Mirroring THQ’s strategy with recent fighting release UFC Undisputed 2010, the publisher has confirmed that October’s release WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2011 will include a DLC code in the box that will be required to access the game’s online mode.
In addition, those redeeming their code will also receive the game’s first DLC pack (which includes new character Chris Masters and new costumes for Rey Mysterio and Kelly Kelly) for free.
Anyone buying the game pre-owned will need to pay 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live or $9.99 on PSN to obtain a code if they wish to receive the same content and features.
The inclusion of single-use codes is fast becoming very much the norm for publishers, with THQ admitting last week that it sees the model as a way to “increase our digital revenue, engage players with our games for a longer period of time and reduce the impact of used games”.
The big question now is whether or not any publisher will press ahead with plans to further monetise online multiplayer through premium accounts in the same way that it is now beginning to monetise pre-owned sales.