Sony is joining the online pass extravaganza that has joined this generation of gaming in an effort to slow down sales of used games. Like Electronic Arts and THQ, Sony's online pass would consist of a limited one time use code that would enable certain features in a game. If you rent or buy the game pre-owned you'll need to purchase the content for a small fee - usually $10.
Resistance 3 will be the first such game to utilize this for Sony as a publisher, and from the official statement, it sounds like it's the first of many planned games to utilize this feature.
"We are always evaluating new programs for our online offering, and starting with Resistance 3 this September, we will be instituting a network pass program for PS3 games with online capabilities. This program will be game-specific. Games that are a part of this program will include a single-use registration code that grants the account holder redeeming the code full online access for that title. This is an important initiative as it allows us to accelerate our commitment to enhancing premium online services across our first party game portfolio."
We asked for further clarification on the subject, as to whether this would affect the game's online co-op mode, but the official response was that they had no further details at this time.
My personal guess, and this is just a guess, is the co-op will not be affected by this as it's part of the campaign and not the game's competitive mode - which is what the online pass systems are usually geared towards. Co-Op is playable both locally and online.
I know many gamers that get bent out of shape about programs like this, especially ones who like to rent games - and it definitely hurts them. What's interesting to me is this definitely has to be affecting used game sales - and that's through no fault other than the retail outlets. I recently purchased a new copy of FIFA 2011 for $59.99 with the included online pass because the used copy was...$53.99. Adding on the $10 cost of the online pass to that price would have brought the price of the game ABOVE the cost of a new copy.
There's definitely some learning going on here on all sides of the consumer-publisher-retailer relationship here - and it seems to be a rocky road for everyone.
What are your thoughts on the continued and growing use of online pass and features?