When EA first announced that it would begin to charge $10 for gamers that bought their titles used and attempted to play online, it apparently started something that may now become the future of online gaming- at least as far as used games go.
It is no secret that publishers don’t like the flourishing second-hand game market. They see little to no benefit from the sales, and many publishers believe that it is hurting both the industry in general, and their bottom line specifically. In order to combat that and attempt to recoup some of the profit from the second sale, EA announced their plan to charge for online access of used games. THQ and Ubisoft both soon followed suit. No word yet on whether or not other publishers will follow, but odds are that they will.
The newest company to consider charging used game buyers to play online is Sony, who told Gamesindustry.biz that it not only supports publishers plans to charge for second-hand games through online play, but it is looking into it for its own first-party titles.
“On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we’re broadly supportive of that.” Andrew House, Sony’s European president said.
The movement to charge additional fees online has caught on so fiercely that Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is said to be considering adding a subscription model to future Call of Duty games. At the moment that seems like just an idea rather than a plan, but it does show a growing trend in thought, but many- including Sony- are hesitant to go that far.
“In terms of just a charge for basic online play, that’s something that we have to talk about a lot more and we struggle with a little bit because we feel very vindicated and base a lot of the success of PSN today – a 70 per cent connection rate across consoles – on the fact that we’ve removed that major initial barrier to entry.” House said.