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Research: THQ & Electronic Arts Set To Crush Used Game Market

By 3 September 2010 No Comment

EA Sports Game Will Require “Online Pass” For Online Play &
Pre-Owned ‘Cheats Developers’ – THQ
May/August 2010

Computer and Video Games reported in May that EA Sports, an arm of Electronic Arts, would begin bundling all sports titles with a one time registration key code to access online play.  EA feels that the second hand market is hurting new game sales.  In order to deter second hand purchase EA has made the decision to force second hand buyers to pay a $10 fee to access online content.

Andrew Wilson, Senior VP of Worldwide Development at EA Sports commented that,

“In order to continue to enhance the online experiences that are attracting nearly five million connected game sessions a day, again, we think it’s fair to get paid for the services we provide and to reserve these online services for people who pay EA to access them.

“In return, we’ll continue to invest in creating great games and offer industry-leading online services to extend the game experience to everyone. I don’t think even the harshest cynic can argue with that and instead I think fans will see the value we’re committing to deliver when they see all the services, features and bonus content that is extending the life of their products.”

More recently, THQ has also confirmed that they will move toward the use of an access code for online play.  THQ is the publisher of popular wrestling games, and has determined that they will institute the policy for the first time in their upcoming title “Smackdown vs. Raw 2011”.  Those purchasing the game in the second hand market will have to pay around $10 for a code to access online content.

Cory Ledsma, who is a creative director for THQ’s wrestling series of games commented that those buying games new were the companies “loyal fans,” and also feels that used game buyers are cheating the publishers, saying,

“I don’t think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. So if used game buyers are upset they don’t get the online feature set I don’t really have much sympathy for them.  That’s a little blunt but we hope it doesn’t disappoint people. We hope people understand that when the game’s bought used we get cheated.  I don’t think anyone wants that so in order for us to make strong, high-quality WWE games we need loyal fans that are interested in purchasing the game. We want to award those fans with additional content.”

You can find the full articles here and here.

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