It’s either the most dastardly move in the history of the video game industry, or one of its best business decisions in recent memory, depending on who you ask.
On upcoming EA Sports titles like Tiger Woods PGA Tour ‘11, NCAA ’11, NHL ’11, Madden ’11 and FIFA ’11, the company will write in code that only lets players play the game online if they’ve bought the game new. Players who pick it up used will have to shell out an extra $10 for an “Online Pass” from the company.
On the surface, this seems like an inherently evil move by the company, to wring more money out of customers when video games are already massively overpriced.
But from a business perspective, it actually makes perfect sense. Studios have LONG been haunted by retailers like GameStop selling games used, as when that happens, they get nothing, and the store gets everything. This is opposed to a new game, where the store only gets 25% of the profits, and the rest goes to the platform, publisher and studio.
Gamestop is equally at fault as EA Sports. They take games that you buy for $60, give you $15 dollars for it, then turn around and sell it for $40. As these giant corporations fight amongst themselves, we the gamers, ultimatly are being punished.