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Sony Bringing PSN Pass To All First-Party Games 271

Posted by Soulskill
from the do-not-want dept.
New submitter zeroshade writes "Sony has confirmed that going forward, all first-party games will use the PSN Pass to force used game buyers to pay an extra $10 just for the right to play the multiplayer component of used games they buy for the PS3."
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Sony Bringing PSN Pass To All First-Party Games

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  • Go away customers! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Eightbitgnosis (1571875) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @03:19AM (#37609196) Homepage
    Whats with you buying or product? Stop doing that!
    • by ciderbrew (1860166) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @04:48AM (#37609648)
      People will keep on buying and accept that's the way it is. I want to change your +1 Insightful to +1 very sad.
    • by Gideon Wells (1412675) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @07:04AM (#37610298)

      You know, you are right. Every time I just about break down and buy a PS3 Sony goes and does something like this.

      Drake's Fortune is still in line of pricing for other PS3 new releases so it isn't like they are making the game cheaper for those not using multi-player. Being first party they could just raise the price if they wanted more money. Basically this comes down to one of two things:
      * Just as part of scheme to make money off of each resale. Again a war on used games.
      * Sony wants to bring Airline style pricing to the video game market. Sure, the ticket is one cost, but don't forget to count all the fees, extras, etc.?

    • by Xaoswolf (524554) <Xaoswolf@gmail . c om> on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @07:26AM (#37610416) Homepage Journal
      When you buy used, you are buying Game Stop's product, not Sony's. Sony needs money to run PSN, which they don't get unless you are the first party. The real complaint should be based on the price and quality of games that make it to retail.
    • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:34AM (#37610850) Homepage

      I have, thank you. The PSN won't take my CC anymore and I'm in no mood to make another call to customer support to get it unlocked for the privilege of continued abuse.

    • by muffen (321442) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:05AM (#37611100)
      I guess they figured that their standing with their customer-base is so low it simply cannot get any worse, might as well make some more money off the id... sorry, consumers, who are still using sony products.

      Second hand games may not bring any income to Sony but the person selling the game then using the money to buy a new game does bring in new money to the company, so I really cannot follow their thinking here.
      ... but then again, I would never have closed down Lik-Sang, installed rootkits on CDs, ignored all security best-practices in everything I did and then proceeded by crapping all over the people who still payed for my products, I guess me and sony have different ways of looking at things.

      I hate sony, there are other companies I dislike and would be reluctant to buy products from, but I hate sony. I do not buy anything that has the sony name on it, and this includes sonyericsson phones. I realize companies are in the business of making money, but most have realized that crapping on customers isn't the best way.

      ... and, if any of you think Sony is better at running a business then I am, you should consider the fact that I have made 4.7billion USD more then Sony PS Division between 2007 - 2010. http://www.vg247.com/2009/10/30/sony-ps-division-has-lost-4-7-billion-since-launching-ps3/ [vg247.com]
  • by assemblerex (1275164) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @03:22AM (#37609212)
    .to be called a verbally abused by 13 year olds? Amazing.
  • by Vskye (9079) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @03:31AM (#37609270)

    It's just confirms that I won't be purchasing anything from you, ever. Good job killing your potential customers.

    • by techsoldaten (309296) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @03:52AM (#37609356) Journal

      When they took away my Linux on the PS3, I stopped buying games. It's just a very expensive DVD player at this point, and I don't buy too many DVDs.

    • by Tukz (664339) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @04:04AM (#37609400) Journal

      You DO realise that this have been the norm on PC for ages, right?
      When you buy second hand PC games, a lot of them doesn't include mulitplayer, because the key is already used in activating an on-line multiplayer account.

      Some already charge to give you a new key to create a multiplayer account for your second hand purchased games, it was even on ./ a few times.

      The only difference here seems to be that Sony is forcing it on all their games, whereas on PC it's up to the publisher.

      • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @05:19AM (#37609778)

        It used to be that the key was just to prevent multiple simultaneous users of the same license key, which was eminently reasonable, until someone started using a duplicate of your key, locking you out of game servers...

        More recently, the keys are bound to online accounts and are not transferrable.

        The recent instances where there is bonus content enclosed with the original game with a 1-time key is actually an improvement on this ; you can still re-sell the game, something you cannot do for games that bind to your Steam account. Although I think we need some kind of escrow system for re-sale because there are still limited uses of those primary game keys. Having gone to the insane limits of DRM, EA are actually backing off somewhat. Perhaps they've even been paying attention to the gaming press. At least they aren't trying out the always-on-net DRM that Ubisoft have made such a bad name for themselves with.

        Sony is forcing it on all their games, whereas on PC it's up to the publisher.

        AFAIK, "first party" means "games published by Sony". So it's still up to the publisher.

        To be honest, I'm happy for them to stick it to the second-hand traders. Games cost more to produce all the time, yet the prices change very little with respect to inflation. Second-hand trade contributes nothing to the funds of developers. While I'm not optimistic that all the gains here will find themselves funding new and exciting game concepts... it can't hurt. Even if it's just a case of "hey, our games bottom line is great, let's throw some R&D money their way".

        • by jank1887 (815982) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:44AM (#37611590)

          "Second-hand trade contributes nothing to the funds of developers." nor should they. Used car sales don't support the auto-makers. (apart from replacement parts, which is a separate market). Used book sales don't support the writers or publishers. Used appliance sales don't support the manufacturers. Used home sales don't support the home builders. Nor should they. Used product markets represent the fact that there is still value in used goods, and that value can be monetized until the value has diminished to nothing. Artificially boosting demand for new goods by eliminating used markets removes a significant amount of value from the new item. If they're going to do this, they had better lower prices to reflect this diminished value. If we pretend that piracy issues don't exist, then the used market leaves the same number of goods out there as were transferred via first sale. The same number of people would be using online multiplayer as they initially got money from to support multiplayer. Now, did they price multiplayer with the idea that people would get bored, stop using it after a year, and the secondary market keeps usage higher than expected long after a year? well, then they priced multiplayer badly. Nothing wrong with them deciding that they need to charge periodically to support online services. But they should price the initial software to reflect any aspect of reduced or transferred value that they're artificially imposing.

      • by blackicye (760472) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @06:22AM (#37610104)

        You DO realise that this have been the norm on PC for ages, right?
        When you buy second hand PC games, a lot of them doesn't include mulitplayer, because the key is already used in activating an on-line multiplayer account.

        Some already charge to give you a new key to create a multiplayer account for your second hand purchased games, it was even on ./ a few times.

        The only difference here seems to be that Sony is forcing it on all their games, whereas on PC it's up to the publisher.

        PC games retail at similar price points as console titles, and the hardware isn't subsidized by the manufacturer / publisher. In many cases now, you can't even resell your games when you're done with them, let alone access multiplayer content on second hand games, even if you were willing to pay the publishers to do it.

      • by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:26AM (#37611384) Homepage Journal

        You DO realise that this have been the norm on PC for ages, right?
        When you buy second hand PC games, a lot of them doesn't include mulitplayer, because the key is already used in activating an on-line multiplayer account.

        At least console games are more likely to support plugging in multiple gamepads. PC games, on the other hand, are more like handheld games: each player is expected to bring his own PC, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and copy of the game.

        • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:36AM (#37612216)

          Yeah, because if there's one thing that's going strong on consoles, it's single-console multiplayer...there's a ton of games out there that support that, amirite?

          Oh, wait...they've been phasing that out for years now, too. The only games you can play co-op on a single console anymore are cheap-o arcade games and party games like the average Wii crap. Almost everything requires each player to have a console, TV, controller, and a copy of the game (and if on the 360, Xbox Live as well).

      • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:53AM (#37611694)
        Dont forget PC games cost 20-30% of Console games
    • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @05:36AM (#37609888)

      It's just confirms that I won't be purchasing anything from you, ever. Good job killing your potential customers.

      Except the issue here is you're not purchasing something from Sony. If you buy a second hand game from Gamestop, Sony (or EA, Microsoft et al) is not seeing a penny of that but they still have to host your ass when you turn up to play the multiplayer.

      Now one could argue that the guy who bought the game in the first place paid for your multiplayer spot. The counterargument to Sony (et al) is that if two or more people play on their service in succession that it increases the amount of time that the same number of servers have to be kept running. Running servers costs money and therefore they want to claw some of that back.

      • by stuboogie (900470) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:40AM (#37610912)
        "If you buy a second hand game from Gamestop, Sony (or EA, Microsoft et al) is not seeing a penny of that but they still have to host your ass when you turn up to play the multiplayer."

        Microsoft does see money in the form of XBOX Live subscriptions. That's why I don't mind paying my $4/month to use their service. I don't have to worry whether I can play my game, no matter if it is new or used. (At least until the game is considered EOL and server support is removed. Not sure if any games published for the 360 have had their multiplayer shutdown or not, but original XBOX games have.)

        Sony used their FREE online as a selling point over Microsoft. It's not as free anymore and I believe this is just the beginning. It won't be long before they will go to a fully paid system. Microsoft understood the need to charge for the online service as there is considerable cost over time. They charge a reasonable fee and provide a quality service for that fee. Everyone buying an XBOX 360 knew this up front and were able to make an informed purchase. Sony will ultimately give in to that sucking sound from their infrastructure cost and make a change.
        • by DrXym (126579) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:02AM (#37611068)
          No, it's still free. Buy a retail copy of a game and the online comes with it. I expect even for 2nd hand sales the effect of a PSN pass will cause most games with heavy multiplayer content to be substantially discounted to the point of negating the cost of PSN Pass.

          And if you think Sony are alone in trying to combat used game sales then you're living in cloud cuckoo land. This is like DLC all over again. EA started this ball rolling with "project ten dollar" and others are paying heed. Sony is doing here. ID is doing it with Rage. I bet there are lots of things like this in the pipeline and I would be deeply surprised if Microsoft didn't have a scheme of their own in the works.

  • by flimflammer (956759) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @04:12AM (#37609454)

    I don't have any modern consoles (got out of it this generation), but I don't see this as an earth shattering moment. This is good for developers who have to continuously pay to keep these online services running. Whether they intended to keep them running till a certain date or not, selling a used game to someone else gives another person access to the online services without giving the developers anything in return, which costs the developer extra money (no matter how little or much it may be). I think when you have an online component like this, the developer aught to get something in return for the use of their services considering you wouldn't have paid them a dime otherwise. I'm not sure I think it should be $10 (I would see something more in the line of $5 but whatever)

    It just makes sense from their point of view and also to some others out there who are looking at it objectively.

    I do expect to be modded down for this (I don't blame you, since this is such a controversial thing these days) but it's just how I feel about it.

    • by cyclomedia (882859) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @04:16AM (#37609478) Homepage Journal

      Selling a used game to someone else does NOT give another person access. It TRANSFERS access from one person to another. The total number of players has not gone up.

      • by flimflammer (956759) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @04:21AM (#37609506)

        I realize this, however in the original case the user would have stopped playing and server load would have gone down. In the case of a second hand sale, the company has to support the new users play habits while receiving nothing extra in return. I do understand your point of view, however, that the company should assume one sale means that game can/will be used until the servers go down, but that rarely ever happens.

    • by funkatron (912521) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @04:57AM (#37609688)

      It just makes sense from their point of view and also to some others out there who are looking at it objectively.

      Guess who's point of view I have!

      Seriously; the moaning about (and now charging for) the second hand games market like it's some sort of non-legit activity is a pretty big anti-consumer move on Sony's (and other publisher's) part.

    • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @08:39AM (#37610902) Homepage

      Well, I suppose when I forked out ~$50 for something titled "Prologue" I should have expected support to be cut after a couple of years, but since my console YLOD'ed I let it rest for a year before buying a $250 replacement (that, itself, had a Blu-Ray drive failure after one month) So, returning to play the game after a year off, I find that "online play will be discontinued in 3 weeks, please consider purchasing our new full version of the game" - oh, what's that, the full version requires a functioning BD? F you very much mister software developer, there are more enjoyable things to do with $300 than buy a game that, itself, wants you to buy a $600 control set if you want to be "truly competitive."

    • by JimWise (1804930) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:42AM (#37611558)

      Transferring ownership of the account should have no impact on the developer/host/game company. I agree that players should not expect a server to continue hosting games years after they have stopped selling them without receiving compensation, but this should be done through a yearly access fee or something similar. If a game passes hands ten times in a year, while another copy is held by the same owner for ten years, why should the hosting company require $100 for a single year of use from the first copy, while being perfectly happy with receiving $10 for ten years of use for the second copy?

  • by MacTO (1161105) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @05:21AM (#37609786)

    I don't blame them for doing this, since they are businesses and businesses are out to make a profit. I don't even blame the greed because they are providing a service and they calculate their revenues based upon a single purchaser (and not subsequent purchases of the title second hand).

    On the other hand, when it comes to gaming, I'm definitely a consumer. As a consumer, I don't want to spend more than I have to and that includes paying for access to servers for multiplayer games. So don't expect me to buy in to this scheme.

    Hell, don't expect me to pay into this scheme even if I had money to burn since I prefer single player games to social gaming and I prefer to social gaming to multiplayer games. Which basically means that I'll take a PS3 when I want to have some fun, a Nintendo when I want to enjoy a game with friend, and basically don't care about this scheme because I don't give a damn about playing 'alone' against human opponents who I will never meet.

    Of course, your opinion may differ. But I don't care. When I game it's about me (and maybe my real life friends).

  • by mykos (1627575) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @06:40AM (#37610192)
    We used to call someone who profits from someone else's intellectual property (without giving the creator a single cent) a pirate. Today, people who do that are known as Gamestop. As much as I hate Sony, at least they're in the business of creating games. Gamestop is in the business of being in business.
  • by Five Bucks! (769277) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @07:24AM (#37610412)

    This is one of those costs that probably won't be fully passed on to customers - where I live anyways...

    New Game: $60
    Used Game: $50 + $10 PSN Pass.

    Why would you ever buy the used game? Gamestop has to decrease the amount they charge for the new game or they swallow the cost of the PSN Pass themselves to make it worth a customer buys the Used Game. Otherwise they lose an entire console's worth of used games.

    • by mehrotra.akash (1539473) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:57AM (#37611734)

      This is one of those costs that probably won't be fully passed on to customers - where I live anyways...

      New Game: $60 Used Game: $50 + $10 PSN Pass.

      Why would you ever buy the used game? Gamestop has to decrease the amount they charge for the new game or they swallow the cost of the PSN Pass themselves to make it worth a customer buys the Used Game. Otherwise they lose an entire console's worth of used games.

      If I'm interested in only the single player component, then why not?

  • by Tobias Lobster (169833) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @07:31AM (#37610450) Journal

    Looks like the people who lose out here will be either the stores (used games no longer sell for as much) or the people who sell their used games back to the stores. And seeing as the prices paid by stores for used games are already shockingly low, I doubt they could take another $10 off the offer price.

    As a buyer, I should get the advantage of an extra $10 discount on the used game if I don't want multiplayer. And my choice is nice and easy - if the used game isn't at least $10 cheaper, I'm not buying it. Right now in the UK it's quite common for the used game to only be $3-$5 cheaper than new.

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @09:41AM (#37611554) Homepage

    Here's the scenario I imagine a few months down the road:

    *dials phone*
    "Hello, Game Stop!"
    "Hi, do you have any copies of {first party Sony title}."
    "I'm sorry, we don't carry that title in either New or Used."
    "Why?"
    "Sony won't let us." (ed: and you know that's how it will be phrased, too)

    *dials phone again*
    "Hello, Best Buy"
    "Hi, do you have any copies of {first party Sony title}."
    "No, sorry."
    "Man, does no one carry {first party Sony title}"

    *dials phone once more*
    "Hello, Wal-Mart"
    "Hi, do you have any copies of {first party Sony title}."
    "Nope."
    "Fine, I'll just order it from Amazon."

    *boots computer*
    *click* *click* *click*
    "WTF? I can't find this game on Amazon either?"

    What do these retailers have in common? They all sell used games.

    Oh, and they make up something like 90% of the game retailers in the US.

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:12AM (#37611886)

    Game publishers have want dot limit the used market as much as possible - since they view, rightly or wrongly, that every used game sale is potentially a lost new game sale and money they don't get a cut of even if it's not.

    This is a way to depress used game value and get money in their pockets - a win - win for them. While gamers may get games for less now, used prices will drop as well so there is less incentive to sell; limiting the used game market and making it less attractive; form both a revenue aspect for sellers and from an availability aspect for buyers.

    What is overlooked is the possibility that the big used game sellers - such as Gamestop - can cut a deal with Sony. They can buy PSN passes at a discount, pay less of for used games and then sell them at a higher price because the multi-play is included. There would be no "single player" discount. Sony is happy because they get a revenue stream, retailers are happy because prices and margins are protected (and may even go up); gamers get a "full game" - but get less when they go to sell one. Don't think publishers and retailers of used games are enemies- they just need to find a way to extract more cash from each sale by working together.

    • by DinDaddy (1168147) on Wednesday October 05, 2011 @10:29AM (#37612114)

      Interesting point. But they would be helping Gamestop continue to sell their games used without giving them a cut of that, so I would expect that factor to enter the equation as well. Preventing that was the entire point of this move, so I don't think they will then turn around and reverse it or diminish it quite so easily. It will be a little more difficult of a negotiation than your scenario posits.

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