Did EA Hand Modern Warfare 3 The Victory?

Word broke early today that EA/DICE’s upcoming Battlefield 3, would make use of EA’s online pass (article here) . While, I have not been one of the biggest supporters of the whole Project $10 movement in the industry, this article has very little to do with the qualities of the pass itself.

While EA/DICE are pretty vague on the details at the moment, does the use of an online pass in any capacity put them at a greater disadvantage when they are going up against Modern Warfare 3? While Activision has announced its own plans for extra revenue in Call of Duty Elite, the program isn’t a necessity for anyone who picks up the game, new or used.

On the other hand, EA/DICE seem to be purposely handicapping their potential audience with Battlefield 3. One can argue the merits of single-player versus multi-player until the cows come home, but the fact of the matter is, these two mammoth titles will be battling for the online space, not the single player campaign. And one of the biggest marketing tools you can have for online gaming is word of mouth.

But the idea of an online pass, pretty much curbs the appeal of word of mouth. Having a great time with Battlefield 3, wanna loan it to a friend to see if he/she likes it, and could potentially buy it. That’s gonna cost you $10 bucks to try online. Want to rent the game from GameFly or Blockbuster (if you can still find one in business), that’s gonna cost you $10. Buying the game used, want to hop online, you got it, gonna cost you $10.

Again, this isn’t a post to bury project $10, but its to show how EA/DICE are severely limiting the potential for growth on the game. Sure, you will get some consumers who find the $10 investment worth it, but you’re also gonna have a decent size of your audience who never experiences the online section of your game because they didn’t want to risk the cost. On the flip side, everyone who buys Modern Warfare 3 will be able to enjoy the online multiplayer with no extra hurdles or barriers to overcome.

Simply put, EA/DICE have shot themselves in the foot by limiting the appeal of the online portion of the game. Let’s see if they remedy this before the game’s October release date.

Earl Rufus

The owner of this little chunk of the internet. Enjoys having a good time and being rather snarky!

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63 Responses

  1. Azrael says:

    You do realize that the online pass thing comes with a free limited trial, right? So if you’re loaning it to your friend so they can see if they like it, they’ve got a couple of days to try the game online. If you’re renting it to see if you like it, then you’ve got a couple of days to try the game online. If you bought it used, then you just contributed to the reason EA and other companies are going with things like the Online Pass in the first place.

    If Gamestop (and its counterparts in other parts of the world) had to give a portion of the sale of used games to the publisher this wouldn’t be an issue. Now I’m not talking about some random game they sell 2 years after its release. I’m talking about the new game that came out last week that someone already got tired of and brought back for a trade in that the store has listed for $55 instead of $59. That’s pure profit on their part, and is absolutely retarded in my opinion. Personally, I’ll spend the extra $5 to make sure the publisher and devs get my cash.

    Besides, a lot of times if you know where to look, you can find new retail copies of the game for pretty cheap. If more people shopped smarter and spent less time complaining about crap like this there wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

    • DarthDiggler says:

      The way the End User License Agreements are setup with the games, GameStop has no obligation to pay anyone but GameStop for the games they sell used.

      Administratively it would be impossible for GameStop to account and send finances to publishers for used game sales (it would likely cost more in labor than the $10 online pass). This system makes sense, GameStop isn’t a boogey man, they are just providing a service that people are happy to pay for. If you don’t like used game sales don’t participate.

    • John Smith says:

      Sorry mate, no matter what you say, this online pass is the most stupid pathetic idea!

    • JimmyBoy83 says:

      I really don’t feel sorry for people buying second hand, it uses deticated servers, and if you want to be in on the fun, you have to pay. Sounds fair to me.
      If this influences people buying it, then boho, i dont think second hand sales are counted in sales anyway…

    • GReddy187 says:

      Idc about this I’m not buying it used? what will I save, like 4 dollars? When I do get the game I sure as hell am not going to let anyone borrow it? Why? Because I am SICK of call of duty(and people break my stuff all the time) with all of the grenade launchers and Ak74us and MP40s and UMP45s and fake shit like 360 no scopes. Every game mode on COD is basically TDM, and you don’t even have to aim down sights anymore?! that doesn’t make any sense to me, lets all just slap on steady aim with some AK74us with underbarrell grenade launchers and go to town…that’s fun right? COD has become lame everyone just wants killstreaks that’s all it is and all it ever will be. Call me a fanboy, I’ll be over here standing in an empty field of fucks that I give.

    • hoss7071 says:

      Wrong. I just rented Battlefield 3. There is ABSOLUTELY NO offer of a “free online trial.” It’s either “Pay” or “Piss of, go play the shitty campaign.”

      This has nothing to do with paying to use a server. Every single copy of Battlefield, has been bought and paid for. EA already has thier money. If someone pays $60 bucks for a new copy, then turns around and sells it to me for less… where is the increased server load? Numbers have not changed. Still one game, one person on the servers.

      EA just wants to undercut used game sales. There’s no other explanation.

  2. m says:

    Let’s be honest. Modern Warfare 3 was going to win either way.
    I mean the sheer amount of hours I put into Black Ops just isn’t possible in a Battlefield game. Why? The modes. COD games have SO MANY modes. When I get bored or the typical multiplayer modes(deatmatch/capture the flag..etc) I can hop onto Zombie mode. If I get bored of that? Wager matches.
    There’s near-infinite replay value. No Battlefield game will ever be able to match this.(unless they copy Activision)

    • Cadattack123 says:

      Your a god damn troll. Battlefield is gotta be the BEST FPS out there. Call Of Duty is boring and stupid. It gets old too fast.

      • Warlord says:

        U must be a complet dumb ass…COD will always beat BF…Simply put COD has an addictivce element that BF dont. COD will sell over 20 million and B prob 6-8million. COD is the best FPS simply put its pure addictive. BF dead slow, i want a video game not a game that tried to be realistic but fails. If COD was boring why consistencly it sell more than anyother game in history and slaughteres BF. Mcdonalds mite rip u off with there small burger but they still make the best burger thats why people always come eat…same with COD. Its the best and most addictive multiplayer game in history.

        • scvd says:

          You honestly think MW3 will more than double the lifetime sales of black ops and MW2 put together?

        • BillyBones says:

          McDonalds make the best burgers?! You must have very low standards when it comes to cuisine my friend.

          The food metaphor does work though, if COD is a cheap McDonalds hamburger with soggy fries, and BF is a succulent home made gourmet burger with fresh cut fries. If I want something fast and cheap I’ll choose McDonalds (not that I ever would) but if I want quality and don’t mind putting the effort in then I’ll do with the gourmet. The point is, COD is a no-brainer arcade game that I can play drunk and still pwn most people.. while BF is a thinking mans game that requires skill and intelligence.

          The reason COD has so many different modes is simply because it gets boring very quickly. Thus they have a wider range of modes to compensate for that.

          Battlefield is vastly more intense than COD when played as it’s meant to be played, which is part of a squad. Team work is what BF is all about. That’s why a lot of the COD hardcore don’t take to it and brand it ‘boring’, they’re used to the COD one man army mentality. Most COD modes are just a race to get killstreaks with very little consideration for team mates.

          BF is an experience more suited to mature gamers who have at least half a brain cell and a decent grasp of tactics. All those people who claim BF is boring or slow, join a game of squad death match with me and my friends and you’ll see how it’s meant to be played… fast paced and hectic.

          • beLIEve says:

            CoD also requires skill (when playing against skilled players), it’s just a different kind of skill: fast reflexes and thinking, situation awareness, improvisation, understanding the enemy’s psychology and metagame. It’s like playing Goldeneye64 or Perfect Dark (lone wolf focused, but undeniably good). Still it doesn’t require skill most of the time since there are a lot of n00bs, so the MAIN problem is the community, not the game. Nevertheless, I agree with you that Battlefield requires more strategy and thinking . The thing is, Battlefield is no good for free for all. It doesn’t even have split screen. I need a game that I can play even if my internet is down, or if I invite real life friends in my house. If I want real thinking i’ll play chess (requires a lot more intelligence and maturity than Battlefield) or Warcraft 3. I will buy MW3 and BF3 because they serve different purposes and I’m no fanboy.

          • Infamous36 says:

            BillyBones: You said it best.

            Its pointless arguing over the game though. The quality will speak for itself.

      • beLIEve says:

        You’re the troll. Both games offer totally different gameplay and each one is the best in it’s kind: CoD for fast individual action, BF for team strategy. If CoD bored you then you surely got pwned so many times that you rage quitted permanently. BF fanboys are always trolling on posts, makes me wonder which game has the more mature community: CoD full of stupid teens or BF full of adults with the maturity and mindset of teens. BOTH games are great! Respect others choices. Real gamers know it’s not about graphics since we’ve been playing or a long time: it’s all about gameplay. I wonder when the next BF fanboy will come “Battlefield iz teh best awesomest game ever, u noobz!” like a self employed Battlefield ambassador.

    • Penguin says:

      Can I just say calling someone an idiot or a troll or a fanboy, doesn’t really help anything?

      Let’s not throw around insults. We can all act like mature adults here and discuss the pros and cons rationally.

      • Fobia says:

        Haha nice job there Penguin…sadly I am sure you will get some back-lashing for your comment.

        Un-informed people have to resort to name calling to keep an argument open to make themselves feel like they know what they are talking about.

        Heaven forbid someone actually take a step outside of their own world and realize that EA is a company. They HAVE to do what needs to be done to make sure they keep making money on their projects or they will not be around.

        Anyway, happy to see someone trying to stop this name calling that has started.

  3. DarthDiggler says:

    The only way EA would be viewed as handing Activision a victory here is if this article was written by a very hopeful and proud COD Fanboy. 🙂

    Look MW3 will likely outsell BF3. That being said I highly doubt that online passes will have any effect in this race and this is the reason I call you a wishful Fanboy.

    Do you really think that anyone buying Battefield 3 on the Console DAY 1 is going to care if people buying the game used need to pay $10 to join them online? More importantly how would a pass that comes free with a brand new game affect sales of that game?

    Look you COD queer-bates will win on sales, just be happy with the fact that you have many thousands of COD hungry sheep just like you that don’t really care if gaming innovates.

    Meanwhile I will be happily toppling buildings and running through big open maps on vehicles playing a game that doesn’t understand the definition of spawn camping.

    OH and I am one of those guys that will buy COD MW3 used for the single player campaign only. MP will be broken on that game, just like it is with every other COD game!

    • Penguin says:

      The fallacy with your argument, is that I have an interest in either games.

      Personally, I’m not buying either one so technically I don’t have a horse in this race.

    • beLIEve says:

      “MP will be broken on that game”. So you can predict the future? Maybe you can tell me when you Battlefield fanboys will stop trolling on every comment thread you find. It’s childish and boring. Also, Battlefield is as stale a CoD: a new engine is not innovation. Better graphics are just to make graphics obsessed teens drool. Games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution are the true innovators, not another military FPS. Battlefield and CoD both offer nice but different things and are both great, Metacritic scores confirm it. Why are there so many troll comments from BF fanboys now days if they claim to be a far more mature community? Because they aren’t. I don’t know why fanboys act like they will enlighten the world with their comments when most of them don’t even know what a NES is. I am not a fanboy of CoD nor BF, just someone who has been playing a DIVERSE catalogue of games for more than 15 years. Normal old school gamers > fanboys.

    • Tazzr says:

      Good points made.. CoD games have always started off a bit iffy in my experience with games timing out, lag and at times finding no games, and there’s always a few glitches and exploits, but most of them get patched in the end.
      The main problem with CoD, imo is lack of innovation. most games are fairly similar affairs with the story of a cheap action film and then the same multiplayer, excluding black ops which used the a points system not unlike a few free to play shooters which is kinda a step back, which worries me as it seems like Activision will take the Zynga approach and begin to offer micro transactions with the Cod Points.

      In the end both will be decent games at least.. both will most likely be a tad overhyped with MW3 getting another scandal closer to the time (to go alongside the tube train scene in the trailer)

      Personally i think that BF3 will the be the more re-playable and more enjoyable game, but MW3 will be the bigger seller.
      Also buying MW3 just for the SP campaign…are you mad?

  4. alex says:

    I don’t know about this online pass thing, frankly it was never mentioned on the Battlefield 3 site at all. I have been playing the alpha, and I like it a lot and I don’t really miss CoD anymore. For CoD elite you still have to pay $15 for access, and don’t get me wrong I hated Black Ops due to Ravensoft being the horrid coders that they are. And why do I feel CoD MW3 will go the way of Halo 3 ( mediocre of a game)…Answer me that.

  5. KJAM says:

    This is stupid. When you buy a new Ford and then resell it 8 years later, does Ford get a piece of your used car sale? ABSOLUTELY NOT. EA is whining about used game sales so they went after the consumer rather than the corporations. Mega lame.

    And for those of you that think Gamestop would just raise their prices on used games if they had to pay EA, well then I say this….they would no longer be competitive with used sellers on Amazon, ebay, and craigslist (which they aren’t really competitive at the moment anyway and that’s why I don’t buy at gamestop. Ever.)

    • Fobia says:

      Ford has no reason to take a cut of a used car. The used car 8 years later will mean nothing to Ford anymore. Ford won’t have to spend money on that said car after the warranty is gone, which would be before 8 years.

      Sure you know this already….but.
      Video Games on the other hand, well thats a little different. Serves cost some sort of money to keep open and running. So if people are playing the game without actually giving money to the company who is running the server, that is basically stealing. That consumer didn’t pay for a new game, so the publisher/developer gets no cut of that sale.

  6. Jacob says:

    This is the dumbest thing in the world. I read the following on line:
    “… we don’t get a single dime from a used game, but we still need to create server space and everything for you.”
    http://www.gamerzines.com/ps3/news/battlefield-3-online-pass.html

    What?? Kiss my ass EA. Initially somebody paid sixty bucks for the game which is probably a huge markup for you.
    A few months later somebody sells the game and then I pay 40 bucks to buy the game used. You don’t get any money from that? Too bad. Go sue Gamestop for reselling your game without compensating you or work out something out with them. This is not my problem.
    It’s greed, plain and simple.

    • Penguin says:

      Yeah, and they topped themselves with their new EA Season Pass idea!

    • Fobia says:

      I get your fustration from this idea of an online pass, but game companies are…well companies. They are in the business to make money and when they have to constantly pay money to have specific servers for a game running, they need to keep ways of making money on that game or there is no point in keeping the server online.

  7. Craig Baker says:

    KILL YOURSELF YOU CONDESCENDING PRICK! “Project

  8. Danny Mon says:

    This systems, has almost no effect on pre-orders, because those who are / have pre-ordered have the code that comes with the game, the only thing I will complain about is if they implement the code system like they did for games like Need for Speed:Hot Pursuit, where it is locked to only 1 account, and restricts online play and only offers a trial. Bad Company 2 had it pretty good where it was a VIP code, for just extra content, and meant anyone could play online. I think the EA game that handled it best was Medal Of Honor, since they ran their code through the PSN to allow all users on the PS3 account to access content via the code, and everyone to play, with one purchase of the game alone. I feel if Battlefield 3 follows Medal Of Honors path, than it is good, and its understandable as to why they are doing this. In case people don’t see, Call of Duty is basicaly doing the same thing, to get new content, you have to either buy all of the content seperately (which in the past have not been the most worth your money deals) or sign up for the Premium version of Call of Duty Elite to recieve extra content.

    • Penguin says:

      But you mention the difference in your post, Call of Duty is charging you for “Extra” content. Completely optional.

      In several ways, EA/DICE is charging you for an essential part of the game… if you decide its worth looking into.

  9. mikaeru says:

    Whoa ! Fanboys are swinging for the fence on this one !

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here, and say, I’m not buying either one, they are both gonna suck, and honestly, this release cycle hurts the game industry (outside EA and Activision’s bank accounts), and furthermore, you guys buying the same game under a new name each year are a bunch of mindless sheep with no taste in games, no skill to compete in a real competitive online environment (like SF4), and no intelligence to realize any of this.

    Black Ops was terrible. Bad Company 2 was terrible. MW3 and BF3 are also going to be terrible, because the only difference is maps, graphics, and some weapon and perk balancing.

    WHAT NOW B*TCHES !

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Gamer Guy says:

    This article is full of BS and the person who wrote it knows it. EA hasn’t handed anyone anything. Its not like the “online pass” is a new feature. Its been around and more then one person knows about it.

    If someone wants to purchase a game they will purchase it regardless of an online pass or not. Same deal goes with people that purchase the collectors edition over the standard edition. They buy it because they want it.

    And as it was said before there is normally a trial option if you were to purchase the game used. If that person really likes the multiplayer feature they will just return it to GameStop with in 7 days and buy a new copy. Same deal goes for renting or borrowing it from family and friends.

    I could call out “Fanboy” or “Troll” but I’m not going to. However, I will state that the “lack of education” is this articles downfall. Yup, I said it.

    • Penguin says:

      The online pass isn’t a new feature. I’ve never tried to sell it as a new thing.

      And again this isn’t about people buying the game new, this is about people spreading the word of mouth about the game. Games such as Wii Sports and the original Modern Warfare took off because fans who originally bought it shared their experience with their friends, and so on and so on.

      I was unaware of the trial period, and I should amend the article to include that, but the fact is, you are adding unnecessary barrier of entry for gamers who want to just test out the online segment. Whether they buy it used, borrow from a friend or rent the game.

      And you can say what you want, but I still believe that when you are an underdog, you do everything to be on a level playing-field. This puts the BF 3 at a disadvantage.

      • Gamer Guy says:

        I don’t see how word of mouth will affect a game. Same thing could be said about purchasing a new or used car. Once you purchase a car your stuck with it unless your can prove that there are enough issues to bring about the lemon law.

        People will promote any game or product no matter what may be in place. I don’t see where an online pass is a disadvantage. If you like something you like it, if you don’t you don’t.

        To many people make a big deal out of small things. Everyone that makes a comment about not buying something based on a small thing is just a follower. I say this based on my own personal experience, and seeing others do what they say they wont do.

        Why can’t people make a big deal out of real issues?

        • Penguin says:

          I guess if you were to use the car metaphor.

          The online pass, would be like if your friend wanted to drive your car or take it out for a spin, but you had to go to the dealership to get a special key made for them.

          Its a lot of added work that most people will just not do for a minor payoff.

      • Mikaeru says:

        If you Google Battlefield 3 online trial, you get no relevant results. There is nothing to indicate this is going to be the case, and there IS reason to believe YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY ONLINE WHEN YOU BUY BF3 USED. In fact, EAs quote about used games costing them money in server fees (this is true) directly indicates they have no interest in offering online play to used game buyers, without buying a BF3 online pass.

        Stick to your guns Penguin, because you’ve got the games industry right in your cross hairs.

        • Gamer Guy says:

          And there is nothing to indicate that you wont have a trial period once the game is available. Another person making something out of nothing.

          • Mikaeru says:

            Actually, the only thing being made of nothing is the fact that I got no results to support the claims of a trial period for BF3 used copies, on the most popular and prolific search engine. I made a valid point, out of no results. If I HAD gotten results on the topic, I would have NO point, not the other way around.

            Your logic is totally flawed. You just stated that because I can’t disprove something (you will get a trial with a used copy), its likely to be true. The best argument you can offer is a “wait and see” stance, which is best.

            Again, totally and completely flawed logic, which any person with a brain will laugh off.

            • Gamer Guy says:

              Again your trying to make something out of nothing. Why not wait until the game comes out before making claims to things that may or may not exist?

          • Mav says:

            Even if their is a trial period it will only last a short time, days at best and won’t allow you the choice of returning back to a friends house a week or more later to play more with your game because the trial would have expired.

  11. Mikaeru says:

    Here’s a quote stating used purchases WILL require a 10$$ fee to access online content. NO MENTION OF ANY TRIAL. If you want to play online with a used copy, you pay 10 for your code, because the original owner surely already used the one packaged with the game. Note it says “to access online content”. No multiplayer without the code.

    Speaking to GamerZines, DICE’s executive producer Patrick Bach said the game would “probably” need a register code for players to access online content…

  12. n/a says:

    Simple cash grab as the original buyer bought the use of the game and its content for the life of the product in the intial purchase and EA already factored in the server costs etc. The new user is simply replacing the spot of the old user hence no extra burden on the servers. This harms more than a second hand buyer as well as those that buy new because they lose liberties they one had. If the game makers really wanted to stop stores like gamestop selling second hand then they would tell them to stop selling second hand or give a percentage of profits or they would not be srtocked with those games. A move like that would not hard sother stores such as Walmart etc because they dont sell second hand games. The Game makers like sony and microsoft etc like the seconfd hand game pass idea because it forces users to buy extra products such as psn credit cards and so on and spend mextra money on their online stores, simple as that. Its a sad reflection on the industry and a worrying sight as to whats going to happen next?

  13. John Smith says:

    Retards they are!! As if anyone is gonna buy that game for its single player mode. They’ve just gone and screwed themselves! But they were never going to beat COD anyways and they know that, so this is a chance for them to create a bit of extra cash!

  14. Omac_brother says:

    Hate to say it, but I whole heartedly agree with OnLine passes.
    If we wish to continue to have quality games released then the developers and publishers need to make more money. Simple business.
    Take Dead Space for example. Everyone I know has played it, but nobody I know bought it new. The pubs and devs wont have seen any profit from any of those sales of second hand games.

    The simple fact is, MW3 will sell more than BF3, just because its a MW/COD game, regardless of which is the better game online. The hype and over excited kids will make sure of that. EA know this. Asking for $10 to play online if you didnt buy the game new is just another way of making a tidy profit from second place.

    • Penguin says:

      Well if you speak of the original Dead Space, it has no on-line component so it won’t get additional revenue anyhow.

      The other, and more logic way to me, to entice gamers to buy your product new. Give new owners some type of reward/added content and you will get more sales. Instead of charging people to access part of your game.

  15. chris says:

    first off i want to say i totally agree with ea look if your going to spend $40 dollars less for a game i had to pay $64 for then you should be obligated to pay for online its only fair. second for all those saying bf3 isn’t any good, i was accepted into the bf alpha trail which i am currently playing all day, mw3 is gonna be fun but dice has step up there game, and already selling 6:1, i cant tell you about the game because i will not breach that trust with ea or dice. but i will say this there has not been a game to date that has brought back happy feeling like i had when cod4 came out, and battle field 3 did just that, in my personal opinion mw3 will fall especially when you see what they have done. again dice thanks for everything and you to ea.

    • Penguin says:

      So your reason for justifying project 10 dollars is people who pay less at retail need to make up the difference somehow?

      What if they wait for a price collapse at 20 bucks, should they also pay for online?

      I get that used game sales are hurting the industry to some, but they do some good as well.

  16. Don’t buy used games.

  17. Shadow Hado says:

    Seriously… Of course there’s “NO MENTION OF ANY TRIAL.” The game isn’t out yet, and the Online Pass feature was JUST announced. However, if you look at previous EA games that use the EA Online Pass like NFS Hot Pursuit, there IS a trial period. So tell me then, why would they announce using the EA Online Pass feature, but take away the trial?

  18. Demaine says:

    I don’t see how this has a negative impact upon EA/Dice in the slightest. The people who were going to buy the game used or rent it wouldnt contribute a single penny to EA or Dice – so the fact that those people may now not play the game at all is hardly a loss. 1 person paying $10 is much better business than a million people paying nothing.

    I’m not against renting games or the preowned business but at the end of the day multiplayer gaming incurs a regular cost to the publisher and that cost needs to be covered.

    • Penguin says:

      So you’d rather make money off of one person, that making sure a million other people are exposed to your product?

      Interesting business.

    • n/a says:

      Is is already covered. The Game maker factored in the server costs etc for the life of the game when the first buyer brought it. The second user is simplly replacing the first on the server load hence no extra burden and the exact same amount of users and games. It’s logic, the game makers just see another excuse to make money. Same as with alot of dlc, costumes and extra modes etc where free when completing in game achievement now alot of that is paid for dlc. And dlc is another avenue for making money they never had before which second hand users will also use and buy from so they have more revenue streams for profit. The passes are just simple cash grabs.

  19. Just Me says:

    Very interesting idea but very short sighted and not totally thought out, look at these potential scenarios (USING FICTITIOUS NUMBERS for the sake of example);

    Both companies sell 1 million copies at launch then 50,000 players of BOTH games decide they don’t want it and trade it in. Another 1 million people want to buy both games after reading the reviews and all of the hype. EA sells 1 millions new games (or at least makes $10 from online passes) on all purchases by people wanting to play online. Activision MIGHT only make money off of 950,000 copies due to the fact that some users will buy the used copies.

    The only way of looking at this as a win for Activision is if you think that used games being sold and resold time and time and again MIGHT help increase their fan base – and that is more important than revenue.

    For anyone buying the game(s) new, this will not matter as BOTH games are online capable if bought new. For those buying used, this MAY discourage some users from BF but EA is not too worried about that since they wouldn’t be making any money off of the second sale of the product.

    All indications are that BF is beating MW3 in pre-sales and that will not be affected by this one bit as all of those that pre-ordered will receive the online pass.

    • Penguin says:

      Well, you are looking at it differently than I would.

      Let’s say 1 million people buy each game first month.

      Each of those 1 million people goes to convince another one of their friends to try it online and buy a copy.

      CoD can guarantee that all 1 million people who try it, in any fashion will get online.

      EA/DICE can not. So while CoD maximizes its potential to convert all 1 million sales, EA/DICE is already cutting their potential into slices from used games, rentals and borrowing from friends.

      • Just Me says:

        There is something to be said for word of mouth and trying games out. You are right.

        For all of those that bought Medal of Honor, they will get the opportunity to play the BF demo early while others will before the game comes out.

        “EA Dice executive producer Patrick Bach reportedly confirmed that a demo for Battlefield 3 would be available prior to the game’s launch this fall. ”

        So for those looking to try both games for free, they will be disappointed due to the fact that COD does not partake in demos.

        As for the cutting into slices, I am not sure what you are basing this idea on?

        Rentals – both games will be sold to the rental outlets at high inventory and the same price. Once that price is paid to the vendors, EA/Activision no longer make money off the copies whether it is rented once or a million times.

        Used Games – Activision will make NOTHING off of any used game sold… and there will be hundreds of thousands if not millions. EA stands to make $10 off any games resold and taken online. By selling JUST ONE online pass, they have made more off of used games than Activision will off of theirs.

        Borrowing From Friends – makes nobody money.
        ————————————————————————

        Now you are probably thinking that borrowing games and renting games helps new users to go buy the games. You are probably right. But many of those that paid money to rent the game may choose to buy the game used, and between those two expenses they may have actually spent the same or more for the game than buying a new copy.

        You can however try out the BF demo for free and buy the game new if you like it or if the used price gets low, buy it used and the online pass and still come out ahead.

  20. romansboy says:

    If all games were purchased brand new and never traded in the online pass would not be an issue at all. The only reason it is, is because of greed. Publishers see gamestop and the like making money from used game sales and they want a piece. Now imagine this being implemented in other areas like buying used cars. If you buy a used car you have to pay GM or FORD 35% of the purchase price to be able to use the heater, radio, and headlights. Now you could still drive the car, but you couldn’t have these features unless you paid the fee. How do you think that would go over with the used car buying crowd. Or if you bought a used TV from someone down the street, you couldn’t have access to color or HDTV unless you paid Magnavox or RCA 35% of the price you paid. Think about this logically. If no games were ever traded EA would be happy? To say that they need the funds to keep up servers for all of the “extra” people who buy the game used, is garbage. For every person who buys the game used there is one less who bought it new that traded it…1-1+1 still equals 1 in my world. Now what would everyone think if Micro$oft charged you an extra fee to play online (on top of the cost of Xbox Live) when you bought a used xbox?????

  21. Just Me says:

    Your analogy is all over the place. The only part you truly got right was the first sentence.

    Greed is not the same as making money and maximizing your earning potential off of YOUR PRODUCT.

    GameStop and the used game places have found an opportunity to make money off of other people’s misfortunes and other companies’ work and products.

    People buy games and sometimes need or want to sell them. Sometimes it is because they need money and other times they no longer have use of the game and would prefer a different game to play. This seems harmless enough except these used games stores are predators. They buy the games at a small fraction of what you paid for the game and then resell it at a major gain. With the addition of these online passes and digital distribution, this business model will cease to exist as we currently know it.

    Your car analogy is off. First $10 (online pass) is not 35% of $60 (new game price), it is actually about half that. Secondly, you should look at the features argument differently. If you buy your car new, you don’t need to worry about those features. They are all included in the price you agreed to when you bought the car at full price (or on slae for less). But if you bought a car used from a car lot that is not affiliated with the manufacturer, the rules are surely different. You may get a reduced price but you may also get reduced features. In your car analogy this may be lack of warranty or no CD player. But since it is cheaper, you buy it. If you want to add a warranty or a CD player, you KNOW you will have to spend extra.

    This “goes over” fine with used car buyers. They know that they have to make concessions to get a good deal of savings. Many of them however are shortsighted and end up spending more in the log run by adding more features on at a later date.

    The tv argument is weak too. If you bought that tv off your neighbor and he had all the channels and a blu-ray player hooked up to it and you took it home but lacked cable or a movie player, your experience won’t be the same as his. That doesn’t mean the tv is broke, it just means that you need to make adjustments.

    Lastly your Xbox analogy is the worst of all. The Xbox Gold pass is the “extra fee” to play online. You pay it whether you bought your xbox new or used… so if you want to play games online over Xbox Live you buy an online pass to do so – SOUND FAMILIAR?

    • romansboy says:

      Wow, really. Well let’s see:

      Greed is not the same as making money and maximizing your earning potential off of YOUR PRODUCT…….Where does the main EARNING POTENTIAL lie with ANYTHING? That would be at the Point of Sale, brand new, in the package. They sell their product to retailers right…bang, they make their POTENTIAL EARNING there. Now, the retailer has the product on their shelf, they bought it. They sell it to the consumer, which is what they are supposed to do. When they sell that product, do they have to give a kickback to the publisher…..NO. They paid for the game initially so their responsibility to the publisher is fulfilled. Now let’s make it more interesting by throwing a wholesale entity into the mix, now when they sell to the retailer do they pay a fee to the publisher…NO. Bottom line, when the game is purchased by a wholesale, retail, or other entity, the initial EARNING POTENTIAL is gained. Gamestop took the initiative to create a platform for a market that already existed. They had to take a chance and spend a lot of money to put this platform in place, it’s called business risk. The story is always the same. The big boys see the little guy having a little success and decide to cut into his stack. If I manufactured a product for a living, I would not expect a kickback every time it was sold to someone else. You want to buy a good sofa, sure but you have to pay Lazy Boy a cut.

      You do realize a television doesn’t come with a Blu-ray player and all the channels “IN THE BOX” right. I am talking about features that are already available and built in but not available until you pay.

      I used the 35% figure because $10 is approx 35% of $30 which is the average price of a used game. If you paid $60 the game would be new and a pass would not be necessary Einstein!

      And lastly did you read the part where I said (on top of the cost of Xbox Live), like, in addition to. You can buy a used Xbox, in which case M$ gets nothing from the purchase, but they don’t try to stick it to you with an EXTRA FEE!

      When you agreed with my first statement it made the rest of your argument obsolete. That statement proves that the single motivating factor for the online pass is GREED. If someone else wasn’t making money it would be a non-issue. The crowd buying the used games are not likely to buy new games anyway unless they can trade in towards it.

      If these guys were truly smart they would realize they are just hurting themselves. Do they think someone will buy a game new if they were looking to get it used. I only speak from experience. There have been several sports titles I have passed on because I have a lot of friends who have Gamefly because they can’t afford new games so I pass on them as well because I play online with friends. And no one is going to fork out $10 to play a game for a short time and send it back.

      It is a difficult time for consumers in this economy, and when companies try to stick it to them, they will turn their backs!!

    • Just Me says:

      I too am willing to play the game of breaking down what the other is saying… here’s my take.

      Earning Potential – all of what you wrote out fulfillment to obligations with retailers and wholesalers is pretty accurate. Yet in your business 101 lecture you completely missed the mark on the initial statement that sparked your babble and what earning potential really means. Certainly you can’t (or shouldn’t) argue that if Activision potentially could sell additional copies of their game (to wholesalers, retailers, or consumers directly) but don’t for whatever reason (choice, used game market, etc) than they are not maximizing on their potential income from their product.

      Congratulations to GameStop for taking the effort and resources to find a market and making money off of it, but save the sad story of GameStop, the not-so-little guy for another argument. You yourself may not expect a kickback for what you manufacture or create, but many of industries do. If you make your couch and sell it, you are done dealing with the sale. There is no maintenance or further expenses accumulated in that transaction. In this case you are dealing with intellectual property (that also has further costs associated with maintenance) and the creators of that property can sell it or give it away as that see fit… regardless if GameStop wants a cut of it or not. GameStop has no claim to this game nor are they the victims of anything in regards to this.

      Yes I am aware of what most tv’s do or do not come with. If you and I both have the same tv and the same BF disc – yet I have HD service and the online pass and you have neither – do you expect to have the same experience as me? Neither your tv or BF game disc is broken, yet YOU CHOOSE to not enable all of it’s features by paying more on top of your used products. I however CHOSE to buy the game new and paid to have the HD package which allows me to enjoy my purchase to the fullest. Again, you can enjoy the campaign and the SD channels and save a bit, that is up to you.

      Thank you for calling me Einstein although I am fairly certain you were being sarcastic. I like your arbitrary selection of $30 as the average game price. Sure there are plenty of older titles in that range but good luck getting the top games anywhere close to that. For fun why don’t you go to GameStop on release day of a big title, buy the game, go to the parking lot to simply take the plastic off, resell it to them/ or trade it in, then try to buy back your same game that came out minutes ago. For your troubles you will likely give them $60, then they will give you $30-$35 (likely in credit), and you will then get to buy your game back at a reduced price of $55. So in that 2 minute ordeal GameStop takes the customer for a rip-off ride, makes a portion of the proceeds from the initial sale, and all profit off of the second one – probably without handing you any real money in the middle.

      That long tangent was to illustrate two things, first you made up arbitrary information to suit your argument, and second to show that GameStop and the like are not worth your shallow arguments on their behalf. It is also worth pointing out that I think it was wise of you to abandon your poorly thought out car analogy.

      According to your fuzzy math, BF SHOULD BE around $30 used and if you add the $10 on top of it for online play you come to only $40 total which is 33% cheaper than a brand new title ($14.99 cheaper than a used copy of LA Noire). This isn’t too unreasonable is it? It is unreasonable however if I go to buy the copy you just traded in that is now $55 and I have to get the $10 pass on top of it… You might say I am better off buying it new… or that GameStop might consider lowering their price by $10 to accommodate the fee. Nah, they probably want ALL of THAT.

      Your Xbox Live statement was funny and the fact that you tried to defend it makes it double funny. Why would Microsoft charge an online fee on top of their online fee? Granted M$ doesn’t make money of most used systems but they do off of XBL – you can enjoy the xbox as is, you can pick up a cell phone without a plan, a tv with no HD channels, or BF without an online pass – and in ALL of those cases you will need an EXTRA FEE to use them to their fullest.

      How are they hurting themselves? They make ZERO off of a used game sale – yes ZERO. If they turn off some of you but gain at least $10 off of JUST ONE PERSON, they profited. It is funny that you are willing to accept the poor trade in prices and inflated game prices from a company like GameStop yet you are willing to “turn your back” on EA for $10? I am sure you mean well and all (except for the Einstein part) but wow your argument is really backwards.

  22. Kal says:

    For those of you using the car/whatever analogies, please think about them more thoroughly. They don’t compare very well due to a few key differences. One of them being that there is an online back-end component to games that people don’t usually see (or account for apparently).

    When a publisher sets up a price point for an online game, they have to take into consideration many extra costs. One of these, in this case, is the setup and tracking of an account throughout all the servers. This costs money. If a used game was sold multiple times, there would be multiple accounts on the back-end that are still being tracked and stored based on the sale of one new game. Might it be better if the previous account was erased and not tracked anymore? Maybe. To compare this to the car analogy; it’s similar to asking for a full warranty on a used car.

    All this aside, do I think publishers are greedy and inefficient?
    Yes, but then so are most people.

  23. Ryan James says:

    This guy is an idiot.

  24. Logan C. says:

    No BF multiplayer for me then. not getting into this FPS war.

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