News Article

Talking Point: Wii U and the Future of the Online Pass

Posted by Mark Reece

'Project $10' and what it could mean

With the number of gamers indulging in online play on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at an all-time high, it’s disheartening sometimes to observe how far Nintendo has been lagging behind, as far as online functionality goes. For those lucky enough to own more than one console, the Wii isn’t exactly the go-to machine if you’re serious about teaming up with or competing against players around the world. Downloadable content (DLC) might be prevalent on Wii — the Virtual Console has proven itself especially popular — and services like BBC iPlayer were a step in the right direction, but the much maligned friend codes make playing with friends far more of a chore then it actually should be. It’s not difficult to understand why the unified online accounts, screen-names and friend lists of the 360 and PS3 have seen those consoles trump Nintendo’s otherwise astronomically successful console.

Nintendo has promised that its previous sentiment of “online play isn’t everything” is set to change in the coming years, and any 3DS owners who’ve taken their handhelds online will surely testify that this process has already begun. Despite its shaky start with online functionality the handheld now boasts a number of titles with online play, a neat messaging system, a web browser, its own Virtual Console and the Nintendo Video service, with Netflix already available in North America and Hulu Plus on its way in the future.

Nintendo has promised that its previous sentiment of “online play isn’t everything” is set to change in the coming years, and any 3DS owners who’ve taken their handhelds online will surely testify that this process has already begun.

Online functionality is supposedly going to have a far greater presence on the Wii U as well. Last summer, Nintendo marketing manager Rob Lowe explained how the company is striving for a more robust online service on Wii U, while Peter Moore (COO at EA) has repeatedly bigged up the Wii U’s online functions, which is a positive sign, even if he is remaining irritatingly coy about what exactly these functions are.

Presumably DLC will play a huge part in Nintendo’s new-found desire to prove itself as a major player on the online stage with Wii U. Various company representatives have spoken about the future of DLC on 3DS, pledging their intention to support future titles with additional content and even the desire to keep older titles fresh with DLC as well. However, while all this talk of add-ons — be they offered free or coming in at a premium — from Nintendo itself is all well and good, there’s another more worrying aspect to consider: when it comes to DLC distributed via Xbox Live or PSN, a handful of third parties have exploited this additional content for other reasons besides keeping a game’s experience fresh.

It started out as “Project $10”, a business model coined and pioneered by EA who, much to the chagrin of many gamers, opted to include redeemable codes — functioning as a particular type of online pass — within new copies of many of its games; these codes, when redeemed, would give players exclusive access to either additional content or in some cases the entire multiplayer component of a game. Any consumers who purchased the game second-hand — and thus more than likely without the code included — would have to pay approximately $10 in order to gain access to the locked-out content.

Other publishers such as Ubisoft and THQ followed suit and as a result outrage ensued among many consumers. Yet this business model hasn’t shown any signs of being phased out on either PS3 or 360, and arguably with good reason. Any money that changes hands whenever a game is purchased second-hand goes solely to the retailer, with the publishers losing out on any profits that might have been gained had the game been purchased brand new. Now, regardless of whether or not we agree that the ends justify the means, the employment of this business model has become a staple of the industry on the HD consoles. As publishers often argue, if a company isn’t profiting from its games because they’re being bought second-hand, then the repercussions can be dire. Best case scenario, a few games can’t be budgeted for and get cancelled. The worst case? A company goes under, something that has been occurring with increasing and alarming regularity in recent years.

The Wii has remained unaffected by the Project $10 philosophy thus far, and with the console now in its twilight years and the Wii U looming ever closer on the horizon that seems unlikely to change. However, EA has already pledged “key franchises” to Wii U, which could feasibly include FIFA and Battlefield: both have embraced the idea of giving owners of new copies of games access to features for which second-hand buyers have to pay extra. So, should the Wii U’s online functionality prove itself to be as robust as Nintendo assures us, and should online play and DLC become integral components in the new console’s success, it’s highly plausible that third parties will adopt the Project $10 business mode in order to recoup losses to the second-hand games market.

This might even extend to the 3DS as well. The handheld recently received an update that — among other things — added support for redeemable codes. This may currently only be used in the eShop, but with potential adjustments from developers it could bring second-hand buyers one step closer to having to think long and hard before deciding whether to purchase a game new, or pay for online functions or additional content on top of the supposedly lower second-hand price.

What do you think? Would the proposed online functionality of the Wii U, combined with second-hand games market, force the hands of publishers and have them adopt the Project $10 business model on Nintendo’s next console? Could this method of recouping losses even extend to the 3DS? Do you agree with how some publishers use DLC and multiplayer as a way to force consumers to avoid second-hand purchases? Let us know in the comments below.

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User Comments (72)



3DS said:

Online Pass....only if it's cheap and not as expensive as xbox live!



CanisWolfred said:

Yes, look how far behind Nintendo is: Games still come with all their content available to the players, online doesn't require $10+ fees, and there's no DRM punishing the paying customers as much as the criminals.

Nintendo, why you no greedy?!

In all serious, though, I hope Nintendo's games at least don't fall into the same traps that a lot of games fall into.



WiiLovePeace said:

Yeah I agree with publishers doing that. To them, a second-hand sale of a game is exactly the same as piracy, when you think about the dollars lost. Whether you're copying a game & distributing it, or selling that same retail disc to someone else, the publisher makes $0 either way so it makes sense they want to try & get some money out of the distribution of their games, legal or otherwise.



ScreamoPichu said:

Nintendo usually keeps things free, hopefully the Nintendo Network will be a free thing. Hoping they stay as far away as possible from online passes.



Burning_Spear said:

I sympathize with people who can't afford to buy new copies of every game they want, but I don't have a problem with this practice.



CanisWolfred said:


Or it could just end up being a potential barrier to someone who's interested but not too sure of a game, who might end up loving it and then buying the sequel day one.

Personally, I don't support such rediculous things. This comes off as simple penny-pinching. EA already makes plenty of money off the gazillions of DLC they put out. Now you're telling me I should give them $10 more just because they couldn't make a game that was worth a day-one purchase to me? Yeah right.



shingi_70 said:

Its hard to choose. On one hand their are tons of games I buy used. On the other hand used games don't benefit the developer and publisher so an online pass makes sense.



Burning_Spear said:

@8: EA is only bound to provide value for the original purchaser, not anyone who buys it later. They're not in business to let people make money off of them. If you're buying the game new to play it and have fun, you're getting the exact same experience you always have. If you're buying it to play it and then flip it into another game, then EA is not obligated to do you a favor. I wish this wasn't happening, but I don't see this being any different than Microsoft selling a key code with Windows or a DVD manufacturer putting a copy-killing code on each disc. I don't think it's greed. ... Game-development costs are soaring, and we're all going to pay more if companies can't find ways to increase sales.



AbuJaffer said:

I've got a couple comments to make on this article:

First off, Nintendo could easily appease publishers by releasing cheaper-than-retail downloadable games that will attract some of the second-hand crowd. Higher profit margins for publishers and Nintendo, cheaper games for gamers, and no "online pass" problems are all positives of downloadable games. Now, people who like borrowing games and whatnot will still be affected, but people with tight wallets will surely appreciate the ability to buy games cheaper than what's sold at stores, and sometimes cheaper than some used games (especially at GameStop).

Second off, I personally am not very affected by this. While I've sometimes borrowed/allowed others to borrow some games, they've been strictly single-player affairs; I find multiplayer games to be best kept permanently, and since I buy all my games new, I'm generally unaffected by this.

Finally, Nintendo really needs to step up their online for the Nintendo populace to even accept the notion of online passes. The PS and XBOX crowd may have (mostly) bowed down to this sort of thing (with whatever losses in sales from dissatisfied customers being made up by the online passes), but Nintendo fans haven't had a comprehensive online experience anyways; asking people to pay for something they don't even have yet isn't exactly a smart move. The Nintendo Network needs to have a base community before this sort of thing becomes feasible; in other words, Nintendo better wait a couple years before allowing publishers to force this sort of thing down their throats.



AVahne said:

Even if 3rd parties continue that Project $10 crap on Wii U and 3DS, at least Nintendo has said that they'll do DLC the right way and maybe at least try to get 3rd parties to follow suit.



6ch6ris6 said:

gooda quote gundammac here, because he is absoloutly right:

"Yes, look how far behind Nintendo is: Games still come with all their content available to the players, online doesn't require $10+ fees, and there's no DRM punishing the paying customers as much as the criminals.

Nintendo, why you no greedy?!"




I completely understand why publishers have the online pass, the only other fair way to do it is for Game/Gamestation or anywhere else that stocks second hand games to pass some of the profit onto the publishers. Which isn't going to happen without the original owner taking a huge dent in the trade-in value.

Perhaps publishers themselves should look at setting up their own webstores and buy unwanted copies of games from players!

I prefer to buy my games brand new where possible anyway, generally I only buy pre-owned when there's no new stock, or a considerable price difference.



Alexneon said:

One of the many problems that i see with this at least for me and im pretty sure that a lot of ppl have the same problem is that we dont have eshop available in my country so how they expect that i buy a $10 code to get access to features of a used copy, a 3ds game cost $80 here so thats why i prefer a used copy. wiiware service is available but they dont let me use a credit card and they dont sell points cards here so is a waste of time there too, internet is a global thing right? one of the reason that i enjoy online wii games is that the only thing i need is to buy the game new or used but with this new politics i dont know nintendo, i gonna start to considering where i gonna invest my money, speaking of gaming of course.



NESguy94 said:

Paying to unlock content that is already there, it is scam that I am not taking a part in. When I buy a game, I expect to be able to play everything from the start or be able to unlock it through gameplay. What happens when your games are old and the online connection is dead or if you can't get online?

If you want to stop the game companies from losing money stop selling all your games to GameStop for a few bucks once you have finished them. Pay $5 more and get the new copy. Simple things like this make a big difference.

This video shows why I hate this kind of thing:



theblackdragon said:

@Alexneon: i think you may have it wrong... if i've read the article correctly, in order for you to access that $10 worth of features, you would have to have access to the eShop (or whichever shop we're talking about) in the first place in order to download that content. You wouldn't be able to access the downloadable content whether you bought it new or used if you couldn't access the eShop to begin with, and that's potentially an even bigger problem than what you've described IMO.

There's also the problem of legacy gaming. What happens in the future when these Shops go the way of the dodo and the ability to even pay that extra $10 is gone? With no way to experience the fullest potential of your game, even when you're more than willing to fork over the dough for what would be unlocked for you... it saddens me that future generations may not be able to enjoy games we're playing now the way this generation is able to enjoy retro gaming — you know, just pop in the cartridge and have at. :/



LztheQuack said:

@4: I'm sorry, but that's the biggest load of crap I've ever heard. Next you're gonna tell me that Goodwill, pawn shops, and Salvation Army are bad for manufacturers because they're stealing sales. Give me a break!!

Most of the companies like EA, Sony, and Ubisoft who support this crap already make billions from other franchises. All of these are large companies who are afraid of losing one single dollar on a sale. They're just a bunch of greedy people with fat pockets who want to squeeze more $$$ out of their consumers. They also justify making the loyal customer suffer more with ridiculous crap on how they are "losing money". Fun fact: in order to have a second hand sale, the game must be purchased first.



King_Boo said:

online pass is pure greed. in order to buy a game used, it had to be bought new and then sold. the publisher already made their money for the game. If you buy a dvd, you don't need to pay to rewatch it.
If they didn't want used sells to be an issue, make the games download only for full price for a few months and drop the price over time. Or they could all get together and buy up game stop and all the other guys.



Haywired said:

As long as Nintendo remembers not to alienate their core market (both kids and casual gaming adults) with all this sort of stuff and continues to adhere to their philosophy of simplicity and accessibility. A huge part of the Nintendo market isn't the average tech-savvy 20/30 year old PS3/360 gamer. We (at the more hardcore end of the Nintendo market) may understand this stuff, but many won't and may be overwhelmed and put off. The DS didn't outsell its competition because of its multimedia capabilities (until the DSi, it had none, apart from Pictochat).



King_Boo said:

I think Nintendo's method works better. Buy the game new so you can register it in club nintendo and get free stuff. EA could do something like that, instead of locking the multiplayer they could add stuff like general pre-order bonuses.
The 25 different pre-order bonuses per game I'm guessing will be another talking point in the future.



OldBoy said:

Don't know why they just don't make the disc only readable in one machine and have done with it. As soon as the digital download only era is upon us they won't need these crappy online pass schemes and such.
I think they need to sell the games cheaper in order to stop the second hand market thriving.Maybe even split the single and multiplayer aspects into separate releases.
And @ the people who don't think the second hand market doesn't affect sales of new are deluded!! Seriously. Why do people keep mentioning EA, F*** em'!! , its the small developers with out there ideas that'll be first to suffer. bothers me, how bout you?.
Anyhow I'm looking forward to DLC from Nintendo, New tracks for Mario Kart, levels for Mario even new stuff for pilotwings etc, to regenerate one of the launch games, sounds very enticing to me ,whatever the cost. Nothing wrong with DLC (when done right) , don't like it, don't buy it. Simples.



ThomasBW84 said:

@theblackdragon - You make a good point about digital content: if a company folds or servers are lost, that game is gone forever. In 10-15 years there'll be a lot of disheartened collectors and retro gamers.

As for the $10 project thing, I can see both sides of the argument. Retailers and gamers with less money naturally support second hand games, while publishers are trying to retrieve something from these sales. To an extent it's cynical from publishers, but I also think too many people often want something for almost nothing, and we probably have 99p smartphone games to thank for that. I'm not sure either side of this argument can be 100% right.



zapdinos said:

It's funny how you guys agree with all of this and actually trying to come up with a reason to justify why it's okay for publishers to do this to you yet they are ripping you off. I mean those guys are sitting on a bunch of dough and they get more off you guys. Think whether you buy day 1 or later you're screwed. Pre-order bonuses for those who bought the game day 1 yet all it's doing is unlocking something that should've been unlocked from the very start. Extra 10 for something already on the game that just isn't accessible yet? Now is that far? Buying a game that isn't full from the very beginning because they want more dough from you? I wish for a simpler time where these companies wouldn't be greedy and that I at least hope Nintendo doesn't do this. And if you agree on online passes ... That is wrong from the very beginning and at the end of the day all it's doing is hurting the consumers.



CerealKiller062 said:

This is the kind of article that makes want to slap anyone who tries to defend companies because they do this because they need to regain money. Look at the movie and music industry. Both these industry respectively pay a lot more in order to have thier products pushed forward to the open market, for less than a fraction of the price offered to us by the Interactive industries.(Movie=$20 Music=$.99 Video Games= $60-$70) I must also include that both of these industries suffer from the highest amount of piracy among any other industry. I for one don't like that people support these sky high prices this is theft on their part. I honestly think it's cycle that can be broken. I think we need another video game market crash.



zapdinos said:

@ThomasBW84 for those who argue wrong about the situation yes they shouldn't expect free or close to nothing. But in a situation where most companies are offering things that should already be in the game from the get go that's the problem. Charging us money for things that are already on the disc and should've been accessible from day 1 is a big no no.



OldBoy said:

"But in a situation where most companies are offering things that should already be in the game"@zapdinos

Says who? you?

@28Do you know how much a big budget game costs, server costs ,staff costs etc ,etc. Comparing it to movies and music is lame.They both have a far longer shelf life and provide royalties from TV,Rental, Radio etc that they generate cash for a lot longer.Games are a lot more sh*t or bust, with the exception of Nintendo games of course.
Unless you are one of the big few you sink or swim on your latest release.



Burning_Spear said:

I think some people don't realize that the only people paying the $10 fee are the ones buying the game used. The codes are included with the game, and the games are the same price they've always been. Argue that they're too expensive to begin with, but don't say you're getting ripped off because the reduced-price used game doesn't have all the content that the full retail version does. When you boil this down to its simplest point, it's raising the price of used games by $10 for those who want the complete experience. In what world does buying something used mean you get the exact same value as buying it new? Well, maybe at Tom Nook's.

I'm not even arguing that buying used games is wrong. I'm just saying it's not wrong for companies to do things to discourage resale of their products.



Alexneon said:

@theblackdragon i get it right man, the whole $10 dollars project is a rip-off, what next? chargin us another $10 for use our old save file in a new version of a game?, This is BS.



LztheQuack said:

@Burning_Spear: Another problem is that some codes don't work and consumers have to go through a grueling process to enter new codes. Heck from what I hear it's grueling even when the codes work



Shock_Tart said:

the whole online pass thing is a stupid gimmick for gaming companies to get more money out of you anyhow. the whole "redeem this online code for multiplayer options" thing only recently came about. i remember when i wanted to play a game online i didnt need to get a fancy code that enabled me to. i just had to click the multiplayer option and woosh! there im online. no code needed.



LordTendoboy said:

If buying used games is wrong, then are these other things wrong too?

  • Buying a used car from a dealership
  • Buying clothes from the Salvation Army and Goodwill
  • Buying an old TV at a pawn shop


armoredghor said:

@zapdinos the difference is that they're trying to protect the four years of investment that they put into their product. They are trying to make sure that a place like gamestop doesn't keep making profit from their product without seeing a cent. It didn't cost much to build the discs but it did cost a many millions of dollars to build this product and they would like to see a little cash for it. I understand that $10 adds up overtime but considering the platforms its offered on now, don't be upset if it now costs half the original price instead of a third.



armoredghor said:

@LordTendoboy the difference is that those aren't as high quality as new and will not last as long whereas in this case you get the same experience ( depending on the disc)



ThreadShadow said:

No company is being forced to do's simple greed. If a game is being bought second-hand that means it was bought new somewhere else the game company has made their money, need to shut up and keep their hands out of everyones pockets. To insist on making money on your product once it's been sold is insane. You're paying for internet, and likely paying for Xbox Live(true PSN is free, and Nintendo Network likely is too, but you understand.). It's corporate greed plain and simple. Companies need to be allowed to fail, not be propped up continually. This is the whole "bail-out" mentality...nothing can be allowed to fail, even if they are mismanaged, corrupt, or made bad choices.

Just say NO to Project $10!!!



Urbanhispanic said:

We can ALL agree on one thing: the online pass is developers' answer to how to make money on used/second hand games since they don't see profits from that to begin with. The only way DLC will return to its original purpose is for game retailers and developers/publishers to come together and work out an agreement. They could work on reducing the price of new games faster or have developers/publishers accept copies of games from people who don't want to keep it anymore and offer a $5 coupon towards a future game purchase.

It's stupid for retailers to take all the profits from used games while the developers get none. Then, the developers turn around and stick it to the consumers, even though not all of them buy used games. They need to come together and work something out where everyone makes their money without taking it on gamers everywhere.



Nintenderp said:

Agreed. I hope this only applies to the games not the actual online service itself.

I hate this idea though. Technically the game company has already gained money from the original buyer of the game. I don't see why the person who bought the game from the original buyer has to pay an additional $10 just to gain additional features.



TravelingD said:

Online passes are bad, and the companies that enforce them should be ashamed of their greediness. I hope this practice dies a quick death in the future and nintendo doesn't actually enact this on their own titles.



ueI said:

I think the $10 pass is a good idea. Some of you guys are acting like you have to preorder the game for it to be "new." You know that some games can be bought "new" years after their release, right? Burning_Spear is right on the money with comment #31. What DOES bug me are the preorder exclusive bonuses. Not everyone preorders games, and not all bonuses become available to later buyers. I feel ripped off if I get less content than someone else who buys a game for the same price, just because they planned to buy it earlier.



sinalefa said:


Have you ever heard of Aeropost/Aerocasillas? I never bought a game here again, since prices are outrageous here too. I buy everything at Amazon and bring it over with Aerocasillas, and it is a lot cheaper. And stop swearing!

Regarding passes, I agree in that it is a greedy move that ends up punishing consumers, whether they support it or not. What most people would do would be to wait until the price of the game drops and then buy it new. So you get the online and the new game, and you are not paying $60 for a game you may not like.



ljinkakidd said:

I see what Nintendo's doing. They introduce new features moderately so they don't run out of ideas that quick. I really don't see what else the PS4 and 720 can do besides copy off Nintendo. I'm just being logical here.



CaPPa said:

I cannot think of many products that allow the company to make money from 2nd hand sales. Just imagine if Ford made you pay them so you could drive the 2nd hand car you bought, it'd seem crazy.

Personally I only buy older cheap 2nd hand games for $5 or $10 and would never buy a new game used just to save $5. So the '$10 project' has never effected me. It could effect the amount of new games that I buy though, as I occasionally trade in games for new ones; so if a game has a reduced trade value then I wont bother trading for the new game.

It's still better than Microsofts rumoured 'no used games at all' on their next Xbox though.



kkslider5552000 said:

Maybe if developers were better paid they wouldn't need this. Maybe the video game industry has more issues than the movie industry about who gets paid for what and how much. Maybe the problem isn't an admittedly greedy Gamestop and the industry as a whole for not living in the year 2012.

You know, just a thought.



Supremeist said:

Well, atleast nothing is confirmed yet. We all know Nintendo won't rip us off for online features. They know what they're doing. Let's just let them stick to there job and let them do what they feel is best.



StarDust4Ever said:

@CaPPa: "I cannot think of many products that allow the company to make money from 2nd hand sales. Just imagine if Ford made you pay them so you could drive the 2nd hand car you bought, it'd seem crazy."

You buy a used car from the dealership; suppose it has 30,000 miles on it. You drive the heck out of it, and at 60,000 miles something on the car breaks or wears out and needs replacement, so you take it back to the dealer/mechanic to get it fixed. The dealer/mechanic installs genuine OEM parts which came directly from the auto manufacturer. Henceforth, the auto manufacturer makes money off of the current owners for up to ten years by selling new parts for old cars. After ten years, support for your automobile is officially discontinued, but you can still buy refurbished/aftermarket parts or pull them from a salvage yard.

The profits the auto manufacturer makes on replacement parts is comparable to the DLC / online pass sales for video game companies, in that it is stuff you buy after you've purchased the main product, and I'm pretty sure that at least a fair percentage of people who buy used games also purchase DLC. In fact, sometimes buying a game new years after release has it's advantages. Super Mario Galaxy is now $20. Little Big Planet G.O.T.Y. Edition (PS3) has boatloads of DLC content preinstalled (no codes needed) and costs $30. Buying it new at launch would have been $60 plus another ~$59 worth of content if you wanted to match the packaged contents of the G.O.T.Y. version, and even then you still don't get the 18 bonus community levels.



Coolio2480 said:

nintendo should keep it available to play online for free thats one of the reasons that they are awesome! but they have stepped yup there online ga e with the 3DS having swapnote



Vincent294 said:

@Coolio2480 Look, it's still free. This isn't Xbox Live. A redemption code to activate the online multiplayer components of a game is bundled w/ all the new copies. The idea driving this: Game devs get no $ for used game sales. That's ridiculous. It's concept is this; you pay the dev their share of the money ($10). Game Stop adjusts their prices accordingly to retain an edge on new games (-$10). You still get used game money (a little less, though). No piracy (Ha ha, suckers. No online for you greedy freeloaders. Not supporting the developers. How unfair.), and the devs don't get ripped off. Win for just about everyone. Well, assuming Game Stop lowers the price (and still gives you a reasonable amount of money from your used games). It's not the worst thing. Nintendo could've gone all digital. But they aren't.



Sgt_Ludby said:

Let me preface this by stating that I don't know much about economics lol With that being said, I don't understand why video game companies are so exceptional. Selling used goods is common free market practice. Goods are produced. Goods are bought new. Some of these bought goods are sold. Some goods are bought used. It's present everywhere, for all goods. Cars and homes are sold used by the minute. Do the car manufacturers make money from the sold used car? No. Do the construction workers who built the home get money when the house is resold? No. So why are video game companies so exceptional? Why do they feel entitled to making money off of used sales, when nearly no one else in the market does?



zapdinos said:

@Luigi78 it's been constantly shown that all of it is in the disc already especially when you pirate something that's where it shows and that is why a lot of websites post that crap. The content is already in the game and someone even said earlier that sometimes they charge extra to unlock the multiplayer features.

@armoredghor Yes because we are talking about million or even billion dollar companies. Dude they make a load of money off their products anyways it just another way to get revenue from their games. I would actually be surprise if they charge less then they do now. Knowing these money hungry companies it wouldn't be much of a shocker if they charge more. And it doesn't matter what it's on. They were already over-pricing for PSP DLC. You have to know that they are over pricing and ripping off the consumer, many and i mean many websites complain about this too. So yeah if people keep purchasing then of course they'll just keep screwing you over.

That was unnecessary. Please drop the insults — TBD



ShellyDeKiller said:

Online Passes could be considered as one of the worst problems the video game industry have ever faced. Mostly because 1. Companies like EA and THQ have already abused it endlessly, whether through locking off content for no reason other than to create Online Pass material 2. If the activation process for the PS3 Online Passes are any indication, it means wasting a lot of your time filling out endless codes (The Wii Shop Channels are a nightmare enough as it is, especially considering Friend Codes) 3. The used game market is nowhere near the evil of the industry that these companies want you to believe, with them providing a cheaper way to play certain games, without the risk of a £30-£40 entry 4.It's just a terrible idea that the gaming community has convinced itself is normal, leading the way for further problems to arise ( A little conspiracy-theoyish, I know, but I wouldn't put it past companies that still believe DRM is a force for good).



wolon said:

considering the wiiu has a camera in the controller as standard they could use it to scan QR codes for the online passes. solving the problem of inputting the codes. Personally I don't have a problem with the passes as i only buy new games anyway but i can understand why they would want to discourage the sale of used games as publishers don't get a penny from it.



edhe said:

I'm an acolyte of Jim Sterling of Destructoid - I hang on his every word, and pretty much think the whole DRM issue plaguing games today is anti-consumer.

But I think online passes are a good idea. It's something that can help companies recoup the losses from secondhand sales.

Extra benefits for online pass owners is acceptable as well, as secondhand buyers wouldn't be completely screwed over, and they have incentive to buy new or pay for an online pass.

It could be worse - we [nintendo console owners] could be threatened with Ubisoft style DRM where we need to be online at all times to even play our games, or the more prevalent type of DLC we see in PC gaming nowadays, where quests and sidestories are locked out unless you buy the DLC (or the ultimate edition 6 months later).

We could even see a system that renders second hand games unplayable - compared to a locked out multiplayer mode, that's a lot more anti-consumer.



Jono97 said:

I doubt the Wii U would attract standard Xbox fans. There's no Halo on the Wii



Randomname19 said:

Nintendo could just write on the terms of license that let third-parties make games on Wii U that they can't use the 10$ strategy.



DarkKirby said:

I have no problem with "pay $10 for extra content" if you buy a used game as long as that content is really, "extra" and is linked to my permanent account like on Steam so if I do something like get a new system there is a record that I already payed for the content and I could re download them for free.

I still would prefer the entirety of the content be on the game being sold to me, but this isn't the worst "buy the game new and not used" incentive.

What I DO disagree with is how so many developers now sell the game at full price, leave out content on purpose, sometimes content already on the disk, and make you buy it as DLC to make you pay OVER full price. That's BS.



TheGreenSpiny said:

I have no problems with "project $10" if it's used correctly. As people have pointed out with Batman Arkham City, using the code (which is tied to you online account) to unlock the Catwoman missions is bogus. I don't mind charging people $10 to unlock online play for a used game. Since it costs money to keep the servers up and running and whatnot long after the game is finished.

Things like this have made me strong advocate against online integration of games and gamers accounts. I don't want to worry about having to connect my system in order to play my games or content. This is a big reason why I'd never purchase downloadable games for PS3/ 360.

I think publishers need to get smarter about DLC, and offer cool things that are worth your money. DLC is cheap and easy to make for a finished game.



CerealKiller062 said:

@Luigi78 You are fighting for the wrong side. As a consumer you have to fight to get products CHEAPER and of BETTER QUALITY. The motto of big bussiness is MAXIMISE PROFIT even at the cost of QUALITY. The consumer should not the defend the providor for raising prices, the consumer should fight price increases and the injustice that corporations place upon the people.



Token_Girl said:

The game itself is a product. Lots of developer time and resources went into it. That's what you are paying for when you purchase a disk. Continual online play is a service that must be maintained. I don't see this practice as a problem if:

1) There's content on the disk that justifies a purchase without going online (some sort of single player/local multiplayer campaign must be present). Otherwise, what's the point in purchasing the product without the service?

2) I'm not already paying a fee through the console to support the online architecture (so this rules out all XBL games that require gold subscriptions).



ToxieDogg said:

I don't see why anybody's complaining. Often, stores will reduce the price of games after a few weeks anyway and you can then buy a copy of a game brand new, including the content pass, for not much different than a used copy anyway. And sometimes you get lucky....over the last year, I've bought used copies of Dead Space 2 and Resistance 3 on PS3 and FEAR 3 on Xbox 360 and all of them came with the online passes intact (the previous owners hadn't used them)....the only real issue I have with stuff like this is that there's still a lot of people either without internet, or who never connect their consoles online for whatever reason....and they're being denied game content that they've paid for. Before anybody says 'But it's only online multiplayer modes'.....let us not forget about the Catwoman section of Batman: Arkham City being part of this scheme.



JumpmanZ said:

I think this is a good way for developers to continue turning a profit on their hard work long after a game has left the lime-light. I, however, hope that Nintendo and Sega will continue putting the full content of games on the disc, not locked by anything. I hope that Nintendo only uses their online system minimally to legitimately add content like new items in Animal Crossing, side quests in Zelda, and levels in Mario. DLC should be a privilege to purchase, not a punishment.



The_Fox said:

Those who are comparing used video game to used car sales or thrift stores selling second hand clothes are putting up a fundamentally flawed argument. Instead of going into a twenty paragraph rant I'll leave it at simply saying you're trying to push a completely different dynamic on the video game industry and expecting it work the same way as it does in those examples. Which it doesn't.



PeachMelba said:

I have no problem with "Project $10" so long as the original buyer gets THE CONTENT AS PART OF THE PURCHASE. So you can give me all the codes you want, but give them to me - do not write a game, burn it to disc, and then lock up part of it, and when I buy it new tell me I need to pay you more to "unlock" what I already have bought (though, I wouldn't mind if, say, they charged you to skip having to play to unlock- like pay $10 and unlock all of Mario Kart without having to do it naturally while playing).

I don't buy used games, and I don't sell mine. I collect them. I know many people flip them a week later (and I see people spending almost as much as a new copy for used sometimes, it's so strange). I abhor GameStop as a company (I think they take extreme advantage of people who may not know better), So I couldn't really care less what they want to eek out of the secondary market. But what will keep me from buying WiiU games will be if they all come with $10 or $20 of stuff you have to buy on release day to complete the game once you get home. I don't mind buying ad-ons later if they add to the game in a significant way (and I've even been known to buy things like outfits and such for vanity) but that's newly added content - do not expect me to pay to unlock what was/should have been part of the game and is already burned on the disc.



BriNCz said:

I personally don't have a problem with Nintendo charging an online pass. Think of it this way; if they got the bigger end of the carrot, wouldn't that give them an incentive to improve their system? As it is, I don't see Nintendo going overboard with this. They've been pretty fair in the past, just take a look at how they handled the 3ds situation.



WaxxyOne said:

I refuse to support, and will continue to refuse to support, any title that is sold in a gutted format requiring retail codes to be put in to unlock the actual game. I love the Need for Speed series, but I've had no trouble passing on the latest entries which entirely remove the multiplayer component for those who are renting or who buy used. This marketing idea that the publisher somehow deserves additional money because the already-sold copy of their game changes hands is ridiculous, self-serving and greedy, and EA can burn in hell for coming up with the idea and then having the gall to implement it.

If this crap comes to the Wii U, I won't be purchasing any of it. If moronic software companies want to keep pushing their consumers more and more into having to use piracy to get a fair shake, then they can count my money out. Plenty of places to download your software online, thanks.

@JumpmanZ: You think the developers see any of the money after the initial release is done? More than likely, especially at EA, they see a pink slip and a handshake, if they're lucky. Instead, publishers walk off with all the cash while the developers get screwed. It's the exact same way the music industry works.



Alienfish said:

I didn't read all the comments here so maybe this was already said, but I think it's ridiculous for any gaming company to try to get any cash out of resale. The person who bought the game in the first place already paid that. Car manufacturers don't charge when a vehicle is resold and I don't think game developers should be able to either.

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