There’s in increasing trend from developers and publishers to squeeze money from the game-buying public by offering â€œincentivesâ€ for gamers to buy games new, instead of second hand. Some tend to do it right – by giving pre-order customers extra content they’d normally otherwise never receive or would have to pay for. I’m ok with that. Though it’s obvious we’re being played, I’m blithely fine with the idea of feeling like I’m getting more for my launch-day money. Many recent games require a single use code – included with new copies of games – to unlock the multiplayer features. That’s less cool.
Zipper Interactive, developers of PS3 exclusive SOCOM 4 seems to have adopted the same strategy, by nerfing pre-played copies.
Included with new copies of the game is a code for â€œSOCOM Pro,â€ a feature that allows access all sortsÂ of things. Second-hand copies of the game will require â€œSOCOM Proâ€ to be purchased after the fact, at the princely sum of $15, a quarter of the US purchase price of the game still in its protective plastic. Choose to not pay to go pro and you’ll miss out on “exclusive multiplayer maps, various co-op additions, dedicated Pro leaderboards, and more.â€ You’ll also be locked out of Pro-specific DLC.
Personally, I think this is a silly thing, as it’s just going to fragment the game’s multiplayer user-base – as you’ve seen with many multiplayers games with paid-for DLC; with an incompatible set of maps and features, the userbase splits in to the haves, and have-nots. I understand that making video games is an expensive business, but there’s got to be a better way of getting people to buy new?
Last Updated: April 18, 2011