The schemes have their critics, but Codemasters says publishers had no choice but to introduce Online Passes.
The tactic has seen software houses include one-time codes in new copies of their titles to unlock content. Pre-owned users must buy the code online to access the same content.
Online Passes have come into their own this year, used in titles such as Battlefield 3, Driver and most recently Batman: Arkham City. Codemasters has used Online Pass mechanics itself for titles such as Dirt 3. And the firm admits the concept is not ideal for publishers, retailers or consumers – but it is necessary.
“The introduction of the ‘Online Pass’ is a way to ensure that some of that revenue goes back to the teams building the games, which are after all, getting more and more expensive to produce,” VP for brand and marketing Jon Rissik told MCV.
“In an ideal world, the retailer would participate in a share of the DLC sales, while publishers and developers would benefit from second-hand sales.“Unfortunately, we have ended up in the position we are in, which is less than ideal for everyone.”