David Jaffe Sold Out
Posted by Ben Davis
EDITORIAL NOTE (1.30.12) – Since writing this, we have apologized to David Jaffe, both on this site and through Twitter. However, this article will remain live to serve as an example of what not to do. Name calling is not the way to get a message heard or to encourage intelligent and mature conversation. This article was meant to be an editorial opinion about the Online Pass and instead resorted to name-calling to push a point. GameTaffy will continue to report on the Online Pass debate and looks forward to your continued support as a reader.
NOTE: This was meant to appear in the WSU Signpost, but as there was no space in the paper, it was left out. Therefore, GameTaffy publishes the article for your reading pleasure!
For the past year and a half of its existence, the Online Pass has been a topic of debate amongst gamers, retailers, and game creators. Unfortunately, the majority of consumers are completely unaware of it.
As has been said on the GameTaffy.com Show on KWCR 88.1 Weber FM repeatedly for the past year, the biggest problem with the Online Pass is the lack of consumer knowledge.
Electronic Arts (EA) introduced the Online Pass in Oct. 2010 with its release of Medal of Honor. The pass allowed players to download a future map upon its release. Next, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit offered consumers free additional cars, which would be available as downloadable content (DLC) to purchasers of a used copy of the game.
Then, in Jan. 2011, Dead Space 2 required the Online Pass in order for players to access the online multiplayer. Since then, several other major publishers have adopted the Online Pass in some form or another, including Sony.
In its current form, the Online Pass is a code packed inside of new copies of games, and owners of the game must type in a code to access gameplay modes, story missions, or characters programmed onto the disc. If a consumer purchases the game used, he or she must spend an additional fee, usually $10, to access that on-disc content.
The games industry has decided to call itself a service industry, rather than a product industry. By repositioning itself, publishers can produce a game and withhold content on the game, as that content is part of a premium service.
No other industry has attempted this business model. There is not a single Blu-Ray on the market that requires consumers to punch in a code to access the bonus features on the disc. Not a single book is sold with missing pages, only available if consumers mail a code to the publisher.
However, gamers have accepted this new fee without question.
Although most should not be surprised by Sony requiring an Online Pass with Twisted Metal, many are hurt by creator David Jaffe’s refusal to fight the decision. After stating several times that an Online Pass would hurt Twisted Metal when it launched, Jaffe announced the addition by stating that he understood Sony’s decision.
On the bright side, the Online Pass will include a Sweet Tooth skin for the upcoming Starhawk, including the online multiplayer for Twisted Metal. In other words, a purchase of the new copy of Twisted Metal will allow for players to get content from another new game once they purchase that. However, Sony has not stated whether used purchases of Twisted Metal with the purchase of the Online Pass will include the additional content for Starhawk.
When purchasing your games this year, be sure to check the back of the box. The label for the Online Pass is usually hard to find, and not every company uses that name. Do not purchase a used game for $50, thinking you will save money. You will have to pay an extra $10 just to enjoy the game, totaling to $60, the price you would have paid for the new copy of the game.