This will probably be a little long.
I’ve been in and out of the hospital, doctor’s offices and all kinds of shit for the last few months. I’ve thought about pretty much everything from politics, religion, the economy, games, to seeing my son graduate and every where in between. With that said, I’ve had a lot of time to play games on portable systems and on my xbox lately so I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
Frankly, piracy sucks for everybody. It sucks because regular folks get put through the fucking ringer with DRM bullshit, and because DRM isn’t going to stop people from stealing software.
I just recently read about Sony starting up a program that would basically require a CD key for online play with Socom 3 on the psp. If you don’t have the CD key (or UMD key, in this case) then you have to pay sony 20 bucks to get one. Sony is saying that this is to combat piracy. I think that’s a bunch of bullshit. What they’re really doing is locking out the rental market, and the used game market.
Socom 3 on the PSP is pretty much worthless without online play. Sony is effectively locking out everybody who doesn’t buy this game new. Want to borrow the game from a friend to try it out? Fuck you, buy it new. Want to rent it to try it out? Fuck you, buy it new. Want to buy it used to save some loot? Fuck you, buy it new.
Even if you could get it for 15 bucks used, you would still have to pay 20 bucks to get it to play online. Upping your cost to 35. Might as well buy it new to avoid the hassle.
We’re seeing more and more game companies start to do shit like this. EA and Bioware did something similar with Mass Effect 2. If you buy the game used and you want access to the extra content available online you have to purchase a “Cerberus Network Card” for 15 bucks. You can still play the game without the cerberus card, but you won’t be able to download any extra content. The difference between EA/Bioware and Sony is that . EA and Bioware aren’t charging you more money to get the core gameplay of the title. ME 2 still plays like it’s supposed to, but you don’t get the extra shit.
Of course, if you buy ME 2 used and you want the extra character and all the small DLC stuff they have out currently, you gotta drop 15 bucks on a cerberus card since all the additional downloadable content is going through EA and Bioware. So if new DLC comes out for the game in 6 months, you buy a used copy of ME2 and want that DLC then you’re gonna pay an extra 15 bucks on top of whatever the DLC is.
I imagine we’re going to see more and more of this coming in the future. I can’t get mad at game companies wanting to make money off of their product, but something like what Sony is implementing is fucked. I don’t want to get shafted on the full experience of a game if I happen to buy it from somebody who didn’t like it, or if I want to rent it to see if I’ll even enjoy it.
In the case of EA/BioWare, if you buy the cerberus card, there is no refund. I imagine Sony’s system will be the same. So if you rent Socom 3 on the psp and want to try it out, you have to pay 20 bucks just to get the game online.
I feel like if I bought something, I should be able to do whatever the fuck I want with it. If I sell the game to my neighbor, he should be able to play the game fully. I don’t like companies having the ability to lock me out if they feel like it, just because they aren’t getting the money they feel they should.
What do you guys think of all of this?
Edit EA is jumping into the same style online pass as Sony with the new Tiger Woods game.
Of course, a bunch of people said that EA was full of shit and EA responded.
This is doing the same thing that the Socom code will do, not like what happened with Mass Effect with the Cerberus card. The cerberus card still let you play the core of the game. I know for a lot of sports fans, the online component is essential. This completely cuts out anybody from buying it used unless they want to pay EA for the ability to play online.
I’m curious how xbox users especially feel about this since they pay a fee to have the ability to play online.
Make no mistake, this is a cash grab on EA’s part. Pure and simple. It isn’t about giving the customer a better experience, and EA’s COO is full of shit too as well. I’m curious how EA would even track used sales and how he conjured up the figure of only 10 percent of used sales actually buying and redeeming a code. And the other reason he’s full of shit, again, falls back on games like ME 2. You don’t need to redeem the cerberus card to play the full game. It wasn’t like you got to the Omega 4 relay and the game said “Sorry, to get past this point you need to pay us 10 bucks.” What a bunch of bullshit.