second hand deal the investors are forcing on us requires no investment of resources (they don't have to rent our a store, hire staff and dedicate shelf space to trying to move a product). If that copy of Dead Rising 2 sits there for 6 months, that's 6 months of shelf space that could have gone to a different title which might move more quickly. The bonus $10 they get from the second hand buyer to activate the "removed content" is pure profit.

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