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If you've purchased an EA or THQ game in the past while, you've propably been wrangled into signing up for an online pass to enjoy the full breadth of its online offerings. The system was designed to cut studios in on the used gaming action by charging second users (i.e. renters and used copy purchasers) a modest fee for accessing online content that would have been free if they bought it new.
As expected, this strategy has sparked concerns that studios are taking advantage of consumers, or worse, trying to kill the used gaming market outright. Not so says THQ's Brian Farrell, who has stated THQ recognizes the market's role in the industry, and he'd rather find a way to benefit from it than see it disappear.
“The most important thing is we have to participate in the value chain in used games,” said Farrell in a brief interview with MCV, “We understand, given our focus on the gamer, that consumers like to be able to monetise their game library. So it is an ecosystem between publisher, gamer and retailer that just has to sort itself out."
Farrell added that instead of fighting the sale of used games, studios like THQ need to focus on giving players more motivation to keep their original copies, explaining, “The bigger win is keeping our gamers engaged with DLC and robust online play, and that keeps the disc in the first purchaser’s hands.”
THQ's online pass appears in the newly released FPS Homefront, in which it charges second users $10 to rank beyond the fifth experience level in the multiplayer mode, and enjoy all of the game's online features.
Mar 17, 2011
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