Last week we asked for your opinion of the Catwoman pass, a piece of single player DLC that would only be available to first time buyers of Batman Arkham City. Since then it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong for Rocksteady and Warner Brothers with missing codes, corrupt data, stuttering sound and bodged Collectors Editions.
Karma, it appears, can be a bitch.
With nearly one thousand votes cast, the majority thought that Warner Brothers were being greedy. With no online content in Batman Arkham Asylum the pass has one function; to stop people trading the game and if they do, giving Warner Brothers a £7.99 slice of that pre-owned pie.
Fifteen percent of voters deemed Warner Brothers’ actions as perfectly acceptable and another ninteen percent were unimpressed with their actions of the publisher but could understand their reasons.
That means over a third of voters are siding with the publishers and that’s bound to spark more debate.
The big question is: What price will shops be selling pre-owned copies of Arkham City? Will it be almost full price next week or will the retailers take in to account that a percentage of the game is locked off?
For me this whole Catwoman pass has stopped me from buying the game, at least for the time being. As I’m back in halls for this year, I can’t access the internet on my PS3 and subsequently wouldn’t be able to enjoy the full single player experience of a game I otherwise would have bought this week. I’m sure there are plenty of people in the same situation as me, maybe some that would never get to experience the Catwoman sections whilst buying the game new. As the majority of people have voted, this is a completely greedy move on the part of WB…
Who buys a Batman game to play Catwomen? Rocksteady just putted in here as a bonus.
Take it you missed the year of trailers, publicity and editorials in magazines/websites then?
Rocksteady said this to TSA at the beginning of the month:
“Catwoman is the closest thing Batman has to a friend in Arkham City so we felt it was a nice opportunity to have an interwoven story, as you play through the game you will swap between the characters and although it’s Batman’s game we have her as a ‘special guest’. The game starts with you playing as Catwoman and Two Face is making a power play by trying to kill you and that is when Batman shows up.”
Completely unsurprised by the result but I’m a little surprised that the margins aren’t larger considering the fuss kicked up in those few articles.
Yeah, but i suppose that the complainers (such as me) commented, complaining, whereas the people that were okay with it just went about their lives..
Too few options. There should have been a middle ground between annoying and unacceptable. I don’t believe all two thirds of the voters will refuse to buy, but when the next option was saying that it was somehow “nesseary” it was the only choice available.
How many meant “Unnacceptable, wont be buying this no matter what” and how many meant “Annoying, greedy and unnessesary, but I will put up with it if I want the game enough”?
For me I guess it’ll decrease my “rating” og a game by 1 to 3 points (out of 10) depending on how its done and how sleazy the pr people defending it are.
Publishers: Look to portal 2. They manage an incentive to buy new (free PC version) without detracting from the game in any way. They also managed to make people want to keep the game once they’d completed (free dlc promised and delivered)
Don’t treat your indirect customers as second class. The original purchaser took into account that he could sell the game used, if you remove that option he might think twice.
I totally agree with you, there are other positive alternatives to the current problems publishers face than this. Making people want to keep your game because it’s so awesome and not just some ‘blockbuster’ game is one way, Portal 2 is pretty special :3.
The game’s still amazing and Catwoman really plays differently to The Batman.
“What price will shops be silling pre-owned copies of Arkham City?”
There’s just so much wrong with this sentence ;)
i was just talking about TC’s massive poll and here it is.
aww no, i did it again. >_<
the results are pretty much as i expected.
though i do wonder how many of those who said it was unacceptable went out and bought the game anyway.
I must admit I fall into that category. Unfortunatley at 99p (when trading in Rage, a game I bought on a whim I cannot stand) it was hard to say no. To be honest, the Catwoman sections (from the 3 out of 4 I’ve played so far) aren’t worth the 7.99 price tag. They’re incredibly short and the combat feels almost identical to Batman’s, just obviously a bit faster.
Overall, the game itself is decent but not as polished as the first. The combat feels overly complex now and the lack of signposting is really getting on my nerves. Voice acting, as expected, is top notch though :)
Yeah the Catwoman portions aren’t huge they are a nice addition to the game but not necessary but as a whole the game is amazing me thinks :)
64.54% are smart. Rest have no clue whatsoever about gaming. Fact.
And we would we argue that we cared more about gaming than you do.
If having my having less money to buy more pre-owned games means pulishers and developers have more profits and thus make a better selection of games for me to choose from, so be it.
For the record, I chose the annoying option, and I consider myself to have a clue about gaming.
How do you think a sizeable amount of new games are sold if they’re not subsidised by Trade-Ins? Erosion of the trade-in value will hurt new sales.
But theres always been a pre-owned market. Since the very first days of gaming people have been trading games and even with that market there we’ve gotten amazing games like Half- Life, Uncharted, The Elder Scrolls, Halo, CoD… the list is quite long, and these critically acclaimed games do very well financially. Look at CoD, it has no online pass and it’ll sell tens of millions of new copies. Theres no proof of promise that any extra revenue these publishers get will improve the games one bit. EA said their pass would improve the servers, but EA servers are still crap half the time. Chances are the extra profit from passes are just going into the top 1% pocket. We don’t even know how much of the profit is being returned to the developers. All we have gotten is a false promise saying things will get better if you give us more money.
I realise there’s nothing shops can do about this pass thing but I still find it unethical and wrong. Basically the game developer is saying only one person can fully enjoy it. These devs IMO are jealous because they can’t make a game that will sell like COD or even the money COD makes so they’re doing anything they can to make more money.
The rate at which these games drop in price these days, people may aswell buy them new.
you care more about gaming than we do?
if that was true you wouldn’t let the greed of some publishers ruin it.
and it is incredibly naive to think these things are done to bring a wider selection of games.
these are done by the big publishers almost exclusively on big annual identikit franchises.
it’s the little publishers that have enough respect for the customer, and the law, to not pull these stunts where the new games come from.
the publishers that do these spend the money on big name actors, licenses and cgi cutscenes.
how much does that adulterous shrekalike rooney get for appearing on the cover of fifa?
how do you account for the fact that gaming got where it was with the preowned market alongside it almost from the very beginning.
it’s now bigger than movies or music.
gaming weathered the recession better than most other industries, and now they’re starting to feel the pinch a little, anything goes.
they’ve gotten used to obscene profits and want them to continue when everybody has less money.
so they resort to every cheap trick they can get away with.
and then there the legal issue.
you clearly don’t have a clue if you believe the publisher deserves to profit from somebody else’s property.
and that is one fact you repeatedly ignore.
they sell it, it’s not their property any more.
that is the law.
in the face of that, tell me why they still deserve to keep making a profit.
my dad used to be a roofer, does he get a cut if the house’s owners sell it?
by your logic, he should.
he was doing it for years, so he must be owed a fortune by now.
if my dad tried to claim any of that money, can you guess what would happen?
the games industry does it, and people make excuses for them, defend them.
even praise them for it.
i don’t understand stockholm syndrome either, but that happens as well.
don’t tell me they’re not trying to kill the preowned market either, because we both know they are.
i said when these online passes were brought in that they wouldn’t stop there, but people like you made excuses and said they just want to support the server costs.
now i say it again, and people like you are saying the same thing again
look at the pc business, games locked to single accounts, always on drm and limited activations, and replacing something like memory or a graphics card often counts as a new activation.
greed will bring this industry down, wouldn’t be the first time something like that has happened.
you’ll only have yourself to blame when they start with the totalitarian drm pc games are infested with.
remember, people warned you it would happen, but you wouldn’t listen.
you better believe i’ll be telling people i told them so.
In all seriousness, if you trade games in quick enough that they still have a high value, why on Earth aren’t you renting instead?
Even if you have to buy an online pass, it’ll still work out cheaper, wouldn’t it?
you didn’t answer my question as to why, given that they sold the copy of the game and it now belongs to somebody else, they still deserve to profit from it?
why do they deserve to keep getting paid when they’re not doing any more work or providing an ongoing service.
no answer, of course, you pick up on the one point you can put a positive spin on.
how anybody can claim they care about gaming while supporting developers stealing from their customers is beyond me.
in every sale the publisher gets what they’re owed, but even if the dubious .5% figure is accurate that’s tstill thousands of people without what they paid for.
and then you have those without net access.
there are millions of people without net access, i don’t know how many of those will buy the game, but a few i’d imagine.
even when the screw up with the download is fixed there will still be thousands of people who have content they paid for denied them because of the publisher’s greed.
now if it was one person it would be wrong, but for thousands.
normally if you steal from thousands of people, you go to jail.
Actually, that was supposed to be a reply to cc_star Hazelam, not you.
Do you complain when musicians and songwriters receive royalties?
Spot the difference.
no, i don’t, but then public presentation of somebody’s work is a million miles away from reselling a copy of that work i bought.
one is publicly showing or playing the artists work for any number of people so hundreds, thousands or even millions get to experience that work at the same time from one copy, the other is transferring ownership of your copy to another person, whereupon you no longer have access to it and they do.
spot the difference?
and you still didn’t answer the question.
The royalties comparison is spurious colm and there is an enormous difference between paying a royalty for music and an online pass. A recording artist receives no royalty for the sale of a second hand CD.
The royalties situation will no doubt change as I would imagine this is the sort of system the publishers will or have now instigated for Cloud based gaming such as OnLive. How this changes the playing field will be interesting – it’s not for me as I prefer to own the games I play.
I disagree. I realised as soon as these ‘Online Passes’ started to become the norm that it wasn’t anything to do with maintaining online services, but to gain a slice of the secondhand market. It’s another revenue stream and that’s why I didn’t vote ‘unacceptable’.
This whole situation doesn’t affect me though as I don’t tend to buy many games secondhand these days.
I don’t buy any secondhand games either, but their value affects what I can buy.
When they have a high value I can buy more new games, for example buying Bf3 then trading it to buy MW3 then trading that (as it always holds its value) to buy Uncharted3. 3 new sales for little more than the price of 1 thanks to trade-in values if this market didn’t exist I’d just buy Uncharted3, therefore even though I don’t buy secondhand games, their existence enables me & many others to buy new games.
The simple fact is, while there are people like cc_star who trade in to finance new games, the majority of trade-ins finance more trade-ins.
Why? Because they’re cheaper.
Careful there Colm, simple fact is a strong phrase to use without citing an independent source. I understand if that is your opinion/experience and you are absolutely entitled to feel passionately about the issue, Lord knows I do :D
Speaking for myself, my social circle, my knowledge and experience of the issue, the majority of people (that I know) do in fact trade games in a very similar pattern to that which CC described. That’s just my opinion though and based on a tiny focus group so in no way would I ever state such a thing as a “simple fact”.
If a publisher wishes to profit further, the solution in my opinion is to release additional content that players of the 2nd hand game would be enticed to buy if they enjoyed the product. It certainly isn’t to cull original content from the release product at the last second, an approach evidenced (in my opinion), by the way the game was publicised and the completely botched hatchet job they made of ripping it out – the fallout from which we are still seeing. That’s not even mentioning the preclusion of those purchasers without access to the internet or PSN stores.
It seems a dangerous approach for the continued health of the industry to use such “stick not carrot” tactics and alienate so many of their potential customers.
If Hazel is not right and greed doesn’t ruin this industry, it runs the risk of driving a good number of customers away. Will the publishers care though? Not a jot, as evidenced all the more by their attitude to us with each passing week.
If people traded in to finance new games, this situation wouldn’t exist, as retailers would have no reason to buy the old games.
They make massive profits on huge preowned sections, so quite clearly that’s where games sales are going.
Great for retailers, good from a certain perspective for consumers, but also bad (less variety to choose from) and of course, bad for publishers and ultimately, developers.
then where do all these preowned games come from if nobody’s buying new?
they just magic them out of thin air?
you do realise each and every one of those preowned games was sold new at some point.
i know, games can be traded several times, but how often does that really happen?
games don’t get repeatedly traded that many times, unless they’re awful, in which case, they should have made the game better so people wouldn’t want to trade it.
you clearly don’t seem to understand how the retail market works for games.
the people who trade their games are not the only people buying games, shocking i know, other people, you know, as in, not the same ones, buy the preowned games.
and no, each of those is not a lost sale.
many can’t afford to buy new, or don’t think the games are worth the new price.
and some just think games are too expensive.
regardless of what their reason is, they are still supporting the industry.
their purchases help subsidise the lower than rrp prices, which leads to more sales, and they also allow the store to buy more preowned games, which allows more people to trade in their games for new purchases.
Hazelam, what’s your solution to the publishers and developers closing their doors?
It’s either put in an online pass or raising prices on games outright.
Which would you prefer?
Because the cost of producing games has gone up, but game prices haven’t.
If you can come up with a solution that doesn’t involve online passes, I’m all for it.
But from my perspective, it’s the lesser of two evils.
My personal opinion on the whole matter is that if the industry has such an issue with pre-owned, they should be targeting the ones actually making money from it – As in the stores that sell pre-owned rather than the consumer. We have seen recently that Gamestop had been giving out codes with pre-owned & this was presumably because they had worked out some kind of deal with Warner (?) & I would prefer this route was taken than us having to bear the brunt of their discontent with a market that has been around pretty much since the start of console gaming.
True, but Gamestop wouldn’t do that unless the online pass system was in there in the first place.
And it’ll still affect the arguments that trade-in values would be reduced.
Gamestop are still passing on that cost, but it’s hidden. Higher priced pre-owned, coupled with lower trade-in values. (Which in my opinion have dropped ridiculously anyway, for games with AND without online pass systems, except for AAA games that are very recently released.)
Likewise, this discussion wouldn’t exist if the online pass wasn’t in existence!
But what I was getting at was that things would probably be a little different if the publishers just approached the retailers in the first place – We obviously wouldn’t know much about it, but technically all that should happen is for the price of pre-owned to rise surely? Basically the same effect, just we wouldn’t be targeted as a cash cow to milk on each & every re-purchase.
I mean, I’m not trying to change the world here as I realise that at this stage of the game it’s somewhat fruitless, this is just wishful thinking (& healthy debate) I guess!
so it’s the gamer’s job to subsidise failing studios now?
sorry to be harsh, but that’s not our problem.
frankly, if they need to pull this crap to survive, they deserve to go under.
my solution? either operate more efficiently or go out of business.
if they’re spending too much, or they’re run badly or they just make bad games, then it’s nobody’s fault they close down but their own.
prices will go up if they kill the preowned market like they want, because stores will have to make all their money on new sales and so wont be able to sell new titles for less than their rrp like they do now.
this is all moot anyway as it’s based on the erroneous assumption that they even deserve to profit from preowned sales.
when they sell a copy of their game, it then belongs to whoever bought it, that’s a very simple concept.
why is it the industry seems to think ownership is a concept that only applies to them?
i’ve said, legally, the online passes are in all likelihood legit because it is an ongoing service they’re providing, though i still refuse to support them because, as has been proven, they’re just a step toward pc style totalitarian drm.
but this is not for any ongoing service, this is for a part of the single player campaign chopped out just prior to launch for the sake of this scheme, and something that requires no ongoing work from the devs, other than fixing it so it actually works.
and you’re talking about supporting underfunded developers?
while defending warner?
one of the top 10 entertainment companies in the us?
that makes billions.
it’s funny how it’s those huge publishers, like ea, ubisoft, sony and now warner, that are the ones pushing this preowned jihad.
kinda proves it has bugger all to do with just staying in business and is all about sheer naked greed.
Well we new buyers could blame you pre-owned buyers that because of you we have this crap on our hands but then you could blame us because we buy the games even though they have this kind of thing and the developers may start thinking that it works there is always blame to go around every side always thinks that they are right i voted for the annoying but necessary
new buyers and pre-owned buyers are not, in my experience mutually exclusive, disparate groups – there is very often a large cross over between the two. I, for example, currently have 13 physical copies of PS3 games in my library, of which 12 were purchased brand new and 10 of those on day one. The vast majority were funded through trade ins of previous titles. If that market is damaged, I’ll be buying a lot less games day one which currently stands around 14 a year.
I did appreciate the humour of your post though, genuinely made me chuckle.
Didnt vote but would defo have gone with the majority. Access passes to offline gaming isnt for server costs or anything, its just wanting to take a greater cut of the market.
We are all strapped for cash in the world so affecting us more inevitably affects them back.
I remember a fascinating article about how the record industry had a lot to learn with regards to delivering MP3 content to customers. It mentioned how the pirate sites were far superior in build quality, choice, options, everything really. The moment parity was restored was when things started to shift.
It’s the same here. Make me feel like I’m losing out or that buying legit games (and more importantly, playing them) is a ball-ache and you start to lose my custom. This isn’t a piracy threat. This is a “I can’t be bothered with you” threat. Publishers…. Please take note.
Very eloquently put mike and I agree wholeheartedly.
i have to agree as well, this kind of thing is going to drive me, and many other i bet, away from gaming.
at least from the mainstream big publisher gaming anyway, there’s always the indies.
i won’t turn to piracy either, but i have no doubt there are a lot who will.
all these schemes seem to work on the assumption that you intend to steal.
if you’re being punished for something you haven’t done, i’d imagine many start to feel they are justified in actually doing whatever it is they’re being punished for.
Here in the States, Gamestop has promised $30 for ‘in store trade-in’ of Batman AC. It sells new for $59.99 plus tax, that brings it to $65. They sell it used for $54.99, but with a rewards membership you get an extra 10% off of used games. so it’s around the $50 mark, plus tax. So you save $10 buying used, which is the exact price of all of our online passes. But the price of used games drops before new games, so there are times you save up to $20 or even $30. New copies of AAA games don’t price drop for 6-12 months. The games I buy used or rent, are games I won’t buy new… ever. IMO- theyre just not worth paying full price, because theyre inferior in some way. But when I buy used I’m helping the used game market, a market that benefits the new game market. If people didn’t buy used games, the trade-in value would drop and the people that trade-in for new would buy less new games. I’m still supporting gaming, I’m just doing it in a roundabout way.