EA recently launched a new initiative a while back in which a unique code (such as Bad Company 2’s VIP or Mass Effect 2’s Cerberus Network) would incentivize purchasers not to trade their games back in by offering exclusive access to downloadable content (used game buyers would have to pay a fifteen dollar fee to access such a service). EA Sports also branched out with their own version of this program with the Online Pass, a one-time use token that would allow gamers to play the online portions of upcoming sports titles like Tiger Woods and Madden. Naturally, there was a bit of a backlash, but EA is just trying to protect itself from the ravenous jaws of the used game industry. So far, this is the only solution put forward by a publisher to actively combat trade ins, but is it the best one?
Enter Mark Lamia of Treyarch Studios, currently the developer of the upcoming Black Ops and potential savior of the Call of Duty series’ image amongst gamers. He maintains that a strong multiplayer segment and good post-launch support is the key to keep people playing your game long past the point of considering a trade-in. Teryarch still has a section of their studio working on keeping World at War fun, and they expect to dish out a lot of content for Black Ops. Instead of moving on immediately to the next project, they will be focusing on keeping fans engaged in the hopes that they’ll continue playing without gimmicks like VIP passes and online access codes, even if you bought the game used. With the new additions to multiplayer features like Wager Matches, replays and bringing back dedicated servers on the PC, Black Ops looks like it’s shaping up to be a proper title.
What do you guys think about his statement? What incentives would keep you from trading a game in? Online codes for first time purchasers, or a lot of DLC regardless of how you came by the title?