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Saints Row: The Third requires online pass for co-op and Horde play

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Journalists have confirmed that Saints Row: The Third will utilize an online pass system, restricting online play to the game's original purchasers and those who shell out for a fresh key. Though Volition has removed competitive online play from the title, the pass will still be required to access mission elements specifically designed for co-op, as well as the game's Horde – ahem, Whored – mode.

Above: Without a pass, you'll be all on your own trying to figure out what's going on here. Which sucks, because we could use a hand

You'll be able to pick up SR3, online pass and all, this time next week. Probably by now you already have strong feelings about the issue of gated online play, whether those feelings are “I don't like online passes because I support second-hand sales,” “I love this idea because I work for a major publisher,” or “stop talking about this already, where are the game trailers?” So here's a recent advert for the game: feel free to imagine the clip's victims as either online pass sellers or people who complain about the feature, depending on your leanings.

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15 comments

  • sebastian-mifsud - May 16, 2012 6:37 a.m.

    i have complained to all the known e-mail addresses for THQ and had no results, so i have had to resort to using my contact details from games journalism and gone direct to the marketing people for THQ uk, i doubt ill hear any thing, but i am beyond angry on this as i say no competitive play makes it even more of an insult, i have asked THQ to make a public apology and to stand against on line passes on future lol!!!!
  • sebastian-mifsud - May 16, 2012 5:54 a.m.

    This is not just wrong it should be illegal. I thought EA games where bad doing this with Battlefield BC2 and Battlefield 3 and EA sports games. This needs to stop as it it terrorism on the second hand market and we should be able to sell games if we chose to as they are expensive. Secondly even if there is a on line pass it should be per ISP account or IP address/console/consoles as me and my wife both play the game why should we both have to pay for a pass this makes it even worse. some allow per console, but how is this any good when you have more than one xbox. The industry consistently justifies the inflated unit price with the quality of the product. As we not getting a full game, and often the online element is up to 50%, we can argue that a new unit price for games like Battlefield 3 should be £25 rather than £45. With regards to Saint Row the 3rd an argument that can not be countered with any logic is there is not even any competitive play so therefore charging for it is a absolute disgrace.
  • MetaSyke - November 10, 2011 9:02 a.m.

    I'm okay with this. Youre not being harmed by not having co-op (there are no co-op achievies), and it makes the developers think they'll be cutting down on second hand sales.
  • FoxdenRacing - November 9, 2011 7:56 a.m.

    Preorder, cancelled. A guaranteed buy has become a guaranteed used or a 'pass'...not the 'give them a tenner' kind, but the 'no thanks' kind.
  • samsneeze - November 9, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    So what you're saying is, you cancelled your [b]preorder[/b] because the game comes with a code that goes to only first party buyers? Is that what you meant? I hope not, because that's pretty stupid. I'm against online pass plays, myself, but your reasoning for and actions against them are pretty silly.
  • inkyspot - November 9, 2011 3:29 a.m.

    You are correct. :)
  • mattdark - November 9, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    Doesnt bother me so much. I was already picking it up new for the Professor Genki stuff, so I wont really be affected, just another code to enter.
  • inkyspot - November 8, 2011 9:48 p.m.

    Seems online pass is all the rage these days. Is this becoming the norm. I guess it's to proctect against piracy or something.
  • MetroidPrimeRib - November 8, 2011 10:07 p.m.

    But it makes you want to pirate the game more
  • res33 - November 8, 2011 10:28 p.m.

    its not to protect against piracy, it's an effort to go against used game sale. Game publisher/gamer developers do not get paid for second handed sells.
  • FoxdenRacing - November 9, 2011 7:53 a.m.

    Nor should they. Unless it's a big-name studio able to get a royalties clause, devs don't get paid after production at all...and the publisher got paid for that specific copy. The 1:1 ratio of produced/sold isn't being broken. There will never be more than $COPIES_SOLD gamers playing that game at any given time due to the effects of secondhand. Imagine if every manufacturer got a cut of every secondhand good. Buy a used car? Have to pay the original, day 1 wholesale price...on top of what you're paying for the car. Buy a used house? Have to pay the original, day 1 'at cost' price for when it was built. To see just how ridiculous it is, swap in any second-hand good in place of games. That said, there are a few chains out there *cough*gamestop*cough*...pardon me, dusty in this text box...that have taken second-hand to such an extreme that it's become parasitic. But that's not a reason to take it out on *us*. If the retailer is damaging their business so much...stop doing business with that retailer. When hordes of angry gamers take their business elsewhere, they'll get the hint real fast. If you're losing business to secondhand sales, figure out what those potential customers object to and address it. Is the price tag arbitrary? Is the price to value ratio (what you pay vs what you get out of it) out of whack? Are production runs too small? Does the game just plain suck? Those are more important questions to ask than 'how can we get a few extra bucks out of people'. Besides...does anyone honestly believe it'll never be taken out of new copies as well? Once we're done fighting with each other over new vs used, they'll put the pass only in preordered copies. Then when new vs preorder are done fighting, nobody gets it. If CoD Elite takes off, watch for a push to make multiplayer a become subscription, rather than pass...and in consoles, above and beyond what anyone is already paying. On the gamers themselves, used has 4 major bonuses: Low-risk exposure (Being out $10 for a new genre/sub-genre/franchise that you end up hating is a lot better than being out $60), back-catalog (wow, Game3 was awesome, but the plot didn't make sense. What happened in Game and Game2?), availability after the end of the print run (Game4 comes out in the spring, but the gamer doesn't get it until Christmas...it may be out of print by then, and used is the only option), and increasing the size of the fanbase...gamers that can afford $40 but not $60 aren't left out, and when those gamers CAN afford $60, they'll be buying new. When not taken to parasitic extremes, secondhand is something they should be thankful for. I've spent literally thousands of dollars on new games because I picked up one used (or played it at a friend's house, or etc), enjoyed it, and subsequently picked up the rest of the series and/or its expansion packs...and I know I'm not alone! Passes limit the playerbase to the already-loyal, which might be penny wise but is tenner-foolish. It's all well and good as long as today's gamers stick around, but they're setting themselves up for a fall when tomorrow's gamers know nothing of their products except 'they want a tenner on top of what I paid already? F*ck that.' It's painfully short-sighted, from a business perspective...and fits in just fine with business in the west's "Cost ourselves $100 tomorrow to make $5 today" attitude. We've already seen a couple houses of cards fall when a big publisher wanted a hit and got a turd; how many have to tumble before they figure out the plainly obvious?
  • coleo78 - November 9, 2011 8:10 a.m.

    Agreed...The game publisher has already profited off of the initial sale they arent entitled to that sale twice.
  • TruckThunders - November 8, 2011 8:14 p.m.

    Either way, it will be fun.
  • Robx - November 8, 2011 5:25 p.m.

    oh come on! f*cking online passes just causes more trouble and issues...

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