‘1st Purchaser’ Code Needed to Unlock Catwoman in Arkham City

It is being reported that the Catwoman missions in Batman: Arkham City, which apparently make up 10% of the game, are locked unless you enter a ‘1st Purchaser’ code, which is included with new copies of the game.

This code will also unlock Catwoman as a playable character in challenge mode


Second hand buyers will have to purchase a code. If you don’t have a code, Catwoman will still appear as part of the story, you’ll just not be able to play as her.

This echoes the sort of online pass issues we mentioned last night with regards to Mass Effect 3.

Update: this has been confirmed. The code will cost second hand buyers 800 MSP / £7.99.

Source: Eurogamer /ArkhamCity.co.uk



  1. Fair enough.

    • I fail to see how this is ‘fair’ to be frank.

      I personally feel it is unnecessary & just trying to shoehorn an online pass for non-online features. If it had multiplayer it would be a little more acceptable I suppose, but this just smacks of getting a pass in for the sake of it. Not good.

      • I think the games industry has to get paid for the work it does, and the secondhand market erodes that.

        If I made a product and someone else was selling my product and not giving me a share, I would protect my product as much as possible.

        That’s how I see it.

      • They get paid on every new sale made. That’s the way it has always been.

        To put it simply, i kind of get the point of an online pass when they need to pay for the upkeep of servers, so why exactly do rocksteady need to continue to make revenue on a singleplayer game that has no need for them?

      • Ah, after a few rereads, I see your point, but this isn’t an Online Pass it’s a “1st Purchaser” code, which I think is specifically designed to increase firsthand sales that they can generate revenue from.

      • With all due respect Forrest_1 we developers do NOT get paid on every single sale, IF every sale includes the second hand market, the only people that so get paid more than once per copy are the retailers.

        This is not fair.

      • I disagree.

        Once the game is mine and I have opened it, I can od whatever I want with it, its not the developers game anymore, I can sell it to whoever I want and then they can resell it to anyone else. About an “extra” person playing on online servers, well I have already paid for that “position” which I won’t be using since I sold the game.

        Developers need to F**K off with this stupid Online Pass cr*p, it should be illegal to be able to this.
        Besides, I’m glad game prices of new games drop super low shortly after release.

      • If Wimpey homes build a house, they get one sale and are also liable to fix any faults that appear for at least a year and do not receive a percentage of future sales.

        A developer makes a game, they get one sale and are not liable to fix any faults that appear and they are now attempting to receive a percentage of future sales.

        Are either of the above fair?

      • This is specifically not an Online Pass. The article only refers to Online Pass with reference to ME3. This is a ‘1st Purchaser’ code, an incentive for people to buy new, to discourage secondhand sales of which the people who make the games get no share.

      • ok wuntun, they deserve to get paid.
        except they already did, for every preowned sale they got their fair share.

        what about the people who worked hard to get the money to buy that game, doing far harder and way more important jobs than making games.
        don’t they deserve to own it, does the publisher have the right to profit from that person’s property?

        and Stewart, let’s say we were talking talking about a game you made, you neglect the fact that you got paid for every single copy, if the game gets resold, that has absolutely nothing to do with you, because the fact is, and it is a fact, it’s not your property any more.

        you don’t get profit from the resale no, but you got what you were owed for that copy.
        you got everything you were entitled to.

        it staggers me that you think you deserve more than that.
        you actually think that because you make a little fucking game you can override my rights?

        fuck that noise.

        your profits are more important than my rights as the buyer?
        is that what you’re saying?

        because that’s pretty bloody despicable in my opinion.

        people talk about gamers having a sense of entitlement, yet here we have the industry acting like it deserve to profit from somebody else’s property.

        maybe the crash greed will cause in this industry will turn out to be a good thing.

        there’s an atmosphere of greed permeating every molecule of this industry lately, and some publishers need to be taken down peg or two.
        or 12.

      • I see your point Hazelam, yes, people who buy a product deserve to own it. And the publisher doesn’t deserve to profit from that person’s property.

        But I don’t think they should have to cater for secondhand users who aren’t paying for a fresh new copy which would go to the developer’s profits. Secondhand users will be aware that if they buy this product secondhand they are only getting 90% of the original product.

        Incentivising firsthand purchases seems fair game to me.

      • Brilliant I’m pro buy new all day long so this is good news to me,

        I’m not even a day one purchaser for this game though will be waiting for the price to drop before I pick it up..

      • sorry hazel but while you bring up the whole greed situation, that’s only on one foot…. on the other foot is the I want and I deserve it all for nothing scenario.

        why don’t you just buy new and stop moaning on every single thread about this subject! it’s as boring as me saying these same things over and over again,

        get a grip ffs and enjoy your gaming buddy!

      • @Stewart

        Yes it is fair.

        If you want more money increase the asking price, and let the market decide if it’s worth it. Stop these tactics of adding hidden costs.

        People here frequently us the used car analogy. What you’re advocating is similar to a scheme where a second hand buyer (or anyone borrowing the car) would have to pay the manufacturer to unlock the last 10% of engine power, because they are locked to the original owner (by fingerprint or implanted rfid or whatever way the could do it). If you’d consider that fair give me a call because I have a bridge to sell you, you’d probably be able to afford it once that deal with the Nigerian gentleman goes through.

        Frankly you, and the moneysucking part of the gaming industry you represent, disgust me. I hope your game fails, you get sacked, and you have make a living on minimum salary.

        I guess it’ll soon be time for me to find a new source of entertainment, because I’ll soon be fed up enough with these hidden costs you people are adding to try to get more money without increasing the visible number on the price tag.

      • it’s ironic fatty, you bring up, and i quote, “the I want and I deserve it all for nothing scenario”
        to defend this.
        to defend the publisher grasping for more than they’re entitled to.

        and as for me going on about it.
        well, i kind of do that when it’s my rights these scum are trying to violate.

        but, what’s your problem?
        why does it bother you so much what i say?

        i used to have this argument with some idiot on the ps forums, that wasn’t you was it?
        do you think sony is your lover?

        i’m getting flashbacks here.

      • Stewart, i see where you are coming from but that is down to you and the publisher. The publisher recieves the cash for every sale and should pass on the profits to the devs.

        This pass has no reason for existing other then greed. It is a single player game so there are no server costs to justify it.

        It punishes those who can’t access the net/have had it lent to them/ brought it preowned at a cheap price etc.. This is basically saying “eff you for not buying it new so we are locking 10% of the main story so if you want to plat it tough”.

        @fattyuk, bit aggressive with the “Get a grip FFS” don’t you think? ;)

      • “Frankly you, and the moneysucking part of the gaming industry you represent, disgust me. I hope your game fails, you get sacked, and you have make a living on minimum salary.”

        Wow. That’s really sad to read. I’m afraid your argument was utterly lost when you decided to type that paragraph.

      • ““Frankly you, and the moneysucking part of the gaming industry you represent, disgust me. I hope your game fails, you get sacked, and you have make a living on minimum salary.”

        Wow. That’s really sad to read. I’m afraid your argument was utterly lost when you decided to type that paragraph.”

        I dunno, I think he was bang on personally.

      • Since when does talking about an online pass for a game come down to “disgust” and an individual losing their job and livelyhood?

        I think some people just need to zoom out a bit and look at the bigger picture before we get down to that sort of level.

      • Because they seem quite happy stealing extra money from me and seeing me as second class so why should I have an ounce of respect for them? :\ I’m a pretty chilled out guy when it comes to most things but this new trend of developers becoming greed-fuelled really rubs me up the wrong way. And they wonder why the industry is going downhill…

      • Here here, this sort of protectionism is disgusting (to me) and dissuades me from buying a company’s games. A single player game has no continued overheads and it is simply hand-wringing, money-grubbing greed on behalf of the publishers and devs to charge an unlock code for single player content that is on the disc.

        If a game runs dedicated online multiplayer servers then I have less of an issue with charging for a pass as there are continued overheads for the dev but this sort of thing is obscene capitalism at it’s greediest and ugliest.

        Batman has now gone from a day one purchase for me to a non buy out of sheer protestation at this sort of behaviour. Rocksteady, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

      • Discussion is a good thing and we will always encourage everyone to share opinions and debate differences. There is a way of doing that, though. What has happened here is shameful and, to be brutally honest, very disappointing to see from some regular members whom I would have expected to know better.

        Regardless of your opinions (which I personally agree with, for the most part), the way some people are making their points is pathetic. It’s behaviour I wouldn’t expect from children and I won’t allow it to become accepted here, where we’ve managed for so long to remain largely civilised.

        Those who turn to the language of hate, personal insults or pathetic, immature vitriol will not be tolerated. State your opinions but don’t be a dick about. It’s that simple.

        In short: keep it civil or go away.

      • Ok, so my point was made clear enough…

        I have ZERO issue with people reselling to others, what I have a problem with is an organisation buying software specifically to sell it for a LARGE profit…

        If you sold your car, the price drops every time it is sold, this is the same for almost anything 2nd hand +

        The problem is a retailer makes MORE the 2nd time + around than he does the first time around. This is specific and planned profiteering, and that IS illegal.

      • Sorry, should have said

        Point was NOT made clear.

      • Hey colossal, was just writing to alleviate a worry here, but was your post directed at my comment or just a general response to the thread?

        I don’t think that my post falls into the category you describe there, but would appreciate it if you let me know if I have over stepped a boundary.



      • jikomanzoku: Not aimed at you dude. Not even really specifically at anyone. More of a general reminder to everyone to be civil, no matter how passionate we are about the subject.

      • Cheers chief, appreciated.

      • @Cb

        If your post was directed partially or in full at me. I did not attack Stewart by calling him names (though I admit the temptation was there), I described how his actions and statements make me feel about him. I then told what I hope his actions lead to, I hope (but don’t expect) for this kind of double dipping to have negative economic consequences for those responsible, to discourage others. I should probably have toned the language down a bit in that part.

        Also as CEO of a video game developer, and thus one of the people in a position to make or influence decisions about “passes” he should expect less gentle treatment than any random forum member that defends these practices.


        You dodged the point. That a car devalues naturally has no relevance. Can you name any other product where you, as the customer, would find it acceptable that you’re told “When you buy this you only own 90%. We’ll allow you to use the remaining 10% but nobody else, unless they pay us.”

        “This is specific and planned profiteering, and that IS illegal.”

        I think you’ll need to quote a law there. To my knowledge there is no such law in my country, and I’ll have a really hard time believing there is any in yours unless I’m provided with a way to read the actual text of that law.

    • According to French law of trade, this is borderline illegal. You can’t sale or resale an incomplete product. Exactly as a car manufacturer can’t limit the number of wheels to three when its automobiles are resold on second-hand market.

      Those Catwoman and Riddler missions are not “optional”, they are not DLCs — they are advertised as part of the final product. It might be all about semantics, but it still makes a difference. The online pass trend is turning for the worst these days.

      • They’re not advertised as part of the final product.
        The final product is only being advertised now.
        And they are optional, according to reviews from people who have played the game.

  2. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! That is all.

  3. They’re even worming online passes into single player games now. What a joke.

  4. Still would like to know how these passes affect the consumer because new games are normally the same price as pre owned and in a lot of cases cheaper!

    • yes, and what a lot of people don’t seem to realise *cough* fattyuk *cough* is that when people stop buying preowned, new game prices will go up

  5. Ignoring the Mass Effect 3 thing, this is the first time a single player game has required a code is it not?

    • Rage locks off single player content too. It’s a joke

      • DiRT 3, too, I think. For some cars.

      • Good point, forgot about that.

      • Despite this not directly effecting me since it is rare that I trade games, I find this pretty shocking. I can’t believe that a component of the game that they have been pushing since the very first trailers will not be available on 2nd hand copies.

      • Doesn’t ME2 have the whole Ceberus network stuff?

      • Yes, but it wasn’t really locking out single player content to you from the start. It was additional DLC that was released for free if you had a Cerberus Network code, which is the better way to do it.

        Rather than removing things for people who buy second-hand, why not reward those who buy it new with free content, á la Bad Company 2 and Mass Effect 2?

      • @Nemesis Yes, carrot is much, much better than stick.

      • As far as I can see, this is EXACTLY the same as Bad Company 2.
        Arkham City is the main game, with Batman as your character.
        Catwoman is extra, and you get her free if you buy new.
        If not, you pay extra.
        You can’t say it was already confirmed in the bog-standard ‘central’ game, as it wasn’t. We only saw teaser trailers, and assumed it was in the main game.

        Other than our assumptions, how is this different to Bad Company 2?

      • Bad Company 2 did not have trophies associated to the content offered as part of the VIP pack. So, very different indeed.

      • @colmshan1990
        The way I see it is they showed gameplay trailers and talked about Catwoman as a unique new character with completely different fighting styles and never said anything about a pass to unlock the character. It was kind of deceiving in my opinion.

      • Plus, the VIP pack did not lock off any singleplayer content, just multiplayer maps & unlocks, which you could therefore choose to do without if you wish.

        A good point has been raised a bit further on about how it is not going to be fair to people without internet access, which i actually completely agree with. Even if they buy it new they cannot access the store to redeem their code & so are (potentially unwittingly) being done out of 10% of the game that they bought in good faith.

        As i mentioned above, i don’t agree with online passes but i at least understand that servers need to be kept running for multiplayer. There is simply no excuse to lock off part of a singleplayer campaign in this way & especially if there are trophies associated to that part.

        It’s just greedy.

      • The thing is, the article right here says that it’s not a vital part of the game, it IS something you can do without.
        As for the trophies, that IS a lousy move, but it’s no different to a game with an online pass having some multiplayer trophies.

  6. Fair enough? How can it be justified?

    There are no servers to maintain for multiplayer. Why should I have to buy 2 copies of the game so my brothers can play on their own accounts on their shared console?

    Another preorder cancelled, I Wont pay more than £20 for a game with a pass.

    • I hate the new pass idea as much as you (clearly) do, but I think these passes work on a console basis rather than an account basis. Put it this way, I am able to use my Bad Company 2 and Smackdown 2011 online pass regards of who I’m logged in as.

      • Can’t comment on SvR 2011, but I do know that BC2 has a VIP code rather than an online pass – Difference being that it won’t lock you out of online play if you do not have one, just you can’t play on the VIP maps & so forth. Not sure if that supports what you are saying or not, but they are different.

      • On the 360 they lock to the gamer tag, it’s bad enough having to pay for 2 live subs, but it’s cheaper than 2 consoles. In effect, every game with a pass is now £8-10 more expensive to me, double that if I want to play it too on my own console.

        I will continue to buy new but will wait until the price drops.

        It’s like buying a blu ray with a single use code for the last 15 minutes of the film.

    • Why should game stores that want to charge £45 for a pre owned game get all the money?

      • I see what you are saying, but the developer has already had their (calculated) profit margin from the original sale. The store is the one offering you the service in which you can trade you old games for cash or other games, and they have costs in providing that service. No one is forcing anyone to buy a second hand copy for £45, that’s a personal choice and at that kind of price it doesn’t represent good value, and I would buy new!

      • You’re right, GAME shouldn’t.
        Joe Bloggs on Ebay who is willing to sell me a game for a fraction of the price however ;)

      • Gamestop isn’t that bad?!

      • Youles is correct. The dev has already made their sale. They are effectively asking to be paid twice for the same copy of a game.

      • I disagree, if you buy a secondhand product you’re not paying the developer for the work they’ve done which means their sales are effected, even if not every secondhand sale equates to a stolen firsthand sale.

      • I can see that developers must hate it when a preowned copy of their game is being sold for just £2-£3 less, as the retailer is making a decent profit whilst encouraging people to buy second hand. However a developer can’t blame retailers – their overheads are expensive, hence the current highstreets suffering and the likes on HMV being in trouble. Also, developers make more money in DLC which they couldn’t really do before the current generation of consoles. It’s up to us gamers to support the developers and when there is just a tiny difference in price between new and second hand, buy new out of principle. This is what I do, I’d rather have a new, sealed copy for an extra few quid, plus I’m giving the money to the developer and not the retailer.

      • @ wuntunzee

        I don’t know anyone who gets paid for their product when it is sold on again, so why should games developers be any different? Most of these big developers are doing better than you or me!

      • I’m with you on all your points, except I don’t think they are blaming secondhand shops, they are just insuring against them.

        Which is, I think, the point you are making, that developers shouldn’t get paid for a secondhand sale, that’s fine, but if you can take steps to encourage firsthand sales and discourage secondhand ones, then so be it, protect your sales.

        It’s an evolution of the market I think, if films and music were as complex as games we would be seeing DVDs and CDs doing the exact same thing, encouraging users to buy first hand.

    • Because to the games industry buying second hand is no different than piracy.

      • If the Publishing industry applied that same logic, Harper Collins would probably have nuked Hey on Wye from orbit by now :D

  7. So it’s basically preorder DLC?

    Second hand buyers can have it, but have to pay for it.

    I buy all my games new but since developers are keen to protect their product/revenue, I wonder how much of that percentage will raise in future, and with it, the cost for any second hand users. £15 for 40% of the game in future? I don’t think this is a good sign.

    Same with online passes – if CoD were to do it, how much would Activision value the multiplayer element of their game? I would say a lot of people buy/play certain games just for the multiplayer element.

    • Depends if the 1000 gamerscore or platinum trophy require it. If they do, then it’s part of the game.

    • 10% of the campaign?
      that’s a big fucking chunk of game to lock off.

  8. Ok, c’mon, this is too far.

  9. I have preordered it, but as a nod to my local Gamestop shop, I will now not use the code and trade it in with unlocks intact.

    Hah, stick that in your utility belt and holy smoke it.

  10. I only buy new games and never trade them in, but this has put me right off the game.

    There is no online component to pretend to charge for, this is a direct attack on the pre-owned trade and it sucks donkeyballs tbh. Sorry Rocksteady, I’ll just rent the game and miss out on Catwoman. Your loss, not mine.

    • The problem is, if I took your approach (which ironically is probably what I will do) its effectively me who loses out. I’ve played Batman:AA through three times so I was more interested in the Catwoman sections as they are something different. Still, they won’t be getting a sale from me on principle now.

      • Id like to play the game but im not that fussed sbout catwoman tbh. Was buying it, now it’s a rental.

      • I don’t promote piracy but dirty tactics like these deserve the PC game of this to get pirated.

      • i’m inclined to agree with you there Awayze.

        if they don’t respect our rights, why should anybody respect theirs?

        if you’re a criminal you have some of your rights taken away.
        commit a serious crime and you go to jail.

        you could consider it that they violated people’s rights so they lost theirs, they no longer hold the copyright and now the game is in the public domain.

        personally though i’ll just wait till it’s preowned, if never playing as catwoman is the price i pay for not supporting this.

        and if preowned wasn’t an option, then then i guess i’ll just never play it.
        you know, i still haven’t played spore.

      • @ R4U Eldave0
        “The problem is, if I took your approach (which ironically is probably what I will do)” – That’s a coincidence, not irony.

      • @Amphlett : Lol, sorry :) Despite living here my whole life, my Engrish is not so good ;)

    • Don’t blame Rocksteady, blame Warner. Talking to the Rocksteady devs they have basically no control over this stuff, and I imagine it’s on the publisher end everywhere.

      • Well it’s something that Rocksteady need to address with Warner then as I am furious and will not be buying the game. As this will Directly affect Rocksteady’s sales they need to sort this out or I (and many others by the look) will refuse on principle.

        It’s no less unfair of us to target Rocksteady than it is for they and their publishers to target the end user.

    • If ur lucky and rent early, the code may be in the box anyways :D

      • many of the rental services just send the disc on it’s own though don’t they?
        i know that’s how lovefilm do it.

      • Indeed, I meant more of a rental from ur local Blockbusters though :)

      • ah, haven’t been in one of those in years. ^_^

      • I live in the sticks dude :(
        We have only just discovered fire, let alone the internet lol

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