Rumour: WB To Utilise ‘Online Pass’ For Mortal Kombat?

[Update] Joining the fight against used games sales?

Hoping to take your copy of Mortal Kombat online when it launches next month? Then you should probably make sure you’re purchasing a new copy of the game, otherwise you may end up having to fork over some extra dough. According to Joystiq, they’ve received an e-mail from a tipster that looks to be intended for retailers, detailing an ‘online pass’ system, similar to that in which other publishers have started to use.

According to an excerpt from the e-mail (seen below) you’ll be granted a one time code with the purchase of a new copy, but if that code has already been used, you’ll have to purchase a new one from XBL/PSN.

Mortal Kombat, available on April 19 for the PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, includes a one-time-use registration code that gives players access to all online modes in the game. Players who do not have a code will get a free two-day trial of the online play and then be able to purchase the online modes for 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and $9.99 on the PlayStation Network.

This also brings up the question of whether or not Warner Brothers will do this for any other games they’re publishing, such as Fear 3 and Batman: Arkham City. Keep this in your rumor folder for now but it certainly seems probable.

Source: Joystiq

**UPDATE** The official MK Twitter has confirmed that Mortal Kombat will be using an online pass.

43 Comments

  1. Doubt Batman: AA will need one seeing as there will be no online play. or is there?

    • I guess Batman: AA will have one time use registration code for DLC only or something like that, but i don’t think AA will have multiplayer.

      • Yep, just like Mass Effect 2, I assume.

      • Isnt it ac, not aa? Anyway there will probably be online leaderboards for the fight room type things like in the last one.

  2. What is the bloody problem with used sales. Money-grabbing bastards

    • The problem is that they see no money from used sales, which wouldn’t be a problem but it’s very big business. Apart from my main franchises I generally buy pre-owned unless there is a promotion on. You’re not exactly gonna sit back and watch while somebody effectively undercuts you.

      I persoannly think this is a good idea, online play I always see as an extra service, you pay for what is on the disk when you buy a game so paying extra for an online pass seems reasonable and a good way for Publishers to balance out the preowned market.

      • $9.99 is pushing it is somewhat though.

      • they never see any money from used sales?

        look at all the dlc they’re pushing before the game is even out.
        dlc is all they talk about with regards to this game now.
        this is greed pure and simple.
        there are very few games released these days that don’t have swathes of dlc announced months before the game is even launched.

        when did getting paid for every copy sold not become enough?
        this industry is really starting to get disgusting.

      • Your point has nothing to do with the preowned market. DLC is a completely different entity, it is something extra you buy after the main game whether you buy that new or preowned. A developer publisher does not see any money from the sale of a preowned game.

      • That’s true & i am all for the developer making money where they can, but I unfortunately don’t see anyone removing the online trophies when they add an online pass system – Meaning that if you care in any way about getting a platinum for the game & have happened to pick up a pre-owned copy (don’t forget that places like GAME etc aren’t generally letting people know about the online pass when they pick up a game pre-owned), you will have to spend more money to pick up an online pass, which I feel is a bit nasty.
        Personally, I think that if you want to charge for online play (for those that have picked up pre-owned of course), don’t add online trophies to the main list. They can always add them to DLC when it is released (as DLC is generally released for most things these days).

      • but it is relevant, you make it sound like if you buy preowned, they can never make money off you, discounting the fact that trade ins are usually done to fund new purchases and help store sell new games for less than the rrp, cutting into the store’s profits and not the publishers, they can still sell you content, if the original owner bought dlc then traded, they get to sell it twice.

        and my point still remains that they got paid for that copy, why is that suddenly not enough for them?
        this undistry has been steadily getting bigger year after year with trade ins being an integral part, why is it that now, suddenly they’re taking food from their babies mouths?

        because of greed, because this industry got so big and so far up it’s own arse they seem to think they have a right to do whatever the hell they want in their insatiable quest for obscene amounts of money.

      • The thing that bugs me is that we are the ones getting charged for it, because it’s easier & involves less business meetings, court cases or whatever – The publishers/developers should really be looking at the stores that are making profit to make money on pre-owned, not the consumer (who will often get ripped off on a pre-owned purchase anyway!).

      • Devs & pubs gain massive benefit from used sales, albeit only indirectly

        Nearly all trade-ins result in the sale of a new game, without the trade-in there would be far, far less new game sales.

        The problem isn’t pre-owned – It’s just pubs seeing a slice of the after-sales market & realising they’re not getting a penny of that market, conveniently forgetting they’re directly benefiting from the trade-ins resulting in new sales from them.

        If anyone they should declare war on eBay where used-sales don’t necessarily lead to new-sales like they do in GAME etc

        they also benefit from retailers being able to make some money to stay in business, without which the publishers wouldn’t have high street shelf space to sell their products.

        To sum up pre-owned sales through gaming retailers is great for devs & pubs, there are no downsides.

      • i agree with you there forrest, if preowned sales are so bad, and the publishers will always spin it in a way that means they get more money, then go after the retailers.

        but they don’t, because the retailers are perfectly legally entitled to buy and sell preowned games, just as we’re perfectly legally entitled to sell the games we’ve bought, first sale doctrine might only apply to the us.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine

        This means that the copyright holder’s rights to control the change of ownership of a particular copy ends once ownership of that copy has passed to someone else, as long as the copy itself is not an infringing copy.

        i’ve questioned the legality of schemes like this before and i do so again, and nobody say “it’s in the license agreement”, because the law will always, and i mean ALWAYS, override any license agreement.

    • The problem with used sales is that they’re starting to take up a large proportion of game sales and the devs get not a penny from them. I don’t have a problem with the online pass system, it means devs have a chance of actually making a profit, and as a result more games are made. All good.

      • that’s the short term view yes.
        but that discounts all the trade ins made to fund new game purchases, how many trades are for new games i don’t know, a lot i’ll bet though, and the way the preowned market sustains the store so they can sell games for less than rrp, because how many games actually sell for their rrp?
        without the trade ins the stores would have to sell for the full rrp which would mean less sales of new games.

        or the stores would go out of business and the publishers would be forced to deal with big chain stores who would use their position to force the publishers to supply the games for less, like the supermarkets do with many of the product they sell.

        and let’s not forget the fact that each and every preowned game has already made it’s money for the publisher, sure somebody else may buy it preowned instead of new, but if they’re buying it preowned, the chances are they either are unable or unwilling to buy new anyway.

        on the whole, i believe getting rid of preowned sales like these people want would do more harm to this industry than good.

      • Devs & pubs gain massive benefit from used sales, albeit only indirectly

        Nearly all trade-ins result in the sale of a new game, without the trade-in there would be far, far less new game sales.

        The problem isn’t pre-owned – It’s just pubs seeing a slice of the after-sales market & realising they’re not getting a penny of that market, conveniently forgetting they’re directly benefiting from the trade-ins resulting in new sales from them.

        If anyone they should declare war on eBay where used-sales don’t necessarily lead to new-sales like they do in GAME etc

        they also benefit from retailers being able to make some money to stay in business, without which the publishers wouldn’t have high street shelf space to sell their products.

        To sum up pre-owned sales through gaming retailers is great for devs & pubs, there are no downsides.

  3. While I’m probably never gonna trade in the coming MK game, I think this is utter bull$%&.
    It kinda defeats the purpose of the Playstation having ‘free online gaming’.
    Because of the online pass toss I didn’t take Homefront online at all; so I can trade it in with all codes intact. If going online hadn’t devalued the game so much, maybe I’d started playing it online, holding on to it for much longer (thus keeping it off the secondhand market).

  4. Tut tut, not impressed with this ever increasing trend. I really don’t like it

  5. WB, THQ and a few others all utilise this online lass thing, yet they still don’t get half the abuse that Activision get for not caring about customers. lol!!!

    • Online lass? That’s a totally different topic…one for the forum! ;oD

      • haha
        Dammit, iPhone and fat fingers don’t mix

    • That’s because, from what I can gather, Activision milk stuff like this for all it’s worth, as fo EA. WB and THQ, at the moment just seem to be searching for a way to make a bit of money out of a pre-owned sale. But only time will tell. I play more THQ/WB games than EA/Acti games though so I cannot be a fair judge.

      • Interestingly enough though, Activisions biggest franchise (CoD – As if i needed to say!) has not utilised an online pass system to date – In fact, I am not sure that Activision have used it at all yet have they?

      • Activision knows our pain…..

      • What?

        I don’t get this view of Acti at all, it smacks of hypocrisy. Everyone milks everything that makes money

        EA – Just look at their sports licences releasing at least once a year, sometimes twice, when the only additional thing is a tournament which could easily be programmed in to the standard annual release. Other franchises of theres are also on at least annual release schedules, sometimes more often, 3 NfS games in 12mths for example

        and if you believe that Battlefield, Battlefield Bad Company, Medal Of Honor etc won’t be appearing with alarming regularity from now on you’d be much mistaken

        Sony… the PS3 will be around for 5 years when Ratchet & Clank make their 5th appearance on the console

        Ubi, 3 Assassin’s Creed games within a couple of years

        I could go on & on & on with examples from everyone & every franchise.

        People just have an agenda about Acti, but turn a blind eye to the fact that milkinjg customers for money is standard industry practice that everyone does, in fact every industry does it.

        If people really hate this online pass stuff for damaging resale values of stuff they’ve bought, then Acti should be praised for trying to build compelling experiences that people don’t want to trade-in, rather than just defaulting to leveraging the customer for more money, the relative high pre-owned prices of CoD are testament to this, I trade it in every year for £33 when it always costs me only £25

      • CC, you win the internet for today. Congratulations.

  6. Cunt blame them really, I think it will become more and more common. As annoying as it seems, it isn’t going to go away.

  7. You don’t see any other industry inhibiting 2nd hand sales. If anything it will encourage piracy with keygens etc.

    • That’s true, but no other industry relies so healily only on one way of making money. The movie insustry ideally makes it’s profit from cinema sales, so it makes no odds as to whether a DVD is sold second hand, writers don’t need funds to get ideas or put pen to paper and these days the music industry is much more reliant on live concert sales than it is on it’s album sales which are taking heavy hits due to piracy. The games industry relies on game’s sales and mus use the profit from such to fund future projects. Less sales = less budget for next project which leads to lower quality money spinning games or ones that have to be more highly priced. It’s a vicious cycle that only the games industry faces, that is why preowned is becoming a big problem for publishers and developers.

      • only one way of making money?
        in the 80s maybe, but god, the amount of secondary markets for any gaming ip these days.
        books, comics, movies, action figures, clothing, other memorabilia, it’s a huge market.
        you don’t honestly think the only way they’ll make any money from mortal kombat is from the game do you?

      • Good point :/

  8. my response to this is, don’t support it, this in itself may not be so bad, depending on your viewpoint, i think it’s nothing but greed.
    but it’s what this could lead to if they see they can get away with it.
    what i fear is the totalitarian drm you get on pc, where games are forever tied to a single user or account.
    that would mean pretty much the end of my interest in console gaming, like it’s killed my interest in pc gaming.

    but the truth is, we have the power here, we have control of what they need, our money, we should be dictating terms to them, not the other way around.
    if people showed more responsibility in choosing what they buy, this industry would be much better.

    if you keep buying virtually the same game from the same publisher every year, that’s all they’ll ever produce, virtually the same game, but if you don’t, and maybe buy that new title that isn’t a carbon copy of it’s prequel the year before, then maybe this industry won’t stagnate.
    and don’t support publishers that treat their customers like an exploitable resource, there are worthier publishers out there, ones that would value your business instead of thinking they they have a right to your money.

    yeah, i know i come across as preachy when i get on this subject, but i think this is one of the most important issues in this industry right now.
    is this industry about profit above everything else or is it about a more balanced approach that values the customer as well as their wallet/purse?
    if it goes the wrong way, i could see another crash, we’re reaching the tipping point here.
    are the publishers about to load the straw that broke the camel’s back? i think we’re a ways away from that yet, but the further they push, the harder the backlash will be.

    ok, that’s the last cliche for this post. :)

  9. I don’t support it either, so i’ve just cancelled my pre-order. Vote with your money people!

    • hell yeah. b^_^d two thumbs up.

    • Street Fighter ftw!! oh wait Guilty gear…..

  10. Business is business so fairplay to em

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