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EA charging second hand users to get online


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Sadly it's just another way of discouraging second-hand sales. I think Activision were talking about introducing a subscription model for CoD late last year along the lines of WoW.

I had thought EA were going to go with the 'value added' route they've taken with Battlefield Bad Company 2 whereby new games come with a VIP code that permits free access to some new maps (although the maps are actually already on the disc). Those without a VIP code can still play online, but can't access the 'new' maps. However it seems that they're taking it a step further now and locking out online play entirely for second-hand purchasors.

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It'd be nicer, actually, if the games were then £30 and you paid £10 to access the online content irrespective of whether you've got it brand new or second hand. Same money in EA's pocket (or, indeed, more), but cheaper for anyone who's not interested in playing online.

With this system though, EA already have the money. If I sell FIFA 11 to somebody, I'm no longer playing that game online. They are. That online provision is paid for, so the "charging users to access it" argument doesn't hold up quite as well. As far as EA should be concerned, exactly who is playing online with one "license" is moot.

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Perfectly fair way to get people to buy new. Second hand sales are good for the invidividual consumer but why should EA pay to support an online service via patches and free updates when it's populated by users who contributed no money to EA whatsoever? They're not reaming their customers for more money, they're protecting their development investments from the likes of gamestop and GAME. The payment implies that EA need to provide a worthwhile experience however.

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This is more an evolution of what EA have done with Bad Company 2, providing the full experience for buyers who purchase a new copy and levying a charge on second-hand buyers to unlock to full package. It seems fair enough to me, and is miles better than Modern Warfare 2 (a small number of additional maps at a high cost to everyone).

All this should do is drive down the resale value of games. It does not restrict their purchase or penalise anyone who buys a new copy (a la Activision's DRM nightmare). Instead, in the case of BC2 it trickle feeds new purchasers of the game with additional content which has in the past been sold at a premium. I think it is reasonable for publishers to try to gain revenue from second hand sales. Why is it so unreasonable that publishers try to reduce the impact of second hand sales on their profits? I would rather they do it this way than require additional purchasing of expansions by gamers who bought the product new.

At the end of the day this will only affect second-hand buyers. If in time games move to subscription-based models then I agree, it is too far for games which should be played on a more casual basis than WoW.

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Won't this be good for those using the second hand market?

Second hand games lose their value, which make means GAME etc won't want to pay much for them (especially if the code is used) and the consumer won't pay over the odds for a used game to then pay again to get online, so they buy new which forces the second hand market to drastically reduce the selling costs.

It could also see a bright future for straight swap shops. I swap Game A with Person 1 for Game B then I just pay to activate it online. They do the same with the game I send them.

Or I could just be talking shit :wub:

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Perfectly fair way to get people to buy new. Second hand sales are good for the invidividual consumer but why should EA pay to support an online service via patches and free updates when it's populated by users who contributed no money to EA whatsoever? They're not reaming their customers for more money, they're protecting their development investments from the likes of gamestop and GAME. The payment implies that EA need to provide a worthwhile experience however.

Its certainly a way to encourage new sales

What about the implication to the Live Gold service though, you are already paying your money to access multiplayer online by stumping up your money for that, you now need to pay for Gold and then pay again to get your game online.

What next, start to pay per level.

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Or just buy your games new. As far as EA are concerned, you might as well be pirating it, they don't see a penny from your preowned purchase. These are difficult times, and they're entitled to do this, just as they're entitled to charge for new content - i.e. Rock Band store. Microsoft charge for live, not EA, and PSN/PC/Wii is free anyway. Microsoft have always had a hard time convincing me of the value of a gold sub, even when taking into account the useless features and short streaming video clips of gurning idiots trying to sell you games,

We always have a headfit whenever a company announces a change to their pricing structure or business model - we cried about microtransactions, cried about DLC, cried about the gold sub and now we're crying about this.

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Won't this be good for those using the second hand market?

Second hand games lose their value, which make means GAME etc won't want to pay much for them (especially if the code is used) and the consumer won't pay over the odds for a used game to then pay again to get online, so they buy new which forces the second hand market to drastically reduce the selling costs.

It could also see a bright future for straight swap shops. I swap Game A with Person 1 for Game B then I just pay to activate it online. They do the same with the game I send them.

Or I could just be talking shit :wub:

well, I cancelled my gold live acc. because

by the time a game comes up cheap/2nd-hand no-one's playing online ANYWAY!

they'll have moved onto the next game in the series. THAT'S WHY the game became cheap/2nd-hand

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Oh hey, this turns out only to be a problem on HD console and PC games due to the higher costs of development not being reflected in pricing or growth in audience meaning that developers are looking for any extra way to get money, whether by digital distribution cutting out that 17% that goes to retailers and distributors, or the second hand industry that goes to GAME, or the money lost to piracy, etc.

You don't see anyone doing this stuff on the Wii, or on handhelds.

This is the downside of all those pretty graphics, and it's not going to get better until we move away from a graphics whore mindset.

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Oh hey, this turns out only to be a problem on HD console and PC games due to the higher costs of development not being reflected in pricing or growth in audience meaning that developers are looking for any extra way to get money, whether by digital distribution cutting out that 17% that goes to retailers and distributors, or the second hand industry that goes to GAME, or the money lost to piracy, etc.

You don't see anyone doing this stuff on the Wii, or on handhelds.

This is the downside of all those pretty graphics, and it's not going to get better until we move away from a graphics whore mindset.

I'm sure they'd do it on handhelds and on Wii if they could. I don't think graphics or recoupment of development costs have a lot to do with it, or even gaining revenue through the multiplayer unlock fee. It's all about getting people to buy new.

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Perfectly fair way to get people to buy new. Second hand sales are good for the invidividual consumer but why should EA pay to support an online service via patches and free updates when it's populated by users who contributed no money to EA whatsoever?

That contribution has already been made - by the original owner of the game, who is no longer playing online.

If EA servers are paid for and justified by the number of players, then that number of players can never exceed the number of sold first-hand copies, except in cases of piracy, which is a different issue to be tackled.

The second hand customer doesn't make a dent.

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Realistically all this will do is make them trade and sell second hand a lot cheaper. I wonder when Activision will jump on board.

Maybe, but the second hand shops wont take the hit. It'll just mean that the new game i buy will be worth fuck all after it's out of the shop

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Oh hey, this turns out only to be a problem on HD console and PC games due to the higher costs of development not being reflected in pricing or growth in audience meaning that developers are looking for any extra way to get money, whether by digital distribution cutting out that 17% that goes to retailers and distributors, or the second hand industry that goes to GAME, or the money lost to piracy, etc.

You don't see anyone doing this stuff on the Wii, or on handhelds.

This is the downside of all those pretty graphics, and it's not going to get better until we move away from a graphics whore mindset.

It may not at the moment but once this practice takes hold I fully expect it to expand.

I'm not surprised by any of this......and I'm kind of non-plussed by this news. I may have a beef with dodgy DLC being released, or I might be uneasy about this move towards benefits for those who pre-order games (rather than those who buy it new at a later date), but I'm sort of happy for a push to get people to buy more games new if it means more money goes back into the industry rather than GAME's grubby mitts. The price for games nowadays tends to drop rather quickly anyway so picking up a new game at a later date cheaply isn't an issue.

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Or just buy your games new. As far as EA are concerned, you might as well be pirating it, they don't see a penny from your preowned purchase. These are difficult times, and they're entitled to do this, just as they're entitled to charge for new content - i.e. Rock Band store. Microsoft charge for live, not EA, and PSN/PC/Wii is free anyway. Microsoft have always had a hard time convincing me of the value of a gold sub, even when taking into account the useless features and short streaming video clips of gurning idiots trying to sell you games,

We always have a headfit whenever a company announces a change to their pricing structure or business model - we cried about microtransactions, cried about DLC, cried about the gold sub and now we're crying about this.

I agree with everything you've said mate. Second hand games should have second hand prices. Hopefully more publishers will jump on board.

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Quite correct. If you don't like EA, it's games or it's pricing policy then don't buy it's games.

Well if gamers had thought about this when they thought buying horse armour or unlock codes was a great idea, we wouldn't be at the next evolutionary step along that road, can't wait for the final destination :wub:

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