THQ Raises Price Of Online Multiplayer Pass To $US10

In May, THQ put UFC Undisputed 2010's online access behind a one-use code, included free in retail copies or $US5 sold online. The same now goes for WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011, and the code's price raises to $US10.

Though EA Sports was the first to announce its Online Pass, THQ was the first sports publisher to put something like it into effect. More or less, it gets their fingers into the used-games revenue pie; someone who buys a used copy whose code has already been cashed in must pay to enjoy online multiplayer or say no thanks to those features.

THQ's $US5 price for the UFC code was half of what EA Sports has been charging for its online access in titles like Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, NCAA Football 11 and Madden NFL 11. THQ was criticised for how it communicated news of the one-use code and handled its implementation, but it seems to have learned from those mistakes. Smackdown vs Raw 2011 releases on October 26.

As for what these codes have done to the resale market for annualised sports titles, the answer seems to be not much. Michael Pachter, the analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, wrote in a report on GameStop following its latest quarterly filings that the one-use codes have done little to the retailer's bottom line. GameStop says that only 25 per cent of its used-game buyers are interested in online multiplayer.

THQ Implementing Single-Use Code With Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 [Industry Gamers]


    This is a pretty foolish development. Used games are what keep specialised retailers like EB or Game running. Slowly, but surely, putting them out of business leaves diversified retailers like JB Hi-Fi or Harvey Norman, who currently sell games at a loss, no competition and no reason to have consistently low prices.

    The argument that charging for online passes is necessary so that used games players aren't flooding online services but not paying for them is also flawed. For every person using online services through a used game there's another person who has ALREADY paid for that service and is not using it. Used games need to come from somewhere, but hey, why be content with charging consumers just once for the same product?

    Shallow cash grab, and stupid business.

      Second had game purchases do not pass revenue to the copyright owners.
      It is their property and they are well within their rights to charge people to use it or govern functions available until such payment is received.
      As for being a "shallow cash grab and stupid business practice", I can only assume you do not agree with paying those who produce things at their expense for your entertainment.

        Second hand game purchases (or second hand anything purchases) do not *need* to pass revenue to the copyright owners. There is no right to make a profit of every copy sold, or anything like that.

        I think a thriving second hand market is good for the gaming industry, and wonder at which point trying to squeeze every dollar out hurts the market even more.

        Firstly, there is absolutely no obligation to the copyright owners, as I'm sure you are well aware, in the transfer of copyrighted goods between parties. Whether you refer to this as the First Sale Doctrine of simple Exhaustion of Rights virtually all nations that accept the usage of Copyrights have a similar imposition. see

        Secondly, I will assume that when you speak of "property" you are alluding to the online services provided as opposed to the physical product, for if this were the case you would be, quantitatively, a moron. You will notice I made no reference to the providers RIGHT to charge for online services, instead only questioning the business sense of such a decision. If a business so chooses they can behave however it chooses with respect to its product or service within the bounds of the law, in the same way that a restaurant can choose to evict all patrons who have overstayed an arbitrary time limit, or an internet service provider can decide that guests in a house are forbidden from using the hosts internet connection without additional payments. However business decisions such as these, and indeed the decision in question, represent fundamentally foolish, short term and narrow minded ways of doing business.

        Don't believe me? Ask yourself why any developer would want to put retailers out of business (see PARTICULARLY those that still charge RRP for the products they make " at their expense for your entertainment".

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