THQ’s $10 Battle Axe

We knew the day would come when publishers would jump on the EA project $10 band wagon, we just didn’t think the axe would be swung so quickly. THQ has seen the business potential of the online code system and are following suit with there up-coming gaming title Homefront. If you haven’t heard or experienced this you probably buy all your games new or you might not play online. In any case, gamers will have to pay and additional 10 bucks if you rent or purchase the game used. For those of you that buy the game new you’ll receive a code that allows online access in the multiplayer mode will full access to all gaming modes and leveling system up to 75; those that don’t have a code will stifled at level 5 and if you play anything multiplayer shooter-wise you want to level up. This is not a new process for THQ they have tested the online markets with this strategy on a couple of titles like UFC 2010, and their WWE franchise, which both required a code to gain access to multiplayer as well as other online modes. Make no mistake about it THQ’s Creative Director Cory Ledesma had this to say last year in regards to there plan and any negativity they might suffer due to this business model.

“I don’t think we really care weather used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything. So if used game buyers are upset they don’t get the online feature set I don’t really have much sympathy for them. That’s a little blunt but we hope it doesn’t disappoint people . We hope people understand  that when the game’s bought used , we get cheated. I don’t think anyone wants that, so in order for us to make strong, high-quality WWE games we need loyal fans that are interested in purchasing the game. We want to award those fans with additional content. 

I’m torn on this issue…

On the one hand:I do understand the business potential and why this is a profitable, and viable business plan. You have the potential to capture some form of income from an almost endless recycling used market, in which otherwise you would have received nothing before. After all, more often than not publishers are providing the community spaces, DLC, even the servers that are played on that we enjoy in these online spaces. In addition this extra influx of income could give small to mid-sized houses that extra financial boost  needed to not only compete, but if used properly hire, refine, or buy developers to make make much better gaming experiences that all can enjoy.

On the other hand: I am a frequent online multiplayer gamer, and consumer of these products and as a consumer I have the right to be skeptical of certain products based on my personal taste and interest. I feel if I want to try a game out there should be a happy medium, 48 hours (or less in some cases) to test out everything a multiplayer game has to offer is absurd; with create-a-class modes, co-op, vs, and different playlist oft times in each there is just not enough time for a gamer (consumer) to really make a proper evaluation on weather this game’s online merits a full purchase. Also what if I have multiple consoles in my household and I purchase a game and my wife, son etc… wants to play;  now the person that trusted in your product and purchased it “new” still has to spend an additional $10. This alienates used buyers from your brand almost completely and disenchants loyal consumers. In regards to publishers getting “cheated” if I buy a game used, doesn’t that mean that someone at sometime had to purchase that game first, so you’ve made your dollar based on that fact alone. 

All in all this is another case of “vote with your wallet”, and speak up gamers you have a voice because you are a consumer so use it. I would really love to hear your opinions on this topic.