We know that nobody except GameStop likes it when we purchase used games, so to counter, developers have introduced several incentives for buying new games (which has led to several lawsuits from not-so-bright consumers). For EA, games like Mass Effect 2 and Bad Company 2 came with one-time use codes in the box. If you bought the game new - or if the gamer before you didn't use the code - then you were good to go. However, for most used game purchasers, you had to shell out another $10 to get the code. EA Sports has figured this method out, and they're going to make you pay $10 to play online with a used game.
Starting in June with Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, there will be a one-time use code in the box for games on the Xbox 360 and PS3. If you rent the game, there will be a seven day trial to play for free, but that will only work once per game. If you're buying used and want to get online, then you'll need to buy an Online Pass from EA for $10.
When you connect online with your new EA SPORTS game for the first time, you'll be prompted to confirm your EA account details. If you don't already have an EA account, you'll be asked to accept our Online Terms and Conditions and then create an account. After confirming or creating your account, a screen will appear that enables you to redeem your Online Pass code.
Easy, right? Hey, there's some perks here, too. You will also get access to "bonus" content, which to us, seems like stuff left out on purpose to make you go online with the game - see Madden 2010.
Senior VP of World Wide Development, Andrew Wilson, said this in a FAQ:
When we see how many people are playing all of our games online, consumers are telling us that competition is endemic to sports in a way that most people don’t get just by playing a game alone on their couch... As a result, we’ve made a significant investment to offer the most immersive online experience available. We want to reserve EA SPORTS online services for people who pay EA to access them.
Now, at first glance, I thought EA was going to take a shot at GameStop for prostituting their used games and profiting from it. They were going to try and draw people away from the used game depot. And it makes sense. When you buy a used game, you don't pay the developer. So they need to see some sort of money to play it online, right? I was clearly mistaken to think that this was EA's mindset. GameStop sees the cash cow that this can be! They are going to be carrying the Online Pass codes right at their stores to sell to you with that $5 cheaper used game. Let me reiterate: GameStop will charge you $54.99 for the used copy of Tiger Woods and another $10 for the Online Pass.
So who really wins here? Definitely not the consumer. The issue boils back down to those same consumers, however, trading in their games to GameStop for a quick buck or new game. Because of this, the cycle won't stop. GameStop is the hub of the evil, but it really rests on the shoulders of the gamers who import and export titles out of their stores. Until those numbers decrease, we will see more actions like this.
Do you purchase at GameStop? Do you buy used only? Let us know!