Feargus Urquhart, the CEO of developer Obsidian, has criticised the use of the Online Pass in the industry’s battle against pre-owned video games.
“One of the recent issues is not putting the full game in the package and requiring downloadable content to move on. Also, including DLC in the package that will have to be repurchased for secondhand buyers,” he told GameSpot.
“I think you have to go in and forget those gimmicks, and say, ‘How do I make them want to keep the game on the shelf?’ I think each genre has a way to do it. Battlefield and Call of Duty have it in multiplayer with maps, rankings, leveling up, and unlocks. There are different things, but the idea is making people feel, ‘I want to keep on playing it’.”
Urquhart goes on to note that this is a particular challenge for genres such as the RPG, which don’t have hugely popular online multiplayer modes to fall back on like an FPS or sports game.
But that’s not to say it can’t be done.
“We come up with things to make players want to keep on playing it. It was never developed this way, but it's funny how it has become a way to do this,” he added.
“By having a good and evil track, like Knights of the Old Republic II, I can play as a light or dark Jedi. I may play through as a light Jedi, but I know that I could play through as a dark Jedi. So I put it back on my shelf and I don't take it back to GameStop.
“If I play Fallout: New Vegas for 50 hours, but there are all these other quests, and there's this whole other area I didn't go to, and online there are people talking about all these things that you could have done all these different ways, I'll feel like ‘Wow, I could play this game again’, because there is all this stuff I didn't get.
“And knowing that, publishers announce DLC plans the day the game comes out. And now, as a player who hasn't experienced everything yet, I know there are these new stories, and I'm going to be able to level up my character and get better stuff, be more of a hero. The game is going to go back on my shelf, not back to GameStop.”