Massive Poll: Catwoman Pass

Holy PR disaster Batman! After months of teasing us with the frisky feline Catwoman, Warner Brothers have added a pass system that will lock her out of the game for those who buy a pre-owned copy and, more importantly, anyone who does not have their Xbox or PS3 connected to the Internet.

Until now publishers have always used the argument that online passes are there to support server costs. Batman Arkham City has no online element so the pass confirms what we’ve known all along – it’s to stop gamers reselling or buying a pre-owned copy.

Those who do buy a pre-owned copy and wish to play as Catwoman will have to pay £7.99 for a pass.

Rocksteady have repeatedly stated that the Catwoman missions represent about ten percent of the game and you can play her character in the challenge rooms (but there are no Catwoman specific rooms). Batman Arkham City has a RRP of £49.99, ten percent of that is £4.99 – rather ironic that Warner Brothers making you pay extra for a character who is a thief.

It’s time to get clicking and let us know what you think of this new tactic. You have until midnight Sunday to vote and the results will be published on Monday.

 

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131 Comments

  1. While I prefer a physical copy, I see the steam model as the way forward for digital distribution. I would buy download only games for a cheaper price.

    Prices on the PSN/Live aren’t even competitive so I cannot see consoles being able to survive on DD alone. I see these passes as an attempt to force in DD through the back door. This could be catastrophic for the industry on the whole, all for the sake of grabbing a few pieces of silver from a second hand game, one of which most likely helped fund the original purchase.

  2. Whether or not I’m angry with this choice hinges entirely on the percentage of offline gamers who are picking Arkham City up and miss the “10%” of content.

  3. Still cant make my mind up on this, although it does remind me of where you buy any collectors/special edition game that includes DLC vouchers. Box advertises content that I’m not going to see as a 2nd hand buyer. Just seems to be formalising it/trying to make it the norm which I’m really not sure is a good thing or not.

    • It’s a shame theyve only done that with Gamestop,to me that would seem to be the way forward for preowned if publishers are suffering as badly as they say they are.

    • I assume Gamestop pay a certain amount to be allowed to do that.
      A good compromise?

  4. I think it’s fine for publishers to do what ever they want to reward people who buy their games new.

    • Which Dark Souls did beautifully, with its limited edition, at no extra cost for day one purchasers. Included in which were an artbook, OST and DVD as well as one shot downloads of materials, extraneous to the game. I was really presently surprised in an age of passes etc that Namco Bandai actually did something for the early adopters. Carrots not sticks.

      In this case Warner is actively witholding finished campaign content from the user, not offering extra stuff, that to me is a whopping great stick.

      • Totally agree. Even Battlefield 3, made by EA (supposedly one of the demons of gaming) doesn’t penalise you if you decide to not preorder. All you get if you do preorder is a bunch of extra multiplayer maps and weapons, that are separate from the main game. The content isn’t even going to be ready at launch, but instead will be introduced later with an option to buy for those who didn’t preorder. A much better option than removing content out of the singleplayer.

      • Oh and I meant pleasantly surprised not presently, apologies for that.

    • rewarding their customers?

      that’s interesting, instantly devaluing your purchase by 10% is a reward now?

      none of these anti preowned or anti piracy schemes ever benefit the new buyer.
      at most they just give them what they pay for, that’s not actually a reward you know.
      getting what you paid for is not a reward, that’s simply them living up to their end of the contract you make when you give them money for the game.
      all it does it artificially, and deliberately, depreciate it’s value.
      that’s a punishment for buying new if you ask me.

  5. Ah the heady days of good old fashioned piracy spring to mind,a single player only game that seeks to demonize preowned purchasers should surely be a candidate for freebies all round.
    I might possibly be joking but eitherway the irony is painful.

  6. I think Youles pointed this out in the original thread:
    What exactly, is the difference between this and day1 DLC … except that this is free if you buy new whereas day1 DLC is a charge irrelevant.

    Would there be as much of an uproar if this had been day1 paid DLC instead? Probably not as much as this because this is the dreaded “attack on the pre-owned market”

    • The difference is the sense of entitlement.
      We saw the trailers, some of us liked what we saw, and assumed we’d get it in the main game.
      Heavy Rain Taxidermist level anyone?

    • I for one (and many others I might add) would certainly have taken issue (and have done in the past) with day one DLC, which is an abhorrent and indefensible practice to my mind – if it is finished content by time of launch it should be on the disc.

      An important difference also in this case is that, whether it’s from a different characters perspective or not, this constitutes 10% of the campaign and story, not a new story.

      Imagine watching a 2nd hand copy of the usual suspects for instance and not getting 10% of the scenes. Or reading LOTR and not finding out what happened with Merry and Pippin when seperated from the fellowship. It just wouldn’t happen in any other industry and demonstrates how crass and mercenary the games industry has become.

      • Elements of the games industry rather – there are still plenty of decent publishers/devs out there.

      • 10% of what, exactly?
        I’d be fairly disappointed if 4 optional Catwoman missions counted as 10% of Arkham City.
        Remember, game lengths and sizes aren’t easily measured, unless you think Skyrim is a 2 hour game.
        IGN’s review says Catwoman levels are fun, but aren’t in any way essential- they didn’t even bother with them until the 2nd playthrough in new game plus.

      • Yeah I read the IGN review too – and the Kotaku one.

      • As regards to the 10%, that is the figure quoted in TSA’s initial reporting of this story. So it was entirely fair of me to use.

    • if they chopped out 10% of the campaign and sold it?
      hell yeah there’d be an uproar.

  7. Not cool, Warner. Not cool.

    It was inevitable that as gaming became a bigger and more accepted medium that this sort of thing would happen but I still don’t accept that single use passes in videogames should exist in any way shape or form.
    Incentives for first time buyers? Yes … but not like this.

  8. The difference between this and day 1 DLC is fairly clear.

    Day 1 DLC is a reward, giving you bonus content for pre-ordering. Thus generating sales. I have no problem with this.

    A single use pass in this instance is saying: if you don’t pay us, we’re locking out 10% of the game, but charging more than 10% for you to play it. Profiteering in all but name, and I think illegal in any other industry you care to mention.

  9. There also has to be some sense of perspective here. Yes it’s bad when a dev has to close it’s doors, but if you kill off the pre-owned industry, you’ll kill off gaming retail too. Does the guy who works in the high street not have the same right to keep his job as the guy in the studio?

    High street stores are closing at a rate of knotts and pre-owned is probably the only thing keeping them afloat when they have to compete with the online market.

    Game sales are much higher than they were 10 years ago, and pre-owned games existed back then too.

    If a game is good, people won’t trade it so readilly, and those who pick up a pre-owned copy and like it are more likely to buy your next game new, the same goes for loaning a copy to your friend.

    The publishers are going to slaughter the golden goose if they aren’t careful, and we all know how that one turns out.

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