EA, THQ, Sony, and now we can add one more publisher to the mix.

Ubisoft has revealed their version of the online pass program; it's called the "Uplay Passport" and will debut with Driver: San Francisco .

If you're familiar with other online pass systems, this one won't surprise you. Either you purchase a new copy of the game, or you pay to play online. Presumably, the Uplay Passport code will be included in all new copies of any Ubisoft title that features multiplayer entertainment; if you buy the game used, you'll have to grab the code from the PlayStation Store or Xbox Live Marketplace. We don't have a price just yet but one can probably expect a $5 or $10 fee. Assassin's Creed: Revelations lead game designer Alexandre Breault said he wasn't aware of this new initiative, but it seems inevitable that Ezio's new adventure will be included in this program.

You shouldn't be too surprised; several Ubisoft executives have said before that they were looking into such a program. At this point, it seems like all major publishers are going to take this step.

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Zemus101
Zemus101
9 years ago

Look out used-game sellers, sh** just got real!


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 7/14/2011 4:13:39 PM

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

Doesn't effect used game retailers..They'll still sale used games at the price they desire..The passes haven't stopped them from doing it yet

Zemus101
Zemus101
9 years ago

Yet, but we're hearing about this more and more, obviously publishers think this is a great idea. It must be having some effect.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Slugga,

The fact that used game retailers are not altering their practices in light of online passes is more a reflection of their complete disregard for consumers. The publishers are under no obligation to provide free service to people who haven't paid them for the service. That's what the online pass addresses. It's up to the consumer to force used game retailers to recognize this simple reality in their pricing ans sales practices. So, if GameStop continues to charge $5 less than new for used copies (without online pass) of recent games, are they not simply encouraging people to buy the game new since it's cheaper that way? Seems like it's those retailers that are at fault and need to change their ways.

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

@Highlander

Exactly. I've always said that it's the consumer that allows Gamestops to sale games at the prices they are. I've always said I have no problem with people who do buy them for the monetary discount no matter what it is. Everyone's life situations are different. Yet, it's those people that allow the Gamestops and other used game retailers to continue to sale new games for $5 off and old games for $30. You hit it right on the head though.

I can only speak for myself..but if I see a game that's only $5 less than the full retail price then it's common sense to buy new. However, like I said other's monetary situations can be vastly different.

duomaxwell007
duomaxwell007
9 years ago

Highlander do people really buy games used in the first few weeks or month they come out? I mean is saving awhole 5 bucks that much of a big deal? I can understand wait til when the used price is39.99 whiles its still being sold new for 59.99 in that case then yeah buy used… but 5 bucks? lol

Also retailers dont need to change their practices consumers just need to be smarter.. you dont wanna pay 59.99 for a newgame and dont wanna deal with this online pass stuff? shop at amazon.com where they sell new copies of the same game gamestop is selling for 59.99 amazon has it new for 49 or even 39.99. Problem solved

And lastly just thought Id point out.. if you were on WKC as much as you are on PSXE youd be GR15 and platinum by now :p lol

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Indeed Slugga. What I don't understand about that $5 making a difference to people is this. If $5 makes a significant difference to their finances, then why would they be spending %55 on a used game in the first place? Better to feed themself, wait a few months and buy the game at $15 when it's no longer so recent or popular.

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

Highlander, that is certainly what most true gamers would do..Only way I even buy a 360 game to be honest. Yet on many occasions I see the teenagers who are willing pinch pennies just to get a game. Sometimes you'll even catch a family of gamers that will do whatever just to be able to get that additional cash on another used game, accessory, etc. I agree with you all the way. I just always think about those who aren't as fortunate as we are.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Oh, I understand, I've been fortunate and less fortunate in my life. It's not always easy to make the right choices when your choices are so limited either.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

FWIW, at EB Games (now owned by GameStop) in Canada at least, you'd actually pay $49.50 on a used game priced at $55, providing you paid a few bucks a year for a membership. I still don't see why you wouldn't wait for a sale if you didn't want to pay full price, but it is more savings than $5.

I always buy new unless there's an extreme savings on the used game (e.g., I got Heavenly Sword used for $25 because it was still $50 new long after it should have been a Greatest Hit).


Last edited by Fane1024 on 7/15/2011 5:30:14 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Such is the future of gaming, I still wonder how rentals will work or if they will work.

Fane1024
Fane1024
9 years ago

Last I heard, EA allows 7 days of free online play before you need the Pass, so renters can play some. I would expect others will do something similar.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

Yeah well maybe this time when they set up such a stupid system, they will lable it clearly. I have still yet to get a refund for American Magee's Alice, which had no mention on the item description about needing the sequel to play it, of course they have changed it now though…


Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 7/14/2011 1:00:45 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Alice 2 is worth it, love that game.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
9 years ago

Indeed, the dilema now though is if I buy it, I would have got it free anyway, so I'd still be ripped off.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Sell your American McGee code on ebay to someone who has bought Alice 2 used?

BTW I agree it's totally stupid that you need Alice 2 to play the first one, I'd like to be able to play mine without having to put the disk in every time.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 7/14/2011 4:35:56 PM

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

i don't like the idea of online passes. ea is one of the worst offenders out there. me2 had an online pass to access the comic and add on missions, that was uncalled for…it's not even an online game.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

But you had to download all of it new anyway. Don't get these extras used right? Bam, people fork over the money if they want these items

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

the only thing that is downloaded is the comic. the lair of the shadowbroker, and other missions are already on the disc and locked out by the code. what's worse is the back of the box says it includes all the add on content and comic, but it does not say anything about a code to gain access to it.

it does mention a one time code is used for accessing the cerebus network for extra weapons, characters, and vehicle missions. it does not say the comic has be downloaded and the add on missions advertised on the back of are locked out by this code also.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

All major publishers are doing this. I can't remember who were first, it might have been EA, but as soon as it started to happen with others, you knew the snowball was gathering momentum down the hill. Once Sony jumped aboard, it was clear everyone would.

Now, here's an issue that I think needs to be addressed with all of this. Online play is free – when you buy the game new. That's because you are paying the publisher for the game, and thus buying your right to use their service and servers. The underlying framework for online play is still there, and with PSN it too is free. I am very hesitant to accept online passes for anything except games that feature a considerable online play aspect. Merely maintaining leaderboards and in-game records for friend comparison is not online play. Such games should never have an online pass, that's ludicrous.

But here's the thing, in a sense online passes make us pay for online play. Now, some will try to make something of that, but the point here is that looking at it from the point of view of new game sales, nothing has changed. The costs associated with online play and the provision of servers and services by the publisher have always been understood to be wrapped up in the price of the game. So nothing changes there. Online gaming is still free to those buying the game new and gaming on PSN. However for buyers of used games it now fells like their online gaming is not free, because they now have to buy an online pass. I understand that point. What those gamers have to understand and recognize is that the whole idea behind providing what is effectively free online play is based on *new* game purchases, and not used game purchases. So while I understand the feeling, I also understand that it's unfortunately based in a flawed understanding of what is provided.

What will be interesting is to see how gamers on another console that have to pay to play online at all, react to what will clearly be perceived as a double dip.

Remember, when someone buys a game used whether they buy from their local retail gouger or from that guy on Ebay or Craig's list (or wherever) they are not paying anything to the publisher of the game. Because of that they have no right to access the services or servers provided by the publisher, at the publisher's cost. The online pass that can be purchased separately will take care of that. But no matter how much anyone argues about this, when a game is bought new, that does not carve out a permanent 'slot' (as many used game buyers have argued) on the publisher's system for that copy of the game no matter who owns it. The licensing for online services is always named user based. That means that the person that purchases the game is licensed to use the online elements, and that even if they sell the game on, they are still, in effect, the named, licensed user. The used buyer has top purchase their license separately to access the servers and services covered. The whole slot concept is flawed from the outset though because this is a service not a physical article.

Watch out for that rolling snowball folks, it's gathering speed and it isn't gonna stop.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 7/14/2011 1:09:26 PM

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

@Highlander

We've had this discussion but I'd rather focus on something that you said which is the "Double Dip". I find it ridiculous that I paid $50+ for Live access and now have to pay an additional fee if I want to play online. I buy most of my games for the PS3. However, I can find some good deals on 360 games and now to access all features of the game I have to pay again.

I really believe that if you have in regards to the 360 that the passes should be disregarded. I believe Sony can some how allow Plus users to bypass these passes as well. Maybe I'm in the minority…again..but if I have to pay I'd rather pay for a service that allows me access to all features. Opposed to buying a game and then when I want to go online I have to "prove" that I purchased the game for full retail value..

btw..didn't thumbs down you agree with some points you made.


Last edited by slugga_status on 7/14/2011 1:29:29 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Thanks Slugga, I don't worry about the thumbs down in most instances, it's not worth the thought. With regard to the 360, and Xbox Live, for a used game buyer it will feel like a double dip. In reality of course it's not because it's the publisher charging the used buyer, and not Microsoft. but to the end user that's academic, it's a double dip. As I pointed out to someone further down, this is already happening on the 360, Medal of Honor from EA used an online pass on the 360.

I don't think we'll see PlauyStation Plus take the place of this because this isn't about sending revenue to Sony. It's really got nothing to do with PSN, PlayStation Plus or Sony as a console maker at all. It's about game publishers recovering revenue lost to used game sales.

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

True that it's not about sending revenue to M$ or Sony. However, I just don't see how this would be a revenue coup for publishers. It would still be a loss although not as sufficient compared to seeing no proceeds. Although it may not be plausible for Sony being that they're not charging you for usage of the PSN. I think M$ could certainly do it or at the minimum lower the price for Live usage.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

But Slugga, it's not something that will happen on 360, it's already happening. Why would MS reduce their XBL cost to help gamers pay for their purchase of used games? That's what reducing XBL subscription costs in response to this would effectively be doing.

I think I may reach a record number of thumbs down in this thread.


Last edited by TheHighlander on 7/14/2011 2:37:36 PM

slugga_status
slugga_status
9 years ago

I careless about the thumbs down when it's a good debate. They thumb down they should at least give input…

Yes it is already happening. I say MS should reduce the cost because to me it's a little redundant. I pay for online access and then have to pay again for online access. That is surely a double dip for online access.

Yet let me ask you this..I know I'm not the only one who's seen the code generators out there. My question is what will be their next course of action once more people begin to use the generators? Then what will they do?

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Yep it's already happening (online pass on 360) alright. I did a quick search and found that this online pass nonsense has been happeneing with Xbox games since Spring 2010 (I'm pretty sure that all the third party games using online passes on 360 have them on PS3 as well). All EA sports title, the newer NFS games and others use it. Games from other publishers such as Homefront, Bulletstorm and Dirt3 all use it too. So it's been going on for more than a year now.

Regarding code generators, I think that if they become a problem (which they probably will) publishers will switch to serialized codes bundled into the game case when new, and a online transaction model for pass codes for new games so that the user doesn't enter a code, they either pay with money or a pre-paid card. I think that it's inevitable that this will happen too.

I take no pleasure in saying that, because every step that the industry takes in this direction is needless and wasteful. But since Gamestop reported more than $2 billion in used game revenue two years ago and the current gaming market in the US is something like $24 billion (including everything), you can see that Gamestop alone represents a significant amount of lost revenue. That's why it doesn't matter what we say, this if gonna continue.

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

Heres a thought, Highlander.

Lets say a certain game sells 1 million copies. Lets also say $15 of that goes to provide online service, just for the sake of conversation.

Now, if those 1 million copies never leave their original owners, there will be 1 million copies with online access, and 15 million dollars in support revenue.

Now lets say half of those people decide to sell their game. The new owner has to pay $15 to play online, and all 0.5M of them do.
Now there are still exactly 1 million copies with online access, yet now there is $22.5M in online support revenue. So the publisher/dev is now taking money for 1.5M copies of the game, yet only 1M are able to access the features that were paid for.

That doesnt seem quite right, does it? That would be like me paying Random House every time i buy a used book, despite the fact that the original owner no longer retains the ability to enjoy that book.

Personally, i don care about the dev/pub's bottom line. Their profit is none of my concern. I regularly borrow books from the library, but i dont hear people complaining that authors see no money from that. I regularly buy old records when i find them, but i dont hear people whine about how Pink Floyd didnt see a penny when i bought a Dark Side of the Moon vinyl. Gamers want games to be considered art but they don't want to follow the same market paradigm as every other art form. Amusing, to say the least.


Last edited by NoSmokingBandit on 7/14/2011 8:17:14 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Quark,

That's not quite true. If the person that bough the game originally and traded it eventually buys the game again used, they won't need an online pass because they already have one activated on their account. So the number of online passes sold matches the number of gamers who used the service, regardless of the number of copies of the game sold. That seems eminently fair.

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

But the server revenue is going to increase without any extra strain on the servers. The original owner isnt going to need their pass, but they arent going to be able to use it without the disc either, so they have still paid their $15 for a non-transferable pass. That means the publisher/dev will get more than $15 per active online player, and that strain has to fall to the customer? Idk, maybe i was trained differently than most people, but where i work it is always customers first. We'd never dream of asking someone to pay for something that someone else has already paid for and can't use.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Customers first. Yes indeed. But, how is a buyer of a used game a customer of the publisher? They have established no such customer relationship with the publisher. So yes, by all means customers first. I may be old fashioned, but paying customers are the only customers that matter.

amonte
amonte
9 years ago

Congratulations Ubisoft, I will not be buying any games froms you.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

If you are buying your games for Ubisoft, this won't make a single iota of a difference to you. the purchaser of new games sees nothing different except having a code on a car that they enter to access the online servers. No extra cost, nothing.

On the other hand if you buy your games used, your threat is an empty one because Ubisoft never sees any of your money anyway. Your personal vow not to buy any of their games (used) has no effect on them.

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

@highlander

he never said used. i think he means he won't consider buying ubisoft games out of principle becuase of their use of an online pass system. that sounds like a lost potential sale and it does have an impact. i've read many similar comments from others, some won't buy a game with an online pass out of principle.

i have a strong feeling this online pass system won't end with just the online portion of the game. a perfect example of this is me2's way of segmenting a single player game with a code or pass.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Edit: fixing some typos….

If you are buying your games from Ubisoft, this won't make a single iota of a difference to you. The purchaser of new games sees nothing different except having a code on a card that they enter to access the online servers. No extra cost, nothing.

amonte
amonte
9 years ago

For the record, I always buy my games new.

@Excelsior- That's exactly right, out of principle and because I have been gaming for almost twenty years and if we, the gamers, don't act now, the gaming world is going to be a piece of shit and I won't just sit and let it happen.

@TheHighlander- Even if someone buys a multiplayer game used it benefits the devs/pubs because that means one more player playing the game online, which equals better experience playing the game, better community which equals happier owners of the game, which equals they're going to buy the sequel and more fans to that game's franchise and positive word of mouth which means more purchases of the game and sequel.

There's also paid DLC that should be paid DLC, which people that bought the game new or used can still buy.

Also, devs/pubs sell COPIES of games, not how many people play a game, which is what the online pass is, charging each person for playing the game.

For example, say they give GameStop 30 copies of a game, and each copy gets sold, the devs/pubs made their profit from each COPY of the game. Now if someone wants to trade the game for another or sell it or give it away, the new owner will have to PAY TO PLAY IT even though the new owner has a copy of the game that has already been paid for and the original owner no longer has the game.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

They sell copies of the game. So do they have to put servers in place to handle the online? If so those must be paid for. Why shouldn't all users of those services pay the publisher that provides them? the original buyer of a game doesn't reserve a permanent spot for the owner of the game, they reserve a permanent spot personal to them, that is not transferable.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

@amote
Soon all devs and pubs will be doing this. You'll have no more games to play, ever!

matt99
matt99
9 years ago

Well said amonte, the devs have already received payment for the copy, they shouldn't get more.

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
9 years ago

@highlander
it was their choice to add an online to the game to presumably get more sales, therefore they are choosing to pay for upkeep.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

No, that argument is rather like trying to tell a judge that so and so was asking for it in an assault case.

PAKINIPS
PAKINIPS
9 years ago

So and so being the publisher
Gamers being the criminal
So and so makes his item look better by adding stickers (online)
Criminal buys item cheap? And steals the stickers?

Nah i don't think I get it

Excelsior1
Excelsior1
9 years ago

i've said it before. i prefer activision's way of monetizing the online portion of their game with an optional service vs a mandatory online pass system. i just think an online pass system is an unfriendly way to create consumers.

Culoslap
Culoslap
9 years ago

It will be interesting if Microsoft implements this with Live. I buy all my games new and hardly ever play online anymore. So the whole online pass doesn't affect me in the slightest.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I don't think it's really up to Microsoft. If EA wants to charge for an online pass with 360 games, they can, right? I mean, they already *do* this. Medal of Honor for example has an online pass on the 360.

Wouldn't an online pass on a 360 game constitute double dipping since a used game buyer has to pay Microsoft for their XBL Gold subscription, the used game retailer gouges their cut, and then the publisher sells the online pass to allow online access.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Actually, thi online pass nonsense has been happeneing with Xbox games since Spring 2010. All EA sports title, the newer NFS games and others use it. Games from other publishers such as Homefront, Bulletstorm and Dirt3 all use it too. So whatever else we want to say, the online pass is not unique to Sony, and has not resulted in Microsoft dropping subscription fees for XBL.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

I was hoping that something like this was going to come along. Not because I condone it, but because I was thinking of the PSN Pass. Not about how I feel on it or anything, but I thought that perhaps PSN subscribers should get a reprieve from it. They're already paying for extra services right? Well, making them exempt from the PSN Pass would certainly help uptake even if people only buyn 1-2 Sony games each year.

Either way, this is going to become an inevitability. It's all about the cash, and I know why they're doing it. I know that, in a way, it is right, but whatever.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Lawless, if you buy your games new, this has no impact since it's bundled with the game. The new price of games has always included the publisher's costs for online, nothing changed except the publisher want to find a way to ensure that used purchaser still pay the publisher for the online portion of play. For a PS3 owner on PSN buying new copies of games, there is zero impact.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

I'm aware of that, but there are a lot of people out there that prefer to buy used due to the cheaper prices that come along with it. I'm just saying that PSPlus should make subscribers exempt from having to pay if they choose to buy used (only when it comes to the PSN Pass though), as they are already paying for a service that gives them an advantage over non-subscribers.

Publishers need to recoup their losses somehow, as there are thousands, and possibly millions of people playing their games, essentially at a pure loss for the companies for having to upkeep the servers. This I know, but I still can't reconcile myself with any need for such a thing as an online pass. That being said, as of this point in time, it has no effect on me whatsoever, so this will be my last post in regards to online passes unless something else comes along.
Peace.


Last edited by Lawless SXE on 7/14/2011 2:03:22 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Why should PS Plus make used game buyer's exempt? None of that revenue goes to the game publishers, it's all Sony. PS Plus isn't about enabling online play in any case. But that honestly has nothing to do with the concept or practice of online passes at all. Remember who is creating the online passes and why.

amonte
amonte
9 years ago

@TheHighlander- The original purchaser of the game already covered the costs for online. Charging the used purchaser to play online is just the devs/pubs charging each person that plays it. This is just another dirty, greedy way to nickel and dime gamers and make more money unfairly.

@Lawless- Publishers don't lose money whatsoever from used game sales, that's what people need to understand. Devs/pubs ship copies of games and sell those copies, when those copies are bought they make their profit from each copy. When someone sells, trades or gives away their copy of the game to someone else, it's still the same copy that has been paid for and the original owner no longer has the game it's not like he also has it too, the new owner is just replacing the original owner. It's not like the devs/pubs have to give the money they made from each copy back. The used games to see in stores have already been paid for.

And the original purchaser of the game has already paid for the costs of servers, so again, devs/pubs don't lose any money whatsoever.

THE ONLINE PASS IS JUST ANOTHER DIRTY, GREEDY WAY TO NICKEL AND DIME US!, THE GAMERS, THEIR MONEY MAKERS.