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The Almighty Buck Entertainment Games

Game Devs Using One-Time Bonuses to Fight Used Game Sales 229

ShackNews reports on an emerging trend which sees game publishers offer one-time bonus codes to unlock extra content for certain titles. Rock Band 2, for example, comes with a code which will allow free 20-song download, but is only usable once. NBA Live '09 has functionality to update team rosters on a daily basis, but will only do so for the original owner. "'This information and data is very valuable and it wasn't free for us,' an EA representative explained on Operation Sports. 'T-Mobile is paying for it this year for all users who buy the game new. This is a very expensive tool to use, and if you don't buy it new, then you'll have to pay for this. It isn't greed at all.'"
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Game Devs Using One-Time Bonuses to Fight Used Game Sales

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04, 2008 @08:19PM (#25260037)

    I don't know. What major publishing/media company do you own? The answer generally seems to depend on such trivial things.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 04, 2008 @10:51PM (#25260867)

    Your problem is easily solved by accounts.

    I install the game, activate it to my account, register my code to my account, then any time I reinstall as long as I re-use the same credentials everything stays unlocked.

    Granted once you start tying things to accounts you get into a whole different can of worms of resale prevention, but theres no reason you cant allow disk re-use.

    Really I wish more things were stored based on accounts. A good example of failure there would be Call of Duty 4. In that game you have to unlock the vast majority of weapons and abilities, and even if you bought it with steam you'll lose everything you unlocked if you reinstall.

    Meanwhile over in Team Fortress 2 land, anyone on my account has what I unlocked. If Valve wanted, they could very easily make a "unbound from account and re-gift this game" feature.

    As for MMO's.. WoW, the most popular by a large margin MMORPG, does that all the time. If you buy the collectors edition you get a special code that unlocks a unique in game pet and some other trivial things. Again, it all gets tied to the account.

  • by Neoprofin ( 871029 ) <> on Sunday October 05, 2008 @12:09PM (#25264555)

    And they are highly profitable. You can buy back a brand new title that's selling for $59.99 for $20 a week after it's released and then sell it to the next consumer for $50. You just made $30 profit for a little bit of overhead and two consumers just got their fix a little bit cheaper. Everyone except the publishers win.

    Legacy titles are a bonus, but the money is all in new releases.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.