Kingdoms of Amalur: Online Pass required for selected quests

An Online Pass will be required to unlock an entire seven-quest storyline of EA's upcoming ARPG, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. As well as the Mass Effect 3 tie-in armor, the single-player-only title will feature a questline, House of Valor, whose seven missions aren't available without the entry of a one-time code. Second-hand players will be required to buy an as-yet-unpriced Online Pass to access the content.

Above: Thanks to Destructoid for spotting and scanning the incriminating document

EA calls the locked content a “free bonus” that will be available free-of-charge for buyers of new copies, or digital downloaders playing the game via services such as Steam or Origin. While Online Passes which block multiplayer features to discourage second-hand buyers are nothing new, the addition of single-player content behind a one-use code is a new rubicon for the industry's passive-aggressive war on second-hand games. Do you think this is fair play, or a troubling sign of things to come?


  • ParagonT - January 30, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    I believe that second hand selling the games are indeed wrong and I see their point, but by god if they're going to say we cannot sell our copy of the game to others (which is like pirating), they need to lower the price of games all together to a more affordable price for everyone. If games were only around 30-35 dollars, by god they could strap all the codes/dildos/advertising they wanted on the sucker. They're afraid of losing future purchasers, so this seems like a good deal to me. They get more purchasers, we get more affordable games. Of course because they're greedy asses, they're just going to implement these changes and people will eat this stuff up anyway, but not if people can have restraint to not buy every game and purchase upon their principles.
  • zaraki23 - January 30, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    To add insult on injured wou.d with salt on it. They have the elaborate fabricated PR statements explaining and justifying their reasoning but in essence it's just placing a soft pillow under our heads turning the lights off saying good night
  • zaraki23 - January 30, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    This is freaking disappointying. KoA looked and played promising (demo). Can't we sign a petition for this crap to get EA's attention for all the unecessary hassel we gotta go through just for the single player content. I just like many of you am sick and tired of all these codes, passwords, instruction this, instruction that. For crying out loud we're gamers we just wanna play. It is a cut and dry concept. I don't regularly buy used games. I like to unseal them myself. I could very well be addicted to the smell of a fresh game being opened :). It isn't our fault that used games thrive when there is so many releasing every year with most being sub-par at best. The ones that are above average and have high expectations turn out to be simply broken in some way. I was gonna buy first day but now i'm fed up with us the loyal gaming community, their customers and livelyhood getting the short end of the stick and trying to fork us like we are Thanksgiving dinner. I'll wait til it hits the bargain bin, even then i will not register to play the main quest. I will just have to do without it. Im audi to lunch to get Resistance 3
  • CoffeeForTheAdmiral - January 30, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    I HAVE HAD IT. I'm buying/have bought all of these games new, many of them collectors editions - Mass Effect 2, Dragon Age: Origins, Batman: Arkham City, this game, etc. I paid full price as the publishers wanted BUT I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET AT HOME SO I DON'T GET ALL OF THIS STUFF. I'm still being punished if I buy it used, and how I am supposed to send a message to the publishers? By not buying any games? God this is annoying.
  • patbateman17 - January 30, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    I mean - are there THAT many people that aren't buying games new? If you buy new = no problem. If you're buying used, just wait til the price drops to $30 (in a week I'm sure) and then pick up the DLC at your option for $10 and you're still out on top. What's the problem? It's 7 optional quests, who cares? Not like it's horse armor.
  • fanfundy - January 29, 2012 7:16 p.m.

    GREED. This is all I'm seeing now. This forces me to wait until the new game is cheaper or on clearance, or to wait for the rerelease with all the DLC like I've done with L.A. Noir, Red Dead Redemption, Dragon Age, Fallout, Ulitmate MvC3, and soon Mortal Kombat. As consumers, we need to fight for what has been FREE for us since the beginning of gaming. Say no to greedy companies. Wait for full version releases, and say no to online passes.
  • snipes101 - January 29, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    I hate these things in every way shape and form. My school does not allow Xbox's or playstation 3's to connect to their internet so, when I get a game like this, I'm SOL. This is not helping the problem, just pissing consumers off.
  • birdman1041 - January 29, 2012 9:35 p.m.

    Sympathy. Same deal here, I work at a school with kids whose console isn't online. So, rather than receiving a so-called "free bonus," they actually get LESS content (not more) when game companies do this sort of thing.
  • griffinkat - January 29, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    Don't know if anyone is still reading this but, There's an update saying this long quest is DLC not on the disc. Company is saying its a bonus to those that buy new they get free day 1 dlc.
  • SVD997 - January 29, 2012 5:48 a.m.

    This isn't a surprise at all. These companies need to make money to survive, and used game sales get them no money. You may not be able to afford to purchase a game new, but that's what the developers need to sell to make their money. We all love getting used games for cheap, but when we purchase used, we are supporting the store, not the game company. The catch 22 of the situation is that game companies need us to buy new if they want to make money off the game, but a lot of people, especially in this economy, can't afford to buy new. This is one of the reasons that my primary gaming platform is pc. I can buy new at deeply discounted prices, and I am still able to support the developers. Until we see a similar model with consoles, maybe next generation, this is going to continue to be a trend with the publishers releasing 'free' content to new purchasers. With the war on used games getting larger and larger, the rumors about the 720 (or whatever it's going to be called) requiring an activation code for each game, is entirely plausible. The other option is for companies to rework their pricing system so it's more viable to buy new. I will not pay $60 for a game that only has 10-20 hours of content, it's ridiculous. Especially when you compare it to something like Skyrim, where I'm 100 hours in, and still have tons of content left to play.
  • CitizenThom - January 29, 2012 1:25 p.m.

    The game companies could start getting themselves involved in offering used products, and make money off of that part of the process as well. These DLC 'bonuses' could be offered to people who buy used from the game publisher insteas of from other vendors. Instead of trying to find a way to reach out to the market segment that either sells a game after finishing it, or that prefers to buy games used... they have opted to be antagonistic. Likewise, if publishers want to be antagonisic towards used game sales... there are other ways to do it. Replayability and/or enjoyable online play both keep copies of the game in the hands of the person who bought the game, meaning those copies don't end up at a used game seller's shelf. If there's scarcity in the way of used games... the price for a used game isn't going to be much cheaper than a new copy, and I can't believe anyone would buy a used copy to only save a dollar or two, when a new copy is guaranteed to not have any scratches, and the game manual will be intact... of course they're eliminating game manuals now, so by their own decisions, they've taken away one of the reasons that I prefer to buy new games.
  • ThisIsMyFuckingThirdAccount - January 29, 2012 2:58 a.m.

    Man, EA was doing so good for such a brief period of time. So I guess that's a big Fuck You to all the kids out there who's parents don't have wi-fi.
  • darnell-l-armstrong - January 28, 2012 7:10 p.m.

    Pretty soon the console world and the pc world will be one and the same....Patches(including day one), mandatory installs, passcodes....Pretty soon even single-player console games will have to be "always on" just to play. At that point I feel sorry for the gamers without an internet connection....
  • CitizenThom - January 28, 2012 8:44 p.m.

    This thing going on reminds me of one of the things I started to tire of with pc gaming... yes my pc hardware slowly fell behind... but I hated the initial wave of 'authentication' checks for so many different games that were actually crashing the computer because the people doing the pirate proofing didn't take much care in making the authentication unobtrussive.
  • chriszewski - January 28, 2012 2:40 p.m.

    If its on the disc there should be no reason to "unlock" it through any means other than actual gameplay. I don't like this trend of SP content being held back from used game buyers. MP; fine you got servers to run and a crew to pay but there is still that one single disc seeing use, not an extra copy. Oh, and calling something a "bonus" thats already on the disk does not a bonus make. I get that Devs don't see a dime from used game sales, and usually an online pass is only $10 bucks (most of the time), but there is no argument for witholding content from a SP game for lack of resale revenue. Pubs are treating conumers as pirates and that isn't the case. Where's the High Horse article for this, anyway? I generally buy games new and will likely continue to do so, but if this trend continues i'll probably wait a little longer than normal for the price to drop even more, or completely skip certain games altogether... Eh, lets be honest, i probably won't.
  • CitizenThom - January 28, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    I'm starting to think that I need to start buying EA published games used and only used. If EA wants to be an annoyance to consumers, by making people who buy new copies of the game jump through hoops (if you dont have an EA account you'll have to create one, then you have to sign into PSN and enter the code four digits at a time, and then after it downloads and installs...then you can play your single player game), maybe it's time to say 'Hey, EA, if you're looking to pick a fight even with your new game purchasing customers, you can have one.' I've been in the habit of buying games new for a while now, I wait for the price drop if I think the games not worth full price, but I have bought games new save for a few exceptions (Conan, Valkyria Chronicles- Which I bought all the DLC for, and Ratchet & Clank Tools of Destruction). Oh, and I did buy a used replacement copy of Dragon Age Origins when my original bought new copy was locked away inside my PS3 when it YLOD'd as I was playing the game.
  • CitizenThom - January 28, 2012 3:32 p.m.

    Also, on a side note... I'm seeing from that photo that EA has decided to not give us a game manual again... which they don't do to save the earth but to save pennies on their production costs. Think about it, how many times do you have to fire up your console or pc to read the manual, before it's clearly using more energy than would be involved in printing a game manual? I'm going to say five or ten times tops.
  • chriszewski - January 28, 2012 6:47 p.m.

    Less weight when shipping and its less to print. Although with all the adverts and other peices of carboard stuffed into game boxes, i don't really think they are saving much on weight. Not that games need documentation nowadays anyway, what with two hour tutorials and such. I still have my Falcon 4.0 manual. Its bigger than most college texbooks.
  • 435 - January 28, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    As Hollander pointed out on Twitter... PC gamers have been doing this for years. I am unconcerned.
  • cokelogic - January 28, 2012 11:48 a.m.

    Completely unacceptable. To hold back a part of a game, which is on the disc, with an online code. This is a disgusting trend. What of the person who supports 38 Studio and EA, buys the game brand spankin' new, but is not online? It's not a "Reward".

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