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Businesses The Almighty Buck The Internet Games

Ubisoft Hops On the Online Pass Bandwagon 134

Posted by Soulskill
from the stop-pretending-this-adds-value-for-customers dept.
Joining the likes of THQ, Electonic Arts, and Sony, Ubisoft has now announced plans to launch the "Uplay Passport," a $10 fee charged to buyers of used games if they want to play them online. They say the program "will begin in the coming months and will be included in many of Ubisoft's popular core games. In each new copy of a Uplay Passport-enhanced game will be a one-time use registration code that, when redeemed, provides access to Uplay Passport content and features. The code can be found on the insert card inside the game box. Gamers can identify Uplay Passport-enhanced games by looking for the logo on the back of the box."
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Ubisoft Hops On the Online Pass Bandwagon

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  • Seriously, I think this is good - as long as it's clearly marked on the box/digital 'packaging' so that people can make informed choices, let them. They'll lose customers, they'll also gain revenue - and they (and the market) can decide in the end if the revenues gained from second-hand sales make up for the revenue lost in first-hand sales.

    I think it will more than do so - most people are basically inconsiderate in the end. If they get their gameplay out of it, they're really not going to worry about what the second-hand purchaser is getting when they go to gamestop to make their trade-ins. I suspect we'll see the second hand games resellers lowering both their purchase and resale price for these games over time.

  • Re:Great (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Penguinisto (415985) on Friday July 15, 2011 @07:28PM (#36781430) Journal

    That decay has been going on for well over a decade now.

    It may be just grumpy-old-guy syndrome, but in spite of the cmoparatively crap graphics, the old 1990's era games were a lot more fun to play (yes, bugs and all). The reason why have to do with elements that have little to do with the technical:

    * Most of the old games (Quake/II/III, Unreal/UT, Half-Life, etc) were devilishly customizable, and the software companies actually encouraged modifications
    * With only a few games of a given genre, you had a *lot* more players
    * dial-up may have sucked, but it did equalize the field by quite a bit (everyone had lag to some extent) - OTOH, this is obviously more of a bandwidth thing and not a game design thing.
    * the good games back then were more concerned about flow and content, and less concerned about "balance" or graphics
    * most of the games were hosted and played freely online, not kept behind a pay-gate
    * Some folks complain about bots and griefers back in the old days, but hell, they're just as common now as they were back then, if not moreso... just that the cheats are more subtle now, and the greifers less so.
    * nobody gave a crap if you 'pirated' or copied the game, because odds were very good that you'd buy the next iteration when it came out (see also id Software)

    Only opinion, but I'm blaming around 2000-2001 as the time when gaming began declining. CD Keys were only the barest hint of the DRM to come. More and more games got shoved into pay-for-play mode. The flood of games meant a growing fragmentation (even among folks playing the same title... You had Unreal Tournament, UT 2003, UT 2004, etc... all running w/ players at the same time). LAN parties became less and less common, and the ones still going only meant that there were UT players, Quake players, BF 1942 players, CS players, etc... and each new game or iteration meant less folks in a given LAN that could play a given game (or that wanted to, instead preferring their own game/version).

    Sure, the consoles kept things going for awhile, but IMHO (and nothing more), it only pushed game publishers down paths that meant more DRM, higher prices, and pay-to-play online experiences. Not even going to touch on the remakes/reboots/re-whatevers that means the majority of games coming out are some re-iteration of something you've already played before.

    Certainly, there are bright spots in this dark prose... games that stood out and demanded attention, and/or broke new ground (games like GTA). That said, most of the big ones just became more fodder for sequels, each not quite as good as the last.

    Ah well... enough rambling. :)

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